Zastava’s M90: The Serbian M70 Updated to 5.56mm

Zastava has been making AK rifles in Serbia (formerly Yugoslavia) since the 1960s, and today has a number of offerings made for the commercial market. One of the recent ones is the M90 (or more specifically, the PAPM90PS). This is a 5.56mm rifle fundamentally based on the M70 pattern. It uses Serbian magazines (not interchangeable with other types of 5.56mm AK magazine) and comes with a combination of modern Hogue and Magpul furniture as well as a left-side optics mounting rail. It does also include as 3-position gas regulator like on the Yugoslav M76. Several military M70 features have been removed for importation, including the bayonet lug and night sights.


  1. I thought the lowest position on a full auto AK was semiauto, and the middle was full auto. Did the Yugoslav rifles do it differently?

    • Nope.

      I wanna comment also: PAP is not the best name, because PAP is/was in Yugoslavia a name for their SKS (m59), and everybody knows when you say “Papovka” you mean SKS.

      • True, but it comes from serbian for semiautomatic, and well, this is alsa a semi. So PAP makes sense. I mean they add identifiers like NPAP or ZPAP or M90PAP (is there a M21PAP? well not yet but soon i guess). So just be more preciese in nameing the gun you are talking about,.

    • Yes this is true of all fully automatic AK type rifles, but this is a semiautomatic and in those the middle and the bottom position do the same. Some semis are marked for fully automatic for the looks. I think it is quite a smart idea to shorten the safety lever throw to the second position from the top and remove the lowest one, as this rifle does not have the fun postition anyway. Another nice detail of yugo-pattern AKs is that you can actually eject a cartridge with the safety lever in the safe position without risking feeding a new cartridge with the magazine still in place. Also the notch for locking back the bolt is nice in many situations like on a firing range or for clearing a malfunction. So yeah, the yugos and today serbs put some serious thought into this gun. Ot their TT copies etc. etc.

  2. That magazine is disappointing; it looks otherwise so sturdy which I like. I do not believe ammo make/casing material plays into it. It looks like follower’s fault.

  3. I think the notch they added to the safety is meant to work with the bolt hold open in the magazine. (In theory, as I have never held one) You could fire the last round, put the safety on so it now holds the bolt open, change mags, and the slap the safety down, releasing the bolt and chambering a round. If it works like I suspect, it could be a pretty fast mag change with just a little practice.

  4. Remotely related subject: brand new Russian “full length” rifle. It is based on previously introduced “Malysh” compact carbine. The caliber is 5.45×39.

    From picture you can see that the ubiquitous sheet metal receiver of AK line is a matter of past. It is all new gun, save for the existing caliber.

      • I am aware of it and followed its development. It is patterned after upper-lower receiver concept as is common in Western rifles. It presented challenge to designers since it broke the old formula of single piece receiver. Its purpose is to permit exchange of barrel group, therefore to increase caliber(s) flexibility. It is destined primarily to civilian shooters market.

        I am also aware that the most recent version of AK12 is augmented with new sheet metal “foreguard” with M-lock features to attach accessories much like M4 rifle.

  5. I noticed m-90 is comfortable in shooting . It was builded in ak stile with long strok piston . How did they do so soft recoil .

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