Since AK-47 triumph in late 1940s Soviet engineers didn’t stop efforts in creating newer more efficient and comfortable Soviet automatic assault rifle. And here are the few examples.
First try was this TKB-408 automatic rifle. It was first Soviet “bullpup” rifle with the action located behind the trigger.
These rifles were made half of plastic which was very progressive to that times – 1950s-1960s – only fifteen years later Austrian engineers would make half-plastic machine guns.
Only in early 21-st century Belgian rifle would use forward-throwing of the bullet cartridges technology which was already implemented here in 1950s in first Soviet bullpup guns.
This is TKB-011.
Soviet generals were afraid of plastic rifles. They were not sure if they are durable as steel AK-47s, if they would be able to retain all its qualities after thirty years being stored in warehouses.
However those guns were not worse than AK-47 and were much more compact than famous Kalashnikov gun. And looks nicer too!
Another experiment with assault rifles was to make them more deadly in close range. For this this rifle TKB-059 “Salvo fire” appeared. It had three barrels! So at any given time three times more bullets were coming out of it.
Another experimental gun – AN-94. It had a balancing mechanism inside that was compensating recoil so the gun was not cocking upwards every time you shoot, thus giving you stable line of fire and more accurate target hitting.
“Stechkin Gun” TKB-0146.
This gun has shoot two bullets one after one before the recoil could hit the gun body and cock it upwards. This was called “carriage scheme rifle”.
And another experimental gun “NA-4”. It also used this “carriage scheme” – but instead two bullets at once it was using three bullets before the recoil was felt.
American gun industries were experimenting with similar ideas at same time too, but it is known that none of them went in series or was officially adopted by US army. In USSR it was same, except one “carriage scheme” gun – AN-94 – also shooting two bullets before recoil arrives – was accepted into Russian army.
Here is a short video, showing in slow motion how it worked.