If you haven’t noticed that the IDEX 2021, which is the defense expo in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Region, took place last month in Abu Dhabi, we don’t blame you, as we didn’t notice that it took place as well. With the pandemic we did not expect international events taking place, but we guess the IDEX 2021 was conducted in a safe manner, rather than become a mass spreader event.
But what we were interested is the world premiere of the AK-19 rifle from Kalashnikov Concern, as brought about by Rosoboronexport, Russia’s sole state intermediary agency for Russia's exports/imports of defense-related and dual use products, technologies and services.
Last year, the public got a glimpse of the new AK-19 during the Army-2020 Forum in Moscow. Based on the AK-12 rifle which has been accepted as the official service rifle in the Russian Military, the AK-19 fires the 5.56x45mm NATO round instead of the 5.45×39 mm that is used by the AK-12 while another variant, the AK-15, uses the 7.62×39mm round. The 5.45×39 mm is the standard cartridge used by the Russian military.
The AK-19 has a polymer stock that folds to the left and is adjustable in length with the muzzle having a birdcage-style flash hider which can accept quick detach suppressors, and improved aperture sight. Just like the magazine used by he AK-12, the magazine is a polymer with a heeled floorplate and has a witness window to indicate how many rounds are remaining in the magazine. The barrel length is 415 millimeters and it weighs 3.35kg.
In the presentation of the AK-19 during a session at the IDEX 2020, you can learn more about the design and development of the rifle as presented in more detail by Basil Krouglov from the Land Forces Department of Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov Specialist Vladimir Onokoy. Watch the video as taken by Kalashnikov Media:
Will the airsoft industry make an AK-19 version? Probably they can move quicker as it is a variant of the AK-12 and there are already AK-12s (and the AK-15) airsoft rifles as produced by LCT Airsoft, MOS Manufacturing/Arcturus Airsoft, and E&L Airsoft. Just some tweaking of the existing designs can make the introduction of an airsoft AK-19 to market.