Arsenal AK-47M1

     Notes: This is a modified AK-47 used by Bulgaria, mostly by reserve and police forces since it had been largely supplanted by a Bulgarian-built version of the AK-74.  (Instead of using the AKM, the Bulgarians decided to go with their own, improved version of the AK-47.)  The AK-47M1 differs from the original AK-47 primarily in using plastics or compressed resin where the AK-47 used wood, and has a mount on top of the receiver for a telescopic, laser, or night sight.  This makes the AK-47M1 considerably lighter than the original AK-47.  In addition, the underside of the handguard has a clip-on mount for the GP-25 grenade launcher.  Internally, the AK-47’s mechanism is retained, but many of the parts are made of light alloy instead of stamped steel.  The muzzle of the AK-47M1 is also equipped with a flash suppressor.  The magazines normally issued with the AK-47M1 are also plastic, but it can still take the old steel magazines.  As the typical Bulgarian soldier is smaller than his Russian counterpart, the butt of the AK-47M1 is shorter.  An AKS-47M1 is also made, which is a folding-stock version (this is a metal stock, but not the same kind as used on the Russian AKMS).  Finally, a version of the AK-47M1 modified to fire .22 Long Rifle ammunition is made, for training purposes.

     The RKKS is an AK-47M1 with a longer, heavier barrel; it can be used as an automatic rifle or as a platoon sharpshooter’s weapon, and can mount any sort of Russian, Chinese, or Warsaw Pact optical sights.  The RKKS is equipped with a bipod, and can use the 40-round extended magazines or 75-round drums of the RPK (or Bulgarian plastic equivalent magazines).

     The AKS-47S is similar in concept to the Russian AKS-74U, being an AK-74M1 with a chopped barrel and a folding stock.  They were produced in small numbers until the fall of the Iron Curtain, when production was ramped up for export (using the name Hobo).  Though the AKS-47S has a beefy muzzle brake, it still suffers the problems of a powerful cartridge in a short-barreled weapon: high muzzle blast, sharp recoil, and a greatly-reduced range.

     Twilight 2000 Notes:  The existence of the AKS-47S was virtually unknown in the West until the Twilight War, when examples were captured and found to not be AKS-74U variants as previously thought.  The AKS-47S was never produced in large numbers, though.  The name “Hobo” was never applied to the AKS-47S in the Twilight 2000 world.

     Merc 2000 Notes: The AKS-74S became a favorite among many special operations units, as well as criminals and terrorists, so much so that stray examples of the Hobo could often not have their origin positively identified.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

AK-47M1

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.3 kg

30

$811

AKS-47M1

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.15 kg

30

$823

AK-47M1 Trainer

.22 Long Rifle

3.12 kg

10

$224

RKKS

7.62mm Kalashnikov

5.74 kg

30, 40, 75D

$1419

AKS-47S

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.06 kg

30

$794

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

AK-47M1

5

4

2-Nil

6

4

9

46

AKS-47M1

5

4

2-Nil

5/6

4

10

46

AK-47M1 Trainer

SA

1

Nil

6

1

Nil

34

RKKS

5

4

2-3-Nil

7

3

8

71

RKKS (With Bipod)

5

4

2-3-Nil

7

2

4

92

AKS-74S

5

3

2-Nil

3/4

2

5

15

 

Arsenal AK-74M1

     Notes: In the early 1980s, Bulgaria decided to switch to a locally-produced version of the AK-74 assault rifle that was at that time being adopted by the rest of the Warsaw Pact nations.  The AK-74M1 generally conforms to late-production standards of the AK-74, but uses different plastics and production methods better suited to Bulgarian manufacturing methods.  It is otherwise virtually identical to its Russian counterpart.  In the late 1990s, the Bulgarians began producing a version of the AK-74M1 in 5.56mm NATO caliber, both for export to other countries and in anticipation of joining NATO.  The rumor mill has said that large numbers of these 5.56mm-firing versions have been bought by the US to equip some units of new Iraqi military and police forces.  Folding-stock AKS-74M1 models are also built in both calibers.

     The Arsenal AKS-74U is basically a Bulgarian equivalent of the Russian AKS-74U short assault rifle.  It does have a slightly longer barrel than the AKS-74U, though the overall dimensions are in fact slightly smaller.  The main difference between the AK-74U and the AKS-74U is that most AK-74Us have been produced in 5.56mm NATO caliber, due to the late introduction of the weapon (late 1990s).  It should be noted that the Bulgarian military refers to this weapon as a submachinegun instead of a “short assault rifle” or carbine.

     In mid-2009, Arsenal’s US facility began to manufacture and sell a civilian equivalent of the AK-74M1, called the SGL-31.  It is essentially an AK-75M1 with semiautomatic fire-only capability.  It is otherwise identical to the AK-74M1.

     Twilight 2000 Notes: The 5.56mm NATO version was never produced in the Twilight 2000 timeline (since Bulgaria never had a chance to join NATO).  Very few AK-74Us were produced, and most of these were built shortly before the start of the Twilight War.  They are exclusively in 5.45mm caliber.  The SGL-31 does not exist in the Twilight 2000 timeline.

