Rocket Surgery: Inside the Russian Nikonov AN94 (Video)

Armament Research Services (ARES) is a specialist technical intelligence consultancy, offering expertise and analysis to a range of government and non-government entities in the arms and munitions field. For detailed photos of the guns in this video, don’t miss the ARES companion blog post.

The AN-94 Nikonov is one of the recent series of innovative new small arms coming out of the Russian Federation. In this case, it is an attempt to increase hit probability by firing two rounds before the recoil impulse changes the shooter’s point of aim – similar to some of the US SPIW project experimental rifles.

The Nikonov accomplishes this with a combined gas- and recoil-operated system, and a feed system with a third position between the magazine and chamber. When in 2-round-burst mode, it fires both rounds at about 1800 rpm. Normal fully automatic mode runs at a much more conventional 600 rpm, because the burst function can only work for two rounds successively before needing to reset. It functions by using a pulley and steel wire to use the rearward motion of the bolt on the first shot to pull a cartridge forward into position to feed while the internal receiver unit of the weapon is recoiling backwards. The second round fires as the receiver unit reaches full travel, and because the recoil is only felt by the shooter when the receiver unit hits its full rear position, this allows both rounds to already be downrange before the sights move. Contrary to popular myth, the pulley has nothing to do with balancing recoil forces in this rifle.

The AN94 is, of course, very complex and quite expensive. While it was officially adopted by the Russian military, it has not seen extensive service, and is certainly not being widely issued.

 

72 Comments

  1. From long term observation (first time I read about it was in 1998), it really looks that it is becoming “forgotten weapon”, or say “laid-off weapon”. It surely thru a monkey wrench into everything we knew up to so far, though.

    • One has to ask whether Nikonov is a genius or a mad scientist. Just how can this possibly act as a service weapon for relatively untrained conscripts? The M4 carbine is much cheaper and probably more user-friendly than the AN-94. Or am I wrong?

      • There is not much to do with any rifle besides of aiming and pulling trigger, be it based on 2-day introduction or 2-yars intensive training. The common perception of “conscripted force” is well matter of past; with most armies anyway.

        Here is a bit from 3rd party reading on the subject.
        http://www.sadefensejournal.com/wp/?p=2864

      • When Daweo shows up and I am sure he will, he will explain to us process of selecting hand held firearms in Russian forces. There has been traditionally an ingrained scheme of competing teams, which assured that what was deemed the most suitable (not necessarily most advanced) was accepted into service. Nothing of haphazard nature had been happening there, as far as I know.

        • “process of selecting hand held firearms in Russian forces”
          In 1966 ГРАУ created technical-tactical requirement for new 5,45-mm avtomat using new 5,45-mm cartridge, one of competitor was Korobov’s TKB-072 (Автомат Коробова ТКБ-072):
          http://weaponland.ru/load/avtomat_korobova_tkb_072/21-1-0-666
          Korobov deduced that for high RoF give good accuracy when firing from hand and bad when firing from rest and low RoF – conversely, thus Korobov make 2-speed avtomat which might fire 500 rpm or 2000 rpm and has burst limiter, second variant has additionally balanced recoil system. It give good results during factory trials. For providing ground trials ТКБ-072-1 version was made, with “slow” rate of fire only (as ordered by Soviet forces), it proved to be superior in accuracy area over Kalashnikov proposal but ultimately second was chosen (and become AK-74) as it was simpler to master production by factories.

