This thread is devoted to the presentation of your nations firearms, and the development, deployment and discussion thereof. Images are welcome, though we ask that excessively large images (to be determined at presentation) be spoiler'd. Discussion of all categories of firearms is permitted, as well as firearms designs and related military discussion.
Please keep in mind: If you post a design here, you automatically accept that it may, nay will, be criticized. You do not have to agree to accept the criticism and act on it but you forfeited the right to whine about it when you posted. Such is the nature of a public forum.
Try to learn from what the more experienced players have to say, and use that knowledge to improve your design. As always, to the veterans, this is not an excuse to flame, troll and otherwise be a douchebag.
That said, there are a couple of things that aren't acceptable answers, unless you fit very specific criteria. The most obvious of these is that the 'AK-47' is not an acceptable answer. If you have a problem with that, feel free to talk to me about it. Why isn't that an acceptable answer, though? Spoiler time!
No, seriously, read this:The AK-47 was designed in 1946 and formally adopted by the Soviet military in 1949. There were four models used between 1947 and 1959: The AK-47 was the test and trials designation for the rifle: the earlier prototypes, made in 1946, were referred to as the AK-1 and AK-2. After the adoption of the rifle, it was designated simply as the "AK". However, due to three variants of the AK being made, it is more proper to refer to these variants as the "AK Type-#" rather than just "AK" as the three variants differed quite significantly from one another. Due to that, the term "AK" has more or less become a catch-all for just about all AK variants, and does not necessarily refer to one specific model. The Type-I, adopted in late 1948, featured an early, stamped receiver, but it was quickly (and I mean quickly) replaced by the Type-II AK in 1949. This featured a milled receiver, a stock boot, and some other small, yet somewhat significant changes. The Type-III is the most common "AK-47," and it is basically just a milled predecessor of the rifle you should be using. What rifle is that?
Enter the AKM.
The AKM is the modernized version of the Type-III assault rifle. It utilizes a stamped receiver, reinforced receiver cover, slanted muzzle brake, vented gas block, and a rear sight leaf showing distances of 100m to 1,000m among other things. In reality, it is only acceptably accurate out to 300m on a good day. The AKM is the most widespread AK variant in the world. Almost every foreign-made AK (Yugoslavian, Hungarian, Polish, etc) variant in the world is based off of the AKM. Why? It's more reliable and just as accurate as the original AKs, not to mention much cheaper to produce. It is the Kalashnikov rifle. They come in a variety of, well, variants, which include models with forward, wooden grips, underfolding MP40-style stocks, side-folding wire stocks, and, of course, fixed, wooden stocks. They fire the 7.62x39mm cartridge. Folding-stocked AKMs are designated as AKMS.
The AKMN is the most useful of the AKMs, however, as it utilizes the famous Russian optics rail on the receiver. This allows the user to attach a variety of slide-on optics that do not lose zero and, sometimes, co-witness or, most usually, sit above the iron sights so one may choose which sighting system to use. If I recommend any "old", AKM variant, it is most usually the AKMN. It is the most multi-purpose AKM variant there is, and that optics rail is wonderful. It can serve as a mount for red dot optics and magnified optics alike (night vision, too!).
Let's say you've advanced beyond the AKM, though, and are looking for some more "modern" AKs. This is where the AK-74 and its variants come into play. The AK-74 was adopted in 1974 and it was Russia's answer to the M16 family. Its 5.45x39mm round is kind of a "me, too!" round as they wished to copy the American 5.56NATO cartridge. However, in their drunken stupor, the Russians managed to make a much more effective round. The 5.45x39mm round is very unstable after coming in contact with any kind of obstruction. This limits its penetration quite a bit, but the tissue damage it inflicts is unparalleled. The AK-74 family really tears up soft targets.
Even more modern still is the AK-100-series of AKs. The AK-101 and AK-102 are 5.56x45mm NATO variants of the AK. They're basically a re-chambered AK-74M. The AK-103 and AK-104 are the new, modern 7.62x39mm variants of the AK. I, in all honesty, believe these are the most superior models of the AK family. Stick to the AK-74M, AK-101, or AK-103 for your full-sized AK rifles (or AK-107, AK-108, or AK-109 if you wish to utilize the BARS anti-recoil dual-piston assembly). For carbines, the AK-102, AK-104, and AK-105 are your answers. Shorter still is the AKS-74u. However, if you're looking for a more modern variant, the AK-12 is still undergoing its testing stages, but there is fair potential it will be adopted for use at some time in the near future. Though I discourage its use due to its lack of true production during 2012, within a few years it will probably be a perfectly acceptable answer: models are supposedly supposed to be imported in 2013 in semi-automatic form to the United States. So, I suppose you could either be a nation from 2012+ or a nation that is using an alternate history in which the AK-12 was adopted earlier. Either way, if you're using weapons from 2012 or onwards, it should be perfectly acceptable, and it is being offered in multiple calibers (5.45x39mm, 5.56x45mm, 7.62x39mm, 12 Gauge, and there is talk of 6.5 Grendel variants).
