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    Russian Assault Rifles/Carbines/Machine Guns Thread: #1

    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:16 am

    Sorry, but I think you are thinking in the wrong terms.

    As a company they can and should develop a range of products and to promote those products in different markets.

    Market research will give them an idea of what will sell well and what will not, but I suspect there can be surprises either way.

    Izhmash has enormous production capacity, so having 10 rifles available for sale in 5-6 calibres each is not a huge problem, but it leads to choice for the consumer.

    Certainly the AK12 seems to have all its ergonomics sorted, but the Ak-107 wasn't a bad design. I would suggest it will actually be the AK-108 that will be exported as it is the 5.56mm model. Some customers might find the AK-107/108 is the best solution for their needs while remaining compatible with all the components they already own from previous AK-100 series weapons... ie stocks and parts etc.

    I rather suspect that different departments within Izhmash will have been tasked with different challenges and different budgets, so one group might be working on the AK-74M4 which is an AK-74M with pic rails and other upgrades based on the AK-74M, while another group will be doing the same with the AK-107/108. A third group might have been allowed to be a bit more radical with the AK and this is the AK-200 team whom have removed the front iron sights and fitted a balanced recoil mechanism but the controls are basically the same, and the AK12 which has modified pretty much everything but so far has not shown a balanced recoil mechanism AFAIK.

    Following Russian Army testing they might go for a combination of the AK12 for spec ops teams and VDV and Naval Infantry etc, and upgraded AK-74M4 for the majority of the army where it is just old AK-74Ms with new stocks and receiver covers etc etc.

    Or they might decide to buy all AK12s for everyone.

    Their decision is obviously important but it makes sense for Izhmash to look at civilian versions of all their rifles because they will likely have a much higher profit margin from civilian sales than from military contracts and the more types they have to sell the more markets will have a choice.

    [quote]The AK-107 is basically a 30-40 year old design that was successfully tested, but wasn't adopted due to cost.[//quote]

    First of all let me say the balanced recoil mechanism design is not new... there were balanced recoil mechanism AKs competing to replace the AKM in the 1970s that lost too.

    Second it wasn't exactly rejected because of cost because the trials are still ongoing AFAIK. Its problem is to offer a sufficient improvement in performance to warrant the cost of its purchase... it needs to be better by x amount.

    The US has had several competitions to replace its M16 and some have been very interesting, but they were not so much better as to warrant the cost of buying all new weapons.

    What I am trying to say is that if the Russian Army currently had no rifle then they could buy AK-107s as a better choice than an AK-74M... the problem is that they already have AK-74s and the AK-107s are not so far deemed worth the cost and bother to replace them. (ie AK-107 is not bad, but not sufficiently worth the replacement hassle).
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    Post  GarryB Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:50 am

    BTW just looking at the Wiki page it mentions the AK-12U carbine, the PPK-12 SMG, sniper rifle SVK-12, light machine gun RPK-12, AK-12/76 shotgun.

    But from what I can tell it will likely include the AKU-12, as well as an AK-12 carbine, plus the AK-12 rifle, plus the PPK-12 SMG, and the SVK-12, RPK-12, and AK-12/76, which represent the AK12 equivalent of the AKS-74U, AK-105, AK-74M, Vityaz-SN, SVDS, RPK-74, and Saiga-12 respectively.

    They also mention a pistol, but I am kinda suspicious as to how it relates to the AK12 rifle.
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    Post  SWAT Pointman Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:30 pm

    At the time when the AK-107 existed as the AL-7 in the USSR, cost was a big reason why they didn't adopt it over the AK-74. Today, they could equip every soldier with an AK-12 or AK-107 if they wanted to, but the question is whether or not it's a big enough improvement to justify the cost like you mentioned. I just think it will muddy the brand by having two rifles with very similar capablities on the civilian market. I've looked at pictures of the AK-107, and I think very few parts would be compatible. Before the end of this year, the Russian military is suppose to make a decision as to whether they will update existing AK-74's or not. If they reject the decision, I imagine it's because they want to go with a new rifle, or they feel the money would be better spent on things other than small arms.

    http://izhevsk.club.guns.ru/eng/ak107.html
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    Post  GarryB Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:38 am

    At the time when the AK-107 existed as the AL-7 in the USSR, cost was a big reason why they didn't adopt it over the AK-74.

