Dragunov MA compact assault rifle (USSR)

The Dragunov MA compact assault rifle is an experimental weapon, developed circa 1979 in Izhevsk by Evgenij Dragunov, who is best known for designing the SVD sniper rifle. Many sources refer to MA as the contender for “Modern” R&D program that resulted in adoption of the Kalashnikov AKS-74U compact assault rifle. However, in fact MA was designed and created under a separate R&D program intended to study extensive use of contemporary polymers and plastics in design of major parts and components of small arms.

 

Dragunov MA compact assault rifle
Dragunov MA compact assault rifle

 

Dragunov MA compact assault rifle never went past prototype stage, because contemporary polymer materials were not yet up to very demanding requirements of Soviet military. However, four decades later basic concept of this rifle was resurrected in a similarly named MA prototype, which later evolved into 5.45mm AM-17 and 9mm AMB-17 compact assault rifles from Kalashnikov group.

 

Dragunov MA compact assault rifle
Dragunov MA compact assault rifle

 

The Dragunov MA compact assault rifle is gas operated weapon, firing from closed bolt. It features short stroke gas piston above the barrel, and rotary bolt locking, with three-lug bolt. Upper receiver is made from sheet steel and has inverted “U”-shaped cross-section. Lower receiver, along with pistol grp and magazine housing, is made from brown, fiber-reinforced plastic, and is hinged to the upper receiver at the front. Bolt group ‘hangs’ below the upper receiver on its side rails. Rifle is equipped with flip-up rear sight of diopter type, and top-folding shoulder stock, made from stamped steel. Manual safety / fire selector lever is located on the right, in front and above the trigger. MA rifle was compatible with all AK-74 type magazines, but Dragunov also developed special 20-round magazine, made from the same brown fiber-impregnated plastic as the lower receiver.

 

Dragunov MA compact assault rifle
Dragunov MA compact assault rifle

 

Specification Value
Full text name Dragunov MA compact assault rifle (USSR)
Caliber cartridge 5.45x39 7N6 7N10 7N22 7N24
Action type select-fire
Trigger type sa
Overall length, mm 735
Length, folded, mm 500
Barrel length, mm 212
Weight empty, kg 2.5
Magazine capacity, rounds 20, 30
Cyclic rate of fire, rounds/min 800