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    Simonov & Tkachev AO-63 assault rifle: 6,000RPM!


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    Below is a transalated report of the Abakan assault rifle trials. Various weapons were tested by the Russian Forces, particularly the Spetsnaz who were in search of a more accurate alternative to the AK-74 with the AN-94 being the winner, but another rifle listed as the "AO-63", Designed by Simonov & Tkachev fired around 6,000RPM when the 2-round burst mode was selected.

    Here is a transalation of the report:

    In the early 80-ies nothing remarkable river in Khakassia gave its name to competition, which was carried out to develop new high-performance machine. Today the name «Abakan» disturb the whole world of weapons.

    The process of developing, testing and putting on the production of any model of arms is very expensive, labor intensive and sometimes stretched for many years. It is therefore constantly increasing requirements for tactical weapons overtaking the process of rearming.For example, the implementation of the ROC «Abakan» try to trace all the stages of testing each sample weapons before reaching a decision on the feasibility of adopting it.

    Labor designer weapons is thankless by its nature, because weapons are in service for decades,and stringent competitive tests detect only the most vibrant,forward-looking design and add to the collection of museums«illegitimate». To amateur «designers», who divorced enough in recent years ( in small arms, as in women, football, hockey deals all) it's not clear that the refinement of modern designs are so high that requires tremendous intellectual efforts are not alone, but entire teams of designers, engineers, high-quality metal, a unique manufacturing base.

    In 1974, with the adoption by the Soviet Army 5.45-mm assault rifle AK74 completed a certain stage in the development of small arms. The main achievement was the development ofa powerful, easy low-impulse cartridge.

    The AK74 assault rifle itself, despite the many positive attributes, get rid of the major shortcomings of its «grandfather» AK - low accuracy of fire bursts -marked as far back as 1947.

    The tactics of modern battlefield dictate its conditions. Highly-maneurable actions of mobile combatunits required sufficiently effective automatic fire mostly from thevolatile situation: standing with a short stop, kneeling, lying downfrom hands. The decision of the Commission of the Council of Ministersof the USSR in the military-industrial issues number 280 27.08.81 ROC«Abakan» was started with the main purpose of - the development of anew assault rifle, superior to existing in combat effectiveness of 1,5- 2,0 times.

    The implementation of the designers took TSKIB SOO,Kovrov mechanical and Izhevsk Machine-building plants under the generalguidance of scientific and Central Research Institute of precisionengineering (TsNIITochmash).

    Three years went by development of new weapons, technical design, manufacture prototypes and test factory.

    ByAugust 1984, eight samples were produced by machines experienced eightdesigners. Preliminary trials on the technical design stage in Augustand November 1984 were subjected to assault rifles:

    TKB-0111 (TSKIB SOO, designer Korobov GA)

    TKB-0136-3M (TSKIB SOO, designer Afanasyev NM)

    TKB-0146 (TSKIB SOO, designer Stechkin I.YA.)

    AEK-971 (SKB KMZ, designer Garev BA)

    AEK-978 (SKB KMZ, designer Pikinsky PA)

    AL-9 (PO «Izhmash», designer Kalashnikov VM)

    AS (PO «Izhmash», designer Nikonov GN)

    APT (PO «IzhNITI», designer Postnikov IA).

    TheCommission, appointed by the decision Minoboronprom (Ministry ofDefence Industry) and Grau(ГРАУ, Главное ракетно-артиллерийскоеуправление, Main Missile-Artillery Administration), reviewed the testresults and confirmed the possibility of establishing a forward-lookingmachines. The APT rifle was withdrawn from testing because of theunreliability of the automation, and further development of TKB-0111(the least promising) was decided to hold optional without theconclusion of the contract. Fine-tuning in increasing the automationreliability, details resource and accuracy of fire took one and a halfyears.

    In May - June 1986 on the basis of TsNIITochmash was madea preliminary stage of testing. By previously tested machines joinedAKB-1 (instead of AL-9, designer Kalashnikov V.M.) and AO-63(TsNIITochmash).

    Tests were conducted in a very large volume:shooting in the dust, sprinkling, in extreme temperatures, under highand low elevation angles, the definition of grouping and theeffectiveness of fire from all positions. In spite of this work wascompleted after a month and a half. Designers had a lot of worries fortheir «home brainchild», and a metalworkers got more corn from thepermanent replacements of parts and their adaptation. Neither modelsatisfied the requirements for the reliability of automation, resourcedetails, volume and weight of shot. Only the AS and AO-63 satisfiedrequirements for grouping. For fixing all shortcomings only threemonths were given.

    Repeated preliminary testing began in lateOctober 1986. At the tests were presented to two fundamentally newsamples ASM Construction Nikonov G.A. (shift in recoil momentum withthe stationary cartridge clip) and the AKB instead of AKB-1 designKalashnikov V. M. (balanced automatics).

    Further development ofthe rest samples were limited to refine design of triggering andfeeding mechanisms, modification of muzzle devices. By the middle oftesting, it became clear that further work with the TKB-0111, AEK-971and AKB unviable. I highly doubt in this claim

    AS, ASM andTKB-0146 rifles showed excellent accuracy of fire. Testers and membersof the commission unanimously noted a great comfort firing of thesesamples: almost imperceptible recoil (when shooting high rate of firein standing position rifle can be keeped on weight, leaning buttstockto the shoulder) and «soft» sound of shots. Short burst of two shotsfrom a high rate of perceived listening as a single shot, while theeyes of observer, standing aloof from the shooter, can fix the flighttrajectory of the two reflected cartridges.

    Thus, the estimatedrange tests came only three samples - AS, ASM and TKB-0146. The mostdramatic moment of years of work was coming.

    Who will be thefirst? «Venerable» Stechkin or little-known outside «Izhmash» Nikonov?Although both designer's rifles showed good results on the accuracy offire, but because of the complexity and high dirt-sensivity ofautomatics details had low infallibility. Will Do to achieve thereliability of proven AK74? Moreover, the «civilian life» of riflesceased. All further tests must be conducted only specialists from theMinistry of Defense on its governing documents, providing for checks onanyone, even the most fortuitous event of military operation.

    AO-63 specifications:

    * Calibre - 5.45x39mm

    * Lenghth - 890mm

    * Weight - 3.68kg

    * Rate of Fire - 850/6,000RPM(2 round burst mode)

    * Operation - Unknown but possibly gas/recoil

    Sources: http://translate.goo...5D0%259E-63%2B5,45%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG


    * Oruzhie magazine, Pages 6/7/8, Issue No1 1998.

    Edited by Cutaway
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