The acronym stands for Avtomat Nikonova (Nikonov's automaton), after Izhmash designer Gennadiy Nikonov. The AN-94 was one of the entries in the Akaban rifle program, a Soviet counterpart to the American Adaptive Combat Rifle program aimed at developing a high-tech successor to the AK-74. Its competitors included the AEK-971 design by Sergey Koksharov.
While it was selected in the Abakan trials, the AN-94 was not widely adopted due to its complexity, difficult maintenance and cost, by some accounts being six times more expensive per rifle than the AK-74. It was used on a limited basis by various special units and civil services starting in 1995. Later models featured an RPK-style stock after complains that a right-handed shooter could not fire with the original stock folded, since it obstructed the trigger.
Due to poor sales and the lack of interest in further developing the AN-94, production was discontinued in 2006.
The Abakan TrialsEdit
During the early 1980s, the weapons listed below were the contenders of this trial:
The AN-94 is chambered in the same 5.45×39mm cartridge as the AK-74, and utilizes a rotating bolt to lock the action. The internals of the system are conceptually similar to the Heckler & Koch G11, with most of the operating components grouped in a secondary internal receiver which reciprocates inside the main receiver as the gun cycles.
Also like the G11, the AN-94 features a super-fast burst mode designed to chamber and fire multiple rounds in a single cycle of the inner receiver. Because the AN-94's magazine is not part of the reciprocating group, this requires a rather novel mechanism. A pulley is mounted inside the AN-94's handguard and links the internal receiver to a cartridge shuttle via a cable. As the internal receiver moves backwards, the shuttle strips a round from the magazine and places it on a lifter directly in front, allowing the action to pick it up as it passes. In the two round burst mode the rifle first fires the chambered round, then this round as it chambers it on the rearward stroke, resulting in a 1,800 rpm two-round burst. Firing is then sustained at one shot per cycle, at a rate of 600 rpm. The pulley mechanism and cable channel located on the left side of the rifle means the magazine has to be canted several degrees to the right to make room for it.
This burst function is highly effective against body armor – the second round impacts at the same point as the first, enabling the penetration of armor that a conventional 5.45×39mm chambered weapon cannot.
The rear peep sight is a dramatic improvement over the standard Kalashnikov notch and post. The muzzle brake is much more effective and is less harsh on the ears than the AK-74. It is theorized that the muzzle brake (shaped like a sideways eight) is either used to shift part of the rifle's sound signature into ultrasound or facilitate in self-cleaning. Information on the true usage of the muzzle break is limited due to the relative rarity of the rifle.
- Abakan rifle trials
- Abakan weapons 1
- Abakan weapons 2
- 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"