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    AK-12 Rifle Discussion

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    SWAT Pointman
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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  SWAT Pointman on Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:43 pm

    The thing is, if the soldier goes into combat with a fully loaded magazine and a round in the chamber, when he's empty, the bolt holds to the rear and all he does is loads a new magazine and clicks the bolt catch. He won't have to touch the charging handle, except for when he first loads the weapon, or if he has a malfunction. This is assuming the AK-12 has a bolt catch. The downside is that the the bolt catch and BHO won't work with a standard magazine. I suppose a fixed charging handle on both sides might be better, especially for shoulder transitioning. A switchable charging handle doesn't become very useful when the soldier has to switch shoulders. One problem with a fixed charging handle on both sides is that you might get poked in the back when you carry the rifle on your back. I'm not sure that's a big deal though. There doesn't seem to be a perfect solution for it. I'll let the engineers decide at Izmash what's the best.


    Manual safeties are there to protect against human error. It is stressed to keep the finger off the trigger, but mistakes can happen. The manual safety is also there to protect against outside forces pulling the trigger, such as gear or a twig in the woods for example. Manual safeties also exist in case there is a mechanical failure of the rifle.

    I think the charging handle would be much easier to loose than the bolt.


    I like the Chinese 10 or 7 rounders for when I shoot off the bench. 30 rounders are quite cumbersome to use on the bench.

    I wish we could get real L1A1's in the US. When can only get cheap FAL's built off of old parts.

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:58 am

    haven't really seen enough footage of people using it to say for certain yet... it wouldn't be rocket science to add a pin that is blocked if there is a fresh round in the chamber and can move and activate a bolt hold open device if there isn't a round in the mag.

    There appears to be two items of interest in this regard... a button near the front of the magazine on the receiver, and another button on the mag release between the trigger area and the mag well.

    I suspect the button on the mag release might be a toggle button... so pushed in it holds the bolt after the last shot and not pushed in it doesn't. The button on the receiver near the front of the mag could be the bolt release. Or it could be the other way around...

    Either way a cocking handle in an easy to reach place is a good thing, and being able to adjust it left or right is even better in my opinion... Smile

    Transitioning shoulders to shoot around cover would be a temporary thing you would do as required.

    With a bullpup like an SA80 you wouldn't bother because of the hot brass on the cheek, but the AK12 should allow transition and back without adjustment when needed.

    There is of course no reason why you can't cock the weapon with your trigger hand if need be... the process of aiming usually delays the shot to give you time to get your hand back into position and finger on the trigger.

    Because I use my rifles for hunting wild game that is generally not dangerous I often put my trigger finger behind the trigger so I have a full grip on the weapon with no risk of pulling the trigger if I slip. A twig could not move the trigger far back enough to fire the weapon if my finger is behind it. In combat of course it would mean I would need to remember to reposition my finger in front of the trigger to fire... if you are aware of where you are pointing your weapon then often a ND is better than a delay to shoot an enemy that might be shooting back.

    I agree that the 30 round mags do create a very upright position, but I prefer being able to fire 30 rounds and then reloading to stopping every 5-10 rounds to change those awkward little things... it is the same with my SLR... there is just nothing to hold on to.

    The old L1A1, the G3, and the M14 are real classic weapons... big and heavy, long but with a nice balance and of course powerful.

    I only have one of the set, though I do plan to eventually expand my collection to include an SVD knockoff/civilian model.


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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  flamming_python on Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:38 pm

    SWAT Pointman wrote:The thing is, if the soldier goes into combat with a fully loaded magazine and a round in the chamber, when he's empty, the bolt holds to the rear and all he does is loads a new magazine and clicks the bolt catch.

    The AK action never holds to the rear; when the magazine is out of bullets the action will be @ forward and in order to load a round into the chamber the soldier has to manually cock it.

    He won't have to touch the charging handle, except for when he first loads the weapon, or if he has a malfunction. This is assuming the AK-12 has a bolt catch. The downside is that the the bolt catch and BHO won't work with a standard magazine. I suppose a fixed charging handle on both sides might be better, especially for shoulder transitioning. A switchable charging handle doesn't become very useful when the soldier has to switch shoulders. One problem with a fixed charging handle on both sides is that you might get poked in the back when you carry the rifle on your back. I'm not sure that's a big deal though. There doesn't seem to be a perfect solution for it. I'll let the engineers decide at Izmash what's the best.


    Manual safeties are there to protect against human error. It is stressed to keep the finger off the trigger, but mistakes can happen. The manual safety is also there to protect against outside forces pulling the trigger, such as gear or a twig in the woods for example. Manual safeties also exist in case there is a mechanical failure of the rifle.

    I think the charging handle would be much easier to loose than the bolt.


    I like the Chinese 10 or 7 rounders for when I shoot off the bench. 30 rounders are quite cumbersome to use on the bench.

    I wish we could get real L1A1's in the US. When can only get cheap FAL's built off of old parts.

    AK with a bolt-catch? I rather suspect that they would have to redesign the safety in that sense too; so as to prevent a situation where someone releases the catch and the mechanism springs forward and then collides straight with the safety, as the fighter was stupid and flicked the safety back up before releasing. On the AK of course, all the safety really is - is a piece of metal that blocks the bolt being pulled back, coupled with a little hammer/lever mechanism that stops the trigger being pressed.

    And since the safety would have to redesigned - that would mean the fire selector too; as its coupled with the safety catch.

    All in all far too much bother for something like a bolt catch. Besides which a feature like that would mean poorly-trained users might leave the bolt pulled back, the chamber open and all sorts of crap will end up in it. Sort of ruins the philosophy behind the AK. Stop thinking like a SWAT Pointman, SWAT Pointman! Smile

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  SWAT Pointman on Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:08 am

    I should have clarified I was talking about the AK-12, which has a bolt hold open. I was talking about IF the AK-12 has a bolt catch. I'm not 100% sure it does or doesn't have one. Bolt catches typically operate separately from the manual safety.

