Modern Firearms website has published a new article telling about the official release of the 200-series of AK rifles. These rifles represent the next generation and evolution of the 100-series of AKs. In fact, they’ve been around for about a year but didn’t have the 200-series model designation.
The history of the development of these rifles started back in 2009. By 2011, for unknown reasons, the development was halted and later resumed in 2015. During the ARMY-2017 arms exhibition, the rifles were displayed bearing the 100-series of model designations with the addition of the letter “M” (AK-101M, AK-102M etc.). That is a common practice in Soviet/Russian firearm model designation system where the letter M means that the gun is the Modernized version of an earlier model – just like it is in the case of AK and AKM or PK and PKM. And finally, during the recently held Russian “Day of Advanced Technologies of Law Enforcement Agencies of the Russian Federation” exhibition, Kalashnikov Concern gave these rifles a new official model designation and now these are the 200-series AKs.
Basically, the 200-series of AK rifles are the 100-series with the factory installed AK Upgrade Kit that was introduced earlier. We reported about the introduction of this kit which you can read about by clicking here. These upgrades are mostly related to ergonomics and include minor new parts. The core operating system of the rifles is retained identical to that of 100-series of rifles.
Similar to the 100-series, the 200-series of AK rifles also two length options: full-size and compact (or carbine). The full size rifles have 16.33″ (415mm) barrels and an overall length of 34.6″ (880mm) when the stock is fully collapsed. The length of full-size rifles with the stock folded is 27.75″ (705mm). The carbine versions share most of the features with the full-size rifles with the difference of having a shorter barrel and front sight post/gas block combo. The compact rifles have 12.35″ (314mm) barrels and length of 30.5″ (775mm) and 23.2″ (530mm) with the stock fully collapsed and folded respectively. The 200-series rifles are also offered in three caliber options: 7.62x39mm, 5.45x39mm and 5.56x45mm NATO. The model designations of these rifles are as follows:
- AK-200 – Full-size rifle chambered in 5.45x39mm
- AK-201 – Full-size rifle chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO
- AK-202 – Compact rifle chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO
- AK-203 – Full-size rifle chambered in 7.62x39mm
- AK-204 – Compact rifle chambered in 7.62x39mm
- AK-205 – Compact rifle chambered in 5.45x39mm
The 200-series AK rifles feature Krebs style safety selector levers and the same fire modes as the 100-series of rifles: semi-auto and full auto. The top covers of these rifles are hinged and attached to the modified rear sight blocks. There is also a Picatinny rail section on the top cover and its rear fixation is no more accomplished by the rear end of the recoil spring guide but by a separate lever. Such design should provide a rigid retention of the top cover making it a much more reliable optics mounting platform compared to other attempts of attaching rails to the top cover. Note also that this is the primary optics mounting system for the 200-series rifles because these rifles lack the side rails that were present on the 100-series AKs. The 200-series of rifles also feature Picatinny rail sections on top, bottom and sides of the polymer handguards.
Another significant difference from the 100-series of rifles is the new muzzle device which again was earlier introduced with the above-mentioned upgrade kit. It is a combination muzzle device but I assume it is primarily designed to be an effective flash hider. The new muzzle devices also work as mounting platforms for quick detach suppressors.
The stocks of these rifles fold to the left side. These are also collapsible stocks presumably mounted on an AR-15 buffer tube interface. According to Maxim Popenker, the founder of Modern Firearms website, the stocks are made rigid enough to withstand the recoil of under barrel grenade launchers as well as to be used as an impact weapon (butt stroking). It is possible to attach GP-34 grenade launchers and bayonets to the full-size rifles (AK-200, AK-201 and AK-203) only.
The 200-series of AK rifles are primarily designed for exporting and sales to domestic Russian law enforcement agencies. Although they look similar, these rifles should not be confused with the AK-12 and AK-15 that were recently adopted by the Russian military. The AK-12 and AK-15 are arguably more advanced firearms with several more significant design changes such as the permanently fixed gas tube with the gas block disassembled from the front.
I suspect that pretty soon we’ll hear about the introduction of the civilian versions of 200-series rifles capable of firing on semi-auto mode only. There is no doubt that civilian versions will have a huge demand in the Russian market and will also be a great export product for the company.
The images of this article are from the Modern Firearms website which however credits the Kalashnikov Concern as the source. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any additional images on the company’s website. Apparently, these rifles are not yet listed there. I’ll update this article as soon as information about these rifles appears on the company’s website.
Popenker M. (2018, June 7). “200 series Kalashnikov assault rifle: AK-200, AK-201, AK-202, AK-203, AK-204, AK-205 (Russia)”. Modern Firearms. Retrieved from: https://modernfirearms.net/en/assault-rifles/ak-200-2/