Three-Barreled Experimental Bullpup Assault Rifle Prototype
The Korobov TKB-059 assault rifle was unique in several respects - a triple barrel arrangement as well as a bullpup configuration.
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The TKB-059 was an experimental prototype assault rifle design of the Soviet Union, attributed to G.A. Korobov. Work was begun in 1962 and spanned into 1966 with operational-quality models being manufactured through the storied Tula Arms Plant. The rifle, with its unique three-barreled approach wrapped within a bullpup configuration, never made it out of the prototype stage. Chambering was in 7.62x39mm and the action was gas-operated.
The three-barreled arrangement made the TKB-059 wholly unique as assault rifles went - the assemblies were set in a side-by-side-by-side pattern and each barrel given its own feed system. This was made possible by a new triple 30-round curved magazine holding ninety total cartridges. As a bullpup-configured weapon, the TKB-059 had its pistol grip and trigger unit set ahead of the action. the action being concentrated inside the shoulder stock. This allowed full-length barrels to be used. The spent shell casings ejected downwards (as opposed to one side or the other) so ambidextrous handling was an inherently quality of the design. The rifle was allowed a full-automatic fire mode and sighting was through standard iron fittings.
The weapon's reported rate-of-fire was 1,400 to 1,800 rounds-per-minute - which was more than double the typical assault rifle of the period.
The Soviets undertook several personal assault weapon experiments and trials during the Cold War period, few of these ever producing any viable fruit and therefore discarded. The TKB-059, never adopted for serial production or service, ended its days as a museum showpiece.