Originally developed for Hungary’s Cold war troops, the 7.62x39mm side-folding AMD-65 carbine continues to be a hard AK-style choice today.

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AMD-65To ease manufacturing supplies and also costs, the AMD-65’s foregrip and also rear pistol grip room actually the exact same component—the foregrip is just reversed.


AMD-65The stock is an additional minimalist feature. The folds to the ideal side to do the rifle much more compact, yet it doesn’t sell a solid cheekweld.
AMD-65While the AMD-65 has numerous unusual components, including a ventilated stole handguard, a two-chamber muzzle brake, a polymer foregrip and also a T-shaped urgent stock, the carbine is tho an AK in ~ heart, with standard sights and also controls, such together the paddle-style magazine relax lever.
AMD-65As you can see, the rifle has actually a very short sight radius, relegating the to much shorter engagement distances. This is why the a good fit for police officers in Afghanistan.
AMD-65A regional Afghan Police chief bring away notes with AMD-65 in ~ the ready. Plenty of of these rifles to be retired native the Hungarian military.
AMD-65A member the a special Afghan Police unit bring away aim v a modification AMD-65. Note the rails, M4-style vertical foregrip and also holographic sight.

I have constantly thought extremely of the Russian AKSU because I very first fired one over twenty years ago. However, that is chambered because that the 5.45x39mm, and I constantly felt a compact 7.62x39mm carbine would be even better. Together a result, i was happy to find out that several of the previous Warsaw Pact countries had emerged their own compact tools in this chambering. The one through which ns am most familiar is the AMD (Automata Módosított Deszant) 65. Based on the AKM-63, the AMD-65 is a short-barreled weapon designed because that Hungarian airborne and motorized infantry units. In fact, the “D” stands for Deszant, which indicates paratrooper usage. As the designation indicates, the AMD-65 was occurred in 1965, though it did not get in mass production until 1967.

AMD-65 Design

While the AMD-65 has countless unusual components, including a ventilated stole handguard, a two-chamber muzzle brake, a polymer foregrip and also a T-shaped folding stock, the carbine is tho an AK at heart, v standard sights and controls, such together the paddle-style magazine release lever.

Design specs because that the AMD-65 shown that it should be smaller, lighter and easier to carry than the AKM-63. It had actually to it is in in the very same chambering (7.62x39mm) together the AKM-63 and also have the very same operating characteristics. It had to be suitable for officers and also airborne troops (and later, armored troops) through a muzzle brake/compensator to counter muzzle rise, use a 20-round newspaper but additionally be capable of taking 30-rounders and also have a folding share that, once folded, walk not stop the carbine from gift fired.

Since I freshly completed a book on the Sten gun and a couple of articles on the U.S. M3 submachine gun, both tools made indigenous stampings and of all-metal construction, ns think it is remarkable that unlike most versions the the AKM, the AMD-65 is greatly made the steel v a bit of polymer. What makes this specifically interesting is that Hungarian versions of the AKM room usually well-known for your attractive light-colored wooden furniture. Instead of the usual wood handguard, the AMD-65 uses one make of perforated steel. Both the pistol grip and vertical foregrip that the AMD-65 space of grey polymer. Top top a brief select-fire weapon such together the AMD-65, the upright foregrip is a boon because that control. Unlike the short-barreled Romanian afternoon md. 90, which uses the conventional Romanian foregrip—one that is known for impeding magazine transforms with 30-round magazines—the AMD-65’s upright foregrip is canted front for simpler reloading.

In a move to ease production and also parts supply, the rear pistol grip is the same, yet it’s reversed to cant rearward. Ns think that is fairly clever.

Although the AMD-65 works fairly well v 30- or even 40-round magazines, that still simplest to reload with 20-round magazines, together the upright foregrip have the right to still interfere as soon as doing a quick change on the fly. The magazine relax is the standard AKM paddle, i m sorry is straightforward to run with the support hand.

The front and also rear sights room standard for AKM-type rifles and also carbines. The former sight article is protected by rounded wings. The rear sight’s V-shaped notch is adjustable for elevation out to 800 meters. Two special functions of the AMD-65 room the side folding “T” stock and also the muzzle brake, which has two good-sized openings on each side. To release the stock once folded, you have to depress a button under the receiver. This might get less complicated with practice, but at the selection I found that I had actually to flip the AMD-65 over so i could apply thumb push to the release while using palm pressure to the stock strut when folding or unfolding it. Due to the fact that the muzzle brake is fitted, the AMD-65 go not have a bayonet lug.

There were some complaints native troops who were issued the AMD-65. Part felt that it wasn’t specific at much longer ranges due to the quick barrel and shortened sight radius (4 inches less than with the AKM-63). Based upon shooting the AMD-65, i think there is a better culprit influence the carbine’s accuracy. The “T” stock is not an extremely comfortable versus the shoulder, particularly in full-auto fire. But, also worse, it’s impossible to gain a an excellent cheekweld as soon as firing using this stock. The is even worse than usual AKM under-folding stocks. However, since it was mostly intended for usage by assault troops such together paratroopers and armored infantrymen who would have much more need for short-range firepower, this to be not thought about a major issue. In fact, I understand that armored infantrymen trained to shoot it with the stock folded v firing ports. Making use of the AMD-65 a lot on full-auto throughout an assault would create one more problem, however. The metal handguard was well-known to warmth up quickly. The short barrel and muzzle brake likewise were recognized to make it really noisy.

