View Full Version : Report on Polish small arms: new and modernized

Mishka Zubov
08-02-2007, 06:31 PM
RAPORT 08/2007
A small arms demonstration in Nowa Dęba
Remigiusz WILK (REMOV)
co-operation: Grzegorz HOŁDANOWICZ

In the beginning of July, at the military training grounds in Nowa Dęba, a presentation of new equipment and weapons - including shooting demonstration - manufactured by OBR SM Tarnów, took place in the presence of Lt-Gen Waldemar Skrzypczak, a commander of Land Forces and Brig Piotr Pcionek, a chief of Armoured and Mechanized Forces. Invited were also the representatives of FB Radom.

The main event - in the small arms category - was a presentation of 7.62 mm sniper rifle Bor. Three copies from a prototype series have been shown: one with 560 mm barrel and two with a standard 660-mm barrel. The series has passed all national tests and that means that the weapon is accepted and can be bought by Polish Armed Forces (PAF).

Documentation has been fully accepted in the beginning of June, 2007. Since that moment there is a formal basis for provisioning this Polish design. (...)

Bor from Tarnów

A tactical/technical specification of a new mid-caliber rifle has been authorized in August 2004. Design work started soon after that. The final manufacturer drawings of the weapon have been finalized at the turn of the years 2004/2005. The weapon received the code name Alex, after the name of the lead designer Aleksander Leżucha, a creator of 12.7 mm rifle Tor.

First trials have commenced on July 18, 2005. After the trials several small changes have been introduced, such as: increased rigidity of the sight rail; changes in the design of bolt safety catch; introduction of the sling fastenings and control of a free travel of the trigger.

On May 9, 2006 first shootings began from three out of five rifles from the prototype series: two standard ones - with the 660 mm barrel and one shortened - with 560 mm barrel. The latter model is designed for use by special forces and police.


The 7.62 mm sniper rifle Bor, made by OBR Tarnów, has passed all the tests and can be introduced to Polish weaponry. PAF wants to buy 36 rifles of this type in the year 2007.

Bor is a repeating rifle - with a four-cycle, translational-rotational bolt. It is butt-less - which maximizes a length of its barrel for a minimal total length of the weapon. Its center of gravity is near its pistol grip - making it easier to handle the weapon. Its very characteristic feature is that the magazine seat is placed behind the grip.

Bor's barrel is mounted in one place with the bolt chamber - without any contact with other systems (a so-called free floating barrel), with longitudinal grooves - adding rigidity, reducing weight and maximizing surface of heat exchange. At the end of the barrel one can attach: a multi-functional muzzle device (e.g. acting as the exit break), a sound muffler (design of ONR SM) or a flame reducer.


A comparison of two Bor models. Above, standard model with 660 mm barrel and attached muffler (designed by OBR SM Tarnów). Below, shortened version with 560 mm barrel and attached universal muzzle device.

The prototypic copies had barrels made by ZM Tarnów and by Germany's Lothar Walther.

The barrel, together with a bolt sleeve, is a removable system, mounted in the bolt chamber - made of airspace aluminum 7075. At the top of the chamber there is a support with universal mount rail for mounting the required optical sights. The weapon does not have mechanical sight.

The short Bor's bolt chamber has three bolts and maximal opening angle of 60 degrees. The firing pin is braced by turning the bolt's hilt upwards. The trigger is provided with a control of pressing force in the range of 9-25 N. The weapon has a bipod and a folded, adjustable back support. Bor is fed from 10-round box magazines.

Its standard accessory is an optical sight Leopold (USA) with adjustable magnification 4.5-14x50, with sight grid mil-dot reticle, parallax correction and big adjustment range (100 MOA)


PAF is to buy 36 new sniper rifles before November 30, 2007. Six of them will be used by Military Police. Currently - ignoring SWD - PAF has 158 modernized, self-repeating rifles SWD-M; 40 repeating SAKO TRG-21 and 206 repeating SAKO TRG-22 (modified variation of the first model).


