Real of Fake?

A reader emailed in this photo he found on internet of an AK purportedly modified to a pistol configuration. Do you think this is real or fake? My money is on fake.

UPDATE: It appears to be real! See the comments below.

[ Many thanks to Dave for emailing in the photo. ]

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.


  • Evan Jay

    That has to be fake. I do not see how the gas system could cycle rounds with a barrel that short. Even if it could the rate of fire would be ridiculous and unsafe. And is it just me or does the receiver look bent? That pistol grip also looks retarded.

  • ARJohnston

    Might be someones honest attempt but with virtually zero dwell time after the gas port, im going to say its effectively a single shot. Also, that much unburnt powder is really going to be an issue on bith sides of the gun. Way to ruin your ak, whoever you are.

  • Fake. The gas system is too short to function like that. You need about 4 more inches of barrel and gas system minimum. As it is, the nose of the cartridge would be about out to the muzzle.

  • MikeJ

    Looks real.. but not very useful. It probably throws a fireball with that sub 2″ barrel. (btw, double check your title)

  • Catman

    LOL I’m not an AK expert but with the barrel that short, wouldn’t the chambered round be virtual poking out the front?! There maybe a few millimetres of rifling.

    It may technically work but I imagine it’s accuracy to be dreadful. Looks like something that only belongs/exists in Hollywood.

  • Gregor

    Google Voodoo says its real. Source with more pics and infos:

  • ecurbCO

    It doesn’t look like there’s even enough length on the gas tube for the pistol to travel under pressure.
    Also the barrel length is… like two inches?

  • schadavi

    Seems like a “lets weld some leftovers together” action to me.

  • ecurbCO

    It doesn’t look like there’s even enough length on the gas tube for the piston to travel under pressure.
    Also the barrel length is… like two inches?

  • Alex Vostox

    Fake. If I got one of this abomination creature, I’ll surrender it to nearest police station.The powder will never get enough time to burn.. BTW, what should we called this thing? ‘Snub-nose AK’? ‘AK Shorty’? ‘Kalashnikov PDW’? ‘Compact AK’?..

  • JS

    Fake? Probably made for a movie. The barrel is too short, the sights are on the movable dust cover, and I would want my hand no where near that muzzle!

  • big bear

    fake the gas tube is too far back it would be over the case neck imho

  • Philip

    When a round is chambered wouldn’t the tip of the bullet be near the muzzle? The gas port might even be on the brass.

  • Erik

    Fake, no question.

  • Adam

    Looks like a short barreled Draco with a goofy grip to me

  • Pete Sheppard

    It just might function as a “straight-pull bolt action”, but semi? No way–there’s just no room for a gas system, with its piston, operating rod and return spring.

  • micah

    If it were real it would have one heck of a muzzle blast! Looks like about a 1 inch barrel (after the chamber). Not sure what good it would be other than making a huge flash and a bunch of noise.

  • It might be real, but I’m betting it’s non functional.

  • Encircled

    Little typo in the headline.

  • WeaponBuilder

    Totally fake.

    The chambered 7.62x39mm round would be poking out the front of the barrel due to the short length of the barrel.

    Also, the barrel O.D. was turned down narrow enough to press & pin on the gas block, but the reduced outer diameter is far too thin to contain the pressures of a 7.62x39mm round.

    Even IF it could fire – it would likely only fire Once! 😉

    I would hope they welded that barrel / chamber so it cannot ACTUALLY be chambered with a live round. The results would be catastrophic.

  • Aurelien

    I just dont see how the piston could get enough compression/momentum to cycle the action. If this ever worked, it would be as a single-shot flamethrower.

  • maxpower

    So when the round is chambered, would it stick out of the end of the barrel?

  • Dave H

    I vote fake. There’s no gas tube, so where does the gas piston go?

    On the other hand, if that gas block is a dummy and there’s no tube or piston, you could still cycle it by hand. I suppose it could be a real bolt-action pistol.

