The AK-103 assault rifle is a derivative of the AK-74M chambered for the 7.62×39mm M43 round, similar to the older AKM. The AK-103 can be fitted with a variety of sights, including night vision and telescopic sights, plus a knife-bayonet or a grenade launcher. It uses plastic components where possible instead of wood or metal, with such components being the pistol grip, handguards and stock.
The AK-103 assault rifle
|Place of origin||Russia|
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars||Second Chechen War|
War in Afghanistan
Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War
Iraqi Civil War
Insurgency in the Maghreb (2002–present)
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Saudi–Yemeni border conflict (2015–present)
|Mass||3.4 kg (7.5 lb) empty|
3.6 kg (7.9 lb) with empty magazine
|Length||943 mm (37.1 in) stock extended / 705 mm (27.8 in) stock folded|
|Barrel length||415 mm (16.3 in)|
|Action||Gas operated, rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||600 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||715 m/s (2,346 ft/s)|
|Effective firing range||500 m (550 yd)|
|Feed system||30-round detachable box magazine|
|Sights||Iron sights, with a dove tail side rail for mounting optical and night sights|
Protective coatings ensure excellent corrosion resistance of metal parts. Forearm, magazine, butt stock and pistol grip are made of high strength plastic.
The current issue steel-reinforced matte true black nonreflective surface finished 7.62×39mm 30-round magazines, fabricated from ABS plastic weigh 0.25 kg (0.55 lb) empty. Early steel AK-47 magazines are 9.75 in (248 mm) long, and the later ribbed steel AKM and newer plastic 7.62×39mm magazines are about 1 in (25 mm) shorter.
The transition from steel to mainly plastic magazines yielded a significant weight reduction and allow a soldier to carry more rounds for the same weight.
|Rifle||Cartridge||Cartridge weight||Weight of empty magazine||Weight of loaded magazine||Max. 10.12 kg (22.3 lb) ammunition load*|
|AK-47 (1949)||7.62×39mm||16.3 g (252 gr)||Slab-sided steel
430 g (0.95 lb)
916 g (2.019 lb)
|11 magazines for 330 rounds|
10.08 kg (22.2 lb)
|AKM (1959)||7.62×39mm||16.3 g (252 gr)||Ribbed stamped-steel
330 g (0.73 lb)
819 g (1.806 lb)
|12 magazines for 360 rounds|
9.83 kg (21.7 lb)
|AK-103/AK-104 (1994)||7.62×39mm||16.3 g (252 gr)||Steel-reinforced plastic
250 g (0.55 lb)
739 g (1.629 lb)
|13 magazines for 390 rounds|
9.61 kg (21.2 lb)
Note: All, 7.62×39mm AK magazines are backwards compatible with older AK variants.
Note *: 10.12 kg (22.3 lb) is the maximum amount of ammo that the average soldier can comfortably carry. It also allows for best comparison of the three most common 7.62×39mm AK platform magazines.
Select fire version for the military market
This is a semiautomatic version for the police and civilian market
This version has a three-round burst feature (3) added in between full automatic (АВ) and the fully engaged semi-automatic settings (ОД) and is intended for the police and civilian markets
Has a mount for the 1PN58 night scope
Has a mount for the 1PN51 night scope
Carbine version of the AK-103
Modernised version of the AK-103
- Russia: Used by various special police groups, special operations forces and civilians.
- Ethiopia: The Gafat Armament Engineering Complex produces the AK-103 rifle in Ethiopia. Supplements the AKM and AK-47 in the Ethiopian Armed Forces. It's reported in 2014 that the deal didn't go through at all.
- India: Used by Naval Special Forces, MARCOS.
- Iran: The sale of an undisclosed number of AK-103s for use by sections of the Iranian special forces was negotiated. The weapons were reported to be shipped to Iran on August 2016. The IRGC is reported to be using the AK-103.
- Libya: Seen in the hands of anti-Gaddafi forces and loyalists in numerous photos. The rifles in use are the AK-103-2 version.
- MUJAO used an ex-Libyan AK-103-2 in Agadez and Arlit attacks in 2013.
- Namibia: Used by Namibian Marine Corps
- Pakistan: In 2016, the Pakistan Armed Forces announced their intent to purchase large number of the AK-103 rifles to supplement their forces.
- Saudi Arabia: Used by Airborne Units and Special Security Forces in the Royal Saudi Land Forces. A license to produce AK-103 rifles was granted to Saudi Arabia in 2017.
- Syria: Used by police. Also used by Al Qaeda-linked Guardians of Religion Organization.
- Venezuela: Standard issue weapon of the Venezuelan Army. Made under license by CAVIM with initial licensing fee payments made in 2006 and the transfer of Russian-made AK-103s to Venezuela in 2008. CAVIM's AK-103 factories opened officially in 2012 without the necessary manufacturing equipment. CAVIM-made AK-103s were delivered to the Venezuelan Army in 2013. Due to trouble with the plant with the Russian contractor failing to meet deadlines with a case of fraud, which forced CAVIM to finish the rest of the construction, full-scale production will start by 2019.
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AK-103 – Kalashnikov assault rifle, caliber 7.62 mm. It is designed for the 7.62-mm cartridge of the 1943 model. This model was included in the inventory in 2001
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- Defence Web. "Namibia receives Russian small arms". defenceweb.co.za. defenceweb. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
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- "Saudi special forces operator in Yemen and armed with Russian AK 103". mighty_earth.
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- "РФ и Саудовская Аравия подписали меморандум о покупке и локализации продукции ВПК". TASS. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
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- https://mobile.twitter.com/bm21_grad/status/709464360356323328. Missing or empty
- https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/pictures-elite-syrian-security-troops-preparing-protect-damascus/. Missing or empty
- Graduating police in Latakia with AK-103 (in Arabic)
- "Syrie: comment al-Qaïda reprend pied en zone djihadiste". France Soir (in French). 28 June 2018.
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