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    Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

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    IronsightSniper
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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  IronsightSniper on Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:56 am

    Russian Patriot wrote:Legendary Kalashnikov assault rifle: History and prospects

    RIA Novosti

    21:2926/05/2010 MOSCOW. (Ilya Kramnik, RIA Novosti military commentator) - The Russian armed forces will continue using firearms based on the assault rifle Mikhail Kalashnikov designed in 1947. Vladimir Gorodetsky, director of the Urals-based Izhevsk Mechanical Plant (Izhmash), which produces the legendary assault rifles, told this to the media on May 25.

    Next year, the Defense Ministry will start testing a new model of Kalashnikov, the AK-200. The new model is lighter than its predecessor and has a more ergonomic design. However, the total weight of the device will be 3.8 kg (up from 3.3 kg), due to additional equipment, including a scope sight and a target-marking laser.

    Do these improvements meet the current needs of the Russian army, or modern fighting practices more broadly? To answer this question, one needs to study complaints made about the most widely used and distributed military firearm in history.

    1. Lower precision in single shot fire compared to similar Western models and noticeable climb in fully automatic fire, especially with the 7.62 mm version.

    2. Difficulty in installing modern scope sights.

    3. Non-ergonomic handle.

    4. Obsolete open-barrel sight.

    Most of the precision problems in basic AK models have been resolved by improving the quality of mass-produced rifles and ammunition, analysts say. Sometimes there can be a great difference between different Kalashnikovs of the same model but made by different producers in different countries because of production quality, components and ammunition.

    As for the climb and recoil problems, they stem from details in the design itself; correcting those would require structural improvements, at least as significant as in the AK 107/108 versions, where the recoil is weaker due to its more balanced automatic mechanism. Such changes would eventually require designers to generate a whole new design concept for the firearm, which is impossible in the current economic situation.

    Another option would be to use new recoil control devices (compensators).

    The difficulty of installing scopes is due to the receiver cover's design: optical sights cannot be attached to it. The sights, fitted with a Picatinny attachment, would need to be adjusted whenever the cover is lifted or replaced.

    Until recently, the sights were fitted to Kalashnikovs using a bracket on the left side of the receiver, significantly limiting the range of sights that could be used. The Picatinny gas tube attachment was introduced for the AK-200 series to solve this problem and the receiver cover was also improved. It is hinged to the receiver at the front and flips up, increasing its overall rigidity. Picatinny rails compatible with a range of optical and collimator sights can be installed on the rigid receiver.

    Many professionals recognize the Kalashnikov's original open barrel sight as obsolete. Other experts argue that it is quite effective in open combat and only requires minor improvements.

    Overall, the AK-200 series is a significant upgrade of the basic rifle, and the improvements made have not required a dramatic upgrade in production lines.

    Russia's Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service are already buying small batches of new series firearms. Commercial production has to wait until the Defense Ministry's tests are complete. If the AK-200 goes into production, it would mean Russia joining the international trend towards improving existing models rather than re-inventing "the firearms of tomorrow," which saw only limited progress. Basic models can be upgraded by ergonomic design and added cutting-edge equipment.

    Russia is in a better position than other countries as it escaped all those "firearms of tomorrow" projects thanks to events of the past 20 years.

    The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/russia/2010/russia-100526-rianovosti04.htm

    I wouldn't think RIAN is full of it, just because you have a different opinion with them. Besides, just because the previous model had it doesn't mean the current ones will.

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:16 am

    The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

    Normally I agree with this reporters views, but in this case I think the Russian military will want rather more than a warmed over AK otherwise the AEK rival might pip them at the post.

    Remember the emphasis on hit probability that led to the AN-94 beating the Kalashnikov rivals?

    I am sure Kalashnikov has.

    Adding a scope and laser pointer as standard to every rifle doesn't seem to me to be going for cheap and simple, so an upgrade like a balanced recoil system which no other in service rifle has AFAIK might be what makes or breaks this new weapon.
    The SA80 had an optic sight as standard in the late 1980s so this isn't really new.
    Of course using optic sights makes training easier, though back up Iron sights could simply be built in to the rail to fold down when not needed.

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:48 am

    Actually I have been thinking... no really, and what I was thinking was that if they did adopt the balanced recoil system as shown on the page I linked to above for the AK-107/108 then with the piston rod mechanically linked to the bolt... if you wanted to, you could remove the recoil spring from behind the bolt carrier and put it on both pistons instead. This could mean a much shorter recoil stroke and therefore a much shorter receiver, which should rather significantly reduce the length of the rifle and reduce weight without reducing barrel length.