    That grip is the pits though. It’d be way too easy to get your fingers stuck in those holes.

  • Andy from West Haven

    What’s that? A 2.5″ barrel? How could it even work?

    Probably a FUBAR’d AK that instead of junking they decided to have fun with.

  • Buster charlie

    It’s real, he had to modify the gas and recoil system to shorten the carrier.I saw the build photos, ill try and find the url if you need it.

  • Ferrus Manus

    I also think it’s a fake. And firing 7,62×39 from such a short barrel seems like suicide to me (additionally to the heavy recoil).

  • Kyle

    The picture was posted on I don’t see why it would be fake.

  • skipsul

    Even if it was real I wouldn’t dare try to fire it. Something just doesn’t look right about the gas tube placement. I’ll put my money on real, with a side bet that the owner loses an eye at some point.

  • keith

    It doesn’t even have enough space for the chamber or any length of piston, it may be real parts but it won’t work

  • matt

    Where does your offhand go? That bolt cycling will take care of your thumb pretty quickly, if your hand doesn’t slip in front of the muzzle, that is. And the gas system is about the length of an AK round.

    I’d call BS, but cool looking BS.

    St Paul

  • S&Wbt

    My vote is its real but doesn’t work, so i guess that makes it fake…?

  • bleeinghero

    Fake no chamber for the bullet

  • Quintin

    I don’t doubt it’s real, I just wonder ‘why?’

    Wooden brass knuckles for a pistol grip would make it difficult to grab or let go when you are done with it.

    A barrel that short would be good for blinding an assailant at short range.

  • armed_partisan

    Really fake.

  • CHris Harper

    This is actually a real gun. It was made by a very talented man who is a user on several forums, including He goes by the handle a-kmanator. He also has built what has to be the coolest heavy barreled PSL ever. It can be found at Check out his other AKs! Everything he does is very impressive.

  • Chris Harper

    Oops. I meant

  • Dmitry

    Clearly it is fake. 😉

  • joe

    My life savings is on fake, would there actually be a point to such a weapon? I think not. If it is real, I’m the last guy who’s going to shoot it.

  • There’s no room for a 7.62x39mm chamber forward of the bolt face, that’s for sure. I think the tip of the bullet would protrude from the muzzle!

  • Alex

    Here’s a youtube link to the gun being fired.

    (If you ever have doubt about a photo, just use TinEye or drag the image into a Google search bar and it’ll find matching photos)

  • Bryan S

    I could see how it mgith be real, but could you tap enough gas at that short of a barrel to work the action? Heck of a blast out the front too I would bet.

  • fasty

    if you loaded a round it would be sticking out the front based on the length of the chamber

  • Komrad

    I’m going to agree with steve
    it may have actually been made, but there is no way it would function
    Century has enough trouble getting the gas system to work on 7.5″ mini-draco pistols, something so short would be even more difficult
    plus, the barrel is barely longer then the chamber and it would be highly impracticle at best

  • Sian

    Doesn’t work for multiple reasons, not the least of which being the upper part of the bolt is longer than there is room for, and the barrel isn’t long enough to even fully chamber a 7.62 round.

  • This is called a guide-rod pistol. It utilizes the cutdown barrel stubs that come with the demilled ak parts kits. I believe this one was created by A-Kmanator @ akfiles

  • Mobious

    What’s at the bottom of the grip? Looks to be a gas tube for gas blowback airsoft guns. If real though, the sound on that thing… ouch

  • Ah, here’s the original thread.

  • surfgun

    Fake, the round would protrude past the muzzle if chambered. The gas system would be a failure as well.

  • zcktomcat

    If its real the bullet would be sticking out the barrel.

  • Auxin

    Is that barrel even long enough for the full chamber, or would you see the tip of the bullet poking out the end? Doesn’t seem like it would be very efficient for powder burn…

  • Buster Charlie

    This is real, I saw the build thread for it. He had to make a custom spring guide and modify the gas piston, carrier, and I think gas block to shorten the action.

