AMD-65: The Specialist’s AK Turns Standard-Issue

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The Hungarian AMD-65 (Automata Módosított Deszantfegyver
– “Modified Paratrooper Automatic Rifle”) was requested first in 1964 because the standard AKM-63 rifles in Hungarian service were too long for a lot of troops. The Ministry of the Interior requested a new rifle 30% shorter and 10% lighter than the standard AK, and the result was the AMD-65. The designers at FÉG decided that the regular Soviet underfolding stock design was too complicated and expensive – and also prone to getting loose with use – and designed their own folding stock design. It was cheap, easy to make, and solid – but it gave a lousy cheek weld. This was an acceptable compromise.

The AMD-65 first saw combat use with elements of the Hungarian forces that occupied Czechoslovakia in August 1968, and they liked it. In a surprise move a few months later, the Hungarian MoD decided to adopt it as the standard infantry rifle for all troops, on account of its lower cost than the AKM-63. This was really not the role the AMD-65 was intended for, but the decision stood. Production for the Hungarian military ran until 1980, and commercial and export production continued another decade until 1990. In total, about 1,068,000 AMD-65s were made, accounting for 56.5% of all Hungarian Kalashnikovs. It was widely exported, and is seen in conflict zones worldwide to this day.


  1. I have problems in comprehending how come this thing was 50% cheaper than a regular AKM?
    Was wood so expensive in Hungary?..

    • I am guessing that what looks like small details of the AKM design, that could be dropped for the AMD-65, were deceptively expensive to produce.

    • “I have problems in comprehending how come this thing was 50% cheaper than a regular AKM?”

      I really do not know. My guess is that they included in their calculation – incorrectly, in my opinion – the existing AK-55 (=AK-47) and AKM-63 (=AKM) lines and tools that did not require modification or additional expenditure.

      “Was wood so expensive in Hungary?”
      I do not think so.
      Half-serously, half-jokingly: in Hungary everything was and is and will be expensive. It is an inexhaustible source of untranslatable self-deprecating jokes.
      But there are forests in Hungary, but no iron ore, and very little low-grade coal. → Steel cannot be more expensive than wood. (This is not the Scottish Highland, see: all-steel Murdoch flintlock pistol.)

      • Why was the AMD 65 “cheaper”? Communist accounting would be my guess. The numbers are whatever the Politburo say they are.

  2. I have heard that the Afghan police did not like the AMD 65, no doubt because of the horrible folding stock and ear shattering noise. But never mind, those 100,000 rifles are the Taliban’s problem now. Thanks Brandon.

    • The Afghan US troop withdrawal was initiated and signed by the trump administration in 2020 as the United States- Taliban deal. All troops were to leave Afghanistan by May1. The Biden administration was following through with the agreement signed by trump. Biden was sticking with trumps plan. trump enemy invited the Taliban to Camp David. So if you want to thank the person responsible for the Afghanistan withdrawal agreement you can thank the ex president.

      • Sorry, Biden reversed everything Trump did. Biden did not follow the timetable and screwed up the withdrawal. The mess is fully on Biden.

      • Stephen:

        The Trump deal with the Taliban was predicated on them agreeing to join the government, not take over the state. The Taliban did not keep to their side of the deal, so Trump would not have kept to his side. He’s like that. Biden seemed to think (think?) that he was bound by Trump’s deal. He did not have to cut and run the way he did. This was a bigger defeat that South Vietnam in 1975. Afghanistan was just handed on a plate to the Taliban. I repeat, thanks, Brandon.

        • The deal was predicated on not supporting “terrorists”. It had nothing to do with the government. Bigger defeat than South Vietnam. What an absurd statement. Vietnam is now our trading partner. The Vietnamese wanted control of their own country. And we sacrificed over 50000 American lives for zip. Same for Afghanistan. All the lives lost and money spent. For absolutely nothing. Brandon finally ended a nightmare for Americans that trump was afraid to do. So I agree with you. Thanks Brandon.

          • Stephen:

            I predict Afghanistan will never be a trading partner. It is now a Muslim tyranny.

            The war in Afghanistan had been won, no US troops had died for a year. The Taliban were nothing like the NVA. They were a bunch of ragamuffins riding in on the back of Toyota pickups. Brandon just upped and left the country and handed it to them. Don’t try and spin this as a win. It was an epic defeat. FJB.

          • Biden did not follow Trump’s deal, thus the Taliban felt that they did not have to either. And no matter the setup, leaving billions of dollars worth of the most modern armaments to a terrorist organization is true folly and ineptitude that is all on Biden.

          • Bart:

            Quite right. Brandon was president during this debacle, not Trump. He owns it, though I doubt he can remember it.

        • No, Trump likes to betray first. What could he have done differently when he found he’d been the sucker this time? Like in 1975, there was no public support to stay.

          1975 was supposed to lead to the Communist apocalypse of the Domino Theory, with the Reds rolling all the way into Thailand and Malaysia. Instead the Communists ended up fighting each other. Infighting is what will happen again in Afghanistan because it is not a nation.

        • The sheer level of ignorance displayed here is breathtaking…

          I seem to remember the sequence of events as being very different, but then… I was actually paying attention.

          For one thing, Trump tried pulling out far earlier than the end of his administration. The Pentagon basically disobeyed him, as they did in so many other things.

          The other point ignored here is that Trump did not zero out support for the Afghan government. That was pure Biden admin, and echoes exactly what he did in Congress to the South Vietnamese and later with Iraq. Same playbook, as a matter of fact… Reduced hours on aircraft, after building an aviation-reliant military for Afghanistan, pulling out maintenance personnel, reduced ammo… Virtually the same thing the Democrats did to South Vietnam in the 1970s. And, what the Obama admin did in Iraq.

          It’s a funny thing, but watching people rewrite history I lived through because they don’t like it is vastly amusing. It’s sad that those parties ignored the news, and are now reliant on partisan political pieces for their knowledge of current events…

      • He did not have to agree with that, and the Trump withdrawal had some specific restrictions. The Bug Out was a fiasco so stop letting TDS to blame Trump when BIDEN was the Commander In Chief,

  3. In 5.45mm Probably a decent enough smg/rifle; 60’s though eh, so no. Well I can see why they put that foregrip (A good one.) on it in 7.62×39 – Bet that helped, but it was no Ppsh. 5.45mm Better.

      • Well the ear shattering noise, and earth shaking fireballs etc. Just saying I bet a Ppsh would enable most folk to actually hit a target, as oppose using this in full auto.

          • Having put quite a few rounds through this rifle, I truly believe the one thing they could’ve done to fix everything that ails it would be not lopping off the barrel. The concussive loudener on the muzzle may be terrifying, but these are so danged hard to live with.

          • That muzzle brake must be expensive to machine. I just cannot see how the AMD 65 is cheaper than a bog standard AK.

  4. Best thing to come out of the AMD-65 program was that pistol grip, which the Israelis copied for the Galil and the South Africans copied for the R4 and R5.

    I seem to remember Peter Kokalis having a bunch of good things to say about it, as well. I rather liked the few examples I’ve been able to handle and fire, so I think it works really well. Certainly, a lot better than many other AK-style grips.

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