During a short but ultimately eventful visit to the regions of Suwwat (Swat Valley) and Kohistan, located in the far Northern uppermost areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, in late October 2021, a Hungarian-esque oddity was discovered lurking amongst the tall evergreen trees and majestic rocky mountains just a few kilometres outside of the capital city of Suwwat, Mingora. This mechanical contraption of metal and wood found in the arms of a security guard at a trout farm was very reminiscent of the well-known 7.62×39mm Hungarian AK-variant; the AMD-65 carbine, at an initial glance.
Upon closer inspection of the firearm, it turned out to be an intriguing straight-blowback pistol-caliber carbine chambered in the still popular and widely used ’30 Bore’ (7.62×25mm) cartridge. The build utilised many features of the original AMD-65 design with the exception of the shorter milled faux-stamped receiver, with a short selector lever, designed for these pistol calibre type carbine/submachine-guns, a shortened stubby buttstock patterned after the Russian/Soviet AK74 types, a slightly elongated barrel length and a standard 7.62×39mm AK magazine adapted for the shorter 7.62×25mm cartridge with an internal block and feed ramp. Due to its design and the painted finish applied, it at first appeared to be an AKM-63 or AMD-65 with a locally fitted wooden buttstock until a closer look revealed otherwise.
As the ‘30 bore‘ cartridge is still widely available in both genuine factory and locally manufactured loads, plus the licenses needed for these pistol caliber weapons are easier to acquire compared to weapons chambered in military-issued calibers, such as 7.62×39mm, these are popular alternatives which closely resemble an actual full size AK rifle but use the easier to procure and possess smaller round. Happening across any locally manufactured firearm is a treat as you can find something new or different to what has been documented before, revealing more interesting developments in arms design from the Khyber region of Pakistan. For instance check out our earlier article on Darra’s PPSh-41 Franken-Builds.