    In fact if you changed things around and used a bullpup layout you could really seriously shorten the rifle design while actually making the barrel a little longer.

    Just thinking out loud.

    I reckon I should be charging the Russian MIC for all my ideas...

    Smile attack

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  IronsightSniper on Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:49 am

    Not every new Kalashnikov is going to be a break through, with Picitanny rails, this allows Russian weaponary to be able to hold a larger variety of Optics and tacticool equipment. 60 round magazine is fine too. Balanced recoil although nice would still be expensive to "add-on".

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:32 am

    Balanced recoil although nice would still be expensive to "add-on".

    I understand people thinking that but in my opinion without the balanced recoil system this isn't an AK-200, it is just an AK-74M2.

    It wouldn't be that hard to take the plastic furniture and top cover off an AK-74M and replace those components with new components with picatinny rails fitted and fold down iron sights to them and remove the original rear and front Iron sights.
    Add a 60 shot mag and all of a sudden you have an AK-200?

    It is not enough to warrant the change... it would make rather more sense just to replace those 3 things (ie upper and lower front plastic grips and top cover) and replace them with models fitted with piccatinny rails... I bought a top cover with a rail mount on top and black plastic grips (without rails but I could just as easily bought some with rails on all sides of them too) for my Chinese AK and I can say it makes it easier to fit a scope, but I wouldn't consider it a new rifle because of it.

    Quite frankly if there is no balanced recoil mechanism the real question becomes why would it take so long to get it into service?

    What is the point of the testing it will be going through this year?

    The only two things that really need testing is the 60 round mag and a balanced recoil mechanism.

    Without a balanced recoil system why not just put it directly into service?

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  IronsightSniper on Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:02 am

    It's still new, still got testing procedures.

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  Hoof on Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:33 am

    I wonder, how practical is 60 round mag ? 30 rounds of 5.45x39 is already pretty heavy... but 60 ! how big is the mag physically and what shape does it have?

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  IronsightSniper on Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:16 am

    According to this picture, it looks like any regular banana mag, but to me, it does look a tad elongated and fatter.




    In fact, here's a nice visual comparison (60 round casket mag in middle and "standard" mags on the top left of it.)




    Weight wise, a loaded AK-200 (presumably with the 60 round mag) is reported to weigh 3.8 kg, which is actually 0.2 kg lighter than a loaded M16. Practicality wise, there is some talk that the 60 round casket mag is actually not as reliable as regular mags, so, we'll see.

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  Hoof on Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:22 pm

    That doesn't look as bad as I thought... Not sure how ergonomic it will be if used for support (same way as people use m16 mag well for support), since its pretty wide... For positives there are prolonged firing, less time to reload, easier to reload... Its kinda interesting,i'm sure it will fit in any standard vest pouches, big advantage over 75rd drum... as for bad, Like Ironsniper said, reliability issues (as always as capacity increases, reliability decreases, evident even in 40 round RPK mags) I wonder will I ever see a soldier taping 2 of those together ? hahaha...

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  Austin on Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:01 pm

    So just a newbie question , what is good about AK-200 over says AK-74 and AK-107/108 to be adopted as Russian Army next gen Assault rifle ?

    The one thing I know is that it has piccatni rails that would give it the flexibility to use western add ons like scope etc

    So does it have better muzzle velocity , better accuracy , longer range , better penetrating bullet and lighter weight ?

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:19 am

    It's still new, still got testing procedures.

    But apart from the new mag this new rifle without the balanced recoil mechanism is just an AK-74M with rails all over it and a new more rigid top cover with rails on it.

    Guess we will find out soon enough.

    I wonder, how practical is 60 round mag ? 30 rounds of 5.45x39 is already pretty heavy... but 60 ! how big is the mag physically and what shape does it have?

    I think the idea is to reduce the number of mags you carry rather than try to make the soldier carry the same number of mags with more ammo.

    Say you normally carried one mag in the weapon and 8 mags on your webbing... that is two mags stuffed into a four pocket chest mag carrier for a total of 9 mags which equals 270 rounds in mags with extra ammo in the pack.
    With the new mag this means you carry 5 mags... one in the gun and 4 in the chest rig with 300 rounds in mags and extra ammo in the pack.

