Military Review

AK-308. Cold War Classics and NATO Ammunition 7,62x51 (.308 Win)

60

Centenary



Celebrating the centenary of the birth of the legendary Soviet designer Mikhail Kalashnikov, the eponymous concern introduced the world to the latest incarnation of its time-tested weapons. The latest AK-308 can fire NATO cartridges, which gives the Russian manufacturer an advantage over Western competitors.

The city of Kurya, located along a deserted road near the Kazakh border of Russia, is far from the world battlefields. The nearest major city, Novosibirsk, is a six-hour drive away. However, the most famous son of Kurya made an invention that will lead to revolutions, cross national borders and change modern warfare.

Mikhail Kalashnikov was born in Kurye on 10 on November 1919 of the year in a peasant family. An enthusiastic inventor, Kalashnikov designed his career-defining masterpiece - an 1947 model of the year, or AK-47. The machine was adopted by the Soviet military two years later, mass production began in the industrial city of Izhevsk.

The Izhevsk Mechanical Plant in the next 70 years after that will produce from 75 to 100 million units of this machine. In the form of small arms of national armies and terrorist groups, police and criminals, AK-47 and its variants appeared in hot spots and in conflict zones around the world. And a lot of various fakes and copies of this Soviet machine gun shows its true popularity, which cannot be overestimated.

Renowned for its indestructible reliability and power, the AK drove the Yankees out of Vietnam and threatened American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan four decades later. AK-47 is depicted on the national flag of Mozambique, as well as on the arms of East Timor and Zimbabwe.

Upgraded Classic


The latest version of the weapon, the AK-308, stands out from a number of similar ones thanks to a unique feature: this updated version of the Cold War classic can fire an 7,62 × 51 mm NATO cartridge.


At first glance, the new machine is slightly longer and heavier than the previous AK-12. But he inherited many of the best tactical and technical characteristics of his predecessor, including an adjustable folding butt and an upgraded gas pipe. The 7,62 × 51 mm caliber cartridge was originally developed for the American-made M14 rifle and M60 machine gun in the late 1950's, but now it is used in the mass of modern Western-style firearms, for example, the Israeli IWI Tavor or the Belgian FN SCAR.

The AK-308 model was officially adopted by the Russian army primarily in the Marine Corps and in the elite airborne troops. But it is oriented more, as the developers note, to the western arms market.

Potential buyers will be offered not only the machine itself, but also an armor-piercing cartridge of Russian production. “We will complete all tests this year and will send out commercial offers next year,” said Sergey Urzhumtsev, chief designer of the Kalashnikov concern.

“First of all, the AK-308 is an assault rifle for export,” echoes Urzhumtsev Maxim Popenker, a well-known weapons expert who was previously marketing director at Kalashnikov Design Bureau. “The 7,62 × 51 mm cartridge provides great penetration, which is crucial for fighting in mountainous, desert or urban environments,” he explained.

Ending NATO Dominance


The new machine should primarily interest the military in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Nato’s weapons are mostly used there now, but the AK-308 can also fire NATO ammunition, so it’s fully compatible with the arsenal of the Gulf or APR armies. This is what Kalashnikov’s marketers are counting on.

“These may be those countries that previously used North Atlantic Alliance firearms and 7,62 × 51 mm caliber cartridges,” suggested Alexei Leonkov, a military expert from Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine. “I think that designing the AK-308 was a commercial move, smart enough and appropriate to squeeze Western-made rifles into the global arms and ammunition market.”

However, the Izhevsk manufacturer does not rely solely on AK-308. Kalashnikov’s director Dmitry Tarasov noted in October that other company rifles, AK-200, 201, 202, 203 and 204, as well as rifles based on AK-12 and AK-15, attracted the attention of buyers at the state level in South America, South Asia and Africa.

The design of the large-caliber AK-308, however, follows the global trend, explained military historian Yuri Knutov. “Protective equipment is constantly being improved, it is becoming easier and more durable,” he said, adding that most body armor can withstand a smaller caliber bullet, such as 5,45 mm in Russia or 5,56 mm in NATO.

