Six thousand rounds per minute. AO-63: Soviet double-barreled automatic project

Six thousand rounds per minute. AO-63: Soviet double-barreled automatic project

Double-barrel automatic machine AO-63, another achievement of the Soviet armory industry, called the "horror story for NATO." But, despite the very interesting technical characteristics, he never entered into mass production.


Technical characteristics and advantages of AO-63


The development of AO-63 began in the first half of the 1980s. At that time, nothing had foreshadowed the collapse of the Soviet Union; therefore, much attention was paid to strengthening defense capabilities, including various innovations in the field of armaments. Pyotr Tkachev (1934-2012) supervised the development, and they were carried out at the Central Scientific Research Institute of Precision Engineering of the USSR (TsNIItochmash).

AO-63 was a logical continuation of another project of the experimental machine - AO-38, which was developed at the same TsNIItochmash in the 1960s. The main feature of the AO-38 was the increased accuracy of fire in automatic mode, which was significantly higher than all small arms known at that time. However, work on the creation of AO-38 was postponed until better times. In the early 1980s it seemed that these better times had come, and at the Central Research Institute of Machine and Machine Tools returned to the design of an experimental automaton.

AO-63 implemented the principle of a double-barreled assault rifle, which made it possible to combine various calibers and classes of small arms in one building. The technical characteristics of the AO-63 were as follows: caliber - 5,45 mm, cartridge - 5,45x39 mm, weight - 3,68 kg without magazine, length - 890 mm. The maximum firing range was up to 1000 m. Moreover, many parts of the AO-63 were borrowed from the AK-74, which was taken as the basis for the development of the double-barreled automatic machine. But the AO-63 store was three-row.

Two barrels and ammunition of 5,45x39 mm turned the AO-63 in theory into a real threat to enemy armies. The rate of fire of the AO-63 was really fantastic: up to 6 thousand rounds per minute in automatic fire mode and 850 rounds per minute in semi-automatic mode. The delay between shots from two barrels was only 0,01 seconds, which turned out to be sufficient so that the recoil did not increase.

Designers calculated that the AO-63 assault rifle was superior to the AK-74 by an average of 1,59 times, and when shooting at targets lying flat and lying with one’s hand - 1,70 times. At the same time, both experienced shooters and beginners were specially involved in the tests. And in all cases, the performance of the experimental machine was impressive.


Why AO-63 did not go into mass production


The machine had great potential. However point in stories AO-63 project was delivered by Abakan competitive tests. Although the AO-63 turned out to be very good in accuracy of fire, the complexity of its scheme was an unambiguous minus. A decision was made in favor of the Nikonov AN-94 Abakan assault rifle.

Automatic machine AO-63 never entered mass production. But was it even to be expected that such weapons could be adopted by the Soviet Army? Its complex double-barreled design increased the duration of the assembly and disassembly of the machine by two to three times, also the adaptation of ammunition to a similar rate of fire was required. If for special units this could still be at least somehow an acceptable option, then for mass ("pan-army") use - definitely not. There were too many problems, and the real positive effect of using the AO-63 assault rifle was not proven. But the very fact of the development of a double-barreled submachine gun in the USSR, let's say, scared the West, and not even so much the professional military, but the media, who liked to tickle the nerves of the public with various stories about terrible Soviet weapons.

It is likely that, on the basis of the AO-63, the development of a more advanced double-barreled automatic machine would continue, but shortly after the tests, the Soviet Union collapsed. Domestic industry, including defense, was far from in the best position. The AN-94 automatic machine that won the competition was produced in very limited batches in the mid-1990s, and then its production ceased altogether.
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Photos used:
frame from the video of the museum and exhibition complex named after M.T. Kalashnikov
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  1. silberwolf88 7 June 2020 12: 39 New
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    Interesting information ... is it possible to use such a principle in machine guns and light guns ... it is very attractive to increase accuracy ... and the rate of fire (fire density) ...
    1. svp67 7 June 2020 12: 44 New
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      Quote: silberwolf88
      is it possible to use such a principle in machine guns and light guns ... it is very attractive to increase accuracy ... and fire rate (fire density) ...

      Especially in anti-aircraft and armored targets, as well as for "firing points"
      1. Donald72 7 June 2020 14: 42 New
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        GSH-2-30 aircraft gun.
        Gatling is resting.
        1. Klingon 8 June 2020 13: 41 New
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          there is a smaller option - GSH-23 (L, M and other modes)
          (2x23mm)
      2. Vlad T 7 June 2020 15: 40 New
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        Multi-barrel shooting is needed for an aimed shot by several bullets (preferably more than 3) before the start of recoil,. For machine guns and other easel winnings are not so obvious. For such multi-barrels, you need your own (possibly multi-barrel) ammunition ... Create multi-barrel small arms on existing ammunition, a dead-end branch ...
    2. Insurgent 7 June 2020 12: 44 New
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      Quote: silberwolf88
      Interesting information ... is it possible to use such a principle in machine guns and light guns ...

