AN94 vs M16 .. which is superior?


April 29, 2008, 11:47 PM
you tell me

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April 29, 2008, 11:51 PM
Who knows. The AN-94 saw limited deployment at best and is now sidelined. On longevity alone, it's the AR.

April 30, 2008, 12:35 AM
Indeed. Has anyone stateside gotten a really good look at the Nikonov?

'Tis a mysterious rifle indeed, to say nothing of strange.

Wes Janson
April 30, 2008, 01:43 AM
Indeed. Has anyone stateside gotten a really good look at the Nikonov?

You mean have any civilians stateside gotten a really good look at the Nikonov? I'd be deeply shocked if elements of the intelligence community had failed to procure examples for research purposes.

There's a lot of strange things about that rifle that I'd love to pull apart and figure out..from the muzzle brake to the iron sights, it's one hell of an oddity.

April 30, 2008, 01:49 AM
I don't know anything about it, but it sounds like an AK with an interesting pully action that doubles the rate of fire that gives it a 2 round burst without recoil. Thats cool, but it makes it a lot more expensive and probably less reliable. So to answer your original question, what do you mean by superior?

Tony Williams
April 30, 2008, 03:43 AM
It's an interesting concept, and in theory the two-round "recoilless" burst not only improves the hit probabillity at long range but improves the effectiveness at shorter ranges, by hitting the same target twice virtually simultaneously.

It is a very complex device, though - very unlike most Russian kit - so although it ought to be reliable initially, there's room to doubt its longevity. Something of a wrong turning for the Russians, I think. There were other guns in the competition won by the AN-94 which looked more interesting - but Max Popenker knows more about that.

April 30, 2008, 05:55 AM
As far as reliability goes, I've read (in AK-47: The gun that changed warfare by Larry Kahaner) that the AN-94 has a much lower failure rate than the AK-47/74 series in tests. That may be an exaggeration, but who knows?

April 30, 2008, 07:57 AM
That would be hard to believe.


April 30, 2008, 08:22 AM
I don't know anything about it, but it sounds like an AK Why is it that any military rifle produced behind the former Iron Curtain is an "AK"?

The AN94 ( was designed by Mr. Nikonov. It is not an AK.
The AEK971 ( was designed by Mr. Koksharov. It is not an AK.
The Vz58 ( was designed by Mr. Čermák. It is not an AK.

Using the logic I've been seeing, the Miini-14, the Kel-Tec Su16, the XCR, the AR18 should all be called "AR(15)s" since they all were made here in the USA and the AR15 is our most well known military rifle.

April 30, 2008, 10:34 AM
I wonder how the AN94 compares to the M16s when it comes to functionality, reliability, and accuracy. I heard a while back that these guns will be used to replace the AK74, for the Russian Army. With the Russian economy roaring back up, I wonder if they actually have the money to produce this, since they said it was initially expensive to make.

So far, I can't find any useful information about the AN94 on the internet. Anyone have any links, or diagram of what the internals are like for this rifle?

April 30, 2008, 10:42 AM
Aren't these operating on the long recoil principle? In any case, the pistol grip sure looks awkward - almost as an after-thought. They just grabbed a good old AK pistol grip and screwed it on.


April 30, 2008, 10:46 AM
I had the oportunity to examine an AN94 in Afghanistan that was taken from a Chechan fighter in Lawara. We had a rep from NGIC Ground Weapon Systems on the FOB and the weapon was sent back thru the armsroom to be sent back to NGIC.

I did not get a chance to test fire it, but we tore it down and played with it. Interesting design but I was not too impressed. Neither was he. The pulley system seemed fragile and already showed signs of wear. I'll stick with the M4 or AK-74 thanks.

But I did keep the magazines that came with it.... :^)

Wes Janson
April 30, 2008, 11:04 AM
Perhaps you can answer then: why the odd placement of the pistol grip?

Evil Monkey
April 30, 2008, 11:27 AM
Both rifles have their pros and cons but I view them as two different classes of weapons.

The M16 is an Assault Rifle

The AN94 is a Salvo Rifle

The AN94 uses an unorthodox operating system to achieve results that would otherwise be unlikely or impossible to obtain with a common operating system, such as the DI gas operated system found in the M16.

So you really can't compare the two.

April 30, 2008, 11:32 AM
Except that they are both, at least in theory, designed for general issue. In that regard, it is perfectly fair to compare the two. Now, if you want to compare the T72 with an M109A6 Paladin Self Propelled Howitzer, you have a point as they are intended for two completely different roles.

Or, in small arms, comparing the M4/M16 to the APS underwater assault rifle as they are intended for two completely different roles and would be issued in completely different ways.


max popenker
April 30, 2008, 11:54 AM
to sum it up quickly, the AN-94 is almost dead. From what i know there are NO current plans to make it general issue weapon, and the entire concept behind it, as well as the "Abakan" trials, have more questions to it than answers.

I had a chance to hold AN-94 (but not fired) and its ergonomics is crappy at its best. The selector switch is too small, the rear sight is one of the worst designs i ever saw, and entire gun felt awkward in my hands. Not to mention its complicated design, of cause.

April 30, 2008, 12:10 PM
There is a tendency to assume the newest is the best. Can we say the 1941 Johnson was better than the M1? The Colombian Madsen better than the #4 Enfield?

Just because it is newer than a 60 year old design does not make it better. Sometimes, they got it right the first time. With the AK, they did.


Evil Monkey
April 30, 2008, 12:29 PM
So max what's going on with the AEK-971 and AK-107/108 rifles? Are those dead too?

April 30, 2008, 01:36 PM
Was the AN94 ever intended to be a front-line weapon? I.E. replace the AK74? I always thought it was aimed more at the SpecOps/Spetsnaz guys.

April 30, 2008, 01:50 PM
According to Max, it was to be adopted as a replacement for the AK-74.

"The AN-94 assault rifle had been officially adopted by the Russian Army and the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 1994 as a possible replacement for the venerable Kalashnikov AK-74 series assault rifles. "


April 30, 2008, 02:29 PM
It is a very complex device, though - very unlike most Russian kit

Kind of a severe understatement. The AN-94 constitutes a complete break with traditional assault rifle design worldwide.

I don't think it would be too much to say that it represents a substantial break with small arms development worldwide!

Any pics or other observations of the beast PvtPyle?

and what is the Russian Federation looking at to replace their AKs with if not the AN-94? Nothing?

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