A Closer Look at the PAP Pistols
One of the first and most well known gun control of the modern era is the National Firearms Act. The National firearms act restricted ownership of machine guns, short barreled shotguns, short barreled rifles, and suppressors. An American could still own these weapons, but was subjected to a tax, registration, a ton of paperwork, and several months of waiting.
The NFA as it's most commonly called is a rather arbritrary law that was enacted more or less out of fear of the gangster wielding Tommy Gun and to trap gangsters in a tax trap when they were caught with their unregistered weapons.
If you are interested in learning more about the NFA, take a look here: How It All Started With the NFA
Yet we are still taxed, required to register, and subject to paperwork and ludicrous wait times.
Recently people have been finding multiple work arounds for the NFA like bump firing devices like the Slidefire stock that simulates full auto to the pistol grip only shotguns that are not restricted to a paticular barrel length. Recently the ATF approved the so called arm braces for AR 15 pistols, which resemble stocks. These rubber devices are meant to strap around your arm for one handed firing, but make a pretty good stock. The ATF has even gone as far as to proclaim it’s perfectly legal to shoulder the brace. The same logic applies to say a Glock, you put it to your shoulder to fire it, it doesn’t mean it’s right, but it is legal.
PAP M92 AK Pistol
With that in mind I went a purchased a Pap M92 AK pistol from Zastava, with the Century Arm SB 47 brace installed. It ran me a little under $600 after tax and background check. I also got two mags from Zastava, and my dealer threw in an AK Pmag.
Zastava is a Serbian manufacturer that produces both Serbia’s military weapons and semi-auto only designs for export. The Zastava uses a thicker receiver, similar to the RPK receiver. The first thing you notice is the weight, the Zastava is a heavy little beast. I dare say it weighs more than my full size WASR 10.
The weight gives it a solid feel and the pistol itself feels rugged, but well made. Nothing rattles or rumbles, the mags lock in nice and tight. The sights are simple, you have flip up "combat" sights for under 200 meters, and 400 meter sights that are a bit optimistic. The flip up combat sights are much wider, and painted a hi vis white.
The M92 also features a last round hold open device, which is an excellent addition to any AK. There is also a bolt hold open installed in the safety, but it's a bit clunky, I just don't really have a use for it. The wood furniture lacks a real finish so this maybe of some concern, I personally am looking to refinish mine in commie red.
The recoil isn't really increased, and this could be due to the weapon’s weight. The muzzle rise is a bit more, due to the fact the weapon comes lacking any form of muzzle device. In fact a nut is tack welded in place, but 60 seconds with a hacksaw or dremel, or a file can remove the weld and allow for the placement of any muzzle device, including my favorite a krinkov style one by US Machine guns.
Many assume a short barrel is going to kill velocity for a rifle round. When in reality the 7.62 x 39 mm is one of the best rounds for a short barreled rifle, the tradeoff is quite small when it comes to velocity. The M92 Pap may lose some accuracy due to a shorter sight radius, but this isn’t a gun for making tight groups. The M92 Pap is designed for close range encounters and urban style fighting.
The SB 47 brace is extremely short, much shorter than any other AK stock. Even though the stock is short it’s still very easy to use. Cheek weld will be spotty, but doable, and even though the length of pull is super short the SB 47 is still quite comfortable to fire. At the fifty yard line I was popping 20 0z soda bottles with ease, and the sights were dead on for me. I did find myself putting the gun more into my chest than shoulder and found this just as accurate and more comfortable as well.
What I did find uncomfortable was how much the handguards heated up after about 90 rounds, they were uncomfortable to touch. This may drive me to change to a metal or polymer handguard in the future, but for now gloves are the remedy.
The M92 Pap also worked without issue with every mag I have, from cheap 47 round thermo molded mags, Tapco plastic mags, Magpul P mags, Euro surplus, Korean, and Chinese. The only mag that was loose was my old Romanian drum, but that thing sucks on everything. The M92 Pap ate up all the ammo I used, Wolf Hollow points and fmj, Tula FMJ and a mag of Winchester PDX as well.
The Future of Pap Pistols
In terms of purpose the M92 Pap can be a range gun for sure, it’s a blast to shoot. The M92 would also make a helluva good home defense weapon, thirty rounds of 7.62 can ruin anyone’s day. The gun is an excellent trunk or truck gun, and can be made super compact by removing the SB 47 brace.
The weapon's main weakness is the 60 + years old ergonomics that every AK suffers from, clunky control, sharp corners and a small pistol grip. Most of these can be changed, but out of the box it's standard AK issues outside of the bolt hold open. The PAP M92 is an excellent built AK pistol, but when the SB 47 is added it gains a real purpose and doubles it's usability factor without having to get the Feds involved, wait six months, and then have to ask for permission to travel with it outside state lines.
The Pap M92 and SB 47 go hand and in hand with each other. Whether you consider the SB 47 or SIg Brace workarounds, hacks, godsends, or useless you can't deny they are changing the face of the rifle caliber pistol. These things are appearing on Glocks, ARs, GSG Mp5 clones, and I’ve some custom Thompson center arms pistols with them as well. They aren’t going anywhere for awhile and I'm excited to see the future of them.
About The Author
Travis Pike is a veteran Infantry Marine and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. He lives deep in the woods of North Florida, where he can shoot at his leisure. He has been hunting since he was 8 and has always enjoyed the outdoors. He splits time between writing and working with the Florida Forest Service. He is a vocal gun rights activist. When he's not writing, shooting, or working he is often found sipping craft beer on his porch.