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AK-63F: Hungary’s Last Military Kalashnikov

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In 1978, as AMD-65 rifles in service were starting to get worn out, FÉG launched a program to refurbish the old original AKM-63 rifles with new wood furniture for new military service. Conversions began in 1980, and when the supply of old rifles ran out, the factory began making new ones to the same basic pattern. However, production was slow, and by 1982 only about 50,000 had been produced (about 35,500 for Hungarian use and another 14,500 for export). At that point, complaints had built up about the length of the rifles, as people were used to works with the quite compact AMD-65.

The solution was to introduce the AK-63D, a model of the rifle with the same 16″ barrel but with a Soviet-style underfolding stock instead of the fixed wooden stock. These replaced the AK-63F in production until 2002, when the fixed-stocks guns went back into production using leftover parts. This production appears to have continued until 2016, with Hungary selling the rifles to states in the Middle East. The exact details are still classified by the Hungarian government, but a 2018 Conflict Armament Research report identified 166 AK-63Fs captured from Isis. Some of these late-production guns have come into the United States as parts kits, including this one (which I purchased from Atlantic Firearms).

The Hungarian military decided to adopt the Czech Bren 2 rifle in 2011, bringing its use of Kalashnikovs to an end. The AK-63F rifles still in service today are expected to be all replaced by 2030.

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