The AK-103 is a modern, Russian-designed version of the famous AKM assault rifle, chambered for the 7.62x39mm M43 round. It combines the AKM design with developments from the AK-74 and AK-74M, with the use of plastics to replace metal or wooden components wherever possible to reduce overall weight. The AK-103 can be fitted with a variety of sights, including laser, night vision, and telescopic sights, plus a suppressor and the GP-30 grenade launcher.
Differences from the AKM series include redesigned rear and front trunnions, as well as a 90 degree gas block, AK-74 style front sight block, the use of a black ribbed 30-round magazine constructed of phenolic resin (which is AKM-compatible as well), an AK-74-type muzzle brake, and black synthetic furniture with a heat shield.
The AK-104 is a compact version of the AK-103. It combines features from the older AKS-74U carbine with features from the AK-74M rifle, giving a more accurate carbine. It is also chambered for 7.62x39mm ammunition.
The weapon is essentially a re-calibered AK-74M developed alongside the AK-101 as an updated version of the aging AKM and AKMS assault rifles.
Venezuela – In May 2005 the Ministry of Defense of Venezuela signed a contract with the Russian company Rosoboronexport to purchase 100,000 AK-103 rifles as well as the purchase of machinery and technology to domestically manufacture the corresponding ammunition. Venezuela received its first shipment of 30,000 rifles on June 3, 2006. A second shipment of 32,000
AK-103s arrived on August 30. The third and final shipment was delivered on November 29, 2006. The rifles are planned to replace approximately 60,000 Belgian FAL rifles bought in 1953, as well as a further number of domestically produced FAL rifles. A manufacturing plant of the Russian rifles in Maracay would be fully operational in mid-2010, with a production capacity of 50,000 units per year.