WAC-47 assault rifle (Ukraine)

WAC-47 assault rifle
7.62x39mm WAC-47 Assault Rifle with underbarrel grenade launcher

 

The WAC-47 assault rifle was officially adopted by the Ukrainian military in 2017, with the intent to replace the older Kalashnikov AKM and AK74 rifles of Soviet origin. This rifle is a joint project of the US-based company Aeroscraft (which appears to have had no prior experience in small arms) and Ukrainian state-owned company “Ukroboronprom”. According to Ukrainian news services, the first batches of the WAC-47 rifle are already in use by Ukraine’s military forces. Originally issued in 7.62×39 caliber, (which has been in widespread use in Ukraine since Soviet times), it is optimistically planned to be converted to the 5.56×45 NATO round in the unlikely case of Ukraine joining the NATO alliance in the future.

The WAC-47 rifle is a more or less straightforward clone of the US M4 carbine. It uses the same aluminum alloy construction, the same two-part receiver, same direct impingement gas system and other standard AR15/M4 parts and assemblies. The key difference is that in its present version WAC-47 is chambered for the 7.62×39 M43 round, which is poorly suited for the AR-15 platform. The M4/M16/AR15 magazine shape is badly suited for the severely tapered 7.62mm round, and its larger case head (compared to 5.56mm/.223) leaves insufficient metal in a most critical part of the bolt head, right under its locking lugs. Finally, the direct impingement gas sytem is not ideal when shooting old stocks of 7.62×39 ammo that tend to leave a lot of burnt powder residue. Aside from these points, the WAC-47 rifle is a fairly standard M4 clone, with flat-top upper receiver, telescoped carbine-type shoulder stock, and M-LOK forend. Proposed caliber and barrel length changes are to be achieved by swapping out complete uppers, bolt groups and magazines where necessary.