    But keep in mind the AKM was already in production... the key was that the AK-74 could be produced on the same tooling as the AKM... in fact change a few things and adjust a few things and you could start production making the newer rifle... not the same for the AL-7 or the other rifles competing.

    The point now is that cheap mass production is not focus number one. They want world class state of the art weapons and a fully upgraded AK-74 that fixes most of the obvious problems is their goal. The sophisticated tooling can accept schematics and pretty much produce parts precisely to spec to be assembled by other machines... not cheap machines to buy, but they are already bought and should be able to mass produce weapons on a fairly large scale fairly cheaply.

    Today, they could equip every soldier with an AK-12 or AK-107 if they wanted to, but the question is whether or not it's a big enough improvement to justify the cost like you mentioned.

    We certainly agree on this... I rather suspect... as I mentioned above that they will likely go with a simple AK-74Mx upgrade adding features that can be applied to existing rifles for the vast majority of soldiers... and that will be fine because the original was a basically sound rifle. For special forces I think a modular AK12 will likely enter service in units that can't afford not to have the best weapon available.

    The fundamental question... which we can't answer without classified information is what are the new from scratch next generation weapons going to be like and how far away are they from service. If they are lasers and will take ten years for the technology to develop and mature then AK12s in reasonable numbers eventually (say 2016 or so) makes a lot of sense. Otherwise it makes sense to save your money for the new stuff that is significantly better.

    I just think it will muddy the brand by having two rifles with very similar capablities on the civilian market.

    There are hundreds of different types of civilian rifles in 223 calibre on the market... Izhmash having a rifle based on the AK-108 (semi auto only) and an AK12 (semi auto only) just gives customers a choice... in fact it would make sense to have two types of AK12 in the form of a fixed model in small (5.45,5.56, 7.62 x 39mm, etc) and large (7.62 x 51mm and 12 gauge) calibres and a modular small and large model. The more types the better the selection and choice.

    Regarding parts I suspect apart from the different bolt carrier and the different top cover for the gas system they are otherwise very similar if not the same as the AK-74. The furniture is the same.

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    Post  SWAT Pointman Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:59 pm

    Perhaps at the time, the choice to choose the AK-74 over more supposedly effective rifles was justified. If there isn't any new caseless rifle or other technology to obsolete the AK-74, I imagine the AK-12 will be adopted as the front line rifle in a few years.

    I have some doubt that the Russian military will even bother upgrading the AK-74. Small arms don't really get that much attention in the procurment budgets it seems. Instead of spending money on new strike pistols, that money should go to the upgraded AK-74's, or the AK-12's.

    Yes, I suppose choice of multiple variants is always good on the civilian market.

    Cool picture of the AK-107 by the way.

    What I find a little bit odd is why the Russian army offically adopted the AN-94, but didn't even adopt it in actuality. If they knew it wouldn't be a suitable rifle for soldiers, then why did they adopt it? It sounds like a bit of politics and incompetance went on with that.
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    Post  GarryB Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:27 am

    Perhaps at the time, the choice to choose the AK-74 over more supposedly effective rifles was justified. If there isn't any new caseless rifle or other technology to obsolete the AK-74, I imagine the AK-12 will be adopted as the front line rifle in a few years.

    The AK-74 was adopted because it was good enough for the intended job, and was the simplest and cheapest option that would get into mass production the fastest.

    I have some doubt that the Russian military will even bother upgrading the AK-74. Small arms don't really get that much attention in the procurment budgets it seems. Instead of spending money on new strike pistols, that money should go to the upgraded AK-74's, or the AK-12's.

    They have to. They have already said they will have 70% new equipment in service by 2020. They seem to have the money when a change is required, so why not spend it?

