Military Review

Kalashnikov assault rifle prescription Josip Broz Tito


Many people think that in the post-war years the Yugoslav army was armed, like all the armies of the countries of the socialist camp, with Kalashnikov licensed assault rifles. However, in fact, Yugoslavia has established the release of its rifle system based on the AK without the knowledge of the Soviet side.

In 1959, the Crvena Zastava factory in Kragujevce began work on its own automatic weapons on the basis of the Soviet AK machine gun. Due to the prevailing foreign policy situation (after the well-known statement of the Information Bureau of 1948, Yugoslavia was in hostile relations with the USSR) it was impossible to obtain a license to produce AK, and therefore the development of its own modification of AK in Kragujevc was started without agreement with the Soviet side. The factory’s management was able to enlist the support of the Infantry Arms and Tactics Directorate, but at the same time the General Staff of the JNA (Yugoslav People’s Army) did not support the copying of the AK.

The starting point for the creation of the Yugoslav AK was the transfer of two Albanian soldiers in 1959 across the Yugoslav border, together with their personal weapons - AK, under an intermediate cartridge 7,62x39 mm. Their machines were transferred to the factory "Crvena Zastava" in Kragujevec. It was then at the factory that the idea was born of creating an entire series of own small arms under the AK designation under the designation FAZ (FAMILIJA AUTOMATSKOG ORUZJA ZASTAVA) with the emphasis that the development of an assault automatic rifle would be the main thing. Project management was entrusted to factory engineer Milan Chirich. Samples of AK were carefully studied, and all their details are accurately copied by pouring sulfur with sulfate.

Automatic M-64A with a wooden butt and shop on 30 cartridges

Soon, the designers realized that two full-scale copies are not enough to perform the task before them. Josip Broz Tito himself was able to solve this problem. During his visit to one “friendly” Third World country receiving Soviet military assistance, he was able to negotiate the purchase of two thousand AK, some of which went to the Redven Zastava factory.

Ultimately, the Yugoslav designers created two prototypes of assault rifles with a milled receiver. A sample with a wooden butt received the designation "A", and a sample with a metal (folding) butt - the designation "B", while the whole system received the general name M-64.

Initially, the Zastava factory tried to unify the FAZ type weapons as much as possible with the samples already produced here — the M-56 machine gun (factory designation “11”) under the cartridge of the caliber 7,62x25 mm, and the carabiner M-59 (factory designation “23”) created based on a self-loading carbine SKS Soviet-made.

By virtue of this, in the first versions, the FAZ had a cylindrical twisting cranking handle from the M-59 carbine and a rear aiming block with a folding aiming bar mounted on the receiver cover.

Also on the modification “B” was installed a metal butt made of steel tubes, similar to the butt of the M-56.

The first versions of the M-64A and M-64B machines had a magazine with 20 cartridges.

As for the length of the trunk, then the factory experimented with trunks of various lengths.

In addition, the designers sought to adapt this weapon for firing rifle grenades and, at the initial stage, installed a special fire interpreter on the gas tube with the possibility of installing two positions “Open” (O-otvoreno) and “Closed” (Z-zatvoreno) so that shooting the grenades were made in the “Closed” position, and the aiming was carried out through the scope mounted on the grenade itself. The grenade was aimed in the same way on the first modifications of the Belgian rifle grenades of the Energa type.

A special nozzle was installed on the M-64 trunk, following the French model, which provided for the shooting of rifle grenades and played the role of a flame arrester. This decision, in the end, found its place on the new modification of the M-59 carbine, released by order of the JNA General Staff under the designation M-59 / 66. But in M-64 they refused it. Improved prototypes of the M-64 were equipped with a new type of sight for rifle grenades, which was mounted on a gas tube and at the same time played the role of a regulator, since, rising above the gas tube, it blocked the exit of gases. Shooting grenades at the required distance was carried out by raising the sight and combining the slot, indicating the range of the grenade, with the head part of the grenade.

Light (company) machine gun M-65А with quick-detachable barrel

Automatic M-70AB2

Automatic M-77B1 under the NATO cartridge caliber 7,62

Automatic M-77AB1 under the NATO cartridge caliber 7,62

It was also decided to equip both M-64A and M-64B with a magazine with 30 cartridges, as well as a wooden pistol grip.

