Avtomat Nikonova (after Gennadiy Nikonov) Model 1994
Images of the AN-94 Abakan
Country Of Origin
Date Of Introduction
5.45 x 39 mm
Rate Of Fire
600 rounds per minute
943 mm, stock extended
More Information *
The AN-94 Abakan is a current 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 the AEK-971 design 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 MVD.
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 â€“ 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.
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