AK aficionados-who have made the AK one of the more popular firearms in the U.S. today-need look nowhere else for the historic and modern-day takes on Kalashnikov’s simple yet robust weapon system. Published annually, AK-47 & Soviet Weapons covers the latest AK’s, stock sets, optical mounts, rail systems, ammo and much more.
Delve deep into the world of not only Mikhail Kalashnikov’s famous AK47, but everything Combloc related with our new Book of the AK47.
Book of the AK47 is designed to educate you about the world of Kalashnikovs, past, present and future as well as everything Combloc related. Peek inside and you’ll find in-depth articles on firearms, ammunition, optic mounts, accessories, plus the men who make and use them. In this issue we take a look at Wolf’s new 9x39mm Subsonic cartridge originally developed for Spetsnaz use, Pioneer Arms of Radom, Poland’s 7.62x39mm Hellpup pistol, Norinco’s Type 86S bullpup and IWI’s 5.56x45mm Galil Ace pistol, the 9x18mm Stetchkin machine pistol and 9x18mm PM Makarov. In this issue Special Forces vet and firearms instructor John Peterson goes deep into training tips and techniques for fighting with both an AK and a Makarov.
If you’re interested in modern accessories Sean Utley explores the world of sound suppressors while James Tarr interviews Scot Hosskisson from RS Regulate about his AK scope mounts. If historical pieces are more your style we have you covered as well. Neal Shera explains how the Soviet doctrine of Deep Operations led to the AK47, Leroy Thompson speaks on being a bodyguard in Russia after the fall of Communism, Mikhail Dragunov shares the story of how his family developed the 9x18mm Kedr submachine gun and Richard Venola reminisces about his adventures in Afghanistan in the early 1980s. Along the way we also examine how the AK bayonet performs as a field tool and review Soviet era movies you’ll want to be aware of.
If you’re looking for in-depth no BS info on Kalashnikovs, the Book of the AK47 is the grail you seek.
Go deep into the world of not only the AK47, but everything Combloc related with our new Book of the AK47.
Book of the AK47 is designed to educate you about the world of Kalashnikovs, past, present and future as well as everything Combloc related. Peek inside and you’ll find in-depth articles on firearms, ammunition, optics, accessories and the men who make them. In this issue we take a look at modern AKs like Century’s C39v2 Zhukov, IWI’s new Galil Ace pistol, Palmetto State Armory’s GB2 Classic Red AK, FIME Group?s Vepr 12 short barrel shotgun and Definitive Arms 6.5mm Grendel conversion.
If you’re interested in modern accessories Richard King examines interfacing modern night vision with the AK while Tim Yan checks out a host of the latest muzzle brakes and Matt Korovesis tests Svetogor Defense AK magazines. If historical pieces are more your style we have you covered as well. Tim Yan looks at the development of the RPG-2 and China’s Type 81 rifle in 5.56x45mm, Mikhail Dragunov shares the story of Soviet 14.5mm anti-tank rifles and Paul Scott covers the differences between Soviet and US sniper training and employment.
Along the way we also examine a variety of loads from Wolf Performance Ammunition, Pioneer Arms of Poland’s return to the US commercial market with their PPS-43C pistol, plus we spend time at the Red Oktober Kalashnikov event and interview AK guru Jim Fuller of Rifle Dynamics.
If you’re looking for in-depth no BS info on Kalashnikovs, the Book of the AK47 is the grail you seek.
“Things that are complex are not useful. Things that are useful are simple.”
In Gun Digest Book of the AK & SKS, Volume 2, Patrick Sweeney picks up where Volume 1 left off and brings Kalashnikov’s timeless firearm designs–the AK-47 and AK-74–plus their predecessor, Simonov’s SKS, full circle into the modern era. In exhaustive detail and told in his own entertaining way, comrade Sweeney provides not only the historical perspective on these now-ubiquitous Russian guns, but also how to modernize and upgrade them for today’s American-style tactical shooting.
You’ll learn how to order and build an AK from a parts kit, the differences between stamped- and millabout caliber choices, am 01 Sweeney blasts through the white noise, helping you choose the perfect new AK for your needs. Plus how to service and maintain the AK, disassemble, reassemble, repair, inspect and collect used AKs and SKSs. Processes for AK accuracy testing are taught, plus gun reviews of today’s hottest models, including the Century Arms C39V2, Krebs Custom K-AC15 Mod 2 Long UFM and IWI ACE.
You’ll get:AK-47, AK-74 and SKS parts and functions, basic to advanced Ammunition and aftermarket accessory tips How to disassemble, maintain, customize and reassemble Accuracy testing and optics choices for the most recalcitrant AK!