On the basis of these samples, Yugoslav designers developed and models of light (company) machine guns modifications M-65А with a quick-detachable barrel and M-65B

Analogue of the Soviet Aksu automaton LL-92

Light machine gun M-77 under the NATO cartridge caliber 7,62

Automatic M-95 under the NATO cartridge caliber 5,56. This sample has already been produced in Serbia.

Automatic M-95A under the NATO cartridge caliber 5,56

Modern weapon of the Serbian soldier - M-21 submachine gun under the NATO cartridge caliber 5,56 with a permanent barrel. In 1965, these models were demonstrated to the JNA command.

Although the Infantry Armament and Tactics Directorate fully supported the adoption of the FAZ series, the JNA High Command rejected it, justifying its decision that equipping all units of the Yugoslav Army with automatic small arms would lead to excessive expenditure of ammunition. But time still showed the advantage of automatic small arms, and in 1968, after the entry of Soviet troops into Czechoslovakia, negotiations began with the Soviet side on the procurement of AK and AKM assault rifles for the special forces of the JNA.

The management of the Crvena Zastava factory immediately notified the management of the SFRY that such weapons had already been created at this factory and the FAZ’s series of automatic weapons was adopted by the decision of the top management as the basis for the creation and production of Yugoslav automatic weapons.

Technical documentation with a number of new requirements was prepared at the Military Technical Institute in Belgrade.

Based on these requirements, an M-1970 machine gun was created in 70, which went into series production and was adopted by the JNA. His prototype M-64 remained a prototype and is currently only available in museums.

The M-70 has a milled receiver, a sight, on the sighting block attached to the receiver, as on the Soviet AKM, a wooden butt similar to the butt of the M-64A, and a plastic pistol grip. Also, its modification M-70А was created with a folding metal butt from a U-shaped steel profile.

The fire sub similar to AKMovsky has three positions U (UKOCENO) - fuse, R (RAFALNO) - automatic, J (JEDINACNO) - single. The marking “Zastava-Kragujevac” / “Yugoslavia” was applied on the aiming block on the left side.

Serbian fighters with the FAZ family. Photos from the time of the Yugoslav conflict

However, during the production of the M-70 machine, some solutions were abandoned, in particular, the latch lock in the rear position, which was installed in front of the store; the lock was removed, and its function was performed by the store feeder.

In the future, it was decided to make changes to the design of the percussion mechanism, removing one shaped protrusion of the trigger and introducing a trigger retarder, similar to that used in the Soviet AKM. These machines also had a milled receiver and received the designation M-70B due to the fact that it was put on a wooden butt of a slightly modified form, fixed in the case with one lock, as well as the muzzle brake-compensator - the same as on the Soviet AKM. The modification of this weapon with a folding metal butt was called M-70AB.

Later, the receiver box was made stamped (stamped-riveted) of steel 0,9 mm thick, and these samples were given the designation M-70B1 (with a wooden butt) and M-70ABX1 (with a folding metal butt).

The shortened M-85 submachine gun under the NATO cartridge of caliber 5,56

A decent amount of machines. M-70ABZ already at the beginning of the XXI century. was shipped to Afghanistan

These machines had modifications, on which on the left side there was a bracket for mounting night sights. They received the names M-70БХNNXXН-ПН (with a wooden butt) and М-1АБХNUMXН-ПН (with folding). Released and started based on the M-70B1 and M-70AB1 machines M-70B1 (with wooden stock) and M-70AB2 (metallic butt) differs from its predecessors in that their stamping-riveted receiver was made of steel 70 mm . In addition, an aiming block copied from the sight of the Soviet PKK machine gun was mounted on them.

These two machines were most widely spread during the wars that took place in the territory of the former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 1999. Then, after the end of these conflicts, a decent amount of such weapons was sold from warehouses to a number of countries of the world.

At one time, the Yugoslav leadership ordered the Crvena Zastava factory to organize the production of M-70 machines in Iraq, where it was produced in various modifications under the designation Tabuk.

On the basis of the M-70 were created machine guns M-72 (with a wooden butt) and M-72A (with a folding metal butt), M-72B1 (with a wooden butt) chambered for 7,62X39 mm.

