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home Forums – The GUN Forum Firearms Why has no US company produced a rifle with a counterbalanced recoil system like the AK-107/Saiga Mk-107?

  • Why has no US company produced a rifle with a counterbalanced recoil system like the AK-107/Saiga Mk-107?

    Posted by Jessica on November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    I mean, there is obviously a market for such a weapon. While the more complex designs would require new tooling of manufacture process, and be an expensive process, the lack of competition would allow a manufacturer to mark up the price will beyond the profit point, and considering the unique characteristics which would put such a rifle in a class of its own in the US civilian market, mass production would not be required to turn a profit- small batches, individually made, would fly off the shelf even with a price tag four to eight times that of a decent AK-74 build.

    The KRISS Vector uses a modified operating system that causes the bolt carrier to recoil down at an angle, which supposedly reduces recoil, but it is far from a truly counterbalanced system.

    The question is, could a US company just rip off the Saiga MK-107 design? I mean, with the import ban, and further sanctions against the Russian Federation, would a Russian company even have any recourse against a US company for patent infringement? And is the design even registered with the US patent office?

    Even if it wouldn’t be possible to rip off the counterbalanced recoil system of the AK-107/MK-107, the principles of a balanced recoil operating system are fairly straightforward: use the same gas that impinges on the bolt carrier (whether direct, or via a piston), to drive some mass forward at the same time. The AK-107 uses a cam system, with some sort of connecting rod system, to ensure the inertia of the forward and rearward moving components is equal, but even a system as simple as taking an AK platform, cutting open the front of the gas block, welding on an open ended tube to the front, then putting a piston in said tube, with a lead weight at the front and a spring ahead of it, seems like it would do the trick to significantly reduce recoil.

    I mean, the counterbalanced recoil system is probably the greatest innovation in small arms that has come out of the last 40 or 50 years. If you think about the concept, it’s actually really quite simple- although a near-perfect system like the one in the 107 may involve more complex operation. Considering the military applications, I don’t understand why no US company has even developed a comparable system for DoD trials.

    Anyway, is there any specific reason why no US company has seemed to have expressed any interest in developing a rifle with a counterbalanced recoil system for the US civilian market? Or why I haven’t heard of any news regarding R&D for DoD applications by a US company? And for that matter, why no other company besides Saiga has made anything similar?

    If it would be theoretically possible, would anyone be interested in teaming up to work on a design? I’m thinking that using an AK-74 platform base, then modifying the gas system, possibly welding a box on top of the barrel to house some of the components, and playing around with different spring tensions, gas reliefs, and masses would be a good starting point. I’m also thinking that it might be possible to make a drop in barrel & gas system for an AK-74 platform (and possibly one for AK-47 platform), and market that. The AK-107 is completely reworked from the AK-74 to accommodate the balanced recoil system, so a drop-in system obviously wouldn’t achieve the same level of performance as a platform built around the principle, but I still think it could be viable and greatly reduce perceived recoil.

    Jessica replied 7 months, 3 weeks ago 2 Members · 20 Replies
  • 20 Replies
  • Rjsmith5

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Here’s the problem – you’re adding a large amount of complexity for an advantage that could only really be fully exploited in a machine gun. It’s the same thing with “constant recoil” systems. Less recoil is always better than more recoil, but most 5.56/5.45 guns just don’t recoil enough to justify inserting an overly complex system into your gun. The counterbalance system does reduce recoil, but is it worth, say, an extra $1,000 over a standard AK or AR? And is it worth adding such a large amount of complexity?

    Check out the [Polenar Tactical video on the Kalashnikov SR-1.](https://youtu.be/kT9bAeIQWrs) The cogs/gears/moving parts of the counterbalance system are all weak links in the reliability of the gun. Something getting into the system almost certainly means your gun is going to malfunction. I’m guessing that’s a large part of the reason the 107 has never seen any large scale adoption.

  • Akalenedat

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    >I mean, the counterbalanced recoil system is probably the greatest innovation in small arms that has come out of the last 40 or 50 years.

    Given that the AK-107 failed Russian Army trials due to poor reliability, and the AK-12 won the Ratnik contract, I think you might want to reconsider that stance…

  • tablinum

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    > I mean, there is obviously a market for such a weapon.

    Is there?

  • GucciTreez

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Here’s a cheap recoil reduction system: work out, lift weights.

  • zSchlachter

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Buffer tubes achieve a similar result and we’ve been using them for 60 years

  • Bartman383

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Dial down the Adderall.

  • Efanito

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    >there is obviously a market for such a weapon

    Microscopic, but yes there is one.

  • JTarrou

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Ok, which is more likely?

    1: The shiny new tech that you’ve been reading about on the internet is incomplete, nonfunctional, or cost prohibitive.

    Or

    2: Multi-national corporations hate making money and are conspiring to keep counterbalanced recoil in the same warehouse as cars that run on water and clean cold fusion reactors.

  • SakanaToDoubutsu

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Americans don’t like to spend money to buy quality products most of the time…

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  • AshhKalash

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Probably just cost of manufacturing and the R&D put behind it alone outweighs the idea of having a monopoly on counter balanced recoil system guns compared to tried and true pre-existing designs that already sell very well. Not saying this is a bad idea by any means as I’d definitely buy one, but when you combine all the aforementioned factors like price of tooling & the R&D behind it unless it’s something that everyone wants but can’t have like the Vinotrez clone that Slagga Arms is making it just won’t be feasible to introduce this brand new, possibly 2,000 or more gun to the market and get good pre-orders and sales.

  • Apprehensive_Fig3759

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    The counterbalance recoil mechanism was patented by Robert F. Hudson back in 1930, and it has long-since expired, meaning there’s no financial gain because it’s no longer a novel system and anyone could build a competing design and you wouldn’t be able to stop them. As to why it hasn’t been implemented in commercial firearms, likely it’s because the benefits aren’t worth the additional weight, mechanical complexity, and expense such a system would entail in a shoulder weapon.

    Here’s a link to the patent.

    https://patents.google.com/patent/US1786207A/en?oq=1%2c786%2c207

  • Old_Fossil_MKE

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    When I was in Vietnam, I had the opportunity to shoot a few exotic(exotic to me anyway) firearms, such as the Swedish K, Owens, old Sten gun & PPSH 41& MP40, and a Beretta model 12.

    Disassembling, cleaning & reassembling a firearm is the extent of my gunsmithing skills, but I remember that when I mentioned how light the recoil of Beretta model 12 was, I was told that it was the shrouded barrel that made the difference. Would that be an option?

  • ardesofmiche

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    There’s no market for one. Not everyone remembers, but just a few years ago 5.45 rifles barely moved. Now, people pay crazy money for 5.45 parts kits. The American gun market will pay crazy amounts for things they can’t have, but that doesn’t define a market.

    Why would someone pay $3k for a 107 when they could buy a lightweight AR15 in the same caliber with virtually no recoil for $1k?

  • Str_80

    Guest
    November 9, 2021 at 9:25 am

    DPM Systems makes a counterweight and multiple buffer system that drops in place of a standard buffer weight for ARs

    Ive been wanting to give it a try

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