The Grad assault rifle is a bullpup weapon of North Ossetian origin. The weapon is chambered in the 5.45x39.5mm round and can be fitted with a silencer. The Grad operates on the AK Platform and is compatible with existing M4 components.
Although the Grad has been proclaimed as a revolutionary upgrade to the AK, it is, in fact, an interesting yet fairly simple modification of the basic AK system in a bullpup design, with the following modifications:
- The standard gas-operated, rotating-bolt AK-47 mechanism is removed from its furniture and a new butt plate is mounted directly on the rear of the receiver;
- A polymer cheek rest is fitted to the receiver cover;
- The trigger and pistol grip are placed in front of the magazine;
- The charging handle is removed from the bolt carrier and a new cocking handle arrangement is placed on the left side of the forearm.
Common characteristics with the AK-74 Edit
The weapon still fires 5.45x39.5mm ammunition from 30-round magazines at an approximate rate of fire of 600 to 650 rounds per minute, the barrel length remains the same and the muzzle brake has been retained, which suggests that the Grad's ballistic performance should be identical to that of the AK-74. The weapon's weight is almost the same as that of the M4A1, and its length is comparable to that of an M4 Carbine with the stock collapsed. The main advantage of the bullpup layout thus lies in the fact that the weapon becomes much shorter and thus easier to store, to carry and to handle in confined spaces. However, the bullpup's overall superiority to conventional rifle configurations, in which the magazine and chamber are in front of the trigger and pistol grip rather than behind, has been questioned, even though the bullpup layout is more and more becoming an industry standard.