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AKM
#1
I am still relatively new to the AK world.
But in reading more about the AK 74 I have found there is an AKM that came between the AK47 and the AK 74.
I have read about some of the cosmetic differences.

I don't really hear anyone mention these.
Are these AKMs out on the civilian market?
Are they out there but being sold as regular AK 47s?
Are they only in full auto and so not available to the general public?
If anyone here has one, how do they compare in shooting them with the earlier AK 47?
It appears they were produced in the early 1950s - anyone know exactly what years they were produced?

Anything you can advise me on is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

God bless!!

PPP
Proud to be a member of pa2a.org since 11:18 PM Sept 7, 2012!
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#2
The original AK47 had a stamped receiver but it wasn't working out for production. They retooled the machines for the Mosin Nagant and started making machined receivers. There were two types.

The AKM is what most people know as the AK47. It is the current type stamped receiver. The M means modified. The AK74 is actually and AKM74 because it has all the updates the AKM had. Just in a different caliber.

Original early AK47
[Image: ak49.jpg]

Milled receiver AK47
[Image: ak53_1.jpg]

Stamped AKM
[Image: akm.jpg]

Notice the original is very slabsided. No rivets at all. The milled has the cuts in the side above the magazine. The AKM has the riveted and dimpled sheet metal receiver.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#3
Pistol Packin Preacher;12436 Wrote:I am still relatively new to the AK world.
But in reading more about the AK 74 I have found there is an AKM that came between the AK47 and the AK 74....

"AK"s are more a family of guns that share a common architecture, not a specific model. Not sure what you're referring to, but I know the AKMS came along after they ironed the bugs out of the sheet steel receiver. A Quick, cursory review:
  1. The first "AK" was a sheet steel receiver similar to the fixed stock AKM we see today. It quickly developed trouble with the receiver, I recall rivets loosening?
  2. The next model AK had a solid block of steel carved into a receiver, I recall this one actually made it through acceptance trials and became the first "AK-47".
  3. The next model was what we know as the AKM, similar to the original AK-47 but featuring a stamped steel receiver.

[Image: AK-1st_model.gif]
AK-47 with 1st generation recevier (source)

[Image: mfak4708.jpg]
AK-47 receiver, type II, milled

[Image: AKM_1.jpg]
AKM, typical example with fixed wood stock

[Image: AKMS1.jpg]
AKMS
From the AKM came two sub-variants, the AKMS and the RPK.

This is why RPKs & PKMs are technically "AKs" even though the PKM really doesn't look like one.

[Image: PKM.gif]
PKM general purpose machinegun.

The number of variants, updates and sub-variants between the first AK and the latest (AK-12?) is mind-numbing. And then there's the matter of fence-sitting between two separate classes...the RPK. Is it an AK, or a GPMG like the PKM?

[Image: RPK.gif]
RPK, made in at least 7.62mm and 5.45mm.

There's too much information for a single post. Is there anything of particular interest?

Warpt762x39;12456 Wrote:The original AK47 had a stamped receiver but it wasn't working out for production. ...

I need more coffee, or typing lessons. You ran circles around me Smile
Subject matter expert on questions no one's asking.
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#4
The PKM is an AK. It's just upside down and belt fed. Smile
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#5
When I saw that there was an AKM I wondered what this actually was.

Would I be correct is stating the AKM is a modified AK and the original AK was not real old when it became modified?

The AKM is actually what everyone today just calls an AK?

PA Rifleman - Thanks for the great photos.
I guess you would say I have a little AK knowledge and saw the term "AKM" and wanted to know more about it.

How many years passed before they modified the AK?
Would I be correct in assuming they were inferior to the AKM?
Are there original AKs out there on the market yet?

I am still getting used to the fact that "AK" happens to be the last name of the family and there are many family members and they have subtle differences from each other.

What does RPK and PKM stand for?
Would I be correct in assuming they are either 7.62 or 5.45 caliber?
I can get 7.62 x 39MM for $5/20.
I do have a Wasser I bought off a gentleman over there ---}
I do not know who it is from the AK family but it is loud, bucks a lot, and loves the range so I would say it is a male member of the AK family!
How readily available is 5.45 and how is the cost?

Sorry to be a nuisance to you two.
Warsaw Pact has also been a great source in the past.

God bless!!

PPP
Proud to be a member of pa2a.org since 11:18 PM Sept 7, 2012!
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#6
It was easier, when we could buy Norinco's new! Blush
The War Wagon, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012. Anim_banana

[Image: won-rev-big-2.jpg]
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#7
Warpt762x39;13246 Wrote:The PKM is an AK. It's just upside down and belt fed. Smile

Roger that, it's my understanding as well. Disregard the US Army photo callout, the last copy I saw had the bipod mis-labelled as the gas cylinder. Wink

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:When I saw that there was an AKM I wondered what this actually was.

AKM as I recall is (very roughly translated) Automatic Kalashnikov Modernised. It's one of the last 7.62 models before they switched to 5.45mm.