          • As names imply AK-74 was adopted in 1974, but further development in avtomat area doesn’t stop. In 1978 competition Abakan (конкурс Абакан) started: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Абакан_(конкурс)
            its goal was avtomat of cardinally superior accuracy, following designs were tested:
            Designation (Designer)
            ТКБ-0111 (Коробов Г. А.)
            ТКБ-0136 (Афанасьев Н. М)
            ТКБ-0146 (Стечкин И. Я.)
            АКБ (Калашников В. М.)
            АПТ (Постников И. А.)
            АЕК-971 (Кокшаров С. И., Гарев Б. А.)
            АЕК-978 (Пикинский П. А.)
            АС (Никонов Г. Н.)
            (Калашников В. М. is not to be confused with Калашников М. Т.)
            Finally in 1987 Nikonov and Stechkin designs were judged as most promising and Korobov design («в факультативном порядке», that is optionally)

          • ТКБ-0146 was of bull-pup design:
            http://weaponland.ru/load/avtomat_stechkina_tkb_0146/21-1-0-660
            but it can be fired either right-handed or left-handed. It shows good results during trials but was considered to be too complicated and thus expensive. It features both “balanced recoil” and “two-stage fed”, its firing modes are as follows:
            Single
            Auto
            2 (2-round burst)
            In auto mode it will fire single if trigger pressed lightly and full auto if fully (look closely at trigger and you will see thing sticking from grip – this element is responsible for full auto mode)

          • And despite not initially succeding АЕК-971 is important as it was further developed into А-545 and finally adopted into Russian service (April 2015), it uses balanced recoil system, and also two modes of auto firing (burst 2 and FULL) but unlike Nikonov design RateOfFire is equal in both modes (800…900 rpm). А-545 is less accurate than Nikonov in burst mode, but more accurate in FULL mode.

          • This is what I expected, Daweo… and you are always complete and if not first time than with additions to follow. 🙂

            I did not know to this moment what TKB stands for… it is not that difficult to figure out. I see some models I was not familiar to. None of Korobov’s designs was adopted, as I gather.

          • “I did not know to this moment what TKB stands for”
            ТКБ – Тульское Конструкторское Бюро
            Adjective(Tula) Construction Bureau,
            numbers starting with 0 (for example ТКБ-0145К) shows that it was done by ЦКИБ СОО, however there exist also ЦКИБ СОО designs named ОЦ-… (образец ЦКИБ СОО).
            ЦКИБ СОО – Центральное конструкторско-исследовательское бюро спортивного и охотничьего оружия – Central construction-research bureau [for] sporting and hunting weapons. ЦКИБ СОО use ОЦ designation for military weapons and МЦ for civilian.
            ТКБ designation are for internal use and weapons system will get proper designation after adoption.
            Earliest (lowest) known ТКБ designation is ТКБ-67 for 7,62-mm mounted Silin machine gun which after adoption receive ГАУ designation 56-П-427 and adopted in 1939. Whatever it was produced or not is unknown, but 1 example can be seen in Tula Museum.

      • Maybe if it was scaled up… 30mm.

        I mean it’s a fascinating piece….

        Some sort of armour disruptor perphaps, like a tandem warhead.

        • You could have the main gun, above. And the scaled up AN94 below, to barrel lark, double tap first then an almost simultaneous main hit.

          De-ionized… Something… Hypothetical, illustrative purposes only- Electronic armour counter, which threatens traditional plasma jet larks.

          • Two barrels…

            Plasma jets are threated seemingly by this electronic lark, shaped charges like. They’ve made some magnetic armour.

          • Decoy like… Not a fan of this electronic armour, reminds me of Terminators… You can bet if they kill us, they’ll use it to do so- So it’s logical to think of counter measures.

          • Scalene triangle Gast gun… Anyway I’ll be quiet. Unless I come up with anything further, more further than then next screw he he.

    • Muzzle device of AN-94 is described as muzzle-brake/compensator/flash-hider, and is said to be quite effective but complicated for cleaning.

    • The patent says otherwise. It is a muzzle brake, a sound suppressor (though nothing to do with ultrasound) and a flash suppressor). This from Nikonov’s own patent.

      I have only read the ultrasound claim on internet forums.