    In the scheme of things the total cost of small arms procurement probably wouldn't cost more than a single Sukhoi Su-35S Jet fighter with a full weapon load of modern precision weapons... and having the military properly equipped is more important than any one plane could possibly be.

    [qutoe]What I find a little bit odd is why the Russian army offically adopted the AN-94, but didn't even adopt it in actuality. If they knew it wouldn't be a suitable rifle for soldiers, then why did they adopt it? It sounds like a bit of politics and incompetance went on with that. [/quote]

    They held a competition (which the An-94 won) at a time when there was no money for the military. By the time there was money for the military they had already worked out it was a little complicated to use and to maintain and was not cheap or simple to make. If anything I would say it was the first time politics didn't interfere because Kalashnikov has rather more political power than Nikonov.

    They adopted it because it met their criteria of improved accuracy and hit probability.

    Yes, that is a nice picture of a new model AK-107 with new rear iron sights... from memory it was TheArmenian that posted it here first though it is clearly one of Vitalys photos as evidenced by his sig in the bottom left hand corner.
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    Post  Werewolf Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:43 pm

    SWAT Pointman wrote:
    What I find a little bit odd is why the Russian army offically adopted the AN-94, but didn't even adopt it in actuality. If they knew it wouldn't be a suitable rifle for soldiers, then why did they adopt it? It sounds like a bit of politics and incompetance went on with that.

    You realy want to know the major reason why the AN-94 wasn't adopted than just watch this.



    It is horrible for every soldier to strip it and clean it, also reliability will always suffer under such complexity.
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    Post  SWAT Pointman Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:38 pm

    What I meant is that they should have known the rifle wouldn't be suitable for soldiers before adopting it. If the AK-74 was good enough, then they wouldn't have started the Akaban trials. I would say the AK-74 is on par with other assault rifles, but the Russian's have a chance to make a rifle that's better than anything else out there. One thing I've heard repeated by American,German, and Russian small arms tacticians is that a new rifle should be capable of very accurate and controllable bursts of fire to increase the number of hits in combat. The Russians are the only ones that appear to developing such rifles right now. I recall a study that said with iron sights that a soldier with a M16A2 only has a 10% chance of hitting a target at 300m's in combat. With an AK-12 or modernized AK-107, perhaps the AK-107 can match or exceed the abilities of the AN-94. The AN-94 just isn't a practical rifle to issue.
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    Post  Werewolf Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:04 pm

    The big diffrence between russian assault rifles and western assault rifles is they use mostly muzzle breaks to reduce the effect of recoil wich improves the controllability during bursts and full auto.Also the rate of fire is significant lower wich is also a plus for the controllability.

    I would choose the AK-109 (7.62x39mm) anyday the calibre has more manstopping power aswell its much better controllable than AKM without muzzle break and Counter Balance Mechanism.
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    Post  SWAT Pointman Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:28 pm

    A lot of western armies primarily shoot semi auto only pretty much, so they don't have much use for a muzzle brake. They also seem to care a lot about night firing capabilities, so they tend to use flash suppressors. The 5.45x39 actually creates more tissue damage than the 7.62x39 M43, and is on par with the 7.62x39 M67
    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_man6l5PZpv1qhwwreo1_500.jpg
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    Post  Werewolf Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:04 pm

    SWAT Pointman wrote:A lot of western armies primarily shoot semi auto only pretty much, so they don't have much use for a muzzle brake. They also seem to care a lot about night firing capabilities, so they tend to use flash suppressors. The 5.45x39 actually creates more tissue damage than the 7.62x39 M43, and is on par with the 7.62x39 M67
    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_man6l5PZpv1qhwwreo1_500.jpg

    The russian army don't use the 57-N-231 anymore they use the 7-N-23 round with steel core at the bottom and airgap at the tip, same configuration like the 7N22 of 5.45x39mm.

    And if someone realy believes that the 57-N-321 "just punches through the body" and he can just still run around like nothing happened than believe it.
    I can show you more than enough video material that even people in bullet proof armour just knocked down from one single 7.62x39mm without penetration. Even this videos of the group that calls itself "Juba" use an AK-47 modified to an "bullpup" design to cover it under clothes while hunting for US troops in Iraq.