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:Would I be correct is stating the AKM is a modified AK and the original AK was not real old when it became modified?

"AKM" would be more like AK version 3.0. Each revision made it easier to produce, while maintaining or increasing reliability.

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:The AKM is actually what everyone today just calls an AK?

The simplest answer, it seems so. In the case of informal discussion, "AK" seems to be a catch-all for anything non-M16 with a curved magazine. I usually don't pay much attention unless the author mentions specific models (see partial list, below).

Most folks don't differentiate between the models, including the RPK. A few of us had to, due to an instructional background. Most of the AKs in circulation seem to be the AKM (fixed & folding stock), one in a while you'll see a Type II (milled receiver). 5.45mm AKs are common in Afghanistan an other areas the Soviets spent a lot of time (Bulgaria, Eastern Germany, Poland, etc).

AKMS variants (folding stock) is a very popular option on today's battlefields. Here are several images from the Syrian, Afghan and Liberian civil wars respectively.

Note the poorer condition of the African examples.

[Image: 69833275.jpg]
Syrian Civil war (recent photo)

[Image: Afghan-Civil-War1.jpg]
(Afghanistan civil war, date unknown)

[Image: 7oni.jpg]
(Afghanistan civil war, date unknown)

[Image: badkhen.jpg]
(Afghanistan, recent photo, date unknown)

[Image: africa06.jpg]
Liberian civil war-the battle for Monrovia

[Image: 62sn3vd.jpg]
Liberian civil war-the battle for Monrovia

[Image: 9524jomp0-1.jpg]
Liberian civil war-the battle for Monrovia

[Image: 079A.jpg]
Liberian civil war-the battle for Monrovia

[Image: 155uc1.jpg]
Liberian civil war-the battle for Monrovia

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:...
How many years passed before they modified the AK?

OK, you got me on this one. I had to Wiki this question. I'm getting senile. Anyway, on to your answer-according to the Wiki article, the AKM appeared in 1959. I'll reprint the Wiki entry rather than re-write it. The Wiki article also has a detailed description concerning early receiver development that you might find interesting.

Quote:Receiver development
AKMS on a Type 4B receiver (top), with a Type 2A
A Type 2 AK-47, the first machined receiver variation

There were many difficulties during the initial phase of production. The first production models had stamped sheet metal receivers. Difficulties were encountered in welding the guide and ejector rails, causing high rejection rates.[30] Instead of halting production, a heavy machined receiver was substituted for the sheet metal receiver. This was a more costly process, but the use of machined receivers accelerated production as tooling and labor for the earlier Mosin-Nagant rifle's machined receiver were easily adapted. Partly because of these problems, the Soviets were not able to distribute large numbers of the new rifle to soldiers until 1956. During this time, production of the interim SKS rifle continued.[31]

Once manufacturing difficulties had been overcome, a redesigned version designated the AKM (M for "modernized" or "upgraded"—in Russian: (Автомат Калашникова Модернизированный [Avtomat Kalashnikova Modernizirovanniy]) was introduced in 1959.[32] This new model used a stamped sheet metal receiver and featured a slanted muzzle brake on the end of the barrel to compensate for muzzle rise under recoil. In addition, a hammer retarder was added to prevent the weapon from firing out of battery (without the bolt being fully closed), during rapid or automatic fire.[33] This is also sometimes referred to as a "cyclic rate reducer", or simply "rate reducer", as it also has the effect of reducing the number of rounds fired per minute during automatic fire. It was also roughly one-third lighter than the previous model.[32] Both licensed and unlicensed production of the Kalashnikov weapons abroad were almost exclusively of the AKM variant, partially due to the much easier production of the stamped receiver. This model is the most commonly encountered, having been produced in much greater quantities. All rifles based on the Kalashnikov design are frequently referred to as AK-47s in the West, although this is only correct when applied to rifles based on the original three receiver types.[34] In most former Eastern Bloc countries, the weapon is known simply as the "Kalashnikov" or "AK". The photo above at right illustrates the differences between the Type 2 milled receiver and the Type 4 stamped, including the use of rivets rather than welds on the stamped receiver, as well as the placement of a small dimple above the magazine well for stabilization of the magazine.

In 1974, the Soviets began replacing their AK-47 and AKM rifles with a newer design, the AK-74. This new rifle and cartridge had only started being exported to eastern European nations when the Soviet Union collapsed, drastically slowing production of this and other weapons of the former Soviet bloc.

Quote:AK-47 1948–51, 7.62×39mm – The very earliest models, with the Type 1 stamped sheet metal receiver, are now very rare.
AK-47 1952, 7.62×39mm – Has a milled receiver and wooden buttstock and handguard. Barrel and chamber are chrome plated to resist corrosion. Rifle weight is 4.2 kg (9.3 lb).
AKS—Featured a downward-folding metal stock similar to that of the German MP40, for use in the restricted space in the BMP infantry combat vehicle, as well as by paratroops.

