Girish Mahajan

AO 46 (firearm)

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Type  Carbine/Assault Rifle
Designed  1969
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Weight  2.0 kg (4.4 lb)
AO-46 (firearm)
Designer  Peter Andreevich Tkachev
Length  655 mm (25.7 in) stock extended / 458 mm (18.0 in) stock folded

The AO-46 was a gas-operated 5.45×39mm caliber, compact carbine/assault rifle prototype. It features a folding stock and the trigger is located just in front of the magazine, which doubles as pistol grip. In order to minimize the length of the gun, gas for automatic operation was collected not out of the barrel, but directly from the flash suppressor in the muzzle. Despite having the latter feature, the combination of a relative powerful cartridge and short barrel produced a flash comparable to that of a sawed-off shotgun.

The weapon was an unsolicited design by Peter Andreevich Tkachev working at TsNIITochMash. Although not accepted for service, this design, in combination with report of the US use of the XM-177 in Vietnam let the GRAU to start the competition known as Project Modern, which led to the adoption of AKS-74U for service.

Although the Soviet doctrine did not have an equivalent concept, the AO-46 design corresponds to the Western concept of personal defense weapon (PDW).

References

AO-46 (firearm) Wikipedia


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