Polish Reservists to receive 57,200 Beryl Rifles

Previously on TFB we covered the 26,000 Beryl rifle order by the active component of the Polish Land Forces. That May 2016 contract was at the time the largest acquisitions order in recent Łucznik-Radom history, but this confirmed order of 53,400 5.56x45mm NATO 96C Beryl rifles and 3,800 wz. 96C Mini-Beryl carbines doubles the contract size of the earlier 26,000 rifles for the active component. Details from Polish Defense site Defense24 specify the contract valued at PLN 350 million for this particular order. However, there is more to come, with the planned overall contract of 86,000 rifles (including the aforementioned 57,200) to possibly include the MSBS modular infantry rifle (Or not, as Nathaniel F. points out). There hasn’t been a specification as to what optics these wz. 96Cs will be issued with.

These 57,200 rifles are specifically going to the Polish Territorial forces, which have seen a bumpy road as of late. Originally stood up in 1965, the reserve component was disbanded in 2008, only to be re-stood up last year in 2016, due to concerns about Poland fighting a sustained low-intensity counter-insurgency similar to what is currently going on in the Ukraine. With growing concerns of Russian aggressiveness and U.S. Army deployments to Poland, I believe the original timeline has been expedited. Initially the force called for 50,000 troops strong by 2022, so either the updated numbers of 7,200 rifles reflect the need for spare rifles, or it actually shows a troop increase of the force over the timeline of the forces. Currently the reserve component is 35,000 strong. Currently the active component numbers less than 80,000 troops.





Miles

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Quest

    Urg, that bore to sight height, stupid savety, and large open receiver that lets in mud and dust.

    • Komrad

      >bore to sight height
      difference between Western and Easter/Slavic/Russian doctrine
      Poland still has influence left over from it’s time as a Warsaw pact country, and slavs seem to prefer chin welds
      sorry it’s not as high speed low drag as a lower 1/3 cowitness

      >stupid safety
      a safety that can be easily operated with gloved hands and provides sufficient leverage to break free from ice in cold weather

      >open receiver
      a receiver that is closed up when the safety is engaged
      yeah, it lets a bit more grit in than an AR, but it also lets you get it cleaner faster than an AR

      • iksnilol

        Chin weld is better if using ear muffs and googles (and helmets).

        See no problem with it.

    • Chris22lr

      I agree that stock design is really not the best one possible for AK type of rifle. It’s rather obvious that CAR-15/M4 type of stock while looks cool, is not suited to AK ergonomics. But it is cheap to make: a side-folding stock with adjustable cheek piece and butt length would be perfect for Beryl, but also more expensive to manufacture.

      Still, it works great for our troops deployed in Afghanistan (and earlier in Iraq too).

  • Wojciech Pisarski

    First hose rifles aren’t meant only for territorial defense. There are still many AKMs serving in less important parts of the army. Those need to be phased out first. There is also plan to upscale the army from 100 000 to 150 000 troops, separate from 50 000 of the territorial defense plan.

    Next, 35 000 in territorial defense is the initial goal, formation of the units began just a few months ago in easter parts of Poland.

    Lastly, MSBS is scheduled for trials this year, somewhere around July if I remember correctly. We will probably know more after they are completed. But unfortunately current Beryl orders will saturate the capacity of Radom plan for a few years, so no big hopes there.

  • John

    You know, STANAG may not have been formally adopted, but with the way that everyone is suddenly getting nervous over a possible Russian military invasion, it would be an exceptionally good idea to make sure everyone’s gun can use NATO bullets and magazines.

    If the Beryl can’t, then they need to make the MSBS post haste.

    • Wojciech Pisarski

      STANAG is valid in terms of calibers, but multiple NATO countries use propertiary mags, like Poland, Germany and Czech Republic. At least in those 3 cases there are designs for magazine adapters, but I don’t think anyone bothered to actually order them.

      • John Idleness

        We (Czechs) are already procuring new brens with stanag magwells and I believe that also separate stanag magwells for the older rifles originally running on proprietary mags…

        • Wojciech Pisarski

          Interesting, STANAG magwell for Beryl exists only in drawings.

  • Stephen Paraski

    Is it time to reset borders to pre 1914 (WW1)? Bring back Pommern & Prussia and restore Monarchy. We do have a King in exile.

    • lanan

      Also with DNA tests there will always be a living bloodline, even russia can probably find some royal blood if it digs up some bones.

    • Max Glazer

      There will be a LOT of peed off elites all over Europe…

  • gunsandrockets

    What is the nature of that muzzle device?

    • Wojciech Pisarski

      Manual isn’t clear on this, but it may be there for launching rifle grenades.

      • AK

        Does not look long enough for that purpose, and there is no gas cut-off on the gun, so highly doubt it. Usually European military muzzle devices are designed to quickly attach a blank adapter for training, and the wear pattern on the blueing supports this. Also, there is a rather conspicuos grenade launcher already attached…

  • LGonDISQUS

    I’m not entirely stupid, just uninformed as of this point.

    What kind (and how much) of pressure are we seeing on the polish borders to have NATO, US Armed services and Poland at heightened attention?

    Is this a rebuttal to Russia puffing their chest, or is this actual territorial defense?

