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Discussion Starter #1
I can't find a good comparison of these two rifles furniture cosmetically. Specifically I want to know how the polish AKM (not tantal) palm swell handguards and Bakelite pistol grips compare to the respective Russian furniture. I have the Polish furniture on hand and if it is relatively close I will use it.
 

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Well the Russian stuff was coated with lacquer. Polish wood wasnt... The polish bakelite tends to be a lighter orangish color was well.
 

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Here are my Polish and Soviet LHG and PG's.

There are some differences as the Polish LHG is late (spring) and the Tula is early. As badkarma88 stated, the Soviet wood is coated...typically with shellac. The Polish are finished with BLO. You can readily see the difference. Slightly different shape, especially at the underside at the back end.

The Soviet PG's *usually* have #'s on them, my Polish does not. The left one is Tula x-x and the right one Izzy x/x.

Robert







 

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Discussion Starter #4
That is exactly what I was hoping to see, thank you for the pics and info guys. Besides the numbers present/color on the soviet Bakelite grips, are there any differences in the mold or shape?
 

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I *believe* the basic shapes of the PG's are the same. Note the different shape where it meets the TG and the shape at the bottom. The main difference I see is the inverted checkering on my Polish grip.

It was also mentioned that Polish grips are more "orangish" in color. Looking at the Polish pic thread, I did not see many (any?) grips that are so dark like mine. Looks more like a Romy. This is from a #'s matching AK-Builder kit. If any one knows more info regarding this, it is appreciated!

Robert

Dark bakelite Polish (?) from 1971 AK-Builder kit. Is this a Polish PG?


Mid/late production Tula 16-2 and Polish(?)
 

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Yes that is a Polish one. They used a darker color PG before going to the orange and orangish red.
image.jpg
Not the best pic, but left to right 66 Polish AKM, orange grip that came with original barreled 81 Polish underfolder, and right one is to a original barreled Tantal which is currently out of the porch drying as I just painted the receiver.
 

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It's also important to note that the wood laminate that was used seems to reveal different qualities. The birch that the Russians used has a dramatic reflective shimmer in sunlight. Shifting it back and forth in sunlight causes it the have a unique "chameleon effect", where the light and dark grain will reverse themselves, and the light color will glow as it it is self-illuminated. It's quite beautiful.

The Polish wood does not have this quality. It is made of beech. The grain is what it is, and appears dull by contrast. I also believe the Polish wood to be a little harder and more resistant to damage.

Additionally, new Russian furniture smells like BBQ ribs, which has resulted in many an addicted Russian wood collector who spend hours sniffing their stocks and handguards like paint-huffers with a can of gold Krylon.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's also important to note that the wood laminate that was used seems to reveal different qualities. The birch that the Russians used has a dramatic reflective shimmer in sunlight. Shifting it back and forth in sunlight causes it the have a unique "chameleon effect", where the light and dark grain will reverse themselves, and the light color will glow as it it is self-illuminated. It's quite beautiful.

The Polish wood does not have this quality. It is made of beech. The grain is what it is, and appears dull by contrast. I also believe the Polish wood to be a little harder and more resistant to damage.

Additionally, new Russian furniture smells like BBQ ribs, which has resulted in many an addicted Russian wood collector who spend hours sniffing their stocks and handguards like paint-huffers with a can of gold Krylon.
This is really interesting stuff! Thank you guys for posting!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I *believe* the basic shapes of the PG's are the same. Note the different shape where it meets the TG and the shape at the bottom. The main difference I see is the inverted checkering on my Polish grip.

It was also mentioned that Polish grips are more "orangish" in color. Looking at the Polish pic thread, I did not see many (any?) grips that are so dark like mine. Looks more like a Romy. This is from a #'s matching AK-Builder kit. If any one knows more info regarding this, it is appreciated!

Robert

Dark bakelite Polish (?) from 1971 AK-Builder kit. Is this a Polish PG?


Mid/late production Tula 16-2 and Polish(?)
Awesome pics! I didn't realize polish made grips with inverted checkering. Now another question. Is there a way to differentiate between a Polish and a Romanian grip with inverted checkering? I have about 150 Bakelite grips and I noticed some different patterns in the checkering here and there.
 

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Dark bakelite Polish (?) from 1971 AK-Builder kit. Is this a Polish PG?
No, it's Romanian. Robert, compare with these images and see what you think. Be sure to take it off and check the interior as well.

Romanian grips usually have inverted checkering and are the same width as Russian grips.

Romy:









Polish grips are usually wider, and have regular checkering.

Polish:







 

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No, it's Romanian. Robert, compare with these images and see what you think. Be sure to take it off and check the interior as well.

Romanian grips usually have inverted checkering and are the same width as Russian grips.
Thanks Doug!

I thought it was a Romy. The second PG in the first Romy pic is identical! Looks like the one that came on my "G" kit. The inverted checkering was the red flag for me, along with the deep dark coloring. I have one of the reddish as well as the dark one. I also see the sharper edged interior ribbing on the Polish vs rounded edges on the Romys. Great pics and info there!

