Translated by Peter Fazekas, spell checked by Nathan Deppe.
The AK-47 and AKM-63 assault rifles (incorrectly called machine pistols) produced by FEG were difficult to operate for vehicle crews, airborne units and they also limited an officer’s ability to command due to their size. Because of this, the High Command requested a new assault rifle that fulfilled these requirements:
- · The weapon had to be smaller and easier to carry
- · Had to operate exactly like the AKM-63
- · It had to be useable by both officers and airborne troops
- · It had to have had a compensator to reduce muzzle climb
- · The magazine had to accept 20 rounds
- · The fixed butt stock had to be replaced by a folding stock made out of tube which didn’t block the trigger when folded
With these requirements in mind, the new weapon was designed. The prototype was ready in March 1965, the first batch of rifles followed in September. Mass production started in January, 1967. Its architecture and action was the same as its predecessor, and it was exported to several countries. We must note that the weapon was primarily intended for airborne units (D stands for descant), so it was designed to keep the paratrooper alive while he regroups with friendly troops. Despite this, after the field tests, other forces (airforce, armor divisions, etc) showed interest in adopting the assault rifle, even though it wasn’t suited for them. This model had reduced magazine capacity and accuracy, but the shorter barrel and folding stock made it a very compact and cost effective weapon, and it is very popular on the other side of the ocean even today. Of course, compatibility with other Kalashnikov-based rifles remained. Magazines were interchangeable and AMD-65’s had to withstand 15000 shots without failure just like other Kalashnikovs. The AMD-65 was adopted by Afghanistan, Panama, Yemen and Georgia, but it can be found in Palestine and Lebanon as well.
Today in the United States, the AMD-65 is very popular among the states that consider it legal, because of its cheapness. Still, this completely Hungarian design served as the base of the rifle that is the most different from the original Kalashnikov, and one of the most comfortable.