There has been a decades-long battle going on between fans of direct impingement versus piston-driven rifle systems. Which is cleaner, more accurate, or more reliable? In the past, we have had several AR platforms adapted for use with a gas piston system like the HK 416. TINCK Arms, a Slovenian manufacturer of firearms, is developing a direct impingement AK rifle. Our friends over at Polenar Tactical received this prototype rifle and ran it through its paces and despite them being huge fans of the AK’s traditional long-stroke gas piston system, they had a lot of good things to say about this new DI AK.
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- Polenar Tactical Hosting First-Ever “AK Operator” Courses in the U.S.A.
TINCK Arms Develops Direct Impingement AK Rifle
Now that you guys have had a chance to wipe the vomit off of your phones/keyboards, please let me explain. Upon first seeing this, I am pretty sure I broke my neck backing my head away from my phone in disbelief: “Why the heck would you want to stuff a DI system inside of an AK?!” The guys at Polenar seemed to have the same reaction.
Direct impingement systems suffer from a number of problems that AK rifles do not suffer from because of their different operating mechanism – specifically how they use gas to cycle the rifle. A DI system will first and foremost introduce fouling into the action of the rifle directly (where cartridges are feeding on) and because of this, DI systems are considered to be “dirtier” than piston-driven systems. A secondary downside many people like to point out about a DI system is the introduction of increased heat within the firing system meaning the firearm tends to overheat more quickly than with a piston-driven system.
However, as Ziga points out in the video below, the introduction of a DI system to the AK solves a couple of problems that the AK platform has with it. First, a long-stroke gas piston system has a lot of mass contained within the piston and bolt itself in order to drive the rifle, the TINCK rifle features a much lighter bolt which translates to much less recoil. A secondary benefit is that the DI system reduces the amount of barrel flexing that occurs while firing. Finally, the DI system on the AK also introduces a lot of variability with regards to barrel length and even a completely free-floated rail.
The TINCK Arms direct impingement AK rifle prototype was made from a Zastava-produced M70 receiver and mostly AK parts. The only parts that were actually changed out for the prototype were the barrel and gas system. I find this to be a pretty interesting concept as we see a lot of piston-driven ARs but don’t see direct impingement AK rifles. What are your thoughts on this new prototype from TINCK?