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AK-103 Assault Rifle.JPG
The AK-103 assault rifle
TypeAssault rifle
Place of originRussia
Service history
In service2001–present[1]
Used bySee Users
WarsSecond Chechen War[citation needed]
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War
Iraqi Civil War
Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present)
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Saudi Arabian–led intervention in Yemen
Saudi–Yemeni border conflict (2015–present)
Production history
DesignerMikhail Kalashnikov
ManufacturerKalashnikov Concern
No. built250,000+
Mass3.4 kg (7.5 lb) empty
3.6 kg (7.9 lb) with empty magazine
Length943 mm (37.1 in) stock extended / 705 mm (27.8 in) stock folded
Barrel length415 mm (16.3 in)

ActionGas operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire600 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity715 m/s (2,346 ft/s)
Effective firing range500 m (550 yd)
Feed system30-round detachable box magazine
SightsIron sights, with a dove tail side rail for mounting optical and night sights

The AK-103 assault rifle is a derivative of the AK-74M chambered for the 7.62×39mm M43 round, similar to the older AKM. The AK-103 can be fitted with a variety of sights, including night vision and telescopic sights, plus a knife-bayonet or a grenade launcher. It uses plastic components where possible instead of wood or metal, with such components being the pistol grip, handguards and stock.

Design details[edit]

AK-103 with the stock folded.

Protective coatings ensure excellent corrosion resistance of metal parts. Forearm, magazine, butt stock and pistol grip are made of high strength plastic.[2]

The AK-104 is a compact version of the AK-103. It has a muzzle brake derived from the older AKS-74U combined with a shorter barrel. It is also chambered for 7.62×39mm ammunition.


The current issue steel-reinforced matte true black nonreflective surface finished 7.62×39mm 30-round magazines, fabricated from ABS plastic weigh 0.25 kg (0.55 lb) empty.[3] Early steel AK-47 magazines are 9.75 in (248 mm) long, and the later ribbed steel AKM and newer plastic 7.62×39mm magazines are about 1 in (25 mm) shorter.[4][5]

The transition from steel to mainly plastic magazines yielded a significant weight reduction and allow a soldier to carry more rounds for the same weight.

Rifle Cartridge Cartridge weight Weight of empty magazine Weight of loaded magazine Max. 10.12 kg (22.3 lb) ammunition load*
AK-47 (1949) 7.62×39mm 16.3 g (252 gr) Slab-sided steel
430 g (0.95 lb)
916 g (2.019 lb)[6]
11 magazines for 330 rounds
10.08 kg (22.2 lb)
AKM (1959) 7.62×39mm 16.3 g (252 gr) Ribbed stamped-steel
330 g (0.73 lb)
819 g (1.806 lb)[7][8]
12 magazines for 360 rounds
9.83 kg (21.7 lb)
AK-103 (1994) 7.62×39mm 16.3 g (252 gr) Steel-reinforced plastic
250 g (0.55 lb)
739 g (1.629 lb)[7][8]
13 magazines for 390 rounds
9.61 kg (21.2 lb)

Note: All, 7.62×39mm AK magazines are backwards compatible with older AK variants.
Note *: 10.12 kg (22.3 lb) is the maximum amount of ammo that the average soldier can comfortably carry. It also allows for best comparison of the three most common 7.62×39mm AK platform magazines.



Select fire version for the military market


This is a semiautomatic version for the police and civilian market


This version has a three-round burst feature (3) added in between full automatic (АВ) and the fully engaged semi-automatic settings (ОД) and is intended for the police and civilian markets