  • youtube user meltzin has a video of that exact gun being fired. its real.

  • JesseL

    It’s just barely possible that it’s real, though I’m certain it doesn’t function well.

  • Buster Charlie

    Sorry about the double post, I posted one from my phone and didn’t see it here when I checked my computer.

    I think this is a video by the builder of this pistol

    Here are some similar ‘ultra-short’ builds.
    here is the modified system:

    here is another super-shorty

    and another

    and another

    and another

    Here is a thread on some

    including another internals shot

    You’ll notice they all replace the telescopic spring guide with a through-the-gas-piston fixed rod because the bolt carrier op rod has been shortened so much.

    I’ll post the build thread for that specific gun if I remember where I saw it.

  • mage2

    I think, while the parts might be real. i dont think it would work well.

  • Jason

    I believe I saw this picture years ago. Well, it looks like the original thread has been lost, but a new pic thread has been started here:

    I don’t see the exact one, but some are very close in barrel length. Also, a couple of caliber conversions (7.62×25 and 9mm I seem to remember) on page 4 of the same thread.

  • Ethan

    I think fake there is not enough room for a the piston assembly in the front

  • Will

    I don’t think the chamber length is long enough to even chamber a round without it sticking out the barrel, let alone activate the gas system. I like the idea, I would never get one, but add a couple of inches to the barrel and it might work. (My knowledge of the AK platform’s engineering might be slightly wrong though)

  • Buster Charlie
  • Some Guy

    It’s real – I remember seeing this build on a gun forum (AK Files or somesuch) about 5-6 years ago. It’s a home build. I seem to recall the builder had issues with getting it to run consistently but I could be wrong. 🙂

  • Dengus Khan

    It’s real.

  • Moriarty

    Could be functional, but let’s see it with the dust cover removed. Assuming it’s a 7.62×39, it would be mightily unpleasant to shoot and even more obscure of purpose than a Draco.

    (And what’s the deal with the “knuckleduster”?)

  • Lance


  • j

    just a hunch

  • Alex S

    Real. The AK is easy to mod.

  • jotto

    Fake. The rod is no where near long enough to cycle the action if there even is an op rod in that thing. neat looking though.

  • Andrew

    Well, it’s definitely not gas-operated anymore. Consider the length of the cartridge, (Take the magazine length for example) and compare it to the barrel. It looks like if it were to fire, the bullet would be poking out a bit.

  • Jae Senn

    Doesn’t look like it can even cycle – it appears to have a non-existent piston!

  • Axel Nordberg

    Doesn’t look like airsoft. My bet i real but not very functional. There are pictures of a bastardized SKS made into a bolt action pistol.

  • Hobbnob

    Could be a modified mini draco: But I doubt it actually fires with the changes to the gas assembly

  • Martin

    wouldn’t the tip of the bullet portrude from the barrel, if this was real?

    maybe it uses a standard with magasine, but loads (much shorter) pistol rounds?

    my guess is – FAKE

  • Jeff

    If its real that has got to be some violent cycling, there’s literally no gas tube.. the piston would have to be a cap sized screw in. But.. I mean… anything is possible…

  • Torguemada

    That picture looks really really fake, but i think that you could possible build an AK-47 pistol like that, it does still have all the requisite parts for the Ak to work.

  • Cymond

    Gotta be fake. Is there even enough barrel to chamber a round? There’s obviously no gas system. Then again, blowback may work. It’s such a short barrel that the bolt couldn’t possibly open before the bullet left the barrel.

  • Flounder

    I think it is conceivable… LOL actually I take it back… How could that piston probably work out in anyway?

  • Bandito762

    I think its real, though I would be hesitant to shoot it. I have heard too many stories from Afghanistan about frankensteined krink ak’s tearing themselves apart.

  • Matt G.

    If it’s real it sure couldn’t run worth a damn.