Patrick Sweeney is a certified master gunsmith and armorer instructor for police departments nationwide. In addition to being Handguns Editor for Guns & Ammo, he is author of The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 Vols. 1 & 2, The Gun Digest Book of the Glock Vols. 1 & 2, The Gun Digest Book of the AR-15 Vols. 1, 2, 3 and 4, Gunsmithing: Rifles, Gunsmithing: Pistols & Revolvers 1 & 2, Gunsmithing the AR-15 Vols. 1 & 2 and Gun Digest Book of the AK and SKS.
Kalashnikov Bayonets The Collectors’ Guide to Bayonets for the AK and Its Variations Martin D. Ivie Hardcover: 218 pages Texas Diamond Eye Publications, 2002 ISBN-10: 0972120939 ISBN-13: 978-0972120937
There are four basic knife types found for AK bayonets plus some variations, which do not fall in these categories. There are also three basic scabbard types. Combinations of these types are what allow for identification of the country of origin for these bayonets and the type of AK they were originally used with.
In this book the bayonets have been classified into four basic knife types as follows:
AK47 Type – characterized by ears on the pommel, which go around the barrel of the rifle to aid in mounting; a handle with a scale on each side; and a long, straight spear point type blade with fullers on each side. (See figure 1 .A.)
AKM Type I – characterized by a large bulbous handle of plastic material, which has a slot for a bayonet lug for attachment to the rifle and a hole for a wrist strap and a Bowie type blade with a clip point and sharpened only on one side and without any fullers. (See figure 1.B.)
AKM Type Il/Early AK74 – bayonet lug and a hole for a wrist strap; a solid plastic handLe; and, again, a Bowie type blade with a clip point and sharpened only on one side and without any fullers. (See figure l.C.)
AK74 Type – characterized by a return to a solid plastic handle without a steel pommel but with ridges which substitute for finger grooves; and a return to a spear point blade with a very unique sharpening pattern and again no fullers. (See figure 1 .D.)
The other knife type variations include the East German KM87 bayonet for their AK74 variant, the MpiKM(S)74, the distinctive knives North Koreans used for their late AK47 and AKM type rifles, the bayonets used by the Finns for the Valmet series of rifles, the bayonet used by India for the INSAS Rifle, the Czech CZ58 bayonets and the Chinese Folding Spike and Type 81 bayonets. These will be shown and discussed in the relevant chapters.
The three scabbard variations have been classified as follows:
AK47 Type – straight steel scabbard with webbing belt loop permanently attached via metal loops welded to the scabbard. (See figure 2.A.)
AKM/AK74 Steel Type — steel scabbard with a wire-cutter attachment riveted to the
lower end, a rubber insulator installed around it at the throat and a belt loop attached to a welded ring via a snap hook or a frog type belt loop. (See figure 2.B.)
AKM / AK74 Plastic Type — plastic scabbard usually with wire-cutter attachment molded in to the lower end; and usually, a belt loop attached to a molded in bar via a snap hook. (See figure 2.C.)
As with the knives, the Valmet, CZ58 and Type 81 types will be discussed in the appropriate chapters.
Another type-classification term used in this book is AKM Type I transitional bayonet.
This is used to refer to the combination of an AKM Type I knife and an AKM/AK74
Plastic Type scabbard.
This chapter covers the bayonets used on the AK47 type milled receiver rifles. Presented are representative bayonets from Russia, Bulgaria, East Germany, Poland, North Korea and China. Also shown is a bayonet currently marketed in the U.S. as being of Romanian origin.
It is the author’s opinion that this last bayonet is actually of Bulgarian origin. This is supported by the comparison to a bayonet of known Bulgarian origin. It is also supported by the fact the Romanians did not produce a domestic version of the milled receiver AK but instead imported them from other East Bloc countries. Therefore, it is likely that any bayonets used with these rifles were also imported and not of domestic origin.
It is also noticeable that there is no Hungarian AK47 bayonet represented. Even though the Hungarians actually made a milled receiver AK47, the author has not been able to find any evidence that they produced an AK47 type bayonet. Here again, it is likely that the Hungarians switched to the stamped receiver AKM production before they began producing bayonets, therefore, any bayonets used by the Hungarians for their AK47s were likely to have been imported.
it is very difficult to tell the difference between Russian and Bulgarian AK47 bayonets. Basically, the only absolute method is to be sure the knife of the bayonet has a Russian factory mark as illustrated in Figure 3. This particular factory mark is for the Izhevsk Machine Works Factory. The factory mark on all examples observed by the author has been in this same location. This bayonet is illustrated in Figure 4. The Russians designate these bayonets the model “56-X-212”.
