Century PAP M92 AK Pistol

By Todd Burgreen

The current article will be shrouded with certain amount of skepticism, even controversy. Review pertains to the Century Arms Zastava PAP M92 AK pistol with SB 47 stabilizing arm brace; that is right – pistol. The reason for the opening sentence statement is obvious considering the configuration of the arm brace resembling a stock. It is not intended as such with the BATF supporting this by offering its approval of various stabilizing arm/forend braces of late from different manufacturing sources. The intent is to review the PAP M92 AK pistol only in the form its designers intend.

The Serbian based manufacturer Zastava Arms has gone through its own turbulent and controversial periods in its history that dates back to 1853. Zastava’s initial offerings were in the form of cannon. As we know, the Balkans have always been a source of strife with so many ethnicities struggling to form their own independent entities. The dissolution of the Yugoslavian state in the early 1990s brought this to the world’s attention yet again. Zastava Arms was crippled by a UN arms embargo due to the civil wars being fought in the area. In 2004, the U.S. began allowing arms imports again with the return of normal trade relation between the U.S. and Serbia. Century International Arms became the exclusive distributors of Zastava Arms products in the U.S.

The Century Zastava PAP M92 pistol is derived from the Zastava M92 rifle. The M92 is a shortened version of the Zastava M70 assault rifle, which is a modified copy of the Soviet AK 47 series of assault rifles with a few tweaks. The Zastava M92 chambers and fires the Soviet 7.62×39mm cartridge. It is gas-operated, air-cooled, magazine-fed, and in original form is a selective fire firearm with an under-folding metal stock. The Zastava designs are easily distinguished from other AK makes by the design of pistol grip and handguard, which is longer and made out of different wood type with three cooling vents instead of two as on other AK models. The different wood and cooling vents control the amount of heat transfer from barrel and gas piston into a user’s hand during long strings of fire. The M92 features a shorter barrel ala Krinkov/Suchka like. It must be said that the 7.62x39 round experiences little velocity change from a shorter barrel when compared to a full length 16 inch barrel; thus making it an excellent choice for short barrel rifles or pistols.

A compact weapon like the M92 AK has its own advantages in terms of handling, ease of concealability and increased portability that is hard to resist. This brings us to the Century PAP M92 AK pistol with stabilizing arm brace. What does it offer in terms of real utility in its pistol form? The answer here will be nebulous based on user expectations and intentions. The Century PAP M92 AK pistol, while interesting, lacks much in terms of accuracy past normal handgun ranges with added negatives of weighing over 6 pounds and muzzle blast of a rifle round. While definitely categorized as a fun firearm, the AK in its pistol form is somewhat limited in its effectiveness. Century has addressed this by equipping the M92 AK pistol with a Krinkov style muzzle extension and the SB 47 Stabilizing Brace. The SB 47 brace secures AK style pistols to the forearm of the shooter and assists in firing the AK pistol the way it is intended via the hand. The Century SB 47 stabilizing brace certainly assists with steadying the M92 AK pistol due to the added support derived from wrapping around your forearm. It is a matter of increased leverage. The M92 AK pistol features a 10-inch barrel contributing to an overall length of 29 inches. The Century Zastava AK pistol has a unique front gas block and sight compared to other full size AKs and the rear sight is modified for shorter ranges expected from a pistol. Lessons rediscovered in Iraq and Afghanistan about terminal ballistics further enhances 7.62x39 AK credentials even if coming from a 10-inch barrel.

Century has modified the Zastava rear trunnion to accept the SB 47 stabilizing brace. The stabilizing brace consists of AR style buffer tube extension with the forearm brace slipping over it. The Century tube is significantly larger in diameter than a standard AR tube. T&E of the Century PAP M92 AK pistol took place at Echo Valley Training Center’s (EVTC) 360 Range. Range T&E followed an established protocol of verifying sight zero. A 25 yard zero was chosen considering the PAP M92’s pistol configuration. After this was done evaluation commenced with a function test involving firing several magazines in rapid succession at various targets and vehicles that dot the range. While not unique, this is a good way to establish a baseline for reliability. Let’s face it; if an AK-type weapon does not have pristine reliability, its major attribute is nullified. The muzzle device did a decent job of minimizing flash, but every so often a ball of flame would jet out from the cylinder shaped muzzle device. I say muzzle device because what is fastened on the PAP 92’s muzzle is neither a true brake nor flash hider; rather a gas expansion chamber to ensure reliable functioning on full auto – not an issue with the semi-auto under review here. It was discovered that paying attention to ammunition types paid dividends in terms flash signature from the short barreled pistol barrel.

