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AK-12

Assault rifle

AK-12

The new AK-12 is a proposed replacement for the AK-74 and AK-100 series assault rifles

 
 
Country of origin Russia
Caliber 5.45 x 39 mm
Weight (empty) 3.3 kg
Length 945 mm
Length (with folded stock) 725 mm
Barrel length 415 mm
Muzzle velocity 900 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 700 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 120 rpm
Magazine capacity 30, 60 rounds
Sighting range 800 m
Range of effective fire ~ 500 m

 

   The AK-12 was developed by IZHMASH factory as a private venture both for domestic use and export market. A prototype of this assault rifle was first revealed in 2012. Though since its introduction the prototype was heavily modified and simplified. This weapon is intended to replace the AK-74, which is a standard-issue infantry rifle in service with the Russian military. On the export market it is intended to replace an AK-100 series. Development and testing of the AK-12 has been completed and this weapon is ready for production. In 2018 production of this assault rifle was being launched. It was planned that the first batch of assault rifles will be delivered to the Russian military by the end of 2018. In 2019 some sources reported that this assault rifle is being produced in large numbers for the Russian military. The new AK-12 was strongly criticized by the media as being not as cutting-edge weapon, as some latest designs proposed by other manufacturers.

   The main goal developing the AK-12 was to improve tactical flexibility and ergonomics of the previous weapons. Poor balance and ergonomics were the main drawbacks of the AK-74. Even though the AK-12 resembles previous AK-100 series weapons, and uses similar operating principle, this weapon has been redesigned in many ways. Though it is likely that numerous tweaks and modifications, as well as introduction of small and fiddly parts will negatively affect legendary reliability of AK series weapons. Also the new AK-12 is more troublesome to field strip for cleaning.

   The AK-12 is a gas operated, selective fire weapon. It is based around the traditional Kalashnikov design. It is expected to be simple, rugged and reliable weapon as its predecessors. This new assault rifle is planned to be available in two versions. The light version is chambered for 5.45x39 mm Soviet, or 5.56x45 mm NATO ammunition, while the AK-15 is the heavy version, chambered for a more powerful 7.62x39 mm Soviet, or 7.62x51 mm NATO rounds.

   Barrel of the AK-12 has revised rifling for improved accuracy. The old AK-74 has inferior accuracy to most Western assault rifles of the period.

   Early prototype of the AK-12 had a new ambidextrous safety / fire mode selector lever. It was located above the pistol grip, on both sides of the weapon. It had four positions for "safe", "semi-auto", "3-round burst" and "full-auto". The combined safety and fire mode selector lever can be operated by a thumb, without releasing the pistol grip. It was a huge improvement over the traditional AK-style fire mode selector, which is awkward to use. Prototype also had a revised charging handle that could be installed on either side of the weapon. However for some reason on later prototypes this arrangement was dropped in favor to the traditional fire mode selector and charging handle. Also a 3-round burst mode was replaced on production model by a 2-round burst mode.

   This new assault rifle is compatible with a standard 30-round AK-74 magazines, as well as 45-round magazine of the RPK-74 light machine gun. Newer magazines for the AK-12 allow to see how many rounds are left in the magazine. This weapon can also use newly-developed 60-round box magazine.

   Originally the AK-12 had a side-folding, adjustable telescopic stock, which folded to the right side. However improved models of this assault rifle have a telescopic stock, which resembles that of the US M4 carbine. This stock can be folded sideways.

   The new assault rifle has iron sights as standard. Sighting range is 800 m. There is also an integral Picatinny-type rail at the top of the cover. It is used to mount various scopes and night vision sights. There are also accessory rails at the forend. Bottom section of the forend is also available without rail. The plain version accepts standard GP-25 or GP-30 40 mm underbarrel grenade launchers.

   The AK-12 has a redesigned muzzle brake, which now has a standard NATO diameter. This improvement allows launching rifle grenades. The new muzzle brake also reduces recoil and flash during firing. The muzzle brake can be easily removed and replaced with a sound suppressor.

 

Variants

 

   AK-15 is a version of the AK-12, chambered for the more powerful 7.62x39 mm round. It is compatible with 30-round magazines of the AKM assault rifle, and 40-round box magazines and 75-round drum magazines of the RPK light machine gun.

 

AK-12

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AK-12

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AK-12

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AK-12

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AK-12

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AK-12

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