  2. So that’s how it works
    Thanks Ian!

    The Russian state certainly has aspirations way beyond its means; nuke missiles, nuke submarines, surface navy, fighter planes, world military presence…

    And that wonderfully complicated rifle

    All on the back of an economy that’s smaller than the Spanish economy

    Yes, the Russian state has fewer resources to draw upon, than two of the PIIGS states have.

    • “And that wonderfully complicated rifle”
      5,45-мм автомат Никонова обр. 1994 г. never became and it is NOT planned to become default infantry avtomat – it is considered specialist’s weapon and used as such (for example 1-й отряд специального назначения внутренних войск «Витязь», known as “Vityaz” unit in English). Future of this weapons is unclear, but considering that А-545 is simpler and lighter it would probably replace, sooner or later, АН-94.

  3. Aha! It’s like the difference between a two stroke and four stroke engine… it accomplishes the same goal, but is ‘multi-tasking’ during the reloading cycle. Interdasting.

  4. The whole point of these “hyperburst”-capable individual weapons has always escaped me. Whether it was the SPIW, the HK G11, or the Soviet/Russian interpretations of the idea, the whole thing just strikes me as a waste of technical effort and time. Sure, if you’re basing your tactical principles on the idea of aimed full-auto fire while on the move, I can see the value, but… I don’t think anyone actually does that. I’m not even really sure it is even practical, and if you’re going to try to train the troops to that standard of marksmanship, why not just have them trained to fire on semi-auto, and reduce the number of magazine changes you need to make?

    I’m really dubious of the whole basis of this concept, to be quite honest. I see no advantages over carefully aimed semi-auto, and if I’m going to resort to full-auto suppressive fire, I want more volume and a bit more spread down range than I’m going to get with any of these “hyperburst” weapons. Frankly, if a soldier doesn’t have the time to make a semi-auto shot work, then putting a burst into the same area is going to be equally useless. The theory that somehow one of the projectiles will find them is, to my mind, specious.

    To put it bluntly, I think this technology is a blind hole, particularly for the individual weapon.

    I could be argued into changing my mind, but I’d want some trigger time behind one of these, and a very flexible range layout to work with.

    This capability seems like a fairly significant waste of resources–For the price of an AN-94, you could have a pretty decent set of optics to put on top of whatever you did choose to issue, and that would likely do far more for your hit probability than these things would ever accomplish.

    In the end, there is no “Royal Road”, no shortcut to marksmanship success: You must pay the tuition in training time and ammunition. You cannot, as of yet, slap together a weapon system that will effectively substitute for the purely human skills of an expert soldier. That may change, but I still would wager that whatever you create to do that will still be overshadowed by what you can accomplish with better and more effective training.

    • “Whether it was the SPIW, the HK G11, or the Soviet/Russian interpretations of the idea, the whole thing just strikes me as a waste of technical effort and time.”
      For me if you want to fire two bullets fast, simplest solution is putting multiple bullets in one case, though it must be of proper shape, see for example .321 Greener:
      http://cartridgecollectors.org/cmo/cmo07may.htm
      (this one contain 3 bullets)

    • Those are only theories.
      Feel free to correct it if something appeals you.

      -In some cases, let’s assume the standard cartridge is not enough for a specific role or distance (5,45 or 5,56 do “too light damage” compared to a 7,62M39). A double impact may have an interest in penetration or doubling possible damage without carrying a special type of ammo in a separate magazine.

      -Fast paced short burst may share some shotgun characteristics : only one sound, (almost) simultaneous hits.

      I suspect dealing with full-auto handling, rate of fire, distance and target movement require to compute more to realign everything between each shot. Quake player must feel it comparing electric gun (continuous damage) with gatling gun.

      To sum up :
      if we don’t trust semi-auto efficiency for a specific weapon/calibre and the rate of fire is not fitting a specific use, having a faster fire mode can make sense, either burst or not.

      • the next topic could be :
        can we make a reliable/easy to make&use/light enough/cost effective gun with fast adjustment for dispersion and rate of fire.