  • Scott_T

    obviously fake/toy/model. barrel is so short I wouldnt be surprised to see the bullet tip out the front.

  • Definitely fake or at least a single-shot.

    Not enough barrel left for a chamber, and even if so, there wouldn’t be enough gas to cycle it.

    I do like the DIY A2 front sight, though!

  • likestoshootstuff

    It’s very real. The builders name is a-kmanator on Its a micro build using a guide rod to align the bolt carrier when traveling back into battery. He utilized a barrel stub that was left from the cut barreled ak kits that are now imported. Here’s the link to his build thread.

    His video is locked I’ll shoot him a pm and ask him to unlock it so you guys can see it in action.

  • Jim S

    I’m going with fake. There doesn’t seem to be enough chamber. And I’m no expert on the gas piston system, but I feel that the setup would not be functional…

  • Randy

    Even if it is real, I cannot imagine it would function.

  • Martin (M)

    Definitely not a real firearm. Perhaps a chopped Airsoft. Any of the posters on this thread can tell at a glance that there isn’t any room for the chamber or bolt.

  • Daniel

    My money is real. I’ve seen pics of home built AK pistols as short as this one some of which also have function pics as well.

  • Christer

    I would say fake or non functional prop. I’m sure if you chamber a bullet the tip will stick out of the barrel! With such a short barrel accuracy would be horrible due to no bullet spin and most of the bullets gunpowder would be spent making a big fireball.

  • ComradeCole

    Vote for a big ol’ fake on this one. I don’t think the gas system would even come close to operating correctly. Though I do think it’d be funny to see a chambered round sticking out of the barrel.

  • Hello Steve, It was brought to my attention about the shorty pistol that a few people think it’s fake….Well it’s a 100% real functioning shorty…When the ATF started there barrel ban from imported kits back in ’05 the AK builder world was flooded with cut barrel kits with the barrels cut in to 3 pieces leaving approx 3.5 inch stub in the trunnion.The shorty’s use whats called a guide rod carrier that keeps the ultra short carrier in perfect alignment during it’s cycle.There are a plethora of shorty AK builds on the AK based gun forums in the build it yourself sections and these shortys can be shot like a true pistol with one hand and are pushing about 1200 fps with a 6 inch group at 25 yards,A 3.5 inch barrel has about 2 inches of rifling in front of the bullet. …

  • SPC Fish

    unless the firearm was magically rechambered for a shorter cartridge then yes the photo is fake. there isnt even enough barrel for a chamber

  • Dave D

    Don’t see how it could be real. Guess it would be possible for this to be a single shot, but I doubt it. Would there be any room for any sort of barrel after the chamber? And don’t get me started on the gas system – or lack of system or operating rod.

    It is fun though.

  • John

    I Need It NOW

  • Hudson

    Does it affect accuracy if the bullet tip extends beyond the muzzle?

  • Bones

    It’s real alright, it was built by a-kamanator over on the AK Files forums. Here’s the thread

    I met him at the Middletown gun show in NY a few months ago and he talked about it a little bit. The barrels on some de-milled AK parts kits are chopped off at a few inches to render them unusable (probably cheaper than completely removing it), making the kit importable, and he came up with the idea to build a gun with it anyways, with some heavy modifications both inside and outside to get it to function with such a short barrel.

    There’s a video of it in action on the second page.

  • Real or fake I can’t say. I CAN say you could check if it’s loaded pretty easy by looking from the side, because there can’t be much more on that barrel than the chamber. I would be astonished if it would cycle the action after a shot.

  • Bones

    Just clearing up an error on my part, that part about import-ability is me assuming why the barrels were cut in the first place, I don’t actually know why some were imported like that.

  • Alex H

    Pretty sure it’s real. If it isn’t then the guy made a bunch of convincing pictures. Here’s the forum thread with some more pictures:

  • Benjamin

    I would have to say real. There is the Romanian Draco that’s imported by Century. Also, there are parts kits that allow one to assemble an AK using receiver flats provided by many manufacturers in including Tapco or even some people with a little bit of know-how can create their own homemade receivers. This looks like it’s homemade.

