A special guest contributor from the Swedish Forces wrote an overview of their service weapon, the AK5c.

The Swedish AK5C

Well, you know the FN FNC? The Swedes have their own modern version known as the AK5 C the C stand for Cesar, it’s a licensed built and standard issue weapon for the Swedish Armed Forces. I’m a Swede, soldier, photographer and gun nut so please bear with my English while I’ll write about this weapon system.


Short History

The AK5 which means Automatic Carbine was adopted in the later 80’s, replacing the old AK4 (HK G3A3) the AK5 is a licensed built FN FNC by Bofors modified for the Swedish climate and specs. The two first versions Adam and Bertil was in service until somewhere in the 2006/7 where it was replaced by the now issued and modernized Cesar and David, the David being a shorter barreled version.


AK5B above and AK5A below. Not my picture so copyright goes to Henrik Svensk

The Features

Well, Imagine having magazine compatibility with the STANAG magazine (AR-15 rifle platform) but the somewhat same operation and reliability of the famous Kalashnikov rifles?  Well here it is, today, there are lots of manufacturers that can use a long stroke piston and AR-15 magazines in their weapons, but the FNC was designed in the late 70’s so this was somewhat new.


The gun itself operates very similar to the Kalash, using a rotating bolt and a long stroke gas piston system, the gun could be fired a lot before needing actual cleaning unlike the M16. Now using M16 mags giving it compatibility with other NATO countries that uses STANAG 5.56 magazines. Instead of having a big chunky Kalash safety, the AK5 has a more and ergonomic style selector resembling the G3 and MP5 series.
AK5C left side fire selector, and bolt catch

AK5: Old versus New

The main difference is that it of course has M1913 rail systems, ambidextrous safety and missing of a burst fire function (only semi and full auto), the sliding stock is also new and it’s still fold able as all other versions, also in the new C and D versions, a bolt-catch was installed.

All the new features and touch ups makes the system more modern in all ways, and in my humble opinion the FNC was a gun before it’s time.


AK5 Technical Data

Caliber: 5.56×45 Nato using STANAG Magazines.

Weight: 5 kg loaded and with red dot.

Barrel length: 350 mm (13.8 inches)

Combat effective range: 400 meters.

Rate of fire: 650 rounds per minutes.


Personal Experiences and Thoughts

As compared to other weapons, 5kg is quite heavy, for a gun in 5.56, but since the gun was designed to fire rifle grenades it needed a rugged construction, otherwise the ak5 is quite ok.
The safety is very easy to operate, it moves easily  without needing to change grip of the gun.
The bolt catch is a nice addition but since the old A and B versions did not have bolt catch function, using the old steel issued mags the gun will not lock up when the last shot is fired, the new “plastic” mags solves that problems but they are arguably the worst magazines, being wider and bigger inserting the plastic mags into the magwell is harder than the steel ones, and no the FNC does not have a flared magwell like the M16, which is kind of a downer, the plastic mags is also less reliable and more sensitive to sand/dirt, using a non issued mag, Magpul Pmag Gen 3 for example, its more reliable, sturdier and the bolt catch actually works, but the if the officers catch you using it they will do insane back flips of anger, hate and discontent.



The mag release and bolt catch is located in the same positions as the M16/AR 15 system and they’re not ambidextrous, so AR operations would still be able to operate this system without much re-training, the charging handle though is like a Kalash, it moves with the bolt and BCG and is located on the right side of the gun, the dust cover is spring loaded and will always keep dirt out of your gun.


The flash hider is just terrible, we could at least had a flash hider and comp hybrid… the rails are quite ok, no need for fancy stuff, and if needed an M203 40mm can be mounted under the gun.  The Aimpoint CS which is the issued red dot has lots of points to improve, in my opinion, but the kill flash and see trough covers are nice!


In arctic climate it performs good, just keep you gun dry when it’s colder than -30c and your gun should not freeze, walking in and out of -30c to +15c and back out could still make your gun sweat and freeze,(even at warmer temperatures)  and that happens to basically every gun.
Overall, the AK5 does not have the same reliability as the famous Kalash weapons, but it still jams less than an AR-15 direct impingement system and in my time using it from mid 2010, I had less than 50 jams, and if I remember correctly 4 were operator error and 2 were from a mag mixed with sand… but in the end, I guess it depends on how much your weapon is worn, many ak5s are all too worn and as as result more jams are popping up.




Only dust, nothing that will interfere with the gun. my rifle, also tape on steel mags, I prefer the steel ones.


Summary: The AK5C is still a good carbine, rugged for harsh use and a reliable gun when used correctly, a skilled operator can go pretty far with it, and even though it’s been upgraded to modern standards , the renovated guns are still wearing out.


Me, at the range 2012 I think, a borrowed Ak, with tape for marking that it’s just been maintained from the armory


Mates from the platoon, practicing CQB with BFA and blanks




Unloading procedure,thumb in magwell then dry firing




Medic going to take care of wounded during exercise







CQB Training, mount for aimpoint magnifier seen on top rail, it’s issued.


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