By the end of July 2022, russian defense industry admitted it forgot how to make rifles and announced that a new round of "modernization" is in order for their AK-12 assault rifle.
The declared reason was to improve the weapon's performance by considering the experience of usage in hostilities in Ukraine. Though the need to fix some crucial flaws emerged as soon as in March, less than a month into the war.
Read more: russian Mobilized Troops Received 'Demodernized' AK-12 Rifles as They Arrived in Ukraine
And so, just recently, russian Kalashnikov concern has presented their solution, a modernized AK-12 with the new index M1. The production of the new type starts in 2023.
We can already see the quality of this "upgrade" by this new feature revealed to the russian media – the unremovable muzzle brake. Here's the screengrab of the official press release by the Kalashnikov group, with automatic translation.
Based on the information given, the compensator cannot be taken off at all. This means it will be impossible not only to change the muzzle device to a custom one but also to put on a silencer, too.
At this point, we should take note that it was the "one-of-a-kind" fastening of muzzle devices that russian soldiers were complaining about earlier. Because of this flaw, all the standard suppressors could not be attached to the AK-12, and there were no specialized silencers for this gun.
Nonetheless, the russians came up with using a custom "adapter" which caused problems with coaxiality, which we covered in detail in a separate article. Now, even this method won't do anymore because the weapon maker offered its own solution, in the best traditions of Soviet-times straightforward approach: to weld the muzzle brake tight.
In addition, as we anticipated, the manufacturer gave up the idea of the two-round burst firing mode which russians were bragging so much about when comparing their AK-12 to the American M4.
Some other upgrades include new flip-up rear sight, standard cheek rest etc. As a reminder, in 2020, the AK-12 had already received a new handle, stock and sight.
In the context of a new round of modernization to the AK-12, even russians themselves are confused why it is so difficult to finally fix the rifle. Acting military personnel prefers AK-74 of the "M" version instead of taking up another "one-of-a-kind" weapon by russian industry. Though sometimes they have problems acquiring a proper weapon and receive rusty arms instead.
Due to the muzzle issue we discussed above, russian special force operators even had to take old AKMS rifles instead of using the "state-of-art" AK-12.