Kalashnikov inc. is trying to jump into the new age with a new alliance and and a new take on the bullpup rifle. Military-informant.com posted a picture with a short introduction to a new set of AK platforms that move the action into the stock of the firearm. It seems they will be producing both a 5.45×39 and a 7.62×39 variant of the new bullpup named the AS-1 and the AS-2 respectively. Although information on the systems seems to be fairly limited at this juncture both appear to feature a top and bottom rail to be used with either popup iron sights or you just as easily attach any standard optics without need for a replacement dust cover, gas block or other RIS hardware. Both models seem to be a primarily polymer construction and may feature an ejection port on the right side which could be bad news for lefties, but once again, details are fuzzy so all I can do at this point is speculate.
I for one am really excited about this! Since I bought a Romanian WASR a few years ago I have been interested in all things AK. Previously I had written a short article hailing the creativity of the team at CBRPS and their efforts to “modernize” many rifles with new custom made bullpup kits. I think we will see some good improvement to these bolt-on kits as Kalashnikov inc. shows us its take on the compact AK.
Hopefully with an AK designed from the ground up to fit in such a small space the design will be a bit slimmer and lighter than a bullpup kit would have afforded, but I do wonder how this will affect the simple take down and the ultimate indestructible nature of one of the most innately simple and effective rifle systems. I have high hopes. What’s your take?