Facts emerging out of the investigation into the broad daylight murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala show that he was killed using an AN-94 assault rifle. Punjab director general of police VK Bhawra on Sunday said 30 empty bullet shells had been recovered from the crime scene.
Reports say this is the first time that such a weapon has been used by assailants in a gang war in Punjab. The weapon of choice, otherwise, is from among the AK series of rifles.
The 28-year-old singer was shot dead at Jawaharke village in his home district of Mansa, a day after his security cover was trimmed by the Punjab government.
Here’s all you need to know about the Russian weapon that is considered deadlier than AK-47:
- Make and model
According to a report, Moose Wala was murdered by an AN-94 Russian assault rifle. The initials stand for Avtomat Nikonova model of 1994. The rifle is named after its chief designer Gennadiy Nikonov, who had earlier worked on a machine gun by the same name. Work on the rifle started in 1980 and was completed in 1994.
Police said 30 rounds were fired at Moose Wala and his two companions in 2 minutes. The AN-94 rifle can fire 600 rounds per minute in two-round burst mode and 1,800 bullets per minute in full auto mode.
- Effective range
The gun fires bullets at a speed of 900 m or about 3,000 feet per second. On the other hand, the AK-47 can only fire at a speed of 715 m or about 2,400 feet per second. The range of the AN-94 is 700 m, which is almost double to that of the AK-47.
- Capacity and calibre
The rifle has a magazine capacity of 30 to 45 cartridges, the same as the AK-74. It weighs 3.85 kg and has a calibre of 5.45x39mm.
- Fully automatic weapon
The rifle has a two-stage automatic mode of operation. In the first mode, it fires 1,800 rounds per minute and goes into the second mode to fire 600 rounds per minute. The rifle can also be mounted on a GP-30 grenade launcher and a bayonet can be attached to it.
- How is it different from the AK series?
The more popular firearm from Russia seems to be the Kalashnikov, but the AN-94 was designed to replace the AK-74 rifle. However, this weapon is still being used by the Russian military despite the AN-94 rifle’s induction into the forces in 1997. The AN-94 could not replace the AK-74 due to its complex and flawed design. It is also more expensive to manufacture, and is hard to maintain.