Modern Firearms - Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle (Russia)
Select a country producer

Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle (Russia)

Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle, early prtotype as shown in 2013


Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle, prtotype that participated in "Ratnik" trials, photo taken in June, 2015.
Shown here with belorussian-made Red Dot (collimating) sight


Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle, prtotype that participated in "Ratnik" trials, photo taken in June, 2015


Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle, prtotype that participated in "Ratnik" trials, photo taken in June, 2015


Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle, prtotype that participated in "Ratnik" trials, photo taken in June, 2015
Note that bolt is locked back by bolt hold-open device


Author of this site is shooting AK-12 during Russian Army-2015 expo, June 2015
Gun is first fired in full automatic mode, then in 2-round bursts



5.45x39, 7,62x39


Gas operated, rotary bolt

Length, mm

945 / 725

Barrel length, mm


Weight, kg

3.3 (less magazine)

Rate of fire, rounds/minute


Magazine capacity, rounds

30, 60 or 95


Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle is a newest creation of the IZMASH factory (now part of the Kalashnikov concern). It is intended to replace in production older Kalashnikov AK-74M and AK-100-series rifles for domestic use (by Russian army and LE), as well as for export. It was first displayed to press in January, 2012, and is believed to be still in development. AK-12 apparently stands for “Avtomat Kalashnikova, 2012”.  Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle is planned to be available in two versions – “light” and “heavy”, with former adapted for cartridges like 5.45x39, 5.56x45, 6.5 Grendel  and 7,62x39, and the latter for more powerful cartridges like 7,62x51 NATO. The main goal in development of the Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle appears to be to improve ergonomics and tactical flexibility of the weapon, while maintaining traditional high reliability and simplicity of the parent weapon. It is yet to be seen if Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle will live up to these expectations.


During 2013 and 2014 AK-12 rifles were officially tested as a part of the Russian army "Ratnik" trials program. As a result, 5.45x39 and 7.62x39 versions of the AK-12 were recommended for initial batch production and field trials, along with its main rivals, AEK-971 series A545 and A762 assault rifles. It seems that at the time being only one version, chambered for 5.45x39 M74 ammunition, will be produced for troops trials.


Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle is gas operated, selective fire weapon using traditional “Kalashnikov type” action with long stroke gas piston and rotary bolt locking. Bolt group is noticeably lightened to decrease recol and improve accuracy in full-automatic fire. Barrel has improved rifling for better accuracy, and a revised muzzle brake. The receiver is redesigned, key modification being new top cover of more rigid design. Elongated top cover is removably attached to the receiver using two dovetails (at the middle and at the front) plus a captive cross-pin at the rear. To remove top cover, user has to push the cross pin out as far as it will go, then slide the cover back and pull it up and off the gun. Safety / fire selector unit is also revised, to provide more ergonomic ambidextrous switch with 4 positions (Safe, Semi-auto, 2-rd bursts, Automatic). Safety / selector levers are located above the pistol grip, at both sides of the gun. Charging handle is Z-shaped and is attached to the gas piston. It can be rotated to either side of the gun once the bolt group is removed from the gun during disassembly. When gun is fired, charging handle reciprocates along with the bolt.  New side-folding, telescoping adjustable stock is provided for AK-12. Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle features integral Picatinny rail at the top cover, and additional accessory rails at the top and both sides of the forend. Bottom section of the forend is available in two versions – with rail (to accept various ‘tactical’ accessories like lights and foregrips) or plain one (to accept standard 40mm grenade launchers like GP-25 or GP-30). Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle accepts all ‘legacy’ magazines in its respective caliber, such as 30-round AKM or AK-74 and 40-round RPK / 45-round RPK-74 magazines. Additionally, new, 4-stack, 60-round box magazine and 95-round drum are planned to be issued for AK-12 chambered in 5.45mm. Gun features bolt hold-open device which is controlled by a lever, located at the front of the trigger guard, above the enlarged magazine release lever. It must be noted that this bolt hold-open device works only with modificed magazines. AK-12 also features redesigned integral iron sights. Shrouded front sight is installed above the gas block. Adjustable rear sight has reversible (rotating) blade with aperture (diopter) on one side and U-shaped notch on another. To switch between options user has to raise rear sight and then rotate the blade through 180 degrees to either side.