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Difference Between AK-203 Vs AK-47?

The Indian Army is procuring 670,000 AK-203 assault rifles to replace the INSAS, through a contract with Russia. The first 70,000 rifles were purchased from Russia and delivered in January 2022. The remaining 600,000 rifles will be manufactured in Amethi, India under a transfer of technology agreement, by joint venture company Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL).

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Kalashnikov (Калашниковrifle is any one of a series of automatic rifles based on the original design of Mikhail Kalashnikov. They are officially known in Russian as “Avtomát Kaláshnikova” . the AK-203 and AK-47 are different models with different specifications.

To better understand the difference between both the rifles, Let us first understand the specification of both the rifles in brief!

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AK-203 

The AK-203 is a Russian gas-operated, magazine-fed, select-fire assault rifle with a 7.62mm ammunition chamber. It is one of the most recent models of Mikhail Kalashnikov’s AK family of assault rifles. The Kalashnikov Concern in Russia created the AK-203 in the 2010s. Before being renamed to AK-203 in 2019, the weapon was known as the AK-103M. 

It is considered to be the latest and most advanced version of the AK-47 rifle. According to experts, the Russian rifle is reliable, durable and easy to maintain. It also has better ergonomics, accuracy and density of fire.

The prototype development of the AK-203 rifle’s predecessor, the AK-200 series, began in 2007. In 2010, the first prototype of the AK-200 was built and tested. The AK-200 was updated and dubbed AK-103-3 for the Ratnik programme in 2013.

In 2016, the AK-200 series project was restarted, with the KM-AK kit produced as part of the Obves programme being used to enhance the AK-103-3 assault rifle prototype. The modified assault rifle prototype was first known as the AK-300, then the AK-100M, and eventually the AK-203 in 2019.

The Indian Army is procuring 670,000 AK-203 assault rifles to replace the INSAS, through a contract with Russia.

The first 70,000 rifles were purchased from Russia and delivered in January 2022. The remaining 600,000 rifles will be manufactured in Amethi, India under a transfer of technology agreement, by joint venture company Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL).

Specifications

Caliber 7.62mm
Ammunition7.62х39mm
Weight, with empty magazine3.8 kg
Sighting range800 m
MagazineMagazine
Action Gas operated, rotating bolt
Barrel length415 mm (16.3 in)
Cyclic rate of fire700 rounds per minute

AK-47 

The AK-47, officially known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova is a gas-operated assault rifle that is chambered for the 7.62×39mm cartridge. It was developed in the Soviet Union by Russian small-arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov.

It is the originating firearm of the Kalashnikov (“AK”) family of rifles.till now, the AK-47 model and its variant rifles remain the most popular and widely used rifles in the world.

The number “47” denotes the year when the rifle was finished. 

The AK-47 was first designed in 1945. The fixed-stock variant was placed into active service for selected units of the Soviet Army in 1948, after it was presented for official military trials in 1947. The AK was officially approved by the Soviet Armed Forces in early 1949, and the majority of Warsaw Pact member states used it.

 The AK 47 model has gained huge popularity among the world because of many reasons. Some of these reasons are as follows  :- 

  • Reliability under harsh conditions
  • Low production cost
  • Availability in virtually every geographic region
  • Ease of use

The AK-47 has been produced in a number of countries and has been used by armed forces, as well as irregular forces and insurgents, all over the world. “Of the estimated 500 million rifles globally, about 100 million belong to the Kalashnikov family, with three-quarters of them being AK-47s,” according to statistics from 2004.

The model serves as the basis for the development of many other types of individual, crew-served and specialised firearms.

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Specifications

Caliber7.62x39mm
ActionGas operated, rotating bolt with 2 lugs
Overall length870 mm
Barrel length415 mm
Weight, with empty magazineAK 4,3 kg; AKM 3,14 kg
Magazine capacity30 rounds (also 40-round box magazines and 75-round drums)
Cyclic rate of fire600 rounds per minute

The Area Of Difference Between The AK 203 And AK 47:

  1. Against AK-47’s empty magazine weight of 4.3kg, the AK-203 is lighter at 3.8kg 
  2. it has a sighting range of 800m compared with an effective range of 300-400m for the older variant. 
  3. The AK-203 magazine contains 30 rounds while the AK-47 magazine carries 20 or 30-rounds.
  4. The two rifles have an identical rate of fire of 600 rounds/min. The AK-203 has a length of 705mm with the stock folded, while the AK-47 measures 645mm.
  5. AK-203 also features an integrated compensator and flash suppressor which is missing in the older variant that is AK 47.

Overall, the AK- 203 is equipped with more technological advancements than the AK-47. Also, With over 100 million units in circulation globally, an Avtomat Kalashnikov is said to be the fifth assault weapon in the world. According to Russia, AK series rifles are “now in service with nearly 100 foreign militaries, whose number is constantly growing.”

Jai Hind!

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Mausami Sharma
Mausami Sharma
Intern at SSBCrackExams. An avid reader, UPSC aspirant and a curious defence aircraft researcher. Pursuing my Interest in global politics and diplomatic studies.
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