German A. Korobov, Russian gun designer from Tula, began the development of assault rifles soon after the World War Two, when he designed the TKB-408 bullpup rifle for 1946-47 Soviet Army trials. Despite the failure of TKB-408, Korobov continued the development of various assault rifles, both in bullpup and traditional configurations. During late 1940s, he tried gas delayed blowback action in his series of TKB-454 experimental assault rifles, all chambered for standard issue 7.62x39 ammunition. While these rifles displayed some good results in accuracy department, these also showed insufficient reliability. By the 1952, Korobov switched to the Kiraly-type retarded blowback action, with the two-part bolt that uses braking action of the lever, interposed between bolt parts and receiver. This action allowed for significant increase of accuracy, as well as simplification of design and production, compared to then-standard Kalashnikov AK assault rifles.
During mid-1950s, Soviet Army initiates new trials for improved assault rifle design in the same 7.62x39 M43 caliber. Korobov submits his improved TKB-517 rifle, still based on the Kiraly type delayed blowback action; this weapon was extensively tested against modified Kalashnikov AK rifle, as well a number of other designs, and found to be superior to all. Korobov was found to be most accurate and controllable in full automatic mode (primary mode of fire, according to Soviet tactical doctrine), especially when fired from the shoulder or from the hip. It was also significantly lighter and less expensive to make than modified AK. Nevertheless, Soviet Army preferred less effective, but familiar and already well established Kalashnikov AKM over the more effective and lighter, but entirely new design.
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