Russian small-arms maker Izhmash plans to mass produce an airsoft version of its famous Kalashnikov assault rifle for basic military training and fans of strike ball, the company announced on Thursday.
Airsoft is a game in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with spherical non-metallic pellets shot with replica firearms.
“The Yunker-5 gas-cylinder air gun is a product, with a design, weight and overall dimensions following that of the Kalashnikov assault rifle with a folded buttstock,” the company said in a statement.
“The air gun is intended for training and sport shooting with 6-mm plastic balls powered by compressed gas in a cylinder,” the company said. “The air gun can also be used for strike ball.”
Testing of the airsoft version of Kalashnikov AK-74M has been completed. The company hopes the new gun will appeal to fans of strikeball and members of Russia's paramilitary youth organization, the Voluntary Association for Assistance to Army, Air Force and Navy (DOSAAF).
According to Russian legislation, air guns can be acquired without a license and are not subject to registration.