Military Review

The most powerful small arms. Part of 3. Russian assault rifle ASH-12

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The ASH-12 assault rifle belongs to modern Russian developments. This weapon adopted by the special forces of the FSB. The features of this machine, in addition to the bullpup layout, which is unusual for a national weapons school, include a powerful ammunition specially created for this weapon. As part of the design work on the “Exhaust” topic, a special ammunition SC-130 of caliber 12,7х55 mm was created in Russia, which can be used with a large-caliber special-purpose machine AH-12, assault revolver RSH-12 and a noise-free caliber sniping pattern, using a large-caliber sniper-type gun, a storming revolver RSH-XNUMX, and a noise-free caliber sniper-type design gun with a large-caliber special-purpose machine gun, RS-XNUMX assault revolver, and a large-caliber special-purpose machine gun of special purpose .


Virtually all military weapons today can easily be grouped into two unequal in size groups. The first is an ordinary weapon for a linear fighter, which has a set of balanced characteristics, combining at the same time low cost, high reliability, efficiency and simplicity, as well as special-purpose weapons. A rather unusual project of Russian gunsmiths - a program to create small arms for special forces called Exhaust. The most prominent representative of this program was the large-caliber Russian ASH-12.

At the beginning of the 2000s, when there was a turning point in the course of the second campaign in Chechnya, the Russian special units had already accumulated quite a wide experience in conducting military operations under special conditions. First of all, it was about assault tasks solved in the conditions of low-rise rural and high-rise urban development, mountainous terrain. Given this specificity, the special forces fighters needed weapons for short-range combat, which had a high bullet momentum, capable of piercing, if necessary, substantial obstacles of brick or stone, as well as possibly allowing silent shooting.

The most powerful small arms. Part of 3. Russian assault rifle ASH-12
Viktor Zelenko, Chief Designer of TsKIB SOO for small arms and cannon armament, demonstrates an assault rifle ASH-12, photo: Ilya Kedrov, magazine "National Defense"

As part of the implementation of this request, the Special Purpose Center of the Federal Security Service of Russia, the Central Design and Research Bureau of sports and hunting weapons in Tula has begun to create a new large-caliber complex for special forces, designed for the 130 mm cartridge SP-12,7 specially designed for the new line of weapons. By analogy with the already existing pair of AS Val and ASV Vintorez rifles, the complex consisted of a large-caliber ASH-12 assault rifle, Vsshp VSSK sniper rifle, and an RSH-12 assault revolver. In more detail we will focus on the machine, which was first presented to the general public in 2005 in Moscow during the exhibition Interpolitech.

ASH-12 is a representative of high-performance "assault" melee weapons. The main and very bright distinctive feature of this weapon rightly refers to the used large caliber cartridge 12,7x55 mm, which provides a high stopping effect of the bullet while reducing the likelihood of third party damage due to the rapid loss of energy of the bullet while increasing the shooting distance. During the operations conducted by the special units, this is especially important.

12,7x55 mm SC-130 cartridge is a Russian rifle ammunition developed by TsKIB SOO specialists for flameless and low-noise destruction of protected targets and manpower in heavy body armor at a distance of up to 600 meters. One of the requirements of the tactical and technical assignment, in which the new cartridge was created, was its substantial superiority over the standard 9x39 mm cartridges (used with the Val and ASV Vintorez systems) in terms of real fire and striking action. The SC-130 cartridges use specially made weighted bullets and relatively short cylindrical sleeves with a length of 55 mm. The energy potential of such an ammunition is only enough for a subsonic shot. Standard rifle bullet caliber 12,7 mm weighs about 50 grams, the bullet subsonic rifle caliber 12,7x55 mm can weigh from 50 to 76 grams. The total length of the 12,7-mm cartridge SC-130 is 97,3 mm against 147,5 mm for the “ordinary” Russian cartridge 12,7-X108 mm.

ASH-12 with magazine on 20 cartridges

Due to the comparatively small (for the designated caliber) muzzle energy, small arms for the new cartridge turned out to be almost 2,5 – 3 times lighter than sniper rifles designed for using conventional large-caliber cartridges — domestic 12,7X108 mm or NATO 12,7XXNNXX mm. The ASH-99 assault rifles and the RSH-12 revolver use 12x12,7 mm cartridges created on the basis of the cylindrical sleeve of the 55 × 12,7 subsonic rifle cartridge mm СЦ-55 for the Vyhpot silent sniper rifle VSSK. Four variants of the cartridge for automatic weapons and revolvers are known: the PS-130A light bullet cartridge, the PS-12 bullet cartridge, the PD-12 cartridge with a tandem bullet (two-cartridge) and the PS-12B armor-piercing bullet cartridge.

