Video: Russian Gunbusters Fires An AK-12 Until It Fails. Wow! Very interesting comments about 5.45 and 5.56 AK barrel Stresses

In this episode, Georgiy Gubich operates a 5.45×39 AK-12 on full auto until it fails. You’ll notice he is wearing body armor and for good reason as you’ll learn from the video.

He starts by loading up a case of 7N6 ammo into 30 mags and then dumping one after another. You get views from several angles and a shot counter plus his observations during the process.

The handguards are starting to smoke and Georgiy mentions he smells burning plastic.
Note the barrel and brake care glowing red at 503 rounds. It’s hard to say for sure, but this puts the temperature at 930-1175F (500-635C) degrees. I don’t know if it is the camera lens distortion but the brake looks like it is drooping. In later photos it does not so I’m thinking the wide angle lens might be causing distortion.
The handguard is on fire by round 510. It’s hard to say for sure but the temperature might be closer to 1490F (810C). She is hot!! Depending on the polymer they are using for the handguards, the ignition flash point could be from 572-1292F (00-700C). I would guess they are using something good because we can see the barrel is well past 1000F and there is an air gap plus the thermal mass of the handguard to consider which is why it took a while to reach the heat of ignition.
Round 630 – Wow! That is an impressive photo. The handguard is on fire and by luck the camera caught one hell of a muzzle flash. I can’t help but wonder what the temperature of the barrel is under the handguards at this point.
The barrel is started to rupture just prior to this point. Sparks could well be burning powder and there is definitely shrapnel flying as well. Yeah, right about now the body armor, gloves and face shield are making a lot of sense!
Georgiy inspects the rifle and sees the burst barrel.
This is where the barrel ruptured and it looks like it took out part of the gas block. Georgiy mentioned this is a common failure areas for 5.56 and 5.45 rifles due to the heat and pressure compare to larger calibers (I assume is he is referring to 7.62×39 and x51 variants). The rust you see is “flash rust” caused by the heat and being cooled down by water.
It definitely took a beating.

Time for the Video!

Summary

The rifle held up three times as long as the Russian Ministry of Defense 180-round burst requirement. Practically, you would expect pauses during firing to allow it to cool down some. I thought his comments about the high-pressure 5.56 x 5.45 rounds causing significant stresses on the barrel was very interesting and hope you enjoyed this video as well.

By the way, a big shout out to Kalashnikov Concern for making these videos available. They are very good!


Please note that all images were extracted from the video and are the property of their respective owner.


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