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. The project was started 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 the Ukrainian news services, the first batches of the WAC-47 rifle are already in use by Ukraine’s military forces. This rifle was originally issued in 7.62×39 caliber,  a round 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.

Technical Description:

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, 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.

The M43 cartridge 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. These sometimes Soviet era stocks  tend to leave a lot of burnt powder residue. Aside from these issues, the WAC-47 rifle is a fairly standard M4 clone. It has a 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.