Automatic M-70AB2, clearly visible marking

Automatic M-70VZ, clearly visible marking

The Iraqi Tabuk submachine gun (Tabuk) is a copy of the Yugoslav M-70

In addition, on the basis of the M-70 at the factory “Crvena Zastava” in the 70-ies. of the last century, designers headed by Bozhidar Blagojevich, chambered for 7,9x57 mm, developed the M-76 sniper rifle. And chambered for 7,62x51 mm at the factory "Crvena Zastava" produced M-77, M-77B1, M77AB1, light machine guns M-77B1, M-77ABXNNXX, and a sniper chart at the same time for a template for a template for a template for a sniper-type X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun tool, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun, an X-gun template, and 2 In addition, in Yugoslavia, they developed and manufactured automata similar to the Soviet AKSU. A sample chambered for 1x77 mm was named M-1, and a sample chambered for X-mm caliber 7,62x39 mm for M-92.

In addition, modifications of M-70, M-1A, M-70 and M-1А developed on the basis of M-80B80 and M-90AB90 were released on the basis of 5,56X45 cartridge.

In the end, under this munition developed a model M-21, which was adopted in 2008, the army of Serbia. This model is actually a new weapon system, which showed accuracy comparable to the M-4 carbine with significantly higher reliability parameters in the course of comparative tests at the SAJ special purpose unit ground (CAJ) of the Serbian Interior Ministry.

In addition to this model, in Serbia, on the basis of the M-70AB2 submachine gun, a new modification of the M-70ABZ has been created, which is now being delivered on orders approved by the US Department of Defense to Iraq and Afghanistan. In these models, the sight of rifle grenades - there is no gas regulator, as well as the ramrod itself, instead of this, you can install a Soviet-developed grenade launcher GP-25 on the machine.

1M-70ABZ machines are being actively used today during the conflict in Afghanistan
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  1. Terrible ensign
    Terrible ensign 5 June 2013 09: 23 New
    Thanks for the fairly comprehensive review.
    Indeed, I used to think that Yugoslav Kalash were licensed. I was convinced that it was not so.
    1. It is interesting that the Yugoslavs (Serbs) did not bother with a caliber of 5,45, but sculpted immediately modifications to the NATO reduced caliber.
    2. Type a question for colleagues: Does the M-21 have a cut-off of 2 (3) rounds in a line?
    3. In the photo of the Serbian fighters during the war are our Cossacks ...
    1. Timeout
      Timeout 5 June 2013 14: 42 New
      2. The M21 assault rifle was developed by the Yugoslav weapons company Zastava Arms (former Crvena Zastava plants). The M21 assault rifle is the crown of a long line of Yugoslavian variations on the Kalashnikov assault rifle, and is based on the 99 mm NATO Zastava M5,56 assault rifles. M21 differs from these submachine guns mainly in that it is staffed with a telescopic sight as the main one, and also has a two-way translator fuse. Another distinctive feature of the M21 is that its trunk has polygonal rifling and is made by cold rotational forging.
      The M21 assault rifle is similar in structure to Kalashnikov assault rifles, with minor differences. The receiver cover of the M21 is integral, for access to the mechanisms of the weapon leans up and forward on a hinge. On its upper surface guides are made for mounting various optical sights of the Picatinny type. The receiver is stamped from steel. The usual "Kalashnikovsky" fuse lever - translator of the fire modes is duplicated on the left side of the receiver with a small vertically located lever mounted on the same axis.
      The barrel with polygonal rifling has a muzzle compensator - a flame arrester of the NATO standard, which allows you to launch gun grenades from it. The front sight is placed on the gas outlet block, the rear sight is removable. The main is considered a 2.2X20 Zrak optical sight mounted on quick-detachable mounts.
      Butt metal, skeletal design, folding sideways. Handguard and pistol grip - plastic. The bayonet-knife mount is made on the side of the barrel, so that in the attached state the bayonet does not interfere with firing from an under-barrel grenade launcher (similar to the Russian AN-94 assault rifle). On the M21, it is possible to install both the Russian 40 mm GP-25 grenade launcher and the American M203, for which the corresponding adapters are used.
      3. A lot of guys in those years went to war as volunteers. But the photograph shows Serbian Cossacks from a Belgrade colony, descendants of emigrants.
    2. Black Colonel
      Black Colonel 6 June 2013 14: 11 New
      Kazachkov also noticed.
  2. avt
    avt 5 June 2013 09: 27 New
    Informative article + But in general - it’s all the same Kalash, whatever one may say.
  3. omsbon
    omsbon 5 June 2013 09: 46 New
    Theft is theft! It is disgusting to realize that the Yugoslav brothers did this!
    1. neri73-r
      neri73-r 5 June 2013 15: 57 New
      Unfortunately, they are called brothers when they become tight like the Bulgarians! And now they rush to Russia, then to NATO. It is better somehow once and forever for them to decide and not to go out of the way, no matter how difficult it is!
  4. svskor80
    svskor80 5 June 2013 11: 11 New
    We become an Elder Brother when a bad less is necessary. But at the first opportunity, they will spit at us, and who will throw a stone. Serbs unfortunately too. Another confirmation of the idea that Russia has no allies except the army and navy.
  5. bunta
    bunta 5 June 2013 11: 38 New
    What does the Serbs have to do with it? Stalin and Tito could not agree, but what did the Serbs have to do with it?
  6. Terrible ensign
    Terrible ensign 5 June 2013 13: 47 New
    Bunta, welcome! I agree with you absolutely about leadership conflicts ...
    As applied to the concepts and considerations of ordinary people, in this case, we have superfluous confirmation of the design genius of Mikhail Timofeevich thanks to which AK, being a ready-made weapon (product), retained the potential for modernization for more than half a century! ..
  7. phantom359
    phantom359 5 June 2013 14: 44 New
    Worse than ours. The opinion of the guys who worked with him in Yugoslavia.
    1. Victor Red
      Victor Red 25 March 2017 19: 38 New
      Quote: phantom359
      Worse than ours. The opinion of the guys who worked with him in Yugoslavia.

