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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How many of the milled Zastava Kalashnikovs were made? Ill be doing my best to update this list, trying to get an idea of max/min production per year, and overall. Leave your serial number (and assembly number if you want), and ill add it to the list below. Out of courtesy, numbers which were sourced through various online pictures, auctions etc.. will have an X as the last #.

M70B (milled, pin barrel, fixed stock):
A-55227 (relief cut around barrel pin)
A-5536X (relief cut around barrel pin)
A-55935 (relief cut around barrel pin)
A-5623X (relief cut around barrel pin)
A-5662X (relief cut around barrel pin)
A-5791X (relief cut around barrel pin)
A-5792X (relief cut around barrel pin)
A-58146 (relief cut around barrel pin)

B-5898X (relief cut around barrel pin)
B-5986X (relief cut around barrel pin)
B-6224X (roll marked zastava rsb)
B-6266X
B-6286X (light zastava engravings on rsb)
B-7064X (light zastava engravings on rsb)
B-7100X
B-7102X
B-7128X
B-7178X

C-7690X
C-7803X
C-7850X
C-8005X
C-8437X
C-8670X
C-8688X
C-8937X
C-9300X
C-9304X
C-9120X
C-9427X
C-95269

D-9711X
D-9786X
D-10621X
D-11300X

On the M70B, so far from the data, looks like about 4 years of production, with production numbers not exceeding 113k. Also, it seems that about the first half of production was made with the relief cut around barrel pin, then it was changed to be solid in the B block for some unknown reason.

M70AB (milled, pin barrel, underfolder):
A-8283X
A-8288X
A-8323X
A-8811X
A-8975X
A-9712X
A-99920

B-10388X
B-10734X
B-10762X
B-11505X
B-11629X
B-11660X


M70 (milled, screw barrel, fixed stock):
A-13662
A-14280
A-2314X



M70A (milled, screw barrel underfolder):
A-1061X (cut receiver, looks to have been M70A)
A-2146X
A-2262X (cut receiver, looks to have been M70A)
B-31X9X (cut receiver, looks to have been M70A)
C-3795X (kit, M70A)
C-3813X (kit, M70A)
E-6353X
E-6482X


M72B (milled, pin barrel, fixed stock rpk):
A-3773X
B-2667X (relief cut around barrel pin)
B-3131X
C-46463

M65A (milled, screw barrel, fixed stock rpk):
A-1445X
B-17150
B-1930X

To fill in after more info:
B-1315X (front end, could be M70)
B-1821X (cut receiver M70/M70A)
A-2523X (relief cut around barrel pin, highly likely to be a milled M72B stub)
B-2890X (kit, looks to have been M70A1)
E-6785X (front end, from a stock mismatched "M70")
E-5789X (stub)
D-9918X ( M70B/AB? light Zastava engravings on RSB)

I have tried to get some info out of Zastava regarding years of manufacture, but received no reply about my serial number inquiry. Ideally if anyone has had any luck actually contacting them, one number from each block should be able to confirm years of production. Should be the same pattern as the sks, each number block represents a year, and the numbers roll over into subsequent years/blocks without restarting. At least that's how it's looking so far based on the data.
 
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Interesting thread. I'll be watching this one to see how it develops.
 

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Have you kept a picture of A-2523X?
It is really kind of out there by itself, without anything close in terms of serials. Is it possible that the first digit on that one is a 5 and not a 2? My personal observations/communications (before this survey was assembled) would have had me putting the relief cut at being present on only 10-20% of examples, and it makes sense to me that they were early.

Here is a little histogram I threw together:

 

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Do we know if there is a seperate serial number block for folders?
I dont think we know at this time.

Speculation: Perhaps the JNA ordered 100,000 and split it between the two models M70AB and M70B and Zastava started the numbering at 1 and 50,000 for the two models and used the standard prefix system to indicate year of manufacture?
 

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Speculation: Perhaps the JNA ordered 100,000 and split it between the two models M70AB and M70B and Zastava started the numbering at 1 and 50,000 for the two models and used the standard prefix system to indicate year of manufacture?
This is probably not correct. I found an M70AB with A-9712x
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I dont think we know at this time.

Speculation: Perhaps the JNA ordered 100,000 and split it between the two models M70AB and M70B and Zastava started the numbering at 1 and 50,000 for the two models and used the standard prefix system to indicate year of manufacture?
I think two models had their own separate serial number sequences. I have seen M70AB serials in the A-89XXX and B-100XXX range, far out of the spectrum of anything we have observed on the list above.


Have you kept a picture of A-2523X?
It is really kind of out there by itself, without anything close in terms of serials. Is it possible that the first digit on that one is a 5 and not a 2? My personal observations/communications (before this survey was assembled) would have had me putting the relief cut at being present on only 10-20% of examples, and it makes sense to me that they were early.
The A-25k came from jonpo's thread on Yugo variations, for some reason the early A blocks are very rare to see, perhaps they are still in storage in a country that has not exported their rifles, or they were decommissioned early on for some reason?

 

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I also have (and to throw a monkey wrench in your idea)

A-99920 - M70 slabside FOLDER
C-46463 - M72 slabside.

Remember that the milled rifles were NOT marked with a model number, so it seems they would have avoided duplicates.
I dont think it matters if the rifles were marked with a model or not. The model would have been obvious looking at the gun (at least before it was cut). Also, if the handguards are original, one can usually tell an underfolder from a fixed by the impression the folder leaves on the lower handguard.

If we assume the M70AB and the M70B guns were introduced in the same year, then the 'A' marked examples of both types would have been made in the first year of production suggesting over 100,000 M70AB rifles were made the first year as well as ~58,000 M70B rifles.
 

