Zastava ZPAP92: The Serbian Krinkov

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The ZPAP92 is Zastava’s semi-auto export pistol version of their M92 military carbine. This AK pistol has the same quality and firepower as their full-sized ZPAP in a package that’s half the size.

What Is A ZPAP92?

  • Semi-Auto AK Pistol In 7.62x39mm
  • Made In Serbia
  • Based On Zastava M92
  • Krinkov-Style Rear Sight
  • Hinged Top Cover
  • Versatile Rear Trunnion Accessory Options

Zastava’s M70 series of AK rifles have been extremely popular with both military users and civilian sports shooters for decades. Now based in Serbia, Zastava’s newest generation of semi-auto AKs are known as ZPAPs and are some of the nicest and well-built options on the American market. If you’d like to learn more about the history of Zastava Arms, our previous article goes more in-depth.

Zastava ZPAP92
Zastava ZPAP92

The M92

Yugoslavia’s AK designs are so distinct because they were built from the ground up. While Warsaw Pact members like Romania had help from the Soviets to develop their own AKM copies, the Yugoslavians’ unique political independence meant that they were on their own when it came to designing their small arms. They succeeded when they reverse-engineered the AK into their M70 rifle, giving birth to a whole new family of Kalashnikovs.

For the same reasons, Yugoslavia also had to design their own DMR and PDW if they wanted weapons in the same vein as the Soviet SVD or AKS-74U. Their homegrown answer to the SVD was the M76, and their take on the famous Krinkov was the M92.

Technically the M85 carbine came first, but it is identical in every way to the M92 besides being chambered for 5.56. The M92 being chambered for the more prolific 7.62×39 cartridge allowed it to see more success than the M85. With its 10-inch barrel and underfolding stock, the M92 was a popular choice for vehicle crewmen and special forces alike. The M92 has seen military service from the Balkans to Africa to the Middle East.

Zastava M92 military carbine.
Zastava M92 military carbine. Photo: Wikipedia

ZPAP92

While the ZPAP92 is based on the M92 in concept, as far as technical details go it is more similar to the full-sized ZPAPs, and that’s a good thing. The military M92’s receiver does not feature the bulged RPK-style front trunnion that the contemporarily produced M70 and ZPAP rifles do. The ZPAP92 has all the same qualities that consumers have come to expect from Zastava AKs, like the strengthened receiver and front trunnion, blued metal finish, and chrome-lined barrel.

Like the ZPAP M70 rifle, the ZPAP92 takes Yugo pattern 3-vent hole handguards and standard AK pistol grips. The barrel is threaded for 26×1.5 LH pitch and comes with a thread protector. This is not the standard AKM 14×1 LH pitch, but there are still plenty of muzzle device options out there that fit it. Note that the ZPAP92’s thread protector comes welded on the gun for legal importation, but once in your possession the weld can be easily and legally ground off.

When it comes to mounting optics, there are options for the ZPAP92 but they are different than for the ZPAP M70. This is because, unlike the M70, the ZPAP92 does not have a scope rail on the side of the receiver. There are pros and cons to this fact. One benefit of not having a scope rail is that it will not interfere with a left-side folding stock or brace. A downside, obviously, is that the quickest and easiest way to mount an optic to an AK is no longer an option.

Another feature found on the ZPAP92 provides for a different mounting option, however. The AKS-74U inspired hinged dust cover provides a solid lockup between the cover and the receiver. This is necessary for retaining zero because the Krinkov-style rear iron sights have been moved back onto the dust cover, unlike standard AKs which have loose dust covers that make mounting any sight on them a bad idea. The zero-retaining hinge mechanism can facilitate aftermarket Yugo pattern dust covers which have Picatinny rails mounted on top, providing space for solidly mounting a modern optic.

ZPAP92 hinged dust cover.
ZPAP92 hinged dust cover.

If you plan on effectively utilizing your ZPAP92’s sights, whether they be iron or glass, you will need something to stabilize the gun. This can be accomplished with either a pistol brace, sling, or stock if you go the SBR route. Attaching a sling or pistol brace are the easiest options for this, both physically and legally. The ZPAP92’s rear trunnion has been pre-drilled to accommodate three types of mounting accessories sold by Zastava: a sling loop, a 1913 rail adaptor, or a buffer tube adaptor. These allow for the attachment of either a sling or most common pistol braces with the appropriate mounting hardware.

ZPAP92 Pre-drilled rear trunnion and mounting options.
ZPAP92 Pre-drilled rear trunnion and mounting options.

While most people who buy AK pistols may do so for the fun or cool factor, with light modification they can become very functional little guns. Of the currently imported AK pistols, ZPAP92s are a very well-made option, but keep in mind that they take proprietary Yugo pattern parts and the thicker receiver results in a gun that’s stronger but also heavier than an AKM pattern AK pistol. For those looking for their next truck or backpack gun that’s reliable and built like a tank, the Zastava ZPAP92 is worth considering.

For more info on Zastava Arms, please visit zastavaarmsusa.com.


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