Figure 3. lzhevsk Arrow in I riangle Factory Mark on AK47 Bayonet
The Bulgarians produced an AK47 type bayonet almost identical to the Russian version. Figure 7 shows an original Bulgarian bayonet as issued. The knife is essentially identical to the early Russian version except it does not have a factory code mark and the serial number runs perpendicular to the axis line of the bayonet and is machine engraved approximately centered in the pommel (see Figure 8). The scales also appear to be redder in color than those on the Russian knife and have less of a mottled appearance.
The scabbard shows more differences from the Russian version than the knife does. It uses the same early pattern wide metal band split in the back to accommodate the hanger and is blued. The scabbard shows a distinct sanding pattern different from the Russian version with approximately the top one-third being sanded in a horizontal pattern and the bottom two-thirds being sanded in a vertical pattern. The drain hole at the tip of the scabbard is also located on the backside whereas the Russian version is on the front side of the scabbard.
Figure 7. Early Bulgarian AK47 Bayonet, Front and Back
The East German variation of the AK47 type bayonet is unique in that the scales on the handle of the knife are black plastic rather than some variation of red, reddish brown or brown plastic as found on those from other countries. When serial numbers are present they are pen engraved on the left side of the crosspiece. The East Germans designated this bayonet the “Modell 47”.
The bayonet in Figure 12 is a typical East German AK47 bayonet. The hanger is different than those found on the Russian bayonets in that it is made entirely of web material including the keeper. The hanger color and material vary from white to gray to gray-green to olive green cotton web and has also been observed in light gray nylon web. The belt loop of the hanger is sewn closed rather than riveted. Also, the keeper is sewn to the belt loop and it is closed with a snap rather than a thorn and slot.
Perhaps the most unique part of the East German AK47 type bayonet is the scabbard. The scabbard comes in three distinct variations. All of the variations are blued steel.
Figure 12. Typical East German AK47 Bayonet, Front and Back
The unique scabbard most easily identifies the Polish AK47 bayonet shown in Figure 16. The scabbard has none of the flat stamps and welds near the point like the other AK47 bayonet scabbards shown thus far. There are no hanger attachment bands as seen on the previous scabbards. Instead, there is a small flat piece of metal welded to the back of the scabbard, which holds two very narrow (10 mm wide) thin wire loops in place.
All pieces of the hanger are leather. The belt loop is folded over and held by four rivets. There are two slots in the portion of the belt loop that lies next to the scabbard which two wire loops attached to the back of the scabbard pass through. A narrow tongue is cut between the rivets on the portion of the leather loop on the outside, and this is passed through the wire loops to hold everything in place. The keeper strap is leather and held in place to the belt loop by two rivets. A brass thorn located on the right tab and a slot in the left tab close the keeper. The scabbard appears to be painted black.
The North Korean AK47 bayonets (see Figure 18) are the most crudely made of the AK47 bayonets, especially from the swhitedpoint of the scabbard. The knife itself is very typical of the other AK47 bayonets described earlier in this chapter. Like many of them the metal parts that compose the hilt are blued. The scales are bright red plastic material. The knife has a stamped seriaL number on the left side of the pommel, which runs at a 45° similar to that on the Russian bayonets, but does not follow the curve of the pommel like those on the Russian bayonets. There is the remnant of a North Korean star in a circle factory code mark on the lower right hand corner of the left side of the crosspiece (see Figure 19).
Figure 18. North Korean AK47 Bayonet, Front and Back
The examples of Chinese AK47 bayonets shown in Figures 23 and 24 were both made and sold as U.S. import items. Both knives feature blued steel metal for the parts of the hilts. The scales on both are Chinese Chu wood with those on the knife in Figure 23 being stained dark brown to match the furniture on the Polytech Legend AK47 that the bayonet came with and those on the knife in Figure 24 stained orange brown. The bayonet in Figure 24 is a separate import item made for the U.S. collectors market.
The scabbards on both bayonets are blued metal and are similar to the Early Russian AK47 scabbard. They are slightly narrower than the Russian version (25 mm vs. 26 mm). This is accomplished by eliminating the tensioning spring found in other AK47 bayonet scabbards. Due to this, the rivet for holding the tensioning spring in is noticeably absent. The bands, which attach the hangers, are also made of thinner metal on the Chinese bayonets than on the other AK47 bayonets.
Figure 23. Chinese AK47 Bayonet Sold With Polytech Legend, Front and Back