Korobov TKB-022P

The Korobov TKB-022P experimental assault rifle was designed circa 1962 by Soviet engineer German Korobov, who worked at the TSKIB SOO sporting and hunting weapons design bureau in Tula. This rifle was one of many experimental weapons developed in the search for a more effective and less expensive alternative to the recently adopted Kalashnikov AKM assault rifle. Chambered for the then-standard 7,62x39mm M1943 intermediate cartridge, the TKB-022P rifle was built with extensive use of contemporary glass fiber-reinforced AG-4 plastic, often erroneously called “bakelite”. As originally built, the TKB-022P assault rifle used a “magazine-grip” layout, rarely encountered among assault rifles, and for a good reason. Simply put, standard AK / AKM magazine was way too wide and awkwardly shaped to be used as a pistol grip. Not surprising, it never went past prototype stage, and in a short order Korobov designed an entirely different rifle, the TKB-022PM, with very little commonality with its predecessor.

 

Korobov TKB-022P experimental assault rifle
Korobov TKB-022P experimental assault rifle, from the collection of the Tula State Museum of Weapons

 

The Korobov TKB-022P experimental assault rifle is a gas-operated select-fire weapon. It uses annular gas piston, located around the barrel, and a rotary bolt locking. Gun body is made from two plastic halves, left and right, which are assembled around the barrel and a very compact, skeletonized receiver in a clam-shell manner. Rifle features small and rather awkward T-shaped charging handle which protrudes vertically at the top of the weapon. Safety / fire mode selector is also not so comfortable, as it is located at the bottom of the gun body, behind the magazine housing. Ammunition was fed from standard AK / AKM magazines, which also served as a pistol grip.