Pakistani AK Bolt Actions

A couple of days ago I posted a photo of a crude AK rifle that had been turned into a bolt action. A few readers noted that they saw guns like it when they were serving in Afghanistan.

These gun appear to have been mass manufactured, probably in the semi-autonomous tribal region of Pakistan. REMOV emailed in these photos of another example …

They are more sophisticated than I imagined. As you can see, custom magazines have also been produced. The rifle base is based on the AKM. The bolt action appears to be inspired by the Enfield P14.

This gun actually makes plenty of sense. The tribal regions do build automatic AK rifles chambered in full power cartridges such as 8mm Mauser but a bolt action chambered in such a cartridge would be easier to build, lighter to carry and safer to shoot. Any operator familiar with the AK would be comfortable with its ergonomics. In fact, in the United States and Europe, AR-15s can be purchased as bolt action rifles. Many competition shooters use bolt action rifles that are much inspired by the AR-15 ergonomics.

Photo from Accurate Shooter

[ Many thanks to REMOV for sending me info and photos. ]

UPDATE: This video shot in Multan, Pakistan, shows a woman handling a bolt action AK.

Thanks to overzero for the link.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • rubbershotgun

    i for one would not mind owning a straight pull bolt action AR-15

  • Crabula

    Holy Damn! I was right. The Afghanies have been reading your blog Steve…

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2009/06/26/anyone-ever-seen-a-bolt-action-rifle-with-ar-15-magazine/

    😉

  • das

    but why keep the gas tube? ..it only adds to the weight.

  • Tony Chow

    Actually, that black AR-15 you pictured is not a bolt action gun. It’s a semi-auto AR-15 with a side charging handle. It’s particularly popular High Power competition shooters, whose “spaceguns” are often equipped with adjustable cheekpieces that prevent the use of the T-handle in the back of the action. Other shooters may find this feature to be an ergonomic improvement for other reasons.

    Real straight-pull ARs are typically only found in the UK, where semi-autos are simply banned, and they look rather different. In contrast to the side charging handles on American rifles, these handles are located much closer to the trigger hand, thus allowing faster cycling during rapid fire sequences in Britain’s version of High Power shooting. Hence the extension bar that’s mounted between the handle and the bolt carrier. This isn’t necessary for guns that can cycle automatically:

    http://www.riflesintheuk.com/ar15.htm

    • Tony, it is bolt action because the gas system has been disabled.

  • Crabula

    das,
    Thats a really good point. If the objective is to merely copy the ergonomics of the kalashnikov, then there really is no reason to mount the gas block or the gas tube. Ergonomics end at the front grip. Unless, of course, they are catering to users who enjoy burning their hands gripping the gas tube and want to capture the same majical experience with a bolt action.

    Another reason for the inclusion of the gas tube could just be that the people who manufactured this gun (Pakistanies, according to Steve) are just finickey weirdos about that kind of stuff. I just finished reading G&A’s “Complete Book of the AK47” and there was an article about all of the different AK variants commonly found in Afghanistan. According to the writer, the cheapest, crappiest kalashnikovs available were Pakistani knock-offs. The welds sucked, headspacing was never checked, nails with the ends pounded flat were substituted for rivets, and the range marks on the rear sight were filed in freehand and were usually crooked and did not match any actual range. Interestingly, quality and precision was completely sacrificed, but immense effort was put into copying the proper look of the rifle. The author noted that they would counterfit stamped recievers by milling a reciever with the proper stamped reciever dimples milled over the magazine well. Additionally, they would add forged russian factory markings to their guns.

    While the outward fit and finish of this gun looks much better than that of the guns described in that article, the manufacturers (Pakistanies, according to Steve) may have included the gas tube to copy the overall look of the gun. Really, it’s no different than companies like GSG selling a .22 rifle slapped inside of a shell that looks suspiciously like an MP5.

    In the post on the gun from a couple of days ago, people kept commenting that the user would recieve a whole bunch of hot gasses to the face. In the second picture of this gun you can see that the opening in the sight block has either been filled in, or was manufactured without an opening.

    That brings up a far more interesting question. How many, if any, parts on this gun are recycled components off of a kalashnikov variant, and how many are newly manufactured specifically for this gun?

    At first glance, the stock, rear sight block, gas tube components, and front sight are all up for debate. The grips on this one look a little fancy, and that reciever is obviously newly manufactured. At first glance, the one posted a couple of days ago just looked like a crappy ak with all the guts removed and a bolt action welded into the reciever. But upon further inspection, the recievers from both guns appear to match. I did a little google search for kalashnikovs chambered in 8mm mauser. I only turned up one variant, and none of it’s parts seemed to match those on the gun pictured here. I could be wrong, but it would appear that these guns are almost completely scratch built.

  • Don

    I second das’ comment.

    It would be a lean little rifle if they got rid of the gas tube.

    Maybe it was for looks? without the gas tube it wouldn’t look anything like an AK? Only thing the gas tube is doing there is holding the rear sight up high enough for the factory front sight.

    I’d bust off the gas tube, cut off that booster looking thing in the front, put on a tang style peep and a bipod on it. It’d be a killer little scout rifle at a one or two hundred yards.

    God damn that would be just about ugly enough an AK for me to love…

    -D

  • Tipsy Tom

    Is it just me or does it have holes in the top of the gas tube. Almost like some type of insane muzzle brake or ported barrel?

  • Lance

    It looks like that AK is .303 caliber and uses Bren mags.

