Soviet Experimental AK-Based Designated Marksman Rifle

    Soviet Experimental AK-Based Marksman Rifle (7)

    In the late ’50s, there was a need in the armed forces of Soviet Union for replacing the rifles deployed in sniper and DMR roles. By that time they were mainly using scoped Mosin-Nagant, SVT and SKS rifles. All these rifles were outdated and they needed something new that would better integrate with the newly adopted assault rifles.

    Soviet Experimental AK-Based Marksman Rifle (5)

    One of the first attempts of Soviet engineers in designing a DMR was pretty intuitive. Having the newly adopted AK-47 rifle, they tried to design a marksman rifle that would be chambered in the same caliber (7.62x39mm) and would have a high rate of parts compatibility with main assault rifle. The same concept was used when designing the RPK light machine gun.

    Soviet Experimental AK-Based Marksman Rifle (1)

    This experimental rifle is pretty reminiscent of RPK and it was designed at around the same time period as the RPK. The rifle has a stamped receiver with a bulged front portion to accommodate the larger reinforced front trunnion. In the image embedded below, you can clearly see the two safety selector notches on the receiver and the full auto sear pin. The rifle was possibly intended to be select fire.

    Soviet Experimental AK-Based Marksman Rifle (3)

    This prototype rifle has an AK-length gas system with a longer barrel. There is no muzzle device on the rifle, but the muzzle is threaded and has an AK thread protector.

    Soviet Experimental AK-Based Marksman Rifle (6)

    This prototype rifle also has a side scope mounting rail shown in the image below.

    Soviet Experimental AK-Based Marksman Rifle (4)

    If in the case of RPK this approach was successful, the AK-based DMR project was dropped for unknown reasons. Probably, the main reason was the insufficient ballistic characteristics of the 7.62x39mm cartridge for the mentioned applications. Another reason could be the start of trials (in 1958) of designing a completely new 7.62x54mmR sniper rifle which ended with the adoption of SVD rifle.

    The concept of an AK-based intermediate caliber DMR was later embodied in Iraqi Tabuk rifle.


    “100 лет «Красной Армии»: Снайперская винтовка на базе АКМ, опытная”. (2018, April 6). Kalashnikov Media. Retrieved from

    Hrachya H

    Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience. Hrachya also writes for
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