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:03 am

    As he says, he was talking about the new bolt hold open feature of the AK12...

    All in all far too much bother for something like a bolt catch. Besides which a feature like that would mean poorly-trained users might leave the bolt pulled back, the chamber open and all sorts of crap will end up in it. Sort of ruins the philosophy behind the AK. Stop thinking like a SWAT Pointman, SWAT Pointman!


    The AK12 was supposed to fix a range of perceived problems, so it is important to keep in mind what would be considered a problem and what wouldn't.

    The Russian Army need not make its weapons dumb f@#k proof, it continues to train its soldiers and in my experience of such things it is not rocket science.

    The SKS has a bolt hold open device, so it is neither new, nor is it impossible to make soldier proof, though the purpose on the SKS was to make it easier to clip load ammo into its fixed magazine rather than to tell the soldier that was their last shot and it was time to reload.

    I honestly don't see why special mags would be needed to create a bolt hold open device that works automatically, if the mechanism is designed properly.

    Regarding the AK and its safety selector, not being able to eject a live round or load a live round without taking the rifle off safe is actually considered by some to be a fault of the AK design.

    Having a bolt hold open device would allow dirt and sand to get into the chamber area and magazine but the mechanism is quite separate on the AK12 and with the revision of the safety and fire selector and no slot down the length of the receiver for the cocking handle to reciprocate the mechanism is actually much more closed on the AK12 than it is on older model AKs.

    If an idiot can't work out how the bolt hold open and safeties operate then there is not much gain in them having access to firearms that shoot...


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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  SWAT Pointman on Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:51 am

    I'm not really worried about soldiers not being smart enough to use the BHO, but adding a TRUE BHO and/or bolt catch adds complexity, and possibly a failure point. Additional parts have to be added.

    Technically, the original AK can have a bolt hold open feature, just not a true one. The Yugoslovians have a modified magazine with a raised magazine follower. After the last round is fired, the bolt then hits the raised follower, holding the bolt open. The disadvantage is that the bolt slams forward once the magazine is removed.

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:07 am

    Technically, the original AK can have a bolt hold open feature, just not a true one. The Yugoslovians have a modified magazine with a raised magazine follower. After the last round is fired, the bolt then hits the raised follower, holding the bolt open. The disadvantage is that the bolt slams forward once the magazine is removed.

    Quite true, but added bits can be included that will lock the bolt if there is no bullet present at the top of a magazine stack... in fact the ideal place to put such a mechanism would be directly behind where the mag is seated... where there is a new button above the mag release lever.

    Redesigning the bolt carrier so that where it strips the round from the mag, if it moves forward and there is no round there it locks so the empty mag can be dropped and a fresh mag inserted and the bolt is either released by pulling back on the cocking handle or the bolt release near the front of the mag is applied to disengage the bolt hold open mechanism and release the bolt to go forward again.

    The fact that there are two "buttons"/controls suggests to me that there is a bolt hold open activation toggle switch, and a bolt release button.

    Whether the bolt hold open device requires special mags or not is an interesting question.

    The bolt hold open lever on my SLR is a simple spring loaded latch. You pull open the mechanism with the cocking handle and then apply the bolt hold open latch. You then push the cocking handle forward and fold it closed though the bolt is held open. Load a fresh mag and push down on the bolt hold open latch and the mechanism slams shut. This can be done with the safety on or off. There is no automatic bolt hold open device on the SLR.

    Regarding point of failure... worst case scenario is the mechanism doesn't stay locked open after the last shot, which is the current situation now.


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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  flamming_python on Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:02 am

    GarryB wrote:As he says, he was talking about the new bolt hold open feature of the AK12...

    All in all far too much bother for something like a bolt catch. Besides which a feature like that would mean poorly-trained users might leave the bolt pulled back, the chamber open and all sorts of crap will end up in it. Sort of ruins the philosophy behind the AK. Stop thinking like a SWAT Pointman, SWAT Pointman!


    The AK12 was supposed to fix a range of perceived problems, so it is important to keep in mind what would be considered a problem and what wouldn't.

    The Russian Army need not make its weapons dumb f@#k proof, it continues to train its soldiers and in my experience of such things it is not rocket science.

    The SKS has a bolt hold open device, so it is neither new, nor is it impossible to make soldier proof, though the purpose on the SKS was to make it easier to clip load ammo into its fixed magazine rather than to tell the soldier that was their last shot and it was time to reload.

    I honestly don't see why special mags would be needed to create a bolt hold open device that works automatically, if the mechanism is designed properly.

    Having a bolt hold open device would allow dirt and sand to get into the chamber area and magazine but the mechanism is quite separate on the AK12 and with the revision of the safety and fire selector and no slot down the length of the receiver for the cocking handle to reciprocate the mechanism is actually much more closed on the AK12 than it is on older model AKs.

    If an idiot can't work out how the bolt hold open and safeties operate then there is not much gain in them having access to firearms that shoot...

    What exactly is a 'bolt hold open device'? Is it something that holds the bolt back after the last round has been fired? Wouldn't that also neccessitate a catch, as you would need some way of releasing the bolt after you loaded a fresh mag?

    Yeah I guess even with a small amount of training people can avoid such simple mistakes. None the less it IMHO would make the AK mechanism more complicated; as I will explain

    Regarding the AK and its safety selector, not being able to eject a live round or load a live round without taking the rifle off safe is actually considered by some to be a fault of the AK design.