    Confused why larger news sources aren’t covering this and Ukraine’s continual takeover. There’s a newssite I clicked a few weeks ago that shows town-to-town occupation with a white and red map display.

    • toms

      Russia has been far more than puffing its chest. It is actively involved in all types of insurgency activities in the region. Funding for political organizations, propaganda, and implanting agents provocateur is pretty widespread but most aggressive in smaller countries with less ability to fight back. Countries like Moldova, Montenegro, Czech republic, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Lithuania have all identified increased Russian activity inside their borders. The Russians have deployed iskander and s400 missiles on the polish border and have been increasing troop numbers all along NATO’s borders. The invasion of Ukraine and Georgia illustrate the Russian method quiet well. The Ukrainian army is larger than Poland by 2x that should give you an idea of what Poland is looking at.

      • LGonDISQUS

        This is good DISQUS right here!

        Thanks!

      • Max Glazer

        Looks more like NATO is planting more and more bases around Russia and conducts revolutions in countries next door with overtly anti-Russian successors. Don’t mention Ukraine. Nuland spilled the beans long ago. Georgia? Wanna look at UN report and see who started shooting whom first and when? Baseless claims by Baltic states are even more of a joke. Moldova had its territorial problems of their own for ages and Russians aren’t threatening the situation. Same for Czech Republic and Montenegro.

        Ukrainian army might be big but also utterly unequipped, untrained, under-supplied, often not even commanded. Russia INVADED Ukraine? If they did, they would have been completed the take-over in 4-5 days. From Donbass to Polish border.

        • TW

          True NATO has spread to Russia’s borders…but many of the nations wanted NATO because they feared future Russian aggression (like what we see now). And yes Geargia did start shooting in 2008 but it was attempting to regain territory that illegally declared independence with help from russia years before Not against russia itself. Georgia did not start attacking russia and made steps to prevent russian “peacekeeper” deaths in South Ossetia. The entire war was to regain territory that was a part of their nation and bring it back into their control. Basically what russia did in the late 90s and early 2000s in Chechnya.

          So before you say NATO is the aggressor here why dont you read published documents that state the facts with Georgia and NATO expansion.

          • Max Glazer

            Regain a breakaway republic by raining MLRS rockets on a sleeping city at 3am? Interesting tactic. Last time I checked using such tactics amounts to little more the a war crime. Georgians made steps to prevent Russian deaths? Care to elaborate on those steps? Interesting step: assaulting a base of Russian peacekeepers that were there on a UN mandate using tanks and large force. Being there on UN mandate DOES make Russian contingent a peacekeeping force. WITHOUT inverted commas. The base was appropriately labelled. Another war crime by Georgia. I won’t even begin on murder of civilians that Georgian soldiers filmed on their phones.

            Ossetians and Abkhazians never considered themselves as Georgians and declared independence in much the same way Kosovan Albanians did. If Georgians REALLY wanted to win fast and easy, they’d have done what Russians had done in Crimea and that is done the deployment at night using special forces. No blood, no fighting, area secured. Except following US advice means kicking the door down and going in all guns blazing. Bad idea.

            NATO recognized the brakeaway republic of Kosovo because it suited them. Well they set the precedent. Not Russia. Russian mercenaries were in that Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian war but not under command of Russian state. Russian state was an intermediary in that conflict, and to day of 08.08.08 war, was keeping tensions from flaring up. Those guys would have continued to fight to the last Georgian, Ossetian and Abkhazian. No good for anyone. Prior to Saakashvili taking power in a US-financed Rose Revolution there was no Russo-Georgian tensions. He is now wanted on charges in Georgia.

            Who wanted NATO to come? Politicians in NATO and Baltics maybe. Average people and businessmen make money during peace and war is no good to them. It was even less needed for Russia especially in 90s when it had massive problems to fix. Still do. Russia has better things to do then take over countries since it’s VERY expensive to maintain the newly acquired areas.

            Many people think Russia wants war except these people fail to remember one extremely important fact about Russians: they know EXACTLY what a major war can bring to the world since they got the bad end of it twice in 30 years. RSFSR used to prop up the vast majority of Soviet states in terms of GDP and subsidized them more then itself back in Soviet days. Seeing the “gratitude”, Russians want nothing to do with them these days.

  • Kivaari

    That’s a serious looking rifle. It makes perfect sense for an army that has used the AKM for 60+ years.

  • J.T.

    Yikes. Things are bad in eastern Europe when even the Belorussians are worried about the Russians attacking them and forcing a coup.

    • Max Glazer

      Russians have no habit of making coups in other countries. USA on the other hand is widely known for doing just that in Latin America, Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Chilie, and that is just for starters.

      Russia stands to win utterly NOTHING from actually invading Baltics or Poland. Invade them and then what? Waste resources to rebuild them, administer them, run the society? They have enough problems of their own. Polish and Baltic citizens that have uncontrollable bowel movement every time Russia has Victory Day parade can sleep calm. Big bad Russian bear has his own house to sort.

  • AK

    There has been a lot of talk about the soured relationship between Putin and Lukashenko as of late. Also, there was the recent story that the Russian army has ordered 4100 train cars to move equipment for this exercise, when the norm for the size of the exercise would be a few hundred cars. Might get interesting…