Shevchenko Smerch
Shevchenko Smerch
Country of origin



A.V. Shevchenko

Year(s) designed


Weapon type

Assault rifle





Magazine/Cylinder capacity

30 rounds

Cyclic rate


The Shevchenko Smerch (means tornado in Russian) was a prototype bullpup assault rifle designed by Russian engineer A.V. Shevchenko. Designed in the late 1970's, the Shevchenko Smerch was the work of Sergeant Shevchenko of the Russian military. It was chambered for 5.45x39mm ammunition and had the same barrel length as the AK-74 (the weapon it was based off), while having a much shorter overall length. A prototype model was produced, but Shevchenko had no factories to mass-produce the weapon. He contacted Tula Arms Plant to get the weapon produced, but they rejected his proposal because they did not have room to produce anything new. By the 1980s, the Russian army had already adopted the short-barreled AKS-74U, so Shevchenko's weapon was no longer required and was not adopted by any military forces.


The gun was gas operated with long stroke piston. It had a very short bolt carrier group and short bolt stroke distance (only half of the cartridge length) which allows it to house a full size AK-74 barrel in required dimensions. The receiver was also very short – only 85mm (3.35”). Short travel distance of BCG and lightweight reciprocating parts resulted in a very high rate of fire of 1800rpm (!) … again, it is not clear if it was actually tested or it is a theory based calculation. The way it managed to have such compact BCG is because of a unique locking system with tilting L shaped locking lugs which are forced to lock and unlock the breech by camming surfaces in front trunnion and on bolt carrier.