Polytech AKS – The First Wave of Semiauto Chinese AK Rifles

The first semiauto commercial AK rifles to enter the US were Finnish Valmets. These established a US collector interested but while excellent in quality, they did not quite fit the visual pattern of the classic Sino-Soviet military Kalashnikov. The first of those to find its way into the US was the Egyptian Maadi, a Russian rifle made under license in Egypt, and imported by Steyr. The explosion of interest in the Maadi guns was tempered by their high price, and it became clear that a low-cost historical military-pattern AK would be very popular.

One of the first companies to react to this opportunity was Poly Technologies (Polytech) of Beijing, China. They arranged manufacture of a semiautomatic only commercial copy of the Chinese military Type 56 AK first by Factory 416 in Shan Dong and later by factory 386 in Fu Jian to bring into the US. First in 5.56mm and quickly followed by 7.62x39mm, these were high quality rifles at half the price or less than the Egyptian Maadis. They were offered in fixed stock and underflowing patterns, with an underflowing spike bayonet unique to Polytech imports. Two different side-folding stock were also offered, although in smaller numbers. Importation would last for only a few year, cut off by the 1989 Assault Weapon Import Ban.

13 Comments

  1. Any product made in China will likely be good at first and slowly get worse and worse over time. The Chinese consider technical and material specifications to be a good place to start in the quest to drive cost down to as close to zero as possible.

      • “…now they are the norm…”(C)

        Yes it is.
        Especially considering that “Chinese” or “Turkish” quality has now become the “norm”. 😉

  2. At one time, underfolding spike bayonets, mostly SKS I think, were sold quite cheaply in the US, and were popular with the knife-throwing crowd. They were on the light side, but durable, and you could modify them cheerfully, because there were always more.

    So says Member #69, American Knife Throwers Association.

  3. I remember seeing these in a gun store in Oklahoma City in the 1980s. I think they were $299. This store was also selling semi-auto AKs made in Yugoslavia for several hundred dollars more.

  4. A pretty close semi-auto clone of the military grade Type 56. Interesting rifle, with the under-folding spike bayonet and all. Still, I guess these rifles must be difficult to find today.
    In what regards quality, Bulgarian and Hungarian semi-auto AK clones are head and shoulders above the Romanian ones. These early Polytech Chinese imports too, btw, as Ian has pointed out.

  5. Heard about these rifles.
    In the Afghan experience, they are even more omnivorous than the original.
    Thanks to their more chambered chambers, they will eat almost any ammunition.
    The Soviet AK is far from it.

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