Present-Day Usage

A member of a one-of-a-kind Afghan Police unit take away aim v a modified AMD-65. Note the rails, M4-style upright foregrip and holographic sight.

It is my knowledge that the AMD-65 was provided by Hungarian troops native 1967 to 2006. However, the AMD-65 is still widely encountered in the world’s trouble spots, together it was marketed in places such as Angola, Georgia, Mozambique, Lebanon, Laos, Gaza and also the West Bank, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and also Zimbabwe, amongst others. It is widely offered by the Afghan national Police and has been offered by plenty of private building contractors in Afghanistan and also Iraq.

Many of the AMD-65s offered to the Afghan Police are most likely ex-Hungarian army arms, as the Afghans started receiving them roughly 2006, as soon as they went out of Hungarian service. I have seen numbers to the result that the Hungarians “donated” 39,000 AMD-65s and the U.S. Purchase 45,000 much more for the Afghan Police. There have actually been fairly a few complaints from Afghans issued the AMD-65. One is that the shorter barrel/sight radius affect its variety and accuracy. Offered that the AK style is not inherently accurate, this complaint is not a surprise. Even well-trained individuals of the AK execute not discover it to it is in a tack-driver. I have wondered if the complaints could arise since some that the Afghan Police would like that they had actually weapons mounting optics. I have actually seen image of weapons with Picatinny rails added to the AMD-65 stole handguard/receiver. For the police mission, the shorter barreled AMD-65 would seem to it is in a great choice since its operating system is the exact same as other AKs, a design with i beg your pardon the Afghans would certainly be familiar.

Running Hot

A U.S. Maritime fires an AMD-65 during a demonstration in Afghanistan.

Another complain is the overheating the handguard, i beg your pardon is valid. On the various other hand, the Afghans are not known for fire discipline; instead, they it seems to be ~ to favor firing off complete magazines top top full-auto, frequently into the air. Don’t forget at the very least a couple of “friendly fire” cases in Afghanistan resulted from “rejoicing” Afghans spraying tracer rounds into the air roughly U.S. Aircraft who assumed they were being fired at. Also, with the former pistol grip, the is fairly easy come avoid touching the handguard once firing on full-auto. Indigenous photos and videos I’ve watched taken the Afghan Police training, however, it shows up many execute not usage the vertical foregrip, however instead use the magazine as a foregrip. Not just does this shorten the area in between the firing and support hands, yet it deserve to also influence reliability by exerting push on the magazine.

This may explain some Afghan Police complaints about the AMD-65’s reliability. Generally, dependability is no a difficulty with AKM-based designs. The AK architecture is to plan to store running under very harsh problems without much in terms of maintanence or cleaning. That has normally been my experience. I additionally don’t remember reading of reliability difficulties with the AMD-65 amongst Hungarian troops. The course, they weren’t in consistent combat against the Taliban. My very own experience v the AMD-65 is limited. However, I have actually not had reliability problems the few times I have actually fired the weapon.

As the U.S. Is arming members that the Afghan National army with 5.56x45mm NATO weapons, several of their AKs space being issued come the Afghan Police as replacements because that the AMD-65s. In fact, ns cruised some U.S. Military sites and also most photos reflecting the Afghan Police gift trained over the last pair of years present them with full-sized AKs. I have friends who have trained the Afghan Police, and also I nothing remember any kind of of them offering objections of the AMD-65, but most to be there a couple of years ago. I don’t know how valid objections of the dependability of the AMD-65 are; it might just an outcome from the typical feeling amongst some troops that the “other guy” has far better weapons.

Quite a couple of parts kit for the AMD-65 to be imported into the U.S., with most built with U.S. Receivers, compliance parts and barrel expansions to meet the 16-inch requirement. Some were likewise registered together short-barrel rifles (SBRs) and retained the 12.5-inch barrel, however these were still required to be constructed as semi-autos. Return I have not checked out one, I recognize that part kits were developed as pistols, thus retaining the 12.5-inch barrel however eliminating the urgently stock.

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My very own experience through the AMD-65 is not extensive, though I have fired the weapon a couple of times. I did no find any kind of reliability problems but did view justification in many of the other criticisms. I especially uncover the stock uncomfortable and, as I mentioned before, tough to obtain a an excellent cheekweld with. Yes, the steel handguard does heat up, yet I noticed one more problem v it (and the polymer pistol grip and also foregrip). I was firing the AMD-65 on one cold day—below freezing with some wind chill—and found that the handguard and foregrip remained incredibly cold there is no gloves. I guess the shortened vision radius might have affected my accuracy to part extent, yet to be honest, i never have actually shot AKs the accurately v the exception of one semi-auto Polytech I very own that shoots yes, really well. I have shot the AMD-65 on plates in ~ 50 and 100 yards and also found the accuracy acceptable. And also it was an extremely loud because of the brake!

I need to admit a lot of my interest in the AMD-65 stems native the truth it is therefore widely offered in “interesting” places. I don’t job-related in those places as I supplied to sometimes, however I still feeling the have to be familiar with weapons I might encounter there—call it refuse to admit I’m getting older. It is as great an excuse as any to shoot the AMD-65 if provided the chance. But, really, who requirements an excuse?

Caliber: 7.62x39mm

Barrel: 12.5 inches

Weight: 7.1 pounds (empty)

OA Length: 27-34.4 inches

Stock: cable folding

Sights: front post, flexible rear

Action: Piston-operated

Finish: Matte black

Capacity: 30+1


This short article was originally published in ‘AK47 & Soviet Weapons’ 2017. To order a copy, please visit outdoorgroupstore.com.