Lets Play Guess That AK

    [ This is the third article written by Claymore on the guns he encountered during his varied and colorful career. His first article is here, the second is here. ]

    While I was looking around for weapons while I was with the Hmong I would record the selector markings to document the types of weapons they had.

    Selector markings is one of the obvious ways that is used to discover the country of manufacture or origin.

    Sometimes, but not always, they can also point in the direction of where the weapons came from but a lot of countries including the USA “collect” supplies of weapons from other countries to help obscure the true origin of weapons “supplied”.

    So what I have done, to help involve the readership of this site, is taken ten of the photos and we will have a little “contest” on country of origin of AK family receivers.

    The winner of the “contest” will NOT receive any prize other than pride of winning and hopefully this will be a “fun” exercise and not make for hard feelings.

    I tired to enhance the selector markings as best I could, with my limited photo program, but if anybody has the skills to better show them go ahead and do your “magic”.

    Since this is be a “fun exercise” try and do your picks WITHOUT google, at first, the way I did it way back when I took these photos.

    I used to know them all by heart, after research using good old reference books, but old age memory, and lack of use for them has reduced my “sureness” (is that a word LOL) about some of them so we may have some disagreements so try and keep any discussions that may result “polite” as we are all fans of this site.

    I realize that most of you don’t have any use for a bunch of reference books and we may have to later rely on searching the web for final results but give it a try the old way first.

    And BTW there are an unknown amount duplicates and a couple that are REAL hard to read but we can’t make this too easy.

    AND we all know the the USSR was the main country of the design of the AK-47 family but that is not what we are looking for here try and get from the markings the country that these were intended for use in or manufactured in.

    First up early AK-47 with slotted selector “stops” nice and clear markings should be easy:

    CF10176 (1024x666)


    A little less clear and a hint they are not letters. The handguard is another indication of country of origin:

    CF10178 (1024x698)

    Another early AK-47 type with less clear markings but they are letters:

    CF20069 (1024x712)


    An AKM type with slab side mag. The markings are hard to see. There are two “characters” (not English or Cyrillic writing):

    VP20091 (1024x731)


    Similar markings on a later AKM style:

    VP20092 (1022x812)


    Again similar but are they Chinese, Korean or Japanese?

    VP20093 (1024x698)


    The same or different?

    VP20094 (1024x698)


    This nice and clear AK-47 should be the easiest:

    VP20095 (1024x700)


    Another AKM with folding stock. No help on this one:

    VP20096 (1024x701)


    The final very easy AKM …

    VP20098 (1024x700)


    Post your answers in the comments below (reference the photos in your answers) ….

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!