A device for calibration of Bor's optical sights

Bor costs about 30-35 thousand zloty (brutto) for entire system, made of: the sniper rifle, optical sighs, box, soft carrying bag, muffler, muffler break, flame reducer, maintenance system, hearing protection, set of tools, etc.

Let us recall that in 2005 Cenzin was delivering to Military Police the 7.62 sniper rifles SAKO TRG-22, with Zeiss optics and night-vision device for about 75,000 zloty. Two thirds of this price was for nigh-vision device.

The development line of sniper weaponry, which began with 12.7 mm Tor, does not end with 7.62 mm Bor. OBR SM Tarnów is working on a new sniper rifle, which will be using .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition (8.6 x 70). The lead designer is again Aleksander Leżucha.


Brig Piotr Pcionek, a chief of Armoured and Mechanized Forces, familiarizing himself with the new sniper rifle Bor

Elided: This discussion is of no interest to non-Polish readers.

Beryl Commando

In 2006, the designers of FB Radom (FB=Fabryka Broni, Weapons Factory) created - with the co-operation with commandos from 1st PSK Lubliniec - shorter and more handy version of carbine Beryl. The new design, known as Beryl Commando, has a 406 mm barrel, instead of 457 mm - better adaptable to operations in urban warfare and limited spaces.


Beryl Commando with new adjustable butt. Even though PAF does not intend buying it, the elements of the modernizing system: a butt, a jig with three mount rails, modified manipulators and 30-round transparent magazines will be sent to Afghanistan for testing. Photo: Grzegorz Hołdanowicz

The demonstration copy has new jig - two side rails in the barrel axis and the third, lower rail Picatinny, which has been set in place of the former forward grip. In addition, the former folded butt has been replaced by a telescopic butt with adjustable foot length - patterned after American carbine M4. Although the new butt cannot be folded side-wise to the bolt chamber but the user gains on adjustability to his own needs.

In addition, a little shelf has been added to the wing of the bolt safety catch. With this gadget a user is able to move the catch down with the pointing finger while his hand is holding the grip.

The magazine latch lever has been lengthen and broaden at its back part - to ease unlatching the magazines.


A bolt chamber of Beryl Commando. Shown are: enlarged magazine latch lever and the shelf added to the wing of bolt safety catch, which allows to move the safety catch off with the pointing finger.


The newest version of 5.56 mm automatic carbine Beryl Commando is supplied with a jig with three mounting rails (here: the forward grip is mounted on the lower rail) and the butt with adjustable length

Unfortunately, the representatives of PAF are not interested in this version of Beryl Commando because - in contrary to Beryl and Mini Beryl - it has not been officially accepted to PAF weaponry. It has been decided, however, to buy from FB Radom 20 modification packs containing: new adjustable butt, new jig with three mounting rails, enlarged levers and transparent magazines.

New butt for UKM-2000

Designers of ZM Tarnów work on modernization of 7.62 mm universal machine gun UKM-2000 and on a design of foldable-telescopic butt.

Most of its elements will be made of aluminum - to reduce its mass - with the exception of few parts responsible for locking. The butt is adjustable in the range of up to 80 mm, with 20 mm jump, and is supplied with a cheek cushion - risible and adjustable up to 25 mm.

The butt's foot will be supplied with rubber damper. The picture shown below is only a proposal of the weapon modification and an attempt to interest the PAF but not as a final illustration of the weapon modification. The future offer would have to be extended by a jig of rails - to be mounted in the forward part of the weapon, a bipod and a soft ammunition box.