        Like a Bren which could be used as well as counter-sniper as a covering machine rifle, as fast spray “cleaner”, as…

        Bring some beers, snacks, and let’s re-imagine the world.

        • “adjustment for dispersion and rate of fire”
          For first I don’t know any feasible method for infantry weapon.
          For second: adjustable RateOfFire was in some early machine guns, which is quite logical if you consider that earlier crank guns (for example Gardner Gun) were adjustable – depending on how fast operator is acting crank.
          For example early in early Maxim machine gun, see 2nd row from top, 1st from left photo here:
          http://www.victorianshipmodels.com/autoMG/Maxim/maximgallery.html
          Other machine guns having adjustable RateOfFire:
          Salvator-Dormus M1893 (or Skoda M1893, delayed blowback), entry in wikipedia says between 180-250 rpm
          St Étienne Mle 1907 (gas-operated), entry in wikipedia says between 80-650 rpm
          ZB 53 (gas operated), entry in Modern Firearms says 500 rpm for LOW and 700-800 rpm for HIGH, BTW: I am not sure what you want: “binary” RateOfFire (LOW, HIGH) XOR “ternary” RateOfFire (LOW, MED, HIGH) XOR “notDiscrete” that is with smooth adjusting ?
          DS-39 (gas operated), entry in Modern Firearms says 600 rpm for LOW and 1200 rpm for HIGH

  5. This is one nightmare of a weapon.
    When i was denouncing Axel Peterson’s Luger Pistol Conversion as madness for its apparently unneccessarily complexity, i didn’t knew much about the complexity of the AN-94. Thanks to Ian, i now know what the AN-94 is like. I’m told that Nikonov was working on that system for many years until it worked as intended. After watching the episode above and listening to Ian’s explanation and comments, i dare to say: Either Nikonov is/was a madman – or he became insane over the process of constructing this gun.
    And M.T. Kalashnikov? He must have had one laughing seizure after another, seeing the drawings and internals of this thing. By the way, both worked partially parallel at IZHMASH.
    M.T.K.: “This will not do. My motto always was and will be: Keep it as simple as possible.”
    G.N.: “Tovarish Michail Timofeevich, simple doesn’t sell anymore. Not even in mother Russia.”

  6. Early Western reports on the AN-94 described its operating system as a “blowback shifted pulse”, which makes no sense in that it’s a combination of recoil and gas operation with no blowback, delayed or otherwise, to be seen. (I believe the moral here is that preliminary/initial intel reports on new foreign systems tend to be inaccurate.)

    The lifter setup is very like that of the British Gabbett-Fairfax Mars pistol of 1905, except ahead of the magazine instead of behind it;

    http://www.forgottenweapons.com/early-automatic-pistols/gabbett-fairfax-mars/

    In fact, the entire operating system is strongly reminiscent of the Mars type long-recoil setup.
    as for that cable-reel system, it seems to have been inspired (if that’s the word) by the rack-and-pinion gear system of the St. Etienne heavy machine gun, which was essentially a Hotchkiss with the gas piston reversed to move forward instead of backward and utilizing the rack-and-pinion setup to move the bolt. As W.H.B. Smith stated, it was mainly the result of attempted empire-building by the French government arsenal.

    In short, the only thing about the AN-94 which really “works” is its overall external configuration. Which, like most of the other prototypes Daweo links above, was taken more-or-less directly from the Kalashnikov series.

    I wonder how many Russian SpecOps units actually use the AN-94 in operations. as opposed to leaving it in the armory, using AKs, and swearing they were using the Nikonov the whole time in the AAR and at the hotwash.

    cheers

    eon

    • Gabbet Fairfax is a good point 🙂
      To be fair, I don’t think that the Nikonov bureau were insane.

      I’ve had a good look through Gabbet Fairfax’s patents and CHAFL Ross’s, and I think that there’s a strong hint of insanity in both

      • Not so much insanity as having ideas a bit too far ahead of SOTA in Gabbet-Fairfax’s case, and some lack of attention to detail in Ross’.

