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FB PM-63 RAK (Reczny Automat Komandosow)


Submachine Gun / Machine Pistol / Personal Defense Weapon (PDW)


Poland | 1965



"The PM-63 submachine gun emerged out of Poland during the Cold War decades and found favor with many."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/17/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Despite the Soviet influence in Poland during the Cold War decades, the nation managed an indigenous arms industry which developed and produced various solutions to local requirements. One such product became the PM-63 RAK ("Reczny Automat Komandosow"), a blowback-operated compact submachine gun which entered Polish Army service in 1965 and is still in use today with a plethora of operators. Design work began in the 1950s and is attributed to Piotr Wilniewczyc (who died before the product has been completed). Manufacture stemmed from the acclaimed Lucznik Arms Factory of Radom.

Externally, the PM-63 was given a machine pistol-like form which benefits battlefield elements such as special forces units, rear-guard elements, and vehicle/logistics troops. Additionally, such weapons are prized by security, police, criminal, and terrorist elements for the close-quarters requirement. The pistol grip of the PM-63 is straight as in the Israeli UZI but set farther off towards the rear of the receiver with the trigger unit located close to center. A short forend features a collapsing vertical foregrip which aids in stabilizing the weapon under full-automatic fire. The ejection port is set to the right side of the receiver in the traditional war. Iron sights are provided through a flip-up rear with front blade arrangement. The wire stock is fully collapsible to promote a very clean, compact profile.

The PM-63 went on to find global favor with various operators due to its footprint, lightweight feel, and chambering. The original PM-63 was developed around the 9x18mm Makarov pistol cartridge and weighed 3.5 lb while sporting an overall length of 23 inches with its stock extended and just 13 inches with its stock collapsed (the barrel measured 6 inches long). With a straight blowback (open bolt) action, the weapon fired at a rate of 650 rounds-per-minute through a muzzle velocity of 1,050 feet-per-second. The entire slide moves during the action as it would in a semi-automatic pistol and its front end is extended under the barrel to serve as an integrated compensator and help reduce muzzle climb. This extension can also be used to cock the weapon in short order. Effective range was out to 150 meters and feeding by way of a 15- or 25-round detachable box magazine. Recoil proved very manageable for this small weapon.

In 1971, a new variant was revealed in 9x19mm Parabellum chambering as the PM-70 but production was limited due to lack of customer interest. The PM-73 became another failed experiment when chambered for the .380 ACP (9x17mm Short) cartridge. NORINCO of China produced the PM-63 illegally based on reengineering captured examples from its border wars against Vietnam (1979-1990) as the "Type 82" and offered it in 7.62x25mm Tokarev and 9x18mm Makarov flavors.

Production of the weapon spanned from 1964 to 1974 to which 80,000 units were completed. Operators beyond Poland became Afghanistan, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Iraq, Palestine, Singapore, Syria, and Vietnam. East Germany, North Vietnam, and the Soviet Union are all former operators of the PM-63. The weapon has been seen with separatists of the Donetsk People's Republic of East Ukraine in the ongoing Ukrainian-Russian war. Palestinian terrorist forces also favor the compact PM-63. The weapon also saw combat service during the 2001 Afghanistan and 2003 Iraqi wars that followed the respective U.S.-led invasions there. By that time, the Polish submachine gun was a veteran of the Vietnam War (1955-1975) and Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). Its first use was during the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia (1968).

The similar-looking PM-84 "Glauberyt" is an altogether different Polish submachine gun offering of Cold War origin. Entering service in 1984, it is also featured in several different chamberings and fires from a straight blowback action - though using a closed bolt design.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Physical
The physical qualities of the FB PM-63 RAK (Reczny Automat Komandosow). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
583 mm
22.95 in
O/A Length
152 mm
5.98 in
Barrel Length
3.53 lb
1.60 kg
Weight
Straight Blowback; Select-Fire
Action
9x18mm Makarov; 9x19mm Parabellum; .380 ACP; 7.62x25mm Tokarev
Caliber(s)
15- or 25-round detachable box magazine
Feed
Iron Front and Rear.
Sights
Performance
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the FB PM-63 RAK (Reczny Automat Komandosow). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
492 ft
150.0 m | 164.0 yds
Max.Eff.Range
650
Rounds-Per-Minute
Rate-of-Fire
1,050 ft/sec
320 m/sec
Muzzle Velocity
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the FB PM-63 RAK (Reczny Automat Komandosow) Submachine Gun / Machine Pistol / Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) family line.
PM-63 - Base series designation; model of 1965 chambered for 9x18mm Makarov.
PM-70 - Model of 1971; chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum; limited production.
PM-73 - Chambered for .380 ACP; not widely accepted.
Type 82 - Unlicensed Chinese copy of PM-63
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the FB PM-63 RAK (Reczny Automat Komandosow). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Lucznik Arms Factory - Poland / NORINCO - China
National flag of Afghanistan National flag of Bulgaria National flag of China National flag of Cuba National flag of modern Germany National flag of East Germany National flag of Iraq National flag of Poland National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Syria National flag of Vietnam

[ Afghanistan; Bulgaria; China; Cuba; East Germany; Iraq; North Vietnam; Palestine; Poland; Soviet Union; Syria; Vietnam ]
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Image of the FB PM-63 RAK (Reczny Automat Komandosow)

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to requirements.
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The FB PM-63 RAK (Reczny Automat Komandosow) Submachine Gun / Machine Pistol / Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) appears in the following collections:
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