One of the projects of a butt with adjustable length for the machine gun UKM 2000. The butt will be mounted on hinge, allowing it to be folded on the right hand side. Sketch: ZM Tarnów

In 2007 Polish Armed Forces should obtain 130 new UKM-2000, in the version with a support for universal mounting rail MIL-STD-1913, placed on the cover of the bolt chamber. This will be the first purchase of this type of guns - not counting the C version manufactured for Rosomaks and a short trial series of version D and P.

source: RAPORT 08/2007, http://www.altair.com.pl/files/raport/0807/deba.html
translated by MZ

08-02-2007, 06:51 PM
Nice read mishka :)

Venom PL
08-02-2007, 06:53 PM
Great job MZ - as always :lol:

I just love both Tor and Bor rifles.

08-02-2007, 07:05 PM
The Beryl looks nice although I lke the older stock better, its foldable and can make for a shorter weapon.

08-02-2007, 07:46 PM
Maybe I am wrong but whenever I calculate price of that rifle it comes out to about $12000....That is how much PSG costs....So it better be real good for that much money...

08-02-2007, 08:22 PM
Thanks, Mishka.

Wojsko Polskie
08-02-2007, 10:18 PM
Good stuff Mishka, but I agree with Killer.

08-02-2007, 10:21 PM
The butt on the UKM-2000 looks like a rip off from Magpul CTR stock.

08-02-2007, 10:47 PM
Maybe I am wrong but whenever I calculate price of that rifle it comes out to about $12000....That is how much PSG costs....So it better be real good for that much money...

it looks wild and high tech. also it might be more rugged then the psg. wasnt the psg meant for urban ops and is a bit more delicate?

the beryl looks like a bastard child to be sure! very odd looking. cant say i like the m4 stock. maybe a aftermarket m4 type stock would be nicer. whatever works though. its interesting the position of the stock is so low on the beryl, is that to control muzzle climb better? it looks really odd on the beryl.

08-02-2007, 10:51 PM
Maybe I am wrong but whenever I calculate price of that rifle it comes out to about $12000....That is how much PSG costs....So it better be real good for that much money...

You are right but is for the entire system, glass, gear and all.

08-02-2007, 10:54 PM
Mishka, I hope REMOV wont get upset with you, thats his article

that beryl commando looks really really uglym and I mean fugly ugly, but hey, as long as it works:)

08-02-2007, 11:25 PM
Mishka, I hope REMOV wont get upset with you, thats his article

that beryl commando looks really really uglym and I mean fugly ugly, but hey, as long as it works:)

Go look up some pics of Armalites then, you don't belong. I banish you:fork:


08-03-2007, 01:29 AM
Of course REMOV WILL get upsed, as the correct name was Beryl Comando, not Commando.
I am sure he wrote it correctly p-)

08-03-2007, 03:10 AM
Great stuff, I'm glad to see the USSR lives on through products such as these.

I wonder if Iraq/Afghanistan will buy some?

08-03-2007, 03:18 AM
Great stuff, I'm glad to see the USSR lives on through products such as these.

I wonder if Iraq/Afghanistan will buy some?

wtf? I guess you posted your comment in wrong thread. :bash:

08-03-2007, 03:28 AM
wtf? I guess you posted your comment in wrong thread. :bash:

and in wrong decade..

what, except the lenght are the differences between Beryl comando and Beryl mini?

08-03-2007, 03:37 AM
what, except the lenght are the differences between Beryl comando and Beryl mini?

Take a look there (http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1665110&postcount=8).

08-03-2007, 05:12 PM
No, no offense at all.

I was referring to the USSR in the form of their arms industry (most of Polish weapon's origin is Soviet)

Mishka Zubov
08-03-2007, 07:27 PM
The user "akbuilder" had a lot to say on migeta.com[1] forum, about Polish made small arms and Polish engineers from Radom. His name is actually Ted Marshall. He runs his gunsmith shop in Tucson Arizona. Here is his website http://marshall-arms.com. He is a lover of AK47, he has built many of them, he appreciates Mikhail Kalashnikov (and actually has met him), but he does not see Polish design as just another copy cat, but rather as an ingeneous modification of the original design.

