Sunday, June 12, 2011

Variant Kalashnikov AK-100 Assault Rifle Series

Kalashnikov AK-100, AK-101, AK-102, AK-103, AK-104 and AK-105 Assault Rifle

The Variant AK-100 assault rifle, also known as the Hundred Series, is a post-Cold War weapon group of Russian design based on the AK-74 assault rifle. The AK-100 series was actually begun with the production of the AK-74M (AK-100, an AK-74 with a folding plastic stock). The entire series is a family of assault rifles and submachineguns based around standardized parts but with different caliber chambering. Note that the 5.56mm NATO versions do not accept standard STANAG magazines. (For that matter, magazines designed for the Hundred Series have a bit less of a curve in them, but are still interchangeable with those designed for the original AK/AK-74 series).

AK-100 assault rifle

The AK-100 assault rifle series uses plastics instead of wood in its construction, and uses somewhat higher production standards, since it was meant mostly for export instead of domestic use (though the AK-105 assault rifle was recently picked to supplement the AN-94 in Russian service, and of course the “AK-100” is used by the Russians as the AK-74M). Most of the metalwork is of steel with a black phosphate finish; the barrels are cold hammer forged, and tipped with a muzzle device similar to that of the AKS-74U, but with a smaller conical flash suppressor which is also notched on the sides.

AK-101 Rifle and AK-102 Rifle

There is no “AK-100” as such; the rifle originally called the AK-100 by the designers was type-standardized by the Russians as the AK-74M. The AK-101, introduced in 1993, is essentially an AK-74M chambered for the 5.56mm NATO cartridge. The AK-102 assault rifle is a short-barreled carbine version of the AK-101assault rifle. The AK-101-1 is a semiautomatic civilian/police version of the AK-101, while the AK-101-2 is the AK-101 with a 3-round burst mechanism instead of full-automatic fire capability. The AK-101N2 and AK-101N3 are models with mounts for the 1PN58 and 1PN51 night scopes, respectively.

AK-103 assault rifle
Kalashnikov AK-104 Assault Rifle

The AK-103 assault rifle series fires 7.62mm Kalashnikov ammunition, and also uses a somewhat different muzzle device due the different requirements of the ammunition. Nomenclature is essentially the same as the AK-101 series: the AK-103-1 semiautomatic version, the AK-103-2 version with a three-round burst mechanism, the AK-103N2 and AK-103N3 versions with night sight mounts, and the AK-104 short-barreled carbine version. The AK-105 assault rifle series also has identical nomenclature, but fires 5.45mm Kalashnikov ammunition, and that all versions of the AK-105 are short-barreled carbines (the normal-length counterpart of the AK-105 assault rifle is in fact the AK-74M).

Kalashnikov AK-105 Assault Rifle

Not introduced until nearly 1994, the Hundred Series is a rather rare rifle group. Most versions produced are 5.45mm or 7.62mm versions, but a few 5.56mm versions were also made. Most of the Hundred Series ended up in use by Airborne, Air Assault, special operations, or VIP protection units, but perhaps 5000 or so made it into the international market, and somewhat ironically, were mostly bought by Americans.


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