The 5,56-millimeter western caliber has been the main one for the US Army since the 1960-s, it also became the main one in the arsenals of the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance since the 1980-s. However, the larger cartridge, the 7,62-millimeter caliber, hits the target with a vengeance. After decades of dependence on smaller caliber BPSs, US gunsmiths are attempting to develop a new bullet that will be somewhere between its current 5,56 and 7,62 mm standards.

However, at the moment, the 7,62 mm caliber bullet remains the only offer on the market with such penetrative ability. If the Kalashnikov group manages to sell their AK-308 abroad, it is possible that in the near future, American soldiers will face an adversary with whom they will fight with the same NATO-style ammunition.
Author:
Photos used:
kalashnikov.media
60 comments
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. tihonmarine
    tihonmarine 15 November 2019 06: 11 New
    +4
    Glory to the Russian gunsmith Mikhail Kalashnikov.
  2. Pessimist22
    Pessimist22 15 November 2019 06: 28 New
    +2
    Well, with such a solitary fire only and the shooter must be qualified, in short a machine gun with the possibility of a single fire.
    1. About 2
      About 2 15 November 2019 11: 14 New
      +1
      But what about the weapons of the German company Heckler und Koch called HK417 under the caliber 7,62x51 and having auto fire mode? After all, in the opinion of people like you, it is not possible to carry out car fire from such weapons, however, the operators of the same seals (in the world of fur seals) are happy to use this weapons!
      1. Pessimist22
        Pessimist22 15 November 2019 11: 27 New
        +1
        Why is it not possible if he is present there? The point is the effectiveness of firing bursts from such a light machine gun, into white light like a pretty penny smile
        1. The comment was deleted.
      2. marshes
        marshes 15 November 2019 12: 35 New
        +2
        Quote: Approximately 2
        Indeed, according to people like you, it is not possible to drive a car from such weapons, however, the operators of the same seals (in the world of fur seals) are happy to use this weapon!

        417 seals are used in a sniper version as well as 416.
        1. About 2
          About 2 17 January 2020 12: 34 New
          0
          If optics were installed on the HK417, is it your sniper option? You understand the weapons like a pig in oranges. Seals usually put Trijicon ACOG tactical sights, and this is usually for fighting at distances up to 300 meters. And finally, the main thing at Hackler und Koch there is a sniper rifle HK 28 what do you think will seals use a surrogate for an assault rifle and sniper optics when is there a ready-made option? Learn the primer!
      3. Dzungar
        Dzungar 16 January 2020 15: 39 New
        0
        I believe that the NK417 auto fire mode is made just in case and is almost never used. Because with the usual caliber of 5,45 and 5,56 mm assault rifles and assault rifles, firing automatic fire at a decent distance is impractical, but certainly on this caliber. As far as I know from my own experience and from the experience of others, a solitary fugitive is optimal .....
    2. Catfish
      Catfish 15 November 2019 16: 03 New
      +3
      As for the machine gun ... The whole question is in the resource of his barrel, how much he will live when firing bursts with this cartridge.
  3. fif21
    fif21 15 November 2019 06: 32 New
    -6
    In Chechnya, militants also preferred AKs with an 7,62 cartridge, which gave them the opportunity to fire at long range. A standardization with the NATO cartridge, also gives a competitive advantage in the arms market. Well done! The Picatinny rail +, but the butt from AKMS, in my opinion, is the best option. hi
    1. Glory1974
      Glory1974 15 November 2019 10: 02 New
      +4
      In Chechnya, militants also opted for an AK with an 7,62 cartridge, which gave them the opportunity to fire at long range

