Ultra Basic AK Visual ID Guide
The following is a very basic AK visual identification guide. Impress your friends!!! Woo the ladies!!! Make the ghost of Mikhail Kalashnikov smile.
*I am by no means an expert, just a dude who loves my WASR, and AKs in general. If anybody sees any incorrect info, feel free to correct me.
Images taken from Google….except for my glorious WASR, she is mine.*
Milled vs Stamped
A milled gun is machined from a solid chunk of metal. A stamped gun is made from a sheet of metal that has been folded to shape. We ain’t here to argue which is better, just to visually ID them. *side note: the original AK-47 was a milled gun. Later, they were stamped, as is the AK-74 now, this is called an AKM*
As seen by this pic from
the AK Operators Union page, a milled gun will exhibit these rectangular
lightening cuts at at the mag well, and no rivets.
A stamped gun will typically have these dimples on the mag well, as well as rivets.
But there’s always oddballs…
This is a pic of my WASR.
The WASR, WASR-10, WASR 10/63, ZEE MIGHTEE WASSAHR, etc, is a Romanian variant
of the AKM and is a stamped rifle. However, because
these are imported into the country with narrow mag wells to accept single
stack mags ( importing companies like Century open up the mag wells to accept standard
30rd mags), we do not see the characteristic mag well dimples of a typical AKM.
The Yugoslavian NPAP and
Again with the oddballs…
The Yugo variant of a stamped AK is the NPAP. The milled Yugo is the OPAP (which I believe are no longer imported as of a few months ago, correct me if I’m wrong). The main difference between a Yugo and almost every other AK out there, is the longer, 3 vent hole handguard. (We’re just going over visual differences here, but the trunnions are slightly different as well. AKM furniture will not fit a Yugo).
Finally, Chinese AKs.
These are pics of an AKM front sight post (top) and a Chinese(bottom) front sight post. The Chinese model will have a fully hooded front sight.
This is NOT an
AK….completely different rifle. Shares no parts at all, not even magazines.
It uses the 7.62x39 cartridge, but that’s where similarities end. The VZ is
milled, striker fired, and uses a short stroke gas piston.
Hopefully I was able to educate some folks. Again, this was meant as a very basic, quick visual ID guide. I ain’t an expert and I was bored.