        The Mars was capable of handling what is very high-pressure, high-intensity ammunition even by modern standards. Ballistically, the 9mm/.38 Mars matches the 9mm Winchester Magnum, and the .450 Mars is in the same range as the .45 WM.

        The major problem was that first, the metallurgy of the time wasn’t up to the level of heat treatment the Mars pistols needed (hence things like bolt-retractor ears breaking off), and second, Gabbett-Fairfax hadn’t figured out how to reduce felt recoil and muzzle flip (testers had no complaint with the gun’s power or accuracy, but they had a serious problem with the way it kicked). Something like 4140 stainless steel and Mag-Na-Porting would definitely be indicated specifics for a recreation of the Mars.

        As for the Ross, its one problem was the ease with which it could be assembled with the bolt-head flipped wrong. It could still be put in battery and fired that way, generally projecting the unlocked bolt right into the shooter’s face. A stud to prevent the bolt head being turned the wrong way would be all that was needed, and in fact Ross rifles issued to reserve units in WW2 did indeed have such a stud installed at the armory level.

        When it was working properly, the Ross was probably the second strongest bolt-action in the world at the time, right behind the Arisaka and just ahead of the Newton. It may have been the most accurate military or sporting rifle in the world, period. The postwar Weatherby action owes a lot to both the Newton and the Ross (Newton- locking system, Ross- trigger and searage). The .280 Ross round was a Magnum-level cartridge at a time when they hadn’t gotten round to calling them “Magnums” yet. (The .280 Remington and .284 Winchester are its modern ballistic twins.)

        And BTW, in the 1964 Summer Olympics, the Soviet rifle team swept the field with Ross rifles rebarreled to 7.62 x 54R. Not bad for a rifle that had been out of production for over forty years at that point.

        I’d say the bad raps that Hugh Gabbett-Fairfax and Sir Charles Ross have taken over the last century aren’t really all that deserved. Just IMHO.

        cheers

        eon

        • “I’d say the bad raps that Hugh Gabbett-Fairfax and Sir Charles Ross have taken over the last century aren’t really all that deserved. Just IMHO.”
          It must be noted Gabbett-Fairfax was working in very early era of automatic pistols development, no-one was sure how automatic pistol should look – it was developed before Browning No. 1 (FN 1900) automatic pistol hits market.

          • Gabbett-Fairfax should be praised for using rimless cartridge (rather than trying to make rimmed cartridge work) and placing magazine in grip (not so obvious in 1890s – see for example early Bergmann automatic pistols).
            Muzzle energy might be considered extensive, if you know later development in cartridges development – but Gabbett-Fairfax didn’t.
            Heavy bullet at high velocity is quite logic outcome, as noted in manual for MARS automatic pistol:
            http://www.forgottenweapons.com/wp-content/uploads/manuals/MarsPistolmanual.pdf
            at that time existed automatic pistols firing light-fast bullet and revolvers firing heavy-slow bullet, Gabbett-Fairfax decided to join two strong sides of both.

        • “The .280 Ross round was a Magnum-level cartridge at a time when they hadn’t gotten round to calling them “Magnums” yet. (The .280 Remington and .284 Winchester are its modern ballistic twins.)”
          It is sometimes named Nitro Express.

    • “Blowback shifted pulse” is not a Western term but a literal translation of what the designer called it. A better (if redundant) translation would be “recoil delayed recoil”.

        • Transliteration is where you switch alphabets so that you can pronounce the untranslated word. In this case from Cyrillic to English alphabet. Avtomat, for example. Whereas the literal translation would be “machine”, and finally the actual translation in context would be “machine rifle”, “automatic rifle”, “assault rifle”, “machine carbine” or somesuch.

