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7 Best AK Pistols: 7.62, 5.56, & 9mm [Ultimate Guide]

AK pistols have been infused with a new level of popularity.

Maybe it’s because AK pistols are a lot of fun, kind of cheap, and easy to find. Ammo, magazines, and AK parts and pieces are everywhere.

Kalashnikov USA KP9 Shooting
Kalashnikov USA KP9

Even in times of ammunition shortages, AK ammo is still relatively easy to find and affordable.

Assorted 7.62x39 (FMJ, Open, Soft, FMJ)
Assorted 7.62×39 (FMJ, Open, Soft, FMJ)

Or maybe it’s because AK pistols seemingly replaced the Glock, TEC, and MAC in hip-hop lyrics. (Future’s “Draco” anyone?)

Future Rapping
“Rat tat, got a little kickback”…indeed

Regardless, people love their AK pistols. And I don’t blame them.

With popularity booming, the next obvious question is which AK pistol is worth your money?

Draco NAK-9 Shooting
Draco NAK-9 Shooting

I love a good AK pistol, so I rounded up the best models on the market…and one wildcard option. I’d like to think Mr. Kalashnikov would most certainly approve of these selections.

So, read on to find out which AK pistols you should grab!

Best AK Pistols

1. PSA AK-P

Need something affordable with a modern flair?

akp innawoods
AK-P In the Woods

The PSA AK-P MOE is what you want.

Modern Probs Modern Solutions

The AK-P comes with a 10.5-inch barrel, which is a real sweet spot for 7.62x39mm rounds. Loss of velocity is a mere 200 feet per second.

PSA tops the barrel with a Krinkov style muzzle brake, and the receiver is equipped with a Picatinny rail for easy optics attachment.

akp front
AK-P Front

Want to co-witness? The rail easily accommodates this so long as you pair it with a low-mounted red dot and stock AK iron sights.

M-LOK fans will be satisfied with the AK MOE handguard boasting lots of sweet, sweet M-LOK — great for attaching accessories and goodies of all kinds.

Pair this with the rail, and you can modernize and accessorize to your heart’s content.

900
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Another nice touch appears in the form of the dust cover, which is hinged.

Rounding out the notable features is the M4 stock adapter and SBA3 brace. This provides easy stabilization on this hefty pistol. PSA throws on a Magpul AK grip and ships it with an AK P-Mag for good measure.  

The AK-P MOE gives shooters an awesome weapon for home defense or plinking. It’s a modern option for those looking for the AK pistol experience without the 1947 features.

Check out our full review of the AK-P for more details.

800
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And now with a video!

2. Arsenal SAM7K-44

The Arsenal SAM7K-44 Pistol kicks our list off with a style that is easily changed into a short-barreled rifle — if that’s your thing.

Let’s be honest; it’s a pain to transfer and sell an SBR and likely a money-losing prospect. With that in mind, it’s always good to go big and pick the highest quality pistol to convert.

Go Big

When it comes to AK variants, it’s tough to beat Arsenal. The company makes some outstanding AK variants.

The SAM7K uses an 8.5-inch barrel, the same length as an AKSU 74, and comes chambered for 7.62x39mm.

Arsenal SAM7K-44 Left Side
Look how tiny and cute it is (Photo: Arsenal)

The old 7.62 Russian is a sweet option for short barrels. Not to mention, it does an excellent job maintaining velocity — even when the barrel is chopped.

The SAM7K-44 pistol features a receiver that is both milled and forged.

Instead of machining from bar stock, Arsenal uses hot-die hammer forging.

What does this do for the build?

Well, it produces a stronger overall receiver.

1200
at Rainier Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The SAM7K features an ambidextrous safety, a rear sight pushed back onto the dust cover for greater sight radius, and a Kirnkov style muzzle device to reduce muzzle flash.

An ambidextrous safety is a nice touch and drives the platform forward.

Arsenal SAM7K-44 Rear Picatinny
Rear Picatinny offers another spot to slap stuff on.

But wait a minute. Didn’t you mention SBR earlier?

Yes, yes, I did. The SAM7K-44 is superbly easy to SBR.

You can even attach Sig-style stocks. Of course, a triangle folding stock works perfectly for the AK appearance.

The SAM7K-44 ain’t a cheap gun. But, if you want an SBR, it’s the best route to take.

199
at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

3. PSA AK-V

I know two Palmetto State Armory AKs in a row seem a little unimaginative, but these are two very different guns.

PSA AKV 9mm & AKP 5.56
PSA AK-V 9mm (left) & AK-P 5.56 (right)

Blending a pistol caliber subgun with an AK pistol form, the PSA AK-V is one of a few like it on the market.

The NAK-9 Draco is neat, as is the Kalashnikov USA variant, but the AK-V makes some smart design choices. Chief among them — the use of CZ Scorpion magazines.

Smart
Good thinking

PSA makes their own mags, but you can also grab CZ OEM, Magpul, and Manticore mags.

They’re cheap, and they feature a curved design, which really completes the AK look.

20
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Sporting a 1913 rail, you can pop a brace on for fun. PSA includes the triangle side-folding brace that also lends itself to that Krinkov AK SMG look.

You can use basically any other fixed or side-folding MPX style brace.