(Wiki article link)

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:Would I be correct in assuming they were inferior to the AKM?

Not from my experiences. The AK-47 (milled) and AKM are (for all practical purposes) the same as far as performance & reliability. I did notice the AKM was noticeably lighter than the milled receiver example. Contrary to various raconteurs calling them "National Match", I did not notice any increase in accuracy with the milled receiver.

It's more a matter of cost of production. The AKMs were a lot cheaper and faster to produce than the milled receiver.

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:Are there original AKs out there on the market yet?

It depends on what you define as "original". Full auto? Not that I'm aware of, except for possibly a pre-1968 GI bring-back from Viet Nam. this would be a National Firearms Act weapon, and will cost tens of thousands of dollars to buy.

As in, milled receiver? Aside from some Chinese commercial copies...I thought I saw one that was a re-weld in the early days of the parts kit importation craze a few years ago, I don't recall exactly...I do recall it brought down crazy cash on gunbroker. If I *had* to have a milled AK, I think I'd hunt down a ChiCom milled model & "922" it.

If you're referring to AKMs, yes. Quite a few came into the US demilled as parts kits, and were subsequently reassembled. Unfortunately, the assembly quality varies greatly. I built one a few year go, this is a 1977 Romanian AKM:

[Image: AKM_1.jpg]

It came into the US as a demilled parts kit. Working with another person, a hydraulic press and several hours later this was the result. Some of the parts are US-made to be legally compliant.

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:I am still getting used to the fact that "AK" happens to be the last name of the family and there are many family members and they have subtle differences from each other.

The naming convention was considered a prestige award, IIRC. Since these were developed in a Communist/Socialist States, there was no such right as intellectual property or patents. The State owns it all. So, the person that designs it (or otherwise given credit) has their name permanently associated with it. That's why Eastern Euro gun nearly always have a name associated with them (Makarov/Tokarev/Kalashikov/Degtyarev/Shpagin/Simonov, etc).

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:What does RPK and PKM stand for?

RPK-Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova
PKM-Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovanniy
AKM-Avtomat Kalashnikova Modernizirovanniy

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:Would I be correct in assuming they are either 7.62 or 5.45 caliber?

Until 20-25 years ago, yes. Now AKs come in almost any flavor, including banana yogurt. A partial list:
5.56mm (AK-101, -102, Siaga, Chinese AK-84)
308/7/62mmx51 (Siaga)
12 gauge (Siaga)
20 gauge (Siaga)
410 gauge (.410") (Siaga)

The Russians have learned the merits of multi-caliber chamberings, the AK series is now made outside of the usual 7.62x39 & 5.45x39. The latest AK appears to be Picatinny-compatible and barrel swaps/rechambering is end-user possible.

Also see "century" series of AKs here and the AK-12 article here.

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:I can get 7.62 x 39MM for $5/20.

I think I missed the question here.

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:...
How readily available is 5.45 and how is the cost?

According to gundeals.com (link),

[Image: 545x39.png]

Compare this to the current market value of 7.62x39.

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:Sorry to be a nuisance to you two.

Not at all. Outside of this topic, I mostly bitch about current events.

Pistol Packin Preacher;13356 Wrote:Warsaw Pact has also been a great source in the past.

Smart dude, read his posts as well.
Subject matter expert on questions no one's asking.
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#8
You asked if there were any original AKs on the market? Did you mean the original stamped receiver models? I know for certain there is one but it was a homebuild project. The guy scraped up the parts from about a hundred sources and built the receiver from scratch. Then again, that was about a year ago. He may have built more by now. If you want a Russian AK you can always go with Arsenal. Their AKs are built in the same factory as their military rifles.

AKs didn't start making their way into the country in any significant amount until the late 70s, early 80s. Those were Hungarian, Egyptian and some Finnish Valmets. Watch Red Dawn, the AKs in that movie are converted Egyptian Maadis and the RPKs are modified Finnish Valmets.

In the early days, AKs were considered oddities and too expensive for most folks. Ammo was nonexistant in this country and couldn't be made from any other round. The Russians used uncommon case head sizes. It wasn't until the Chinese AKs and SKSs started flooding in with Chinese ammo that AKs really gained widespread popularity.
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#9
I want to thank everyone for their input.

Knowing all this about the AK vs. AKM is not a "need to know" as much as a "want to know."

I love to learn (as Benny Hill would say "Learning every day!)

And the AKs, both 47 and 74, are a very interesting firearm with an even more interesting history.

Then when you throw in very inexpensive ammunition it makes them even more intriguing.

If anyone sees a good deal on an AK 74, please let me know.

The AK 74 will be more to my wife's liking than the AK 47.

What online businesses might I monitor for good prices?

Oh yes, did Mr. Kalishnikov himself have a hand in the designing of the AK 74?

Thanks everyone!

God bless!!

PPP
Proud to be a member of pa2a.org since 11:18 PM Sept 7, 2012!
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