AKM Rate Retarder - Questions
I was recently asked to identify a certain part of the common rate retarder assembly found in many 1,0mm stamped AKM and AK74 carbines. I looked through my drawing library and found nothing, and it was at that time I realized that I had never seen the individual part drawings of this assembly - I never had a reason to look since I catalogued all of the drawings a few years ago. I have all of the Izhevsk parts manufacturing drawings for the AKM and the Type 3 buttstock and underfolder carbine and even in the assembly drawings of the AKM this retarder assembly is neither called out nor shown. Some of the blueprints have revisions as late as 1974 so all should be current until that year. Also, none of the servicing manuals have any inspection criteria for parts of this assembly. We all know that its presence is not absolutely necessary for the AKM type to run correctly, and my observation is that it can make a slight change/stabilization in harmonics to possibly improve reliability during automatic firing.
Which made me ask myself a question; is the rate retarder a Tula development that may have eventually found its way to Izhevsk design, or was it not developed until the mid 1970's with the appearance of the AK74? This is not a critical question of course but it's one of those things that (kind of) begs an answer. Any input?