Here are some excerpts from his "lectures" to less informed (or obstinate ) members of that forum. Enjoy.

My speculation:
Oh, and here is something of a personal knowledge: Long time ago the physicists from Kielce Technical University were involved in physics of thin layers. They were specifically interested in a controlled oxidation process which makes metal surfaces really hard. They had acquired a very expensive machine for Low Energy Electron Diffraction (LEED), which they used to explore the microscopic layers of metal surfaces.

Since Kielce and Radom are geographically close and are known for their long lasting cooperation (Kielce U. used to train Radom engineers) I would not be surprised if some of this research has been finally put into a good use for production of very hard barrels.

05-21-2006, 10:55 AM

Thought you and some of the 5.56 AK fans might enjoy seeing a pretty "evolved" AK rifle. Although Mikhail was not involved in this development, some very talented Polish engineers at Radom took the 5.45 Tantal, gave it a 5.56/modernization, and standardized it in 1996.

It's combat proven in both the Afghan and Iraq theaters. Both the Beryl 96 and Mini-Beryl have LH selectors with semi, 3 shot burst, and full auto, as well as cold hammer forged hardened chrome lined barrels, locking recoil tabs, and RH folding stocks. Both have a quick detatch 1913 optic mount that has a throw lever that engages a stud at the rear trunion. In addition, the Mini-Beryl has a built in picatinny 1913 rail with flip sight. The front fold-down sight seen in the Iraq pic will soon be standardized.

I got to play with these quite a bit and they are 100% functional, light, fast, accurate, controllable, and just alot of damn fun!

As most 5.56 guys know what a highpressure round this is, and how some rifles are sensitive to different ammo I did a little experiment. For kicks I took a mixed bag of ammo, 55 gr, 62, gr, brass cased and steel, boxer and berdan from several different countries, manufactured from 1983 to current, and intermixed them in several mags. Charged the rifles, varied back and forth between full-auto and 3 round burst, and on one mag wet full-auto for the entire mag and BINGO, not 1 malfunction! There's just nothing like an AK !


05-23-2006, 09:23 AM

The Beryl 96 barrels have had both hard chromed bores and most recently tennifer. The factorys explanation is(a little difficult to translate from Polish to English) that it is a cyanide mixture impregnation several microns deep into the ferrous metal surface, which requires a very high temperature during the impregnation process.

Bottom line, it's an extremely hard surface which is highly resistant to corrosion and wear + no "surface coating" to chip and flake off. I saw a cross-sectioned barrel which I was told "had Well in excess of 30,000 rounds through it" and it looked almost new to me.

On a little side note; They recently tested a brand new M-4 carbine using "their test standards" and had a serious failure after only 600 rounds...pretty sad.

05-24-2006, 10:03 AM

OH Boy! I've touched an M-16 nerve....look out ! Don't want to start a M-16, AK debate here Thekatar....that would take up this entire board and several others. My personal feelings aside, there are alot of reasons for the US Military seeking a replacement for the 16 and I won't go into it here...but that's a fact, not an opinion.

Yes, Grom does play with M-4's and they also have many other weapons in their inventory....mission specific. I will get more of their feedback on this when I meet with them this fall. If they allow me to comment on this subject, I will be happy to share this with all of you.

Regarding "What is sad?"; Radom and the Polish Military have very rigorous testing methods and I found it interesting that the M-4 failed during the initial stages of testing. Again, I deal in facts. I can not comment on these test methods at this time because of my relationship with them.

As a few of my customers know, the reason I am "off screen" several times a year is that I also do small arms consulting work. This unique position on the inside does not always afford me the opportunity to share all the information available to me.

05-30-2006, 11:00 AM

Yeah Stottman, I've also heard that we never landed on the moon.

Latvia; "dumped Polish AK's"....always the naysayer Stottman, whats with that? Ever offer anything positive?
Nato caliber change, and bought rifles that won't function in the sand, Big DUH for the Latvians.