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I dont think it matters if the rifles were marked with a model or not. The model would have been obvious looking at the gun.

If we assume the M70AB and the M70B guns were introduced in the same year, then the 'A' marked examples of both types would have been made in the first year of production so over 100,000 M70AB rifles were made the first year as well as ~58,000 M70B rifles.
That doesn't always work when dealing with serial numbers. Especially when doing an inventory or paperwork. 1LT Ivan just writes "M70" and everything is thrown off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
With no back half, how do we know this is from an M70B and not an M70AB?
It may be possible, though I have never seen an M70AB with the barrel pin recess before. Im trying to find M70AB serial numbers for a future list as well, only time will tell if the early M70AB's had the recess as well. None of the A or B-block M70ABs I have seen have the barrel pin recess cut, but the recess cut carried into the M70B B-block as well as all recorded A-blocks. Perhaps the M70AB production was started after the barrel pin recess had been eliminated on the M70B? Just some food for thought.
 

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That doesn't always work when dealing with serial numbers. Especially when doing an inventory or paperwork. 1LT Ivan just writes "M70" and everything is thrown off.
1LT Ivan probably doesnt know what the model is called. However the engineer who designed it and the workers who are assembling them on any given day probably have a much better idea.

That said, I would guess the stamped serials are more important to the factory initially for inventory purposes, and later on (after the weapon is issued-out) for identifying potential Q/C issues if a bunch of defective guns are sent back by 1LT Ivan. But who really knows...
 

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1LT Ivan probably doesnt know what the model is called. However the engineer who designed it and the workers who built it probably have a much better idea. That said, I would guess the stamped serials are more important to the factory initially for inventory purposes, and later on (after the weapon is issued-out) for potentially Q/C issues. But who really knows...
Exactly. Having two "A-12345"s out there, even if they are a different model.

Serial numbers are just as important (or even more so) outside the factory as they are inside. Everyone from the soldier, to the guy with the Arms room keys, to the headquarters of the entire JNA keeps track of the serial number(s).

Point being that its not likily they are going to have duplicates, so you have to fit your production numbers for ALL models into the confines.
 

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Exactly. Having two "A-12345"s out there, even if they are a different model.

Serial numbers are just as important (or even more so) outside the factory as they are inside. Everyone from the soldier, to the guy with the Arms room keys, to the headquarters of the entire JNA keeps track of the serial number(s).

Point being that its not likily they are going to have duplicates, so you have to fit your production numbers for ALL models into the confines.
Seems reasonable...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Exactly. Having two "A-12345"s out there, even if they are a different model.

Serial numbers are just as important (or even more so) outside the factory as they are inside. Everyone from the soldier, to the guy with the Arms room keys, to the headquarters of the entire JNA keeps track of the serial number(s).

Point being that its not likily they are going to have duplicates, so you have to fit your production numbers for ALL models into the confines.
So it could be that M70AB serial numbers start off where M70B's leave off. For example, last recorded M70B serial number in the A-block is A-58146, so M70AB numbers could pick up in that same A block later on, maybe starting off at A-59000 and lasting until A-100XXX, with around 40k or so rifles being produced in year 1 for the M70AB. Same for B block, at the time of this posting the last recorded B block is 7178X, so M70AB block B could start off at B-72000, with the latest number I have seen being B-103XXX producing about 30K +/- on year 2 for the M70AB. It wouldn't even necessarily have to start the same year as the M70B A-blocks, as this sequence is automatically reserved for future production, maybe a few years down the line. This makes the M70AB production per year seem more reasonable than 100k+ per year, with this new theory, it brings M70AB production to around 30-40k per year give or take some.
 

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So it could be that M70AB serial numbers start off where M70B's leave off. For example, last recorded M70B serial number in the A-block is A-58146, so M70AB numbers could pick up in that same A block later on, maybe starting off at A-59000 and lasting until A-100XXX, with around 40k or so rifles being produced in year 1 for the M70AB. Same for B block, at the time of this posting the last recorded B block is 7178X, so M70AB block B could start off at B-72000, with the latest number I have seen being B-103XXX producing about 30K +/- on year 2 for the M70AB. It wouldn't even necessarily have to start the same year as the M70B A-blocks, as this sequence could be reserved for future production, maybe a few years down the line. This makes the M70AB production per year seem more reasonable than 100k+ per year, with this new theory, it brings M70AB production to around 30-40k per year give or take some.
Zastava in Kragujevac is/was a huge facility. In the early to mid 1970s, they were producing 30-40K SKSs a year and that would have been more or less simultaneously with the milled M70s. The SKS series had at least three models M59, M59/66, and M59/66A which were all produced within a single alpha-numeric series where the prefix indicates year and the number counts up, after producing the thing so long they exhausted the letters at their disposal, they went back around to 'A' in 1987. This seems to be how the M56 and M57 were treated as well.

One would assume that the M70 series would be treated the same way, however the M70AB1s (slabside stamped receiver underfolders) are letter prefixed A, B, and C with a 5-digit number. I would doubt that those numbers were not previously assigned to a milled gun (nor were the AB1s marked with a model), so it makes me think that the M70 series was treated differently. At the very least, the milled and stamped receiver guns were treated differently from each other, perhaps variants within each of those categories were not.

In 1982, the M70 series dropped the alphabetical prefix. Instead, the year was put straight on the trunnion, as was the model name, and the serial number.
 

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Also, the serials on the M72AB1 trunnions are quite low, suggesting that they were not numbered as a part of serial M72B1 production.





 
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