    With any rifle there is one stoppage you can't avoid... the changing mag stoppage. By using 60 round mags you reduce the number of stoppages for a normal ammo load from 8 to 4.

    The new mags are about the same length as a standard 30 round mag but are quad stacked so they are twice as thick.

    Regarding weight it is not an issue because most soldiers tape two mags together anyway... so this is two mags stuck together that you don't have to remove and reinsert to use all 60 rounds.

    According to this picture, it looks like any regular banana mag, but to me, it does look a tad elongated and fatter.

    The 5.45mm bullets don't have parallel sides so when you stack them they don't stack up straight... there is a curve. The mags are curved to match the way the bullets stack on top of each other.
    The 7.62 x 39mm are even less parallel so mags for them are even more curved.
    5.56mm rounds are parallel and can be used in straight mags or slightly curved mags.

    Weight wise, a loaded AK-200 (presumably with the 60 round mag) is reported to weigh 3.8 kg, which is actually 0.2 kg lighter than a loaded M16.

    As mentioned in the initial article in the first post in this thread the new AK-200 is slightly heavier than an AK-74 when both are loaded. The point is that with two 30 round mags taped to each other the AK-74 probably weighs the same as the AK-200.

    Personally I think the real break through with this new rifle is to make an AK-74 weight rifle with a balanced recoil mechanism.

    The original design got its reliability through the ratio of weight between the bolt and the bolt carrier. The very heavy bolt carrier meant it had plenty of energy to extract the bolt and cycle the action even when dirty. This new design I think will take advantage of the mechanical gearing to greatly reduce the weight of the bolt carrier while maintaining reliability.
    (My opinion only of course).

    Practicality wise, there is some talk that the 60 round casket mag is actually not as reliable as regular mags, so, we'll see.

    Have chatted to someone who has used them and he said the early prototypes were very reliable when new but reliability was reduced as they got used over time. At that time they were still working on them.

    Of course at the end of the day if you find the 60 round mags are failing and useless then just go back to the 30 round mags.

    Austin: This is an interim design, not a revolutionary design.
    It is a bit like the new upgraded T-90 whatever it might be called. It fixes all the little issues and offers the best possible performance that could reasonably be achieved with the T-90 (AK-74) design so that it can be put into mass production and get it into service quickly. The next tank/gun will be designed from scratch to very specific needs and goals and might be quite revolutionary. The new tank might be all electric, with electric drive, electric gun, electric armour. The new gun might be a bullpup with caseless ammo issued in sealed plastic magazines.

    From a bench rest the performance of the AK-74M is already very good with good ammo and someone who knows what they are doing using it.
    What you will find however that if it has a low power scope as standard on it that aiming errors will be reduced and soldiers will find it easier to hit targets.
    You will also find that in low light levels or at longer ranges a scope makes shooting easier too.

    The new rail system lets the user add all sorts of bits of equipment that might or might not be useful... but what it also means is that Russian optics and added equipment companies can now adopt this standard and sell their equipment to the western market without adapters etc. Not everyone in the west will consider a Russian product, but it still means there are rather more potential buyers of Russian products than before... remember that with relatively widespread western private gun ownership the market is largely civilian, whereas in Russia the market is largely military/police etc.

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  Hoof on Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:06 am

    [quote="GarryB"]
    remember that with relatively widespread western private gun ownership the market is largely civilian, whereas in Russia the market is largely military/police etc.

    Heck yeah, Ill buy it if it comes out on civilian market... I already have Ak-74... Now I want something newer =D

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:46 am

    Oops, sorry I wasn't clear.

    What I meant was that the new AK-200 using picatinny rails means that all the Russian companies supplying the Russian military will have to make their products compatible with such rails.

    This means that they can also sell their products on western markets easier without adapters or modifications and that western companies will now have some more competition for bells a whistles for small arms.

    This will be good for Russian accessory makers, but also it will introduce direct western competition into the Russian market as well so the Russian makers had better be on their toes.

    Regarding the Rifle itself I think Russia production facilities will be pushed to re-equip the Russian armed forces let alone think about commercial exports.

    I wonder if there will be shorter barrel carbine versions and long barrel LMG models as in the past?

