Recently, Izhmash showcased the very first prototype of the new AK-12. Two weapon is due to be introduced in two separate versions: light and heavy. The light version will be available in 5.45x39mm, 5.56x45mm and 7.62x39mm calibers and will be able to accept the same magazines used by current AK assault rifles. A new quad magazine with a capacity of 60 rounds is due to be introduced for it. The heavy version will be chambered for caliber 7.62x51mm.
The new features that will set this weapon apart from the other Kalashnikov rifles include:
* Smaller ejection port.
* Ambidextrous forward charging handle.
* New fire control switch with modes of fire for single shot, 3 round burst and full automatic.
* New safety switch.
* New hinged top cover.
* Folding and length adjustable stock.
* Quad picatinny rails.
* New muzzle brake that accepts standard NATO rifle grenades
* Ergonomic pistol grip.
* Improved barrel rifling.
My personal opinion is that this is a great weapon, but is a too little late. Most of the features implemented on this assault rifle should have been available on the AK-100 series that was introduced in the 90’s, and I don’t understand why only 20 years later do we finally see an AK with decent sights and fire select/safety system. Nevertheless, the ability to switch between three calibers is a an excellent feature which should come in handy for the Special Forces (who are the most likely to buy these rifles).
Second photo taken from guns.ru.