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The AEK-972 is a Soviet / Russian selective fire assault rifle that was developed at the Kovrov Mechanical Plant (KMZ) by chief designer S.I. Koksharov in the 1980s. The primary model, the AEK-971, uses the 5.45x39mm round fed from standard 30-round or larger magazines used by the AK-74, AK-74M, and similar weapons.

Design details
The AEK-972 is based on previous AK rifles in internal design and layout, but is also equipped with a recoil-balancing mechanism by way of a counter-weight that negates the impulse of the gas piston and bolt carrier, resulting in more controllable automatic fire. Though losing an initial contract for production against the AN-94, the Russian Army has begun field trials of this weapon. It is approximately 0.5 kg lighter than AN-94, simpler in design and cheaper to manufacture. Accuracy is improved by 15% in comparison with the AK-74.

Models and Variants
There are three different models: the AEK-971, AEK-972 and AEK-973. The different variants are most easily recognized by their respective magazine curvatures. The AEK-972 is chambered in 5.56x45mm and the AEK-973 in 7.62x39mm. The AEK-972 uses the magazines of the 5.56mm "100" series AK assault rifles and the AEK-973 all of the standard 7.62mm AK magazines.
The AEK-971 and the AEK-973 have one variant each: AEK-971S and AEK-973S. These are improved variants with a new trigger mechanism with the location of the thumb safety-selector lever on the right side, receiving additionally a three-shot burst fire mode, and an extended lightweight stock. When the stock is retracted, the shoulder rest connects with the pistol grip forming a streamlined structure which allows the weapon to be used without hampering fire capabilities.

Used by

- Russia


- Second Chechen war

Not an Actual 972 But an 971 Only Difference is the Caliber

Assault rifle

KMZ (original), ZID (current)

Gas-operated, rotating bolt (balanced recoil system)


3.3 kg (7.3 lb) unloaded

960 mm (38 in) with stock unfolded, 720 mm (28 in) with stock folded

420 mm (17 in)

Magazine Capacity:
30 Rounds

Feed system:
detachable box magazine

Iron sights (hooded front post and the V-notch open rear)

Rate of fire:
900 rounds/min

Effective range:
500 m (550 yd)

Muzzle Velocity:
850 m/s (2,790 ft/s)


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