    AFAIK the Pecheneg is designated a LMG and replaces PKMs and RPK-74s in that role but it is quite heavy, though the extra power the round offers over the RPK-74 is significant. Also with its fixed barrel it means the weight of extra barrels is not an issue so in that sense a Pecheneg is lighter than a PKM with a spare barrel.

    BTW I am jealous you have an AK-74.

    I would actually like a bolt action rifle in 5.45mm as Barnaul and Wolf ammo is relatively easy to get here so they should be able to order the 5.45mm ammo too.
    I have a single round in my cartridge collection but no rifle to fire it in as of yet. (My bullet collection is a bit patchy but includes rounds from .22 short through to a belt of 3 x 25mm shells that have been fired from a LAV III. (from my nephew)).

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  Hoof on Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:09 am

    GarryB wrote:
    Regarding the Rifle itself I think Russia production facilities will be pushed to re-equip the Russian armed forces let alone think about commercial exports.

    I wonder if there will be shorter barrel carbine versions and long barrel LMG models as in the past?

    AFAIK the Pecheneg is designated a LMG and replaces PKMs and RPK-74s in that role but it is quite heavy, though the extra power the round offers over the RPK-74 is significant. Also with its fixed barrel it means the weight of extra barrels is not an issue so in that sense a Pecheneg is lighter than a PKM with a spare barrel.

    BTW I am jealous you have an AK-74.

    I would actually like a bolt action rifle in 5.45mm as Barnaul and Wolf ammo is relatively easy to get here so they should be able to order the 5.45mm ammo too.
    I have a single round in my cartridge collection but no rifle to fire it in as of yet. (My bullet collection is a bit patchy but includes rounds from .22 short through to a belt of 3 x 25mm shells that have been fired from a LAV III. (from my nephew)).


    Well, I hope Russian army wont be slow in their rearmament when it comest to small arms... however as we seen with many new things coming out (Like a lot of pistols) army still sees no good reason to upgrade to something newer, and instead buys small orders for spetsnaz... look for example at AN94, it officially been accepted, but number of them is small, or pistol "grach" that was supposed to replace PMM... though it never did....
    I wanna see a large scale rearmament...
    As for pecheneg, they still haven't replaces all of the PKMs... seems that VDV has most of them... As for RPK, I don't think it can fill the role of PKM, since its not belt fed... I think if they would try to make RPK belt fed, this will boost firepower a lot, it could fill same role as M249 in US army... PKM is the same class as M240B... So having both will be nice...

    As for my gun =/ I use Soviet surplus ammo made in 1985... I got a whole spam-can of it... 1080rd in a can =) When I opened it, soviet air came out... made me lightheaded XD

    Here is my gun... has parts from different countries in it: most of the parts are Bulgarian, US made receiver, Polish bolt (from tantal), East German pistol grip...



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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:32 am

    The thing is though that the Russian forces have rifles capable of full auto and they are trained to not be shy about using burst fire.

    Not sure about the US, but the Brits emphasise single shots until the enemy get really close and then they use bursts like SMGs with their rifles.

    Russians on the other hand seem to use bursts as suppressive fire at medium range too as well as at short range.

    US forces don't have a full auto option except with the M4 and I think perhaps that it part of what US forces like about the M4 is its full auto capacity.

    With this in mind Russian forces don't really use RPKs for increasing the firepower of their units, they use them to extend the reach of their units.

    The problem with making the RPK-74 belt fed is that you increase its weight to something that approaches the empty weight of a PKM without extending range or increasing fire power that much.

    I kinda agree with the Russian approach of replacing the RPK and PKM with Pecheneg as a sort of universal belt fed weapon.

    Short range firepower will not be effected because with full auto assault rifles it is already pretty high.

    From what I have read I suspect Russian small arms will be getting a patch upgrade with the AK-200 and likely Pecheneg but after 2015 it will likely get more serious attention. Right now the focus seems to be on command and control and computers and communications plus intel and recon (C4IR). There is also a focus on the Navy and Air Force too. I think Russian soldiers are already well equipped regarding small arms anyway... but I think by 2020 they will be even better off.

    BTW regarding your toy...
    Nice. It has the wooden look of the older first AK-74s but without those awful looking red plastic magazines that the late AKMs and early AK-74s had.
    I also prefer the AKS-74U in the wooden stock form, but the new AKS-74M with the black plastic looks cool as do the AK-105 carbines in 5.45mm calibre.

    Do you use it for hunting or is it just for the shooting range?

