Zastava PAP M92 AK47 Short Barrel Rifle Review

Anti-gun activists struck again: when the ATF announced it might change how NFA Trusts worked back in 2013 I decided to get a few more items. One of them was an M92 AK47 “pistol,” which I later converted to an SBR once my paperwork came in.

Here’s my review.

Out of all of the guns and accessories I’ve tested, the PAP M92 and the US Machinegun folding stock I put on it is the most contentious. I found the M92 to be fairly nimble, solid, and an easy shooter. I had little issue with the stock except for one design flaw (which I’ll get to in a minute). Other people who tested it with me didn’t care for it as much. Some disliked the short reach of the stock. The M92 muzzle blast is pretty brutal, especially compared to the other (often shorter barreled) rifles my guest testers have fired. One friend of mine hates the machinery and design of the US Machinegun stock, and refuses to shoot the M92 again until I replace it with something else.

This is a great example of how one firearm doesn’t fit everyone.

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Features

The PAP M92 measures 28 3/16″ with the stock open, and 19 7/8″ with the stock folded. It has a 10″ barrel, and it was the second loudest firearm I tested in my unscientific sound comparison.

The finish is the best looking I’ve seen from a retail AK (I own several, and several different sub-models from different manufacturers and importers). The finish is very dark and uniform. I have a few WASRs, and it looks like someone applied the finish with a cotton ball while taking incoming fire.

Most of the short barreled AK pistols have non-standard or semi-standard parts, and the M92 is no exception. For example, the M92 has M26x15 left handed thread pitch on the muzzle. That’s not the same as most other AK -pattern rifles, and you’ll either have to get a specially-made muzzle device or a muzzle thread adapter. For now, I left the factory muzzle attachment on, and it looks a little weird:

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The only part of the M92’s craftsmanship I dislike is that weird blob weld on the top. Do you see it right above the muzzle attachment?

On a positive note, a non-standard feature of the M92 is it’s Krinkov-style hinged dust cover. I dislike taking off and putting on the AK dust cover, so this is a plus for me:

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Another non-standard but cool feature is the notched safety lever. This allows you to lock the bolt open. Yes, it requires some finesse: you have to hold the bolt while sliding the lever up, but if you’re already doing the underhand charging method you may not find this to be too difficult.

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One thing I dislike about the PAP M92 is the rear sight. It’s hard to see, and coming from my collection of AKs that’s saying a lot. I don’t like the variable front sight very much, either, but the rear sight is pretty bad.

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The two white dots are nice, but can you see the rear sight notch in that picture? Don’t worry, I can’t see it while I’m shooting, either. It’s suuuuuper small. The sight flips down for ranges up to 400 meters, and the aperture is even smaller. I plan on putting a Midwest Industries railed forend on the M92 and running a red dot on it.

The front sight isn’t as bad, but I hate the flip-up dot for longer distances. It’s just loose enough that I’m worried about it getting flipped up or half flipped up accidentally.

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The front sight, flipped up to reveal the white dot for longer range shooting

Shooting impressions

Not everyone liked the M92, but I liked it and thought it shot pretty well. After doing some functional test firing and some shooting for the noise comparison article, I ran the M92 through the “100 round drill.”

The drill is a stress test for rifles. QSI Training runs it in the basic rifle class, as well as John Farnam’s DTI rifle courses. The premise is simple: fire two rounds, move, repeat until you’ve run through three magazines or 100 rounds. It seems pretty straightforward but by the end students are a little winded, rifles have shown their weaknesses, and the barrel gets pretty hot. I don’t consider a firearm as “self defense ready” until I’ve completed a drill with it successfully.

By the end of the M92’s run I learned three things:

  1. The muzzle blast felt stronger than any other rifle or pistol I’ve run through the drill, including my 6.75″ .300 Blackout AR15 and my 7.5″ Mini Draco AK47. I’m not sure why, but there it is.
  2. The barrel got so hot that the wooden handguards became uncomfortable to hold. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t hold it, but I shifted my grip a little further away from the muzzle. In re-watching the footage we shot for the review, I should have kept my grip on the magazine, “SMG-style.” I normally do this with the Mini Draco and my Blackout pistol, but wanted to try to do it “the right way” with the longer 10″ barreled M92. Your mileage may vary.
  3. The US Machinegun stock became loose. Not so loose as to affect accuracy or reliability, but I could move the stock around by hand at the end of the drill. I was surprised that the grip-based mounting system from US Machinegun was still strong and steady. The ACE folding stock adapter has a metal protrusion on it, and this did not allow for a large enough contact area to guarantee a consistent, tight fit.

My friend Krunk ground the tab off, and we should be good to go now:

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Imagine a metal tab running the width of the (now milled) area on the ACE adapter. We believe this contributed to the loose stock.

All in all, I am glad I purchased the M92. It’s super affordable right now : you can get one from Atlantic Firearms with a different muzzle attachment plus an SB47 “stabilizing brace” for less than $600 before shipping and transfer fees as of this writing. If you just want the bare pistol, you can find it for less than $450 all day long. Centerfire Systems recently had it on sale for less than $400.