To stay on topic, it looks like the Romy's are sized closer (same narrower width) to the Soviet PG but has inverted checkering while the Polish raised checkering is more like a Soviet but the PG is fatter. And no mold numbers.

Awesome pics! I didn't realize polish made grips with inverted checkering. Now another question. Is there a way to differentiate between a Polish and a Romanian grip with inverted checkering? I have about 150 Bakelite grips and I noticed some different patterns in the checkering here and there.
I guess they don't! Not sure if my grips were mixed up by me, received that way or maybe an alien abduction. With Doug's info, I have just completed a round of PG musical chairs. I think they are correct now!

Robert
 

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Robert, it's a gorgeous grip, BTW.

Romania has had more variations in colors than almost anybody. Poland is a close second, I think.
 

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Because of a discussion in another thread, I took another look at the PG posted here that came in an AKB Polish kit. It was presumed my PG is Romanian but after a closer look, it seems to have all the attributes of a Polish.

I think I have one of the early dark Polish PG that Marcus had mentioned. It has the inverted checkering, squared off inner ribs, TG relief cut through and the squared off PG tip at the lower end. It is the darker PG to the right in all of the pics.

Robert

Romy/left, Polish/right, inverted checkering


squared off inner ribs


TG relief cut through


squared off PG tip at the lower end
 

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Polish grips are usually wider, and have regular checkering.
I know this is an older thread but I've been hunting for an answer....Are polish AKM/PMKMS bakelite grips ALL the slightly wider style or is their variation? Usually wider certainly implies variation.
 

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Very early Polish grips are thin, like most bakelite grips and do have inverted checkering.
I have only seen/had the early Polish bakes in the black/orange mottling and in deep red. I have never seen one of the orange grips that were thin.

Every Romanian grip I've seen has had the rounded section for the TG cut out and a "pointy" pinky rest in the above post.

The later Polish bakes are the wider type and come from a pale orange to dark red, with very consistent color to very mottled.
I consider the these Polish grips the most comfortable bakelites available though I have larger hands.
 

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Z recto is correct on this. Early Polish grips are thinner and had inverted grips most were of the beautiful dark Bakelite. It was always believed that this was not the case. When the early 60's hardwood AKM kits started coming in. This thought had been debunked. Many grips prior to this coming out of Poland from several people I know had these same grips and they were being dismissed as Romanian yet they had Polish proof stampings on them. A lot more going on with those rifles. Hardwood butt stocks and hardwood lowers, never any hardwood uppers though. Strangely marked sight leafs like Romanians but had groove machined on underside. All blued. I believe there is a somewhat definitive time line with the bluing and the hardwood but most of the matching numbers kits had the furniture switch around for reasons unknown.

Most more recent Polish Bakelite was orange to reddish and some being on the light yellowish side and all fat( Looking for yellowish grip if anyone has one, I unfortunately passed up on two already) Most of the armorers kits have the orangish grips yet they are of a matt sheen as compared with most issued grips that are of a shinier sheen There is a lot more neat stuff going on with the Polish equipment than people give credit too.
Not sure about serializing lower hand guards. Zane has some for sale that are serialized and this is the first time I have seen that on Polish AKM/ AKMS rifles anyway. When lowers for use on AKM/AKMS and wz 88 for wz74 Pallad, those whether Bakelite or early laminate wood were serialized to the launcher not the rifle.
Just to round off, plus as has been mentioned and can be seen in pics here that the differences in Polish laminate is different types of wood and glue as well as how thick these materials were , as well as different shaping. No Polish wood was factory shellacked and this was only done by recipients of rifles as Poland has sold rifles to many countries. To summarize Polish and Russian furniture are very different and quite easy to spot.
 

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This is correct, Polish grips have not always been extra-wide. Like everybody else, they pretty much started off making a very close copy of the standard Soviet pattern. However, the average guy would most likely not run across one made that early at the average local gun show.

There are also great numbers of very dark plum-colored Polish bakelite grips (from the mid-late 70's into the very early 80's time frame) floating around out there, and those have the later fat width like the later orange grips have. The lighter orange stuff may be more common to find now, but a lot of it's just because that's what was left as new in factory storage and military ZIP supplies when the factory shuttered.

I am a bit surprised that people commonly misidentify Polish made grips for Romanian grips, and vice versa. There are many design differences besides the width, as Z-Recto kindly pointed out, to differentiate them by.
 

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Very early Polish grips are thin, like most bakelite grips and do have inverted checkering.
I was unaware they had inverted checkering, are you positive?
 

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That black/orange grip I posted earlier in the thread has all the earmarks of a Polish and has the inverted checkering.

Robert
 

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That black/orange grip I posted earlier in the thread has all the earmarks of a Polish and has the inverted checkering.

Robert
Roger that, Rob, your grip could certainly be Polish. But I'm concerned about this inverted checkering thing.

I was just trying to keep in mind that early Romanian grips didn't have pointy looking pommels and those unique circular trigger guard strap cutouts, or the rounded contours at the top inner areas. Those were features they seem to have acquired at some point in the 1970's. The earlier Romanian grips also had beefier top roots where they contact the receiver bottom, much like you see on Polish grips.
 
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