On 20 August, Kalashnikov Concern (the russian maker of the AK-47 ) website showed a promotional video accompanied by an article on the AK-308. The AK-308 rifle featured in the video was of the AK-200 series pattern which was most likely an earlier prototype. The AK-200 series was originally designated as the AK-100M series until earlier in 2018, when it was rebranded. The rifle is based on the AK103 submachine gun for the cartridge 7.62×51 mm NATO round with elements and components of the AK-12 automatic machine.
The AK-308 weighs about 4,3kg with an empty 20-round magazine and has a dioptric sight and foldable stock. At the moment, preparations are under way for preliminary testing of weapon. Unlike the AK-12 and AK-15 assault rifles, chambered for 5.45×39 mm and 7.62×39 mm rounds, respectively, the front portion of the AK-308’s receiver was modified to accommodate the heavier front barrel trunnion as per Kalashnikov’s RPK, RPK-74, and RPK-16 light machine gun series. Furthermore, the exhibited AK-308 prototype had a distinctive combined compensator and flash-hider attached to its muzzle.
The military 7.62×51 mm round has been derived from the commercial .308 cartridge for .308 Winchester chambered AK-pattern semi-automatic rifles of the Saiga series, designated as the Saiga-308, which have been available on the civilian market for over a decade. The Saiga semi-automatic riflesare a family of Russian semi-automatic rifles manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern (formerly Izhmash), which also manufactures the original AK-47 and its variants, Saiga-12 shotguns and Dragunov sniper rifle. Saiga rifles are a sport version of the Kalashnikov rifle, and are marketed for hunting and civilian use.
On 21 August, the first day of the Army 2018 defence show being held in Kubinka near Moscow until 26 August, a new Kalashnikov assault rifle chambered for the 7.62×51 mm NATO round was unveiled to the public. This most recent addition to the latest generation of the Kalashnikov family of rifles has been designated as the AK-308. The latest, modified iteration of the 1P87 reflex sight can be seen mounted on the AK-308 on display at Army 2018.