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Type Assault rifle
Place of origin Soviet Union
Production history
Designer Yury Aleksandrov
Manufacturer Izhmash
Weight 8.6 pounds[citation needed]
Length 36.5"[citation needed]

Cartridge 5.45×39mm
Action Gas operated, rotating bolt
Muzzle velocity 2,491 F/S[citation needed]
Effective firing range 1100–1500 yards[citation needed]
Feed system 30 round box magazine
Sights Iron

The AL-7 is a Russian assault rifle designed by Izhmash engineer Yury Aleksandrov in the early 1970s. The AL-7 uses a type of operation developed by Pyotr Tkachyov of TsNIITochMash (Central Institute for Precision Machine Building) in the mid-1960s known as Balanced Automatics first used on the AO-38 assault rifle. The Balanced Automatics Recoil System (BARS) replaces the traditional Kalashnikov gas piston operating system, reducing the negative effects of recoil and allowing more efficient use of automatic fire. BARS works by shifting mass toward the muzzle of the rifle as the bolt and bolt carrier recoil rearward.

The AL-7 and its BARS system were never adopted by the Soviet Army. The project was overshadowed by the acceptance of the AK-74 due to cost considerations. The passage of time has allowed manufacturing technology to advance, finally making the AL-7 concept economically viable, presenting itself in the form of the AK-107 and AK-108 rifles.

Other rifles that use the balanced automatics system are the AEK-971, AO-38, SA-006, AKB and AKB-1.


  • Legends and Reality of the AK by Charlie Cutshaw and Valery Shilin [1]
  • Shadowrun and Firearms Alexandrov Kalashnikova 107 and 108 [2]

See also[edit]