The AK-63 (also known in Hungarian military service known as the AMM) is a Hungarian variant of the AKM assault rifle manufactured by Fegyver- és Gépgyár. It is currently used by the Hungarian Ground Forces as its standard infantry weapon, and by most other branches of the military of Hungary.
In Hungarian service, the AK-63 replaced the AMD-65, which is nearly identical but features a modified heat shield and a vertical forward hand grip under the barrel. Although the AKM-63 had been the Hungarian service rifle since 1963, it was more expensive to build, and the forward grips had a reputation for being easily damaged in the field. In the late-1970s, the Hungarian Defense Ministry requested that FEG manufacture a cheaper rifle based on the more traditional Soviet AKM design. By the end of 1977, the AK-63 was adopted by the Hungarian military (beginning with the Ground Forces). In 1978, FEG added a folding stock AKMS version of the AK-63 to their catalog; thereafter, the fixed-stock AK-63 became known as the AK-63D and the folding-stock version was designated AK-63E. In Hungarian service, they are known as the AMM and AMMSz, respectively.
The AK-63D and E (AMM and AMMSz) are both nearly identical externally to the USSR-manufactured AKM and AKMS. The main difference is that the AK-63 series retains the distinctive-looking straight pistol grip of the AKM-63. The forward hand grip of the AK-63 also lacks the grip rails which characterize the Soviet AKM (and most AKM copies made in many other countries). The wood on the AK-63, like that of the AKM-63, has a bright, laminated blond finish.
During the Cold War and afterwards, the AK-63 series was widely exported to a number of nations in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South America.
Iraq under Saddam Hussein was the first major export customer to receive the AK-63, which it began importing in large numbers in 1979 to equip its armed forces. These rifles made their combat debut in the hands of Iraqi soldiers during the Iran-Iraq War in 1980-1988. During the war, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and many of the local militias which participated in the fighting were also armed with AK-63s; these were most likely acquired by capturing them from the Iraqis (since Iranian troops were mostly armed with AKs purchased from China and North Korea). The AK-63 was used by Iraqi forces again during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and later turned up in Kurdish and Shi'ite hands during the insurrections in Iraq throughout the 1990s.
The AK-63 was also exported to the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, which used them to fight the Contras in the 1980s. Since the end of the Cold War, the AK-63 has also turned up regularly in the hands of militants in Somalia and Zambia, and was also purchased by Croatian forces for use during the Croatian War of Independence.
In 1985, a semi-automatic version of the AK-63 was also exported to the United States for civilian consumption. Known as the SA-85M, it was only imported for a few years before the 1989 assault weapons importation ban. Since only a few thousands SA-85Ms were imported prior to 1989, it is now considered a collector's item amongst assault weapons enthusiasts and commands high prices (often $2,000 or higher). However, in recent years, Century Arms in the United States has built clones of these rifles from Hungarian parts kits on American-made receivers.
- AK-63D (AMM in Hungarian service): The basic fixed-stock copy of the Soviet AKM.
- AK-63E (AMMSz in Hungarian service): An AKMS copy with an under-folding steel stock.
- SA-85M: A semi-automatic-only version intended for civilian sales in the United States.