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:40 am

    I should add that after lots of western programs to replace their conventional rifles including duplex bullets, plastic cased rounds, flechette rounds, and caseless rounds the only weapon that got close to production was the West German G11 that was pretty much killed by the cost of reunification with East Germany.

    None of the other super weapons proved to be better than the existing weapons to a degree that justified the cost of changing to the new weapon/round.

    As I have mentioned I think with regard to the Russian forces if they introduce new ammo with new more modern powder either plastic cased or caseless, it makes sense for them to replace the 7.62 x 54mmR rounds first in sniper and machine guns. The benefit of reducing ammo weight by half while improving performance (higher velocities with the same bullet weight) will be greater with a Pecheneg with a 100 round belt than an AK with a 30 round mag... especially if the metallic links can be reduced in weight too.
    The choice is then to either go for twice the ammo (200 round belts) or to make the weapon lighter when loaded.

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  Hoof on Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:09 am

    GarryB wrote:
    As I have mentioned I think with regard to the Russian forces if they introduce new ammo with new more modern powder either plastic cased or caseless, it makes sense for them to replace the 7.62 x 54mmR rounds first in sniper and machine guns. The benefit of reducing ammo weight by half while improving performance (higher velocities with the same bullet weight) will be greater with a Pecheneg with a 100 round belt than an AK with a 30 round mag... especially if the metallic links can be reduced in weight too.
    The choice is then to either go for twice the ammo (200 round belts) or to make the weapon lighter when loaded.

    It gonna take years to switch to new rounds... I mean, there is a lot of Ammo in storage already, and it would cost a lot to change equipment in factories... Although it would be very interesting to see something that great happen, I kinda doubt Military/ Government will do it anytime soon =(

    As for my "toy" lol...

    I actually wanted to get me few "Bakelite" red mags... so i get that classic look... my friend wants me to get old soviet wood (its pressed wood)... but I want to get some plum polymer furniture used in 80s... Once in a while me and friends go shoot S**t in the desert... so much fun... everyone got AK's =) I also have Yugo Tokarev =)

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:45 am

    Even if they switch to a rimless plastic case round the initial costs will be a problem, but in the longer term they will save a lot of money because plastic is cheaper than the mild steel they use.

    Obviously it is even more worth while for the west as it uses more expensive brass for cartridge cases, but even the Russians will save money even just with plastic cased rounds.

    With case less rounds there should also be potential to save weight, volume, and cost in terms of materials.

    Even just in the shorter term they can develop new more efficient propellents that improve the performance of existing weapons. Vlad posted a thread a while back about the lack of development over the last few decades and that with investment muzzle velocities could be increased by about 40% or so simply by more sophisticated powder that was designed to burn fully within the barrel lengths of the weapons they were being used in. Increasing the muzzle velocity of the AKM by 40% would make it comparable to the new 6.8mm rounds the US Army are experimenting with without having to issue new weapons.
    You could keep existing ammo stores and use them up or even sell them and keep the good stuff for yourself.

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  Austin on Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:18 am

    Here is some interesting pictures I found on Russian rifles/guns displayed in an exhibition , the scopes are interesting Garry Smile, well I suppose one needs a FB account to view.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=31915&id=100000316954941&l=a2f4547f11

    Looks like some special forces folks

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=32088&id=100000316954941&l=ad2b4cfa04

    MicroUAV development

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=31917&id=100000316954941&l=0e42e85000


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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  Hoof on Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:21 am

    Austin wrote:Here is some interesting pictures I found on Russian rifles/guns displayed in an exhibition , the scopes are interesting Garry Smile, well I suppose one needs a FB account to view.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=31915&id=100000316954941&l=a2f4547f11

    Looks like some special forces folks

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=32088&id=100000316954941&l=ad2b4cfa04

    MicroUAV development

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=31917&id=100000316954941&l=0e42e85000



    Awesome pics Austin ! I Really wanna get me that camo ... Its spotted one called "IZLOM" thats one of the camofulages I really want... what about that desert camo ? whats it called ??

    I myself have 7 different Russian Uniforms... Les, Berezka, Flora, VDV SEVER, Partizan suit, Partizan Gorka, Urban Tiger stripe.
    I have

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:11 am

    Thanks for the pics Austin.

    It is a shame there is no close up of that RPG-7 round on the wall display. It seems to have an unusually shaped tip. Like it is a cross between a thermobaric and HEAT warhead.