    The safety catch on the AK functions as a 3-in-one safety catch, fire selector and dust cover. This design decision keeps the amount of moving parts low and fulfills all 3 roles absolutely fine. Now like I said, if you include any sort of bolt catch or holding device; you will have to revisit all of these design decisions too; you will have to redesign the safety to not block the bolt anymore - which means that it won't function as a complete dust cover anymore either. You can put the safety seperately, but this would mean more springs, more details, etc... and you'll still be left with the problem of the dust cover.

    It's clear that the AK was designed from the start to have its safety/fire selector/dust cover function exactly the way that it does. If you want to change it then you will end up having to change a good amount of the rest of the rifle too and this could affect its reliability; and to me it just seems that if you want a rifle with bolt hold back or a catch then you should get one of those instead that were explicitly designed around this feature; rather than trying to hack a 65 year old design.

    The SA-80 is a good example of a nice, ergonomic rifle that gets this right, it has the safety in a logical place and it's convenient to flick the bolt back once you get used to reaching it with your left hand while holding the rifle steady with your right. Can't really see something like this working with a non-bullpup design like the AK though.

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:29 am

    What exactly is a 'bolt hold open device'? Is it something that holds the bolt back after the last round has been fired? Wouldn't that also neccessitate a catch, as you would need some way of releasing the bolt after you loaded a fresh mag?

    A simple spring loaded wedge that would project from the rear forward into the magazine 3/4ths the way up a round. If there is a round in the magazine the wdedge will be blocked which will allow the bolt and bolt carrier to move forward under spring pressure to close the mechanism scooping up a round from the magazine on its way forward. If there is no ammo left in the mag the wedge will be high enough above the floorplate in the mag follower to clear it and project forward into the empty magazine raising a block to lock the bolt carrier at its rearmost point in its fully recoiled position. The shooter will notice the half recoil, realise he has fired his last bullet from that magazine and will swiftly remove the empty and replace it with a full mag and then has two choices to continue. First he could give a pull on the cocking handle, the wedge will be in its rear position and therefore when pressure on the block is released by pulling back the cocking handle the wedge will be pushed back by the ammo in the mag and the block will no longer lock the bolt carrier to the rear and the gun will fire normally till the mag is emptied again.

    The other way to continue firing is to load a loaded magazine and push the bolt carrier release button.

    The safety catch on the AK functions as a 3-in-one safety catch, fire selector and dust cover. This design decision keeps the amount of moving parts low and fulfills all 3 roles absolutely fine. Now like I said, if you include any sort of bolt catch or holding device; you will have to revisit all of these design decisions too; you will have to redesign the safety to not block the bolt anymore - which means that it won't function as a complete dust cover anymore either. You can put the safety seperately, but this would mean more springs, more details, etc... and you'll still be left with the problem of the dust cover.

    But by moving the cocking handle forward there is no open slot down the right hand side of the weapon that needs a dust cover to close when the rifle is set to safe. The dust protection works all the time, which must be the best solution surely.

    The safety on the AK12 is now a 4 position lever duplicated on both sides of the weapon that can be reached by left and right handed shooters easily. I don't know how the mechanism works... with a three round burst capability it must be more complicated than the old AK which was incredibly simple and robust.

    It's clear that the AK was designed from the start to have its safety/fire selector/dust cover function exactly the way that it does. If you want to change it then you will end up having to change a good amount of the rest of the rifle too and this could affect its reliability; and to me it just seems that if you want a rifle with bolt hold back or a catch then you should get one of those instead that were explicitly designed around this feature; rather than trying to hack a 65 year old design.

    Actually I have seen plenty of Kalashnikovs early prototypes and several of them had cocking handles on the left side of the rifle and ergonomic selector levers too. Many had balanced recoil mechanisms and used a range of different calibres. The point is that to win the competition for the AK he needed something that was reliable and easy to mass produce and operate. Not necessarily the most accurate or the lightest. Later he improved it in the AKM with stamped steel parts that were lighter and strong enough and cheap and easy to make.

    When it came time for a new rifle in the 1970s he realised cheap simple and easy to produce on existing lines would win the day so the AK-74, which is a recalibrated slightly lightened AKM entered service.

    In the mid 1990s however the focus was on lethality and accuracy and the AN-94 won.

    Since then the Military has learned that the most accurate is one thing... complex and hard to make are another.

    This time around I rather suspect they will want accuracy and simplicity, performance and ease of use. It wont need to be the cheapest but it will need to be able to be mass produced easily.

    On these counts I would expect the AK12 will do well.

    The SA-80 is a good example of a nice, ergonomic rifle that gets this right, it has the safety in a logical place and it's convenient to flick the bolt back once you get used to reaching it with your left hand while holding the rifle steady with your right. Can't really see something like this working with a non-bullpup design like the AK though.

    I like the SA80, but it is too heavy and yet at the same time flimsy. It is ergonomic for right handed people only.

    Its actual design is based on the AR18 and its many faults are all over the internet.

    The AK12 has the safety and fire selector on both sides well within reach of your trigger hands thumb.

    The cocking handle on the AK12 is about where the iron sight is on a standard AK and can be swapped out to be on the left side of the rifle or the right.

    Both features are about as ergonomic as you can get with the shooter being able to operate the selector and cock the weapon ready to fire without moving your head out of alignment with the sights and keeping your finger on the trigger.

    in fact in theory you should be able to keep your eye on the target through the sights with your finger on the trigger... drop an empty mag, grab a fresh mag from your webbing and insert it and either release the bolt or cock the mechanism and resume firing all without taking your eyes off the target.

    Ergonomics is about adapting an object to the human form, making the interface between the human and machine natural and easy to use. The AK12 has all these features.


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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:37 am



    Just as an example look at this drawing... above the mag release lever there is a button.

    There is an oval dimple above the centre of where the magazine attaches to the receiver and a fairly large button in front of that.

