The Kalashnikov AKB and AKB-1 (AKБ) are prototype Soviet assault rifles. They are notable for being contenders in the Abakan competition.
The AKB was used to replace the AL-9 which was pulled out of the Abakan tests for unknown reasons. The AKB was part of a series of a few other contenders in the second stage of the tests, but because no weapon fully met the requirements, all weapon designers still in the competition were given three months to modify their designs and resubmit them. To meet these requirements, the BARS system was added to the AKB, and it became the AKB-1. However, even with the BARS system, the AKB-1 was unsuccessful and was eliminated from the competition as it was deemed to not be viable to continue work on the rifle. After the failure of the AKB-1, Kalashnikov designed the much more successful PP-19 Bizon.
The AKB is quite obviously based on an AK-patterned rifle. The AKB had no interesting features of note, while the AKB-1 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 AKB-1'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 AKB-1 faded into history, Tkachev's action did not; as the years passed, a recoil-reducing system of this type was found to be more viable over the long run, and the BARS system found itself in the AK-107 and 108 assault rifles.
- The AKB is often misidentified as an AL-9.