The AEK-973S is a Soviet / Russian selective fire assault rifle that was developed at the Kovrov Mechanical Plant (KMZ) by chief designer S.I. Koksharov in the 1980s. The primary model, the AEK-971, uses the 5.45x39mm round fed from standard 30-round or larger magazines used by the AK-74, AK-74M, and similar weapons.
The AEK-973S is based on previous AK rifles in internal design and layout, but is also equipped with a recoil-balancing mechanism by way of a counter-weight that negates the impulse of the gas piston and bolt carrier, resulting in more controllable automatic fire. Though losing an initial contract for production against the AN-94, the Russian Army has begun field trials of this weapon. It is approximately 0.5 kg lighter than AN-94, simpler in design and cheaper to manufacture. Accuracy is improved by 15% in comparison with the AK-74.
Models and Variants
There are three different models: the AEK-971, AEK-972 and AEK-973. The different variants are most easily recognized by their respective magazine curvatures. The AEK-972 is chambered in 5.56x45mm and the AEK-973 in 7.62x39mm. The AEK-972 uses the magazines of the 5.56mm "100" series AK assault rifles and the AEK-973 all of the standard 7.62mm AK magazines.
The AEK-971 and the AEK-973 have one variant each: AEK-971S and AEK-973S. These are improved variants with a new trigger mechanism with the location of the thumb safety-selector lever on the right side, receiving additionally a three-shot burst fire mode, and an extended lightweight stock. When the stock is retracted, the shoulder rest connects with the pistol grip forming a streamlined structure which allows the weapon to be used without hampering fire capabilities.
- Second Chechen war
Not an Actual 973S But an 971 Only Difference is the Caliber
KMZ (original), ZID (current)
Gas-operated, rotating bolt (balanced recoil system)
Aprox 3.25 kg (7.2 lb) unloaded
960 mm (38 in) with stock unfolded, 720 mm (28 in) with stock folded
420 mm (17 in)
detachable box magazine
Iron sights (hooded front post and the V-notch open rear)
Rate of fire:
500 m (550 yd)