Kalashnikov Concern Reviews the Hungarian AK-55 and AKM-63/AMD-63

I am really enjoying these videos that Kalashnikov Concern in Russia is producing. In this video, Vladimir Onokoy, a technical consultant with the Kalashnikov and experienced AK armorer, discusses the Hungarian AK evolution with Pavel Pticin, founder of the AK-info.ru web portal, who has extensive AK knowledge.

I’ve always liked Hungarian AKs and found them to be high quality.  Over the years I’ve built several AMD-65s and an AMMS.  The kits all had original barrels and I was impressed by the fit and finish of the parts plus the rifles just ran and ran with no problems.  They are definitely unique AK variants and I was actually really interested to watch this video and learned quite a bit.

Vladimir actually showed photos of a modified AK-63D that he encountered in Somalia.  He mentioned how very impressed he was that it was still running with very little maintenance for close to 20 years.

This is one of Vladimir’s photos of the Somalian AK.  Pavel noted it was likely an AK-63D with a cut down barrel, modified gas block and an AMD-65 muzzle break.  One can’t help but wonder who did the work and why.

The video is just over 12 minutes and they discuss the early AK-55 rifle that is very similar to the Type 2 AK-47 with a milled receiver.  They then move to a discussion of the AKM-63 (I’ve always heard it referred to as the AMD-63 in the US) with its distinctive handguard and grips plus other design differences.

As you may know, I own Ronin’s Grips and we make replica AMD grips.  In one of the funniest gun video lines ever, Vladimir noted that the designer who decided to put an identical pistol grip at the front but simply reverse it deserved a medal!  The Hungarians wanted to add it to improve accuracy and control under full auto fire. 

Both Vladimir and Pavel noted that the front grip made reloading problematic and Vladimir pointed out that he had encountered rifles with the front grip cut down to reduce interference with loading magazines.

I finally got the best explanation ever as to why they used that bluish colored plastic.  When the Hungarians decided to experiment with and move to polymer stocks, they lacked the ability to manufacture the base plastic.  Because they were a Socialist country aligned with the USSR, the only plastic they could find that they could buy and import was a bluish plastic intended for dish making!  You know what, that makes sense to me and what I will explain going forward.

The blue color is because the only plastic they could buy abroad was intended for dish making!

Lastly, they brought up some great examples of unique features you will see in the AKM/AMD rifles:

  • Distinctive pistol grip design
  • Metal lower handguard with no gas tube cover
  • The selector notches are labeled with an infinity diagram for full auto and a “1” for semi-auto.
  • The rear sight leaf has an “A” on it
The Hungarians used unique selector markings – the infinity loop is for full auto and the “1” is for semi-auto.
The rear sight leaf has an “A” on it.

Here’s the video

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