      I remember the series "Stargate". There is an episode where an American detachment interacts with Russian special forces. There is a moment when the protagonist extols the features of the R-90 to his Russian counterpart. To which the RUSSIAN colonel proudly declares that, they say he’s never seen better than the Yugoslav "Outpost" in life.))
      I read the recollections of our volunteers in the Yugoslav conflicts. Many note the unreliability of the “Zastav”, they are often wedged, and had to get up during the battle to kick the shutter with a kick of the foot.
      They also write that most Yugoslavs IMHO believe that it is the "Outpost" that is the original version, and the "troubles of rashin", just it, and they pioneered it.
  8. Stalinets
    Stalinets 5 June 2013 15: 34 New
    By the way, in the photo, our volunteers .... from among the Cossacks. yes
    1. Timeout
      Timeout 5 June 2013 16: 30 New
      In the photo, the guys have the same infantry register infantry caps of officers of the Volunteer Army. Serbian Cossacks went to such places. Our Cossacks introduced a uniform form for each army later.
  9. Mister X
    Mister X 5 June 2013 16: 53 New
    designers sought to adapt this weapon to firing rifle grenades

    Rifle grenade on the barrel of a Zastava M70 assault rifle
    1. Timeout
      Timeout 5 June 2013 17: 46 New
      Trombones created so many problems with NATO technology and manpower ...
  10. uzer 13
    uzer 13 5 June 2013 19: 12 New
    The Yugoslav gunsmiths didn’t bring any special new ideas to the design of the machine, mainly they copied Soviet samples without further ado. But the cold-forged barrel with polygonal cutting is interesting. The barrel life and accuracy should be higher than that of traditional If you put it on a milled box, you can make a pretty good gun.
    1. bunta
      bunta 5 June 2013 20: 44 New
      Quote: uzer 13
      But the cold-forged barrel with polygonal cutting is already interesting.

      I quote Malimon:

