“Abakan” by Igor Stechkin: a unique machine gun, not accepted for service

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“Abakan” by Igor Stechkin: a unique machine gun, not accepted for service

“Abakan” by Igor Stechkin is a unique experimental machine gun, created at the end of the 20th century as part of a competition for the development of a new automatic weapons for the Soviet army. This weapon, also known under the symbol TKB-0146, was a bullpup (one of the layout schemes for the mechanisms of rifles and machine guns) with a shifted recoil impulse, which made it special among other models.

Work on Abakan began in 1981. The creation of the machine gun was carried out by a group of designers led by Igor Yakovlevich Stechkin, known for his previous developments, including the legendary Stechkin pistol (APS). The goal of developing TKB-0146 was to create a weapon that would combine high firepower with increased shooting accuracy.



One of the key features of the new machine gun was the above-mentioned bullpup design, in which the trigger is moved forward and located in front of the magazine and the firing mechanism. This arrangement made it possible to significantly reduce the overall length of the weapon without reducing the length of the barrel, which, in turn, improved the ease of use of the Abakan in combat conditions.

Another important innovation of the machine gun from Igor Stechkin was the mechanism for shifting the recoil impulse. In conventional assault rifles, a powerful recoil impulse when firing in bursts negatively affects accuracy, but in TKB-0146 this flaw was partially compensated for by a special mechanism that reduces vibrations and deviations when firing. This was achieved thanks to a complex balancing system and a special shutter device.

The machine used a caliber of 5,45x39 mm. "Abakan" could fire in two modes: single and burst. The maximum rate of fire reached 2000 rounds per minute.

The weight of TKB-0146 was about 3,8 kg, length - 794 mm, which made it compact and convenient for use in various combat conditions. The magazine capacity was standard for Soviet assault rifles - 30 rounds.

Despite many innovative solutions and excellent characteristics, Igor Stechkin’s Abakan was not adopted for service. Its main competitor in the competition was the Nikonov AN-94 assault rifle, which was ultimately chosen for mass production.

However, the work of Soviet designers was not in vain. TKB-0146 played an important role in demonstrating the potential for the use of offset recoil and bullpup designs, which influenced further developments in this field.

4 comments
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  1. +3
    9 July 2024 13: 26
    The issue with bullpups is extremely controversial. I had to shoot - I didn’t really like something. To put it mildly - not for everybody. No - it may be useful for specialists, but certainly not for the army..
    1. +2
      9 July 2024 18: 14
      Come on, the bull-pup has much better balancing and accuracy and recoil is lower; the barrel flip is more accurate, accordingly, I’m talking about the bull-pup OTs-14 Groza, not my words - the guys from Vympel said who had to use the barrel in a Chechen company.
      1. 0
        9 July 2024 19: 45
        For special forces, I don’t argue. For mass-produced weapons, it’s too complicated and the accuracy for a machine gun is debatable, reliability and simplicity are more important, a barrage of fire is needed. But I think the main thing was the difficulties in production and the price of the product, and the old guy AK keeps the brand therefore for special forces, and like the same OC Groza with an integrated grenade launcher
      2. +1
        9 July 2024 20: 36
        Personally, I don’t like it when the shutter clangs in my ear and the throttle hits my mug. And also - the inability to change the magazine without removing the weapon from the shoulder.