MANUFACTURER(S): State Factories - North Ossetia
ACTION: Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt
CALIBER(S)*: 5.45x39mm M74
SIGHTS: Adjustable Iron; Optional Optics
Detailing the development and operational history of the Grad AR Assault Rifle.
Entry last updated on 8/17/2017.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Grad Assault Rifle is a North Ossetian bullpup evolution of the long-running Soviet-Russian Kalashnikov AK-47, modernized in the 1970s as the "AK-74". The Grad emerged in 2010 and follows the same Kalashnikov pattern with the obvious exception being the reworked internal and external configuration which now set sets the action aft of the pistol grip and trigger unit to suit the bullpup design. Beyond these changes, the Grad is a most-conventional automatic assault weapon firing from a gas cylinder system managing a rotating bolt action. Rate-of-fire is listed at approximately 650 rounds per minute with feeding coming from a 30-round curved detachable box magazine. Iron sights are standard though optics can be fitted as required.
Bullpup-configured assault weapons are gaining in mainstream popularity amongst even the larger world powers of the day (the United States being one notable holdout). Such weapons concentrate the internal working components at the rear of the design, necessitating an extended receiver aft of the pistol grip. Therefore the action and feed are both contained in this extension, allowing for a full-length barrel assembly to be utilized within a more compact overall design. The operator must therefore take special care as to not pass his supporting hand across the muzzle for it now comes within easy reach. Additionally, spent shell casings eject closer to the firer's face which may present a danger all their own. Bullpup weapons also allow for a firmer, tighter hold against the body when utilizing a typical three-point hold (shoulder, trigger hand and support hand). This has proven beneficial in the close-quarters setting of urban warfare.
Externally, the Kalashnikov origins betray the Grad design as the squared receiver is clearly identified, though now as part of a larger, rather cumbersome-looking, stock. The curved, detachable 30-count magazines are also identifiable as AK-style in their design complete with vertical ribbing. The Grad is chambered for the unique 6x49mm cartridge and charging of the weapon managed through an assembly fitted to the left side of the body near and above the pistol grip. The barrel can be capped with a sound suppressor for clandestine operations involving special warfare elements.