MANUFACTURER(S): Femaru Fegyver es Gepgyar (FEG) - Hungary
OPERATORS: Afghanistan; Angola; Cuba; Croatia; Georgia; Honduras; Hungary; Laos; Mozambique; Palestine; Panama; Rhodesia; Somalia; Somaliland; Sudan; Yemen; United States; Vietnam
ACTION: Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt
CALIBER(S)*: 7.62x39mm Soviet
SIGHTS: Iron from and rear
Detailing the development and operational history of the FEG AMD-65 Assault Rifle.
Entry last updated on 5/8/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
With the AKM-63 firmly entrenched as the standard-issue Hungarian assault rifle, attention was given to developing a like-minded weapon system for use by vehicle crews. The AKM-63 of 1963 was, itself, a Hungarian-inspired update to the famous Soviet AK-47 assault rifle. Chief changes to the design were removal of wood furniture (replaced by plastics), the installation of a forend perforated steel sheet and the addition of a plastic forward grip for improved handling. In 1965, a evolution of the series produced the AMD-65 assault rifle which incorporated further changes to the line. The new rifle was adopted into Hungarian Army service in 1967 and production was handled by the local concern of FEG.
As the AMD-65's design goal was to supply vehicle crews with a sturdy, portable and reliable weapon, the base AKM-63 was used as a starting point. With this, the weapon would receive the ease-of-maintenance and reliability inherent in the Kalashnikov line of firearms. Furthermore, the design would retain the basic gas-operated, rotating bolt firing action and utilize the ubiquitous Soviet 7.62x39mm cartridge firing from a curved detachable box magazine. The major differences in the new design would be a shorter barrel and a collapsing, single-strut stock - both features that would make for a more compact and lighter automatic weapon design. Additionally, a distinct double-slotted muzzle brake would be added for improved recoil as would a plastic forward pistol grip. Vehicle crews could now field the firepower of an assault rifle from the relatively safe confines of their vehicles - firing through protected ports at nearby enemies.
Thus, the AMD-65 retained much of the qualities of the original AK-47 assault rifle family including the distinct outward appearance. The cocking handing was held at the right side of the receiver with the gas cylinder projecting above the barrel assembly. The folding stock was hinged at a single point and folded over the side of the receiver. The forward stock was fitted under the gas cylinder/barrel area along a lengthened lower receiver. The weapon was fed via a 30-round detachable box magazine and fired at a rate of 750 rounds per minute.
The AMD-65 was utilized by the Hungarian Army from 1967 into 2006. The AMD-65 - like the AKM-63 - were both replaced in frontline service by the newer and cheaper AK-63, a Hungarian development in line with the Soviet AKM. Other operators included many budget-conscious customers such as Afghanistan, Cuba, Georgia, Honduras, Hungary, Laos, Palestine, Panama, Somalia, Yemen and Vietnam. The United States-based contracting firm - Blackwater - is thought to have used the AMD-65 in their actions. Civilian versions were/are also imported as non-firing kits. The AMD-65 has also proven popular with guerilla and terrorist movement fronts for its sheer reliability and use of the widely-available Soviet-era cartridge. AMD-65s have been issued to Afghan national forces in number.