Staff Writer (Updated: 11/6/2013):
Beginning in the early 1960s, the Hungarian Army took to modernizing their large stable of Soviet AK-47 automatic weapons. Much of the changes centered upon replacing the Kalashnikov-style wood furniture on the rifles and making them cheaper to manufacture in large quantities. As such, plastics were now used to replace the wooden buttstock while a perforated steel sheet was used along the forend. A plastic forward grip was also added for improved recoil control. The resulting design retained much of the original Kalashnikov internal workings, outward functionality and external appearance. If anything, the Hungarians developed a version of the AK-47 that was slightly lighter and less expensive to produce than its predecessor.
The AKM-63 debuted in 1963 (as its designation would suggest) and was, more or less, the same assault rifle in terms of function and performance. The weapon was still chambered to fire the Soviet 7.62x39mm cartridge and this from variable-count curved, detachable box magazines. It still was managed by a gas-operated, rotating bolt firing action (the gas cylinder sitting atop the barrel for that unique "Kalashnikov look"). The type went on to see its own fair share of combat in the decades following. The AKM-63 was formally replaced in Hungarian Army service by the newer AK-63 assault rifle series - these based highly on the Soviet AKM and designed to be cheaper to produce.