Pistol Mitralieră model 1963/1965

The Pistol Mitralieră model 1963/1965 (abbreviated PM md. 63 or simply md. 63) is a Romanian 7.62x39mm assault rifle. Developed in the late 1950s, the PM md. 63 was a derivative of the Soviet AKM produced under license.[1] It was the standard issue infantry weapon of the Army of the Socialist Republic of Romania until the late 1980s, after which it was gradually superseded by the Pușcă Automată model 1986, a derivative of the Soviet AK-74.

Pistol Mitralieră model 1963/1965
PM md. 63.jpg
PM md. 63.
TypeAssault rifle
Place of originSocialist Republic of Romania
Service history
In service1963–present
Used bySee Users
WarsVietnam War
The Troubles
Nicaraguan Revolution
Iran–Iraq War[1]
Lebanese Civil War
Lord's Resistance Army insurgency
Romanian Revolution
Gulf War[2]
Yugoslav Wars[1]
Transnistria War
First Liberian Civil War Second Liberian Civil War
War in Afghanistan (2001–2021)
Iraq War
Syrian Civil War
First Libyan Civil War
War in Iraq (2013–2017)
Second Libyan Civil War
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir
Production history
DesignerRomtechnica
Designed1960s
ManufacturerROMARM via Regia Autonomă pentru producţia de Tehnică Militară (RATMIL), Cugir
Produced1963–1994
VariantsPM md. 65, PM md. 90
Specifications
Mass(without magazine) 3.45 kg (7.61 lb) (md. 63)
3.2 kg (7.1 lb) (md. 65)
Length870 mm (34.3 in) (md. 63)
870 mm (34.3 in) stock extended / 640 mm (25.2 in) stock folded (md. 65)
Barrel length415 mm (16.3 in)

Cartridge7.62×39mm
ActionGas-operated reloading
Rate of fire600 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity715 m/s (2,346 ft/s)
Effective firing range100 to 1,000 m sight adjustments
Feed system30-round detachable box magazine
SightsRear sight notch on sliding tangent, front post, 378 mm (14.9 in) sight radius

Beginning in 1965, Romania also produced the Pistol Mitralieră model 1965 (abbreviated PM md. 65 or simply md. 65), which is an md. 63 with a folding stock.[1]

HistoryEdit

During the late 1950s, the standard service rifle of the Romanian Army was the Soviet AK-47, as well as a variant of the same weapon with a folding stock, the AKS.[3] Around the same period, however, the Soviet Union developed the AKM, an improved AK-47 design which utilized a stamped metal receiver and was cheaper to produce. [3] With Soviet assistance, the Romanian government launched a program to manufacture a domestic AK rifle patterned directly after the AKM.[3] The new weapon was to replace the AK-47 in Romanian service and was designated Pistol Mitralieră.[3] The first production model ain 1963 and was designated Pistol Mitralieră model 1963 (PM md. 63).[3] PM md. 63s produced for export were designated AIM md. 63.[3] A semi-automatic variant of the PM md. 63 was produced solely for issue to the Patriotic Guards, a state militia; these were marked with a large "G" on either side of the trunnion.[4] The PM md. 63 was initially indistinguishable from the Soviet AKM; however, during the mid 1960s a laminated wooden foregrip was added to the design.[3] This was to allow Romanian riflemen to control the weapon's vertical muzzle climb during fully automatic fire.[1] For the duration of its service life, the PM md. 63 and its derivatives were produced at the Cugir Arms Factory in Alba County.[1]

In 1965, a second production model appeared and was designated Pistol Mitralieră model 1965 (PM md. 65).[3] This was to replace the AKS in Romanian service and featured a folding stock; it resembled a modified AKMS with an older AKS-pattern stock.[3] PM md. 65s produced for export were designated AIMS md. 65.[3] The PM md. 65 was initially produced with traditional AKM pattern handguards due to the difficulty encountered in adding the PM md. 63's foregrip to the folding stock design; the stock was designed to fold flat against the base of the handguard.[3] Adding a foregrip which pointed drastically rearwards was problematic because this would impede changing the magazine.[3] Romanian engineers subsequently designed a shorter foregrip for the PM md. 65 with a slight rearward cant, allowing the folding stock to lock undearneath the handguard while also allowing enough space for a magazine to be removed or inserted.[3]

