Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nikonov AN-94 Assault Rifle

The AN-94 assault rifle had been officially adopted by the Russian Army and the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 1994 as a possible replacement for the venerable Kalashnikov AK-74 series assault rifles. The AN index means "Avtomat Nikonova", or Nikonov Assault rifle. This rifle had been designed by Gennady Nikonov, a Russian arms designer, at the IZHMASH state factories, during the late 1980s and early 1990s. This rifle, initially known as the ASN prototype, had been developed for and submitted to the Russian Army trial contest, held in the early 1990s. This contest, known under the code name "Abakan" (a small city in Russia), was intended to develop the more effective replacement for the AK-74 assault rifles. The ASN was tested among the many other prototypes and eventually won the trials, and was consequently adopted. Originally it was intended to replace most, if not all, AK-74 rifles in the Russian service, but it soon turned out that the complete replacement is impossible due to the economical (mostly) and some other reasons. At the present time the AN-94 is considered as the "professionals' choice", and issued in limited numbers by the elite forces of the Russian Army, police and Internal Affairs Ministry. The main body of the Russian armed forces are still armed with the Kalashnikov assault rifles, and AK-type rifles will remain in service for a long time, most probably.

AN-94 assault rifle, buttstock in the open position

The key improvement of the AN-94 over the AK-74 is the introduction of the 2-rounds burst mode, added to the standard single shots and full auto mode. The two rounds bursts are fired at very high rate of fire, and a trained shooter can make a single hole in the target at 100 meters in this mode.This allows for significant increase in lethality, stopping power and body armour penetration over the single shot mode, with the same "singles hot" accuracy. The full auto mode of AN-94 consists of the two stages -first two rounds are fired in the "high rate" fire, and the remaining rounds are fired in low rate of fire, until the trigger is released or the magazine is emptied.

AN-94 rifle, buttstock folded

Caliber: 5.45x39 mm
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt; moving barrel-receiver-gas drive group for delayed recoil action
Overall length: 943 mm (728 mm with butt folded)
Barrel length: 405 mm
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds
Weight, without magazine: 3.85 k g
Cyclic rate of fire: 1800 and 600 rounds per minute variable
Maximum effective range: 700 meters



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