Polish Beryl in the desert; to answer your "have had problems with their AKs"....make that 1 problem, and I can comment on this.

Being that the 5.56mm is already a very high pressure cartridge, then add temperatures that can exceed 140 degrees, and the pressures can go excessive bigtime! With extreme pressures and a highly accelerated inpulse,they experienced some firing pin faliures after 30,000 + rounds. They made a small change to the firing pin, retrofitted the existing rifles, and end of problem.

Rest assured that their test standards have been changed to reflect these extreme temperature conditions. I have 10's of thousands of rounds through my Mini-Beryl to include sessions in our lovely Arizona sand storms, and have never had a failure... but thats only my personal experience with this weapon. I've also been face to face with Polish military combat vets and have heard only good things about their Beryls....and the story did not change, even with alot of vodka and great Polish beer!

"Small Arms repair guy buddy had the idea that the Polish made the guns TOO well.... AKs reliability partially comes from its sloppiness...Naturally, when you introduce CNC and Western Tolerances into the AK design, it doesn’t mix very

Your buddy got it wrong....sorry to burst another negative bubble. The Beryls have the same mechanical operating system tolerances as the AK-74/ Tantal rifles. All that switching to CNC machinery did for Radom, was to raise the overall quality by making the production more consistant. The "improvements" have been to add the features I have previously mentioned such as the front folding sight, quick change 1913 optic mount etc.

Once again, I deal only in facts, not conjecture, hearsay, scuttlebutt, etc.

06-01-2006, 10:14 AM

(...) ELIDED: Ted is chastizing Stottman
I have attended many meetings in Poland over the past 6 years with the Military Technical Institute, the Polish Ballistics engineers, the Radom Production Manager & FB Radom Executives, Radom Design Bureau, the Bumar Group Executive (they controll all the military equipment manufacturing in Poland), the first Polish forces on the ground in the Afghan and Iraq parties, and have had dinner (and much drink) with them at military installations, restaurants, and in their homes with their familys.

source: http://www.migeta.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-3366.html


MIG/ETA (Manufacturer, Importer and Gunsmith Ethical Trade Alliance) is a commission of concerned industry professionals addressing the issue of ethical standards and business practices within the firearm industry.

08-04-2007, 12:41 AM
No, no offense at all.

I was referring to the USSR in the form of their arms industry (most of Polish weapon's origin is Soviet)

Most? No, many but they'll be replaced soon. Beryl is based on AK-47, but it's another project.

08-06-2007, 09:59 AM
too many retrofits - if you have to add things like rails, new hand grip, change the butt stock, fire selection, and the magazine release - then you need a new assault rifle

08-06-2007, 10:15 AM
too many retrofits - if you have to add things like rails, new hand grip, change the butt stock, fire selection, and the magazine release - then you need a new assault rifle

Good remark! :)

Mishka Zubov
08-06-2007, 10:19 AM
True, unless they take seriously the old saying: "If ain't broken don't fix it"

08-06-2007, 10:58 AM
True, unless they take seriously the old saying: "If ain't broken don't fix it"

but why the add ons then? If it was a simple matter of shooting then okay, but the battlefield of today and the future is more complex then just aim through the sights and shoot. Now assault rifles also employ laser range finders, scopes, illumination devices, and all these require rails.

Mishka Zubov
08-06-2007, 11:27 AM
You are right, of course. I was teasing a bit. :-)

But I think it is cheaper for a manufacturer to go one small step a time. Small improvements, not much investment in tooling needed, everything based on a well tested and proved basis.

On the other hand, isn't there a trend for modularization nowadays? I am not an expert in small arms, but if I were to design a civilian gadget that relies on a lot of hardware I would concentrate on an overall functional and modular design to fit the best hardware available on the market .. and more.

08-06-2007, 01:06 PM
There is no political will to buy new small arms systems for our army, but there is still a space to upgrade all what is used now.