The PM md. 65 initially required a separate production line from that of the PM md. 63, since the addition of a folding stock to the design necessitated a different receiver.[1] In an attempt to streamline production, the Cugir Arms Factory subsequently replaced the traditional AKS under-folding stock with a side-folding stock copied directly from the East German MpiKMS, which was itself a licensed derivative of the AKMS.[1] The side-folding MpiKMS stock could be fitted on AKM-pattern receivers designed for fixed stocks, making the receivers interchangeable.[1] This modified PM md. 65 received the designation PM md. 90.[1] The PM md. 90 was assembled with the same foregrip and handguards as the PM md. 63, since the side-folding stock meant that a different foregrip was no longer necessary.[1]

During the 1980s, the United States Army acquired a number of AIM md. 63s from an unidentified nation which had received Romanian military aid; these were used to simulate AKMs by its opposing force (OPFOR) units during training exercises.[4] The AIM md. 63s were also used by the United States Marine Corps for weapons familiarization courses.[5] Vast numbers of surplus or redundant PM md. 63/65s were disposed of from Romanian military stocks following the Romanian Revolution and sold overseas, making the weapon type increasingly prolific around the world.[4]

FeaturesEdit

The PM md. 63 was almost indistinguishable from an early Soviet AKM with a stamped receiver.[1] It was issued with an early pattern AKM bayonet, also manufactured under license from the Soviet Union.[1] The Romanian PM md. 63 bayonets were indistinguishable from early Soviet AKM bayonets, bar the unique serial numbers with a Latin letter prefix etched on the crossguard and scabbard face.[1] They were also fitted with wrist straps of brown leather with three-slot buckles for attachment to the crossguard and a friction buckle for attachment to the hilt.[1] The bayonet was suspended by a bayonet frog, rather than the more common hangar strap favored by some Eastern European armies of the era, from a rifleman's equipment.[1] The PM md. 63 was also issued with a unique Romanian leather sling, which was later replaced by nylon slings that more closely resembled the late Soviet pattern.[1]

Early production PM md. 63/65s were not fitted with the same slanted muzzle brake as the Soviet AKM, but a simple muzzle nut which more closely resembled that of the original AK-47.[1] Later PM md. 63s and PM md. 90s were fitted with the slanted muzzle brake.[1]

Each PM md. 63/65's receiver was marked on the left with the year of production and a serial number with a Latin letter prefix.[1] There are three fire selector markings on the right side of the receiver: "S" ("Sigur", safety), "FA" ("Foc Automat", automatic fire), and "FF" ("Foc cu Foc", semi-automatic fire).[1] The same fire selector markings on the AIM and AIMS export variants were "S", "A", and "R".[1]

VariantsEdit

Patriotic Guards versionEdit

 
A reconstructed 'Gardă' PM md. 63, with a US-made receiver.

The most-produced civilian export variation of this rifle is that of the 'Gardă' designation, produced for the Romanian Patriotic Guards. These rifles have a letter 'G' engraved on the left side of the rear sight block. The civil guard versions are modified by the removal of the sear and the modification of the disconnector to be semi-automatic only. Tens of thousands of these have been imported into the United States and sold as 'parts kits' (the receiver is destroyed by torch-cutting per BATF regulations – without the receiver, the kit is no longer legally considered a firearm). They are colloquially known among firearms enthusiasts as "Romy G's".

PM md. 80Edit

The Pistol Mitralieră model 1980 is a short barreled AK variant, and the first side-folding stock version produced in Romania. It featured a shorter gas block and usually used 20 round magazines. The front sight post is combined with the gas-block to provide an overall short length. The side folder is straight and folds to the left. There are two types of muzzle brakes used: a cylindrical one, and more commonly a slightly conical one. It is also known as the AIMR.

PM md. 90Edit

The Pistol Mitralieră model 1990 also known as the PM md 90[6] is the 7.62mm response to the 5.45mm Pușcă Automată model 1986. It is internally identical to a PM md. 63/65, and outwardly differs in that it has a wire folding stock identical to the PA md. 86 stock, and that all of the rifles are fitted with slant brakes. It was extensively used in the Romanian Revolution along with the md. 63 and md. 65

Short barrel versionEdit

The carbine version of the model 90, called simply PM md. 90 cu țeavă scurtă (short barreled PM md. 90), has a 12-inch [305 mm] barrel, an overall length of 31.69 inches [805 mm] (or 23.81 inches [605 mm] with the stock folded), and weighs 6.83 lbs. (3.1 kg) empty. It was designed for tank crews and special forces. Apart from the stock and the shortened barrel, it features the same modifications as the PM md. 80.

7.62mm RPKEdit

The RPK version of the md. 63 is called the md. 64. It is essentially identical to the Soviet RPK.

