AK-12 is a newest creation of the IZMASH factory. It is intended to replace in production older Kalashnikov AK-74M and AK-100-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.
The 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. 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. B Although it remain with the "K" in his designation mrs Mikhail Timofevich (retired several years ago) had little to do with its design.
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