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Zastava M70



Overview


M70AB2

Right side view of M70AB2 assault rifle.
Source: Zastava Arms - © Copyright lies with original owner

Origin
Yugoslavia
Type
Assault rifle
Entered service
1970
Status
In service
Development
1959 - 1968
Developer
Yugoslavia - Zastava
Production
1970 - present
Producer
Yugoslavia - Zastava
Serbia - Zastava
Iraq - Al-Qadissiya (1978 - 1990's)
Number produced
About 4 million produced, production continues at limited scale.
Designations
Tabuk (Iraqi service and production)
Notable users
Yugoslavia
Iraq

Description


Introduction

The M70 is a Cold War era assault rifle of Yugoslav origin. The design is based on the Kalashnikov, but has seen an extensive period of redevelopment. Early models produced in limited quantitiy were known as the M64 series. The M70 is often as one of the higher quality derivatives of the AKM.

Design

The M70 is a variant of the Kalashnikov AKM, but differs in some respects from the Soviet models. The design started the M64 with many unique features such as a milled receiver, gas cutoff device, different charging handle, ribbed barrel and bolt hold open device. This was deemed too expensive to produce and after the development of the M70 and M70B the design eventually settled on the M70B1. The M70B1 differs from the AKM in having a much thicker stamped receiver, longer handguard with 3 slots, rubber buttpad, grenade launching sight and a barrel that is not chrome lined.

Firepower

The M70 fires the 7.62x39mm Soviet round from 30 round magazines. For use with the M70 the M67 round was developed in Yugoslavia, which is more effective than the original M43 round. It is capable of semi-automatic fire and fully automatic fire at a cyclic rate of fire of about 600 rpm. The maximum effective range is about 300 meters. The M70 is deemed more accurate and reliable than the AKM and reportedly performs better during prolonged automatic fire.

Users

The M70 was the standard issue assault rifle of the Yugoslav forces. It remains in use with all former Yugoslav nations, although some are replacing it with more modern designs. Additionally the M70 has been widely exported and encountered often in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Details


M70AB2 and B1

Zastava M70AB2 (top) alongside the fixed stock M70B1 (bottom).
Source: Zastava Arms - © Copyright lies with original owner

Variants of the Zastava M70

M70B1 / M70AB2: The M70 is the Yugoslav version of the Kalashnikov assault rifle. After a prolonged design period the design settled on the M70B1 rifle with fixed stock and M70AB2 with folding stock. The M70 might be the only derivative in the Kalashnikov family in which the folding stock version is more common than the fixed stock model. The M70B1 and AB2 can be fitted with a Zastava muzzle loaded grenade launcher.

M70B3 / M70AB3: The M70B3 and M70AB3 are models fitted for mounting the Soviet GP-25 or GP-30 grenade launchers. They lack the ability to launch muzzle grenades and can be identified by lacking the folding leaf sight. Otherwise they are similar to respectively the M70B1 and M70AB2. Both models have been produced under license in Iraq as the Tabuk.

Facts M70B1 M70AB2 M70AB3 M70B3
General
Origin
Yugoslavia
Type
Assault rifle
Caliber
Caliber
7.62x39mm Soviet
Feed system
30 round box
Barrel length
415 mm
Rifling
4 grooves, 240 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity
720 m/s
Operation
Action
Gas operated, long stroke gas piston
Locking
Rotating bolt
Fire selector
0 - 1 - F
Rate of fire
620 rpm
Dimensions
Stock type
Fixed
Length
900 mm
Weight
3.8 kg empty
Sights
Mechanical
Iron sights, post front and tangent sight rear
Range adjustment
100 to 1.000 m gradations
Accessories
Grenade launching
Folding leaf sight and gas cut off for muzzle grenades
Optional underbarrel grenade launcher

Media


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