 
PM md. 90 carbine

Other civilian versionsEdit

Several semi-automatic variants of the PM md. 63 have been produced for commercial export to the United States, namely the WASR-series rifles imported by Century Arms. Other semi-automatic PM md. 63 derivatives sold commercially in the United States were designated SAR-1, ROMAK 1, ROMAK 991, and WUM-1. A variant of the PM md. 90 carbine is also available in the United States as the Draco.

In Germany there are civilian versions on the market under the name / model Cugir WS1-63 (fixed wood stock), WS1-64 (underfolder stock), WS1-64SB (Short Barrel 314mm with the underfolder stock).

The WS1-63HO is the straight pull non semi auto version. The gun must be charged after every shot that is fired.

OperatorsEdit

Current operatorsEdit

Former operatorsEdit

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Brayley, Martin (1 June 2013). Kalashnikov AK47 Series: The 7.62 x 39mm Assault Rifle in Detail. Marlborough: The Crowood Press. pp. 15, 165, 214–217. ISBN 978-1847974839.
  2. ^ "AKM type". iwm.org.uk. Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Humphries, Michael (1 January 2015). "Romanian PM md. 65 7.62mm". Gun Buyer's Annual #163: AK-47 & Soviet Weapons. New York City: Harris Publications: 14–18.
  4. ^ a b c Rottman, Gordon (2011). Pegler, Martin (ed.). The AK-47: Kalashnikov-series assault rifles. Oxford, United Kingdom: Osprey Publishing. pp. 24, 40, 64. ISBN 978-1-84908-835-0.
  5. ^ Chivers, C. J. (2011). The Gun. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 409-412. ISBN 978-0-7432-7173-8.
  6. ^ "Romanian Fighter: The Short-Barreled PM md 90 AK Variant". SOFREP. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  7. ^ Berman, Eric; Lombard, Louisa (2008). "The Central African Republic And Small Arms: A Regional Tinderbox" (PDF). Geneva: Small Arms Survey. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  8. ^ Thomas, Nigel; Mikulan, Krunoslav (2006). The Yugoslav Wars (1): Slovenia & Croatia 1991-95. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. pp. 24–26. ISBN 978-1841769639.
  9. ^ Copley, Gregory (2002). Defense & Foreign Affairs Handbook 2002. Alexandria, Virginia: Perth Corporation. p. 528. ISBN 978-1892998064.
  10. ^ Minasian, Sergey (2004). "Arms Control in the Southern Caucasus". Central Asia and the Caucasus. 6 (30): 36.
  11. ^ Unnithan, Sandeep (30 December 2013). "Why General Kalashnikov couldn't sell the AK in India". India Today. New Delhi. Archived from the original on 26 March 2021. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  12. ^ "AKM, Romanian". London: National Army Museum. 2017. Archived from the original on 5 September 2022. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  13. ^ "World Infantry Weapons: Libya". Archived from the original on 5 October 2016.
  14. ^ a b Small Arms Survey (2006). "Fuelling Fear: The Lord's Resistance Army and Small Arms" (PDF). Small Arms Survey 2006: Unfinished Business. Oxford University Press. p. 283. ISBN 978-0-19-929848-8.
  15. ^ Touchard, Laurent (11 June 2014). "Défense : où en sont les Forces armées maliennes ?". Jeune Afrique (in French).
  16. ^ Jurado, Carlos Caballero (1990). Central American Wars 1959-89. Men-at-Arms 221. London: Osprey Publishing. p. 46. ISBN 9780850459456.
  17. ^ nineoclock (15 August 2015). "Navy Day: Romanian Naval Forces celebrate 155th anniversary by impressive air, sea and land exercise". nineoclock.ro. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  18. ^ "World Infantry Weapons: Sierra Leone". 2013. Archived from the original on 24 November 2016.
  19. ^ Persecution Project Foundation (4 March 2011). "SOUTH SUDAN: The World's Newest Nation Emerges from Africa's Longest War". Persecution Project Foundation. Retrieved 25 June 2017.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ Rottman 2011, p. 64.
  21. ^ Bhatia, Michael; Sedra, Mark (2008). Afghanistan, Arms and Conflict: Armed Groups, Disarmament and Security in a Post-War Society. Abingdon: Routledge. p. 165. ISBN 978-0415453080.
  22. ^ Jackson, Jinty (23 November 2012). "Mozambique Government to Talk with Renamo Rebels". Voice of America. Washington DC. Archived from the original on 14 October 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2022.

External linksEdit