The Russian have developed a very novel replacement for the AK74 assault rifle, known as the AN94 Abakan. If there would be any rifle who’s existence makes me want to strangle Congressman Hugues (more about him later), it’s the AN94.
It’s chambered in the same 5.45x39mm round the AK74 fires, but it’s mechanics are totally different than the Kalashnikov. The operating system is called “blowback shifted pulse”. It uses a pulley mechanism, in addition to a standard gas system, to chamber and fire another cartridge for a single stroke of the piston. This allows the AN94 to have a selective rate of fire of 600 rounds per minute, or 1800 rounds per minute. It can also fire semi-automatic, or two shot burst. But the cool thing about the Abakan is that it puts the shots so close together, that the muzzle has no chance to climb before the second shot leaves the barrel. This puts the two rounds so close to each other, that it effectively strikes the same place twice, which is apparently quite effective at defeating body armor. The Abakan has not yet proven itself in combat yet, but just for sheer novelty of the design, I’d love to own one.
Here’s one in action with a Spetsnaz commando.
On burst mode fire, you can barely distinguish the two shots, but I’m pretty sure this is burst mode fire, because it doesn’t quite sound clean enough for single shot.