    I think the button between the mag and the trigger is the auto bolt hold open device, and the button on the receiver is the bolt release button.


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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  SWAT Pointman on Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:47 pm

    GarryB wrote:

    Just as an example look at this drawing... above the mag release lever there is a button.

    There is an oval dimple above the centre of where the magazine attaches to the receiver and a fairly large button in front of that.

    I think the button between the mag and the trigger is the auto bolt hold open device, and the button on the receiver is the bolt release button.
    I would think that something as significant bolt release would be marked. It also seems like you would have a hard time reaching it, as it's so far away. It could be a reinforcement or perhaps a button for a right sided folding stock?

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  flamming_python on Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:40 pm

    GarryB wrote:A simple spring loaded wedge that would project from the rear forward into the magazine 3/4ths the way up a round. If there is a round in the magazine the wdedge will be blocked which will allow the bolt and bolt carrier to move forward under spring pressure to close the mechanism scooping up a round from the magazine on its way forward. If there is no ammo left in the mag the wedge will be high enough above the floorplate in the mag follower to clear it and project forward into the empty magazine raising a block to lock the bolt carrier at its rearmost point in its fully recoiled position. The shooter will notice the half recoil, realise he has fired his last bullet from that magazine and will swiftly remove the empty and replace it with a full mag and then has two choices to continue. First he could give a pull on the cocking handle, the wedge will be in its rear position and therefore when pressure on the block is released by pulling back the cocking handle the wedge will be pushed back by the ammo in the mag and the block will no longer lock the bolt carrier to the rear and the gun will fire normally till the mag is emptied again.

    The other way to continue firing is to load a loaded magazine and push the bolt carrier release button.
    Righto, thanks for the info!

    But by moving the cocking handle forward there is no open slot down the right hand side of the weapon that needs a dust cover to close when the rifle is set to safe. The dust protection works all the time, which must be the best solution surely.

    Woah I'm like totally not following you; the cocking handle is already as far forward as it can be is it not? Or did I misunderstand? The gap occurs behind the bolt carrier; where the recoil spring is; and this is exactly the place that the safety cover matches

    The safety on the AK12 is now a 4 position lever duplicated on both sides of the weapon that can be reached by left and right handed shooters easily. I don't know how the mechanism works... with a three round burst capability it must be more complicated than the old AK which was incredibly simple and robust.

    I wonder how they came up with this whole idea? So does the AK-12 have some sort of way of selecting whether empty cartridges would be ejected from the left or the right too? Pretty wack. My knowledge is so behind the times Embarassed

    Actually I have seen plenty of Kalashnikovs early prototypes and several of them had cocking handles on the left side of the rifle and ergonomic selector levers too. Many had balanced recoil mechanisms and used a range of different calibres. The point is that to win the competition for the AK he needed something that was reliable and easy to mass produce and operate. Not necessarily the most accurate or the lightest. Later he improved it in the AKM with stamped steel parts that were lighter and strong enough and cheap and easy to make.

    When it came time for a new rifle in the 1970s he realised cheap simple and easy to produce on existing lines would win the day so the AK-74, which is a recalibrated slightly lightened AKM entered service.

    In the mid 1990s however the focus was on lethality and accuracy and the AN-94 won.

    Since then the Military has learned that the most accurate is one thing... complex and hard to make are another.

    This time around I rather suspect they will want accuracy and simplicity, performance and ease of use. It wont need to be the cheapest but it will need to be able to be mass produced easily.

    On these counts I would expect the AK12 will do well.

    I wonder why the AEK-971 was ultimately not selected. By all accounts it was a fine rifle. Perhaps just not enough of an improvement or something.

    I like the SA80, but it is too heavy and yet at the same time flimsy. It is ergonomic for right handed people only.

    Dunno, seemed just fine to me. Then again it's the first assault rifle I ever got to play with (and the only other being the AK), so perhaps I just don't have much of a reference to go by.

    in fact in theory you should be able to keep your eye on the target through the sights with your finger on the trigger... drop an empty mag, grab a fresh mag from your webbing and insert it and either release the bolt or cock the mechanism and resume firing all without taking your eyes off the target.

    Yep and in fact it's pretty easy to do so and keep your rifle steady all at the same time with a little practise; although certainly you won't be able to do it with no practise at all. All you have to is keep the rifle tightly pressed to your right shoulder with your right hand on the grip, while inserting the mag with your left, and then with that same left hand reaching a little under the rifle and flicking the bolt release. In fact I'd say its easier to keep the SA-80 steady while reloading than the AK, as the SA-80 grip is right in the centre of gravity and thus it balances more or less naturally with one hand on the grip. Of course though the AK is a better overall assault rifle design IMO russia

    Ergonomics is about adapting an object to the human form, making the interface between the human and machine natural and easy to use. The AK12 has all these features.

    It's something that is hard to judge until you actually have it hands-on and test it out for a little while. Even such things as how it hangs on your shoulder without any sharp edges digging in could be important. But I have full faith in the experienced Izhmash team and for all the reasons you pointed out all the signs look good.

    SWAT Pointman wrote:I would think that something as significant bolt release would be marked. It also seems like you would have a hard time reaching it, as it's so far away. It could be a reinforcement or perhaps a button for a right sided folding stock?

    Should be absolutely fine - as mentioned the SA-80 has a bolt release on the other side too and one has no problem reaching it as soon as you learn to reach under the rifle with your free hand rather than over it. With this AK-12 position, it looks like you'll barely have to reach at all, it should be well in range of your fingers if you simply grip the weapon with your free hand right in front of the magazine; which is where it should be anyway as that part is insulated against heat.

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:15 am

    It also seems like you would have a hard time reaching it, as it's so far away. It could be a reinforcement or perhaps a button for a right sided folding stock?

