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Kbk wz.89 (Onyx)

Assault Carbine / Submachine Gun (SMG) [ 1991 ]

The Polish Kbk wz/89 is nothing more than a copy of the Russian AKS-74U with a few changes of note.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/22/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Like the wz/88 "Tantal, a locally-produced Polish copy of the Russian AK-74S assault rifle, the wz/89 "Onyks" (or "Onyx") is a locally-produced Polish copy of the Russian AKS-74U submarine gun/carbine with a few changes added to differentiate the type from its original. Such weapons are sometimes categorized as "short assault rifles" but are generally considered submachine guns or carbines throughout various western publications. Key differences between the Russian and Polish versions are the inclusion of a three-round burst capability in the latter as well as a side-folding skeletal butt. Additionally, the Polish version features a slightly larger rear sight that can accept the mounting of various sights and accessories as needed. Finally, the muzzle features a compensator that can accept "rifle grenades" for launching from the weapon's barrel.

The wz/ 89 was essentially a carbine form of the longer wz/ 88 assault rifle, the former intended to serve with those battlefield units that could respect its portability - namely security units, vehicle crews, paratroopers and special forces elements. Despite a period of evaluation of an initial preproduction batch (eventually numbering 200 examples), the wz/ 89 was never accepted into service with the Polish Army. Design work was started in 1987 and officially completed in 1990. The project was handled by the Zaklady Metalowe Lucznik firm with manufacture to be conducted out of the Lucznik Arms Factory of Radom, Poland.

Externally, the wz.89 was nearly indistinguishable from its Russian counterpart to the untrained eye. She maintained the same characteristic wood furniture on the forend grip and the long curved magazine. The weapon was of a stout design that fit firmly into a two-handed hold. The protruding front sight post was a noticeable feature of both countries' designs and the low-set barrel was more or less consistent with all previous Kalashnikov designs. The pistol grip was angled ever so slightly and sat behind the trigger which itself was surrounded by an oblong trigger ring. The cocking handle was to be found along the right side of the receiver, just above and ahead of the magazine feed. Spent shell casings are ejected from a port along this right side as well, the port found just above the magazine feed. The folding skeletal butt rounded out the design at the aft end and could be folded over the right side of the gun body. When extended, the butt increased the length of the weapon system to 28.35 inches from its original 20.43 inch length when folded over. The unloaded weight of the weapon was in the vicinity of 6lbs, 6oz and the barrel was of a six-groove, right-hand twist, itself measuring in at 8.15 inches in length. For logistics' sake the Polish version was chambered to fire the 5.45x39mm Soviet cartridge from a 30-round detachable box magazine. Cyclic rate-of-fire was rated at approximately 725 rounds per minute with a muzzle velocity at 3,018 feet per second.

The wz/91 became another form of the Onyks gun family though this version was chambered for the 5.56x45mm NATO standard round. This version was specifically entertained for Poland's possible inclusion into NATO ranks - which eventually occurred in March of 1999 along with the Czech Republic and Hungary.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

Poland national flag graphic


Assault Carbine / Submachine Gun (SMG)

Zalkady Metalowe Lucznik - Poland
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Poland Poland
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Automatic Function
Features a mechanical function to automate the firing action.

Overall Length
519 mm
20.43 in
Barrel Length
207 mm
8.15 in
Empty Wgt
6.39 lb
2.90 kg

Front Post; Flip-Up Rear


Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt

Rotating Bolt
System utilizes internal mechanism to lock the breech or rear barrel assembly prior to firing.
Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


5.45x39.5mm Soviet

Rounds / Feed

30-round detachable box magazine
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
1,312 ft
(400 m | 437 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
3,018 ft/sec
(920 m/sec)

wz/ 89 "Onyks" - Base Series Designation; chambered to fire the 5.45x39mm Soviet round.
wz/ 91 "Onyks" - wz/ 89 model chambered to fire the 5.56x45mm NATO standard round.

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