Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle
is a newest creation of the IZMASH factory. It is intended to replace in production older Kalashnikov AK-74M
-series rifles for domestic use (by Russian army and LE), as well as for export. It was first displayed to press in January, 2012, and is believed to be still in development. AK-12 apparently stands for “Avtomat Kalashnikova, 2012
”. Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle is planned to be available in two versions – “light” and “heavy”, with former adapted for cartridges like 5.45x39, 5.56x45, 6.5 Grendel and 7,62x39, and the latter for more powerful cartridges like 7,62x51 NATO. The main goal in development of the Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle appears to be to improve ergonomics and tactical flexibility of the weapon, while maintaining traditional high reliability and simplicity of the parent weapon. It is yet to be seen if Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle will live up to these expectations.
Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle is gas operated, selective fire weapon using traditional “Kalashnikov type” action with long stroke gas piston and rotary bolt locking. Barrel has improved rifling for better accuracy, and a revised muzzle brake with NATO-standard external diameter of 22mm, allowing launching of rifle grenades of foreign manufacture. The receiver is redesigned, key modification being new top cover of more rigid design. It is hinged at the front and opens up and forward for disassembly and maintenance. Top cover latch release lever is located at the rear of receiver, right side, behind the safety. Safety / fire selector unit is also revised, to provide more ergonomic ambidextrous switch with 4 positions (Safe, Semi-auto, 3-rd bursts, Automatic). Safety / selector levers are located above the pistol grip, at both sides of the gun. Charging handle is moved forward to be removably attached to the gas piston, and can be installed on either side of the gun. New side-folding, telescoping adjustable stock is provided for AK-12. Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle features integral Picatinny rail at the top cover, and additional accessory rails at the top and both sides of the forend. Bottom section of the forend is available in two versions – with rail (to accept various ‘tactical’ accessories like lights and foregrips) or plain one (to accept standard 40mm grenade launchers like GP-25 or GP-30). In “light” version Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle will accept all ‘legacy’ magazines
in its respective caliber, such as 30-round AKM or AK-74 and 40-round RPK
/ 45-round RPK-74
magazines. Additionally, new, 4-stack, 60-round box magazine is planned to be issued for AK-12.