New Pictures: Prototype Russian AEK-971


Thanks to reader Alexandr in Russia, we have a new look at a prototype for the AEK-971 rifle, this time the military 6П68 variant. The Russian armed forces have used variants of the AK-47 rifle ever since the end of World War II, and the design is starting to show its age especially compared to the latest advances from the Belgians and Israelis. The latest design uses a polymer receiver instead of the old stamped sheet metal, a telescoping stock instead of the folding design, and uses the same balanced recoil system as the AN-94 (which uses two pistons and two gas chambers synchronized through a gear to reduce recoil).


  1. avatar Michael B. says:

    If the weapon is chambered in 5.45 why are they that concerned about recoil reduction? The AK-74 doesn’t have much recoil to begin with.

    1. avatar CA.Ben says:

      When it’s firing at 800ish rpm, I bet that even 5.45 gets out of hand pretty quickly.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Yep, high rate of fire with little recoil equals unhappy opponents.

      2. avatar Byte Stryke says:

        muzzle climb FTW

        1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

          Looking at the muzzle brake, I doubt much climb at all. The ak 74 is famous for being well mannered under full auto. I bet the new system is good upgrade. Russian military has been known take a weapon system, issuing upgrades that are a marked improvement only when necessary.

    2. avatar Steiney says:

      Pretty sure that receiver says 7.62×39… Just saying.

      1. avatar Michael B. says:

        Didn’t know the Russkies still used 7.62×39

        1. avatar Pwrserge says:

          Oh we do. It depends on the application. Even use 7.62x54R.

      2. avatar conceal7 says:


        1. avatar Lolinski says:

          7.62x54R is best cartridge!
          only weaklings and facists would dare to say otherwise.

        2. avatar Sean says:

          Id choose a .30.06 or .308 cartridge over a 7.62x.54r but that is mainly due to the types of rifle choices I have with those cartridges.

      3. avatar Tony says:

        If you look closely one is in 5.45 and the other one is chambered in 7.62

  2. avatar g says:

    Nifty… but will it ever come State-side?

    One can dream…

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      Sure. After the next major international conflict causes a few million to be pumped out for sale to client states, then things die down and these flood the surplus market.

      In other words, about the time we hit retirement age…

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        I already hit retirement age. When can I expect mine?

    2. avatar int19h says:

      This is still a prototype, even in Russia. It’s not officially in military service yet, although some spec ops groups have given it a go.

  3. avatar macgearailt says:

    I want one.

  4. avatar Chris from Iowa says:

    That stock is sexy. Very sexy.

  5. avatar Skeev says:

    Looks like the love child of an MP5 and an AK-47.

    Which can only mean that I really want one.

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      Just realized that I already have one, and it’s one of my favorite guns… in Borderlands 2. Except it’s a “Vladov” and, um, it only exists in simulated reality…

      1. avatar Anonemoose says:

        “If you shop anywhere else… I’ll kill you!”

        1. avatar kevin rossfield says:

          “Marcus munitions has better weapons than the competition, I made sure of that.”

  6. avatar JaxD says:

    Sweet looking piece.

  7. avatar Tim says:

    AK meets HK.

    1. avatar Ralph says:


  8. avatar Mr. Lighter says:

    So they finally made an HK-47. This pleases me.

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      Statement: Indeed, I am most eager to engage in some unadulterated violence. At your command of course, Master.

      1. avatar Gyufygy says:

        Definition: ‘Love’ is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope… Love is knowing your target, putting them in your targeting reticule, and together, achieving a singular purpose against statistically long odds.

        1. avatar g says:

          Commentary: The meatbag speaks without clarity. Detail this agreement or the master will splatter your organs all over the floor!

    2. avatar benny says:

      OH MY GOD.
      I can now die happy after reading all this.

  9. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I’ll take two.

  10. avatar JMS says:

    Cool. I like the grip, the receiver, the stock, the rail up top. The rest of it still looks like an AK and I’m just not a fan of the aesthetics.

    Since you mention the Israelis, I’ll mention that I’d much rather have a TAVOR. Oh… I do have a TAVOR, and it’s freaking awesome!!! 😛

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    Does this rifle require ammo? Because if it does, I can’t use it.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Dang it Ralph, now I gotta Pee. Lol

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Astronaut diapers. Nuff said.