    It is quite common for soldiers to hold the rifle around the front of the magazine so in terms of reaching it should not be a problem, but I think you might be right about it being related to the folding stock.

    Woah I'm like totally not following you; the cocking handle is already as far forward as it can be is it not? Or did I misunderstand? The gap occurs behind the bolt carrier; where the recoil spring is; and this is exactly the place that the safety cover matches

    On the old AK the cocking handle needs a slot cut into the receiver cover, but on the new AK12 the cocking handle doesn't go back far enough to require a slot to be cut in the receiver cover so there is no gap for a safety arm to cover.

    I wonder how they came up with this whole idea? So does the AK-12 have some sort of way of selecting whether empty cartridges would be ejected from the left or the right too? Pretty wack. My knowledge is so behind the times

    The ejection location and direction is the same as the standard AK, so it doesn't need an opening on the left hand side. You can fire it left or right handed because the ejection port on the right hand side is far forward enough that you don't get hot brass in the face... just the same as you don't with an AK firing left or right handed.

    I wonder why the AEK-971 was ultimately not selected. By all accounts it was a fine rifle. Perhaps just not enough of an improvement or something.

    Funny you should mention that as I am currently chatting to a gentleman who has fired the AEK and the AK-107.

    Here is his reply to my asking about the AK-107:

    lt.malashenko responded to GarryB on August 12th, 2012 at 3:35 am

    hello i have seen your website and i will say it is impressive what research has been done as a hobby, when i have more time i shall occasionally answer questions on it.

    i am lt.feodor malashenko, i have served in the federal security service for the past 15 years, i have taken part in the counter terrorist operation in Chechnya and completed my CSN operative training in 2002. my training consisted of using many domestic and foreign made weapons along with other combat techniques.

    the accuracy of the 107 in comparison to the 74M:
    the ak-74M firing in semiauto utilizing the 7N24 cartridge can have a minute of arc of 2.5-3 in the hands of a good shooter
    the ak-107 firing in semiauto utilizing the same cartridge can have a minute of arc of 1.1-1.7

    in semiautomatic there is almost no recoil, in the three round burst there is little recoil near the equivalent of one ak-74m round, one can fire 8-10 round automatic bursts with moderate recoil.

    in freehand firing it is generally not wanted to go beyond 5 round automatic bursts due to conservation of ammo and that the muzzle will ride, muzzle ride is much more consistent and controllable in comparison with the ak-74M. also the fire selector automatically sets the rifle in the 3 round burst configuration every time the trigger is released, essentially forcing the shooter to eventually use control

    in maintenance and field stripping it is easy to take apart and clean however it is much more time to put back together due to the need to ensure proper alignment of a critical part that ensures the pistons are synchronized. the need of cleaning is about 30% more often than the 74M however malfunctions only really happen if little care is given to the synchronization sprocket.

    differences over the ak-74m include a faster firing rate of 850 rounds per minute compared to the 650 rounds, the balanced recoil system, it is .5kg heavier, the fire selector and safety lever is slightly less audible along with a 4 stage selector, and the rear sight is now on the receiver plate. the receiver plate is removed using a latch now.

    ergonomics are generally the same. in terms of ergonomics i prefer the stock and fire selector of the AEK-971s along with the iron sights of it in the instances when i have used it.
    in general it is i believe slightly superior in recoil elimination to the AEK, and is more reliable than that of the an-94.

    i do not know as much as i should about the AK-200 or ak-12 but i will ask others who do and see if i can answer you on your website. :-)

    To read other posts the comment above comes from this Blog:

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/06/28/ak-12-prototype-testing/

    Sounds like we might get some answers to our questions... Smile

    Will be interesting.

    BTW I do like the SA80, it was the rifle in all the british military magazines I bought in the 1980s and they were constantly talking about how wonderful it was. It wasn't till Desert Storm when they actually took it to combat that its problems started to appear in print. Sounds like they have sorted out the problems now though in the SA80A2.

    With this AK-12 position, it looks like you'll barely have to reach at all, it should be well in range of your fingers if you simply grip the weapon with your free hand right in front of the magazine; which is where it should be anyway as that part is insulated against heat.

    I am beginning to think he is right with his suggestion that it might be the catch for the folding stock... it is in the right place and there is no other obvious clip or attachment.

    BTW here is a photo:



    If you look in this photo there is a similar circle on the opposite side.

    Also you can see the cocking handle and that on the left side of the rifle there is an opening for the bolt carrier so it clearly shows how far the cocking handle can move. The open part at the rear end is not long enough to allow ammo to be loaded manually or empty cases ejected, but it is big enough to pull the cocking handle right back and to see from either side of the rifle whether there is ammo in the mag/chamber.

    Would be interesting to find out how the bolt hold open mechanism works and if it is automatic or has to be manually applied, or if it requires special mags to work automatically.


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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  Austin on Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:14 am

    Inverview with Interior Minister Major General Valentin Sorokin

    Has some details on guns Smile

    http://www.redstar.ru/index.php/newspaper/item/4241-strizh-dlya-vityazey

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:44 am

    Interesting...

    So the PYa didn't like military ammo, but they have fixed that.

    No comment about a new calibre, but the 5.45mm and 9mm versions of the AK12 is interesting... I would guess they mean 9 x 39mm rather than 9 x 19mm as a 9 x 19mm version of the AK12 would simply be a Vityaz-SN... except bigger and heavier.

    Special forces would find the option of range (5.45) or quietness (9mm) useful.

    in terms of operational use... especially with the underwater ammo developed with the ADS... if it could be fired from the AK12 would be very useful and very interesting.

