The UBC’s Adrian Web­ster ex­am­ines the Kalash­nikov AKM AEG from

Airgun World - - Umarex Boys Club -

Iwan­dered into my lo­cal air­soft em­po­rium in Thai­land a cou­ple of years ago and was im­me­di­ately di­rected to­ward a stack of rather plain-look­ing card­board boxes ly­ing along one side of the counter.

“You’ll be in­ter­ested in one of those!” ex­claimed Khun Don, the owner of BB Gun Zone.”

He was not far wrong! In­side each was a 6mm AEG replica of the leg­endary Kalash­nikov ri­fle, and made by Chi­nese com­pany, E&L. Each one was dif­fer­ent, but I chose the wooden-stocked AKM.

In­tro­duced in the 1950s, the AKM was a mod­ernised ver­sion of the orig­i­nal 7.62mm Av­tomat Kalash­nikova-47. The main dif­fer­ences in ap­pear­ance be­tween the AKM and AK-47 are; a longer, straighter stock, a stamped in­stead of milled steel re­ceiver, raised grips in the wooden fore end, rear sights grad­u­ated to 1000m in­stead of 800m, a slant-cut muz­zle brake to help re­duce muz­zle climb dur­ing au­to­matic fire, and an in­te­grated bay­o­net sup­port col­lar with a hole for the clean­ing rod.

RE­AL­ISM

The re­al­ism of this gun is im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent. It is made of steel and wood through­out, and comes gen­er­ously coated with oil. A com­pre­hen­sive hand­book, in English, con­tains in­struc­tions on how to op­er­ate and field-strip the gun; how to re­move the hop-up, bar­rel and gear­box; an ex­ploded di­a­gram and parts list­ing, and a fac­tory test cer­tifi­cate with con­tact de­tails on the back cover. My ve­loc­ity mea­sure­ments mir­rored those given.

Vis­ual ac­cu­racy, as far as I can tell, is per­fect. The first thing I was told about the replica was that the com­pany who makes them also man­u­fac­tures and sup­plies parts for real Kalash­nikov ri­fles - this is also men­tioned in their pro­mo­tional video. Whether this is sim­ply a crafty piece of mar­ket­ing or not, I don’t know, but the up­shot is that this replica is the spit­ting im­age of the orig­i­nal.

The lam­i­nated wood used to make the up­per hand­guard and fore end is well crafted and strong. The pis­tol grip is made of a plas­tic poly­mer and is in keep­ing with later AKMs.There is even a spring-loaded stor­age space in the stock for a clean­ing kit, al­though one is not sup­plied.

A star, ‘1976’, and a unique se­rial num­ber that cross­ref­er­ences with the test cer­tifi­cate is stamped in the cor­rect place on the left-hand side of the re­ceiver just be­hind and be­low the rear sight block.

The spring leaf rear sight is ad­justable for el­e­va­tion and is

“It is made of steel and wood through­out”

Shoot­ing my AKM at 6 yards is a dream.

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