An AEK-971, shown with foldable butt-stock.

The AEK-971 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 and similar weapons.

Design detailsEdit


An early model of the AEK-971.

The 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.