    Imagine a mission where divers are dropped off by mother sub to their target area and then by mini sub to close to a beach where they swim ashore... hide their scuba gear, move inland over open country, enter a small village and take down a small enemy force and then return to the beach, put the scuba gear back on and swim back to the mini sub and take that back to the mother sub and leave the area.

    From the mini sub to the shore they could use the buoyancy of water to take extra magazines loaded with underwater ammo (5.45). When they get to shore they could leave the underwater ammo in magazines with their scuba gear and then head across country with conventional 5.45mm ammo loaded ready to engage enemy forces at max range. When they get to the enemy village they can swap to 9 x 39mm to keep everything quiet and take out the enemy force, and capture any documents or information and then swap back to 5.45 and return to the beach. Change to underwater ammo and swim back to the mini sub and return to deeper water where the mother sub is waiting and be gone.

    Of course it would be possible that they could develop some underwater ammo for the 9 x 39mm ammo... the larger case capacity should make that pretty easy.


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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  SWAT Pointman on Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:21 pm

    I assume they are talking about 9x39mm. An AK-12 that can switch to 9x19 would be a bit impractical. A gas system for a pistol round is overkill. And these days, I think 9mm SMG's just don't cut it anymore. I'm really curious as to why this new caliber is such a big secret. If they really intend on replacing the 5.45x39, it's best that they adopt the AK-12 in the new caliber rather than adopting the AK-12 in 5.45x39 only to have to convert it later to the new caliber which will cost a lot of money. Or perhaps its meant to replace the 7.62x54R? The Russians planned on replacing the 7.62x54R with the 6x49mm a long time ago. I think it's good that they are developing a modern version of the AK-74M while developing the AK-12. They have a proven stand by to fall back on just in case the AK-12 is not as successful.

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:46 am

    A gas system for a pistol round is overkill. And these days, I think 9mm SMG's just don't cut it anymore.

    Agreed... the 9 x 19mm round they are using is a very hot loading, but still an AK12 in 9 x 19mm is too big and heavy... especially when there is the Vityaz-SN.

    I'm really curious as to why this new caliber is such a big secret. If they really intend on replacing the 5.45x39, it's best that they adopt the AK-12 in the new caliber rather than adopting the AK-12 in 5.45x39 only to have to convert it later to the new caliber which will cost a lot of money. Or perhaps its meant to replace the 7.62x54R?

    AFAIK they are happy with the performance of the 5.45mm ammo out to combat ranges, this new round is to replace the 7.62 x 54mm round... which entered service two centuries ago (1891)...

    The Russians planned on replacing the 7.62x54R with the 6x49mm a long time ago.

    They certainly did, and it was lack of money at the time that stopped them.

    The advantage of a multi calibre weapon system is that adding a new calibre should be fairly straight forward, and while not free will add flexibility to existing rifles.

    The main issue I see is that they are really focusing on state of the art high tech stuff and metallic case ammo... even in a better calibre and with modern efficient clean burning and consistent powder is not state of the art any more.

    I have nothing but opinion here, but I suspect that the reason there is no 7.62 x 54mm large AK12 is because there isn't going to be one. When they have perfected the new round... which I think will take the ballistics of the 6 x 49mm development round and take it further to perhaps include experience with the 6.5 grendal and of course the 6.8mm Chinese ammo and produce a very low drag 120-130 grain bullet of 6-7mm calibre with a muzzle velocity of about 1,000-1,200m/s that is effective out to about 1,000-1,200m against standing point targets and 2km in bursts from a machine gun like the PKP against group targets. It might be plastic cased or completely caseless.

    They will likely release it in AK12 calibre when the Next Gen Russian weapon family is ready to be revealed, which will likely include a new pistol, a new submachine gun, and a new base weapon that includes SMG barrel length with a range of calibres (AKS-74U), a carbine length (AK-105), an assault rifle length (AK-74M), a Designated Marksman Rifle length (SVDS), and a Light Machinegun length heavy barrel(RPK-74), all in a choice of calibres for export including 5.45, 7.62 x 39mm, 5.56mm, 9 x 39mm, and a larger base model with all the same barrel lengths except the SMG length in 7.62 x 51mm, the new calibre they are working on, plus 12 gauge, 12.7 x 55mm, and .338LM, plus possibly a 30mm grenade launcher model.

    In addition to the pistol, the SMG (in 9 x 18, 9x19, 9 x 21mm, 7.62 x 25mm), and the two weights of rifle families that cover "light" assault rifle SMG through to "heavy" LMG.

    Imagine a LMG in 338LM based on the heavy rifle?

    Of course you would also need a decent bolt action family... SV-98, SV-338, and of course bolt action and semi auto 12.7 x 108mm rifles and machine guns and 40mm grenade launchers in rifle and machine gun models.


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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:54 am

    I think it's good that they are developing a modern version of the AK-74M while developing the AK-12. They have a proven stand by to fall back on just in case the AK-12 is not as successful.

    And just as important an upgraded AK-74 is still a good weapon, with the upgrade making it better now.

    Everything really depends on how far the new, from scratch weapons are from production and testing... if they are planning for 2020 then it makes sense to get AK12 into service once it has passed its tests. If it is more like 2016 then buy a few AK12s for special forces and some other units and save your money for the new weapons.

    Obviously if the new weapons include new ammo types they may be more expensive to introduce in full so some of the weapons being replaced might soldier on for a while.

    I think looking at the introduction of the PKP that Russia has decided that the belt fed LMG is a good idea, but the belt fed assault rifle calibre LMG does not work, and a full power round is needed... despite the extra weight.

    This suggests to me that the belt fed LMG in bigger than 5.45mm calibre has a future in the Russian military.

    This point has been pushed home in the gatling families... 5.56 and 5.45mm gatling guns are not in service simply because the ammo is too underpowered and such weapons lack effective range. 7.62mm is the lower limit in terms of operational gatlings for a reason... their close range firepower is devastating, but they also have some reach, which the lighter calibres lack.