      The AKM 7,62 has a direct shot range at the chest figure of 300 meters, and the AK-74 440 meters.
      Thus 5.45 hits further. But if the militants thought differently, then we are only a plus.
      1. Ezekiel 25-17
        Ezekiel 25-17 15 November 2019 10: 23 New
        -8
        All this is fine, but 5,45 has an unstable bullet path: branches, bushes and other rubbish can reject it.
        1. About 2
          About 2 15 November 2019 11: 07 New
          +1
          Isekil or how are you? Stop the snowstorm to bear about the 5,45 caliber trajectory, don’t you think that fools are sitting in the research institute and in the arms factories as well as the Ministry of Defense? If you really believe in it, then personally I doubt your adequacy as a person .
          1. Ezekiel 25-17
            Ezekiel 25-17 15 November 2019 11: 24 New
            +4
            Quote: Approximately 2
            Isekil or how are you? Stop the snowstorm to bear about the 5,45 caliber trajectory, don’t you think that fools are sitting in the research institute and in the arms factories as well as the Ministry of Defense? If you really believe in it, then personally I doubt your adequacy as a person .

            But I do not need to believe: I had to shoot from 5, 45 and 7,62, as I saw the tracers, I saw that you are lying. MO currently does not know where to put the supply of cartridges 5, 45. This is the reason for its adoption and not because it is better. By the way, I advise you to be careful with words and not make mistakes. See you.
            1. The comment was deleted.
            2. About 2
              About 2 17 January 2020 12: 48 New
              0
              Errors in the fact that you are just a talker? So a person who is little versed in small arms business can already see this without all your pseudo-orders.
        2. Glory1974
          Glory1974 15 November 2019 22: 50 New
          0
          but 5,45 has an unstable bullet path: branches, bushes and other rubbish can reject it.

          can. But under limited conditions, the tank shell will ricochet. Therefore, 5,45 rebound is not critical, although sometimes, of course, 7,62 is preferable.
      2. About 2
        About 2 15 November 2019 11: 01 New
        -1
        It remains only to hit the target at a similar distance. Nevertheless, the 43 cartridge of the year is more powerful than the 5,45 cartridge and therefore its penetration ability is higher and the range of the direct shot is lower due to the heavier bullet.
      3. Amin_vivec
        Amin_vivec 15 November 2019 22: 56 New
        0
        Do not confuse 7,62x39 (Soviet AK-47, AKM) and 7,62 x51 (NATO). The NATO is 12mm higher and the gunpowder in it is stupidly greater, there is also a difference in the weight of the bullet, that is: NATO shoots further and more accurately.
        I wonder why gunsmiths do not design weapons with the possibility of replacing a cartridge? with a universal receiving socket for different stores?)))
      4. fif21
        fif21 18 November 2019 11: 50 New
        0
        Quote: glory1974
        The AKM 7,62 has a direct shot range at the chest figure of 300 meters, and the AK-74 440 meters.

        Teach materiel. hi
        1. Glory1974
          Glory1974 21 November 2019 20: 30 New
          0
          Yes, there is an inaccuracy. But she does not change the meaning of the commentary. drinks
      5. The comment was deleted.
  4. Setavr
    Setavr 15 November 2019 07: 30 New
    +1
    famous for its indestructible reliability and power AK drove the Yankees from Vietnam

    I think that the Americans were not driven away by Kalash, but by MANPADS. As the Vietnamese appeared MANPADS, the entire American strategy for the use of mass helicopter landings went to the bottom. :)
    1. Pessimist22
      Pessimist22 15 November 2019 08: 37 New
      +1
      I think that the Yankees drove off the Vietnamese people with their stubborn resistance, bringing decent damage and demoralizing the enemy.
      1. The comment was deleted.
      2. L-39NG
        L-39NG 15 November 2019 13: 27 New
        +2
        The Americans were driven out of Vietnam by strong civil resistance within the United States. Vietnam, China and the USSR (Warsaw Pact) did not win there. The Opinion of the American people, American voters and taxpayers prompted there. They got up and said - that's enough, you’re tired of yours, not our war. And the state obeyed the will of the people. This is not Russia for you, where power can graze on hunched people on their knees.
        Forgive me, but this pensioner is kneeling before Medvedev ...!
        I'll try to insert a video, it may not succeed. so there I will give the address https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhNrqc6yvTU
        Can someone tell me how to embed a video?
        1. Foul skeptic
          Foul skeptic 15 November 2019 17: 07 New
          +2
          The opinion of the American people, American voters and taxpayers there

