The Aleksandrov AL-4 (АЛ-4) is a prototype Soviet assault rifle.
Designed by Yury Aleksandrov in the early-1970s while using an action designed by Peter Tkachev, the AL-4 was designed to overcome one of the shortcomings of the standard Kalashnikov rifle system; its low accuracy when firing in bursts.
The AL-4, and its more well-known smaller brother, the AL-7, were never adopted by the Soviet military as the AL-7 was practically completely overshadowed by the development of the AK-74 and faded into history. Despite this, however, the system Tkachev used became more and more viable as time passed, and was later used for the AK-107 and 108 rifles.
The AL-4 is an assault rifle that used the BARS system, or the Balanced Automatics Recoil System. The principle of the system is that when fired, mass from the negative effects of recoil is shifted towards the muzzle as the bolt and bolt carrier are reciprocating; this supposedly helped to reduce recoil and allow for automatic fire to be more viable and practical. The AL-4's action predated the weapon itself; it was designed in the mid-1960s by Peter Tkachev, famous for his experimental AO-63 double-barreled assault rifle. While the AL-4 faded into history, Tkachev's action did not, and later found use in some other weapons, such as the Kalashnikov AKB and AKB-1 that were used during the Abakan trials.