My combined cost for my SBR M92 was about $1050 including the stamp. I bought my M92 at higher prices than today’s market (about $550 shipped) but even then I thought it was a pretty good price.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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6 Comments on "Zastava PAP M92 AK47 Short Barrel Rifle Review"

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  1. Cymond says:

    Thanks for the reminder about US Machinegun, I’ve been trying to remember their name for a week.

    I was strongly considering a PAP to SBR after I move to South Carolin, but the weird muzzle threads are on the gas block, not the barrel. I plan to purchase a suppressor in SC and I doubt those threads are concentric.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      While the PAP M92 is a GREAT candidate for an SBR AK, you might want to check out the Draco or even the Mini Draco now that it’s back on the market at a non-ridiculous price. As of this writing, you can get a new Mini Draco for $500 on GunBroker before shipping and transfer.

    • Cymond says:

      Oh, I forgot to mention, I have an old Zastava SKS (59/66a) with flip-up sights. The flip-ups have large white dots for low-light shooting. Supposedly they were originally painted with some kind of luminescent paint to serve as night sights. That may be the reason for the flip=up front sight on the M92 as well.
      .
      Also, there are several companies making scope rails that mount on the hinged dust cover, between the hinge and the rear sight. I don’t know how stable they are, but they shouldn’t be any worse than the stock iron sights.
      .
      And yes, I probably will get a Draco or something similar, but I’ll probably shoot it as a pistol first. I may also just use the Century SB-47 brace that mounts to the pistol grip.

  2. Ogir says:

    “The only part of the M92’s craftsmanship I dislike is that weird blob weld on the top. Do you see it right above the muzzle attachment?”

    That muzzle attachment is a thread protector. The blob is the weld holding it on. The M92 has the hole for a AK style muzzle detent pin but not the guts. If you carefully file through the blob you can spin off the thread protector, and if you get a M92 flash hider or muzzle break, put it on. Regular AK devices don’t fit, the M92’s barrel threads are quite a bit larger. I would recommend CNC warrior to look at what they have. I have used their 4 piece flash hider and love it. While the fireball is cool for some giggles, the M92 is much nicer to shoot with some flash suppression.
    I went with a sig brace and was able to increase LOP by pulling out the brace further on the tube and wrapping some paracord to the desired length as a spacer. Still have dreams of SBRing my M92 but it shoots so nice as is I haven’t “pulled the trigger”. Plus no need to ask permission to travel out of state. Would love to have it as a folder though.

    As to the dots, mine came with white dots on the rear sight and none on the front flip up. Or so I thought. Once I scrubbed the front flip up I found a nice bright white dot under grease. I cleaned all the sights and painted them with some colored luminescent paint. Now they stand out, rear green and front orange, in the daylight and glow in the dark after some liberal application of light to the dots. The front pin got some paint too. It will be a little while before I try out the front flip up and see where it shoots now that there is an actual dot I can see. I agree the rear notch is too small.

    Lastly, I love my M92 PAP. One of my favorite guns, hands down.

  3. J. Stricklnd says:

    I agree with you about the US Machinegun folding stock being too short. I’m surprised someone else hasn’t made other under-the-grip folding stock options. I love my m92. The first thing I did was to remove the spot weld on the muzzle attachment and replaced it with a 4 piece muzzle brake which cut down on both blast and recoil. I also totally stripped mine down and gave it a good cleaning. I replaced the old shepherd’s hook with a Red Star Arms retaining pin. The Tapco requires some work to fit. The Red Star Arms works perfect. I also had to grind down part of my selector switch. Some of them come as a fully automatic which makes it more difficult to remove. I replaced the trigger with a Tapco because it has a sleeve to keep it all together and doesn’t let the spring jump out. Makes it easier to put back in. I also purchased a 75 round magazine which is ridiculous because of the weight it adds. Still fun to shoot. I purchased my m92 when they were still less than 400.00. I love this thing.

  4. Rick Tores says:

    I turned my stock M92 into a regular beast which is a thing of utter beauty to behold in terms of looks and performance. I am an avid shooter and trainer and this firearm ranks as one of my top 3 weapons of preference. I added a Midwest industries fore guard rail system, Manticore Nightbrake muzzle brake,CNC warrior Flash hider for night shooting, Century arm brace stabilizer, Bushnell TRS-25 Red dot, Wolf reinforced recoil spring (prevents short stroking), Texas trigger systems trigger and have polished the internals meticulously. This is a thing of beauty to maneuver and shoot with. I have run through a variety of AK courses with this and find it to be as accurate and reliable as my other AK’s but with a greater size advantage for maneuverability. I use 30 round mags to keep the weight down but truth be told I love to do mag changes on the AK platform anyway. With the way it is set up felt recoil is minimal. Others have attested to this as well after shooting it. Target re-aquisition is rapid due to controlled muzzle climb from the Muzzle brake (must have item on this platform INHO). This is my “go to” travel weapon or how they are affectionately called in Texas, my “truck gun”. Always with me when I travel by vehicle. I have out shot and outmaneuvered a few folk with this at various “Tactical Rifle courses”. Get one while you still can at a reasonable price !!!!!! BTW coolest fireball ever when you shoot it. It will scare the pants off some people at the range ;).

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