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A U.S. Marine trains Afghan National Police recruits on how to use the AMD-65, in June 2008.
|Place of origin||Hungary|
|In service||1967 – present|
|Used by||See Users|
|Manufacturer||Fegyver- és Gépgyár|
|Weight||3.8 kg (8. lb)|
|Length||847 mm (34.4 in) / 648 mm (27 in)|
|Barrel length||317 mm (12.5 in)|
|Rate of fire||650 rounds/min|
|Feed system||30-round magazine|
AMD-65 (Hungarian: Automata Módosított Deszant[fegyver] 1965; Automatic Modified Paratrooper [weapon]) is a Hungarian-manufactured licensed variant of the venerable AKM rifle for use by that nation's armored infantry and paratrooper ("descent") units. The rifle's design is suited for outdoor use as an infantry rifle but can also be used from within the confines of an armored vehicle as a fire support weapon. This is possible due to the side-folding stock of shaft design that makes it more compact. The 12.6-inch barrel is also relatively short for the 7.62×39mm cartridge. The operating mechanism does not require a gas expansion chamber at the muzzle as in the AKS-74U to ensure reliable functioning, but does use a specially designed muzzle brake, which reduces muzzle flash, but makes the weapon louder.
The AMD-65, along with the earlier AKM-63, have been largely replaced in Hungarian military service by the AK-63, a more traditional AKM copy with a lower manufacturing cost.
Of note is the fact that no wood is used in the manufacture of large numbers of AMD-65s. The front handguard area is made of perforated sheet metal and typically has a gray plastic vertical foregrip attached to assist in controlling fully automatic fire from this short weapon. In addition, the vertical foregrip has been canted forward to lessen interference with magazine changes. Interestingly, the vertical foregrip is physically identical to the rear grip, with the former simply mounted backwards with respect to the rear. There are, however, wooden grips available which can serve in place of the common gray plastic version. While these wooden grips are also authentic, in the regular Hungarian army and air force, use of wooden grips is extremely rare.
In Hungarian service, the weapon is mainly used with magazines which can hold 30 rounds (standard magazine) but a special variant (popularly known in the past as "officer's magazine") is also available, which can only hold twenty rounds – an unusual feature in many other countries, who more often use the standard 30-round or 40-round magazines. The weapon is better suited to a 20 round magazine, as it can be locked into the receiver without interfering with the forward handgrip and it is easier to handle the weapon in tight quarters. The 30 round magazine does fit with some slight interference and it can be also fitted with the 40 round magazine.
In theory, the short barrel is stiffer and more inherently accurate, but the short sight radius and poor quality of commonly available ammunition negates this advantage.
Another Hungarian AKM variant formerly was used as Hungary's standard service rifle before being replaced by the AK-63. It is a standard-length AKM variant, with a standard buttstock and full-length barrel. The front sight is in the standard location. However, the front and rear pistol grips and sheet metal handguard are similar to those of the AMD-65.
- Gaza Strip
Availability in the United States
Many AMD-65s were exported to the United States and sold in kit form following the destruction of the receiver, which legally rendered the weapon to the status of a non-firearm. In order to be legally reassembled, the parts must be rebuilt on a US-made receiver which lacks the provisions for certain parts which would make it capable of automatic fire. In its original short-barreled form the completed weapon isn't legal for civilians to own in the United States, but the addition of a permanently attached barrel extension (Or a $200.00 tax stamp fee to register it as a legal "short-barreled rifle" or AOW (any-other-weapon) under the NFA) satisfies these legal requirements. In addition, a certain US-made parts count is required in order to comply with U.S.C. 922 (r); a statute which regulates imported rifles with certain features that the BATFE defines as not being suitable for sporting purposes. Some individuals choose to build AMD-65s without a buttstock, thus legally classifying the resulting new firearm as a "pistol" and eliminating the need for a muzzle extension (as well as the parts for 922r compliance). However, this route requires the removal of the forward grip, unless the gun is registered under the NFA as an "AOW" (any other weapon).
However, the semi-automatic version of the AMD-65 is now legal for civilian use in most states.
Use by foreign military and private security companies
The AMD-65 has been exported to the West Bank and Gaza, as well as Afghanistan. An increasing number of western security forces, including contract employees of the former Blackwater Worldwide (now known as "Academi") who are serving in the latter two countries, use highly modified AMD-65s rather than conventional 5.56mm based rifles. The combination of a larger caliber and shorter size provides better punch during short range combat. The metal front handguard lends itself well to a relatively easy refit with multiple Picatinny rails, allowing use of red-dot optics, tactical lamps and other accessories. The wire buttstock rod can be reshaped to allow use of 75-round RPK drum magazines even with the stock folded, and the weapon's internal mechanism can be tuned with aftermarket recoil dampers for smoother behaviour in full-auto mode.
- Kalashnikov AMD-65 Machine Carbine. Retrieved on August 25, 2008.
- The AK site
- Small Arms of the World, 1983
- Description, photos
- True history of AMD-65 from the Hungarian AK site