    The wounding channels don't represent the reality of ballistic woundings,the majority of wounding expending channels appeares first when the bullet exists the body 25-30cm after entrance.
    And you can't tell me that your torso (from front to back) is bigger than 30cm. If the round isn't a hollow point than the wound ballistics for standard ammunition aren't a good case to compare with reality.
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    Post  Zivo Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:14 am

    NATO troops do not really use semi-auto in the field, plenty of footage for Iraq and Afghanistan shows "suppressive fire" reigns supreme. They also try to avoid night combat as much as possible, especially with regards to fighting on foot.

    Just saying.
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    Post  GarryB Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:54 am

    What I meant is that they should have known the rifle wouldn't be suitable for soldiers before adopting it.

    After years of going for low cost production and excellent reliability I think they really wanted accuracy, and increased hit probability. The AN-94 clearly provided that.

    If the AK-74 was good enough, then they wouldn't have started the Akaban trials.

    Actually it is the same with all other weapons in the Russian Army... the AK-74 is a Soviet weapon and they have decided to go for Russian weapons.

    They wanted accuracy and hitting power and that is what they got.

    I recall a study that said with iron sights that a soldier with a M16A2 only has a 10% chance of hitting a target at 300m's in combat.

    Except in open deserts or mountains where you can see clearly over fairly large distances very little combat will take place at more than 200m or so.

    At more than 200m the targets are hard to spot, are often moving, generally have some sort of camouflage uniform on that makes their outlines indistinct, and of course tend to move from cover to cover rather than stand out in the open. The other factors to keep in mind include that the shooter is likely tired and hungry and scared of being shot or standing on a mine, or some other horrible weapon.

    A standing man at 300m is a fairly small target and without optics and good ammo and of course the right training a first round hit is going to be fortune rather than design.

    One of the drawbacks of the 7.62 x 39mm round is its very curved trajectory making range estimation fairly critical to getting a clean hit. New Thermal Scopes with laser range finders and ballistic computers should make most calibres very accurate, including the 7.62 x 39mm round, which I use for hunting. It is effective on goats and most lighter game with good shot placement.

    With an AK-12 or modernized AK-107, perhaps the AK-107 can match or exceed the abilities of the AN-94. The AN-94 just isn't a practical rifle to issue.

    I tend to agree. Its cost and complexity make it unsuitable for grunts. Its accuracy might make it interesting to special forces troops, but its accuracy probably wouldn't make up for its added time in maintainence and cleaning and learning it inside out.

    I suspect the AK-107 and AK-12 will both match its accuracy while remaining much simpler designs to use and maintain.

    Regarding bullet effects, something that is often forgotten in ballistics gel tests is that the human body contains bones and a heavier slower projectile tends to do more damage to bones than small light high velocity rounds that might disintegrate on impact with a bone. Very simply a bullet through the head or chest and the permanent cavity is enough. The temporary cavity photos and drawings look impressive but major organs are not as flexible as ballistics gel and the real cavity in a human actually looks nothing like that.

    I shoot goats with 7.62 x 39mm and it kills them cleanly and effectively.

    NATO troops do not really use semi-auto in the field, plenty of footage for Iraq and Afghanistan shows "suppressive fire" reigns supreme. They also try to avoid night combat as much as possible, especially with regards to fighting on foot.

    I tend to agree, based on what I have seen of documentaries. Night combat is avoided... understandibly so as it is confusing and it is vital that it be carefully managed because friend on friend engagements are very easy and very common in the confusion of nighttime.
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    Post  Mr.Kalishnikov47 Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:08 pm

    I bet if it was offered in the US for a decent price you would buy it anyways.

    True, although I would buy it more for it's novelty than anything else.

    New Kalashnikov Initial Testing ‘Complete’


    MOSCOW, November 30 (RIA Novosti) - The latest version of Russia's world-famous Kalashnikov assault rifle, the AK-12, has completed a set of preliminary tests, the weapons-making agency responsible for trials of the new gun said on Friday.

