Let me tell you about the AK carbine, or as you may know it, the AK-47. As you already know it is also produced in Poland. This weapon was born in the USSR right after World War II and quickly grew in fame across the globe. If you want to understand how it works, allow me to explain. Part of the powder gases get discharged through a side opening, connecting the gas chamber with the barrel tube.
This process powers the long movement of the gas piston. This carbine, my friend, fires from a locked breech, with a lock secured by rotation. Now, the fun part, I think, is the trigger mechanism, featuring a fire type switch. Interestingly, this switch also serves as a fuse and a cover for the upper receiver. I am sure that these intricate details add to the AK’s global popularity.
The AK Carbine – Variations and Adaptations
Originally, the AK was adapted for the 7.62 mm wz. 43, featuring a 7.62 x 39 mm caliber. Now, there are several types of carbines in this family, classified by individual countries. However, I’ll only mention those made for military needs. I won’t be discussing civilian versions or those from modern private smaller manufacturers – there are just too many of them.
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AK-47 Made in Poland – The Polish Twist
In Poland, the AK carbines and their spin-offs are produced by the Fabryka Broni „Łucznik” RADOM (previously known as Zakłady Metalowe „Łucznik” until 2000). This company started the licensed production of the AK type III carbine (often referred to as the AK-47) in 1957.
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The carbines produced were called AK and AKS (known as pmK and pmKS in the military). While the AK model featured a wooden stock, the AKS had a folding metal one. Both had a milled upper receiver – their characteristic feature, making these carbines a bit heavier than later versions.
The Changing Face of AK Production in Poland
However, I have to tell you, as the Polish Army’s war stocks were liquidated, the number of available parts and carbines dwindled. Most traders, once their warehouses were empty, moved to other shooting constructions or started importing AK/AKM types from overseas.
A few big players managed to stay in the game, but the lack of components and old military weapons forced them to invest in machinery and tools. Initially, they produced just some parts, relying on stored stocks. But when these reserves ran out, they had to either shut down or ramp up their production.
AK-47 Made By Pioneer Arms Corp. in Radom
Today, the Polish market has found stability. There are three main manufacturers and one compiler creator, including Radom’s Pioneer Arms Corp (PAC). They have the capacity to produce their own AKs, producing AKM copies known as the Sporter and short-barel models called the Hellpup.
It’s worth saying that these carbines are of high quality. You could fire thousands of rounds without any major issues. This is the second series of Sporters and Hellpups available on the local market.
I believe that these models, improved from the first series, are definitely a better deal. Plus, in terms of cost-effectiveness, these carbines are a winning choice.
The Craftsmanship of Pioneer Arms Corp. (PAC)
They manufacture their own barrels but they use a unique technique, threading them by a dragging method with devices acquired from the now bankrupt Zakłady Metalowe Łucznik. But don’t get me wrong, these barrels are not inferior; they’re simply made differently.
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It is worth to say, the main advantage of PAC is their ability to create precision castings. Being the only manufacturer in Poland capable of producing Kalashnikov gas chambers and other components this way, PAC stands out.
Not to forget, they also manufacture polymer magazines for AK/AKM. The Radom plant has its own flask designs (steel folded to the side and bottom, wooden, polymer) and beds (plastic and wood). Their production capacity can reach up to 20,000 Kalashnikovs a year.
AK-47 Made By Łucznik Factory in Radom
Did you know that the Radom Arms Factory also produces their own carbine for 7.62 mm x 39 ammunition? I am talking about the Radom Sport M762 model here. This model is a semi-automatic variant of the export Beryl M762 carbine, which was purchased by the Nigerian armed forces.
Interestingly, history has come full circle at this factory. Back in the 1980s, they were converting AKMS to intermediate ammunition of smaller calibers. This led to the creation of the wz. 88 Tantalum for 5.45 mm x 39 and wz. 96 Beryl for 5.56 mm x 45 amunition, along with their shortened variants wz. 89 Onyx and wz. 96 Mini Beryl.
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The Radom Sport M762 is sold in a unique configuration – with a mounting rail assembly, a telescopic stock, and a bracket with a mounting rail mounted above the chamber cover.
It’s identical to the military standard introduced in 2009 with a modified wz. 96C Beryllium. What’s surprising, though, is that the Archer does not offer a cheaper variant of the carbine for the shooter to adapt to their own needs.
Łucznik in Radom is Poland’s largest small arms manufacturer with the most modern machinery. Its theoretical production capacity is over 20,000 AK carbine clones a year.
AK-47 Clones Made By WBP Company
In Rogów, a company called „Wytwórnia Broni Jacek Popiński” (WBP)* offers its own Kalashnikov clones, known as Jack. Initially, they only had AKM and AKMS variants. But recently, a shortened Mini Jack model, which resembles the Serbian Zastava M92 carbine configuration, joined their collection.
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The unique thing about WBP Rogów is that they assemble the weapon and create most of the components on site using numerically controlled machines. However, they do source cast components from Radom’s Pioneer Arms Corp. and barrels from the Arms Factory, although they still tap into their accumulated stocks.
- Modern AK-47 Carbine