An AK 5 assault rifle is an excellent example of how a stock weapon can be modified to suit a particular purchaser’s requirements, provided that he purchases enough of them. AK 5 or Automatkarbin 5 (“automatic carbine 5”, “automatic carbine” being the Swedish term for assault rifle) was introduced in 1986, and it still serves as the Swedish standard assault rifle. The current version is AK 5C which also accepts the Colt M203 grenade launcher attachment.
In the mid-1970s, the Swedish Army began looking for a new assault rifle to replace its 7.62 mm weapons. Swedish firearms experts studied all the available designs, and they reduced the choice to either the Israeli Galil or the Belgian FN FNC. A quantity of each was bought and subjected to long technical and troop trials in 1979/80, and as a result, the Galil was dropped, and the FN FNC was selected as capable of further development Swedes required.
Their principal concern was to have a rifle that would withstand the severe northern climate; extreme cold places unusual stresses on a firearm, and handling weapons in cold conditions often demands modifications. More trials took place, with changes being made to prototype FN FNC designs until finally the Swedish Army was satisfied, and in 1985 the Carl Gustav AK 5 was finally approved for adoption.
The FN FNC was adopted by the Belgian Armed Forces in 1989, as a service-wide replacement for the 7.62×51mm NATO FN FAL, after having been issued in small numbers to airborne infantry units for several years. It was dubbed as one of the best rifles ever made.
AK 5 vs. FN FNC
The original FNC changes did not affect the basic mechanism; that remained the same gas-operated rotating bolt type. But the three-round burst mechanism was removed, leaving only the choice of single shots or automatic fire at 650 rounds per minute.
The most remarkable changes were strengthening parts such as the butt, bolt, extractor, handguard, gas block, cocking handle, selector switch, and sling swivels. The cocking handle and trigger guard were enlarged so that they could be operated easily by a man wearing heavy gloves, and the handguard was increased in size for the same reason. Further, designers modified the detachable box magazines to be interchangeable with the M16 rifle STANAG magazines.
The sights are a simple two-position flip with apertures for 250 and 400-meter ranges, and the front sight is hooded to reduce reflection. Optical and electro-optical sights can, of course, be fitted. The surface finish is for a gun of this type; the metal is first sand-blasted, then Parkerised, and finally has a coat of dark green enamel baked on.
It is the Swedish licensed produced version of the FN FNC. Along with its other variants, all have a cyclic rate of fire of around 650–700 rounds per minute (RPM). The variants produced so far are:
- CGA5C2 – a prototype model during the evaluation and development of the AK 5
- FFV AK 5 – first versions of the AK 5 family
- FFV AK 5B – the designated marksman version of the AK 5.
- Bofors AK 5C – improved reliability, better ergonomics, and rail integration system
- Bofors AK 5D – shortened barrel, handguard, and MIL-STD-1913 rail system
- CGA5P – a special version of the Ak 5D called CGA5P or sometimes (incorrectly) Ak 5DP
|Manufacturer:||Bofors Ordnance, Eskilstuna, Sweden|
|Type:||gas-operated, selective fire|
|Caliber:||5.56 mm (.223)|
|Barrel:||17.7 in (450 mm)|
|Weight (empty):||8.6 lbs (3.9 kg)|
|Magazine capacity:||30 rounds|