The Russian A-545 is perhaps the rarest of assault rifles in use in Ukraine. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion last year there have only been a handful of sightings of the rifle which features an internal recoil mitigation system.
The A-545, also known as the 6P67 Kord, is the latest iteration of a long line of rifles which began development back in the late 1970s with the first iteration designated AEK-971, developed for Project Abakan.
The A-545 is a select-fire rifle with an ambidextrous selector with settings for safe, single shot, 2 round burst and fully-automatic. The rifle is gas-operated and uses a rotating bolt locking action coupled with the BARS recoil mitigation system. The rifle has a reported cyclic rate of 900 RPM.
BARS (Balanced Automatic Recoil System) works by shifting mass towards the muzzle-end of the rifle to counter-balance the mass of the bolt and carrier moving towards the rear of the receiver. A pair of synchronised gears in a rack-and-pinion system move the counterweight forward during cycling, powered by the the movement of the bolt carrier as well as gas tapped from the barrel.
Designed by Stanislav Koksharov and developed at the ZiD/Degtyarev Plant in Kovrov. The A-545 development was completed in 2014, adding a new collapsing stock, new furniture and lengths of Picatinny rail. The rifle was tested during the Ratnik equipment trials in 2015 onwards which saw it tested against the AK-12 from Kalashnikov Concern.
The A-545 reportedly faired well in the trials but its more complicated action meant that the AK-12 was selected for wide scale issue while the A-545 was earmarked for elements of the Border Service, special forces, and the national guard (Rosgvardiya). Serial production of the rifles reportedly began in the summer 2020. There is also a 7.62x39mm chambered version, the A-762 or 6P68.
Before the war the A-545 was also seen with the Rosgvardiya’s SOBR Rys, the VDV’s 45th Independent Guards Spetsnaz Brigade, the 810th Naval Infantry Brigade and elements of Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD),
Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year it has been seen on just a handful of occasions.
Numerous photos have been posted by RAZVEDOS, a well-known Russian SOF veteran. On 9 April, RAZVEDOS posted a pair of photos featuring himself holding an A-545 along with a short ‘review’, reading:
“Reviews are positive, BUT! Firstly, “KORD” is much more complicated than AK, so it is hardly suitable for a simple soldier – and this applies not only to “conscripts”, because many “contract soldiers” left not far from them. Secondly, if we turn to the facts, i.e. to the test numbers, the combat characteristics of the “KORD”, although higher than those of the AK, are by no means head and shoulders above.“
Given the review is likely based on feedback from VDV Spetsnaz RAZVEDOS visited in April after the Battle of Hostomel the opinion could be based on battlefield experience.
The location these first photos were take is unclear. Several days later, on 13 April, RAZVEDOS shared several more photos featuring an A-545, which appears to be the same rifle, on top of a sleeping bag on a camp bed, in what appears to be a tent. This has frequently been cited as with VDV Spetsnaz at Hostomel (but the original post does not claim this). The rifle is fitted with a 1P87 red dot optic. A third photo, seemingly taken inside a tent, appears to be the same rifle fitted with the 1P87.
Late October saw the Russian Ministry of Defense share imagery of recently mobilised troops undergoing training led by an instructor with an A-545. In late December a photo seemingly taken on the back of a moving vehicle shows a A-545 fitted with a Holosun 403/503 red dot sight.
Most recently a photograph of an A-545 in a fighting position said to be in Ukraine was shared. The rifle is seen equipped with 45 round magazine, a suppressor and a Holosun 403/503. This is potentially the same rifle seen in December.
Another question which is regularly asked is – have their been any sightings of the AN-94? The AN-94 was developed to meet the same requirements laid out by Project Abakan. It reportedly passed state trials and was adopted for service but its complex design means it is rarely seen. There haven’t yet been any confirmed sighting of the AN-94 in Ukraine or with troops training in Russia. If any of the rifles ever appear they’ll definitely be the subject of an article/video.
The A-545 is undoubtedly a more advanced weapon than the more common AK-12 but how many of the rifles are in service is unclear and the extent of their use in Ukraine remains unknown. In the past several months there have been a number of Russian news reports on the rifle including a feature length report from Zvezda and a shorter piece from HTB on production of the rifle. From the limited imagery available it would seem that they have seen some limited in theatre use while instructors back in Russia may also be using the rifles.
A pair of photos of A-545 in use with the VDV have been shared with TAB by nrxnb. The first photo was reportedly taken by a member of 175th Reconnaissance Battalion with the 76th Guards Air Assault Division (VDV). The 175th took part in the battle of Hostomel. The rifle has been fitted with an 1P87 red-dot optic and has a polymer magazine normally issued with AK-12s.
The second photo was said to have been taken in April, post Battle of Hostomel, by a member of the 45th Guards Spetsnaz Brigade (VDV). Again it appears to have been fitted with an 1P87 red-dot optic and a suppressor.
Specifications (via Rosoboronexport)
|Weight (unloaded)||3.5kg (7.3lbs)|
|Stock Collapsed||720mm (28in)|
|Stock Extended||960mm (38in)|
|Feed||30 round magazine|
|Cyclic Rate||900 RPM|
Support Us: If you enjoyed this video and article please consider supporting our work here. We have some great perks available for Patreon Supporters – including early access to custom stickers and early access to videos! Thank you for your support!
Military Acceptance “Balanced Avtomat”, 12 Feb. 2023, Zvezda Live, (source)
Automatic Small Arms with Balanced Automatics, Russian Patent #2482417, (source)
BREAKING: Russian Army Accepts Both AK-12 And AEK-971, TFB, (source)
The Russian Balanced-Action A545 Rifle In Action, TFB, (source)
6P67/6P67-1 KORD Assault Rifle, Rosoboronexport, (source)
Meeting Government Orders: Unusually Designed Russian Rifles, M. Popenker, SADJ, (source)
6P68/6P68-1 KORD Assault Rifle, Rosoboronexport, (source)
Serial Production of An Assault Rifle, a Competitor to the AK-12, Has Started in Russia, 1 Jul. 2020, RIA, (source)
Thanks to Rob Lee and also to our friends at StreakingDelilah over on Instagram.