          This opinion did not arise out of nothing, but was formed on the basis of the results of hostilities.
          1. rhino
            rhino 16 November 2019 03: 54 New
            -1
            Such Opinions are not born out of hostilities. It's just that one of the journalists or politicians at the right moment launched the pacifist idea and it started. Plus a draft army.
            1. cat Rusich
              cat Rusich 19 November 2019 00: 02 New
              0
              + 47 killed in the battle of Ji-Ai (US soldier), 434 killed South Vietnamese soldiers, 250 killed South Korean soldiers, 000 killed Australian soldiers, 5 killed Thai soldiers, 100 killed New Zealand soldiers, 500 killed Japanese sailors. + wounded ... (Wikipedia data)
  5. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 15 November 2019 07: 32 New
    +8
    Oak article, clumsy language.
  6. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 15 November 2019 07: 38 New
    +4
    Mama !!! "After decades of dependence on BPS," BPS !!!! Article with a capital G!
  7. Jurkovs
    Jurkovs 15 November 2019 07: 47 New
    +1
    Automatic machine for a full-sized (not intermediate) cartridge. And they said that under it it is impossible to make reliable automation.
    1. Glory1974
      Glory1974 15 November 2019 10: 00 New
      +7
      And they said that under it it is impossible to make reliable automation.

      there are no problems with automation. The problem is to shoot with automatic fire and at the same time get somewhere.
      1. About 2
        About 2 15 November 2019 11: 17 New
        -1
        This is in the midst of experts like you think so.
        1. Glory1974
          Glory1974 15 November 2019 22: 52 New
          +3
          That's right. And in the midst of couch experts, they still cannot understand why they developed an intermediate cartridge, and then completely switched to low-pulse ones.
  8. Tank hard
    Tank hard 15 November 2019 07: 48 New
    +4
    The latest AK-308 can fire NATO cartridges, which gives the Russian manufacturer an advantage over Western competitors.

    And what is the advantage, actually? hi
  9. gorenina91
    gorenina91 15 November 2019 07: 59 New
    +4
    -Those. this AK-308 can only fire NATO 7,62x51 cartridges .., and of course it cannot shoot with our 7,62 × 39 mm cartridges (it is necessary to change the chamber, the gas chamber, and the store’s horns, etc.) ...
    -Then it’s not at all clear ...- And what, or something, the Izhevsk arms factory received an order from the “NATO states” for this AK-308 assault rifle ..; or entered into a contract to supply a batch of these machines in some of the "NATO countries" or "other countries" ???
    -How is that ...- suddenly at his own risk and the risk of starting to produce weapons in the hope that someone would buy them from "foreigners" ..; especially since this AK-308 is not suitable for our troops, because it has a "different cartridge" ...
    - Personally, I didn’t understand anything ...
    1. Ezekiel 25-17
      Ezekiel 25-17 15 November 2019 10: 27 New
      -1
      Quote: gorenina91
      -Those. this AK-308 can only fire NATO 7,62x51 cartridges .., and of course it cannot shoot with our 7,62 × 39 mm cartridges (it is necessary to change the chamber, the gas chamber, and the store’s horns, etc.) ...
      -Then it’s not at all clear ...- And what, or something, the Izhevsk arms factory received an order from the “NATO states” for this AK-308 assault rifle ..; or entered into a contract to supply a batch of these machines in some of the "NATO countries" or "other countries" ???
      -How is that ...- suddenly at his own risk and the risk of starting to produce weapons in the hope that someone would buy them from "foreigners" ..; especially since this AK-308 is not suitable for our troops, because it has a "different cartridge" ...
      - Personally, I didn’t understand anything ...