      How can one not recall the prototype of an experimental light machine gun G.N. Nikonov, on which he began to work in 1978.






      It was calculated under the cartridge 5,45X39, rate of fire reached 3000 rounds / min.

      And the designer G. Korobov, there was a development of a three-barreled volley fire gun TKB-059 made according to the scheme "bullpup"

    3. vkl.47 8 June 2020 08: 39 New
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      Some kind of zinit) a two-gun machine gun could be. As an option. Or easel
  2. Incvizitor 7 June 2020 12: 47 New
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    I think such assault rifles have big problems with accuracy, (relative to conventional weapons), especially when firing bursts of ammunition, the cartridges are eating incredibly, more difficult to manufacture and operate. Two calibers is of course good, but there are clearly enough minuses, very specific but there is a place to be.
    In general, a pro article made it possible to combine different calibers and classes of small arms in one building.
    It is strange that in the photo there is one trigger, maybe then it was worth doing two like Seliukovsky’s double-barreled shotgun, the trigger on the barrel to fire of your choice ...
    1. Aag
      Aag 7 June 2020 19: 08 New
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      "I think such machines have big problems with accuracy, (relative to conventional weapons)"
      In the article: "The designers calculated that the AO-63 assault rifle was superior to the AK-74 by an average of 1,59 times, and when shooting at targets from the stop and lying with the hand - by 1,70 times. Moreover, they were specially involved in the tests as experienced shooters, as well as beginners. And in all cases, the performance of the experimental machine was impressive. "True, it is not indicated what exactly exceeded. In accuracy, consumption b / p, or in weight)))?
      "It's strange that there is one trigger in the photo," ...
      You probably meant the trigger. Let's stick to the correct terminology, at least in technical matters.
      1. Incvizitor 8 June 2020 19: 36 New
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        You can call the “hook”, although I’m far from familiar with it, but with two calibers it’s not very clear right away I will shoot from 2 barrels, I would give an arrow for that ...
        1. Aag
          Aag 8 June 2020 20: 04 New
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          The meaning of the choice would be useful in case of very diverse b / p. By analogy with hunting combos (rifled-smooth-bore, well, or 7,62 * 51 (53) -5,6).
          1. Incvizitor 9 June 2020 11: 02 New
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            Maybe then between 5.45 and 7.62?
            Then the truth and two stores are needed.
            1. Droid 9 June 2020 18: 15 New
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              There were no two calibers there. Both barrels of the same caliber - 5,45.
            2. Aag
              Aag 9 June 2020 18: 19 New
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              I had in mind hunting guns "Squirrel" (IL-56, caliber 22LR-28/70), or "Taiga" (MP-94, caliber 12/70-rifled, -weights of options, from 5,45 NATO, up to 9mm).
    2. Catfish 7 June 2020 19: 19 New
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      In general, in the article about allowed to combine different calibers and classes in one case

      I understand that there is about one 5,45x39 cartridge and, accordingly, under one caliber on both tables. What combination, what with what?
      Technical characteristics of the AO-63 were as follows: caliber - 5,45 mm, cartridge - 5,45x39 mm, weight - 3,68 kg without a magazine,
      1. Aag
        Aag 8 June 2020 19: 56 New
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        Yes, and the store is one, three-row ... The author is not so much intrigued as ... left in bewilderment.
  3. Very interesting! Thank! Never heard of this. A wonderful, unbreakable topic.
  4. Dart2027 7 June 2020 13: 05 New
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    In the action movie "Red Scorpion" was a double-barreled machine gun:
    1. Insurgent 8 June 2020 07: 12 New
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      Quote: Dart2027
      In the action movie "Red Scorpion" was a double-barreled machine gun:

      Model, banter over SA ...
      1. vkl.47 8 June 2020 08: 44 New
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        Of course dummy))) judging by the drive from above, this is a Lewis machine gun. In body kit))
        1. cat Rusich 9 June 2020 00: 35 New
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          FN FAL (Right hand of the free world) 7,62x51 NATO. Top mounted a false trunk with a disk from Lewis. The movie "Red Scorpion" 1988
      2. Dart2027 8 June 2020 19: 16 New
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        Quote: Insurgent
        Model, banter over SA