Has a mount for the 1PN58 night scope


Has a mount for the 1PN51 night scope


Carbine version of the AK-103


Modernised version of the AK-103


  •  Russia: Used by various special police groups, special operations forces and civilians .[9]
  •  Ethiopia: The Gafat Armament Engineering Complex produces the AK-103 rifle in Ethiopia. Supplements the AKM and AK-47 in the Ethiopian Armed Forces. It's reported in 2014 that the deal didn't go through at all.[10]
  •  India: Used by Naval Special Forces, MARCOS.[11] The Russian arms company Izhmash is negotiating issuing a license to an Indian private arms manufacturer to produce the AK-103.[12]
  •  Iran: The sale of an undisclosed number of AK-103s for use by sections of the Iranian special forces is being negotiated.[13] The weapons were reported to be shipped to Iran on August 2016.[14] The IRGC is reported to be using the AK-103.[15]
  •  Libya: Seen in the hands of anti-Gaddafi forces and loyalists in numerous photos. The rifles in use are the AK-103-2 version.[16]
  • MUJAO used an ex-Libyan AK-103-2 in Agadez and Arlit attacks in 2013.[17]
  •  Namibia: Used by Namibian Marine Corps[18]
  •  Pakistan: In 2016, the Pakistan Armed Forces announced their intent to purchase large number of the AK-103 rifles to supplement their forces.[19]
  •  Saudi Arabia: Used by Airborne Units and Special Security Forces in the Royal Saudi Land Forces.[20][21] A license to produce AK-103 rifles was granted to Saudi Arabia in 2017.[22][23][24]
  •  Syria: Used by police.[25][26][27] Also used by Al Qaeda-linked Guardians of Religion Organization.[28]
  •  Venezuela: Standard issue weapon of the Venezuelan Army.[29] Made under license by CAVIM with initial licensing fee payments made in 2006 and the transfer of Russian-made AK-103s to Venezuela in 2008.[30] CAVIM's AK-103 factories opened officially in 2012 without the necessary manufacturing equipment.[30][31] CAVIM-made AK-103s were delivered to the Venezuelan Army in 2013.[32] Due to trouble with the plant with the Russian contractor failing to meet deadlines with a case of fraud, which forced CAVIM to finish the rest of the construction,[33] full-scale production will start by 2019.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Presentation of the unique Kalashnikov small arms collection in the Moscow Kremlin Museum". Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 2015-04-11. AK-103 – Kalashnikov assault rifle, caliber 7.62 mm. It is designed for the 7.62-mm cartridge of the 1943 model. This model was included in the inventory in 2001
  2. ^ "7.62 mm Kalashnikov assault rifles AK103, АК104". Archived from the original on 14 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Официальный сайт группы предприятий "ИЖМАШ"". Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  4. ^ Rifle Evaluation Study, United States Army, Combat Development Command, ADA046961, 20 Dec 1962
  5. ^ "Are kalashnikov magazines as robust as their reputation? He tormented a selection of AR magazines last year, now he takes on the AK. The results you may find surprising". Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  6. ^ Dockery, Kevin (2007). Future Weapons. p. 102. ISBN 0-425-21750-7.
  7. ^ a b "Ak 47 Technical Description - Manual". Scribd.com. 2010-09-30. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
  8. ^ a b Dockery, Kevin (2007). Future Weapons. p. 102.
  9. ^ "Modern Firearms". Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  10. ^ https://www.nknews.org/2014/09/north-korean-military-support-for-ethiopia/
  11. ^ http://www.armyrecognition.com/july_2016_global_defense_security_news_industry/indian_army_could_purchase_additional_batch_of_kalashnikov_ak-103_assault_rifles_11207161.html
  12. ^ Pradeep Thakur (2008-02-18). "Latest Kalashnikovs to be made in India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2010-04-01.
  13. ^ 1149841 (2016-08-06). "Exclusive: Iran Imports AK-103 Rifles from Russia". Tasnim News Agency. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  14. ^ https://www.armyrecognition.com/august_2016_global_defense_security_news_industry/iranian_armed_forces_have_received_new_ak-103_assault_rifles_from_russia_10708161.html
  15. ^ https://loadoutroom.com/thearmsguide/iran-deploying-ak-103-rifles/
  16. ^ "Update II: AK-103 Exports to Libya". Security Scholar. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  17. ^ Savannah de Tessières (January 2018). At the Crossroads of Sahelian Conflicts: Insecurity, Terrorism, and Arms Trafficking in Niger (PDF) (Report). Small Arms Survey. p. 24. ISBN 978-2-940548-48-4.
  18. ^ Defence Web. "Namibia receives Russian small arms". defenceweb.co.za. defenceweb. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  19. ^ http://www.armyrecognition.com/june_2016_global_defense_security_news_industry/pakistan_to_buy_numerous_ak-103_assault_rifles_to_russia_tass_32106163.html
  20. ^ "How an AK-103 Works". allinallnews. November 3, 2015.
  21. ^ "Saudi special forces operator in Yemen and armed with Russian AK 103". mighty_earth.
  22. ^ "Saudi Arabia to Start Licensed Manufacturing of AK-103 Rifles". Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  23. ^ "РФ и Саудовская Аравия подписали меморандум о покупке и локализации продукции ВПК". TASS. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  24. ^ "Saudi Arabia to produce Russian Kalashnikovs under new deal". rt.com. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  25. ^ https://mobile.twitter.com/bm21_grad/status/709464360356323328. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/pictures-elite-syrian-security-troops-preparing-protect-damascus/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ Graduating police in Latakia with AK-103 (in Arabic)
  28. ^ "Syrie: comment al-Qaïda reprend pied en zone djihadiste". France Soir (in French). 28 June 2018.
  29. ^ "Russia to build 2 Kalashnikov factories in Venezuela by 2010 / Sputnik international". Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  30. ^ a b John Pike. "Defense Industry". Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  31. ^ Christopher Looft. "Venezuela Set to Mass Produce Kalashnikovs, Sniper Rifles". Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  32. ^ "Cavim inicia entrega de fusiles de asalto Kalashnikov AK-103 a la Fuerza Armada de Venezuela". Infodefensa.com. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  33. ^ http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/12/12/venezuelan-ak-103-factory-will-start-working-2019/
  34. ^ http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2018/04/13/venezuelan-kalashnikov-plant-to-begin-ak-103-manufacture-in-2019/

External links[edit]