To build what Soldiers can’t bring home, U.S Tabuk rifles

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A recent news article has highlighted the efforts of a company in Oklahoma in replicating the Iraqi Tabuk service rifle, a Saddam Hussein era Iraqi Kalashnikov. The Tabuk is readily identifiable from the myriad of other Kalashnikov copies from the Yugoslavian pistol grip, the extended three vent handguard, grenade launching flip up sights, and the reinforced trunnion of an RPK receiver. In fact, if any of these reminds you of the Zastava Arms M70, then you would be correct, as the two rifles are virtually identical in terms of design. The news article further states the companies rifles were used in American Sniper because of their authentic features.

The company is Two Rivers Arms, and they make a number of other reproduction firearms other than the Tabuk, to include the Romanian AMD63 and PSL, RPD, and the East German MPiKM. All semi-automatic and legal to own. Of course, one could easily do the historical research and put together a parts kit and assorted other tidbits, but this company does that all for you, right here in the U.S with a finished product. I think their rifles are well priced as well, with the the Tabuk coming in at around $1200 from the company. When it comes to reproduction firearms, this seems very well priced, especially when it comes with a number of the original accessories such as the Arabic manual.

EgyptianRPDe DSCF8307 PM63s TRAPSL TabukWS58a2



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Martin Grønsdal

    tabuk is taboo in the us?

    • Rick O’Shay

      There’s no mechanism in place for importing them.

      • Scott P

        There would not be one anyway since it is illegal. Iraq, just like Syria in the previous article, is on the proscribed country list so firearms items are banned from import.

        • Rick O’Shay

          That’s essentially what I meant by there’s no way to get them imported.

        • Ben Pottinger

          There needs to be a process in place to allow individuals to import whatever the heck they want in very small volumes. That way the government retains its ability to control international commerce (more powah! We wouldn’t want to get in the way of what the government wants most now would we?) and individuals still retain some freedom of commerce.

          Of course we’d also have to repeal the “poor people’s MG ban of 1986” that makes it illegal for poor people to own full auto weapons while not restricting them at all for the 1%. (This is how I’m going to refer to the Hughes admendment from now on). (And the 1968 import ban would have to be corrected as well, in this case anyway).

          • Doom

            It technically does impact even the 1% since at least legally they are only able to get guns that are pre 86 as well. Though I have seen some very curious things about post ban guns being added to the list of transferable’s for people with connections.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I remember back when AK home builds were still a thing a lot of guys were doing clones of the tabuk. If I recall correctly they were already using US barrels but other parts were hard to get. I hope these guys can continue to get the right parts.

    • BryanS

      I remember building my own M70 back before the arbitrary ban on barrel imports. You could do a full rifle for under $300.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        And now a WASR costs $600+

        I wish I was older and could have taken advantage of those days.

        • Andrew Miller

          I’m 38.
          I wish I’d taken advantage of those days.

          • mbrd

            i’m 50. i wish i’d taken advantage of those days.

            i also wish i’d just bought a few norinco aks when they were cheap. “china? naw dude, i don’t want a chinese ak!”…. live and learn (sometimes).

          • ny bronc buster

            My Mother bought me one for Christmas in 1992(???)
            $179 plus tax!!! Only glitch is thumbhole stock!!!!
            Range officer always put me WAY down at the end of firing line with the”slow down on your firing”orders!!!

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Looking on their site it seems the Tabuk rifles are the only ones that aren’t discontinued. Its sad to see the AK kits drying up and the number of custom builders going down.

    • Chris Richard

      Two rivers arms also builds custom guns. I had to wait about 3 months I think it was, to have my Hungarian AK63d underfolder built. Got part kit from Apex gun parts, drop shipped Nodak Spud reciever to Two Rivers Arms. Paid a little more than an off the shelf AK but the craftsmanship was top notch and will go with them again.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        If you’re patient that’s definitely the way to go. It’s sad there isn’t the selection of parts kits there used to be.

        • Andrew Miller

          There is still the selection.
          You just have to pay for them now, it’s not at scrap metal prices like in 2002.

          • Harry’s Holsters

            Most of the selection I’m seeing now seems to be Yugos and a few others. Before I remember looking at multiple kits and seeing 15 different options where furniture varied greatly. There is a reason century is making their stuff here now and DDI and others are making more and more of their parts here.

