New assault rifles are useless without new scopes

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New assault rifles are useless without new scopes
New assault rifles are useless without new scopes

Video: New assault rifles are useless without new scopes

Video: New assault rifles are useless without new scopes
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Automatic rifles with improved accuracy of fire are not in demand. Why?

The AK-12 and A-545 (AEK-971) assault rifles undergoing state tests have an accuracy of fire 1.5-2 times better (less) than that of the AK-74, which is unconditionally considered an improvement.

However, in the Russian Federation there is already an assault rifle, the accuracy of the first two bullets of which is much, according to some information, up to 20 times better. This is the Nikonov AN-94 assault rifle, which has been in service for quite a few years, but has not received the distribution that it would seem to be guaranteed with such a good accuracy of fire. The more complex device of the AN-94 is constantly noted, but there is no significant increase in combat effectiveness - an increase in the likelihood of hitting real targets in battle. If you do not understand the reasons for the lack of demand for better accuracy of the AN-94, then the AK-12 and A-545 will repeat its fate.

It is known that better accuracy of fire guarantees an increase in the probability of hitting only if the middle point of impact (STP) does not go beyond the contours of the target. If the STP is located outside the contours of the target, then better accuracy can reduce the probability of hitting [1, Section 4.10. Optimal Shot Dispersion]. Figure 1 shows that by decreasing the accuracy, we increase the density of fire inside the scattering ellipse, but we reduce the area of the target covered by the scattering. Therefore, if the STP has gone beyond the contours of the target, the probability of hitting will increase or decrease with a decrease in the accuracy of fire, it is necessary to calculate for each specific case.

New assault rifles are useless without new scopes
New assault rifles are useless without new scopes

Fig. 1. The scheme was compiled by the author

It is important to understand that Fig. 1 is not an abstraction, this is exactly what happens in the battle with the AK-74: at ranges of 150-300 m, the main number of bullets goes above the lying infantry. The fact is that the AK-74 sights are optimized for a direct shot at too high a chest target, the height of which is 0.5 m (Fig. 3, target No. 6). The AK-74 manual [2, article 155] requires up to a range of 400 m to shoot a direct shot from marks "P" or "4". The AK-74 sector sight has a special "P" mark - the range of a direct shot at a chest target. And almost all mounted sights for the AK-74 - collimator, optical, night, thermal, etc. - do not have aiming marks less than "4" (400 m), for example, optical sights 1P29, 1P77, 1P78, night sight 1PN93-2 AK-74 (Figure 2) and others. On collimator sights, the only aiming mark is also set to a range of 400 m. That is, with mounted sights, the submachine gunner does not even have the technical ability to shoot from a mark other than "4" at ranges of up to 400 m.


Fig. 2. Figure from the Manual to the scope 1PN93-2

The height of the trajectory "4" is equal to 0.4 m [2, "Main table of the AK-74"], and therefore a direct shot from this mark is effective only at targets not lower than 0.4 m. The height of the trajectory "P" is even greater - 0, 5 m, and therefore a direct shot from this mark is effective only on targets not lower than 0.5 m.

And in battle, a person instinctively seeks to hide behind the parapet. Behind the parapet, they demand to take the position and instructions of foreign armies, for example, the US Army [3]. Therefore, the main goal in battle for our submachine gunners is the shooter behind the breastwork [4]. Veterans of military operations in Afghanistan recall: “In battle, only the“caps”of the dushmans were visible above the stones. These are the "caps" that I should have gotten into!"


Fig. 3. Compliance of targets No. 5 and No. 6 with real goals

The shooter behind the parapet has a height of only 0.3 m (Fig. 3, target No. 5) and in our shooting course is designated by head targets No. 5, 5a and 5b. Trajectory "4" rises above the shooter behind the parapet at ranges from 150m to 300m [2, table "Excess trajectories over the line of sight, AK-74"]. Therefore, at these ranges, the AK-74 has insufficient probability of hitting the main target (Fig. 4, mark "4").


Fig. 4. Calculated by the author

Trajectory "P" (440m) is even higher than trajectory "4", and therefore the probability of hitting is even worse - at a distance of 200m in AK-74 it drops to unacceptable 0, 17 (Fig. 4, mark "P"). The mark "P" (440m) cannot be used, it must be removed from the sights. Actually, on many mounted sights for the AK-74, the "P" mark is no longer there, and the same must be done on all scopes and to prevent the appearance of this mark in the future, since with it, the A-545's hit probability drops to 0.07 (Fig. 5, label "P").