    The Russians have a bewildering array of camo uniforms, some I like better than others but I find it too difficult to keep track of them.

    I do like the big heavy jackets they wear and the overall type pants that come with them but the climate here is just too mild to warrant me buying such things. Smile

    NZ is surrounded by water which means the coldest is gets here is about minus 1 or 2 degrees Celsius at night in the middle of winter and the hottest it normally gets is the low 30s with an average of about 18 in summer and about 5 in winter.

    Despite what people in the north island of NZ think I live in the south island and it very rarely snows down to sea level where I live... maybe one or two days every 2-3 years we will have snow on the ground but if it falls overnight it is usually gone by the afternoon.

    Frustrating for me because I love snow... if it is going to be cold it might as well be fun... and pretty.

    Ogannisyan8887
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    Russian Defense Minister Call to Replace AK-47

    Post  Ogannisyan8887 on Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:57 am

    Russian Defense Minister Causes Uproar With Call to Replace Famed AK-47.


    By Justin Fishel
    Published January 21, 2011


    Russian-made Kalashnikov assault rifles are the choice weapon of terrorists worldwide, but Russia's Defense Minister says they are "morally outdated". (AP)
    Russia's Defense Minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, set off a firestorm of debate in Russia after saying that his military's pride and joy, the Kalashnikov and Dragunov SVDs sniper rifles, are "morally outdated" and that he's considering a plan to buy foreign-made small arms.
    The comments were made during a private meeting with members of the lower house of Russia’s parliament just before the New Year, according to Russian media accounts. Serdyukov introduced the plan to buy foreign-made guns as part of larger military reforms that include buying French-made Mistrall Class helicopter carriers for the Russian navy.
    The comments caused Russian military officials to jump to the defense of their workhorse weapons.
    Kalishnikov rifles, particularly the AK-47, are a proud Russian creation. Built and designed in Russia during World War II, the AK-47 is considered the first true assault rifle. They’re known around the world for their durability in all conditions, firing reliability, ease of use, low production cost and lethality. Military lore holds that an AK-47 can be buried in the mud, dug up a year later and still be fired.
    For those reasons it's become a staple for terrorist and insurgent groups around the world. The Russian military began using the AK-47 over six decades ago, and very little has changed since about them.


    Criticism of the Defense Minister has come from all angles. The Russian news website, Pravda.ru, quotes prominent gun designer Dmitry Shirayev as saying:
    "Foreigners admit that Russian small arms are one of the best in the world. Just show me a foreign rifle which would compete with a Russian one on all specifications, including the integrity level,” Shirayev is quoted as saying. “The main problem here is that Russia does not have anyone to work in the gun-making industry because of low salaries. Purchasing small arms from abroad can entirely destroy the industry in Russia."
    Sergei Clussky, a former member of the Russian special forces told Pravda that Serdyukov was speaking out of turn.
    "The sitting Russian defense minister is not a military man - this is the problem. How can he judge the advantages and disadvantages of this or that type of weapon? The people who do not have an expert opinion in such questions should not make such important decisions," the Web site quotes him as saying.
    Clussky, who once commanded a counter-terror unit, goes as far as to defend the rifle as the terrorist's weapon of choice.
    "Terrorists from the Caucasus always use Kalashnikovs and SVDs,” Clussky said. “The funding, which they receive from abroad, gives them a very good opportunity to receive American and French small arms. They often use foreign-made communication systems at times, but they most frequently, if not always, use Russian-made rifles."
    Fox News military analyst and retired Maj. Gen. Bob Scales says it not surprising the Russian would be looking for a better weapon, but that no should expect them to “buy American” anytime soon.
    "The AK-47 is outdated because of it’s not an accurate weapon,” Scales said. “What I suspect is the Russian are looking for something that's a little bit more refined, a little bit more versatile, more accurate -- and their willing to sacrifice what the AK-47 brought in 1947."
    Scales says an accuracy target of 400 meters is not good enough for modern day warfare. The gold standard for weapons in the West is the American M-4, which is accurate to 600 meters and beyond.
    But Scales said it's more likely the Russians would look toward something else, like the equally superior German G-1 or the smaller French and British 5.56 rifles. The Israeli Galils, also an unlikely purchase for the Russians, are said to combine the best of western accuracy with AK 47 durability.

