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Small-Size Assault Rifle

9A-91

The 9A-91 Small-Size Assault Rifle with a sound suppressor and special cartridges

Caliber 9 mm
Cartridge type SP-5, SP-6, PAB-9 (9 x 39 mm)
Dimensions and weight 
Total weight (with loaded magazine)  2 500 g
Total weight (without magazine) 1 800 g
Length with extended buttstock 594 mm
 Length with folded buttstock 373 mm
Fire characteristics
Bullet initial speed 270 m/s
Rate of fire 700 rpm
Practical rate of fire 30 - 70 rpm
Magazine capacity 20 rounds
Sighting range 200 m
Range of effective fire 200 m

   The 9A-91 is a Small-Size Assault Rifle. It is recently in service and is widely used with the special forces and other units of the Russian Internal Affairs Ministry. It was intended to defeat manpower covered with bullet-proof vests in urban environment.

   The 9A-91 was designed by the Tula Design Bureau and is serially produced since the 1994 in Tula city armament plant. The 9A-91 Small-Size Assault Rifle

   It has dimensions in 373 x 190 x 44 (with folded buttstock). This weapon delivers assault rifle power in a submachine gun dimensions. The 9A-91 is one of the smallest assault rifles of the world. It's small size makes it maneuverable in a limited space areas.

   Assault rifle's automatics is based on the gas returning power threw the gas chamber. This feature allowed to design simple and reliable small-size assault rifle. A safety-lock is a fire mode changer at once. Rifle's trigger group allows to execute single or automatic fire. This assault rifle has a buttstock folding over the barrel box. Nevertheless folded buttstock doesn't increase it's dimensions. The 9A-91 reloading handle folds itself over the barrel box after a manual reloading. This feature makes assault rifle flat consequently reloading handle doesn't catches with uniform.

   Pistol handle and a foregrip a made from polymer materials. Assault rifle is fed from 20 round capacity box magazine. Magazine release button is placed under the trigger guard.

   The 9A-Solider of the special operation forces armed with the 9A-19 Small-Size Assault Rifle91 is chambered for 9 x 39 mm special cartridges SP-5, SP-6 and PAB-9. These cartridges have subsonic speed and are intended to be used with a sound suppressor at a range of effective fire in 400 m. Recently such cartridges are used with the VSS "Vintorez" Special Purpose Sniper Rifle and the AS VAL Special Purpose Assault Rifle. The SP-5 was designed as a sniper cartridge and has better ballistic characteristics while the SP-6 has a hardened steel core intended to defeat manpower cowered by bullet-proof vests and light armored vehicles. The SP-6 is capable to penetrate 8-mm steel plate in 100 m range or 2-mm in 400 m range. The PAB-9 is a version of the SP-6 cartridge with a very similar characteristics but is more technological in production.

One more detail is that these bullets usually do not ricochet. This feature makes them suitable to fire inside buildings.

   Muzzle energy in 690 - 700 Joules allows makes weapon easy controlled executing automatic fire. This feature is also achieved by a quite low rate of fire. Comparing with a reinforced Winchester +P+ Para (9 x 19 mm) cartridge the 9 x 39 mm have a better ballistic rate, and heavy bullet. The first mentioned bullet quickly looses speed and energy and in 100 meters range difference between these bullets is 52%. This rate is growing with a distance and in 200 m Para bullet has only 317 Joules of energy. This feature makes the 9 x 19 mm quiet ineffective in 100 - 150 meters range while the SP-5 bullet fired from the 9A-91 Assault Rifle in 400 meters range still has 507 Joules of bullet energy.

  Worlds most common cartridges that used in silenced guns are 9 x 19 mm (Para) and .45ACP. When compared to them, SP-5 series loads gave twice as much muzzle energy and at least 3 times longer effective range.

   Initially the 9A-91 was designed for the 9 x 39 mm. However later assault rifle was additionally chambered for the standard Russian assault rifle 7.62 x 39 mm and 5.45 x 39 mm cartridges and standard NATO 5.56 x 45 mm (.223 Rem) cartridge. The last mentioned caliber allowed to export the 9A-91. All of these mentioned variants are not compatible with a sound suppressor but have a 250 meter range of effective fire instead of 200 meter with the 9 x 39 mm cartridges. All of those versions have a very similar dimensions.

   The 9A-91 Assault Rifle isn't well known in the Russian Army for the moment.

   On the base of this small-size assault rifle there was developed the VSK-94 Small-Size Sniper Rifle intended to be used in up to 400 m range.

   The A-91 is completed with a sound suppressor and optionally with laser pointer, optical or night sight.

   Usage of the PK-01 light collimator sight makes the 9A-91 effective in up to 400 m range. The PK-01 collimator sight is adapted especially for the 9 x 39 mm cartridge ballistics. It's usage significantly decreases sighting time comparing with an opened sight furthermore the PK-01 can be used even if the supply element is out of service.

   Furthermore it is compatible with the 40-mm GP-95 underbarrThe 9A-91 Small-Size Assault Rifle with the GP-95 underbarrel grenade launcherel grenade launcher developed especially for this assault rifle. It is more simple and cheap than the standard GP-25 or GP-30 underbarrel grenade launcher intended for the AK assault riffle family. The main GP-95 feature is it's smaller dimensions and ability to use standard VOG-25 and VOG-25M grenades. The GP-95 has a range of effective fire in 400 m. 

Advantages

   It was designed to be used in urban environment so the 9A-91 features small dimensions, low weight, good penetration with low ricochet ability. One of it's versions is compatible with the standard NATO 5.56 x 45 mm (.223 Rem) cartridge. A large number of accessories developed especially for this assault rifle. 9-mm assault rifle is compatible with a sound suppressor. 

Disadvantages

   Low fire accuracy in a long distances of it's short barrel. Low magazine capacity.


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