Due to the insufficient probability of hitting a target with a height of 0.3 m, the submachine gunners do not shoot at the head targets at the rate of fire of the Ministry of Defense. None of the exercises of the shooting course, which are performed by submachine gunners alone, have no head targets. Neither in the initial, nor in the training, nor in the control or qualifying firing, the submachine gunners do not shoot at the head target. Moreover, there is no head target in any exercise of the category norms of the unified All-Russian sports classification for the machine gun [current shooting course, Appendix 19]. Thus, not only during training, control or qualification, but even for a sports category up to the title of "master of sports in shooting sports from a machine gun" submachine gunners do not shoot at the head target.

The same is true in the course of shooting for the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

For submachine gunners, in the exercises of the shooting course, the lying infantry is simulated in a simplified way - with high (0.5m) targets No. 6, which correspond to the shooter firing while lying on level ground from the elbows (Fig. 3). This simplification allows submachine gunners to enter the shooting range, but leads to ineffective shooting in battle, since in battle a rare eccentric takes a position out of the blue without a parapet, mostly lying infantry is target number 5 (Fig. 3).

Simplification must be stopped, and for this it is necessary to increase the probability of hitting the main target - the shooter behind the parapet. To hit a target with a height of 0.3 m, the main method of firing a submachine gunner - a direct shot - must add a mark on the sight, the height of the trajectory of which will be 0.3 m; let us designate this label "P 0, 3".

With modern scopes, reducing the accuracy will not increase the chance of hitting


Fig. 5. The graph is based on the author's calculations

In Table 1, we will compare how the probability of hitting will change for assault rifles with improved accuracy: A-545 and AK-12.


Tab. 1. Indicators A-545 are applicable to other assault rifles with external ballistics AK-74, but accuracy is 1.5 times better, for example, to AK-12

The main findings are:

1. A-545 and AK-12 with modern sights (marked with "4") will have combat effectiveness no better than the AK-74

Line A-545 "4" / AK-74 "4" Table 1 confirms that with the aiming mark "4" 300m to 350-400m, but worse at ranges where the STP left the target contours - from 150m to 250m. For example, at a distance of 200m, the hit probability will be 87% of the same indicator of the AK-74, that is, it will decrease from 0.43 (Fig. 4) to 0.37 (Fig. 5).

A separate calculation shows that with a 2-fold improvement in accuracy, the probability of hitting with a "4" mark at a distance of 200 m drops even more - to 0.30. AN-94), the probability of hitting from the "4" mark is indistinguishable from zero not only at a distance of 200m, but almost everywhere where the STP went beyond the contours of the target, that is, at ranges from 150m to 300m.

Thus, for modern sights (for mark "4"), the better the assault rifle's accuracy, the lower the probability of hitting the main target at ranges from 150m to 250-300m.

AK-12 and A-545 with modern sights will show combat effectiveness no better than the AK-74, since on average the hit probability will increase insignificantly - by 9% (Table 1, line A-545 "4" / AK-74 "4", average). The 15-20% increase in combat effectiveness promised by the manufacturers of these assault rifles can only be obtained with the aiming mark "P 0, 3" (Table 1, line A-545 "P 0, 3" / AK-74 "P 0, 3", the average).

If the sights are not corrected, then rearmament with new assault rifles will turn out to be meaningless, as happened with the AN-94.

2. The mark "P 0, 3" will significantly increase the hit probability on all machines

The label "P 0, 3" with improved accuracy increases the probability of hitting at all ranges (Table 1, line A-545 "P 0, 3" / AK-74 "P 0, 3"), therefore the average hit probability at the entire range direct shot compared to the mark "4" will increase significantly: 1.48 times for the A-545 and AK-12 and 1.31 times for the AK-74 (Table 1, average).

Compared to the current state of affairs - with the mark "4" on the AK-74 - the mark "P 0, 3" on the A-545 and AK-12 will increase the probability of hitting on average by 1.56 times (Table 1, average).