The lightweight bullet of the PS-12А cartridge has a bare hollow core made of aluminum and a bimetallic shell; the mass of the bullet is of the order of 7 grams. The muzzle velocity of this bullet exceeds the speed of sound, but the combination of a large caliber and a small mass of the bullet leads to the fact that it quickly loses its speed and energy with increasing firing distance. The effective firing range using this ammunition is limited to 100 meters, while the bullet of this cartridge has a very high stopping effect on the target at a specified distance.

The PS-12 cartridge with a bullet is intended primarily for use in combination with a silencer, the heavy bullet of this cartridge has a subsonic initial flight speed. The armor-piercing bullet of the PS-12B cartridge is able to confidently hit most body armor known to date and poses some danger even for lightly armored enemy vehicles at short distances. The two-cartridge (duplex) cartridge with a tandem arrangement of bullets PD-12 is the most unusual of the presented cartridges. Such ammunition is used to create a high density of fire, for example, the barrage of fire. At the same time, some experts doubt the advisability of using such a cartridge with weapons of this class.

ASH-12 with a silencer and a magazine for 10 cartridges

Undoubtedly, the Russian large-caliber assault gun is considered to be the most powerful weapon in its class in the world. This is achieved through the use of a powerful low impulse cartridge SC-130 12,7х55 mm, which has the same caliber as the cartridge of the famous DShK machine gun. Due to the designated family of ammunition for various purposes, the ASH-12 machine, according to the developers' plans, must successfully solve a wide range of tasks to neutralize the enemy. However, it’s mostly about theory. Currently, nothing is known about the experience of practical combat use of the ASH-12 assault rifle and its ammunition. These data could most fully demonstrate the effectiveness of these weapons. True, it is worth considering the fact that the ASH-12 machine gun developed by the Tula TsKIB SOO specialists was adopted by the special forces of the FSB of Russia relatively recently - in the 2011 year, and most of the information on the design and experience of the combat use of such weapons is secret and not disclosed.

Separately, we can note the revolver complex RSH-12, which is a revolver with a solid metal frame and a reel, designed for 5 cartridges, which is tilted to the left. Used the same ammunition as in the ASH-12. The revolver stands out from its large-caliber counterparts with the following structural feature - due to the fact that the shot from the revolver is made from the lower chamber of the drum, the recoil shoulder of the RSH-12 model is less than that of most pistols and revolvers of the same caliber. Reducing the recoil shoulder leads to the fact that the revolver is also thrown up when fired. This technical solution, in which the shot is carried out not from the upper, but from the lower chamber of the drum, has previously been implemented in the OTs-38 revolver designed by Igor Yakovlevich Stechkin.

The large-caliber assault AS-12 assault rifle is built according to the bullpup scheme, which is not the most common for the Russian rifle school. With this scheme, the trigger along with the pistol grip are brought forward, they are in front of the magazine and the percussion mechanism. Designers have resorted to such a scheme when creating small arms in order to make it smaller and also to achieve greater accuracy in firing in bursts.


The receiver box of the ASH-12 is made of steel by stamping, and the box, handguard and pistol grip are made of modern high-impact plastic. In the assault machine applied automation, which uses the recoil energy in the short course of the barrel (the barrel is less than the stroke of the gate). Locking the barrel by turning the shutter. The shutter handle is located on the right side of the machine. The machine is powered by cartridges from detachable box-shaped double-row magazines designed for 10 or 20 cartridges. The translator of firing modes and the weapon safety device were made in the form of separate levers. The lever for translating fire modes is located at the rear of the machine behind the magazine, and the safety lever is located above the pistol grip for fire control.

To reduce recoil force during firing, the ASH-12 was specially equipped with a two-chamber muzzle brake-compensator, as well as a rubber butt plate. Instead of a muzzle brake-compensator, a muffler can be installed on the muzzle of the barrel for special tasks. There is also a version of a weapon equipped with an integrated drum-type grenade launcher (a rifle-and-grenade launcher complex). A window designed to eject spent cartridges is protected from dirt by a special hinged lid, like the American AR-15 / M16 automatic rifles.

The handle for carrying weapons can be equipped with a guide - a Picatinny-type rail, designed for mounting various types of sighting devices - optical and collimator sights. The machine can have several different configurations - with a carrying handle located above the receiver. The sights are integrated into the handle - an open sight with a full dioptric sight and a folding front sight. There is also a version without a handle for carrying weapons with sights on folding bases and a Picatinny guide rail located directly on the receiver. Fly on a folding base was transferred to the front of the receiver to increase the length of the sighting line, which, in turn, leads to an increase in accuracy. The rear sight is aperture, which gives the shooter an advantage in speed and accuracy of aiming, as well as in ease of use in low light compared to conventional open sights.