Multiple 7.62x39 loads were tested with the PAP 92 AK pistol such as Wolf, Tula, and Silver Bear. A new addition to the 7.62x39 ammunition realm was also accessed. This is Century’s Red Arms Standard brand. Red Army Standard 7.62x39 ammunition will be offered in handy Range Packs (180 rounds) as well as 30-round boxes. This packaging allows the consumer to purchase multiple boxes of ammunition in a convenient, easy to carry and use format. Red Army Standard is manufactured by the same factories that produced billions of rounds of ammunition for the Soviet Red Army and Warsaw Pact nations. Markings on the Range Pack boxes indicated Romanian and Ukrainian manufacturing. Century’s Red Army Standard will be available in many popular Warsaw Pact rifle calibers such as 7.62x39mm (123 grain FMJ), 7.62x54R (148 grain FMJ) and 5.45x39mm (69 grain FMJ). Loads out of the PAP 92 AK pistol hovered in the 3-5 inch accuracy range at 25 yards firing from a stabilized position. The trigger was smooth and with reasonable pull weight measuring slightly over 5lbs.

Even with the SB 47 brace strapped to your arm the PAP M92 AK pistol is a handful – no pun intended. The 6 pound plus pistol creates a good deal of torque and stress on your arm while pointing out to aim. It is by no means intolerable, but does limit extended firing session. The SB 47 brace does assist in managing this thanks to the better leverage offered of it strapped on your arm and not just held in your hand. This same phenomenon had several users cant the PAP M92 AK inboard for better control. Recoil was not problematic with two to three rounds possible to be fired in quick succession. Accuracy from non-braced shooting positions opened up measurably compared to initial firing from supported bench. Not to be harsh or dismissive but reliable hits were problematic 25 yards and beyond. The standard AK iron sights were not helpful in the accuracy quest either.

One immediate upgrade thought of for the PAP M92 AK pistol would be the install of a quad rail enabling the mounting of a red dot optic and/or laser aiming device. This was an attempt to increase accuracy and effective range of the PAP M92 AK pistol. A Midwest Industries M92 Krinkov handguard was installed. Installation of this rail is quick and does not require a trip to the gunsmith. Easy to follow instructions and all of the necessary hardware to mount Midwest Industries rail system is included. Since the M92 handguard doesn't mount directly to the gas tube, your optic is spared exposure to a large amount of heat, thus extending the life of your optic. Another benefit of the Midwest Industries handguard is that it allows for better ventilation around the rifle’s barrel, thus cooling it down faster after long strings of fire. As expected from Midwest Industries, the M92 handguard was well made and did not move once installed on the PAP M92 AK pistol. The Midwest Industries handguard should be considered essential for getting the most out of the PAP M92 AK pistol; without the handguard it would have been impossible to proceed with mounting a red dot optic or laser to the PAP M92 AK pistol.

It was decided to mount a Trijicon RMR on the Midwest Industries handguard. The RMR sight is a proven commodity able to withstand the recoil and heat generated by repeated long strings of fire. The RMR only weighs several ounces adding little in weight to the PAP M92 AK pistol, an important consideration considering its already heavy weight on one’s arm. The beauty of the Trijicon RMR sight is that it does not require batteries to generate the aiming dot because of the dual use of fluorescent fiber optics and tritium lamp. The lack of reliance on batteries is appealing as matching the PAP M92’s rugged nature. The RMR’s dot aided in acquiring a fast aiming point at CQB ranges. The 7MOA dot in the Trijicon RMR proved more than capable of hammering steel targets out to 50 yards reliably when fired from a supported position such as wedged between a car door and frame. The red dot sight offers the capability to engage multiple targets in rapid sequence as compared to open sights than the single focus plane. The red dot is easier to shoot accurately than coordinating front and rear sights, especially at speed. A SIG Sauer laser aiming device was also affixed to the PAP 92 AK pistol in the quest to increase its effectiveness. The green SIG laser was certainly visible with the added benefit of not needing to extend the PAP 92 AK out to place accurate fire on target. The natural urge to mount a vertical forward grip had to be resisted as this is not allowed on a handgun without crossing into NFA compliance territory in terms of AOW classifications.

The 800 pound gorilla in the room is what purpose does the Century PAP M92 AK pistol with stabilizing brace serve? It is certainly not the most practical handgun considering its weight. However, for jurisdictions that do not allow SBR class of weapons the PAP 92 AK pistol is a valid path. The stabilizing brace does perform its intended role of increased support for the large PAP M92 AK pistol. This still does not turn the PAP M92 AK into a serious first choice for a personal defense firearm. However, this does not take anything away from individuals who enjoy taking it to the range for entertainment value, which is quite large especially with red dot or laser attached.

Century International Arms
430 South Congress Ave. Suite 1
Delray Beach, FL 33445
(800) 527-1252

Echo Valley Training Center

This article first appeared in SmallArmsReview.com on March 7, 2014


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