          The problem here is that “Blowback” in technical English means something other than what the AN is actually doing. The firing unit is *recoil* operated, not blowback operated. The distinction is made differently in Russian. “Shifted” means “shifted to a later time” I.e. delayed, and “pulse”, if you read the patent, clearly means “recoil impulse”.

    • “I wonder how many Russian SpecOps units actually use the AN-94 in operations. as opposed to leaving it in the armory, using AKs,”
      So far I know, these unit are content with usage of 9×39 mm cartridges and weapons firing it.

  7. As some readers do not feel a purpose in bothering with ‘increased hit probability’ rifle (effort which AN94 is part of, albeit of foreign turf), it is useful to be reminded of ACR program which was initiated in 1986. The stated objective was 100% increase in HIT PROBABILITY (not complexity). Yes, same goal for which AN94 was created. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Combat_Rifle

    As far as I know, nobody called designers of four major contenders who made it to finale “madmen” and similar, which description is quite frankly inappropriate. If there was a ‘madman’ it was the one who stated such hard to reach goal. As far as motivation leading to that goal, I understand it quite well – it was initiative to allow for either (1) a controlled dispersion, which would substitute for aiming error or (2) providing a platform which at moment of trigger pull is steady enough to permit repeat (correction) shot. Whoever found themselves in high stress situation knows, how difficult it is.

    In my own view and I try to sound as humble as possible, there was not a true fitting effort made(namely in category 2)as yet, to achieve that goal, although I do have appreciation for what was done. As far as ACR project goes, it was wrapped up and re-configured with new sticker and presumably new objective (lightweight weapon system). Let’s hope that one will bring some real progress.

  8. As far as some other efforts (coincidentally also from RF) which one time raised some interest and relate to increased hit probability, in the same genre as Nikonov, were based on reduced (felt) recoil design concept. One such sample may be weapons of Baryshev. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugcLyrSdT1s

    I believe there was one time connection between him and Czech Weapons (originally R&D shop for CZ) http://www.czechweapons.com/en/
    They have presented in mid 80s lineup of rifles which were based of either same or very similar operating principle. I essence they were using retarded blowback and as result they claimed reduced muzzle movement which it turn would (in their commercial pitch) “save ammunition”. Some of their products were tested elsewhere but afaik, none were purchased in quantity.

    • “Baryshev”
      He designed whole complex of weapons, see photos here:
      http://www.bratishka.ru/archiv/2002/9/2002_9_6.php
      at bottom is technical data chart,
      rows (from top to bottom):
      Calibre, mm [7,62 is 7,62×39 for АБ-7,62 and 7,62x54R for АВБ]
      Mass, kg
      Length overall, mm
      Length with stock collapsed, mm
      Barrel length, mm
      Muzzle velocity, m/s
      Rate-of-Fire, rpm, “-” mean that weapon can’t fire FULL
      Magazine capacity, rounds

      • http://shooting-iron.ru/load/321-1-0-826 states that following Baryshev designed weapon were made by LCZ-Group:
        LCZ B-10 (7,62 x 39)
        LCZ B-20 (7,62 x 54R or 7,62 x 51)
        LCZ B-30 (12,7 x 108)
        LCZ B-40 (30mm grenade)
        LCZ B-50 (9 x 18) pistol
        However there was some dispute between Baryshev and LCZ-Group which advertised these weapons as “own development” without even mention about author.

    • “Baryshev”
      @Denny: if you are interested in Baryshev design there is patent by Baryshev
      http://www.findpatent.ru/patent/200/2002195.html
      Titled:
      Запирающий механизм стрелкового оружия или артиллерийского орудия
      and assigned to category F41A3/36 by Russian patent bureau, that is полусвободные затворы, т.е. имеющие запирающие элементы, подвижно установленные на затворе или на стволе или на корпусе затвора

      • Thanks Daweo, I will take a look in detail. From what I have seen in Guns.ru and Czech page where their patent was shown it does not look the same. It is possible that LCZ (now Czech Weapons) were inspired b Baryshev but went their own way.