  • Benjamin

    I would have to say real. There is the Romanian Draco that’s imported by Century. Also, there are parts kits that allow one to assemble an AK using receiver flats provided by many manufacturers. This looks like it’s homemade.

  • Joel

    The photo is real, but I doubt that it functions.

  • Bob Z Moose

    If it’s a Shopped pic, it’s one of the better ones I’ve seen in my web crawlings. I doesn’t seem like it would function as a real gun, so maybe it’s a custom airsoft. Receiver looks off as well, so I’m definitely going with a one-off airsoft pistol.

  • burkefett

    Faked. How exactly would the piston even function if the gas port is covered up with brass?

  • Wow….tough crowd….there is 2 inches of barrel after the cartridge.

  • bob

    You guys are idiots. This has been going around forever and it’s absolutely REAL.

    Here’s the build thread:

    Here’s video of it being fired:

  • Matt G.

    Remember folks, the SMS bolt is not in front of the carrier like an ar. It’s underneath.

    Where you see the charging handle at in the picture…that’s about where the end of the cartridge casing neck is at, but it’s about a inch lower than the charging handle.

  • Matt G.

    *AKs not SMS

  • MattCFII

    Yep, real!!!

    The reason all of you thought the barrel was shorter than it really is is due to how much the AK barrel sits back in the trunnion. Also with a locked AK bolt, the charging handle is forward and above of the chamber face.

    Look at the thread linked at AKfiles and you will see the barrel next to the cartridge. It’s actually 3.25″

    The AR guys may have the lego modularity but AKs can actually operate in a lot configurations too.

  • ted

    this is real I know the builder and have seen it shoot !

  • Buster Charlie

    Since a repeated comment is “the bullet should be sticking out the muzzle” based on zero evidence other than “I think it looks too short” I decided to load this in Photoshop, calibrate the measuring tool off the 2nd trunnion rivet (the one closest to the charging handle) and take my Romanian sar-1 and try and so some simple math.

    According to the first AK receiver template off the internet the 2nd rivet should be 1.085″ from the leading edge of the receiver, according to this scale the barrel appears to be ~2.75″ from the 2nd rivet, measuring my Romanian SAR-1 with a steel rule (sorry I don’t want to break out the good stuff for an internet argument) we’re talking about .250″ between the rear edge of the barrel pin ‘ears’ and the end of the barrel. (for visual reference that’s about twice the distance from the rear of the charging handle).
    So that puts the end of the barrel ~.410″ from the 2nd rivet.

    Say .125″ for the bolt face depth (correct me if i’m wrong)


    2.75 + .410 + .125 = 3.285″

    Overall length of 7.62X39 is 2.2″ so that leaves us ~1″ or so for the bullet not to be sticking out the end of the barrel and plenty of room for a extra large gas port. 1″ from the barrel is aproximately the leading edge of the rear rivet on the gas cylinder.

    So Really people need to be able to not call something fake just because it appears to be silly, goofy, a waste, dumb, useless, pointless, or whatever else they feel it is.

    It’s not a production gun, nobody’s gun was chopped up to make these AK pistols. the ATF required barrels be chopped up so people are taking chopped up AK kits and building guns with barrel stubs on kits that would otherwise be trash.

    I don’t really endorse the AK pistol like this because you’re talking about muzzle energy lower than most modern pistols IIRC and of course the weight, ergonomics, sights, and muzzle blast is awful.

    I guess my point is…. impractical =/= impossible.

  • Buster Charlie

    burkefett: there would be about an inch and three quarters distance between the brass and the end of the barrel.

  • C J

    Fake. There is no chamber. The bolt head sits directly on the barrel.

  • C J

    With some mods to the bolt head and magazine (and different springs for blowback op) that would make an interesting 22mag SciFi pistol.