    Last week, Dmitry Semizorov, head of the Tochmash state arms firm based near Moscow, said the AK-12 “has shown up a range of problems” and “a series of flaws.” He declined to elaborate on what the defects were, saying this was "the
    developer's confidential information."

    The weapon was developed by Izhmash, the Izhevsk-based gun maker which has built Kalashnikov rifles since the 1950s.
    Izhmash director Vladimir Zlobin said the initial testing was in fact designed to identify the AK-12’s faults and weak spots and fix them.

    State acceptance trials for the weapon are due to begin at the start of 2013 and be completed by June or July of that year, Zlobin said. Series production is due to begin at the end of 2013.

    Development of the AK-12 began in mid-2011. The new weapon retains the overall layout and features of the 5.45-mm caliber AK-74, in service with the Russian Army since the 1970s, but has minor modifications and ergonomic changes.

    Zlobin has claimed that law enforcement agencies have shown strong interest in the new weapon, on which a range of firearms are to be produced including pistols, submachine guns and assault rifles for general military and special duties tasks.

    Izhmash, and Izhmekh, another gun-maker, are to be amalgamated in a new state-controlled small-arms and light-weapons holding under the Kalashnikov brand, under a government plan to consolidate the industry, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said earlier this month.

    http://en.rian.ru/military_news/20121130/177844741.html
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    Post  SWAT Pointman Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:45 pm

    At least with American troops, I see them shoot semi automatic the majority of the time with their rifles. The 3 round burst mechanism is some what flawed in the M16/M4 design.


    "Actually it is the same with all other weapons in the Russian Army... the AK-74 is a Soviet weapon and they have decided to go for Russian weapons."
    You mean the Russian military wanted to dump all Soviet designs? Why? Some designs are still perfectly viable.

    "fter years of going for low cost production and excellent reliability I think they really wanted accuracy, and increased hit probability. The AN-94 clearly provided that."
    It's a better hard to swallow, but a book I have claims that the AN-94 is more reliable than the AK. I think there comes a point that accuracy and reliability become redundant when a rifle fails in other areas.


    "One of the drawbacks of the 7.62 x 39mm round is its very curved trajectory making range estimation fairly critical to getting a clean hit. New Thermal Scopes with laser range finders and ballistic computers should make most calibres very accurate, including the 7.62 x 39mm round, which I use for hunting. It is effective on goats and most lighter game with good shot placement."
    I've shot to 400 yards with a 7.62x39 AK it is quite a challenge to get hits with iron sights.



    "Regarding bullet effects, something that is often forgotten in ballistics gel tests is that the human body contains bones and a heavier slower projectile tends to do more damage to bones than small light high velocity rounds that might disintegrate on impact with a bone. Very simply a bullet through the head or chest and the permanent cavity is enough. The temporary cavity photos and drawings look impressive but major organs are not as flexible as ballistics gel and the real cavity in a human actually looks nothing like that."
    People tend to put much stake into gelatin tests some times.

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    Post  GarryB Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:48 am

    At least with American troops, I see them shoot semi automatic the majority of the time with their rifles. The 3 round burst mechanism is some what flawed in the M16/M4 design.

    Actually that is a good point... there has been a huge shift from M16s to M4s in Afghanistan, yet it is not because the M4 would be more effective as its shorter barrel reduces its effective range in territory where the shooting distances are often much higher than in other environments.

    The M4 is certainly a much more comfortable and compact weapon to use than the much longer M16, but I have read that the main reason for the change other than the improved handling of the shorter weapon is that the M4 is full auto while the M16 only has a 3 round burst option.

    When you can't see your enemy but you want to manouver you need to be able to get them to put their heads down and a three round burst often is not enough.

    "Actually it is the same with all other weapons in the Russian Army... the AK-74 is a Soviet weapon and they have decided to go for Russian weapons."
    You mean the Russian military wanted to dump all Soviet designs? Why? Some designs are still perfectly viable.

