Malyuk (“baby” or “youngster”) assault rifle was designed by Ukrainian company InterProInvest and is manufactured by one of UkrOboronProm factories. It is a result of more than a decade-long history of development of various bullpup conversions of existing Kalashnikov AKM and AK74 assault rifles in Ukraine (see Vepr for example). First announced in 2015, Malyuk rifle is said to complete Ukrainian army trials in 2016 and now is believed to be in limited use by Ukrainian military.
It must be noted that developer and manufacturer of this rifle made some very bold statements that are hard to believe. For example, they claim that service life of the barrel is increased by at least 100% compared to standard Kalashnikov rifles, despite the fact that this rifle retains original and unmodified barrels of AKM or AK74 guns used for this conversion. Same applies to the claims of significant reduction of recoil or noticeable increase in reliability and accuracy.
The heart of each Malyuk rifle is a Soviet-era, USSR-made AKM or AK74 receiver with barrel, bolt group and trigger unit, set into the polymer stock of bullpup layout. New forward-located trigger is linked to the trigger group by a long link; standard AK safety/selector is limited to two positions (“semi-auto” and “full-auto”), and safety is provided by a cross-bolt button located above the trigger guard, which locks the trigger when engaged. Ejection is to the right only, and firing from the left shoulder appears to be uncomfortable at best, due to location of the ejection port right under the shooter’s cheek. Old charging handle is ground off, and a new charging handle is connected to the gas piston rod and can be switched to either side. Magazine housing is modified with addition of a magazine chute and new locking system. Magazine release is located just behind the trigger and must be pulled rearward to release magazine, which might be unsafe during so-called “tactical” reloads with round in the chamber and under stress conditions. Sighting equipment can be installed using integral Picatinny rail mounted on the new, removable top cover; additional rails are provided on the forend.
|Full text name||Malyuk assault rifle (Ukraine)|
|Caliber cartridge||5.45x39 7N6 7N10 7N22 7N245.56x45 NATO, .223 Remington7.62x39mm M43 Soviet Intermediate Cartridge|
|Overall length, mm||710|
|Barrel length, mm||415|
|Weight empty, kg||3.2|
|Magazine capacity, rounds||30|
|Cyclic rate of fire, rounds/min||650|