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The AN-94 fitted with a GP-30 40 mm grenade launcher.
Type Assault Rifle
Place of origin  Russian Federation
Service history
In service 1997–present
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer Gennadiy Nikonov
Manufacturer Izhmash
Weight 3.85 kg (8.49 lb) (w/o magazine)
Length 943 mm (37.1 in) stock extended
728 mm (28.7 in) stock folded
Barrel length 405 mm (15.9 in)

Cartridge 5.45x39mm
Action Blowback Shifted Pulse
Rate of fire 1800 or 600 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 900 m/s (2,953 ft/s)
Effective range 400 m
Maximum range 700 m
Feed system 30, 45 or 60-round detachable box magazine
Sights Iron sights
700 mm (27.6 in) sight radius

The AN-94 (sometimes called the "Abakan") is an advanced Russian assault rifle. The initials stand for Avtomat Nikonova (after chief designer Gennadiy Nikonov) Model 1994; The AN-94 was the declared successor to the legendary Kalashnikov series of rifles after the 1980s Soviet Military conducted the extensive Project Abakan advanced assault rifle trials. Gennadiy Nikonov's system reportedly outperformed its many remarkable rivals significantly. Proving better still than the most advanced Kalashnikov ever, the 'AKB' designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov's son, Victor Kalashnikov. Thus the Nikonov AN-94 was commissioned for adoption by the Russian Military, with mass production scheduled at the traditional home of the Kalashnikov, the historic Izhmash state factories.

The AN-94 is unique in that it uses both a recoil and gas operated system, something the Russians refer to as a "blowback shifted pulse" system. The stated great advantage of the blowback shifted pulse system is its ability to 'postpone' recoil to the shooter, until after the round/s fired have left the weapon. This, it is claimed, enables more 'hits' on target under the most adverse combat conditions. The AN-94 offers a two-shot burst function at a stated 1800 shots per minute rate of fire. Simply, the Nikonov mechanism 'sneaks' a superfast second round into a one shot recoil cycle. This, in theory, increases the 'hit' probability, as well as penetration of body armor. It was chosen over many other competing firearms in an extensive trial, including the AEK-971 design by a team led by Sergey Koksharov.

The AN-94 was designed at the Izhmash state factories, as a replacement for the AK-74 assault rifle currently in use in the Russian military. Currently, the Russian military has chosen to retain the AK-74M as its standard service rifle and the AN-94 is only being issued to the elite forces of the Russian military, some Russian police forces, and the MVD. An interesting fact about the AN-94, setting it apart from almost all other Russian weapons, is that it is not sold to foreign buyers although Venezuela has shown interest in either acquiring the AN-94 or developing an indigenous assault rifle based on the AN-94s recoiling barrel mechanism. Peru also requested a purchase of 580,000 AN-94s to replace the Peruvian army's HK33s but the purchase order was dropped in favor of an indigenous Peruvian rifle, the FAD, which also makes use of a recoiling barrel system.



The AN-94 was born out of the need to resolve complaints by Soviet troops about the AK-47. The AK-47 and its 7.62x39mm round were no doubt rugged and reliable, but were hard to control on full-auto. They needed a smaller, low recoil high velocity round.[1] The AN-94 is chambered in the same 5.45x39mm M74 cartridge as the AK-74, and it utilizes a rotating bolt to lock the action. The AK-74 was the Russians' first rifle chambered in this new 5.45mm round. The Russians saw, however that even though the AK-74M was successful in reducing recoil, it was due to the round, not the mechanics, of the rifle. The Russians decided to hold a competition to find a successor for the AK-74 in the late 70's. Their primary requirement was to have a hit ratio of 1.5 to 2 times better than the AK-74.

Design details

A Russian soldier with the AN-94 equipped with a GP-25 grenade launcher.

Nikonov and the other engineers use the Russian term смещенный импульс свободного затвора (smeshchonnyy impuls svobodnovo zatvora) 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 (1,800 rounds/min) is employed in two-round bursts. These form the first two shots on fully automatic fire, with following rounds fired at 600 rounds/min. This, it is claimed, is highly effective against body armour; the second round supposedly strikes at the same point as the first, enabling the penetration of armour that a standard 5.45 mm system cannot. The rear peep sight is an improvement over the standard Kalashnikov notch and post. The compound muzzle design is intended to significantly reduce weapon report and muzzle flash.

The AN-94's upper and lower receiver are made from a modern fiberglass reinforced polyamide. It has a cold-hammer forged 15.9" barrel, with a chrome lining for durability. Another unique feature of the AN-94 is the muzzle attachment, that is called a "flash eliminator". It is vastly different from the muzzle brake on the AK-74M. The AK-74M's muzzle brake was effective at controlling the muzzle-climb but produced a very bright flash at night. The new compound muzzle design is asymmetrical, in that it features two oval chambers with a port on either side of the end muzzle. Also there is a vent hole on the upper right of the first chamber, that turns some of the gases leaving the barrel into an ultra-sonic whistle, similar to a dog whistle, that the human ear cannot detect. This is old technology but was re-introduced because purported complaints of wide-spread hearing loss from troops using the new AK-74M and its smaller high-velocity round.[2]

The AN-94 design is stated to be more accurate than the AK-74M. And unlike the AK-74M, It can mount a GP-30 grenade launcher and bayonet simultaneously. It, and the AK-74 can also use newly designed 60-round magazines.



  1. ^ Fortier, David M. (2003). "The AN-94 Nikonov: How it stacks up against its peers" .The Shotgun News Treasury Issue Volume 4. Primedia Publishing
  2. ^ Fortier, David M. (2003). "The AN-94 Nikonov: How it stacks up against its peers" .The Shotgun News Treasury Issue Volume 4. Primedia Publishing


  • Fortier, David M. (2003). "The AN-94 Nikonov: How it stacks up against its peers" .The Shotgun News Treasury Issue Volume 4. Primedia Publishing
  • Ружье" 1_1998 "Эйнштейн, Чехов и Платон?
  • Oruzhie magazine, Pages 6/7/8, Issue No1 1998.
  • "Оружие" 1_1999 "Под шифром "Абакан"
  • "Калашников" 4_2001 "Что ждет "Абакан"?"
  • "Мастер-Ружье" 60_2002 "Будет ли новый автомат"
  • Nowa Technika Wojskowa 2002-03/04.
  • "Ружье" 47_2007 "Какой "Абакан" лучше?"
  • "Калашников" 4_2007 "Не перевелись еще "специалисты на Руси..."
  • "Калашников" 5_2007 "АН-94 "Абакан"-это просто"
  • На пути к "Абакану"
  • "Калашников" 6_2007 "Методом проб и ошибок"
  • "Калашников" 3_2008 "Разбираем "Абакан"

See also

External links

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