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An Effort In Gunnery – New Russian “Smashed” Automatic Rifle (Video)


In November 2018, the KBP Instrument Design Bureau won a contract for the “design, manufacture, testing, and serial production of the 12,7 mm heavy assault automatic system ShAK-12.”

The weapon is designed for a specific use-case where weight and shot distance are largely irrelevant. It has an effective range of up to 100m, which is sufficient for close-quarters combat.

Adrenaline and certain substances can suppress the immediate impact of gunshot wounds. So, the target could potentially have a window of action before going down. In urban conflict scenarios, this window can make a difference of several dead hostages. According to reports, the ShAK-12’s 12,7х55 mm rounds should solve this problem by instantly neutralizing targets upon contact. These rounds can reportedly neutralize targets even with grazing shots and through walls.

The assault rifle was unveiled in 2017. According to reports, it will be limited to close-quarters FSB use and is expected to see action in future Russian counter-terrorist operations.

Supporters of the ShAK-12 say that the weapons would sucessfully use the experience of the Beslan school siege and Moscow theater hostage crisis in the early 2000’s and will close the FSB’s need for a more efficient close-quarters combat weapon in hostage situations. At the same time, critics of the weapons point out that the ShAK-12 unilizes too powerful round and has a significant recoil force, which may impact negatively operations of servicemen armed with the rifle.



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  • FlorianGeyer

    I want one :)

    • RichardD

      This is about the same. The hero in one of the Jurasic Park movies carried a lever action in this cartridge for dinosaurs. The hot loads are legal for large dangerous game in Africa.

  • Spit

    if You editors really want to have some fun, do a piece on an American boy who created software for his paintball gun and added auto aim.
    That should be fun to find.

    • John Whitehot

      omg. with windage and range?

  • RichardD

    It would be interesting to know what the ballistics are. They have combination sound suppressors/muzzle brakes which mitigate both the noise and recoil.

    • SFC Steven M Barry USA RET

      I think at the ranges it was designed for ballistics are irrelevant.

      • RichardD

        There are .50 caliber handguns. The article doesn’t get into if it’s a straight wall cartridge or bottle neck. Or the size and shape of the bullet. At 55 mm it’s not a heavy machine gun round. The ballistics and stopping power can vary considerably depending on design.

    • RichardD
  • RichardD

    There are hollow points now that have a lot of 1 shot stopping power without over penetration endangering innocents. Particularly when using a high powered rifle. http://i.ytimg.com/vi/7bLonprIWm4/maxresdefault.jpg

    • Daniel Castro

      Aren’t those forbidden on Geneva convention?

      • RichardD

        Does the Geneva convention apply to the uses described in the article?

        • Daniel Castro

          I would say it doesn’t apply on terrorists or criminals, but some say those are moderate rebels, or victims of society… so, who knows…

          • RichardD

            There are prosecutors and litigators in the US who attempt to use more capable ammunition than standard against the person who used it in a self defense incident.

      • FlorianGeyer

        I think they are.

  • SFC Steven M Barry USA RET

    12.7 X 55! Well, I guess overkill is better than no-kill.

    • Pave Way IV

      I suppose it has its uses in certain circumstances. But now you have to worry about knocking out the guy next to you with the ejected shell casing.

      The U.S. 18.5 mm semi-automatic, aka Remington 870, is probably a better all-around tool for getting someone’s attention.

      • Tudor Miron

        870 and this one are very different beasts. This one is intended to be used against targets covered behind light armor, walls etc. It was designed on request from special forces.

        • beypuutyina

          car seller and expert for weapons :))))

          • John Whitehot

            illwisher and expert in illwishing.

    • beypuutyina

      fake sergeant, this is copy of ameican weapon. you know this exactly.

      • John Whitehot

        true illwisher, and true copy of solomon krupa-something, aka “ballscracker” and other things

  • IMHO

    “Neutralize targets with grazing shots”? LOL.

