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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
US AK .223/5.56mm Rifle and Pistol Imports

1980


  • Valmet M71S
  • Valmet M76S
  • Valmet M78S (very small number of .223 examples in US)
  • IWI Galil AR, ARM imports
  • Norinco Type 84S, S1, S2, S3, S5
  • Type 84S-2 is rarest
  • PolyTech AKS/223
  • Type 87S or Type 86-7 long barrel “match” rifles imported in 1988, had unique flash hider and bipod combination and both 5.56 and 7.62x39 observed, most examples appear to be PolyTech made but some are purported to have Norinco markings. Probably less than 200 imported due likely to the unpopularity of 7.62x39 at the time.
Individual examples of Zastava M80(Mitchell imported) and 5.56 Type 81 rifles were imported on eve of the 1989 import ban.

1990


MAK-90, NHM-90, NHM-91, BWK-92 Several sub variants of Chinese rifles with varying barrel lengths and receiver types brought in 1990-1994 until an amendment to an existing Trade Agreement with China disallowed continued imports of Chinese manufactured handguns and rifles, ‘sporting’ shotguns were eventually allowed to be imported again several years later. BATFE arms smuggling cases involving China and executive actions are also an element.
  • PAR-3 Pump action ak rifle briefly made in Romania
  • SAR-3 made in Romania imported by Century Arms, came in 1998-2003 until replaced by WASR series, export law in Romania and BATFE rule changes required reconfiguration
2000

  • Saiga .223 made by Izhmash imported by various vendors until banned by executive order in 2014
  • Vepr .223 made by Molot imported as several variants by a number of importers until 2017 when US Congress sanctions on Russia expanded to Molot
  • SLR-106 series of rifles and pistols Arsenal Bulgaria (and ISD probably) made for import by KVAR until 2016 or earlier. Mostly done in one single production run.
  • SLR106UR, SLR106FR, SLR106CR, SLR106 pistol
  • WASR-3 imported roughly 2004-2008 ceased import due to quality control complaints and limited magazine production
  • 5.56 Champion pistols from Romania imported briefly, likely 2005-2007
  • STG-2003C is a STG941 clone imported by IO from Romania
2010

  • Archer 5.56 (Beryl sporter) made in Poland by FB Radom imported by IO/Royal Tiger 2012-15
  • Zastava PAP M85PV pistol made in Serbia imported by Century late 2012, switched to M85NP(with AR15 magwell) variant in 2014 to simplify magazine supply
  • M90NP Zastava Rifle imported probably as a pistol despite 18.5” barrel, briefly imported 2015-2016
  • IWI Galil ACE 5.56 pistols and rifles imported with partial assembly in US starting 2017
2020

  • Zastava ZPAP85 (M85PV) pistol reimported by Zastava USA
  • SAM5 very limited import in fall 2020 from Bulgaria
  • Mini-Beryl Pistol imported from FB Poland in early 2021 by ArmsofAmerica
  • FB Radom Beryl M1 223S rifle first imported 3/21 by AoA/Atlantic Firearms partnership
  • M90PS imported beginning 6/21 from Serbia. 18.5 in barrel w adjustable gas.
  • WBP MiniJack 556 Pistol and 556SR Rifle imported from Poland starting early 2022



Post Scriptum: Many of these guns had quality control issues and nearly all take proprietary magazines. However there are many merits of an AK that can reliably shoot 5.56; they can be accurate and soft shooting and 5.56/.223 isn't going anywhere. Purportedly it was plinking with a .223 Valmet that got Marc Krebs into AKs.
 

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Good write up.

WASR-3 quality control - I blame the Century monkeys.







Does anyone here own a Champion pistol? I haven't seen one in a very long time. I would imagine those would be good to go with all imported parts and a factory cut mag well.
 
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Thanks for starting the thread. What do members think about setting up a 5.56 AK subforum in the AK Variants section? They're a non-traditional variant made by a variety of countries, there's a group of dedicated owners, and it makes sense to locate all the 5.56-specific discussion to one spot instead of spreading it around as an outlier in several country-specific subforums.
 