ASH-12 with an integrated drum-type grenade launcher

Due to the wide range of created ammunition caliber 12,7 x55 mm, the ASH-12 submachine gun has exceptional flexibility in solving various tactical tasks at ultra short and short combat distances. The advantages of weapons include the terrific stopping effect of a bullet that can stop forever not only a criminal or terrorist under the influence of various kinds of narcotic drugs, but also a fairly large animal, for example a forest predator. The armor penetration of cartridges at a distance of up to 100 meters makes it possible to overcome the protection of body armor of all classes of protection, fire through obstacles, metal doors and confidently hit unarmored and lightly armored vehicles of the enemy.

The technical rate of fire of the ASH-12 assault rifle is 650 rounds per minute. Box stores designed for 10 or 20 cartridges cannot be classified as roomy, but for a melee, this capacity of the stores should suffice. The main disadvantages of weapons include its large size - more than a meter in length and heavy weight - about 6 kilogram (with a loaded magazine and body kit), all of this is attributed to the costs of using large-caliber ammunition. At the same time, the ASH-12, despite its apparent roughness and massiveness, has exceptional shooting accuracy in contrast to the close caliber representatives of shotgun or shotgun weapons and, moreover, lighter rocket launchers, allowing the special forces to solve their tasks practically in a surgical style.

Information sources:
https://riafan.ru/576517-programma-vyhlop-poslednii-dovod-specnaza-avtomat-ash-12
http://mgewehr42.livejournal.com/39908.html
http://oruzhie.info/avtomaty/268-ash-12
Based on materials from open sources.
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27 comments
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  1. smershxnumx
    smershxnumx 15 January 2018 08: 48 New
    +5
    A serious argument ....
  2. garri-lin
    garri-lin 15 January 2018 10: 30 New
    +1
    More information about the modification with a grenade launcher. About the grenade launcher. It looks brutal
  3. brn521
    brn521 15 January 2018 11: 16 New
    +4
    due to the rapid loss of bullet energy with increasing firing distance

    Conversely, at subsonic speed, air resistance is much less. Therefore, energy losses are minimal.
  4. Smol79
    Smol79 15 January 2018 11: 24 New
    +1
    ASh-12 with an integrated drum-type grenade launcher. Can someone explain where the drum is?
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 15 January 2018 12: 21 New
      +7
      Drum in a grenade launcher. Apparently, the principle of "DM Products" is used here, only knock-out cartridges in the drum, and not in the store. To accelerate loading, only the grenade must be inserted
  5. leonardo_1971
    leonardo_1971 15 January 2018 11: 29 New
    +2
    The storm looks like an assault complex, only a large-caliber one.
  6. Valery Saitov
    Valery Saitov 15 January 2018 11: 57 New
    +2
    The human thought is limitless.
  7. san4es
    san4es 15 January 2018 12: 16 New
    +6
    Russian assault machine gun ASH-12
    soldier
  8. Naputeon bonaput
    Naputeon bonaput 15 January 2018 12: 32 New
    +3
    Good machine.
  9. Meshchersky
    Meshchersky 15 January 2018 14: 09 New
    +3
    Oh, to shoot ...
  10. Siberia 9444
    Siberia 9444 15 January 2018 15: 21 New
    +1
    Oh, I would have slapped him, created for attack aircraft with a 3W OVR kit
  11. philosopher
    philosopher 15 January 2018 18: 59 New
    +3
    Stop, but is the stopping action of the SP-10/11 bullet on the target at short distances not enough? I don’t understand, the SP-10 was not enough for distances greater than 200-400 m, and the “Exhaust” is designated as a weapon for short and ultra-short distances, but it allows you to hit protected targets at a distance of up to a kilometer. Something is wrong...
    1. The brightest
      The brightest 16 January 2018 18: 27 New
      +3
      And not so here mainly - that you are too lazy to read the article. A brief convoy is such, it was necessary to defeat targets behind the wall.
      At the beginning of the 2000s, when there was a turning point in the course of the second campaign in Chechnya, the Russian special units had already accumulated quite a wide experience in conducting military operations under special conditions. First of all, it was about assault tasks solved in the conditions of low-rise rural and high-rise urban development, mountainous terrain. Given this specificity, the special forces fighters needed weapons for short-range combat, which had a high bullet momentum, capable of piercing, if necessary, substantial obstacles of brick or stone, as well as possibly allowing silent shooting.
      1. philosopher
        philosopher 20 January 2018 16: 19 New
        0
        Thanks, I can read. I was misled by the wording “short and ultra-short distance”, somehow it didn’t even occur to me that I mean a meter distance to the enemy, which simply includes a brick or concrete wall ...
  12. Doliva63
    Doliva63 15 January 2018 21: 18 New
    +5
    The main weapon of the group anyway is the head. Then - a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Then - everything else, even ATGMs, at least such a monster. But the ATGM drags his calculation, and this monster for 300 km. Will the scout drag it? He is already hung enough, in my opinion. If only for some one-off atypical task. The main task of military special forces is intelligence.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 15 January 2018 21: 30 New
      +2
      Quote: Doliva63
      and this monster for 300 km. will the scout be dragging?

