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AK Rifle Series

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Russian Assault Rifle. Kalashnikov

Numerous variants exist, but all of them are almost always called "AK-47" or "AK" no matter what the actual designation is. This very much annoys the Russian gun industry, which is still trying to convince the world that it can produce things other than AK-47s.

Looks suspiciously like the German MP-44 (probably in the same way that the Mig 15 looked like the Sabre and the Tu-144 looked like Concorde) even though the internal mechanism is completely different (AK47 - rotating bolt, MP44 - tipping bolt). Many mongs think they are copies, but anything other than the most cursory of glances shows that the construction, bolt system and controls are completely different. Just cos the overall concept was nabbed and they both have curved magazines does not make one a direct copy of the other. <original author: Did know that, I was going for humour and an IRONMAN reference! RH>

Owned by every Islamic fundamentalist, Marxist revolutionary, American gun nut, Afghan warlord, 14 year old African 'soldier', Bolivian Coke dealer, any bad guy in a Hollywood action movie as well as a disturbing number of people in Paisley

Allegedly so robust and squaddy proof that you can take a dump in the mechanism, bury it for 6 months, dig it up and once you've scraped the chamber clear by p!ssing on it ... it will operate first time. Can be forced cooled during sustained/suppression fire by pissing on the barrel as well, with no visible reduction in terms of accuracy or functionality.

About as accurate as a SKY weather forecast utilizing the faith based Islamic targeting method - Pray and Spray. However if point blank, serious weight of fire is required (and no MOD budgets to slow you down), its got to be the weapon of choice - till the Smart guns from ALIENS get invented that is.

The magazines though, are less squaddy proof. For extended battle ready state it's best not to fully load it since this can stress out the spring and lead to chambering failure. Instead load them with 15 or 20 rounds each only and they will last for a lifetime.

For specs/history check out

For the operating manual

AK naming guide for dummies

Okay, A and K stand for Avtomat Kalashnikova, which is Kalashnikov's automatic firearm, what's with all the other words though?

M is Modernzirovanniy - Modernized (by 1950 standards though)

S is Skladnoiy - Folding stock. Comes in the form of a flimsy T shaped stock or skeleton stock or side-folding molded composite stock

U is Ukhrochenniy - Shortened. Essentially a submachine gun firing rifle cartridge.

B is Besshumniy - Silenced. Apparently have provision to mount a PBS silencer on for night raids.

N is Nochnoye videniye - Night vision. Have provision on the left hand side of the receiver for mounting night combat optical sight such as NSPU or NSPUM ( GRAU designation 1PN34 and 1PN58 ) - Considered irrelevant now as there are only two type of side mounting rail and most, if not all modernized AKs can mount a variety of optical instruments for the mission requirement. But as of 1979 they were issued as a weapon system and were facking nails.

Of course, in the hand of terrs they wouldn't give two fcuks about what they are holding. However it would still be nice to be able to understand what are those cyrillic printed on the wooden boxes mean though.



Troop trials started in Nov 1947, officially adopted in late 1949.


Adopted in the same year, this is the Abn version fitted with a skeleton metal stock that folds under the wpn, à la the German WWII smg MP38/MP40. Avtomat Kalashnikova Skladnoy (skladnoy = folding)


The AKM is the logical progression from the '47. Improved production techniques enabled Ivan to arm more terrs per Rouble using the Avtomat Kalashnikova Modernizirovannyj. (If you haven't the wit to work out what that is in English you are obviously a Crab.)

Stamped or pressed steel receiver instead of milled or machined receiver that the original AK sports. Slanted muzzle to act as a crude recoil compentsator. Use a blade bayonet that could also be bottle opener and wire cutter. Rear sight can be adjusted in 100/50 meter increments.

Also have a cousin known as the Type 56 in Chinese service that was fiixed with a star shaped spike bayonet. Can cause nasty wound if you happen to be on the receiving end.

Another cousin of this would be the TUL-1 (Tự Lực 1) in Vietnamese service. Quite similar to the L86A1 LSW in terms of role and comes with a thicker barrel and 40 round box magazine.


The AK-74 is an updated version firing the 5.45x39 Warsaw Bloc round. Comes with bakelite (later on molded plastic) magazine and a proper flash hider/muzzle brake.


Folding stock version of the AK-74. Note the stock is now a side folder.


On issue since the early '80s these all have side-folding synthetic full stocks and an optics rail on the LHS of the receiver.


Intended as a PDW for vehicle and A/C crews, this is one noisy SOB to fire and despite the expansion chamber mounted on the front it also gives a very bright muzzle flash. The flip-up rear sight can optimistically be set to 400 metres, but the short bbl greatly diminishes the muzzle velocity and contributes to inaccuracy at ranges over 150-20 metres.

As the AK-74, AKS-74 and the AK-74M all have a bbl length of just over 16" (40 cms) and the AKS-74U has only eight inches, (20-21cms,) it is obviously much shorter, at a tad under 20" with the stock folded.

'Shortened' in Russian is 'ukorochennyj,' so work this out:Avtomat Kalashnikova Skladnoy 74 Ukorochennyj