     Merc 2000 Notes:  Bulgaria would probably also not joined NATO in the Merc 2000 world; however, the 5.56mm NATO versions were still produced as export products, though in smaller numbers. Arsenal USA does not exist in the Merc 2000 timeline, nor does the SGL-31.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

AK-74M1

5.45mm Kalashnikov

3.18 kg

30

$560

AKS-74M1

5.45mm Kalashnikov

3.18 kg

30

$580

AK-74M1

5.56mm NATO

3.18 kg

30

$610

AKS-74M1

5.56mm NATO

3.18 kg

30

$630

AK-74U

5.45mm Kalashnikov

2.7 kg

30

$498

AK-74U

5.56mm NATO

2.7 kg

30

$548

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

AK-74M1 (5.45mm)

5

3

1-Nil

5

2

5

46

AKS-74M1 (5.45mm)

5

3

1-Nil

4/5

2

5

46

AK-74M1 (5.56mm)

5

3

1-Nil

5

2

5

41

AKS-74M1 (5.56mm)

5

3

1-Nil

4/5

2

5

41

AK-74U (5.45mm)

5

2

1-Nil

3/4

2

5

15

AK-74U (5.56mm)

5

2

1-Nil

3/4

2

5

13

 

Arsenal AR

     Notes: This family of assault rifles is basically improved versions of the AK-74/AKM, a la the AK-100 series.  They were designed with Bulgaria’s inclusion into NATO in mind, and most are chambered exclusively in 5.56mm NATO.  The basic rifle, the AR-M1, looks externally almost identical to the AK-100; internally, parts have closer tolerances and the receiver is milled using hot die forging.  There is a mount for NATO or former Warsaw Pact night vision devices, optical sights, or laser aiming modules available, but this is not a standard feature.  The AR-M1F is the same weapon with a folding wire stock.  The AR-M2F is an abbreviated AR-M1F with a much shorter barrel and a muzzle brake to cut what would otherwise be high recoil and massive muzzle blast.  The AR-SF is an even shorter-barreled version of the AR-M1F; it is designed for close assault situations and is basically an assault rifle cut down to submachinegun size, similar to the AKSU.  An attachment point for a laser aiming module is an option, though not standard equipment.

     The AR-M4SF is basically a tricked-out AR-SF.  The AR-M4SF features a laser aiming module as standard equipment; also standard is a sleeve with a flashlight inside (near the muzzle).  Both of these can be turned on without moving the shooter’s hands from their places on the rifle.  Unlike other folding-stock members of the AR family, the folding stock on the AR-M4SF is stronger, more substantial, and folds to the right instead of under the weapon.  An attachment point for a night vision sight (NATO or former Warsaw Pact) is also included, though the device is not.  A special sling is included which allows the AR-M4SF to be placed quickly into action, yet carried without interfering with other activities.  The muzzle brake can be easily detached, allowing a silencer or suppressor to be attached instead.

     The AR-M7F is basically an AR-M1 in which the plastic stock folds to the side instead of being fixed.  Unlike the AR-M1, the AR-M7F also comes in a version chambered for 7.62mm Kalashnikov.  A mount for night vision devices, optics, or laser aiming modules is standard on this model.  The AR-M9 and AR-M9F are basically heavier versions of the AR-M1 and AR-M1F; they also have the mount for optics, night vision devices, and laser aiming modules standard instead of options.  The stock on the AR-M9 is made of stronger plastic; the stock of the AR-M9F is also stronger and folds to the side instead of underneath (similar to that of the AR-M4SF).  The magazines are transparent, and come in two sizes. 

     Twilight 2000 Notes: None of these rifles exist in the Twilight 2000 timeline.

     Merc 2000 Notes: These rifles are unlikely to exist in Merc 2000, since in that timeline Bulgaria never joined NATO.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

AR-M1

5.56mm NATO

3.62 kg

30

$565

AR-M1

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.62 kg

30

$812

AR-M1F

5.56mm NATO

3.67 kg

30

$585

AR-M1F

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.67 kg

30

$832

AR-M2F

5.56mm NATO

3.55 kg

30

$576

AR-M2F

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.5 kg

30

$835

AR-SF

5.56mm NATO

3 kg

30

$534

AR-SF

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.38 kg

30

$771

AR-M4SF

5.56mm NATO

3.38 kg

30

$934

AR-M4SF

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.38 kg

30

$793

AR-M7F

5.56mm NATO

3.84 kg

30

$585

AR-M7F

7.62mm Kalashnikov

3.84 kg

30

$832

AR-M9

5.56mm NATO

3.85 kg

20, 30

$565

AR-M9F

5.56mm NATO

3.85 kg

20, 30

$585

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

AR-M1 (5.56mm)

5

3

1-Nil

6

2

6

40

AR-M1 (7.62mm)

5

4

2-Nil

6

4

9

46

AR-M1F (5.56mm)

5

3

1-Nil

4/6

2

6

40

AR-M1F (7.62mm)

5

4

2-Nil

5/6

4

9

46

AR-M2F (5.56mm)

5

2

1-Nil

3/5

2

4

27

AR-M2F (7.62mm)

5

3

2-Nil

4/5

3

7

31

AR-SF (5.56mm)

5

2

1-Nil

3/4

2

4

14

AR-SF (7.62mm)

5

3

2-Nil

3/5

2

5

16

AR-M4SF (5.56mm)

5

2

1-Nil

3/4

2

4

14

AR-M4SF (7.62mm)

5

3

2-Nil

3/5

2

5

16

AR-M7F (5.56mm)

5

3

1-Nil

4/6

2

6

41

AR-M7F (7.62mm)

5

4

2-Nil

5/6

3

8

46

AR-M9

5

3

1-Nil

6

2

6

41

AR-M9F

5

3

1-Nil

4/6

2

6

41