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Gennidy Nikonov

Gennadiy Nikolayevich Nikonov (born August 11, 1950) is a Russian gun engineer. His most famous accomplishments are probably as the designer of the AN-94 assault rifle, and the "straight-back bolt." Nikonov holds 44 Copyright Certificates, and was awarded the titles of "The Best Designer of the Company" and "The Best Designer of the Ministry."

He was born in Izhevsk and his father and mother were employed at Izhmash, a Soviet arms factory. His father was a mechanic.

Nikonov graduated from technical school in 1968. He started work at Izhmash in the Department of the Chief Arms Designer. His first position was as a technician.

In technical school, Nikonov became obsessed with underwater rifles. He won his first professional recognition by designing a trigger mechanism for an underwater rifle.

At Izhmash, he took evening classes. In 1975 he graduated from the Izhevsk Mechanical Institute certified as a gun engineer.

It is said that his high quality and quantity of work helped him advance to higher positions at work.

He designed various rifles, including air guns and sporting firearms. One of the most praised was the stylish, accurate "Izjubr" (Buck Deer) carbine - a limited edition luxury weapon.

Nikonov was appointed as a senior project engineer to design single-shot bolt action rifles and fully automatic weapons. In this assignment he patented a number of mechanisms and components. One of the most significant was the "straight-pull bolt," first used in a winter biathlon target rifle.

Nikonov also worked on research projects. In the middle 1970s he entered a post-graduate Ph.D course. From 1980 to 1985 he worked on projects for the Soviet Ministry for Defense Industry.

He is married with two sons, Nikolay and Yuri. Tatiana, Nikonov's wife, works as an arms designer in the same bureau. As of 2003 he lives in Izhevsk.