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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.

AK-103 Assault Rifle.JPG
The AK-103 assault rifle
TypeAssault rifle
Place of originRussia
Service history
In service2001–present[1]
Used bySee Users
WarsSecond Chechen War[citation needed]
Iraq 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)
Production history
DesignerMikhail Kalashnikov
ManufacturerKalashnikov Concern
No. built250,000+
Mass3.4 kg (7.5 lb) empty
3.6 kg (7.9 lb) with empty magazine
Length943 mm (37.1 in) stock extended / 705 mm (27.8 in) stock folded
Barrel length415 mm (16.3 in)

ActionGas operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire600 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity715 m/s (2,346 ft/s)
Effective firing range500 m (550 yd)
Feed system30-round detachable box magazine
SightsIron sights, with a dove tail side rail for mounting optical and night sights


Design detailsEdit

AK-103 with the stock folded.

Protective coatings ensure excellent corrosion resistance of metal parts. Forearm, magazine, butt stock and pistol grip are made of high strength plastic.[2]

The AK-104 is a compact version of the AK-103. It has a muzzle brake derived from the older AKS-74U combined with a shorter barrel. It is also chambered for 7.62×39mm ammunition.


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.[3] 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.[4][5]

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)[6]
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)[7][8]
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)[7][8]
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.[9]
  •   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.[10]
  •   India: Used by Naval Special Forces, MARCOS.[11]
  •   Iran: The sale of an undisclosed number of AK-103s for use by sections of the Iranian special forces was negotiated.[12] The weapons were reported to be shipped to Iran on August 2016.[13] The IRGC is reported to be using the AK-103.[14]
  •   Libya: Seen in the hands of anti-Gaddafi forces and loyalists in numerous photos. The rifles in use are the AK-103-2 version.[15]
  • MUJAO used an ex-Libyan AK-103-2 in Agadez and Arlit attacks in 2013.[16]
  •   Namibia: Used by Namibian Marine Corps[17]
  •   Pakistan: In 2016, the Pakistan Armed Forces announced their intent to purchase large number of the AK-103 rifles to supplement their forces.[18]
  •   Saudi Arabia: Used by Airborne Units and Special Security Forces in the Royal Saudi Land Forces.[19][20][21] A license to produce AK-103 rifles was granted to Saudi Arabia in 2017.[22][23][24]
  •   Syria: Used by police.[25][26][27] Also used by Al Qaeda-linked Guardians of Religion Organization.[28]
  •   Venezuela: Standard issue weapon of the Venezuelan Army.[29] 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.[30] CAVIM's AK-103 factories opened officially in 2012 without the necessary manufacturing equipment.[30][31] CAVIM-made AK-103s were delivered to the Venezuelan Army in 2013.[32] 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,[33] full-scale production will start by 2019.[34]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Presentation of the unique Kalashnikov small arms collection in the Moscow Kremlin Museum". Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 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
  2. ^ "7.62 mm Kalashnikov assault rifles AK103, АК104". Archived from the original on 14 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Официальный сайт группы предприятий "ИЖМАШ"". Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  4. ^ Rifle Evaluation Study, United States Army, Combat Development Command, ADA046961, 20 Dec 1962
  5. ^ "Are kalashnikov magazines as robust as their reputation? He tormented a selection of AR magazines last year, now he takes on the AK. The results you may find surprising". Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  6. ^ Dockery, Kevin (2007). Future Weapons. p. 102. ISBN 0-425-21750-7.
  7. ^ a b "Ak 47 Technical Description - Manual". 2010-09-30. Retrieved 2012-08-23.
  8. ^ a b Dockery, Kevin (2007). Future Weapons. p. 102.
  9. ^ Jenzen-Jones, N.R. (September 2012). "The 100-Series Kalashnikovs: A Primer". Small Arms Review. Vol. 16 no. 3.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ 1149841 (2016-08-06). "Exclusive: Iran Imports AK-103 Rifles from Russia". Tasnim News Agency. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Update II: AK-103 Exports to Libya". Security Scholar. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  16. ^ Savannah de Tessières (January 2018). At the Crossroads of Sahelian Conflicts: Insecurity, Terrorism, and Arms Trafficking in Niger (PDF) (Report). Small Arms Survey. p. 24. ISBN 978-2-940548-48-4.
  17. ^ Defence Web. "Namibia receives Russian small arms". defenceweb. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "How an AK-103 Works". allinallnews. November 3, 2015.
  20. ^ "Saudi special forces operator in Yemen and armed with Russian AK 103". mighty_earth.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Saudi Arabia to Start Licensed Manufacturing of AK-103 Rifles". Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  23. ^ "РФ и Саудовская Аравия подписали меморандум о покупке и локализации продукции ВПК". TASS. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  24. ^ "Saudi Arabia to produce Russian Kalashnikovs under new deal". Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  25. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ Graduating police in Latakia with AK-103 (in Arabic)
  28. ^ "Syrie: comment al-Qaïda reprend pied en zone djihadiste". France Soir (in French). 28 June 2018.
  29. ^ "Russia to build 2 Kalashnikov factories in Venezuela by 2010 / Sputnik international". Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  30. ^ a b John Pike. "Defense Industry". Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  31. ^ Christopher Looft. "Venezuela Set to Mass Produce Kalashnikovs, Sniper Rifles". Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  32. ^ "Cavim inicia entrega de fusiles de asalto Kalashnikov AK-103 a la Fuerza Armada de Venezuela". 3 June 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2014.
  33. ^
  34. ^

External linksEdit