210 years marks the largest Russian developer and manufacturer of military and civil, semi-automatic, automatic and high-precision sniper weapons – Izhevsk Arms Plant, also known as Izhmash. The plant was founded in 1807 by the Russian emperor Alexander I, and is now part of the Kalashnikov concern, Rostec corporation.
Already during the Patriotic War of 1812, the plant supplied the Russian army with cold and firearm. Since that time, no major victory of Russia has managed without Izhevsk weapons.
Since 1947, the plant produces the famous Kalashnikov assault rifles, which, in various modifications, are in service with armies and special forces in more than 100 countries of the world.
In August 2013, the famous designer Mikhail Kalashnikov, who had worked at Izhmash for many years, agreed to give the new concern his name. Today, Kalashnikov products are shipped to 27 countries. In addition to military small arms, the plant develops and produces guided artillery shells and a wide range of civilian products: hunting rifles, sporting rifles, machine tools and tools.
On the anniversary of the Izhevsk Arms Plant, we collected unique and most interesting small arms.
Shotgun noncommissioned officer sample 1805
One of the first types of weapons, released on the newly created Izhevsk Arms Plant. With “rifle rifles” (muzzle-loading rifles with a flintlock. – ed.) Of this type, Russian troops repelled Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. This rifle provided the possibility of firing at a distance of up to 1 thousand steps.
Gun non-commissionedCaliber – 16.51 mm, length – 1330 mm, weight – 4.8 kg, practical rate of fire – 1 shot per 5 minutes
Cavalry carbine system Berdan sample in 1870
Rifles and carbines of the Berdan system (US military, the hero of the US Civil War, Hiram Berdan. – Ed.) Entered service with the Russian army in 1870. These were single-charge systems for a 4.2-line (caliber 10.67 mm. – Approx. TASS) cartridge with black powder. Weapons of this type were used in the Russian-Turkish war of 1877–1878, and later rifles and rifles of the Berdan system were widely used as hunting weapons, giving rise to a separate term “berdanka”. Rifles were also in service in Spain.
Berdan’s cavalry carbineCaliber – 10.67 mm, length – 965 mm, weight – 2.8 kg, practical rate of fire – 8 shots per minute
Infantry rifle system Mosin sample 1891
The three-line (7.62 mm) rifle has become one of the most massive and long-lived samples of Russian small arms. Its release began in 1891 and lasted almost 60 years. With this rifle and its modifications, the Russian soldiers went through the First World War, the Civil War and the Great Patriotic War. This weapon was in service with the Russian Empire and the USSR for more than half a century. Sniper variants of this rifle are still used, including in armed conflict in Syria.
Mosin rifleCaliber – 7.62 mm, length – 1306 mm, weight – 4.5 kg, magazine – 5 rounds, practical rate of fire – 10–12 shots per minute
Kalashnikov assault rifle
Kalashnikov assault rifles (AK) form the world’s largest (in the post-war period) family of small arms, their total production exceeded 70 million units. The production of the first AK machine guns was started in Izhevsk in 1949, the fourth generation of these guns is currently being produced, including the AK-74M and AK series (the second generation AKM, the third AK-74). An exceptionally reliable, simple and effective weapon, the Kalashnikov assault rifle has become the hallmark of the plant.
Kalashnikov AKAK: caliber – 7.62 mm, length – 870 mm, weight – 3.5 kg, magazine – 30 rounds, practical rate of fire – 30–100 shots per minute
Kalashnikov AK-74Mcaliber – 5.45 mm, length – 943/700 mm, weight – 3.4 kg, magazine – 30 rounds, practical rate of fire – 30–100 shots per minute
Dragunov sniper rifle (SVD)
It was adopted by the Soviet army in 1963, and so far – already in a modernized form – is used by snipers of the Russian law enforcement agencies. The first specially designed self-loading sniper rifle turned out to be a reliable and accurate weapon and served as the basis for more advanced designs of SVDS and SVDM. Automatic rifles based on the energy of the powder gases discharged from the barrel to the gas piston.
SvdCaliber – 7.62 mm, length – 1220 mm, weight – 4.3 kg, magazine – 10 rounds, practical rate of fire – up to 20 rounds per minute
Automatic Nikonov AN-94
It was created in the late 1980s – early 1990s in the framework of the “Abakan” competition, designed to give soldiers weapons of increased efficiency. The machine gun had a very original “with the accumulation of recoil impulse” design, which allowed shooting in short bursts of two shots at a very high rate (approximately 0.07 seconds per turn) and high accuracy. Production was conducted on “Izhmash” in small batches. Given the complexity of the system of the machine and its greater prime cost, the AN-94 was left only to arm the special forces of the army and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Automatic Nikonov AN-94Caliber – 5.45 mm, length – 946/728 mm, weight – 3.9 kg, magazine – 30 rounds, practical rate of fire – 30–100 rounds per minute
Automatic AK-12 and AK-15
These machines are being developed in the framework of the “Warrior” competition as a promising weapon for special forces of the Russian army. In essence, this is the next (fifth) generation of Kalashnikov assault rifles, combining the traditional high reliability and ease of maintenance with modern improved ergonomics and increased efficiency of hitting targets. AK-12 passed state tests and is currently in pilot operation.
Kalashnikov AK-12 and AK-15 assault riflesCaliber – 5.45 mm (AK-12) and 7.62 mm (AK-15), length – 862–922 / 688 mm, weight – 3.5 kg, magazine – 30 rounds
Sniper rifle SV-98
It was a response to new requirements for shooting accuracy at a range of up to 800 meters. The sniper rifle was based on the Record sports rifle, and now the SV-98 is widely used both in the Armed Forces and in the law enforcement agencies of Russia. It can be equipped with modern sights (day and night), as well as a silencer.
Sniper rifle SV-98The caliber is 7.62 mm, the length is 1200 mm, the weight is 5.5 kg, the magazine is 10 rounds, the effective firing range is 800 m, the practical rate of fire is 10 rounds per minute
Saiga smooth-bore guns
The smoothbore guns of this family, which appeared in the early 1990s, are extremely popular civilian weapons not only in Russia, but also in the world. They are used for hunting, home defense, law enforcement, sport “practical” shooting. The simple and reliable design borrowed from the Kalashnikov assault rifle and quick-change stores, as well as a wide choice of options became the key to the success of the gun.
Rifle “Saiga”Available in 12, 20 and .410 calibers
Carabiners of this family with a rifled barrel were developed for the civilian market as a hunting weapon in the early 1990s, and since then they have been in constant high demand. Their design is based on a Kalashnikov machine gun, the main difference is the impossibility of firing in bursts.
Carabiners are available in several of the most popular calibers (5.45 mm; 5.56 mm; 7.62 mm; 9 mm) and in a wide range of options suitable for hunting, sports, training and recreational shooting.
Carabiner “Saiga MK” 5.45 mm isp. thirty
Source – TASS
Photo: Kalashnikov Concern