Over the years, TFB has been following the development of the rifle which evolved from a relatively crude bullpup AK to a more polished version with fairly unique features. The samples brought to IDEX represent the latest stages of its evolution.
Malyuk: Main Features and Handling
The rifle, available in 5.56×45 mm, 5.45×39 mm and 7.62×39 mm, sports a 415 mm (about 16.3″) barrel and weighs up to 3.8 kg (8.4 lbs). The overall external shape is typical to several bullpups of the same category with a big D-guard protecting the grip. Picatinny rails are available on the full length of the upper surface of the polymer frame and on the short portion of the handguard in front of the grip.
The operation is presumably based on the AK. A lever above the barrel, in front of the handguard, may imply gas regulation options. The bolt does not hold open.
Unlike the Croatian VHS, which offers several solutions towards ambidextrous operation, the Malyuk has a more basic approach with ejection to the right side only. The reciprocating charging handle is on the left side, however, provisions for moving it to the right seem to be available. The safety and fire mode selectors have been separated, with a cross bolt safety (maybe reversible?) easily accessible above the trigger and an ambidextrous selector lever in the stock. This allows for a prompt operation of the most important controls while keeping the internals relatively simple.
The magazine release is a wide, trigger-like button located behind the actual trigger. Access is comfortable from either side and activation is smooth. The AK-style magazine, quite surprisingly, drops freely upon release. The ergonomics of the magwell relative to the grip allow for effortless reloading while keeping the rifle on target.
The grip is hollow and the video playing at the booth seemed to imply a natural cooling airflow being channeled through it.