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There are few guns that can be instantly recognized as quickly as the legendary AK after all, being the most sold gun globally must account for something.
However, even legends change and evolve which brings us to our current subject matter. Here is the AK-12, from Kalashnikov. The AK-12 was originally designed to be adopted by the Russian military for general use back in 2013 but it was only as recent as 2014 that the Russian Army announced that it has passed all the state tests making it finally ready for evaluation.
What we have here is the absolute, most accurate, representation of the AK-12 outside of the real fire arm itself and its made by a company few may know, NPO.
Before we get into the gun itself I want to talk about NPO, the company behind this the gun. NPO’s full name is actually NPO-AEG and they are a Russian based company which has been making the most realistic Russian small arm replicas since 2011. The one thing that stands out the most about NPO is how raw and rugged they actually look, like the real ones.
As we start talking about the gun, up front you find this steel flash hider and steel outer barrel which houses the 509mm 6.02 tight bore inner barrel. You will then find a full steel front sight and gas tube. Moving slightly back is the hand guard which is plastic. The hand guard features rails on both the bottom and top with the top rail of on the hand guard sitting flush with the one that is on the dust cover giving it a monolithic look. While we are on the subject of rail space, I do have to mention that the gun does not feature side rails.
Moving now to the middle portion of the gun is both the dust over and receiver, all made from steel. We talked about evolution a few sentences ago and here is where a large part of that takes place. First, this very ergonomic grip that breaks with the previously rather uncomfortable ones. Then you will see that the old style AK fire selector has been changed in favor for something more modern with actual indicators showing what firing modes there are. Below that, a magazine releases which only needs you to push down with your finger but also facilitates the traditional reloading method if you so prefer. Best part of all of this: all the controls are ambidextrous!!
Now all of this sounds great but truth must be told, the fire selector is stiff, and when I say stiff, I mean you need to disengage, put your gun at an angle, and firmly move the switch to help you switch firing modes. The magazine release is plastic so don’t drop it, it might crack…
The AK12 features a version 3 gear box and the hop up chamber is located inside
the chamber and can be accessed by pulling back the charging handle. You adjust this small plastic bit back and forth for more or less hop. PLEASE note, that the adjustment lever is quite flimsy and needs to be slightly pushed down when sending the “bolt” back forward avoiding any kind of breakage to the adjuster.
As we move to the rear of the gun we find the stock. Right away you will notice that the stock is drastically different from other AK stocks. The first thing you will see is that its a MUCH
slimmer profile and is now plastic, though other AKs started to adopt plastic or polymer into their stocks as well. It still folds to the side like some newer models like the 104 BUT this new stock on the AK12 is also adjustable for length of pull up to 3 positions!
The gun also comes with one of these plastic 100 round mid-cap magazines
This gun is mostly made of steel which means its not light, however, it does still feel pretty comfortable to shoulder. The pistol grip fits well in your hand and the stock sits in your shoulder well. A small gripe is the button at the back of the stock where you press down to fold it does push into your shoulder a bit and doesn’t feel all too comfortable.
I am going to come out and say it, this is not a cheap gun and its rather on the pricey side but it embodies everything an AK should be and then some. AKs are supposed to be raw, functional machines that appeal to function rather than form and with the NPO AK12 its all of that in an airsoft package. The build quality is really sturdy and its made out of STEEL so you know its not going to break on you.
Other than the small gripes here and there with things being stiff or feeling a bit flimsy I think the NPOAEG AK12 is worth its price tag. Not to mention that if you are looking for the most accurate representation of this rifle in airsoft, THIS. IS. THE. ONE down to even being made in Russia itself.
If you want cool AKs like this, other NPOAEGs, or whatever else that may tickle your fancy, don’t forget to check out our online store.
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