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Firearms / Assault rifles / AN-94


General Facts

  • TYPE
    Assault rifle


    Abakan (project name)

    1980 - 1994

    Gennadiy Nikonov

    1997 - 2006

    Russia - Izhmash

    Several thousand


    Highly effective burst fire
    Limited recoil
    Limited weight
    High capacity magazines
    Very expensive
    Complex design
    Not as reliable as AK-74
    Cannot mount a silencer


The AN-94 is an assault rifle of Russian origin. The design was started as early as 1980 for project Abakan that was initiated by the Soviet military to search for a very capable weapon to replace the AK-74 in Soviet services. The name AN-94 stands for Avtomat Nikonova 1994. Although the AN-94 has a good performance it is far too costly and complex to serve as a standard issue rifle.


Externally the AN-94 seem somewhat similar as the AK-74M, but internally it is very different. The AN-94 uses a mechanism which the designers call blowback shifted pulse and a rotating bolt is used. The AN-94 features much better sights than the Kalashnikov series and can mount a variety of optics. A rubber buttpad and complex muzzle brake improve controllability during automatic fire. The forearm, pistol grip and side folding stock are made out of plastics.


The AN-94 fires the 5.45x45mm Soviet round from standard 30 round magazines or new 45 and 60 round ones. It is a select fire weapon with a cyclic rate of fire of 600 rpm. The most prominent feature of the AN-94 is its two round burst fire option with associated higher rate of fire of 1.800 rpm. This allows the second shot to leave the weapon before the recoil moves the weapon. The result is that two rounds will impact in nearly the same spot, improving the lethality significantly. The effective range is 400 meters with iron sights. The AN-94 can also mount a GP-30 grenade launcher and bayonet and if needed both at the same time.


The AN-94 was to become the standard issue rifle for the Soviet armed forces. The breakup of the Soviet Union and resulting economic downfall and lack of budget resulted in only a very limited production run. Over time more AK-74M's were ordered by the Russian forces, the improved performance of the AN-94 did not merit it much higher costs. The AN-94 remains in low rate production and is available for export.



The AN-94 is a unique assault rifle that uses a very complex internal mechanism. For a Russian weapon the AN-94 is unusually ergonomic. The AN-94 can be distinguished from the AK-74M by its rubber buttpad, improved sights, different forearm and complex flash hider.

TypeAssault rfile
Caliber5.45x45mm Soviet
Magazine30, 45, 60 rounds
OperationGas operated, blowback shifted pulse, rotating bolt
Fire selector0-1-2-F
Rate of fire600 rpm (full auto), 1.800 rpm (burst fire)
Barrel length405 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 195 mm twist rate
Muzzle velocity900 m/s
Length943 mm / 728 mm
Width96 mm
Height273 mm
Weight3.85 kg empty, 4.1 kg with empty magazine, 4.4 kg loaded
SightsIron sights, post front and adjustable peep rear, 200 to 700 m gradations, 520 mm sight radius, optional optical sights

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