Russia’s 64 year-old beauty, the Kalashnikov AK series assault rifle, may soon get a new addition: the AK-12.
Come this June, Russian feds will decide the fate of the AK-12 — in development since 2010 and in testing since 2011 — when they do the final test runs of the weapons system.
Weapons designer and original producer of the (spaceship-looking) AK-47, Izhmash told Ria Novosti they “have adapted the weapon to modern combat requirements, having preserved Kalashnikov’s unique qualities – simplicity, reliability and relatively low production cost.”
The weapon, like many modern military rifles, has three fire settings: one round, three round, and fully automatic. It also comes with rails to mount lights, infrared sights, and forward grips.
It has a modified barrel to fit foreign versions of muzzle-mounted grenades.
Initial testing on the rifle yielded a few problems, but Izhmash is confident they’ll sort those out by final testing. The AK series is renowned for its reliability and durability — a shooter can bury one in the dirt, dig it up, brush it off, and fire it.
One problem with older AK models was accuracy past 300 yards — due in large part to its flexible design, which also contributed to its durability. It’ll be interesting to see if the new model has improved accuracy without sacrificing durability or increasing expense.
Finally, good news for the civilian collectors out there: Remington will be producing their own version of the AK-12 — not fully automatic of course.
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