The AK-12 – AKA Ukrainian Tax Free Loot Drops

The AK-12 kits are very very sparse here in the states. Considering the current state of… well… that region of the world, the likelihood we see more AK-12 parts here stateside in the near future is… suspect.

Brandon takes on the AK-12, because of course he has one.

Putin may be acting up but the AK-12 is still cool, it’s just a gun. The counterpart to our M4A1, the AK-12 started out as a much more ambitious project with a plethora of forward looking improvements. What came out of it was an improved AK-74. Nicely improved but not as ambitiously done as the earlier project.


Like the M4A1 compared to the URG-I variants, the general issue rifle needed some updates. But, not all the ones included in the original for all the associated costs made the final. This is the same reason we don’t see the US Forces all schlepping SCAR 16s or URG-I variants. The M4 was, is, and shall continue to be a very good rifle. Are there things that can be done better? Yes, Block II and URG-I rifles perform better than the rack grade M4A1’s. But those improvements are marginal and require a good shooter to really take advantage of.

This is what I suspect happened to the AK-12, they got what they really needed and shelved some of the more ambitious options that wouldn’t pull their weight. Many of the ergonomic changes from the venerable AK models were simplified or dropped, which undoubtedly cut parts costs and simplified fielding the new rifles to current troops.

Is it the future if the AK?

More like the present, it doesn’t do anything current tech here hasn’t been doing for a hot minute and a few things, like the handguard, are done rather sloppily. I would run a Magpul handguard instead.

I do run a Magpul handguard instead, and the railed gas tube is more rigid and resilient than the rail on the handguard.

In short several ready updates added, several left out for… reasons?

Whatever, they’re tax free in Ukraine right now.

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.