Despite the ongoing pandemic, the largest Russian annual arms exhibition, ARMY, was not canceled and started as scheduled. During this exhibition, Kalashnikov Concern introduced several new small arms products including a new LMG, a smart shotgun and the AK-19, a 5.56×45 rifle based on the AK-12.
The new AK-19 rifle features some improvements that were incorporated into its design based on the feedback from the Russian military on the AK-12 rifle. One of these design improvements is the new adjustable and folding stock which is similar to the stock of recently released PPK-20 SMG. The company notes that this stock is lighter and has improved ergonomics compared to the original AR-pattern stocks of AK-12/AK-15 rifles. Another design change is the new aperture rear sight which apparently is more compact compared to the rear sight of AK-12. The AK-19 also has a new muzzle device with a QD suppressor attachment feature. Some of these design changes/improvements will also be used in an updated version of the AK-12 which we’ll talk about in a separate article.
The AK-19 rifle has a 415mm (16.3″) barrel which is the standard barrel length of full-size AKs. The twist rate is 1:7 which will stabilize a wide range of 5.56x45mm projectiles. The rifle also has new 5.56 windowed 30-round magazines similar to the magazines adopted with the AK-12. The overall weight of AK-19 is 3.35 kilograms (7.4 lbs).
Earlier, before the start of the exhibition, in an interview given to RIA Novosti news agency, Dmitry Tarasov, the CEO of Kalashnikov Concern, said that the AK-19 was developed to expand the export line of their products. This was also emphasized in the information published by Kalashnikov Media later, during the ARMY 2020.
Pretty interesting design tweaks. In most cases, changes based on the field use feedback are indeed improvements because oftentimes the shortcomings of any particular firearm’s design can be revealed only if you use it for a long enough period of time in the conditions it is designed to be used.
Images by Kalashnikov Media, www.kalashnikov.media