  • Here’s a short video of a woman handling a 8mm Mauser AK in Multan, Pakistan in 2006 .

    • overzero, great find!

  • Gir

    thanks for doing the research! wasnt aware there was a market for AK bolt actions

  • Charlie

    It looks like they left the gas tube on because removing it would leave a hole in the barrel. It appears to be customized from a typical Ak lower, removing the gas tube would have involved a considerable more work then needs to be done. I maybe be wrong but it appears that they poked holes in the top of the gas tube. I highly doubt the Pakistani’s or the Afghani’s care that much about the cosmetic appearance of the weapon.

  • Crabula

    Charlie,
    Look closely. I could be wrong, but I don’t see anything “typical” about that lower. The sides are all smooth and shiney and, though the picture is a little blurry, I don’t see any of the pins and rivets visible on the side of a typical AK. Also that magazine is far too big to fit in a standard AK magwell.

    The pics are a little blurry so it is hard to tell, but the gas tubes on both appear to be the standard ported style of AK gas tube. I’m not entirely 100% on that one, because, either my eyes are playing tricks on me, or the tube on this one seems a little on the long side.

    At this point I really want some super hardcore Kalashnikov afficianados to weigh in on this picture and determine which parts are adapted from AK variants to work on this gun and which parts are not.

    On a side note, this whole thing is really interesting to me, and I think that this is more than I have commented on any one blog entry on this website.

  • subase

    Well from Crabulas post it seems this is not an actual fighting rifle by anyone who actually use an AK in combat but instead is intended for farmers and your average folk.

    They probably collect broken AK’s or more likely, make much more simple rifles like this bolt action, to look like it was derived from an original AK-47.

    The average person things that its an AK or at least a bolt action Ak and buys it since the AK design is the best. Unaware that the rifle he possesses is a POS.

    Still there are worse things than having a POS bolt action that looks like an AK-47 to the untrained eye.

  • subase

    I can hear their salesman pitch.

    “It’s bolt action so it is more accurate! It has a 30 round magazine with bigger bullets! It was originally an AK-47 so it’s very strong and reliable! It is an AK Sniper Rifle!”

  • Number 7

    The fact it looks like an AK may be an advantage to the guy who owns it if he is using it to protect himself and his property. An automatic weapon is a bigger threat then a bolt action hunting rifle and with the gas tube it looks like an AK even at relatively close range.

  • Redchrome

    The AR15 with the charging handle screwed into the bolt does not have a plug or other thing obviously blocking the empy space left by removing the regular charging handle. If it’s a semi-auto (especially a direct impingement AR) how do you avoid gas being blown back into the shooter’s face every time it’s fired?

    If there were an internal block to keep gas escaping, how do you pull the bolt out since the gas key slides out through that space where the (normal) charging handle goes?

    It actually does look like a straight-pull bolt action, given that set of questions.

  • Redchrome

    I’ve seen these on a couple of sites but a cursory search only turns up this for now. Note here how these ARs, even with the side charging handle, have the conventional latch still in place to deflect gas away from the shooter’s face.

    http://www.dlsports.com/ar15_side_charging_handle.html

  • JonMac

    Crabula – I’ve handled one of these, and I concur re their likely being scratch-built – or close to it anyway. Certainly the receiver is not AK, and if the sight/gas block has been filled in, it’s been done and refinished expertly. My impression was that it too was newly manufactured. Stocks, furniture etc, are probably off-the-shelf.

    The Afghanistan find linked to at the top of the post could be either one of these that’s (literally) been through the wars, or it could be a more ad-hoc conversion of an actual AK. I have a feeling it’s the former though.

  • Crabula

    JonMac,
    Thanks for the input. I’ve been contemplating this thing for a few days now.

  • Vaarok

    Those appear to be ZB-26, MG-13, or BREN mags, depending on the caliber.

  • Faisji

    These bolt actions are a cheap copy/substitute for the “real Ak”.These are also priced far less as compared to locally produced fully copy Ak47s.The quality of the finished product largely depends on the money spend and skill of the worker.These are also produced in .308 NATO,7×57 7mm win mag and 8 mm

  • Jim

    Looks like a bren mag to me

  • SPC Fish

    im not sure if that AR is bolt action or if they just put a charging handle directly on the bolt carrier. it depends on if they kept the gas tube or not

  • Pakistan’s local private arms manufacturing industry produces variety of arms from Rifles, Pistols, Short Guns/Repeaters, Personal Defence Weapons to Light machine guns are at cheap prices but with potent capabilities and impressive performance. And Pakistani state owned public POF “Pakistan Ordnance Factory” produces variety of Qualitative and Reliable Arms and ammunition including iconic POF Corner Shot Gun for Special Operations & Close Quarter Battle.

  • Pakistan’s local private arms manufacturing industry produces variety of arms from Rifles, Pistols, Short Guns/Repeaters, Personal Defence Weapons to Light machine guns are at cheap prices but with potent capabilities and impressive performance. And Pakistani state owned public POF “Pakistan Ordnance Factory” produces variety of Qualitative and Reliable Arms and ammunition including iconic POF Corner Shot Gun for Special Operations & Close Quarter Battle. visit http://www.pof.gov.pk/products

  • Ben

    The action looks to be a P14 action or a copy of. The magazine is a bren gun magazine. All that fits in with being in a ex British colony. Given the magazine it will be chambered in 303 brit. 30 shot 303 bolt gun, WANT.