          • Chris Richard

            probably has something to do with the Tabuks being based on the Yugo design and they are easily obtainable through Zastava to be converted. But ya part kits sure have dried up.

    • Frank

      Think once you start seeing higher quality US made parts pop up you’ll see more interesting stuff.

      • roguetechie

        There’s actually starting to be some extremely reasonably priced very high quality American made Ak parts…

        The one that most surprised me most was finding very nice forged and machined to spec front trunnions. Especially since they cost less than many of the usual suspects like k-var sell imported parts kit take off trunnions.

  • iksnilol

    Why would I want the manual in Arabic? I can’t read that language.

    • Richard

      They might provide one in English as well. The Arabic one is because that’s what the tabuk would have been issued with.

      • iksnilol

        Yeah, that’s great. Otherwise you’d be stuck with a rifle it’s impossible to figure out how it works 😛

        • 🐒👊

          Hahahaha!

        • Scott P

          Well it is an AK. Not that hard to figure out if you are already familiar with guns.

          • iksnilol

            Dude, AKs are copied STGs, and everybody knows German technology is supes complicated.

          • Zeke Morris

            I constantly grab my stg when I am going for my AK. Identical field strip and they even shoot the same round. Could they have copied them any closer? I don’t know why people even try to say they are different rifles. I certainly don’t see it. Pic of my AK included.

    • lurpy

      سحب الزناد. بندقية يذهب الانفجار.

      • Dave D

        Had to translate, but I’m pretty sure that’s the gist of the manual.

    • Doom

      You need a manual for an AKM?

      • iksnilol

        You don’t?

        • Doom

          I mean…No? Should I? lol. They are stupid simple, Even the FCG is easy to take apart and put together.

          • iksnilol

            Of course you should, liability reasons and whatnot.

            Besides, being safe is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE!

          • Doom

            meh, Safety is numbers 73 priority. lol Besides, they are so simple, i mean really… You cant pull the trigger or the charging handle back with the safety on, and it goes boom with it off. I guess there are people with no brains though. May god have mercy on their souls, because a mechanical item will not. lol

  • Anthony

    Amd63 is actually hungarian not romaninian just a minor mistake

    • adicontakt .

      it is a typo , correct it is romanian Md.63

    • Scott P

      AMD63 isn’t Hungarian either, it is a made-up American nomenclature like “krinkov” to make sales.

      AKMM-63 is what it is supposed to look like minus the wire folder which were only available on the AMD-65.

  • Richard

    I wonder if anyone makes a dragunov clone that’s available in he US nowadays.

    • Scott P

      Nope and there never will be, at least one at a price Americans would want to pay for.

      • roguetechie

        Every commercial effort ever put together to bring US made clones to market has failed, usually taking lots of dollars in presales and customer deposit money with them on the way down.

        Too bad too, because I’d genuinely love to have an American SVU-AS clone complete with the awesome bipod setup!

  • Ron

    The background of the owner of the company is quite the story in itself.

  • Vhyrus

    If the tabuk is basically a zastava m70, why not just buy a zastava m70? I got mine for like 650 out the door.

    • Richard

      The sniper/dmr version is the one with interest

    • BrandonAKsALot

      These are for collectors. There are also a lot of details that differ. Won’t matter if you just want an AK, but if you want a Tabuk, it’s a way to get one at a reasonable price.

  • Bill Jordan

    I’ve had work done to my M92 from Two Rivers. Great work, friendly people that (SHOCKINGLY) answer emails in a timely manner and keep you up to date on the work.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    It’s a Romanian MD-63 not AMD-63. The AMD-63 is the US made commercial wannna be of the Hungarian AKM-63.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I still regret not buying a kit with 3 mags I saw for like $150 in sportsmans guide but I was 7 or 8 so that was a fortune to me.

    Some of the rarer kits with barrels went from $200-$300 to over a grand in just a couple of years. A pallet would have done much better than the markets.

    • Andrew Miller

      I wish I’d bought a couple of the Austrian Stg-58 kits when they were still $300 along with a dump truck load of AK part kits.

  • Scott P

    Fun fact:

    Two Rivers was contracted out by Century to build a run of Yugo AK’s from parts kits. They are not as common as the majority from Wiselite Arms but the easiest way to tell is if they have matching parts, nicer finish, and finer attention to detail.

  • John

    Nice looking guns. But nobody tries to bring back these guns because they like the quality or the accuracy of them, honestly.