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Simonov AO-63

Experimental Assault Rifle [ 1986 ]

The Simonov AO-63 was utterly unique in its approach to voluminous fire, utilizing an over-under, double-barreled configuration.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/12/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Simonov AO-63 was a double-barreled assault rifle engineered in the Soviet Union during the mid-1980s. The design incorporated an "over-under" barrel arrangement which gave it a very unique appearance in the world of assault rifles. Otherwise, the general configuration of the rifle was conventional, featuring a shoulder stock, shrouded forend and pistol grip. The AO-63 was chambered for the intermediate 5.45x39mm cartridge and fired from a standard 100-round drum magazine. Additionally, the weapon could accept a 30-, 40- and 45-round AK-74-style curved detachable box magazine. Design work occurred in 1986 and was attributed to Sergei Simonov prior to his death that same year. Additional work was handled by Peter Tkachev to which the working model was produced through the Russian TsNITochMash industrial bureau.

Published numbers regarding the AO-63 design include an overall weight of 3.68 kilograms with an overall length of 890mm. The internal action was of a conventional gas-operation to which a rate-of-fire between 850 to 6,000(!) rounds-per-minute could be reached. While an impressive statistic, nothing was said of barrel cooling or the abuse undertaken by the internal action - issues that would naturally present themselves over a period of time. Overall range was listed out to 1,000 meters though effectiveness was generally met within 600 meters.©MilitaryFactory.com
The Soviet/Russian special forces group - SPETSNAZ - briefly evaluated the AO-63 in attempting to replace its less accurate 5.45x39mm AK-74 line of assault rifles. However, the more conventional 5.45x39mm AN-94 was eventually selected and the AO-63 fell to history. The AN-94 began service in 1997 and continues to gradually replace the large numbers of AK-74 currently in Russian military service.

A mock up of the AO-63 appeared in the 1989 Dolph Lundgren vehicle "Red Scorpion". This example was really a South African R1 (a local variant of the Belgian FN FAL) heavily modified for screen time with only the lower barrel being made to fire.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Soviet Union national flag graphic
Soviet Union


Experimental Assault Rifle

TsNIITochMash - Soviet Union
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of the Soviet Union Soviet Union
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Automatic Function
Features a mechanical function to automate the firing action.
Assault Rifle
Modern class of long gun featuring select-fire properties, automatic internal function, and magazine feeding.

Overall Length
890 mm
35.04 in
Empty Wgt
8.11 lb
3.68 kg

Iron Front and Rear



Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)



Rounds / Feed

30-, 40- or 45-round detachable box magazine; 100-round drum
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
2,000 ft
(610 m | 667 yd)

AO-63 - Base Series Designation

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