    • “Some of their products were tested elsewhere but afaik, none were purchased in quantity.”
      Other patent by Пантелей Алексеевич Тарасенко states that:
      “(…)В результате рассеивание пуль при стрельбе очередью у него в 2-2,5 раза меньше по сравнению с оружием с газовым двигателем.(…)”
      That is Baryshev design has 2-2,5 times smaller dispersion in FULL mode in comparison with gas-operated weapons

      “(…)Недостатки автомата заключаются в сложности, нетехнологичности и необходимости увеличения габаритов.(…)”
      Cons of [Baryshev] avtomat are in that it is complicated, not-technological and require increase in size [in comparison with gas-operated]

    • Lock? Better with Google images. Than the Google transliteration of the Baryshev link. Have to remember that- Copy and paste the actual word.

      It said larva.

  9. Golly! Very informative–if altogether bizarre and weird!

    I’ll defer to the collective expertise, but as far as the “duplex” scheme of having two projectiles in a single cartridge case–thanks for the edifying and informative discussions of the .25-25 Stevens and .321 Greener–was it not zee Germans during the whole 20th Century great unpleasantness who developed the duplex idea most thoroughly? I seem to recall the idea was to have two bullets fired from the 1898 Mauser bolt action rifles that typified the standard infantry armament… Anyone?

    Also, there were the so-called “spoon tip” projectiles to cause more ghastly wounds from otherwise-banned-by-the-Hague-and/or-Geneva-conventions prohibitions on “dum-dum” bullets… This allowed the original micro-caliber 70s-era G36 4.6mm bullets to cause more tissue damage than otherwise, yes? Again, please disabuse me of this if I am incorrect. Did such “spoon tip” bullets see development initially in WWI? WWII?

    As for the various technological schemes to try to improve hit probability, Ian’s Forgotten Weapons offers a study in contrasts:
    Hillberg designed the so-called Liberator 16-ga. four-barrel shotgun so that several ballistically inefficient round pellets would be discharged with a single trigger pull, with three additional shots available… Four shells fired very rapidly, each with a charge of No. 1 buckshot. By the time came to reload, the fleeting and moving target would be down, or behind cover or on the run, I suppose.

    Contrast that “low-tech” approach to the Hi-tech Wunderwaffe Gay-Elf G11! And props to the respondent above who noted that this AN-94 is the Russian G11!

    Didn’t Barnitzke, the German WWII-era designer contrive an MG with a sort of wheel and gear system? Maybe that owed more to the Lewis Gun, but maybe there is some kind of engineering link here?

    • “zee Germans”
      I don’t know about multi-ball cartridge for Mauser Gewehr, but during WW2 there was developed special 9-projectiles-per-shot weapon of 15 mm caliber developed for usage by Luftwaffe: Sonderwaffe HF 15:
      http://www.germanluftwaffe.com/archiv/Dokumente/ABC/s/SG%20Sondergeraete/Sonderwaffe%20HF%2015/Sonderwaffe%20HF%2015.html
      each cartridge contain 1 propelling powder charge, bullet are arranged in spiral (see drawings in link), when powder ignited it throws first bullet but powder gases also are used to move next bullet so it would align with barrel axis, as soon as it become aligned it is throw.
      This weapon has muzzle velocity 800 – 1000 m/s and RateOfFire equal to 30000 – 40000 rpm (contemporary 15 mm machine gun – MG 151 – has around 700 rpm), but only capacity 9 (holds 1 cartridge) due to this it was planned to use in quintuple blocks, that is containing 5 barrels (for overall capacity 45) and weighing around 100 kg.
      Earliest document available on linked site (in PDF format) is from Mauser Werke and dated 24.05.1943, describes weapon also holding 9 projectiles but 7,9 mm caliber and giving RateOfFire 16000 rpm [which is also written as word (sechzehntausend) probably because someone might though it is error and should be 1600]

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