AK-19: The most modern Kalashnikov rifle chambered for NATO 5.56mm rounds

by Eric Sof

Kalashnikov AK-19 chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO rounds

AK-19 is the most recent assault rifle chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO. It was manufactured by the legendary Kalashnikov Concern for the export market. AK-19 is based on AK-12, which was accepted into service by the Russian Armed Forces in 2018. Kalashnikov Concern revealed it during the International Military-Technical Forum Army-2020.


The beginning of AK-19 development started in August 2020, initially intended for potential international clients. The AK-19 is the pinnacle of AK system development, different from the previous generations by its elaborate ergonomics, all-day usability, and increased accuracy and precision.

The rifle has all-new folding and adjustable buttstock made of shock-resistant polymer, a new grip, and a muzzle device. This iteration features increased accuracy due to a free-floating handguard, longer sighting line, aperture sight with windage adjustment, and rigidly fixed top cover.

AK-19 assault rifle manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern and chambered in caliber 5.56x45mm NATO
AK-19 assault rifle manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern and chambered in caliber 5.56x45mm NATO (Photo: XY)

Picatinny rails allow the shooter to install various sights and tactical devices upon the shooter’s preferences and training. The organic bayonet knife, quick-attach suppressor, and compatibility with the GP-34 UBGL 40mm under-barrel grenade launcher tailors your AK-19 to the most challenging tasks.

Unlike the AK-12, the AK-19 features a birdcage-type flash suppressor with slots for a quick detachable sound suppressor.

Ammunition and sights

The AK-19 uses a whole variety of .223 Rem ammo (including FMJ and FMJBT) and organic RS101 with enhanced-penetration bullets, making it efficient against enemy manpower in body armor. Russian-made military-grade firearms undergo the most challenging trials possible, guaranteeing their utmost reliability in any environment, and AK-19 is no exception.

A combined safety and fire mode selector switch remains unchanged from the previous models. However, now it can also be operated by an index finger. The fire mode selector has positions for “safe,” “semi-auto,” and “full-auto.” In the “safe” position, it also serves as a dust cover.

The AK-19 has a diopter-type rear sight of the new design. Such sight first emerged on the improved AK-12. Range settings are set by adjusting the knob. This weapon has a sighting range of 1 000 m. However, such a setting is a bit too optimistic. The range of accurate fire is around 500 m. There is a full-length Picatinny-type scope rail for various optics.

YouTube video

Technical specifications

Country of origin:United States
Manufacturer:Kalashnikov Concern
Type:Gas-operated, selective fire
Caliber: 5.56x45mm (.223)
Barrel:415 mm
Weight (empty):3.35 kg
Effective firing range:500 m
Rate of fire:400 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity:30 rounds
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