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AN-94 Abakan

Assault rifle

AN-94 Abakan

The AN-94 Abakan assault rifle is currently used in limited numbers by Russian elite forces

Caliber 5.45 x 39 mm
Weight (empty) 3.85 kg
Length 943 mm
Length (with folded stock) 728 mm
Barrel length 405 mm
Muzzle velocity 960 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 600 / 1 800 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Sighting range 1 000 m
Range of effective fire 650 - 700 m


   The AN-94 assault rifle has been designed as a possible replacement for the AK-74 by Genady Nikonov during the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was first publicly revealed in 1993. The Nikonov's design eventually won the competition against other new Russian assault rifles, such as the AEK-971. The Abakan had been officially adopted by the Russian Army and Ministry of Internal Affairs in 1994. Originally it was intended to replace most of the AK-74s in the Russian service, however currently it is used only in limited numbers by elite forces, mainly because of the funding problems. One interesting detail is that the AN-94 Abakan has not been proposed for export customers

   The AN-94 is chambered for a standard Soviet 5.45 x 39 mm round. It is an advanced gas operated assault rifle. Design of this assault rifle differs from the AK design. An unusual feature of this weapon is that the Abakan has 1 800 rpm and 600 rpm variable rate of fire modes. It is claimed, that the AN-94 is more accurate than the M16A2, even though the 5.45-mm Russian round is inferior to the 5.56-mm standard NATO rounds.

   Safety switch and fire mode selector are two separate controls. The safety switch is mounted inside the trigerguard. The fire mode selector is located above the triggerguard. It has three positions, including single shots, two round bursts and full-auto.

   The main improvement of the Abakan over the AK-74 is the additional two round burst mode. This mode offers some advantages over the usual single-shot mode. It is reported that a two-round burs is very accurate. Some sources claim, that it is possible to make a single hole in the target at 100 m range. Also shooter feels the recoil of two fired rounds simultaneously only afterwards both bullets have left the barrel. It allows for significant increase in accuracy, lethality and penetration.

   The full-auto mode of the AN-94 Abakan consists of two stages. The first two rounds are fired in the high rate mode (1 800 rpm) and then the hammer unit switches itself to the low rate mode and the remaining rounds are fired in the 600 rpm mode. There is no manual rate of fire selector, as everything is done automatically. The process is repeated every time when shooter pushes the trigger.

   It is worth mentioning, that the AN-94 has complicated internal design. It takes time to get used to its assembly and this weapon is troublesome in maintenance. It is also more expensive to manufacture, than the previous AK-74. It is worth mentioning that the Abakan employs modern manufacturing technologies, such as casting, steel stamping, powder coating and laser welding, while the Kalashnikov weapons are still produced by the methods of the 1950s.

   The AN-94 Abakan is fed from the standard AK-74 box-type magazines, holding 30 rounds. It is also compatible with 45 round capacity magazines of the RPK-74 light machine gun.

   This assault rifle has a polymer housing. A collapsible polymer stock is folded to the right side. A field toolkit is carried inside the buttstock. However it has been reported that the Abakan has poor ergonomics.

   This weapon has adjustable iron sights, comprised by a front post and a rear diopter. It is worth mentioning that such sight system was used with Russian firearms for the first time and is a step aside from all previous Russian assault rifles. It has much in common with Heckler & Koch designs. A universal rail is attached to the left side of the receiver. It is used to mount various scopes and night vision sights.

   This weapon has an unusual muzzle brake, which is self-cleaning. It also serves as a flash hider and is claimed to be highly effective. This muzzle brake can be removed from the rifle and replaced with the standard muzzle brake of the AK-74.

   This assault rifle has a grenade launcher mount under the barrel and is compatible with 40-mm GP-25 or GP-30 launchers. The bayonet is attached in horizontal plane flat. This feature allows to mount both grenade launcher and the bayonet simultaneously. Previously it was impossible with the AK automatic weapons.


AN-94 Abakan

AN-94 Abakan

AN-94 Abakan

AN-94 Abakan

AN-94 Abakan

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