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Kalashnikov AKM



Overview


AKM

Left side view of AKM assault rifle.
Source: Swedish Army Museum - © Public domain

Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Assault rifle
Entered service
1959
Status
In service
Development
1950's
Developer
Soviet Union
Mikhail Kalashnikov
Production
1959 - 1977
Producer
Soviet Union - Izhmash
Soviet Union - TOZ
Number produced
Over 10 million (Soviet production)
Designations
6P1 (GRAU index for AKM)
6P4 (GRAU index for AKMS)

Description


Introduction

The AKM is an assault rifle of Soviet origin. The AKM is a modernized version of the AK-47 developed in the 1950's. It was meant as a product improved version of the famous Kalashnikov design while being far more cost effective to produce at the same time.

Design

The AKM is a gas operated assault rifle using a short stroke gas piston and rotating bolt. The main difference between AK-47 and AKM is the use of stamped sheet metal for the receiver. This makes the AKM both lighter and less costly to produce than the machined receiver of the AK-47.

Firepower

The AKM fires the 7.62x39mm Soviet round from a curved 30 round magazine. The 40 round magazines of the RPK can also be used. The AKM is a select fire weapon that is capable of semi-automatic fire and automatic fire at 600 rounds per minute. The effective range is about 300 meters.

Users

The AKM was produced in large numbers in the USSR. Over 10 million of these were produced. Furthermore, the AKM is the version of the Kalashnikov that proved to be the most common to be produced with or without license abroad. This makes the AKM and its derivatives the most common and prolific version of the Kalashnikov family.

Variants


AKM

Standard fixed stock version of the modernized Kalashnikov assault rifle.

AKMS

Folding stock version of the modernized Kalashnikov assault rifle. Features an underfolding stock.

Details


Facts AKM AKMS
General
Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Assault rifle
Caliber
Caliber
7.62x39mm Soviet
Feed system
30 round detachable box
40 and 75 round RPK magazines can be used as well
Barrel length
415 mm
Rifling
4 grooves, 235 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity
715 m/s
Operation
Action
Gas operated, long stroke gas piston
Locking
Rotating bolt
Fire selector
0 - 1 - F
Rate of fire
600 - 650 rpm
Dimensions
Stock type
Fixed
Length
876 mm
Weight
3.15 kg empty
3.6 kg loaded
Sights
Mechanical
Iron sights, adjustable post front, tangent U-notch rear
Range adjustment
Up to 1.000 m
Sight radius
376 mm

Media


Foreign production models


Zastava M70

The M70 is the Yugoslav variant of the AKM. Instead of being a direct copy it has several distinct features, such as the longer three slot handguard, thicker receiver and ability to launch muzzle grenades.

PM md. 63

The PM md 63 and PM md 65 are the Romanian variant of the AKM and AKMS. These feature a distinct wooden vertical grip. Large numbers were exported as the AIM and AIMS.

Related articles


RPK

The RPK is the light machine gun variant of the AKM assault rifle. These weapons were meant to be used side by side and thus benefit from similar ammunition supply and manual of operations.

Kalashnikov AK-74

The AK-74 was developed to replace the AKM as the standard issue rifle in Soviet military service. The AK-74 is similar to the AKM, but is chambered for the new high velocity 5.45x39mm cartridge.