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Great thread! Would easily make a great sticky, and a separate forum for 5.56x45 AK variants is not a bad idea. I have had more than a few people contact me lately about the Norinco 84S as people are starting to find out how great a rifle it was/is and in a common NATO caliber.
 

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Thanks for starting the thread. What do members think about setting up a 5.56 AK subforum in the AK Variants section? They're a non-traditional variant made by a variety of countries, there's a group of dedicated owners, and it makes sense to locate all the 5.56-specific discussion to one spot instead of spreading it around as an outlier in several country-specific subforums.
Good idea. It would make things simpler. Many of us that own 5.56 AKs have had different ones from the above list over the years and it would be easier to share info.
 

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Good write up.

WASR-3 quality control - I blame the Century monkeys.







Does anyone here own a Champion pistol? I haven't seen one in a very long time. I would imagine those would be good to go with all imported parts and a factory cut mag well.
I love mine, swapped out the rear trunnion and upturned the charging handle like on an aims-74. It's got a light colored surplus dong grip and gas tube cover now, very fun to shoot and is gonna get form 1'd eventually. I'm a big fan of the 5.56/.223 ak's, got a bunch of them

Gun Firearm Rifle Air gun Trigger
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Its up to the mods but 5.56 ak kinda are the ginger step child of AKs but lately theyre becoming much more popular, thats where a lot the Bulgarian 74 kits have gone and the prices on certain guns on the list that were 'economy' priced for years has shot up at least on gb. I blame the limited imports now on a combination of bad marketing and disagreements the manufacturers and importers have. The mammoth in the room of course is mags but I've already made many posts about that and on specific guns like the Valmets there are already stickied threads in the apropriate forums. One good sign is that while the steal factory mags have all but dried up we know have 2 going on 3 sources of polymer mags coming in:pufgun, Beryl-WPB, and probably ACunity from bosnia which work in 74 magwell style guns. I'm still amazed as many Wieger mags as there are got imported considering the parent platform Stg 940 was never mass produced.
 
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The Weigers were primarily for the Romanian 3 series 5.56 rifles AFAIK.

However the mags arrived long after the rifles were sold and Century sat on them

Century dumped the Weigers on their site and Gun Mag Warehouse about 5-6 years ago for $15-$20 a pop.

Now they are scarce again.
 

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The Weigers were primarily for the Romanian 3 series 5.56 rifles AFAIK.

However the mags arrived long after the rifles were sold and Century sat on them

Century dumped the Weigers on their site and Gun Mag Warehouse about 5-6 years ago for $15-$20 a pop.

Now they are scarce again.
Same happened with the M85/M90 mags....I bought 10 @ $7 each, then went out and found an M85PV pistol ( for $390!!)

Looking at prices now, shoulda kept some...

I have gone through a bunch of 5.56 AKs over the years, always end up selling them after awhile...just to try another down the road....

1st was a MAK, was in it a whole $150 because no mags...ended up finding some in my LGS's junk mag box for $10 ( granted this was like 18 years ago!)
Have had two Golanis ( yes, it took two times to figure out QC was shit ), another Mak, SAR-3, Saiga and the Yugo M85PV.
 

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I love mine, swapped out the rear trunnion and upturned the charging handle like on an aims-74. It's got a light colored surplus dong grip and gas tube cover now, very fun to shoot and is gonna get form 1'd eventually. I'm a big fan of the 5.56/.223 ak's, got a bunch of them

View attachment 292287
That is a really nice example.
 

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I have a handful or two of 5.56 AK's.

Built the majority but have a couple of factory and some one-off builds too.

Need a couple more parts and some mill work for Zastava M72 in 5.56 and a M76 clone in 5.56.

Had the barrels turned recently and will start assembly soon.
Need a couple of Zastava 5.56 bullet guides.

Hope to get those in a few weeks.
 

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The semi auto receiver ed barrel assembly was made in Romania.
The final firearm assembly was done in the USA by IO.

And of course it contained zero DDR/East German parts.

Many of the partially assembled kits were sold off by Centerfire.
Barrel assemblies, bolts and carriers.

They had assembly flaws such as improper headspace, no concentric muzzle threads and other flaws made by IO.
 
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