An AN-94 marked "P 0, 3" would have a much better chance of being hit by the first two bullets than an A-545. However, an aperture sight was installed on the AN-94 as on the M-16, which not only does not contribute to aiming at the lower edge of the target with a direct shot, but also does not have at least a "3" mark. Unsuccessful sights are the reason for the lack of demand for the AN-94.

A non-discrete passive sight is more effective than a direct shot

The definition of accurate shooting is best formulated in the monograph of the Central Research Institute of Information "The effectiveness of firing from automatic weapons": "3.5. The degree of alignment of the midpoint of hits with the center of the target determines the accuracy of shooting"[1, p. 121].

With a direct shot, the STP moves along the target from the lower edge of the target (at the range of a direct shot) to the upper edge (approximately 1/2 of the direct fire range) and back to the lower edge (closer than 50m), and only in two places out of the entire direct fire range it coincides with center of the target - approximately by ¼ and ¾ of the direct shot range. At direct firing range and about ½ of this range, at least half of all bullets go below or above the target, respectively. Choosing a straight shot, we deliberately go to reduce the accuracy of shooting for the sake of simplicity and speed of aiming.

In Russia, a patented non-discrete passive sight, which allows a "person" to aim at a target as simply and as quickly as with a direct shot. At the same time, the sight at sufficiently large ranges keeps the STP close to the center of real targets in battle.

The non-discrete passive sight on the A-545 and AK-12 will increase the hit probability by an average of 1, 19 times compared to the "P 0, 3" mark, and will also increase the effective fire range by 150-200 m. And this sight is passive, that is, it does not emit any electromagnetic impulse (laser, etc.), therefore it does not warn the target that they are aiming at it, and does not unmask its shooter [5].

There are no objective obstacles to the introduction of the "P 0, 3" mark and the non-discrete passive sight

The introduction of the "P 0, 3" mark does not require changes in the methods of shooting learned by machine gunners, requires minor changes in the manuals for machine guns and in the course of firing, as well as completely minor changes in the equipment of the shooting ranges (it is necessary to cut chest targets to the height of the head targets), does not require experienced -design work (ROC). Some types of sights available in the troops, for example, red dot sights, will not require any modernization: they will simply have to be brought into a normal battle with a slightly lower excess of STP at a distance of 100m than is done now.

The introduction of a non-discrete passive sight will require ROC, as well as some retraining of submachine gunners. But for R&D, the technologies and materials available in optical instrumentation are enough, and the price of the sight will not be higher than the price of the current optical and night sights for assault rifles. The use of a non-discrete passive sight is intuitive and its development will not be a problem for any category of military personnel, including conscripts.

Now, when it is necessary to replace the scopes with the “4” mark, it’s time to supply a non-discrete passive sight instead of them, otherwise our troops will remain for several more decades with only a deliberately insufficiently accurate direct shot.

Conclusions and offers

A direct shot marked "P 0, 3" or a non-discrete passive sight will increase the combat effectiveness of both the assault rifles in service and assault rifles with improved accuracy undergoing state tests.

Without these scopes, it is pointless to put into service assault rifles with improved accuracy, since their combat effectiveness with old scopes is no better than the assault rifles already in service.

The introduction of sights with the label "P 0, 3" and / or non-discrete passive sights is a priority and no alternative task. In the event of a lack of financial resources, it is necessary to introduce new sights, and not new assault rifles, simultaneously for new sights and new assault rifles.


[1] The effectiveness of shooting from automatic weapons / Shereshevsky MS, Gontarev AN, Minaev Yu. V. Moscow, Central Research Institute of Information, 1979.

[2] Manual for 5, 45-mm Kalashnikov assault rifle (AK-74, AKS74, AK-74N, AKS74N) and 5, 45-mm Kalashnikov light machine gun (RPK74, RPKS74, RPK74N, RPKS74N) / Main Directorate of Combat Training of the Ground Forces … Uch.-ed., 1982.

[3] Manual for planning and executing training on the 5.56-mm M16A1 and M16A2 rifles”, FM 23-9, 3 JULY 1989, By Order of the Secretary of the Army, Distribution: Active Army, USAR, and ARNG.

[4] The submachine gunner must and can hit the head figure / Svateev V. A. AVN Bulletin. No. 2. 2013.

[5] Pros and cons of the sight. Small arms need an active-passive sight / Svateev V. A. Journal of the Publishing Center of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation "Army Collection". No. 12 (234). 2013.