From Academic Kids

Technical Summary
Caliber: 5.45 mm
Empty Mass: 3.85 kg (8.5 lb)
Firearm action: Gas actuated selective fire
Manufacturer: Izhmash
Barrel Length: 405 mm (16.2 in)
Overall Length: 943 mm (37.7 in)
Magazine: 30 rounds
Max Range: 700 m (2296 ft)
Effective Range: 400 m (1312 ft)
Cyclic ROF: 1800 or 600 round/min

The AN-94 is a new Russian assault rifle. The acronym stands for Avtomat Nikonova (after Gennadiy Nikonov) Model 1994, and it was chosen over many other competing firearms in an extensive trial, including one designed by a team led by the son of Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47. The AN-94 was designed at the Izhmash state factories, as a replacement for the aging AK-74 assault rifle currently in use in the Russian military. Currently, the Russian military is retaining the AK-74M as its standard shoulder arm and the AN-94 is only being issued to the elite forces of the Russian military, some Russian police forces, and the Internal Ministry of Affairs.

It is chambered in the same 5.45 x 39 mm cartridge as the AK-74, and it too utilizes a rotating bolt to lock the action. This is where the similarities end. Nikonov and the other engineers use the Russian term "смещенный импульс свободного затвора" to describe the rifle's method of operation, meaning "blowback shifted pulse." When the bolt-carrier is driven backwards by the force of the gas from the cartridge, a pulley activates a cartridge-feeding device. This mechanism allows a much higher rate of fire than would otherwise be possible. This high rate of fire (1800 round/min) is employed in two-round bursts. These form the first two shots on fully-automatic fire, with following rounds fired at 600 rds/min. This is highly effective against body armour – the second round impacts at the same point as the first, enabling the penetration of armour that a conventional 5.45 mm weapon cannot. For this reason it is employed by certain anti-terrorist army units.

The rear peep sight is a dramatic improvement over the standard Kalashnikov notch and post. The muzzle brake is much more effective and is less harsh on the ears than the AK-74.

The AN-94 costs five to six times more to produce than the AK-74. The internal mechanism of the AN-94 is extremely complex and much harder to maintain than the AK-74, so it also costs more to train soldiers to look after it effectively. Additionally the weapon has very poor ergonomics, notably an uncomfortable pistol grip and a folding stock that covers the trigger (rendering the weapon unusable) when AN-94


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