The venerable AK 47 platform, or more appropriately the AKM rifle, is one of the most famous rifles in existence. The AKM versus AK 47 terminology is an argument for another day, so we’ll skip that for now, but needless to say the AK series of rifles are recognized by people around the world. The weapon graces flags and coins of countries, as well as being recognized internationally as a tool of both the freedom fighter and the oppressor.
Designed by a Soviet tank Sergeant for simplicity and ruggedness, the rifle is famous for its ease of use and rapid widespread proliferation. The AK series is known to be one of the most reliable rifles in the world. Their loose tolerance affects its reliability and its accuracy. The rifle is not known for its sub MOA accuracy, but it is known for its ability to operate it the rain, snow, mud, sand, and literally anything else you can throw at it.
The AK series of rifles is immensely popular around the world and has become a favorite in the United States as well. The AK series of rifles is second only to the American designed AR 15 rifle here in America. So what makes the N PAP stand out from a saturated market of AK rifles?
Enter the N PAP
The N PAP rifle is built in Serbia by the famed Eastern European Zastava military armament factory. The N PAP is a direct clone of the M70 rifle, and lacks only the full auto capability present on the military variant. Holding the N PAP and comparing it to other popular AK models like the WASR, you’ll immediately notice the weight difference.
The N PAP is a hefty lady. This is due to the fact the N PAP uses the thicker 1.5 mm receiver, commonly found on RPK light machine guns. This heavier receiver can be considered a blessing and a curse. The weight can be a serious downfall for some, but the receiver is more durable and hardy than the standard 1 mm AK receivers.
The N PAP has another distinct feature, its completely chromed bolt. It’s not only a very attractive feature on the rifle, but it’s also functional. The chrome bolt allows the weapon to use corrosive surplus ammunition without risking corrosion to the bolt. Note though that the barrel is not chrome lined so you will still need to clean it ASAP after using surplus ammo.
The N PAP also comes with two magazines, the G2 Tapco trigger components, and a much larger, more comfortable pistol grip than the standard AK.
The standard furniture is a heavy wood, with a nice finish to it. You’ll notice the rear stock has a much higher comb than your standard AK rifles. This is because the Serbian army is very optics friendly, and it shows in this rifle. The AK does have the standard AK style side scope mount that is compatible with AK and SVD scopes.
On the Range
I noticed two things very quickly when I fired the N PAP. First off the iron sights are a pain due to the high comb, I had to dig in a bit to get a good sight picture. Next off that heavy receiver really helps absorb recoil. I can feel a marked difference between the N PAP and the WASR in terms of recoil.
Outside of that the N PAP handles like any other AK. The rifle has moderate recoil, more so than a 5.56, but still very controllable. Rapid fire strings are not difficult to control, but you’ll feel the wooden handguards start to heat up considerably after putting a few hundred rounds down range. The G2 trigger is nice and light, without a trace of trigger slap. The sights are standard AK fair, meaning they aren’t very good. The short sight radius combined with a simple post and notch. Like all AK sights, the addition of a good optic will completely change the way the rifle handles.
The N PAP has one unique feature you won’t find on many AK style rifles. This is the last round bolt hold open. Once you have fired your last round the bolt will lock back to the rear. This allows the shooter to know, without even looking, that they have expelled the last round. This is not a common feature on AK rifles, and is a nice addition.
Of course the N PAP is met with the same disadvantages a traditional AK has, this being entirely ergonomic based. The safety is a large piece of stamped metal that is entirely too awkward to use, especially when one is spoiled on the AR. The mag ejection and insertion is somewhat of an awkward rocking motion in and out of place. Although I have to credit the Serbians and their inclusion of a large pistol grip, it is much more comfortable than the standard thin AK grip.
The fit and finish is outstanding. The finish is applied evenly over the entire weapon, and looks smooth. The finish feels tough, and hasn’t suffered a single scratch in the six months I have been using it. Since non corrosive ammo is cheap and plentiful I haven’t had a chance to test the bolt’s corrosion resistance.
Take Down and Cleaning
AKs are designed for the simplest of conscripts. Take down and cleaning is incredibly easy. Pop off the dust cover, pull out the internals, and scrub the carbon off. The process is simple and requires no special tools, or even really a skillset. Simple, easy, and zen.
What would the Soviets say? “Can hit man’s chest? Accurate enough.” You won’t be winning the Camp Perry national competition any-time soon, but the weapon is accurate enough to defend yourself with.
They suffer greatly, the weapon was designed in 1947, so what do you expect? The Serbian’s improved the pistol grip greatly, and the last round bolt hold open is an excellent addition. The safety sucks, and the weapon is best used with an optic due to the stock’s high comb.
So a typical WASR is around 400 bucks, and the N PAP goes for about 550. You are getting a higher quality AK in almost every way. In reality this is a bargain for the quality you’re getting. The 1.5 mm receiver is well worth the little extra in cost.
Nyet, the rifle is fine!
Seriously an AK is an AK. I’d add an optic right off the bat, but that’s really all you need. You can go a little heavier and get a steel handguard, possibly with a rail. This could aid in resisting those oh so hot handguards.
N PAP Conclusion
The N PAP is an excellent rifle for the money. For someone looking for a relatively affordable and reliable rifle they can’t go wrong with an AK clone. The N PAP may not be the most tactified, or pretty rifle, but it’s a sledgehammer of a rifle, and will serve its owner well through hell and back.