Introduced by Century Arms a few years ago, the WASR-M, like its standard WASR (Wassenaar Arrangement Semi-automatic Rifle) older brothers, are all essentially semi-auto variants of the Cugir Arms Factory’s PM md. 63/65 series AKMs, licensed Kalashs that the Romanians made by the hundreds of thousands over the past half-century.
WASRs have been popular on the U.S. import market for years, and Century made them 922R-compliant by adding furniture, mags, pistons, and triggers. Heck, when renting an AK for a class at Gunsite, the only in-house choice is a WASR. It’s a budget answer to more spendy Arsenals or Zastavas still made by folks who understand Kalashnikovs. Century has splashed in 9mm AK water with Cugir before, having marketed first the Draco NAK-9 pistol and the newly announced Draco 9S in recent years.
While the Dracos are fun, those wanting a full-sized stock and barrel are left out of the party, which brings us to the WASR-M. The significant difference in the WASR-M variant is that, instead of being a gas-piston operated rifle chambered in 7.62×39, it is a direct-blowback-action pistol-caliber carbine chambered in 9mm NATO that uses doublestack Glock 17/18/19 mags.
Ladies and gentlemen, the WASR-M, made by Cugir in Romania and imported by Century Arms of Vermont, which added enough U.S. parts to make the ATF happy. (Photo: Chris Eger).
If you miss the gear, don’t worry. Well. Maybe worry…
U.S. Palm founder, Robert Anderson, waved the white flag last August citing a “downsizing economy, industry instability, and internal factors” but the company’s social media page last week teased a zombie-like rebirth before making it official that, in association with Century Arms, the Palm is back in business.
Besides its distinctive waffle mags and grips, the combined effort with Century is billed as helping to launch a number of designs and prototypes that never made it to market. (Photo: US Palm)
Now people have mixed feelings about CAI, but apparently USP will still be doing things the right way, so that’s a win.
Hey, maybe they will even carry some of these custom aspen/poplar AK forends that have been all over social media lately. Talk about an aesthetic that is in the eye of the beholder…
A couple of URD SBR builds from Jim Fuller’s Rifle Dynamics in Las Vegas. The top rifle is a Pacnoir barrel, the bottom was done with a Vepr barrel and a refinished Romanian wood foregrip.
“The 74 URD, the fighting rifle perfected, no matter how you configure it the size weight and handling characteristics of this rifle performs beyond all others,” they say.
According to RD, the guns shoot just fine for the shorty barrels.
(“W)e have yet to get chronograph readings on these but they are hitting man-sized targets out to 500 yards, with the 11.5″ barrel the velocity loss is minimal. With 60 grn Wolf they hold about 2MOA, with Hornaday 1MOA @100yards.”
Designed to be the Russian military’s new light machine gun, the 5.45x39mm RPK (Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova)-16 sprouted from the Rostec state-owned Kalashnikov Group last year and is expected to be placed in service with the Rosgvardiya (think National Guard), internal affairs troops and Army to replace older RPKs.
It draws from the AK-12 program and comes in a few different barrel lengths while including a folding stock that, when swung shut, drops the overall length to just 25-inches. Weight without the detachable bipod and mag is 8.8-pounds.
A classic Molot VEPR in .308 with the long 22-inch barrel and Counter Sniper Mil-Dot 4-16x44mm optic with illuminated reticle. Now more expensive than ever!
Back in January, I spoke at length with people over at Molot who were working hard on extending their exports of VEPR rifles and shotguns to the U.S. They were hopeful that the new Trump administration would be friendly to lifting some sanctions on Russian-based companies. Russian-made firearms were popular export items to the states until the conflict in the Ukraine and the resulting international backlash triggered a host of official embargos.
Per figures from the International Trade Commission, 204,788 firearms of all kinds were imported from Russia in 2013.
This figure plunged to just 9,556 in 2015 — mainly from Molot, the only large firearms maker not named in sanctions.
Some are hopeful the new management in Washington will be able to lift barriers to overseas firearm imports erected over the years, though the going could be slow.
President Donald Trump on Friday said it was “very early” to tell if the United States should lift sanctions on Russia, but that he seeks a “great relationship” with Putin and Russia.
On the campaign trail, Trump’s platform on trade concentrated on American jobs while floating the possibility of a tariff on all imported goods to help ease the current trade deficit. However, the Republican’s position on gun rights promised to curtail federal gun bans and limits. The two concepts, when balanced against one another, leaves open the possibility of action on foreign-made guns currently off-limits to buyers in the U.S.
I talked to industry insiders on both sides of the pond, the ATF, and the International Trade Commission to get the scoop on if bans going back to the 1960s could be reshaped.
Russian blogger Ilya Varlamov got a chance recently to visit the Kalashnikov Concern in the Ural Mountain town of Izhevsk to take a tour of the Motherland’s great arms works. Founded originally in 1807 by Tsar Alexander I to build muskets for his immense army gearing up to fight Napoleon, the plant has remained in production for over two centuries, with minor upgrades.
Besides the traditional AK-series rifles (in their most modern AK-103 and AK-12 variants shown below, hold your horses), the plant also makes Saiga-branded rifles and shotguns for export and Molot “animal farm” rifles for civilian sales in Russia.
Oh yeah, you know what I like….
I wonder how many of these are California legal
The AK-12. Test firing these must be a hard job, but Ivan has to do it.
We hear nothing feels better than a Vityaz-SN sub machine gun right off the line
Can we please get these in the U.S., complete with EoTechs. And yes, that is a Saiga 12 sp.340– dig that muzzy brakejob, but Ivan has to do it.