AK-5 Assault Rifle Review

The Automatkarabin 5 or AK-5 for short is a Swedish assault rifle. It is a modified version of the FN FNC. Most modifications were made in order to adapt the Belgian weapon for the harsh Northern climate.

In the mid 1970s Swedish Armed Forces began to look for a new assault rifle that would replace their AK-4 (license-produced version of the Heckler & Koch G3). Swedish Defense Material Administration went with the global trend for a smaller caliber ammunition. Although the Sweden was always a neutral country, it was leaning towards NATO and considered Soviet Union a great threat. So a standard NATO 5.56×45 mm round was selected. Also Swedish Defense Material Administration required, that the new weapon would be reliable in the near-arctic climate of Northern Sweden. From 1979 to around 1980 a total of 11 different assault rifles were tested, including Beretta M70, FN CAL, FN FNC, Heckler & Koch HK33, IMI Galil, M16A1, SIG 540, Steyr AUG, and some other designs. All of them were chambered for a standard NATO 5.56×45 mm ammunition. As a result the Belgian FN FNC has been selected. However a number of modifications were made to the weapon to make it suitable for winter conditions. Modifications included a larger trigger and cocking handle. It allowed to fire while wearing thick winter gloves. Also the weapon received a larger handguard, different side-folding shoulder stock, different iron sights, different gas block, modified bolt, modified magazine. Also resistance to corrosion has been improved.

 Between 1981 to 1985 new tests were made to the modified FNC. In 1986 the weapon was finally adopted as the AK-5. Deliveries commenced during the same year. The AK-5 became a standard issue infantry rifle in service with the Swedish Armed Forces.

The first AK-5 assault rifles were delivered from Belgium. Production was established in Sweden in 1987. It was license-produced by FFV Ordnance AB. Soon this assault rifle was produced by Bofors Carl Gustav. This weapon has never been exported outside Sweden.

The AK-5 is a gas operated weapon. Overall its operating mechanism strongly resembles that of Kalashnikov assault rifle. A 3-round burst capability of the FN FNC was deleted on the AK-5. It fires in semi-auto, or full-auto modes only.

 It has been reported that the AK-5 is very reliable. Updated versions, such as AK-5C are even more reliable and have a jam for about 2 000 rounds fired.

The original AK-5 was fed from 30-round steel magazines. On modernized AK-5C and AK-5D versions these were replaced with lighter and translucent plastic magazines. A couple of magazines can be clamped together for faster reloading. This weapon is compatible with all standard NATO 5.56-mm magazines.

Initial production model has fixes iron sights. It has a sighting adjustments for 250 and 400 meters. However the rifles can be used at longer ranges.

The original rifle lacked a bayonet lug. A bayonet lug adaptor and bayonet from the older AK-4 was fitted to some rifles, mainly for ceremonial duties.

The AK-5 can launch rifle grenades. However some sources report that Swedish Armed Forces do not use rifle grenades. Newer models are compatible with M203 40-mm underbarrel grenade launcher.


  AK-5 initial production version with fixed iron sights. Currently these rifles are no longer used and are kept in storage;

 AK-5B is a designated marksman rifle. It comes with a 4x magnification sight (British SUSAT L9A1) and has a cheek pad. Iron sights have been removed. Approximately 5 200 of these rifles were made. It was typically used by squad leaders. Currently these rifles are no longer used and are kept in storage;

AK-5C is an updated version with a number of improvements. Swedish Defense Administration decided to update existing AK-5 assault rifles, rather than to look for a new design. The AK-5C has a slightly shorter barrel. It has integral Picatinny-type scope and accessory rail. It comes as standard with Ampoint red dot sight. It can be fitted with a variety of sights and add-on accessories. It is often used with add-on vertical foregrip. There are back-up emergency iron sights up to a range of 300 m. The AK-5C is prepared to accept the M203 grenade launcher. This assault rifle also has improved ergonomics and adjustable side-folding buttstock. The flash hider can be used to shoot through barbed wire. Tests of the AK-5C were completed in 2005. Nearly 40 000 existing AK-5 rifles were modified to the AK-5C standard. Deliveries commenced in 2006 and were completed in 2010. Currently the AK-5C is a standard issue infantry rifle in service with the Swedish Armed Forces.

 AK-5D is a compact version of the AK-5C with shorter barrel and handguard. This carbine is issued to vehicle crews and reconnaissance units. The AK-5D is also used by Swedish Police.


Country of origin:         Sweden

Caliber:                           5.56×45 mm

Weight (empty) :           4 kg

Weight (loaded)  :         4.5 kg

Lenght:                           1 000 mm

Length (with folded stock):       750 mm

Barrel length:                350 mm

Muzzle velocity :          870 m/s

Cyclic rate of fire :       650 rpm

Magazine capacity:      30 rounds