So, basically, what are you planning on doing with your military? Here's a list of actual "WE USE TEH AK-15 WIHT BULLETGLOCKS" models that are, well, acceptable for the listed roles in the AK family, and I've went ahead and separated them by general effective range.
Medium to Long Range/Designated Marksman Rifle
- Romanian PSL: ten rounds, semi-automatic 7.62x54mmR
- Yugoslavian M76: ten rounds, semi-automatic (or fully automatic if done correctly) 7.92x57mm IS (export versions of 7.62 NATO)
- Israeli AR/ARM (Galil): twenty-five rounds, select-fire (safe, semi, full), 7.62x51mm NATO.
- Finnish Rk 76/M76 (rifles were exported only): twenty rounds, semi-automatic, 7.62x51mm NATO.
- Type-I (1948 to 1949) -- 7.62x39mm
- Type-II (1949 to 1953) -- 7.62x39mm
- Type-III (1953 to 1959) -- 7.62x39mm
- AKM -- 7.62x39mm
- AKMN -- 7.62x39mm
- AKMS -- 7.62x39mm
- AKMP -- 7.62x39mm
- AKMSP -- 7.62x39mm
- AKMLP -- 7.62x39mm
- AKMSN -- 7.62x39mm
- AKMSNP -- 7.62x39mm
- AK-74 -- 5.45x39mm
- AKS-74 -- 5.45x39mm
- AK-74M -- 5.45x39mm
- AK-101 -- 5.56x45mm
- AK-103 -- 7.62x39mm
- Rk 62/M62 -- 7.62x39mm
- Rk 71/M71 -- 7.62x39mm or 5.56x45mm NATO
- Rk 76_/M76_ -- 7.62x39mm (5.56 NATO export versions)
- Rk 95 -- 7.62x39mm
- AMD-63 -- 7.62x39mm
- AMD-65 -- 7.62x39mm
- AK-63 -- 7.62x39mm
- AK-63F -- 7.62x39mm
- AK-63D -- 7.62x39mm
- AK-63MF -- 7.62x39mm
- AR/ARM (Galil) -- 5.56x45mm
- M70 -- 7.62x39mm
- M70A -- 7.62x39mm
- M70A1 -- 7.62x39mm
- M70B1 -- 7.62x39mm
- M70AB2 -- 7.62x39mm
- M70B1N -- 7.62x39mm
- M70AB2N -- 7.62x39mm
- M70AB3 -- 7.62x39mm
- M90 -- 5.56x45mm
- M90A -- 5.56x45mm
- M21 -- 5.56x45mm
- PmK (kbk) -- 7.62x39mm
- Kbkg wz. 1960 -- 7.62x39mm
- kbk -- 7.62x39mm
- kbk wz. 1981 -- 5.45x39mm
- kbk wz. 1988 -- 5.45x39mm
- Beryl -- 5.56x45mm
- Misr (AKM and AKMS) -- 7.62x39mm
- Tabuk DMR (semi-automatic RPK) -- 7.62x39mm
- Type-56 -- 7.62x39mm
- Type-56-I -- 7.62x39mm
- Type-56-II -- 7.62x39mm
- QBZ-56C -- 7.62x39mm
- Type-81 -- 7.62x39mm
- MPi-K -- 7.62x39mm
- MPi-KS -- 7.62x39mm
- MPi-KM -- 7.62x39mm
- MPi-KMS-72 -- 7.62x39mm
- MPi-KMS-74 -- 5.45x39mm
- Type-58A -- 7.62x39mm
- Type-58B -- 7.62x39mm
- Type-68A -- 7.62x39mm
- Type-68B -- 7.62x39mm
- Type-88 -- 7.62x39mm
- PM md. 63 -- 7.62x39mm
- PM md. 90 -- 7.62x39mm
- PA md. 86 -- 5.45x39mm
- AKS-74u -- 5.45x39mm
- AK-102 -- 5.56x45mm
- AK-104 -- 7.62x39mm
- AK-105 -- 5.45x39mm
- kbk wz. 1996 "Mini-Beryl" -- 5.56x45mm
- PM md. 65 -- 7.62x39mm
- M85 -- 5.56x45mm
- M92 -- 7.62x39mm
- SAR (Galil) -- 5.56x45mm
- SLR-107CR (forget Bulgaria's military designation) -- 7.62x39mm
- SLR-107UR (see above) -- 7.62x39mm
Now that you've decided which model it is that you're actually going to use, it's time to decide on a caliber and an optic. What's the best caliber? Well, I'll talk in terms of the assault rifles/carbines as the longer-range weapons are really a freedom of choice type of thing. So, we're basically down to 5.45x39mm, 5.56x45mm, and 7.62x39mm. Let's discuss 5.45x39mm first, shall we? Rhetorical question.