      Yes, it’s not difficult to understand them: they worked out for the future whether there will be demand or not; time will tell.
    2. About 2
      About 2 15 November 2019 11: 25 New
      -2
      If we eat our cartridges, then we will eat NATO ones, since ours are usually more powerful than the last
    3. tesser
      tesser 16 November 2019 02: 00 New
      -1
      Quote: gorenina91
      Personally, I didn’t understand anything ...

      1. In the American civilian market there are absolutely any musk ox. Including weapons on the Kalashnikov scheme under the NATO cartridge.
      2. In recent years, there has been a serious tendency for all special forces to return to the 7,62x51 cartridge, which provides a greater range of fire contact and a better enemy defeat in NIB. Even at the cost of refusing automatic fire.
      3. Having added paragraph 1 and 2, Kalashnikov piled a contraption, since it is in trend. Another question is that this whole topic implies a long accurate a single shot, and Kalashnikov was never famous for accuracy, like his typical operators from various younger brothers of the USSR. So it will be very strange if the product arouses interest.
    4. would
      would 19 November 2019 12: 10 New
      0
      Everything is really very simple. This sample is clearly aimed at those third world countries where the main caliber is 7,62x51, as a rule they have FN FAL in service. For example, this situation is in a heap of South American countries. And they don’t want to switch to a new caliber for a number of absolutely logical reasons. That's what AK-308 was made for them to be able to participate in tenders for the replacement of FN FAL.

      Once again, this product is uniquely designed for export and is not yet commercially available.
  10. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 15 November 2019 08: 19 New
    +3
    If the Kalashnikov group manages to sell its AK-308 abroad,
    Let’s jump first, and then say “gop”?
  11. sansan
    sansan 15 November 2019 08: 32 New
    +12
    The author, what city of Kurya? !!! This is a village !!! What is a deserted road along Kazakhstan? !!! This is a village on the road to the Republic of Gorny Altai, Russian Federation !!! The nearest major city is Barnaul or Gornoaltaysk !!! If only I would look at karate !!!!
    1. Mordvin 3
      Mordvin 3 15 November 2019 08: 39 New
      +2
      Quote: sansan
      If only I would look at karate !!!!

      What to look at? wink
  12. marshes
    marshes 15 November 2019 08: 46 New
    0
    Here is a replacement for African countries that still use FN FAL and G-3, although there are competitors from China and Israel.
  13. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 15 November 2019 10: 33 New
    0
    And why do not do under the cartridge 7,62x54r SVD? The device will turn out more serious, and in the west customers will be added.
    1. Fibrizio
      Fibrizio 15 November 2019 10: 48 New
      +5
      Because in the west there is enough of its excellent cartridges for all tasks in the 30 caliber. Do you want 308 win, you need more help - please, here you have 30-06, or maybe you need to shoot like a Marxman? Here you have 300 win mag.
      And the varieties of bullets for these calibers - a million and one. Do you want FMG high-precision type of scenario 167gr (under 308 or 30-06) and if you want the target to drop where it is - the magician’s paw is 185gr.
      And our cartridge holder is good only in that we already have it.
      1. Zaurbek
        Zaurbek 15 November 2019 10: 52 New
        0
        I put it wrong ... SVD under the cartridge 7,62x51 ....
        1. Fibrizio
          Fibrizio 15 November 2019 10: 54 New
          +2
          They do. It's called a tiger. But there are far more accurate weapons. And more likely they will completely replace the rifle and cartridge than they will breed SVD in different calibers. It seems to be going to this.
          1. Zaurbek
            Zaurbek 15 November 2019 11: 23 New
            0
            Under 7,62x51 they make on the basis of AK ..... and under x54 on the basis of SVD.
          2. Zaurbek
            Zaurbek 15 November 2019 11: 24 New
            0
            Microwave and lit x51, x54R, x57mm.
  14. thinker
    thinker 15 November 2019 10: 49 New
    0
    Quote: gorenina91
    Those. this AK-308 can only fire NATO 7,62x51 cartridges

    That's it - only. And the article is wrong И. The name itself, from the cartridge 308 Winchester.
  15. Undecim
    Undecim 15 November 2019 13: 30 New
    +3
    The Izhevsk Mechanical Plant in the next 70 years after that will produce from 75 to 100 million units of this machine.
    The author is an estimated figure, this is the total number of people produced in the world, in the USSR, Russia, under license and without it, in several dozen countries, including such exotic places as the Pakistani city of Darra, where handicraftsmen sculpt any weapon on their knees.