    • katakanBR

      he means shoots outside center-mass

  • John Whitehot

    “critics of the weapons point out that the ShAK-12 unilizes too powerful round and has a significant recoil force, which may impact negatively operations of servicemen armed with the rifle.”

    these “critics of the weapons” seem to become increasingly foolish with every day.

    it would take nothing more than looking at the video to see that the weapon is rather controllable in autofire – hence it can’t be like these people claim.

    but perhaps they live in places where not much is known about cartridge loadings and recoil systems (hint hint – look how long is the breechlock movement)

    • Tudor Miron

      Good observation.

    • FlorianGeyer

      The ‘kick’ looks similar to a 12 bore shotgun or an old Lee Enfield 303.

      Not a problem for grown men I would have thought :)

      • John Whitehot

        is much less actually. those weapons cannot be employed in auto fire.

        I’ve seen with my own eyes a 10-11 yo girl firing a CIS UltimaX machinegun in long bursts, and being able to control it (after being briefly taught on how to hold it). If a weapon is properly designed, it doesn’t matter how large the calibre is, be it 5.56, 12,7 or 30mm.

        discussing the caliber in this way is a blatant pharisaism already for gun enthusiasts, for gun experts it should be risible.

        • FlorianGeyer

          I have a Martini Henry Rifle from the late 19th century. That has a decent kick.

          • John Whitehot

            all bolt action, lever action, or manual action whatsoever rifles have a kick.

            semiautomatic and automatic weapons don’t.

            same goes for pistols. revolvers have a kick. semi-autos don’t.

          • FlorianGeyer

            That’s true with many of todays semi automatics but I remember well the SLR ( Belgian FN built in the UK on licence) The only difference was that the SLR did not have an automatic fire mode. Unless a matchstick was inserted in the sear of course :)

            The SLR still had a shoulder bruising kick though after about 100 rounds.
            The LMG mag also fitted and that held 10 rounds more in reality. Less jamming.
            The standard mag was 20 rounds.

            In my day the paperwork to return ammo was a burden and it was easier to just blast off unused rounds on the range. The weapons got so hot that it was necessary to wrap the stock in a thick rag or piece of sandbag. We often blasted off 2000 rounds at about 100yds. Any greater range risked shots going over the butts.

            In fact a TA SAS unit was playing ”firing at the hip’ one day and a round went over the butts and killed a cow rather a long distance away. There was a bit of a stink about that. :)

          • John Whitehot

            “The SLR still had a shoulder bruising kick though after about 100 rounds.”

            That is pretty much unavoidable over the long course, with any automatic weapon.

            besides, it’s one of the ways that are employed to quickly ascertain if someone recently participated in insurgent activity (for example, isis members trying to mingle with local population).


            I guess it’s the L1A1 “battle rifle”.

            NATO was slow in giving their riflemen full-auto capability, in those years they seemed to accept giving up much tactical flexibility to having powerful rifles and ammo sparing. Considering the weight of 4 magazines of 7.62×51 against more of medium power ammo, the second point is rather dubious, while the first makes little sense in an european theatre.

            Nonetheless, the whole series (FAL/G3/M14 and so on) were highly appreciated by soldiers of fortune, especially at various african latitudes.

            “The LMG mag also fitted and that held 10 rounds more in reality”

            Didn’t the UK adopt the belted magazines for their services?

            In any case: the energy measured by the muzzle, cannot be considered directly proportional to the recoiling energy on the arm of the shooter.

          • FlorianGeyer

            ” Didn’t the UK adopt the belted magazines for their services? ”

            The UK GPMG ( General Purpose Machine Gun ) used metal link belts with the 7.62 round used in the SLR.

  • Attrition47

    The language used in this article could come from an SS or a US army euphemism manual.

  • Jens Holm

    The main problems by those specials are, You cang carry 5 different ones and by that has very limited usefullhead.

    It looks nice and probatly is very effective.

  • Spit

    The Russian AK is better but there is no secret.
    The Russian AK is better because it is cast metal while the US gin is made of mixed metal thats why the AK rusts and the Russian AK Lasts a lifetime.
    the Russian AK was made to last a lifetime from the very start.