Okay, so you've chosen the "me, too" cartridge. What can we expect? Well, the 5.45x39mm round is capable of penetrating some armored vests, but not at very long ranges at all. Let's just refer to it as standard ball FMJ, regardless of type, for simplicity here. You can make your own uber-cool loads for it later. Alright, so the 5.45x39mm round is designed with a small air cavity in the front. This makes the round rear-heavy and very unstable. Upon impacting a target, it begins to tumble almost immediately. The flesh wounds caused by this round are devastating. This is probably the most lethal round to choose for an AK if going against unarmed opponents in semi-open ground (see Afghanistan invasion). The 5.45x39mm extends the AK-74's (and derivatives) range from the standard AK's 300m to about 400m. It will get about 2.0MOA accuracy, so that means 8.0MOA at that outer limit of its range: well within the chest. This round is also very light recoiling and, with the proper muzzle brake, is therefore easily controllable. There are a few AK-74 variants utilizing a recoil-countering piston (BARS), but I did not list these variants above as they are, to my understanding, very much so specialist items. Going back to wound capabilities, please note that the 5.45x39mm round is not good for penetrating barriers.
- Accurate (2.0MOA)
- Longer effective range (400m)
- Very easy to control
- Devastating on flesh targets
- Tumbles upon impact with obstacles (jungle warfare would be less effective)
- Less barrier penetration
Go read a book. No, seriously: there's thousands.
7.62x39mm is, in my opinion, the best round for the AK. The original M43 ammunition was lead-core FMJ through-and-through (or steel for AP). It is known for penetrating barriers and packing a good ol' .30-caliber slug in its casing. In 1967, the Yugoslavians created the M67 cartridge of 7.62x39mm. This is now the most widely used 7.62x39mm round. It features a hollowed nose cavity similar to the 5.45x39mm, but it isn't as large compared to the rest of the round. This lets it mushroom out a bit and yaw inside of flesh, but it still retains most of its barrier-penetrating capabilities. It's kind of a middle-ground cartridge, but its effective range is honestly only 300m. The recoil, while not horrible, is not preferable for sustained fully-automatic firing, but in bursts or semi-automatic fire, it should stay relatively on-target.
- It's freaking 7.62x39mm
- Penetrates barriers easier
- Retains some flesh-destroying qualities
- Most common AK round -- pretty much every single country in the world has some of it somewhere
- Good-sized .30-caliber hole, even with no expansion
- AK-103/AK-104 accuracy of 2.0MOA
- More felt recoil
- More noticeable muzzle climb
- Pre-AK-100 series, accuracy of ~3.5MOA
Of course, there are some AKs that fire 6.8SPC, 7.62x51mm NATO, 7.92x57mm IS, 7.62x54mmR, et cetera, et cetera, but those are pretty much specialty weapons and, therefore, not truly "main military weapons" unless you are issuing battle rifle equivalents as standard-issue.
As for optics, unless you're wanting to issue a quasi-DMR in each squad (POSP or PSO is highly recommended) or perhaps an ACOG (or similar) on a Beryl/Krebs/TWI Dogleg-style receiver cover rail. As for standard infantry use, however, stick to red-dot optics or other no-magnification optics. These can be had via Russian Kobra, PK-A, PK-AS, 1P63 Obzor, anything else on this site or, if you're feeling Western and pig-doggish, you can utilize a quad-rail/gas tube rail/etc. and put a small red dot (like an AimPoint of some kind: EOTechs would be too tall) on that top rail. If it sits low enough, it should co-witness with the iron sights, giving you a back-up sighting system in the event your red dot optic is damaged/destroyed/dead/otherwise unusable.
So, yeah, you can say you use the AK-47, but unless you fall within that time frame of pre-AK production Russia, then fuck you.
Have a nice day.