    The bottom line, Scales says, is that a weapon is not just a piece of technology, it's a statement of the military culture.
    “The American philosophy has always been that every rifle is a precision instrument involving the latest technology,” Scales said. But, in Russia it’s the exact opposite. “It has to be a people's weapon. It has to be a weapon that any school aged youth can assemble and dissemble, that any peasant can learn to shoot in 10 to 15 minutes. That’s been the ethos of the Russian military.”
    And with 110 million Kalashnikovs produced to date, it’s unlikely they'll disappear anytime soon.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/21/russian-defense-minister-causes-uproar-replace-famed-ak/

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  Hoof on Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:48 am

    Great article...

    However, they are only talking about ak-47... not AKMs... and there is no single word about ak-74... Main reason of Ak-47/AKM's poor accuracy is 7.62x39 round which was designed to be used within 400 meters (which is plenty, if you look at the way combat is now days) of course there is also thing with big tolerances within a rifle, that allows rifle to fire with debris inside... But if you take a look at ak-74 for example, it uses smaller caliber round 5.45x39 which has better ballistics and more accurate at further distances... it also has better range and flatter trajectory, as well as less kick, it is also more controllable when fired in full auto... This article really says nothing about Ak-74....

    Keep in mind that Ak-200 have already been developed and ready for production.

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:54 am

    First of all "rounds" aren't accurate or inaccurate... they are either consistent or inconsistent.

    And an M4 is not accurate to 600m and even if it was the lethality of the 5.56mm round is simply not there at 600m for heavy targets like people.

    The 7.62 x 39mm round was not considered an accurate round because it was mass produced to a mediocre standard aimed at mass production and not performance. Accuracy was not a performance issue because the troops were mostly trained to fire in bursts anyway to suppress the enemy. Spending money making the ammo accurate was a waste of money if you are then going to train your troops to fire from the hip in the march in short bursts.

    First the manufacture standards need to be raised to get consistent weights of various components like powder weights in the rounds to get consistent pressures. Second training needs to focus on single shot aimed fire rather than controlled bursts.

    If the 7.62 x 39mm round is so bad why is the 6mm PPC bench rest round to 300m based on it?

    I have heard people say it is inaccurate because the bullet drop at 400m is something like 52 inches. I guess the 7.62 x 51mm round must be rubbish too because at 1,000m ranges its bullet drop is something like 32 feet... yet there are plenty of claims for accuracy to that range in that calibre.

    The simple fact is that the average soldier is not great at judging ranges accurately and with slower heavier bullets the longer the bullet is in the air the more it is effected by gravity. A lighter faster moving projectile will drop less initially because it covers ground faster and has less time to drop but everything drops at the same rate on Earth and lighter bullets lose velocity faster than heavier bullets and most rifle calibre bullets are subsonic at about 600-1,000m depending on the calibre and initial velocity... the heavier bullets retaining velocity better than lighter ones.

    I too find it amusing that the Russians still use AK-47s.

    The huge irony is they talk about more sophisticated rifles in the west when most are simply old rifles with Picatinny rails all over them with very few other changes. If the AK-200 has a balanced recoil mechanism then that will be the most advanced rifle in operational service anywhere. Even the latest product from GALIL is an M16 with a real piston rod like an AK.

    The only major steps forward in small arms design in the last 30 years has been bullpups and rifles with small scopes mounted on them as standard to replace iron sights.

    The 5.56mm desperately needs a 20 inch barrel to be effective and even then it is a 350m rifle at best with regards to effective lethality.

    The 5.45mm just needs a barrel longer than an AKS-74U and that is for accuracy and not lethality.

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    Re: Russian Assault Rifles / Machine Guns: Discussion

    Post  Austin on Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:44 am

    Just some basic question , I was watching some video found on Izhmash website they have some good collection and I was wondering why did Russian choose 5.45x39 bullet round compared to NATO 5.56x45 ?

    I believe most of the bullet the world over used in assult rifle are standard NATO rounds , what is the advantage and disadvantage of 5.45x39 rounds over NATO standards ?

    Second question how does SVD sniper rifle compared with NATO/US sniper rifle in range,performance and ruggedness ?

    Garry , I feel AK-200 will have a balanced recoil mechanism , I think they wont simply drop it when AK-101/102 series has it.

    Garry what do you think about the INSAS rifle widely used in Indian Army and developed in India ?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INSAS_rifle

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