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AN-94 displayed at Engineering Technologies 2012
TypeAssault rifle
Place of originRussia
Service history
In service1994–present[1]
Used bySee Users
WarsFirst Chechen War[1]
Annexation of Crimea
Production history
DesignerGennadiy Nikonov
ManufacturerKalashnikov Concern (formerly known as Izhmash)
Mass3.85 kg (8.49 lb)
Length943 mm (37.1 in) stock extended
728 mm (28.7 in) stock folded
Barrel length405 mm (15.9 in)

Rate of fire1800 (2-round burst) or 600 (fully automatic) rounds/min
Muzzle velocity900 m/s (2,953 ft/s)
Effective firing range800 m (870 yd)
Feed system30, 45 round AK-74 compatible box magazines
60-round casket magazines
SightsIron sights
700 mm (27.6 in) sight radius, various optics (optional)

The AN-94 (Russian: 5,45-мм автомат Никонова обр. 1987 г. / АН-94 «Абака́н», GRAU designation 6P33) is a Russian assault rifle. The initials stand for Avtomat Nikonova model of 1994, after its chief designer Gennadiy Nikonov, who previously worked on the Nikonov machine gun.

The AN-94 was designed as a potential replacement to the AK-74 series of rifles currently in service with the Russian Armed Forces. Due to its complex design and expense, it failed to fill its intended role as a replacement for the AK-74, but it is in limited use as a special purpose weapon.[2][3]

The AN-94 has the unique feature of delaying felt recoil for the first two rounds. This increases hit probability in adverse combat conditions.[1] The AN-94 offers a unique two-shot burst function at a stated 1800 rounds per minute, with the second shot firing very close to the first round. This feature is often known as the "hyperburst" mechanism.

Design and operation

Prototype of AN-94 assault rifle, also known as LI-291
AN-94 infographics

The most conspicuous identifying feature of the AN-94 is its magazine which is canted several degrees to the right of center (when viewed from a firing position). This design feature is necessary to accommodate the unique ammunition feed mechanism. The AN-94 is chambered in the same 5.45×39mm M74 cartridge as the AK-74, and it utilizes a rotating bolt to lock the action. Gennadiy Nikonov and his engineers used the Russian term смещенный импульс свободного затвора (Smeschennyi Impuls Svobodnogo Zatvora) to describe the rifle's method of operation, meaning "recoil shifted pulse".[4]

When a round is fired, residual energy from the propellant charge in the cartridge acts upon the safely locked breech and bolt carrier. Simultaneously, a quantity of powder gases driving the bullet through the barrel is tapped and acts upon the piston in the gas tube located above and parallel to the barrel. The movement of the piston and its connecting rod acts upon the locking bolt, causing it to rotate and allow the breech to safely open. This initiates the extraction and ejection cycle for the first spent cartridge. After the first round has been fired, the bolt and carrier group move toward the rear, ejecting the first casing towards the front of the ejection window. The movement of the Carrier is directly connected to a pulley system which is connected to a small metal rod on the rear side of the magazine well. The rod pushes a second round into the firing position. Once this action has completed the bolt and carrier group will stop and move back towards the front of the gun before it has hit the rear of the receiver. When the bolt has fully locked it will fire the second round. This whole process happens very quickly, and it is how the 2 round burst works. For any follow-up rounds, the hammer - in fact a horizontal striker, as opposed to the rotating hammer of the AK rifle - is held until every full recoil cycle is finished, to prevent the rifle firing at the extremely high rate continuously. This means that after every bullet the bolt and carrier group will travel the whole distance of possible travel, resulting in a more manageable rate of 600 RPM.[1]



See also



  1. ^ a b c d e "Russian AN-94 self-loading rifle – Armament Research Services". armamentresearch.com. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Tactical Small Arms of the 21st Century", Krause Publications; illustrated edition (March 2006) (ISBN 978-0873499149), p. 288
  3. ^ Lake, David. "The Blackest Rifle: Avtomat Nikonova 94 – Small Arms Defense Journal". Archived from the original on 2019-05-22. Retrieved 2021-03-29.
  4. ^ "Автомат Никонова АН-94 "Абакан"". MilitaryArms. 9 September 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  5. ^ Gorenburg, Dmitry. "External Support for Central Asian Military and Security Forces" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Nikonov AN-94 "Abakan" assault rifle (Russia)". Archived from the original on 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2006-02-16.
  7. ^ The Irish Times (21 April 2002). "IRA reported rearming as Castlereagh burglary denied". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 January 2021.

Further reading

  • Михаил Дегтярев, "Ан-94 «Абакан» – это просто", Калашников. Оружие, Боеприпасы, Снаряжение, 2007/5, pp. 6–12 (detailed explanation of the mechanism)
  • Nowa Technika Wojskowa 2002-03/04. (detailed history of the development of Nikonov's gun)