Even a Bulletproof Vest Won't Save You: Russia's New Assault Rifle Packs a Punch

Mark Episkopos

Mark Episkopos

Security,

Russian Special Forces have a new weapon of war. 

Even a Bulletproof Vest Won't Save You: Russia's New Assault Rifle Packs a Punch

Check this out. 

Russian Special Forces are getting the latest variant of the ASh-12,7x55 mm heavy assault rifle.

(This first appeared several months ago.)

The weapon, ShAK-12, was commissioned by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and is being manufactured by a branch of the KBP Instrument Design Bureau. On this year’s “Gunsmith Day,” a Russian holiday honoring arms manufacturers, KBP won an award for the “design, manufacture, testing, and serial production of the 12,7 mm heavy assault automatic system ShAK-12.”

Whereas Kalashnikov’s AK flagships like the recent AK-12 are general purpose military assault rifles that have to balance penetration, handling, weight, accuracy and shot distance, the ShAK-12 is designed for a specific use-case where weight and shot distance are largely irrelevant.  Drawing on the experience of the Beslan school siege and Moscow theater hostage crisis in the early 2000’s, the FSB saw the need for a more efficient close-quarters combat weapon in hostage situations.

Adrenaline and certain substances can suppress the immediate impact of gunshot wounds, potentially giving the target a short-term window of action before going down. In urban conflict scenarios, these minutes or even seconds can make a difference of several dead hostages.

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