Design detailsEditThe AEK-971 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 had began field trials of this weapon. It is approximately 0.5 kg lighter than AN-94, simpler in design and cheaper to manufacture. Accuracy has been improved by 15% in comparison with the AK-74.
Models and VariantsEdit
There are three different models: AEK-971, AEK-972 and AEK-973. The different models are most easily recognized by the different magazine curvature. The AEK-972 is chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO 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 the fire.