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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  SWAT Pointman on Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:32 pm

    It seems like the current AK-12 we are seeing does not have a interchangable barrels. Perhaps they are still working on it? Personally, I don't like it. It adds more complexity and expensive imo. If you made it right the first time, then I don't see the use of interchangable barrels. Perhaps this variant should only be offered to export and special purposes. I think it's also very important that they upgrade their ammo. Recently the Russians talked about introducing more accurate sniper ammo.

    I think they should upgrade their current 5.45x39 loading to increase accuracy,range, and lethality. They should amend the part of the Haugues convention that doesn't allow the use of expanding projectiles. It's an outdated law. In war, its perfectly legal to shoot somebody with a non expanding .50 BMG which will do more damage than any expanding smaller caliber bullet. Just to demonstrate how ridiculous the law is.

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  flamming_python on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:44 pm

    GarryB wrote:On the old AK the cocking handle needs a slot cut into the receiver cover, but on the new AK12 the cocking handle doesn't go back far enough to require a slot to be cut in the receiver cover so there is no gap for a safety arm to cover.

    I wonder how they came up with this whole idea? So does the AK-12 have some sort of way of selecting whether empty cartridges would be ejected from the left or the right too? Pretty wack. My knowledge is so behind the times

    The ejection location and direction is the same as the standard AK, so it doesn't need an opening on the left hand side. You can fire it left or right handed because the ejection port on the right hand side is far forward enough that you don't get hot brass in the face... just the same as you don't with an AK firing left or right handed.

    Ah now I see. Never had a proper look at the AK-12. But now I can see that it does incorporate substantial changes and is not simply a new version/revision, but a considerable redesign and rethink. Their design choices are impressive, now that I can actually see them and understand their purpose.

    BTW I do like the SA80, it was the rifle in all the british military magazines I bought in the 1980s and they were constantly talking about how wonderful it was. It wasn't till Desert Storm when they actually took it to combat that its problems started to appear in print. Sounds like they have sorted out the problems now though in the SA80A2.

    Yep there were some major problems with jamming, loose fitting magazines and so forth. SA80A2 apparently fixed those things.

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:40 am

    It seems like the current AK-12 we are seeing does not have a interchangable barrels. Perhaps they are still working on it? Personally, I don't like it. It adds more complexity and expensive imo.

    I rather suspect the multi calibre capability will be for special forces and civilian models only.

    For a special forces soldier that needs long and short barrel weapons, in standard and perhaps foreign calibres and also in quiet calibres then having a multi calibre rifle makes sense.

    Having short medium and long barrels in a few different calibres means that soldier just needs one rifle for a range of uses. That works out cheaper overall than having 6 different weapons in different calibres and barrel lengths and it also means the soldier only needs to practise and learn to use one rifle setup.

    For the average soldier a fixed single calibre weapon is fine... simple, and cheaper than a multi calibre weapon.

    For a hunter having the choice of ammo types is useful and while more expensive than a normal rifle it works out cheaper if you buy different calibre kits and can therefore take advantage of when certain types of ammo are cheap.

    ie an AK12 in 5.56 and 7.62 x 39mm and 5.45 x 39mm makes the weapon more flexible than if it could only fire one type of ammo.

    If you made it right the first time, then I don't see the use of interchangable barrels.

    On a single mission a special forces soldier might need to operate in open terrain... where a longer barrel improves accuracy and power, but when they get to a target area that might be inside a large building anyone who has handled an M16 knows the problems of handling a long barrel inside a building, so swapping out the long barrel for a short barrel means the same weapon suddenly becomes compact and easy to handle and at the distance involved inside a building long barrel accuracy is no longer needed and short range firepower become important.

    It is not something every soldier will need... most of the time a mid length barrel makes more sense and the extra weight of the spare barrel can be replaced with extra ammo, but sometimes it would be useful.

    From a special forces guys perspective even if he doesn't change barrels or calibres during a mission just having one rifle with a choice of calibre and barrel length means he just needs one rifle instead of 4 or 5.

    Assuming just two calibres... 5.45 x 39mm and 9 x 39mm the AK12 can replace the AKS-74U, AK-105, AK-74M, RPK-74, plus the AS and VSS. That is 6 weapons.
    And it does it in a package that is ergonomic with easy to reach and operate controls and easily attached grips and sights.
    Obviously for each calibre and barrel length the sights need to be calibrated and zeroed, but pistol grips and lights and other bits and bobs are not cheap... just buying them for one rifle instead of 6 is much cheaper too.

    I think it's also very important that they upgrade their ammo. Recently the Russians talked about introducing more accurate sniper ammo.

    They have talked about cleaner burning more consistent powder, but generally the 5,45 is pretty lethal already.

    I think they should upgrade their current 5.45x39 loading to increase accuracy,range, and lethality.

    It is already quite lethal... in fact the new NATO 5.56mm round with the steel tip and lead rear is a direct attempt to copy the performance of the 5.45mm round which tends to tumble on impact and is effective.
    Improving accuracy would be good, but I don't think it needs more range.

    It has a specific role to play... there is no need to make it into a sniper round, they are likely to introduce a new round for longer range work, and the 338LM for sniping out to 1,500m.

    They should amend the part of the Haugues convention that doesn't allow the use of expanding projectiles. It's an outdated law. In war, its perfectly legal to shoot somebody with a non expanding .50 BMG which will do more damage than any expanding smaller caliber bullet. Just to demonstrate how ridiculous the law is.

    I don't think anyone wants to change the Hague convention... though there is little point anyway as the current US Sniper round has an open tip anyway, so it seems once you get lawyers involved you can ignore international law anyway. Sad

    Yep there were some major problems with jamming, loose fitting magazines and so forth. SA80A2 apparently fixed those things.