    The new machine should primarily interest the military in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. There now, mainly NATO weapons are in use

    The author is far from a topic like Proxima Centauri from Earth. The fact that somewhere in the course of NATO weapons does not mean that there are massively used assault rifles chambered for 7,62x51. To begin with, it is worth asking which countries and in what quantities use assault rifles chambered for the NATO 7,62X51.
    1. marshes
      marshes 15 November 2019 14: 02 New
      +1
      Quote: Undecim
      like the Pakistani city of Darra, where handicraftsmen sculpt any weapon on their knees.

      They don’t sculpt but collect, or rather “marry,” details from various Kalash yes idr. weapons.
      By the way, they produce ammunition, collecting shells and producing bullets.
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 15 November 2019 14: 13 New
        +5
        Just sculpt, that is, produce in the full sense of the word. And it is "on the knee", as the equipment is sometimes completely medieval.

        Trunk cutting machine.
        1. marshes
          marshes 15 November 2019 14: 16 New
          +1
          Quote: Undecim
          Trunk cutting machine.

          However, I did not know about it. Well done.
          And our money from the state will revolt, under it. Yes they will be lost.
        2. Undecim
          Undecim 15 November 2019 14: 17 New
          +3

          Making a pistol frame.
          1. Undecim
            Undecim 15 November 2019 14: 18 New
            +3

            Finished products.
            1. Undecim
              Undecim 15 November 2019 14: 22 New
              +4

              One of the weapons shops of Darra. All goods are exclusively locally produced.
          2. marshes
            marshes 15 November 2019 14: 42 New
            0
            Quote: Undecim
            Making a pistol frame.

            We are advanced at home laughing , but they didn’t even think about weapons. Although 3 there are milling machines and printers, thanks to China. And Ali with DHL.
  16. Alien From
    Alien From 15 November 2019 13: 44 New
    0
    Do you know what surprised you in the article? The phrase "if the concern succeeds" to sell this machine abroad ...... that is, the money for development and production swelled, but whether they do not know whether it will pay off ????? It is unlikely that NATO will be able to scare this product, and the money spent ..... thanks to effective managers !!!!
    1. marshes
      marshes 15 November 2019 14: 04 New
      +1
      Quote: Alien From
      Do you know what surprised you in the article? The phrase "if the concern succeeds" to sell this machine abroad ...... that is, the money for development and production swelled, but whether they do not know whether it will pay off ????? It is unlikely that NATO will be able to scare this product, and the money spent ..... thanks to effective managers !!!!

      Now Russia is actively working in Africa, so everything will pay off through loans and debts.
    2. Fibrizio
      Fibrizio 19 November 2019 14: 22 New
      +1
      Capitalism. That's how it works. Entrepreneurial risk is an integral component.
      I don’t think that something was thrown there. All nodes there are standard. The difference of all these AK-shaped globally only in the guise of a shutter and a chamber + openings for the exhaust may have a slightly different diameter. Moreover, there are a million options for replenishing saiga and boar in 308 caliber. Everything has been worked out there for a long time, because they are AK-shaped.
      A gas vent pipe has already been developed on the AK-12. By the way, it seems to me a logical solution that now it is non-removable.
  17. looker-on
    looker-on 15 November 2019 14: 50 New
    +1
    Quote: Pessimist22
    Well, with such a solitary fire only and the shooter must be qualified, in short a machine gun with the possibility of a single fire.

    Need a cut-off on the 2 cartridge