    Some Soviet weapons are not produced in Russia... the Utes HMG (NSVT 12.7) is made in the Ukraine for instance, so the Russians looked at the design and created the Kord... which according to the videos I have seen is a better weapon... there is one vid I have seen where a guy fires a DSHkM on a wheeled mount and then a Utes on a bipod (it moved around a bit, but it is a 50 cal HMG) and then he fired Kord and it looked very stable from a bipod and quite accurate.

    Other weapons and equipment are actually obsolete and need replacement, while others they just want new stuff.

    It's a better hard to swallow, but a book I have claims that the AN-94 is more reliable than the AK. I think there comes a point that accuracy and reliability become redundant when a rifle fails in other areas.

    A rifle with a wire and pulley mechanism with a moving barrel... more reliable than an AK? I have trouble accepting that as being true.

    I've shot to 400 yards with a 7.62x39 AK it is quite a challenge to get hits with iron sights.

    But that is the thing... if you are shooting beyond 200m you need optics. If assault rifles could shoot like SVDs then why would there be SVDs?

    The heavier bullets of the 7.62 rounds should be effected by crosswinds less and be much less likely to be deflected before they hit their target.

    With a decent rifle, good ammo, optics, a good shooter should actually do very well with a 7.62 x 39mm. I never shoot at live targets at more than about 150m, but that is just me... and I don't always use optics.

    With my suppressor fitted the Goats I am shooting at often don't know what is going on and really don't know which way to run.

    People tend to put much stake into gelatin tests some times.

    Yes, it is a scientific tool that can be used to give an indication, but at the end of the day shot placement is the key, and bullet construction is very important too. A tiny high velocity bullet will seem to explode on light game and the results can be devastating. Against a much larger heavier animal such light fast bullets lack penetration and can often be stopped by heavy flesh and bone leaving a superficial wound that will not be immediately fatal. A heavier slower bullet on the other hand that penetrates deeply into the target to puncture vital organs like lung and heart will kill much more cleanly and quickly.

    You can kill a deer with a .22LR but you need to be very accurate with your shot placement... most experienced hunters will not use anything less than something like a .243 on deer or larger game. The 223 and 5.45 would not reach that threshold, though the 7.62 x 39mm sneaks in.
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    Post  SWAT Pointman Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:22 am

    "Actually that is a good point... there has been a huge shift from M16s to M4s in Afghanistan, yet it is not because the M4 would be more effective as its shorter barrel reduces its effective range in territory where the shooting distances are often much higher than in other environments.

    The M4 is certainly a much more comfortable and compact weapon to use than the much longer M16, but I have read that the main reason for the change other than the improved handling of the shorter weapon is that the M4 is full auto while the M16 only has a 3 round burst option.

    When you can't see your enemy but you want to manouver you need to be able to get them to put their heads down and a three round burst often is not enough."

    I believe the M4 with the three round burst is the standard right now, I think they might be converting many of them to full auto though. It is unusual the military went from full auto to three round burst, and then back full auto.

    "But that is the thing... if you are shooting beyond 200m you need optics. If assault rifles could shoot like SVDs then why would there be SVDs?
    The heavier bullets of the 7.62 rounds should be effected by crosswinds less and be much less likely to be deflected before they hit their target.

    With a decent rifle, good ammo, optics, a good shooter should actually do very well with a 7.62 x 39mm. I never shoot at live targets at more than about 150m, but that is just me... and I don't always use optics.

    With my suppressor fitted the Goats I am shooting at often don't know what is going on and really don't know which way to run."

    There seems to be a number reasons. They wanted an auto loading rifle that was just as accurate as the Mosin Nagant to replace it. They tried SKS's fitted with the scope, but they weren't satisfactory. The 7.62x39 and current auto loading rifles of the time just weren't suitable to replace the Mosin Nagant with a scope. There was an attempt made in the 1950's to have a unified cartridge to replace the 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R, but this went no where. So they had to stick with the 7.62x54R for their new marksman rifle. I'm curious as to why they didn't test out a 5.45x39 SVD. With heavier bullets, the 5.45x39 might have a good sniper cartridge.


