AO-46 (firearm)

The AO-46 was a gas-operated 5.45×39mm caliber, compact carbine/assault rifle prototype. It features a folding stock and the trigger is located just in front of the magazine, which doubles as pistol grip. In order to minimize the length of the gun, gas for automatic operation was collected not out of the barrel, but directly from the flash suppressor in the muzzle.[1] Despite having the latter feature, the combination of a relative powerful cartridge and short barrel produced a flash comparable to that of a sawed-off shotgun.[2]

TypeCarbine/Assault Rifle
Personal defense weapon
Place of originSoviet Union
Production history
DesignerPeter Andreevich Tkachev
Mass2.0 kg (4.4 lb)
Length655 mm (25.7 in) stock extended / 458 mm (18.0 in) stock folded
Barrel length245 mm (9.7 in)

Caliber5.45 mm
ActionGas-operated, Select-fire
Rate of fire700 rpm
Muzzle velocity715 m/s
Maximum firing range400 m
Feed system15-round box magazine
SightsIron sights

The weapon was an unsolicited design by Peter Andreevich Tkachev working at TsNIITochMash. Although not accepted for service, this design, in combination with report of the US use of the XM-177 in Vietnam let the GRAU to start the competition known as Project Modern, which led to the adoption of AKS-74U for service.[1][2]

Although the Soviet doctrine did not have an equivalent concept, the AO-46 design corresponds to the Western concept of personal defense weapon (PDW).[3]

See also


  1. Monetchikov, Sergei (2005). История русского автомата [The History of Russian Assault Rifle] (in Russian). St. Petersburg: Military Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Signal Corps. p. 165. ISBN 5-98655-006-4.
  2. "Солдат удачи" номер 9 (72) 2000 Д.Ширяев "Кто изобрел автомат Калашникова?"
  3. AO-46 at Retrieved 2013-4-7

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