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First use of the AMB-17 special rifle in the war in Ukraine

The Russian portal Mash, on its Telegram profile, reported the first use of the AMB-17 special rifle during the war in Ukraine.

On Monday, April 8, 2024, the Russian portal Mash on its Telegram profile reported the first use of the AMB-17 special rifle during the war in Ukraine. Members of the “Эспаньола” (Hispaniola) group received the weapons for testing.

AMB-17 on 5th International Military-Technical Forum “Army-2019” / Photo: Vitaly V. Kuzmin

This is a Russian voluntary military formation, likely established in 2022, consisting of radical fans of football clubs such as CSKA, Spartak, Torpedo, Zenit, Lokomotiv, Orel, and other teams. According to media reports, “Hispaniola” recruits fighters with specific combat skills, including saboteurs, scouts, snipers, drone operators, specialists in electronic warfare, air defense, anti-tank guided missile operators, signalers, mechanics, drivers, and doctors. According to the commander of Hispaniola, Stanislav Orlov, the battalion initially consisted of 500 individuals, including 100 kamikaze drone operators.


The AMB-17 is a Russian suppressed, compact special rifle developed by the Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant, a part of the Kalashnikov Concern. The design of this weapon was based on the automatic subcarbine AM-17 chambered for the 5,45mm x 39.

The rifle is intended for use by special forces. The AMB-17 is equipped with an integrated sound suppressor, and the weapon’s caliber has been increased to accommodate the 9mm x 39 special ammo cartridge. This is necessary for engaging targets protected by bulletproof vests in Class 2 standard (vest mass from 3 kg to 5 kg) and lower in the 10-degree classification of bulletproof vests according to the Russian standard ГОСТ Р 50744-95. Class 2 personal protective equipment is resistant to gunfire from 5.45mm and 7.62mm caliber pistols with steel core ammunition fired from PSM and TT pistols from a distance of 5 meters. To ensure high effectiveness in engaging targets combined with quiet shooting, special subsonic cartridges SP-5 and SP-6 projectiles are used in the weapon. The cartridges are placed in interchangeable 30-round box magazines compatible with firearm designs such as AS Val, VSS Vintorez, and SR-3, as well as other firearms systems firing 9mm x 39 caliber ammunition.

The AMB-17 special rifle features a compact plastic upper receiver with a “U” shaped cross-section reinforced with a steel insert. The weapon operates by utilizing the short-stroke gas piston movement and rotary bolt with three radial lugs on its head. There is a Picatinny rail on the weapon’s body for mounting various sighting devices. The weight of the weapon is 2.9 kg, total length is 850 mm, and barrel length is 200 mm. It has a rate of fire of 700 rounds per minute and an initial bullet velocity of 290-305 m/s.


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