    2. avatar Lars says:

      If it shoot 7.62x39mm quit your bitching, it’s everywhere. I pick up 1,000 rounds every tuesday at sportmansguide in twin cities. Can’t be the only place that has 7.62 in stock at retail store.

  12. avatar Jeh says:

    I could swear this came out in 2009…
    Oh well, very nice, ill buy.

  13. avatar Adam says:

    Will we see them in the states? I doubt it. But hopefully someone will come out with some accessories so we can deck out out AK’s in a similar fashion. Or maybe even a complete rifle very similar to this.

    One of those stocks on a mini-draco would be sweet.

  14. avatar Anonymous says:

    I like it. Except for the plastic garden tool look of the receiver. Instead of a bayonet they could add a collapsible shovel.

  15. avatar ensitue says:

    It’s the AR-47 the libs talk about!

  16. avatar Keith1863 says:

    Yes, but when will it be offered in 300 Blackout? /sarc

  17. avatar Pat says:

    Wonder if accuracy has been increased.

    1. avatar Chris Dumm says:

      Mutated parts-kit AKs are often sucktacular bullet hoses, but correct AK-74s and their 5.56mm export variants have inherent accuracy that’s *almost* up there with a decent AR. A newly-manufactured Russian or Bulgarian AK-74 usually has nearly the same accuracy out to 200 yards as an iron-sighted M16, and much of the M16’s advantage comes from its superior sights.

  18. avatar B says:

    That is one sexy rifle.

  19. avatar int19h says:

    >> and uses the same balanced recoil system as the AN-94 (which uses two pistons and two gas chambers synchronized through a gear to reduce recoil).

    This system is not at all what is used in AN-94. The latter uses a much more complicated system with freely recoiling barrel – which is why it only really works in AN’s ultra-fast 2-round burst mode.

    1. avatar Canopus says:

      It’s not only a recoiling barrel, but a whole sub-receiver, that holds the barrel and bolt carrier, that recoils in order for the gun being able to cycle again within the recoil space of the first shot. It’s an interesting idea but nonetheless an overengineered clusterfcuk that offers no tangible practical advantage over a balanced system in the AEK-971 and AK-100-series which is only marginally more complicated than a regular AK.

  20. avatar Lars says:

    Don’t fix what ain’t broke. I could redesign an AK better than this. Ya, let’s add more moving parts. more complexity and more chance for failure to a design that is near perfect and has been for decades. What the hell is wrong with a stamped receiver? I have both milled and stamped AKs and stamped are better overall. Poly is only downgrading. I hate tele stock looks and feel on anything but ARs, I even hate them on ARs. Folds and fixed are best IMHO.

    But really, who is going to shoot anything but .308, .223 and a few other odd rifle cals over here unless they already have a 47 or 74? Even with the AR prices and availability still tough here I see many more going AK to AR than back the other way. And the comment by Nick about the Belgium and Israeli advancements is referring to those ugly and worthless IMHO again, bullpups. Why must these main guys here always bring those damn bullpups into every rifle article? Bullpups suck, period.

    1. avatar Fenix says:

      Lars, Bullpups dont suck.. Your statement that they do only shows ignorance. Sounds like you’re just repeating drivel from Yeager; And hes a moron. You’re better than that.

  21. avatar bo says:

    Bullpups…because ARs and AKs don’t go through door ways very easily at odd angles. And I don’t want to give the government $200 and wait six months.

  22. avatar Stan12 says:

    Just for clarification, the AEK is produced by Kovrov Mechanical Plant and it’s a direct competitor to Izmash (who produces the AK).

  23. avatar sean says:

    Are they ever going to import kits or sport versions to the usa so we can have them?

  24. avatar Beast says:

    Now they producting only military purpose weapons, forbidden for civilian or sporting use.
    Some people in Russia hope that it wiil be coverced to civilian variants, but I`m not sure it will be..
    Now in mass production only this variant:
    But infantry still armed AK variants, AEK, as well AN-94, using by some MVD or similar armed units.
    AEK`s prototipes on pic over thead now testing as part of advanced warrior equipment set

  25. avatar Sam says:

    Why is everyone complaining about the polymer housing on a gun that they never used and will never acquire? Glocks have a polymer frame, but never had you many problems. The vast majority of poly frames on glocks are pretty tough. Considering that this is the work of Russians, I’m sure that they’d make sure it’s reliable and durable.

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