Object Title

Centrefire automatic rifle - Kalashnikov 'AKM SU'

Centrefire automatic rifle - Kalashnikov 'AKM SU'


about 1977

Object Number



Gifted with the Pattern Room by the Ministry of Defence, August 2005

Physical Description

Ostensibly a 7.62 x 39 equivalent of the AKS-74U, but examination and communication with Russian specialists makes clear that this is a composite piece that was never adopted by the Russian authorities. The receiver is of Chinese pattern, with one rivet per side on the trigger guard interface and thicker gauge stamped steel in the receiver itself. Unusually, the front trunnion rivets are of parallel Russian pattern rather than staggered Chinese form - although some export rifles do feature the Russian rivet pattern (the receiver may be Front and rear trunnion blocks appear to be craft-produced, and the Tula arsenal marking of star and date (1977) spurious (this is also five years after development began on the 5.45 x 39 AKS-74U). The flash-hider/muzzle booster is competently craft-made, conforming to no known factory-produced type, and is extremely loose-fitting. The bolt carrier group appears to be Russian or at least of factory-produced AKM type, with cut-down piston. The barrel also seems to be of cut-down Russian AKM pattern (or copy thereof). Believing this piece to be a Russian original, Royal Ordnance produced a report (RD/PR/49/86 - Evaluation of the Soviet 5.45mm RPK 74, 5.45mm AKS 74, 5.45mm AK SU and 7.62mm AKM SU - see PR archive foreign weapons box files). This gives no provenance for the piece, but assumes it to be a failed forerunner of the AKS-74U. It details firing tests carried out and includes a photograph of the impressive muzzle flash produced by this weapon.



OverallLength30.2 in
OverallLength767 mm
OverallWeight3.21 kg
OverallWeight7.1 lb
BarrelLength7.9 in
BarrelLength201 mm


Serial Number 483485


7.62 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Proof mark
Crown over GP - British (London) proofmark
Front trunnion
Manufacturer's mark
Tula arsenal star and year (1977) - spurious
Front trunnion
Serial number
Front trunnion