The AK-108 is a Russian 5.56 mm assault rifle developed from the AK-100-series. It features a "balanced" operating system, similar to that used in the AEK-971. In this case, the designation AK does not indicate Avtomat Kalashnikova but Alexandrov/Kalashnikov. The revised designation indicates the incorporation of a new gas system, designed by Youriy Alexandrov, for Kalashnikov-pattern rifles.
These new rifles were derived from the AL-7 experimental rifle of the early 1970s. The AL-7 utilized an innovative balanced gas operating system known as the Balanced Automatics Recoil System (BARS) developed by Peter Andreevich Tkachev of TsNIITochMash that was first used earlier on the AO-38 assault rifle of 1965 that essentially eliminated felt recoil and muzzle rise. The system was modified by Alexandrov, then a junior engineer at Izhmash, and prototypes were produced under the designation AL-7. The AL-7 was considered too expensive for production at the time and the Soviet Army selected the AK-74 instead as the new service rifle. No further development occurred until the mid-1990s when Alexandrov, by then a senior engineer, was directed to update his design for production as a less expensive alternative to the AN-94. The new rifle differs only slightly from the original AL-7. The AK-108 receiver is not fluted and a three-round burst feature has been added. There is otherwise little difference between it and the AL-7 prototypes.
Not an Actual AK-108 (but 107, same gun different caliber)
Gas-operated, rotating bolt (balanced recoil system)
3.8 kg (8.38 lb)
943 mm (37.1 in) stock extended / 700 mm (27.6 in) stock folded
415 mm (16.3 in)
30-round detachable box magazine, 60 round AK-200 compatible casket
Box or Casket Magazine
Protected front post, rear V-notch on tangent
500 m (550 yd)
910 m/s (2,985.6 ft/s)