Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Unveiling the Battle-Tested: AK Rifles in Pakistani Military Service

The AK series rifles, derived from the legendary AK-47, have established themselves as iconic firearms in the realm of military weaponry. Designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, the AK rifles have earned a reputation for their reliability, simplicity, and robustness. Pakistan received initial versions of Type56 rifles from China in the 60s and since then AK has been the backbone of the small arms arsenal of LEAs in Pakistan. Today Pakistani LEAs field AK rifles of Chinese, Russian, Bulgarian & Belarusian origin.

The following article will cover AK-pattern weapons used by Pakistani armed forces.

Type56

Pakistan received initial milled receiver versions in the 60s which were later complemented by newer stamped receiver models. The most distinctive feature of this firearm is its fixed spike bayonet. Rifle itself is copy of AK type3.

Stamped receiver Type56
Stamped receiver Type56, image via Military-Today.com

Both milled and stamped receiver models are in service today. Many were modified with modular stocks and picatinny rails to mount optics and tactical accessories. LMG version of Type56 is also used by LEAs in limited numbers.

Type56-1

SSG operative with Type56-1
SSG operative with Type56-1, image via ISPR

This version is copy of AKS/AKMS and is also widely used by army, police, special forces and other LEAs. It comes with an under-folder stock and a stamped receiver. Old school spike bayonet was removed in this version due to its limited role in modern combat. Many rifles have been modified to meet the needs of modern combat.

Type56-2

This version was introduced 80s for export purposes mainly. It never made into Chinese service but was widely exported to many countries including Pakistan. It featured dark orange Bakelite furniture, side folding stock and a more ergonomic grip. This version is standard issue weapon in Pakistani army. POF is developing CW-39 for its replacement.

Type56-2,
Type-56-2, Image Via https://www.saracenexports.com/

AKM

In late 1980s, Pakistan acquired a substantial number of Russian AKM rifles from surplus stocks of Afghan mujahideen fighters.

AKM from both sides, image from Armémuseum (The Swedish Army Museum) - https://digitaltmuseum.se/011024370718
AKM from both sides, image from Armémuseum (The Swedish Army Museum) – https://digitaltmuseum.se/011024370718

These battle-tested weapons found new purpose in Pakistan’s defense forces and are mostly used by FC KPK and KPK police. These rifles can be easily identified due to their distinguishing slanted barrel design and beefier furniture.

AR-M1 762

This Arsenal made Bulgarian origin rifle is used by SSG in limited numbers. This rifle is often seen with 40mm Arsenal UBGL-1 grenade launcher which justifies its adaptation because Chinese AKs were unable to mount UBGLs.

Arsenal AR-M1 762 assault rifle
Arsenal AR-M1 762 assault rifle, image via https://www.arsenalinc.com/

It can set apart from other similar rifles due to its milled receiver, black polymer furniture and distinguishing four port flash hider.

Type81-1

This Chinese rifle is based on Kalashnikov design with a few differences. Type81-1 version with polymer side folding stock like Type56-1 is in limited service with Pakistani special operations force SSG. Type81-1 was mainly intended for paratrooper use but later it also made it into PLA service as a standard rifle.

Type81-1 with side folding stock and polymer furniture
Type81-1 with side folding stock and polymer furniture, image via https://odin.tradoc.army.mil/

VSK-100

This Belarusian origin rifle is the latest addition to AK arsenal of Pakistani defense forces. This rifle feature side folding stock, cheek rest, polymer furniture and receiver length picatinny rail system.

VSK-100 assault rifle
VSK-100 assault rifle; image via https://pikabu.ru/

These rifles are currently used by regular army, paramilitary forces like FC KPK and Baluchistan and other LEAs like police, ASF and levies. Rifles were also showcased by POF on IDEAS 2022.

Author:

Aneeb Ur Rehman is an firearms enthusiast.

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