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AN-94

The AN-94 is the newly adopted Russian assault rifle. The acronym stands for Avtomat Nikonova (after Gennidy Nikonov[?]) Model 1994, and it was chosen above many other excellent competing firearms, including one designed by a team lead by the son of Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.

It is chambered in the same 5.45x39mm cartridge as the AK-74, and it too utilizes a rotating bolt to lock the action, but this is where the similarities end. When the bolt-carrier is driven backwards by the force of the gas from the cartridge, a pulley is used to activate a cartridge-feeding device, which allows for a much higher rate of fire than would otherwise be possible. This rate of firing (1800rpm) is employed in two-round bursts, and for the first two shots on fully-automatic fire, and the benefit of this feature is an increased hit probability due to the bullets leaving the firearm before the recoil affects the shooter's aim.

The rear sight is a dramatic improvement over the standard Kalashnikov notch and post setup, being a peep sight[?], and the muzzle brake is very effective, and much less harsh on the ears than the AK-74 model muzzle brake. The recoil on full-auto fire has been described as a gentle, constant push, rather than a series of sharp jabs as in most firearms.

However, the Russians have very little money with which they can reequip their army, so it may be a number of years before the AN-94 becomes standard issue.



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