    "Yes, it is a scientific tool that can be used to give an indication, but at the end of the day shot placement is the key, and bullet construction is very important too. A tiny high velocity bullet will seem to explode on light game and the results can be devastating. Against a much larger heavier animal such light fast bullets lack penetration and can often be stopped by heavy flesh and bone leaving a superficial wound that will not be immediately fatal. A heavier slower bullet on the other hand that penetrates deeply into the target to puncture vital organs like lung and heart will kill much more cleanly and quickly.

    You can kill a deer with a .22LR but you need to be very accurate with your shot placement... most experienced hunters will not use anything less than something like a .243 on deer or larger game. The 223 and 5.45 would not reach that threshold, though the 7.62 x 39mm sneaks in."
    I think the .223 could be a suitable deer cartridge, but it's definitely would not be my first choice.



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    Post  GarryB Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:33 pm

    At the present time, the M4 carbine is used as a front-line weapon by US Army, Marine Corps and SOCOM operators in Iraq and Afghanistan. Combat experience with thos weapon resulted in update program, which will, as of now (mid-2010) following steps. First, Army wanted to install heavier barrel to allow more sustained firepower, combined with full-automatic mode of fire instead of 3-round burst, and ambidextrous safety/selector switch. Second stage will see improved rail adapter and a new, improved bolt carrier, and a possible third stage will include change of operating system (most probably, from direct gas to the gas piston).

    Seems they want full auto capability back... and a real piston rod gas system like the AK.

    There seems to be a number reasons. They wanted an auto loading rifle that was just as accurate as the Mosin Nagant to replace it. They tried SKS's fitted with the scope, but they weren't satisfactory.

    No, that is not true. At the end of WWII the plan was for a Carbine (rifle), an Assault Rifle, and a LMG. The SKS was the rifle, the AK was to be the assault rifle, and the RPD was the LMG. They soon realised that the AK could do pretty much anything the SKS could do and more, so they dropped the rifle concept. For sniping they kept using the Mosin Nagant rifle till they decided they wanted a real custom made sniper rifle and the result was the SVD. In many ways it was related to the AK, but to reduce the felt recoil the piston rod was made very light and separate from the bolt carrier to minimise the amount of mass moving back and forth during firing. It still has a very firm recoil stroke, though it is less than if it had a standard AK mechanism like some eastern european versions.

    The 7.62 x 39mm round was designed for use at ranges of up to about 300m and that is what it does.

    I'm curious as to why they didn't test out a 5.45x39 SVD. With heavier bullets, the 5.45x39 might have a good sniper cartridge.

    As the rounds get bigger the room left in the cartridge case is reduced which reduces the amount of propellent you can have. Heavier bullets means lower velocity, the 5.45mm round simply doesn't have the case capacity for a larger projectile and sufficient powder charge to give it enough velocity to be effective.

    Of course the new high power powders they have developed for their new underwater rounds might be interesting in that regard... a 130-140 grain projectile at 900m/s or more from an accurate rifle would be very interesting at the 600-800m range.
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    Post  SWAT Pointman Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:09 pm

    "No, that is not true. At the end of WWII the plan was for a Carbine (rifle), an Assault Rifle, and a LMG. The SKS was the rifle, the AK was to be the assault rifle, and the RPD was the LMG. They soon realised that the AK could do pretty much anything the SKS could do and more, so they dropped the rifle concept. For sniping they kept using the Mosin Nagant rifle till they decided they wanted a real custom made sniper rifle and the result was the SVD. In many ways it was related to the AK, but to reduce the felt recoil the piston rod was made very light and separate from the bolt carrier to minimise the amount of mass moving back and forth during firing. It still has a very firm recoil stroke, though it is less than if it had a standard AK mechanism like some eastern european versions.

    The 7.62 x 39mm round was designed for use at ranges of up to about 300m and that is what it does."
    Not sure where I went wrong. The SKS wasn't made as a sniper rifle, but they tested out scoped variants and didn't find them satisfactory. They wanted an autoloading rifle that was just as accurate as the Mosin Nagant, and also being very reliable, and the SVD was the best choice. The partially free floated handguards is another reason the SVD is accurate.