  • ConKeeper

    Does anyone else read the comments? It’s been proven multiple times that this is in fact a REAL gun yet many still cry fake. Check the links folks.

  • Hrachya Hayrapetyan

    I think it’s fake. Gas port is so close to the chamber … if there is a gas port , it must not clear the chambered cartridge:)
    But maybe it’s in pistol round and shoots by simple blowback, and the gas tube is a decoration…and the mag has built in wall to fit for example 9×19 overall lenght. So guys maybe it’s not so fake…it’s just converted to SMG!?!?

  • tommy2rs

    Ah the surety of opinions in the face of facts. Or as wise guy once said,”Better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

  • Splodge

    Damn, people really don’t read the comments before posting, do they?

    It’s real. Literally dozens of links have been put up for threads detailing its construction and videos showing it functioning.

  • Anonymous

    Jesus, read before you post.
    The original build thread has been posted several times, as well as a youtube of it being fired, and you know-it-all armchair experts are still hollering “fake”.
    Stay the hell away from the comments section from now on, you guys go back to playing Call of Duty.

  • Jeff

    Found a sight that actually sells them… its real
    The design might be different because they decided to keep the sight block, but the barrel length is pretty much the same+ the length of a muzzle brake

  • Jeff


  • Aurelien

    “Damn, people really don’t read the comments before posting, do they?

    It’s real. Literally dozens of links have been put up for threads detailing its construction and videos showing it functioning.”

    Well, Stephen Colbert would tell you that peoples opinions can warp reality, so if it’s functionning and real but most people call it fake, therefore it must be fake.

    So i’ll just reject your reality and substtute my own.

    Joke aside, i retract what i said a few days ago and salute the designer, it probably was a pain to get to cycle.

  • Joseph

    The bullet.. it would be pretty much sticking out the front of what we would say is the muzzle. It’s not “real” and wouldn’t work so great at all. In fact it seems it would be very unsafe. – However, it looks like the components are generally real- or at least made of metal that looks legit.

    The end.

  • Joseph

    I retract my statement. – WOW it IS real!? I’m very interested in seeing one opened up!!!

  • Joseph

    The firearmblog should go ask the guy if there can be a writeup done on it. It’s fascinating!!

  • subase

    Wouldn’t mind seeing this baby with an integral suppressor. And just maybe you could get a rail or ak forearm furniture on it. Great stuff.

  • Pete Sheppard

    I questioned the gun, but didn’t see any replies posted (awaiting moderation, I suppose). I’m looking forward to checking the links to see how it works, especially the videos.

  • AEnemaBay

    Gotta love all these “experts” in here. Multiple people give you proof that it’s real AND functions, yet they continue with their “there’s no way that can be real due to X, Y, Z.”


  • Beryl

    Man, what a bunch of goobs. The vid is posted, the build pics have been posted, the guy who built the friggin thing has posted, and people STILL are saying it’s fake. Well, next time you go boating, don’t fall off the edge of the earth. After all it IS flat, you know.

  • Woodroez

    Pretty sure a lot of folks are seeing the first page of comments and don’t think to get past that page-where all of the iron-clad evidence of this firearm’s authenticity lay. Hopefully Steve will skip updating this page and actually just make a new post with the video of this gun being fired. That would also give a lot of posters ample opportunity to eat crow in a fresh comment thread.

    Brilliant work, a-kmanator. I’m not an ak guy, but seeing stuff like this my swing me over to that side yet.

  • Fact

    It’s obviously fake, due to the fact that a chambered round would be poking out of the muzzle.

  • Lee

    It could be real.

    But this gun have extremely short barrel just enough to cover the bullet tip.

    Extremely unsale

  • IrishFreak85

    idc. if its real or fake! IF it is real then it is useless. IF it isnt then it needs to stay that way, instead of someone ruining a perfectly good gun and making it a noisy paperweight