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GUNS Magazine October 2011 Digital Edition - Page 36
HOLT BODINSON century’s intriguing ak Pistol. hen it comes to kalashnikov variants, century w International arms has the field surrounded. They offer: under-folders, side-folders, bullpups, high- and ThE C39 7.62X39MM low-capacity models, wood stocks, metal stocks, synthetic stocks and calibers 5.45x39 as well as 7.62x39. Making its debut is their 100-percent american made, c39 Pistol, a family offshoot of their centurion 39 Sporter rifle, which raised the bar on ak accuracy, performance and quality last year. An AK pistol? It does seem strange at first, but the concept goes back to the 1970s when the Russians designed the diminutive AKS-74U in 5.45x39 as a submachine gun for use by armored and helicopter crews. The AKS-74U combined an AKS receiver with an 8.26" barrel and a side-folding stock. With the stock folded, it has an overall length of 19.29", and weighed 7 pounds fully loaded. The AKS-74U hit the ground running during the RussianAfghan war. The Russians gave it the nicknames “cigarette stub” and “little bitch.” The mujahedeen gave it the name “Krinkov” or “Krink,” and regarded it as a Class A1 Russian war trophy. It was certainly handy, concealable and very cool looking. Scrolling up to the present, true AK/AKM-type pistols in 7.62x39 without an AKS-74U type folding stock emerged in Iraq. According to Frank Iannamico in his definitive work, AK-47: The Grim Reaper, “the Iraqi pistols, so far recovered, seem to be of local manufacture and basically, modifications of existing stores of AKs.” As pictured in his book, they are essentially short-barreled, 7.62x39 versions of the AKS-74U; highly concealable and probably somewhat marginally useful for close quarter combat in an urban setting. Machined Receiver Century International Arms had been importing the “Draco” model 7.62x39 pistol, made in Romania, until they decided to manufacture an AK pistol themselves. They’ve done it right. The C39, AK-type, semiautomatic receiver is machined from an 11-pound billet of 4140 ordnance steel. After it’s cut and shaped into a rigid AK receiver, the end product weighs a mere 1-1/2 pounds and radiates quality and durability. The barrel measures 11-3/8". With its birdcage compensator, the C39 pistol has an overall length of 21-3/8". Shooting with the sling as a brace (above) gives this loud, little beast enough support for the longer ranges. In such handling, the 20-magazine is preferable (below). The C39 AK pistol is derived from the Centurion 39 Sporter Rifle. 36 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • OCTOBER 2011