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AK-103 Assault Rifle.JPG
The AK-103 assault rifle
Type Assault rifle
Place of origin Russia
Service history
In service 2001–present[1]
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer Mikhail Kalashnikov
Designed 1994
Manufacturer Kalashnikov Concern
Produced 1994–present
No. built 100,000+
Variants AK-104
Weight 3.4 kg (7.5 lb) empty
3.6 kg (7.9 lb) with empty magazine
Length 943 mm (37.1 in) stock extended / 705 mm (27.8 in) stock folded
Barrel length 415 mm (16.3 in)

Cartridge 7.62×39mm
Caliber 7.62mm
Action Gas operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire 600 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 715 m/s (2,346 ft/s)
Effective firing range 500–600 m (550–660 yd)
Feed system 30-round detachable box magazine
Sights Iron 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.

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.



Standard automatic 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 version for police and civilian market


Has a mount for the 1PN58 night scope


Has a mount for the 1PN51 night scope


Carbine version of the AK-103.


  •  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.[9]
  •  India: Used by Naval Special Forces or MARCOS.[10] The Russian arms company Izhmash is negotiating issuing a license to an Indian private arms manufacturer to produce the AK-103.[11]
  •  Iran: Certain units of the Iranian Armed Forces are going to be equipped with the new weapons. The sale of an undisclosed number of AK-103s for use by sections of the Iranian special forces is being negotiated.[12][13]
  •  Libya: Seen in the hands of anti-Gaddafi forces and loyalists in numerous photos. The rifles in use are the AK-103-2 version .[14][15]
  •  Namibia: Used by Namibian Marine Corps[16]
  •  Pakistan: Pakistan Armed Forces are planning to purchase large numbers of the AK-103 assault rifle.[citation needed]
  •  Russia: Used by various special police groups, special operations forces and civilians .[17]
  •  Venezuela: Standard issue weapon of the Venezuelan Army .[18] 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.[19] CAVIM's AK-103 factories opened officially in 2012.[19][20] CAVIM-made AK-103s were delivered to the Venezuelan Army in 2013.[21]
  •  Saudi Arabia: Used by Airborne Units and Special Security Forces in the Royal Saudi Land Forces.[22][23]

Non-State Actors[edit]

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. ^ https://www.nknews.org/2014/09/north-korean-military-support-for-ethiopia/
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ Pradeep Thakur (2008-02-18). "Latest Kalashnikovs to be made in India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  12. ^ http://www.bbc.com/persian/iran/2016/08/160806_l12_iran_kalashnikov_rifle.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ 1149841 (2016-08-06). "Exclusive: Iran Imports AK-103 Rifles from Russia". Tasnim News Agency. Retrieved 2016-08-06. 
  14. ^ Bryan Chan; Luis Sinco (2011-03-04). "On the revolutionary road in Libya, Photo #4". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  15. ^ "Update II: AK-103 Exports to Libya". Security Scholar. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  16. ^ Defence Web. "Namibia receives Russian small arms". defenceweb.co.za. defenceweb. Retrieved 18 June 2016. 
  17. ^ "Modern Firearms". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "Russia to build 2 Kalashnikov factories in Venezuela by 2010 / Sputnik international". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  19. ^ a b John Pike. "Defense Industry". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  20. ^ Christopher Looft. "Venezuela Set to Mass Produce Kalashnikovs, Sniper Rifles". Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  21. ^ "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. 
  22. ^ "How an AK-103 Works". allinallnews. November 3, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Saudi special forces operator in Yemen and armed with Russian AK 103". mighty_earth. 
  24. ^ Thomas Martienssen. "A rifle's journey from Belgium to Gaza". BBC. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 

External links[edit]