Russian firm the Kalashnikov Concern has put their newest lineup on display at this year’s Army-2016 Expo nearby Moscow. The updated catalog includes prototype sniper and designated marksman rifles and assault rifle designs including an all-new personal defense weapon.
First up is the VSV-338, a bolt-action anti-personnel sniper rifle chambered for .338 Lapua Magnum. The rifle is built to reach targets out to 1,500 meters away. It sports a lot of western features including a KeyMod handguard and 12 o’clock Picatinny rail for optics and night vision adapters.
The VSV-338 has an ambidextrous thumb safety and modular polymer furniture. The polymer foregrip, pistol grip and folding stock can all be swapped out to fit the shooter if necessary. The stock is fully adjustable in addition to folding away for storage and transportation. The pistol grip looks like an AR-pattern rifle which would give users a lot of options for customization.
It has an aluminum alloy chassis and uses a quick-detach barrel system. This is probably a multi-caliber feature, plus it gives users the ability to select different barrel lengths for different applications.
Along with the sniper rifle the Kalashnikov Concern is debuting a designated marksman’s rifle. Chambered for 7.62x54mmR the new SVK rifle is a fresh design using a time-tested cartridge. Russia has been using the .30-caliber cartridge for well over 100 years and has continuously updated the cartridge and projectile to meet modern needs. Additionally, the Kalashnikov Concern is working on a 7.62x51mm NATO SVK. According to Kalashnikov the SVK is currently undergoing service rifle trials.
The SVK is a drop-in replacement for the iconic Dragunov SVD and even uses compatible magazines. It also uses a short-stroke gas piston operation. But it’s built on a completely new “inverted-U” receiver with a full-length rail for optics and accessories.
It has a manually adjustable gas system designed to function smoothly with and without the included suppressor. And like many modern rifles it also uses a fully adjustable side-folding stock. It also comes standard bundled with a detachable folding bipod.
The SVK isn’t guaranteed to oust the SVD just yet. The Firearm Blog snagged photos of a simple rail system that neatly updates the original Dragunov rifle. While it doesn’t offer all of the improvements of the newer SVK it’s probably a much more affordable way to upgrade existing rifles in inventory.
Also at the Army-2016 Expo is Kalashnikov’s improved, updated MA compact assault rifle. By American standards, it’s a tidy little personal defense weapon, or PDW. It features a compact railed upper receiver and barrel assembly and measures less than 20 inches long with the stock folded. It has a dry weight at around 5.5 pounds.
The MA is chambered for the Russian 5.45x39mm cartridge and has a pretty large flash suppressor to compensate for the short barrel. The flash suppressor doubles as a sound suppressor mount. Like the SVK the rifle is built on an inverted-U upper receiver that contains the short-stroke gas piston system and bolt assembly. The polymer lower houses the fire control group.
“During development of new small arms we are closely interacting with our most competent users, combat personnel from Russian armed and law enforcement forces” said Alexey Krivorucko, Kalashnikov CEO. “We are sure that the MA concept will be in high demand from our military and law enforcement customers, because its light weight and small size.”
The Firearm Blog also reports that the Kalashnikov Concern is rolling out an updated version of the AK-12, the latest incarnation of the venerable AK rifle series. These photos show a much more conservative AK revision, much more closely based on the original AK pattern than early AK-12 designs.
At first, the AK-12 seemed like a big departure from Russia’s most famous rifle with a new receiver design and fire control group. If these photos are correct the AK-12 currently undergoing military trials is more of an update AK-100-type rifle with a captive railed dust cover — which is still a solid improvement when it comes to optics.
The redesigned rifle also has a railed handguard and relocated sights. The front sight is on the gas block and the detachable rear sight is mounted to the dust cover.
The Army-2016 Expo is about much more than just small arms. This year the event is home to new and updated tanks, armored personnel carriers, drones and more military hardware.