    I think a lot of their problems were the crappy M16 magazines, but they seem to have sorted out the problems now.

    I remember reading they used to set the rifles to full auto because they didn't jam as much.


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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  SWAT Pointman on Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:12 pm

    Really I think having the AK-12 to have a switchable caliber/barrel requires significant redesign. The magazine well has to be modified to accept 7.62x39,5.45x39, and 5.56x45 AK magazines. In fact, such a venture might require new magazines to be made. I don't think the Russians would be willing to make a rifle that doesn't standard AK magazines. Like you mentioned, the switchable barrel should be limited to export and special forces. The soldier who switches his barrel out better have plenty of time to rezero his weapon, as he certainly can't do it during a mission.

    One issue I would like to bring up is the length of the AK-12, it's nearly as long as a M16 because of the new muzzle brake. This certainly will be a disadvantage. Instead of having the brake extend off the muzzle, while not have it sleeve over the barrel to reduce length like the Finnish RK-62?



    I think you can always bullets more lethal. The 5.45x39m while already quite lethal, could be improved upon. The sniper bullet the US uses doesn't qualify as a JHP or JSP.

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  GarryB on Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:12 am

    Really I think having the AK-12 to have a switchable caliber/barrel requires significant redesign. The magazine well has to be modified to accept 7.62x39,5.45x39, and 5.56x45 AK magazines. In fact, such a venture might require new magazines to be made.

    That shouldn't be a problem because the Light AK12 already comes in those different calibres using those different magazines with the same basic receiver/magwell design.

    From the length of the chamber and ejection port size and recoil distance there shouldn't be a problem to accomodate all the assault rifle calibres in the light design and larger calibres in the large model.

    The primary concern as I have pointed out is to make sure that the barrel/bolt combination doesn't allow the wrong magazine to be attached to the rifle.

    I don't think the Russians would be willing to make a rifle that doesn't standard AK magazines.

    Agreed, it makes sense to make sure existing AK magazines can continue to be used, that shouldn't be a problem.

    Like you mentioned, the switchable barrel should be limited to export and special forces. The soldier who switches his barrel out better have plenty of time to rezero his weapon, as he certainly can't do it during a mission.

    Even the barrel length will effect zero, but as the front iron sight is attached to the barrel it would make sense to zero the front sight for each barrel you intend to take out with you. I have seen some scopes that have multiple zero tabs, which would be useful in this case. There are also electronic sights like the new thermal sight called Sakhlin or something that has a built in laser range finder and a ballistic computer that projects an aim point into the scope view. You set the sight up by punching in a code to tell it the calibre and barrel length and then with the range information from the LRF it can calculate bullet drop and generate an impact mark... place that on the target where you want to hit it and fire. If you change barrels and or calibre on a mission you would just have to remember to change the settings on the scope.

    One issue I would like to bring up is the length of the AK-12, it's nearly as long as a M16 because of the new muzzle brake. This certainly will be a disadvantage. Instead of having the brake extend off the muzzle, while not have it sleeve over the barrel to reduce length like the Finnish RK-62?

    It does look longer than other AK barrels but being able to fold the stock should help in confined spaces.

    There is a carbine version of the rifle that can be used if length is an issue... I think it is good to have a bit of barrel length for those soldiers that can use the extra reach and power.

    For combat in open areas like mountains or deserts then I think the longer barrels would be useful. For urban combat there are shorter barrel models the troops can be issued with that would be more "handy".

    I think you can always bullets more lethal. The 5.45x39m while already quite lethal, could be improved upon.

    A more modern, cleaner burning, more consistent burning powder would improve performance and make the rifles easier to keep clean. I remember one of the small arms ammo makers saying they could improve performance by 40% by making powders match the barrel length so they burned more efficiently and reached highest pressure before the bullet had exited the barrel to maximise muzzle velocity without increasing pressures.

    A 65-75 grain bullet at 1,100m/s would be interesting...


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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  flamming_python on Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:33 pm

    If they wanted to make the 5.45x39 more lethal then they would simply bring back the round from the 70s/early 80s, that could enter the back of your thigh and exit from your chest. They stopped producing those in 87'/89' or abouts (forgot the exact year); but they sure played hell with the Afghan Mujas. Problem was that these rounds were too inhumane and caused grevious wounds.

    By the time Chechnya came along, those rounds had thankfully been phased out. Russian soldiers reported being shot in the shoulder or some limb and not even noticing the wound until some time later. If that round was still in service (and therefore available to the AK-74-armed Chechen rebels too) - there would have been absolutely hell to pay

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    Re: AK-12 Rifle Discussion

    Post  SWAT Pointman on Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:49 pm

    flamming_python wrote:If they wanted to make the 5.45x39 more lethal then they would simply bring back the round from the 70s/early 80s, that could enter the back of your thigh and exit from your chest. They stopped producing those in 87'/89' or abouts (forgot the exact year); but they sure played hell with the Afghan Mujas. Problem was that these rounds were too inhumane and caused grevious wounds.

    By the time Chechnya came along, those rounds had thankfully been phased out. Russian soldiers reported being shot in the shoulder or some limb and not even noticing the wound until some time later. If that round was still in service (and therefore available to the AK-74-armed Chechen rebels too) - there would have been absolutely hell to pay
    Sounds a lot like the propaganda stories the Americans came out with in Vietnam with their 5.56x45. They've done tests over the years and concluded that the 5.45x39 doesn't do any unusual damage to tissue compared to other rifle bullets. I suspect the Afgans didn't have proper medical treatment so the bullets were "poison" to them.

    I believe corruption in the Russian military is one reason why a lot of arms ended in Chechen hands.

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