The AKM is a popular variant of the AK-47 rifle, known for its reliability and durability. However, it is important to note that AKM rifles can differ in size, especially between Soviet and Chinese AKM models, but also the Serbian Zastava M70 models. This can affect the compatibility and fitment of AKM parts and components, requiring some modification to ensure proper operation.
The Soviet AKM was the original AKM model and was produced in several factories in the Soviet Union. While the overall design and function of the rifle remained the same, there were variations in manufacturing processes and tolerances that could result in slight differences in dimensions. For example, the location of the gas block on Soviet AKMs may vary slightly, which may affect the fitment of some aftermarket parts.
Chinese AKMs, on the other hand, were manufactured to slightly different specifications than their Soviet counterparts. This can lead to size differences that may affect the compatibility of some parts and components. For example, the case length on Chinese AKMs is slightly shorter than on Soviet AKMs, which may affect the fitment of certain stocks, dust covers, or handguards.
The Zastava M70, on the other hand, is a Serbian designed rifle based on the AKM. It features a machined case, which is stronger and more durable than the AKM's die-cut case. The M70 also has a longer handguard and a different gas block design.
As a result of these differences, it is important to be aware of the specific model and origin of your AKM rifle when purchasing parts or components. While many parts are advertised as "drop-in" replacements, some manual adjustments may be required to ensure proper operation.
Adjusting/modifying by hand involves adjusting and changing parts to fit together properly. This includes filing or sanding parts to the correct size or shape, drilling holes or adjusting tolerances, and in extreme cases even welding or soldering.
It is important to note that not all parts or components of the AK-47 need to be modified. However, it is a possibility that should be expected, especially when it comes to aftermarket or non-OEM parts. It is always a good idea to consult a professional gunsmith or do a thorough investigation before ordering or attempting to install any new parts or components.
While hand fitting may seem intimidating to those unfamiliar with firearms or mechanical work, it is a common practice among gun enthusiasts and professionals alike. In fact, many gunsmiths specialize in manual assembly and offer services to ensure proper assembly and operation of parts.