      The first batch of SHK-10 forging machines was accepted by a group of specialists from the Izhevsk plant from the Austrian company GFM in the period from September to December 1971. Deputy chief mechanic of the plant I.F. Zuev with his assistant M. Musin, deputy. chief technologist B.N. Andreev and leading specialists of this service V.S. Pismensky, V.A. Nikitin and L.F. During this time, Mokrushin carried out not only the technical acceptance of the machines, but also participated in the development of the AKM barrel forging technology. At the same time, the drawing for the barrel was also refined, taking into account the technical capabilities of the forging machine, which was also being finalized in the process of delivery to the customer.
      There was a time when the company was not able to meet the requirements of the Soviet side in the accuracy of the execution of the drawing dimensions along the channel part of the barrel and the chamber, considering them excessively rigid.
      At the height of the conflict, when a conversation was started about the possible termination of the contract, V.A. Nikitin, the chief specialist in the channel part of the barrel, had to return to his plant to study the possibilities of changing the requirements of the drawing for the barrel, taking into account the proposals of the Austrian side and agreeing them with his customer.
      The consent of the factory services to change the drawing, which has not yet received the approval of external testing organizations, concerned a change in the tolerances for the accuracy of the manufacture of the 4th and 5th cones of the barrel chamber in connection with local non-durability in the transitional part (increasing the tolerance by about 0,02 mm), as well as rounding of the groove fields of the channel part of the barrel.
      After accepting the first batch of SHK ‑ 10 forging machines, GFN executives noted that they had met such rigorous demands from the receivers for the first time, as a result of which the design of the machines would be improved.
      There was also talk that only in Russia there is a strict rectangular profile of rifled gun trunks, that in other countries it is becoming smoother.
      After the acceptance in 1977 of the second batch of forging machines from the Austrians, on one of them, with the consent of the Soviet side, an experimental forging of 4,5 mm barrels was carried out for Koval Arms (Great Britain) with positive results.
      At the Izhevsk plant, Austrian forging machines began to be mastered in 1972, initially on 7,62 mm barrels for the AKM system. The mastering was carried out by the same group of car acceptors from the Austrians under the guidance of the chief engineer of the plant B.F. Faizulin, who was also the main initiator of the introduction of forging barrel technology into mass production, his deputy O.I. Sobin and chief technologist M.I. Miller.

      Now for polygonal rifling. Polygonal slicing did not show any advantages over the traditional one. But from the point of view of the cheapness of the manufacture of the mandrel, yes - we take the prism rod and turn it along the axis. (However, as mandrels actually do, I no longer remember).
  11. Chern
    Chern 5 June 2013 19: 49 New
    "... the details are accurately copied using the sulfur sulfate casting method."

    more about this please
    1. Argon
      Argon 5 June 2013 20: 47 New
      The complexity of AK production is not in design, but in technology and materials in order to maintain a balance between acceptable cost and quality of the sample. It seems to me that the Yugoslavs were wrong (with a milled receiver). I can’t say about quality, but I know that the entrance of the last war A Soviet-made machine gun could only be received as a reward. I heard that the frequent firing of rifle grenades (Yugoslav machine gun) led to the loosening and disruption of the gas outlet unit. Plus, of course, in sufficient detail, well illustrated, special thanks to the translator.
    2. dustycat
      dustycat 23 June 2013 14: 32 New
      From me, too, I do not remember something from the chemistry textbook of such a compound.
      How to copy internal cavities using molten sulfur - I understand.
      And how to get sulfur sulfate ... laughing
  12. bunta
    bunta 5 June 2013 23: 46 New
    Oh, I just found out. M.T. Kalashnikov was in Serbia in the 2003 year at the Crvena Zastava plant in Kragujevec on the 150 anniversary of the plant. He shot at a shooting range with the director of the enterprise Marinko Petrovich from M-21.
  13. Terrible ensign
    Terrible ensign 7 June 2013 12: 39 New
    Timeout, welcome! Thanks for commenting on the questions. as always, full and meaningful ... I feel a fan of shooting ... again, thanks.
  14. anomalocaris
    anomalocaris 8 June 2013 08: 14 New
    Quote: bunta
    (However, as mandrels actually do, I no longer remember).

    Just like punches. Milling - heat treatment - grinding. There is no other way to make them.
    1. bunta
      bunta 8 June 2013 09: 57 New
      Quote: anomalocaris
      Just like punches. Milling - heat treatment - grinding. There is no other way to make them.

      Well, you can both gouging and turning. Well, not the point.
      1. anomalocaris
        anomalocaris 8 June 2013 10: 05 New
        Gouging - perhaps, but with the use of special devices. On turning it is unrealistic, only cylindrical and conical sections. The rifling pitch is too large to be depicted on a lathe. Itself faced it literally couple of months ago.
        1. dustycat
          dustycat 23 June 2013 14: 37 New
          Chinese was probably a stanochka.
          On the Turning Red Screw Proletariat 16k20, getting a thread pitch of 1m is not a problem - a set of regular gears would be undeterred.
  15. bunta
    bunta 8 June 2013 13: 23 New
    Quote: anomalocaris
    Too big rifling step

    And if the machine gives a high longitudinal speed of movement of the support with a very low spindle speed? It turns out the same gouging. Turn the current cutter.