Field Guide to Reading Kalashnikov Markings

    Conflict Armament Research is a company that works with the European Union to identify and trace weapons used in conflict zones around the world. They use small field teams to identify specific small arms, with the goal of figuring out how the equipment made its way to that particular battlefield.

    That means working with lots of Kalashnikovs. They’ve published a field guide which gives a pretty good run down on how to interpret the various markings on AK pattern rifles.

    These photos are published with the permission of Conflict Armament Research, who holds the copyright. Click on any of them to get an enlarged view.

    First: Where to find your markings…



    Second: What the markings mean…





    You can find their other field guides and reports here: They include articles on the distribution of Iranian ammunition in Africa, what calibers ISIS is using, and run downs of Russian Man-Pad AA systems.

    For the love of God: please don’t spam the comments about how these guys are UN-backed gun-grabbers who are going to invade Texas. Firearms not politics lads.

    Edward O

    Edward is a Canadian gun owner and target shooter with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. Crawling over mountains with tactical gear is his idea of fun. He blogs at TV-Presspass and tweets @TV_PressPass.