Yugo-Designed AK-47, O-PAP M70
Pat Cascio 12.03.13
Several countries produce the AK-47 style of rifle, some under license and some without being licensed. On the surface, many of the guns appear to be identical in all respects. While many refer to this particular style of gun as an AK-47, most of the guns are really designed after the AKM, a modified version of the original AK-47.
Many Russian troops are now carrying the AK-74, which fires a different caliber; the AK-47 style fires the 7.62X39 caliber. The design of AKs varies from country to country.
The O-Pap M70 is a Yugo-inspired AK produced in the Zastava Arms Factory, well-known for manufacturing some of the best firearms in the world.
This model comes with a non-chrome lined barrel for better accuracy, and the barrel is slightly longer than 16-inches in length. The receiver is a stamped AK-pattern; however, it has the heavier-built RPK receiver, which is thicker and stouter than a standard AK receiver.
This is one reason why I selected the O-PAP over the N-PAP. I wanted an AK that would be almost indestructible in a SHTF situation. The forearm is slightly longer on the O-PAP than on a standard AK, and it has three “vents” for aiding the barrel in cooling, instead of the standard two. The forearm, as well as the stock, are manufactured from wood, much stouter than that of a standard AK. The pistol grip, longer and thicker than typical AK, is made out of a black polymer and has finger grooves perfectly placed for a great hold.
There’s also a slanted muzzle brake on the end of the barrel. The front sight is adjustable for wind and elevation. Once set (zeroed), you don’t need to make any further adjustments. Elevation adjustments are then set with the rear sight, which is graduated from 25-meters all the way out to a very optimistic 1,000 meters. The 7,62X39 round simply isn’t designed for shooting at that distance. I believe the AK is best used inside of 400-450 yards myself. Beyond that, you’re only guessing where the rounds will hit.
The receiver is stamped sheet metal and is 1.5mm thick; most AKs have a 1mm thick receiver. Also, the O-PAP has the dimpled receiver for a better fit of the 30-rd AK magazines (no rattling). After a bit of practice, insertion and removal of magazines was effortless once you get used to how the magazines rock into place. Another difference between the O-PAP M70 and a standard AK is the top-cover on the receiver. On a standard AK, you simply push the little “button” in and the top cover comes off. With the O-PAP, you have to press in a cross pin under the top cover before you push the top-cover release button. It was designed that way so that when grenades were fired through the O-PAP M70, the top cover wouldn’t pop off. Nice touch!
The O-PAP comes with a front sling mount, but there is no mount for a sling on the butt stock. It’s an easy enough fix. Just by drill a small hole at the right angle and screw in a stud for attaching a QD sling mount. But as well-made as this rifle is, I don’t know how the factory or Century Arms, who imports this rifle, missed not putting a sling stud on the butt stock. However, it’s a $5.00 fix for a sling stud and about 5 minutes of your time. Also, no sling was included with the rifle. The left side of the receiver has a side rail mount, but I’ve never seen much use for a scope on an AK-47 rifle. The accuracy just isn’t there for super long-range shots. Still, the side rail mount is there if you want to mount a scope.
The O-PAP also has the outstanding TAPCO G2 trigger assembly, and this gave my sample a superb 3 1/2 trigger pull with very little slack and no over-travel. It’s one of the best trigger pulls I’ve ever felt on a battle rifle. I saw no need to play around with the trigger pull. The O-PAP, with the thick wood furniture and the 1.5mm thick RPK receiver, weighs in at slightly over 8 lbs.—a bit heavier than most AKs. The added weight also helps reduce felt recoil.
My sample O-PAP M70 was pretty close to being on when I zeroed it. Minimal adjustment for elevation and windage is necessary, and you must use an AK sight tool for this. I fired a variety of various Russian-made 7.62X39 ammo, and I had zero malfunctions. I’ve been limiting my firearms tests to around 200-rds or less, but I wanted to really put my O-PAP to the test. I fired more than 400-rds in one day. Accuracy was slightly better than expected from an AK-style rifle. If I did my part, I was getting 3-inch groups at 100-yards—a few were a tiny bit smaller, and some a little bigger.
Prices fluctuate on this model AK. I paid $599.00 for my sample. This O-PAP is one beauty of an AK-style. If I were to have to grab and run with one rifle for the end of the world, my O-PAP M70 would be that rifle. I don’t see this firearm failing me under the harshest of conditions. This is a reliable, tough, and quality choice suitable for any survival scenario.