Kalashnikov AKV-521 (Russia)

The Kalashnikov AKV-521 was developed upon request of Russian MIL / LE users who extensively use LPVO optics together with Thermal/NV Clip-ons and Weapon lights/IR illuminators on their go-guns. The Kalashnikov AKV-521 was first announced via social networks in late 2020 in semi-auto version geared toward the civilian market.


Kalashnikov AKV-521

Kalashnikov AKV-521 with the short 5.56mm barrel


Kalashnikov AKV-521 is built upon a strong foundation of original Kalashnikov AK system, but with many modern features. Designed by team led by Valentin Vlasenko, the AKV-521 is intended to provide users with modular, multi-caliber weapon which solves key problem inherent to basic AK-47 type platform – lack of a stable base for mounting modern LPVO optics and NV devices. To achieve this goal, the Kalashnikov AKV-521 is designed with basic layout similar to weapons such as SIG SG 550 or FN FNC. This means that instead of the traditional U-shaped receiver with detachable top cover the AKV-521 now features separate upper receiver with solid top, and a lower receiver which houses trigger and magazine. Due to modular nature of the gun, it is planned to be offered with optional additional upper receivers with barrels, allowing for quick caliber or configuration change. As of moment of this writing the Kalashnikov AKV-521 carbine is scheduled to enter initial serial production by mid-2021. It will be offered in several most popular intermediate calibers, such as 5.45x39mm, 5.56x45mm and 7.62x39mm, and with two barrel lengths, standard 415 mm and short 345 mm.


Kalashnikov AKV-521

Kalashnikov AKV-521 with the standard 7.62mm barrel


The Kalashnikov AKV-521 uses traditional Kalashnikov-type gas operated system with long stroke piston and rotating 2-lugs bolt. Major departure from traditional layout is that charging handle is moved to the left side of the bolt carrier and is made detachable for disassembly. Charging handle slot is covered by a spring-loaded dust cover, similar to that used on the FN FNC or IWI Galil ACE rifle. Gas system, with fixed gas tube welded to the upper receiver, and with removable maintenance plug at the front is taken off the Kalashnikov AK-12 rifle. Both the upper and the lower receiver are made from stamped steel. Upper receiver formed from 1.5mm thick steel sheet, with forged and machined barrel trunnion pinned at the front. Additional strength is provided by bolt carrier rails and the rear cross-bridge, pinned inside the receiver. Lower receiver of AKV-521 is based on the receiver of the AK-12 rifle, with necessary modifications at the front and at the rear. Upper and lower receivers are connected by two cross pins. Trigger system is similar to that of other Russian-made AK-type rifles, but safety is modified to be ambidextrous and use shorter lever on the right side of the gun. Since the Kalashnikov AKV-521 features solid roof receiver, it also has a full-length integrated Picatinny rail at the top, which offers stable platform for various sighting devices. Standard sights for production rifles will be based on the AK-19 configuration, with hooded front post on the gas block and the aperture type (diopter) adjustable sight at the rear of the top rail. Other features include fixed birdcage type muzzle compensator (barrel is threaded M14x1LH) and a free-floated handguard, also borrowed from AK-12 rifle. Shoulder stock is made from impact-resistant polymer, can be adjusted for length of pull and folded to the left if needed. Rifle is designed to be compatible with AK-type magazines in respective calibers. Export series in 5.56x45mm caliber can be supplied with lower receiver with AR-15 magazine well.


Kalashnikov AKV-521

Kalashnikov AKV-521 with two interchangeable upper receivers


Specification Value
Full text name Kalashnikov AKV-521 (Russia)
Caliber cartridge 5.45x39 7N6 7N10 7N22 7N24, 5.56x45 NATO, .223 Remington7.62x39mm M43 Soviet Intermediate Cartridge
Action type semi-automatic
Trigger type sa
Overall length, mm 805-865, 875-935
Length, folded, mm 605, 685
Barrel length, mm 345, 415
Weight empty, kg 3,5-3,7
Magazine capacity, rounds 10, 30