A Free-Floating AK: Arsenal’s AK20 – SHOT Show 2020

Arsenal In., brining meaningful changes to the AK platform.

For more information, please visit Arsenal Inc.

If you are a fan of the AK, you love it for what it is.  A solid, reliable rifle that has been proven around the world.  What it isn’t, is the most modern of designs.  This year, at SHOT Show 2020, Arsenal Inc. has updated the platform with some meaningful changes.  Keeping what works, but also bringing a little of the 21st century to the table: meet the AK20.

For starters, what is unchanged?  The receiver and operating system are exactly the same.  The one exception being the rear QD sockets on the receiver’s left and right side.  Currently the AK20 is only offered with milled receivers, but in Q3 a stamped version will be introduced.

The receivers, while almost completely unchanged, will now feature a QD socket on either side for mounting your sling.

As far as improvements go, they have actually free-floated the barrel.  Rather than handguards making contact with the barrel at numerous places, Arsenal has created a free-floating aluminum rail that is attached to the receiver in a similar fashion of how a rail attaches to a barrel nut on an AR-15.  This provides a continuous top rail for mounting optics and accessories, stretching back over the dust cover. 

SEE ALSO: First Ever “Bedded Action” AR-15 Sub-MOA Athena Rifle $1,799 – SHOT Show 2020

Around the rail are M-LOK slots for mounting any other accessories as well.  This feature alone brings a ton of modularity into a design that has largely been hard to accessorize. For a lightweight variant, they will offer a polymer handguard with a stainless steel heat shield.

The free-floating rail increases accuracy and makes mounting accessories much easier.

The AK20 also has a free-floated gas tube, which can be removed for cleaning.  Integrated into the design is an adjustable gas system featuring three positions.  It can be moved from open, for regular ammunition, suppressed, or off.  The off position will cut off all the gas and require the rifle to be cycled manually.

The new gas system offers three separate settings, to include one for shooting suppressed.

As far as barrel lengths go, the AK20 will be available in 8.5”, 10.5”, and 16.5” configurations.  The barrels are threaded to accept Arsenal’s suppressors which will be available Q3.  If you want to use your own muzzle device, the barrels feature a 14×1 left hand thread pitch.

The new AK20 will be offered in 3 different barrel lengths.

Currently the AK20 is offered in 7.62×39 and 12.7×42.  You will be able to purchase the Arsenal AK20 starting in Q1. The MSRP of the 16.5” rifle is $2,100.

For more information, please visit Arsenal Inc.

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About the author: Ivan Loomis has spent a lot of time outdoors, backpacking and camping as well as extensive international travel. Eventually, he landed in the Marine Corps in the late 90’s. After a hiatus from the service to race the Baja 1000 a couple times, he reenlisted with the Air Force. Departing that he wound up in a large metropolitan Police Department for a spell before landing in the Security Contracting world.One constant through these experiences was gear and weapons. Having spent time in a lot of environments and with the opportunity to field a lot of equipment, he’s grown fond of well-made gear.He now shares those experiences, adventures, and knowledge through contributing articles and videos to various publications, including his own site: www.kitbadger.com

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Tommygun851 February 5, 2020, 1:00 pm

    I thought that they would be boasting about how accurate it was because of all the design improvements! No one took it out on range day? In all, seems like an improvement on the AK platform. But it will never have the modularity that the AR has! Just slap on a different upper and it will handle any job from close hand urban fighting to long range sniping!

  • james martin February 5, 2020, 12:54 pm

    I’ve been staring at this thing all morning. Could they have made the QD hole through the back of that receiver and worse looking?

  • Green tip February 5, 2020, 12:29 pm

    Wait..? The FIRST 200 “are going to be REAL NICE ‘FOR the collectors’?! What’s up with THAT? I suppose AFTER the 200 QC falls off and we CAN’T EXPECT as much or as ‘good’ an AK20? That doesn’t sound real good to me as a possible BUYER of what I thought seemed to be some serious innovation to the AK platform. That’s the long way of saying I LIKE what I saw. BUT, ‘if’ Arsenal can’t GUARANTEE their QC throughout production, and I’m NOT trying to be naive…what’s the point? Bottom line: Words MATTER…

    • johnnyraygun February 5, 2020, 4:08 pm

      Good question, I think they were saying the first 200 are milled receivers and after that a stamped receiver will be the norm. In my opinion stamped receivers are better than milled. Stamped receivers have more flex and an AK runs, and runs, because tolerances are not as important as an AR. AK just keeps throwing lead,, not as accurate, but that is not what that caliber/rifle was meant to do.

  • Kole February 5, 2020, 12:11 pm

    For the price. That’s a joke. You can re dress just about any AK for less than this thing costs. I have a AK with the Texas dust cover rail system. Shoots the same shit. Just not worth that kind of money to me. You can buy or build a pretty nice AR for the price of this AK. Plus have better caliber options. So no thanks I’ll pass on this thing.

  • james martin February 5, 2020, 9:48 am

    They could of put more thought into the rail system. I think a hinged railed or mlok dust cover with a quick release pin would of a nice add. I don’t like the cantilevered rail. Feels like it could get bent if dropped Wrong. I like the adjustable gas block though. If I’m paying 2k for an AK, it has to run me right is all I’m saying.

  • johnnyraygun February 5, 2020, 8:40 am

    I would like to see how the piston system is attached to the barrel and to the receiver. Even an AR has a tube from gas block to receiver….. Can’t imagine the piston not restricting the free float barrel. At $2,100, I will never know, I can get a lot of rifle, in a better performing caliber, for that.

  • Kb31416 February 5, 2020, 6:38 am

    Lots of lipstick on that pig…

    • G.O.A. Patriot February 5, 2020, 8:40 am

      The accuracy of the Kalashnikov rifle is wrongly maligned. Although not the tack drivers my AR’s are, I can shoot 1.5 inch groups at a hundred yards with my Romanian AK with an CMR scope mounted on a Parabellum Armaments rail that is rock solid.

      • Big Al February 5, 2020, 6:14 pm

        Hmm, maybe you know him, but he didn’t ‘diss’ the AK for it’s accuracy in his post, he simply dissed it.
        I personally always felt it was an ugly gun, and I know I’m not alone.

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