The AK3 was a quick-loading rifle developed in 17th century Russia by Andrei Korisov and his development team, based on up-time knowledge. It was Korisov's third attempt at producing such a weapon, and the first that was considered good enough to produce. The name came from two sources; Korisov named the rifle after himself, but Grantviller Bernie Zeppi also made joking references to the OTL Russian AK-47 assault rifle.
The AK3 resembled a cross between the American long rifle and the Winchester 73 lever-action rifle. Like the long rifle, it was a flintlock with a long, rifled barrel. However, it had a lever action that locked the firing chamber into place, yet allowed a spent firing chamber to be quickly removed and replaced with a loaded one. Most people who used it in the field placed leather gaskets on the barrel ends of the firing chambers, to make a better seal. Its ammunition was the Krackoff ball, which was similar to the Minié ball used in the American Civil War, in that it was a cylinder with one flat end and the other end rounded. However, unlike the Minié ball, which was designed for muzzle-loading guns, it fit snugly into the firing chamber.
Some time after Fedor Ivanovich Sheremetev's takeover, the AK3 was upgraded to the AK4 caplock rifle by slightly changing the chamber design and replacing the flint with a hammer. This doubled its rate of fire, as long as loaded chambers were available. In May or June of 1636, a sort of clip for the firing chambers had been developed, which shifted from right to left as the lever action was worked. The AK4 variant which had been adapted to use these clips was known as the AK4.7 repeating rifle.
- ↑ 1636: The Kremlin Games, chs. 29-30
- ↑ 1636: The Kremlin Games, ch. 57
- ↑ Grantville Gazette XXII. Note:1636: The Kremlin Games mentions the AK4 in passing, in ch. 81, but does not describe it except to say that it's a caplock. It can be assumed that the differences between the AK3 and AK4 are as described in "As the Bear Turns".
- ↑ 1636: The Kremlin Games, ch. 78. They are described as "brand new".