        This is understandable, just remembered.
  5. Andrei Nikolaevich 7 June 2020 13: 07 New
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    Very interesting article. I read it with pleasure. Thanks to the author!
  6. knn54 7 June 2020 13: 20 New
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    -mass - 3,68 kg without a magazine.
    How much should the store itself weigh for the "double-barreled shot." And how much they had to be dragged. The standard AK store is enough (6000: 60: 2) for a second.
    1. asv363 7 June 2020 13: 52 New
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      Three-row, 45 rounds. Thicker than an ordinary horn for AK.
  7. Operator 7 June 2020 13: 57 New
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    All double-barreled, three-barreled, wilderness, balanced, and other child prodigies of handguns are stillborn designs already at the development stage, since the multiplication of entities (barrels, carriages, gears, etc.) reduces the reliability and functionality of weapons (AN-94, for example , wedges on the first hundred shots and self-disassembles after the first shot from an under-barrel grenade launcher).

    For the past 50 years, “ponies have been running in circles” - regular rake on the forehead with the same rake is evident when trying to do something weaponous for the old types of cartridges (completely ignoring the historical facts of the transition to the three-ruler and AK only after the development of new types of cartridges).

    As a result, customers both in the USA and in our country are forced to roll back and stupidly switch to a high-pulse cartridge with the refusal to conduct automatic fire from uncomfortable positions - what is called “arrived”: “Meet us SVTka is a beauty of 80 years of age” laughing
  8. dgonni 7 June 2020 14: 12 New
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    Another dead end branch. To create the density of fire there are light machine guns. 3,6 kg without a magazine. A three-row store, but for 45 rounds. And the three-row store is very likely to fail cartridge when dusting.
    So it's good that they did not take this device into service.
  9. Boratsagdiev 7 June 2020 14: 19 New
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    Too many trunks.

    And the impact on the enemy has a fantastic, just the same extraterrestrial winked
  10. Maks1995 7 June 2020 16: 23 New
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    As far as I read, excessive rate of fire is considered a big minus.
    It is specially reduced in conventional weapons.
    and then what is the "overwhelming"?
    1. Kalmar 8 June 2020 09: 39 New
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      Quote: Max1995
      As far as I read, excessive rate of fire is considered a big minus.
      It is specially reduced in conventional weapons.
      and then what is the "overwhelming"?

      To begin with, the "rate of fire" and the "rate of fire" (fighting the latter) are still different things. Then, they do not reduce, but try to keep in a certain range: too little or too much is bad.

      Finally, 6000 rounds per minute for the AO-63 is a short burst mode, i.e., in fact, a doublet from two barrels. This mode - a short burst with a very high pace - has its advantages: the recoil momentum does not have time to significantly shift the aiming point, while two or three bullets fly off at once towards the target, increasing the probability of hitting at least one.

      It is clear that a long line (without a limit on the number of shots) at such a high rate for hand weapons does not make sense: the horn will go away in a third of a second, the weapon will heat up very much, and its strong recoil ensures that most of the bullets go deliberately "into milk".
      1. Maks1995 8 June 2020 10: 00 New
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        Thank. Explained clearly.
  11. iouris 7 June 2020 21: 18 New
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    The dissolution of the USSR began to be planned in the mid-1970s. Such an assault rifle is not a scarecrow for NATO, they are not attacking in the ranks, but are bombed from the air. Just someone "very smart" calculated that if the Chinese were shot from the AK-47, then their numbers would still grow (but slower).
  12. Ross xnumx 8 June 2020 05: 49 New
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    I am pleased to put (+) to the author (s) for interesting collections. Live for a century, but you can always find cognitive information in the seventies.
    My opinion is that for motorized rifle units, the principle of a double-barreled assault rifle could be useful in developing weapons for lightly armored vehicles. The idea itself is just great.
    good
  13. Droid 8 June 2020 13: 37 New
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    The rate of fire of the AO-63 was really fantastic: up to 6 thousand rounds per minute in automatic fire mode and 850 rounds per minute in semi-automatic mode

    What are you talking about? How do you get 850 rpm in semi-automatic mode? 6000 rpm is the pace of a short burst of 2 shots, and 850 rpm is the pace of subsequent bursts of a burst. The machine is two-pace, like the AN-94.
    Why AO-63 did not go into mass production

    Because he was not accepted into service. And they didn’t accept it because it’s not a full-fledged machine, but a shooting mock-up for checking the concept.
  14. COLDAT_666 10 June 2020 11: 33 New
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    hello everyone I'm new
  15. Smirnoff 13 June 2020 11: 25 New
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    How justified is this rate of fire? What would the second bullet leave the barrel before recoil toss it from the first bullet?