Modern Firearms - ASh-12.7 assault rifle
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ASh-12.7 assault rifle (Russia)


ASh-12.7 assault rifle is being demonstrated by KBP's chief small arms designer, V.Zelenko
photo: "National Defense" magazine

 


same photo, close-up view on the rifle

ASh-12.7 assault rifle prototype with 3-shot revolver UBGL and silencer

12.7x55 ammunition for ASh-12.7 assault rifle, L-R: with light bullet, with duplex load, with heavy bullet, with AP bullet
photo: "National Defense" magazine


12.7x55 case compared to .499 LWR, .50 Beowulf and 7,62x39 for scale

 

Caliber

12.7х55

Action

No data

Length, mm

No data

Barrel length, mm

No data

Weight, kg

No data

Rate of fire, rounds/minute

No data

Magazine capacity, rounds

No data

 

ASh-12.7 (АШ-12.7, which stands for “Автомат штурмовой 12.7мм” or “Automatic assault rifle, 12,7mm”) assault rifle is a dedicated CQB / Urban operations weapon, developed by famous Russian KBP design bureau on request from Russian FSB (Federal Security service). This weapon is intended for special units of FSB which operate in urban environment against heavily armed and organized gangsters and terrorists. According to the Russian press, first batch of ASh-12.7 assault rifles was delivered to FSB late in 2011.

It must be noted that information below is mostly based on available photos, published patents and author's own observations and knowledge. This article will be updated as soon as more reliable and detailed information will be available.

 

As said above, ASh-12.7 is a dedicated “Close / Urban combat” weapon for high-risk law enforcement operations, which must combine high stopping power with limited penetration and short 'dangerous range', to avoid collateral damage to innocent bystanders or hostages. To achieve these goals, designers of ASh-12.7 assault rifle developed special large-caliber ammunition, loaded with variety of bullets. Ammunition for ASh-12.7 is based on the 12,7x55 straight-walled, rimless brass case, originally developed by same organization for silenced VKS sniper rifle. Standard loading for ASh-12.7 is a lightweight, supersonic bullet with aluminum core, exposed at the front and hollowed at the rear. It is partially enclosed into bi-metal jacket. Bullet weight is assumed to be about 7 gram / 108 grains, muzzle velocity is unknown. There also several other loadings, with heavy bullet (most possibly subsonic), AP with hardened steel core, and duplex load with two light bullets.

This new Russian “.50-caliber” cartridge bears certain conceptual similarity to a family of big-bore cartridges, developed in USA for AR-15 platform, such as .499 LWR or .50 Beowulf, although Russian cartridge uses longer case. It also can use very light (for its caliber) bullets as well as heavy ones, while its American counterparts usually are loaded with heavy bullets weighting 19 gram / 300 grs and up.

The ASh-12.7 assault rifle itself is of bullpup layout, with stamped steel receiver and polymer housing / stock. It is believed to have gas operated, rotary bolt action. Firing controls include two separate levers – fire mode selector (Semi / Auto) at the rear and ambidextrous safety (Safe / Fire) above the pistol grip. There are several configurations of the basic rifle. First one features integral carrying handle with built-in rear diopter sight and folding front sigh. A length of the Picatinny rail is installed on the carrying handle to accept various optical sights. Another version that was observed on some photos features “flat top” configuration with Picatinny rail running atop of the receiver, and rear and front sights installed on folding bases. Other variations include either a Picatinny rail below the forend or an 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher. Muzzle devices include massive muzzle brake or quick-detachable sound moderator (silencer)