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PSA “Spiker”: A Clone of the Chinese Type 56 AK

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Palmetto State Armory (PSA) makes a really wide variety of different guns, but one that they came out with a little while back that appealed to me in particular is their “Spiker”. This is a reproduction of the Chinese Type 56 stamped AK with a permanently attached underfolding bayonet. These rifles were available as semiautos directly form China until the late 1980s, when import laws (and Presidential Executive Orders) changed to prohibit their importation. The prices on those original has risen dramatically since, and there has not been any significant source of parts kits or other reproductions until now, with PSA’s release.

The Type 56 is a particularly significant model of AK in military history, as China provided them (both models with and without the fixed bayonets) to a wide array of nations and militant forces. They remain very common today in conflict zones around the world. They are also rather distinct from Russian AK patterns. The Chinese were allied with the Soviet Union early on, and received Russian technical assistance in producing milled AKs. By the time the stamped AKM was in production, however, there had been a rift in Sino-Soviet relations, and China was left to reverse engineer the stamped receiver on its own. The result was a hybrid design with some milled AK elements and some stamped AKM ones. PSA has done a remarkably good job (although not completely perfect) job of recreating this hybrid design, and they have done it at a surprisingly good price point.

For more on Chinese AK design, I have a video on the milled Chinese Type 56 here:

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