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New modernized version of AK-103 assault rifle named AK-103M

The Kalashnikov Group (a subsidiary of the Rostec state corporation) Russian small arms manufacturer has modernized the AK-103 assault rifle chambered for 7.62x39/M43 cartridge.

New modernized version of Kalashnikov AK 103 assault rifle named AK 103M 925 001
Russian-made Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifle

The updated firearm designated AK-103M features a reinforced upper receiver, the entire length of which is fitted with a MIL-STD-1913 rail for modern sighting systems. The firearm's handguard also carries 3-, 6-, 9- and 12-o'clock MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rails for tactical grips, laser pointers and weapon flashlights. The rail interface is complemented by iron sights, while the side-mounted ('dovetail') attaching lug for sights has been removed.

The AK-103M has a weight of 4.1 kg with empty magazine, a combat length variable between 880 and 940 mm, and a cyclic rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute. It fires in semi-automatic and automatic modes. The firearm is fitted with a 415 mm barrel.

The assault rifle has received a folding polymer buttstock with adjustable length and height, and an ergonomic pistol grip with an internal container for batteries. The organic muzzle brake has been replaced with a cage-type flash suppressor. The cleaning rod located under barrel has been removed.

The AK-103M can be fitted with a GP-34 40 mm under-barrel grenade launcher or a bayonet. The firearm is fed by 30-round plastic magazines.

The Kalashnikov assault rifles chambered for 7.62x39 are demanded on the global market as the M43 cartridge has high penetrating capacity - a STANAG Level II armor is required to provide sufficient protection against it.

The Rosoboronexport company (a subsidiary of the Rostec state corporation) is reported to have withdrawn from the tender opened by India's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for assault rifles chambered for the 7.62x39 cartridge due to obsolete requirements that envisioned metal magazines, folding metal buttstocks and additional tools to assemble and disassemble firing mechanism.

Such items are the parts of the 1960s Kalashnikov assault rifles (for instance, the AKMS) and their legal or illegal copies, not a firearm that meets modern requirements in terms of weapon accessories and ergonomics. When an assault rifle chambered for the M43 cartridge is required, the AK-103M designed in accordance with the latest small arms tendencies is believed to be the best option.

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