    As the rounds get bigger the room left in the cartridge case is reduced which reduces the amount of propellent you can have. Heavier bullets means lower velocity, the 5.45mm round simply doesn't have the case capacity for a larger projectile and sufficient powder charge to give it enough velocity to be effective."
    They could use a longer barrel like the RPK-74. A 70 gr bullet 5.45x39 out of a RPK length barrel would be about 2600 FPS.


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    Post  GarryB Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:41 pm

    Not sure where I went wrong. The SKS wasn't made as a sniper rifle, but they tested out scoped variants and didn't find them satisfactory.

    An accurate semi auto sniper rifle is not easy. They dabbled with Tokarevs too, but the bolt action Mosin is a pretty good rifle if you get a good one and use the right ammo.
    The 7.62 x 39mm would be fine as a sniper rifle out to about 300m, but they wanted something that could be used out to 600-800m or so with most shots at 600m or less with the odd shot at 800m. Their definition of a sniper is different from the western concept. Their main experience was in urban combat and normal open country... without a telescope or a very large pair of binoculars you will have difficulty finding targets more than 800m away, so unless you are after a specific target I think shooting at more than 800m is a bit of a waste of time and energy. A target at 2,000m would be better dealt with (in my opinion) using a Metis-M1 than any rifle round. The new Kornet-EM just makes my case even better with the ability to hit targets with HE warheads out to 10km.

    They could use a longer barrel like the RPK-74. A 70 gr bullet 5.45x39 out of a RPK length barrel would be about 2600 FPS.

    The muzzle velocity of the 5.45mm RPK is about 10m/s higher than the muzzle velocity for the 223 calibre RPK, while the muzzle velocity for the 5.45mm in the rifle AK-100 is a similar amount lower than the .223, while in the carbine AK-100 rifles the 5.45mm is even worse compared to the 223, which suggests to me that the 5.45mm would benefit from longer barrel weapons.

    The problem is that at the end of the day a 70 grain bullet at 223 velocities is still just an assault rifle level round that will lose velocity rapidly. 70 grain is not that much bigger than a .22WMR magnum bullet.

    To be effective you would need a bullet in the 120-140 grain range which would be massive for such a small case... keep in mind that the subsonic 5.45mm round uses an 80 grain projectile.

    I suspect the best option with current rounds would be to put the hot powder in the 7.62 x 39mm round that uses the 154 grain projectiles... if muzzle velocity could be raised to 850m/s or more then the performance should be similar to a 303, which should be more than adequate as a sniper round.
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    Post  njb1 Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:37 pm

    http://www.1tv.ru/news/social/221402

    Take a look at this at 02:20 - is thisan AK12 carbine or some thing else ? any ideas ?
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    Post  SWAT Pointman Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:43 pm

    I'm not sure could be a AK-105.
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    Post  Zivo Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:15 pm

    Well it's probably a member of the 100 series, but the rifle has so many aftermarket parts it's hard to tell for sure. It's not based on the AK-12, it has the standard AK safety lever.

    The barrel and gas block do not look like the 105's.
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    Post  GarryB Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:40 am

    Interesting... thanks for sharing.

    The front stock actually looks like the AK12 and the front iron sight on the gas block seems to suggest it is the newer version of the AK12, yet from the side the receiver seems to have the old selector and controls.

    At first glance I thought it was the AK-200 and the more I think about it the more I think that is the case because the AK-200 had the old selector, though in this case it seems to have fixed front iron sights, which the early models did not (they were folding sights).

    Near the end the lead guy seems to have an AK-107 with its gas system making it stand out...
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    Post  njb1 Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:50 am

    Yes , my first ideas were around the AK200 design with improvements. The gas block is different and the barrel length appears to be between an AK74 & AK104.

    Note the the magizine , though its hard to tell , could be 7.62 x 39 by the curve on it or some thing else ( new calibre).

    Very interesting piece all round

    Is any one able to get a picture(s) onto this site/thread ? I saw it by chance on a Russian TV channel while surfing for AK12 info.

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