Updated: Apr 6, 2020
We have read many reviews of the NPOAEG brand and understand the frustration in finding accurate information for a product of interest. Most reviews are based on the prototype version (A15) that was based on the 2012 AK12 prototype of IZHMASH. In this Post, we will review and compare the differences between the externals of the AK12 prototype (A15) and the latest model AK12 (A16).
This photo depicts the A15 on the left and the A16 on the right. Both are painted with Aluminum Phosphate which gives off a beautiful black sheen. Both share the same pistol grip and both have stocks that can extend and fold. Interestingly enough, magazines for the A15 are NOT compatible with the A16 and vice versa. In terms, of overall length, the A15 is 95 cm and the A16 86.5 cm.
The A15 has a much slimmer design and remains faithful to the IZHMASH version. It extends by pressing the switch underneath and will fold by pressing the button on the right hand side of the stock which connects to the receiver. To unfold the stock, the button at the end of the stock must be depressed
Length 23.5 cm / Width 10 cm
The A16 has a wider triangle stock which connects to a buffer tube and also remains faithful to the 2018 design that was officially adopted by the Russian Army. Instead of the fold release button at the end, it has a rubber butt pad and the button to extend is inside the triangle opening of the stock. On the left hand side, the lever must be pressed downward to fold and a button on the receiver to unfold.
Length 18.5 cm / Width 12.5 cm
The muzzle break on the A15 is 21.5 cm while the A16 is only 18 cm. The barrel is also different, the A15 has a rounded barrel with an open ended proprietary threaded barrel (18 CW). In comparison,the A16 has a 3-slot slimmer edge with retention pin,23 CCW + 14 CCW threaded barrel. Note that the gap for the bayonet mounts vary as well as sling mount locations.
The handguards are different in every way possible. The A15 has a thinner plastic handguard that is fitted with a hex key located between the barrel and the gas tube and serves as the battery compartment. The handguard is 18.5 cm long and features only 12 rail slots on the bottom. The AK16 is made of a thicker plastic consisting of two pieces and is fitted with a hex key at the bottom of the barrel for the lower portion, and a latch at the top portion that connects to the dust cover. There is no space for battery in the handguard however it has rails at the top and bottom. At 15.45 cm long, it only has 9 slots at the bottom but includes 14 slots in its top portion.
The A15 has a 41 cm long, true metal monolithic picatinny rail and the dust cover is attached by 3 hex screws to the top portion of the rifle. The charging bolt is plastic, but it can be rotated to the left or right. There is no space for batteries in the dust cover. The A16 has a 38.5 cm long, pseudo-monolithic rail. The 23 cm metal portion attached to the dust cover attaches to the 15 cm plastic handguard top portion mentioned earlier. The charging bolt is metal and is the same as the classic AK style bolts. This dust cover is attached by hook and latch at both ends and serves as the battery compartment space.
The A15 is also different in its receiver's design from the classic style that the A16 opted with. The lower edge curves up and is wider on the A15. It is also fitted with ambidextrous fire selection from safe, auto, 2 round burst, and semi (only actually rigged to work as safe, auto, semi) The A16 has the classic fire selection located on the right hand side of the rifle with safe, auto, and semi. Finally, the A15 has a rear iron sight that can only adjust elevation and is attached to the top rail with hex screw. In comparison, the A16 was upgraded to also adjust windage and is attached to the top rail with Phillips head screw.
In future parts of this in depth exploration of the AK12, we will also review internals and look deeper into the A16N or AK15, and compare to the LCT model. Please let us know if you'd like to know more or if we missed a few details! Thank you for taking the time to read!
For those who made it to the end, we thank you with a current winter promotion on all NPOAEG products. Take a Winter Ration of 15% off with code: NPORATION Offer ends December 31st 2019