      What for? There is a car.
      Do not forget the "Special Forces" in Russia, the concept is very loose.
      1. Doliva63
        Doliva63 15 January 2018 22: 07 New
        +5
        "Do not forget" Special Forces "in Russia, the concept is very loose."
        So I specified - the military. Probably should have been added - Soviet drinks
        And so, yes, right now the special forces divorced ...
    2. Speedy
      Speedy 15 January 2018 22: 19 New
      +5
      He is with the FSB special forces and not with the army. They walk 300 km on foot unnecessarily.
    3. The brightest
      The brightest 16 January 2018 19: 24 New
      +2
      You have a photo, grandfather - designer, ASH-12 in size AKA does not exceed
      And here, a straightforward demonstration was used before and after, it was blown away right before my eyes, I waved 300 km in plastunsky))))) It is tearing))) In general, Yaroslavovna’s cry is not justified on the 6kg wiki, but it’s PKM or RPK without BC . And the army special forces (well, you mentioned it) suddenly have PKM.
      1. Doliva63
        Doliva63 16 January 2018 21: 49 New
        +5
        "And the army special forces (well, you mentioned it) suddenly have PKM."
        Have you tried parachuting with RMB? Suddenly laughing
        The company staff of the army special forces had nothing to jump with, alas. I'm about weapons. drinks
        1. The brightest
          The brightest 17 January 2018 17: 58 New
          +1
          Now they jump even with MANPADS and anti-tank systems.
          1. Doliva63
            Doliva63 17 January 2018 21: 29 New
            +4
            May be. I jumped in '91, a lot of water flowed, however. Although, it seems, they jumped from ATGMs in brigades even then, but this is no longer an army special forces, it is a district / group / front. And I'm all about my laughing
  13. Observer2014
    Observer2014 16 January 2018 20: 05 New
    +4
    When did you show shooting from this machine? Secretly. I understand. laughing
  14. Tatarin83
    Tatarin83 17 January 2018 11: 38 New
    +2
    The author messed up a bit with the cartridges. As far as I know, the cartridges for the ASh assault rifle are not interchangeable with the cartridges for the Exhaust rifle (it seems like you can shoot automatic rifles, but not vice versa). The dimension of the liner they probably coincides with, although I will not argue, but the bullets are completely different and differ in length.

    Here are the cartridges for the machine


    But these are rifle cartridges
  15. psiho117
    psiho117 18 January 2018 21: 54 New
    +2
    Undoubtedly, the Russian large-caliber assault machine is one of the most powerful weapons in its class worldwide
    yes yes yes again no taxes !! 11
    The Americans, with their .458 SOCOM cartridges (bullet weight from 16 g, 655 m / s, 3.478 J normal, and up to 39 g subsonic cartridge)
    and .50 Beowulf (26 g bullet, 550 m / s, 3.900 J) look at this bandura with bewilderment ...
    At the same time, they are fully adapted for the AR platform, and by replacing the upper from any M4, make an elephant, and at the same time it will not weigh 6,5 kg.
    I'm not talking about ergonomics, that you don’t need to relearn on an unfamiliar barrel,
    or that these cartridges are designed for a standard NATO store. Or that the .458 SOCOM has the diameter of the bottom of the sleeve the same as 7,62x51NATO, and thanks to its bottle shape it easily adapts to firing from civilian "bolts".

    It’s not that I was so delighted with the cartridges from our overseas partners, they just are an example of how must to do, but this Zlobin miracle - how do not.
    And judging by the fact that for 7 years this submachine gun was never seen by any fighter, or at any event - specialists agree with this point of view.
  16. Phoenix_L'vov
    Phoenix_L'vov 20 January 2018 11: 12 New
    0
    Somewhere I've heard that before ...

    Bolter and its variants are part of the most powerful portable weapons in the Imperium. Bolter is the weapon of the imperial Space Marines.
  17. ALEXXX1983
    ALEXXX1983 17 March 2018 01: 53 New
    0
    Quote: brn521
    due to the rapid loss of bullet energy with increasing firing distance

    Conversely, at subsonic speed, air resistance is much less. Therefore, energy losses are minimal.

    Large drag (caliber large) with a relatively small weight of the bullet.