The infamous 7.92 × 57 mm Mauser AK-type self-loading rifle from the Pak-Afghan region, known locally as the ‘8mm AK’ and G3 in Pakistan. A handful of images have been floating around for a number of years. I have been lucky enough to inspect a few examples on both the manufacturing side and in private hands over the past few years.
The AK can be had in various calibres from gun manufacturers and gun shops but this large calibre round is a mystery, why did the gunsmiths choose this round? The simple answer as with most questions is this; the 7.92 × 57 mm Mauser cartridge isn’t regulated like its 7.62 × 51 mm NATO counterpart, which is in use by the Pakistani military, and there were large stockpiles of the ammunition available when this rechambering was conceptualised. Currently, you are hard-pressed to find the original rounds for sale but reloaded ones are still found in most shops today.
These rifles are mainly found in semi-automatic configuration only, in order to comply with Pakistani gun laws, but you can find them with the unadulterated automatic setting too. I wouldn’t advise shooting it in fully automatic, however, due to the recoil impulse and high pressures involved. The locally made rifles and the converted original AK-type rifles go through different processes in manufacture; they mainly use under folding AK rifles with a milled Type 2 and Type 3 receiver to handle the pressures of the 7.92 × 57 mm round as a base for the most part. Gunsmiths do substantial work to the magazine well, feed lip and barrel area to accommodate the larger round reliably. Not only is this done, an original rifle will also have its barrel pulled and chamber reamed to accept the 7.92mm round whereas the locally made ones have barrels made to specification from scratch. The box magazine used to accommodate the larger round is a 20-round ZB26/30-type magazine. There are original magazines floating about, also used in the 7.92 × 57 mm Mauser BREN conversions, but copies of this design are made and used much more frequently than an original one.
Having personally shot the 7.62 × 51 mm chambered version, it isn’t too uncomfortable but the under folding buttstock does dig in to your shoulder a little so shooting the 7.92 × 57 mm Mauser would definitely kick much more, especially when on automatic mode. The rifles are an interesting evolution in the local AK manufacturing industry and for this reason they were quite popular on the private market. Recently, they can be bought with the usual cheap Chinese/Pakistani production railed handguards and pistol grips as a kind of modernisation upgrade. A forward grip would be helpful to help control the heavy recoil of this large calibre round.
Now that we see the introduction of newer firearms to the market, these are definitely not as common to find as they once were. As with all things, its time comes and passes with the changing of technology.