To ensure penetration against modern body armor the Russian Army has decided to stop using 5.56mm round for the AK-74, AK-12 assault rifles
Instead, an enhanced 7.62mm round with lesser recoil will be optimized in future assault weapons, TASS reported.
“The Army may give up using 5.45mm rounds due to the bullets’ insufficient effect to pierce the protective gear at medium and increased fire ranges,” the report quoted an article published in the thematic bulletin, “2018 Missile and Artillery Technical Provision for Russia’s Armed Forces,” as stating.
The 5.45mm bullet’s initial velocity is equal to 900 m/s and the round’s weight was 10.2 grams, or 6 grams lighter than the 7.62mm round used in the AKM assault rifle. The new cartridge demonstrated less recoil, the higher accuracy of fire and the bullet’s flatter trajectory, which increased the range of direct fire.
The AK-74 assault rifle was developed for the new cartridge and accepted for service. The Russian Army currently buys new AK-12 assault rifles, which are also chambered for the 5.45mm cartridge.