Breaking news: Kalashnikov presents new assault rifle prototype – AK-308

    Today, Kalashnikov Group (Russia) presented new assault rifle prototype called AK-308 at the International Military-Technical Forum “Army-2018”

    According to the press release: “Weapon is based on AK-103 with certain design features taken from AK-12 and is chambered for 7.62×51 round. At the moment, weapon is being prepared for trials. (…)

    • Complete technical characteristics of the assault rifle:
    • Cartridge: 7.62×51
    • Weight (with magazine, without ammunition): 4,3 kg
    • Overall length/with bayonet – 880-940 millimeters/ 1045-1105 mm
    • Overall length with the folded stock: 690 mm
    • Barrel length: 415 mm
    • Stock: folding adjustable 4-position
    • Magazine capacity: 20 rounds
    • Sights: aperture sight

    Video Here:




    Author with a prototype of AK-308

    Development of this weapon shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who is familiar with classic Izhmash product line. Saiga rifles chambered in 308 had been around for years both on Russian and US markets.

    If you look closely at the video and pictures, you will see that video and photos feature two completely different generations of this battle rifle, which gives us a unique chance to track the changes made on the rifle during the development process.

    In the video, the prototype has a traditional rear sight with hinged receiver covers, signature design feature of AK-200 series, described in the very good article written by our fellow TFB writer Hrachya.

    Prototype from the video.

    Next generation prototype from the expo. No traditional rear sight, new aperture sight is on the receiver cover, which provides longer sight radius.

    Muzzle device is also completely different. In the video, standard AK 200 series birdcage flashider is used, and it is clearly leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to reducing flash.

    On a next generation AK-308, flashider is considerably different

    Note a special bayonet lug between the gasblock and flashider

    AK-308 “front end” resembles AK12 and features free-floating handguard, non-detachable gas tube and gas block with integrated front sight.

    Also, markings on the selector are different. In the earlier prototype, standard Russian markings are used

    In the later sample, markings are in English, “A” and “R” which only happens if that was a demand from a specific customer.

    Markings in English may indicate that the weapon was developed exclusively for the foreign market and is not expected to ever be sold to Russian military or LE agencies. Rifle was demonstrated with a Russian made red dot 1P87, which tells us that this weapon is marketed as a battle rifle, not a DMR.

    A lot of experts share an opinion that development of AK-308 is the result of many tenders issued in the recent years by India and Pakistan, with both countries demanding battle rifles in 7.62×51.

    Vladimir Onokoy

    Vladimir Onokoy is a small arms subject matter expert and firearms instructor. Over the years he worked in 15 different countries as a security contractor, armorer, firearms industry sales representative, product manager, and consultant.

    His articles were published in the Recoil magazine, Small Arms Review, Small Arms Defence Journal, and Silah Report, he also created several video series such as “Gun myths”, “Kalashnikov: around the world”, “Larry Vickers in Russia” and “Kalashnikov: evolution” that are available on YouTube.
    ► Email: machaksilver at gmail dot com.
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