PSA AK-V camo
When you just need a camo, braced baby AK

Also included are an AK MOE handguard, a Magpul pistol grip, and a railed dust cover for attaching optics.

AKV drum mag
AKV with Drum Mag

The tanker-style two-port muzzle brake might be unnecessary for a 9mm round, but it pulls the package together.

The PSA AK-V is most certainly the most modular and affordable pistol-caliber AK.

Check out our full review here.

789
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And corresponding video:

What’s your take on the AK-P?

Readers' Ratings

5.00/5 (21)

Your Rating?

4. Zastava Arms ZPAP85

With a pile of 5.56 laying around, it can be hard to get into a new caliber. The good news is you don’t have to.

Zastava Arms’ ZPAP85 has you covered with an AK pistol design that accepts most AK magazines made for 5.56 NATO. 

Zastava Arms ZPAP85- Top
Top down

It’s a Serbian-made design utilizing a thick 1.5 mm RPK receiver and bolt-hold-open built into the safety.

The Serbians do it differently, but they make solid AK pistols.

Zastava’s ZPAP85 uses a hinged Krinkov style top cover and also Krinkov style sights. This is an old-school AK pistol without all the fancy do-dads.

This gun sports a 10-inch barrel and, admittedly, holds back the 5.56 round’s power and performance. 5.56 works best from a 20-inch barrel, so trimming it in half will hurt its range and velocity.

However, the massive muzzle flash and concussion it creates is so much freaking fun.

Hell Yeah
We’re with this kid.

Also, the AK-like design is quite hefty. With the 1.5mm RPK receiver, the gun is even heavier. This creates an AK pistol with little recoil.

In short, the ZPAP85 a fun banger if you just want to plink. (And share an ammo source with your main rifle.)

1100
at Primary Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

5. Charles Daly PAK-9

The Charles Daly PAK-9 is a super small, pistol-caliber AK pistol utilizing various magazine platforms. Featuring interchangeable magazine blocks, Glock and Beretta are both supported mag platforms.

It’s a Romanian-made AK produced in the Cugir facility.

Straight up, it’s ugly as sin, but it’s super cheap and ultra-reliable.

Painful to Look At

Opting for a simple blowback, it’s hard to get it not to work.

Quality magazines are key, and I will say the KCI Glock drum will not serve you well with the PAK-9.

Lights, lasers, and other fun stuff attach easily, and the top of the dust cover has an optic rail for tossing on a red dot.

Charles Daly PAK-9
(Photo: PSA)

The gun comes with a simple set of sights with an open-type rear sight you’d more commonly see on a traditional pistol.

Oddly enough, it does work, and this 6-pound pistol handles easily enough to shoot accurately.

Sporting a barrel measuring 6.3-inches, overall length comes in at a mere 14.37-inches.

You can attach a brace pretty easily.

Charles Daly PAK 9 Brace
PSA’s braced package (Photo: PSA)

Even better, the PSA package comes with a brace adaptor for AR-type tubes and braces.

This is an affordable way to get an AK pistol in a pistol caliber that potentially takes magazines you already have.

It looks silly but shoots well and is ultra-compact and cheap to boot. That’s a tough combo to beat.

650
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

6. Century Arms Draco NAK-9

How about another tiny 9mm contender for the best AK pistol? Check out the Century Arms Draco NAK-9.

Draco NAK-9 Shooting
Draco NAK-9 Shooting

And yes…it takes Glock mags.

Though it has a lackluster trigger it’s tons of fun to shoot.

We shot it all day from the hip and even with the iron sights, it shot accurately. Definitely, a contender to add a red dot on top of there (and a pistol brace).

Draco NAK-9 Glock Mags
Draco NAK-9 Glock Mags

And since it’s still an AK we expected reliability to be flawless. However, we had trouble with KCI mags. Official Glock mags though…100%.

We have a full review of the NAK-9 where we go over everything.

And with a video too!

7. Kalashnikov USA KP-9

No list would be complete without the closest thing you’ll get to the Russian special forces 9mm PP-19 Vityaz.

Vityaz at Interpolitex, Wikipedia
Vityaz at Interpolitex, Wikipedia

The K-USA KP-9 is a direct clone of the Vityaz while the PSA AK-V is more of an homage.

Kalashnikov USA KP9 Left Side
Kalashnikov USA KP9 Left Side

And it might be the most fun we’ve had shooting a pistol caliber in an AK platform!

But when you add in a suppressor and night shoots…anything becomes awesome.

Kalashnikov USA KP9 Night Shooting
Kalashnikov USA KP9 Night Shooting

Yes…we also upgraded ours a little with Zenitco furniture and K-USA’s selector. Yay to finally be able to lock the bolt back as well as an easier time going between Safe and Fire.

Kalashnikov USA KP9 Selector
Kalashnikov USA KP9 Selector

Magazine-wise it takes proprietary ones and though we tried a PUF version…the K-USA ones still worked the best.

Kalashnikov USA KP9 Reload
Kalashnikov USA KP9 Reload

Again…words can only go so far in showcasing how fun and awesome the KP-9 is…so check out our full review.

1115
at Ky Gun Co

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And video:

8. Galil ACE Gen 2

I always get to choose a wildcard, right?

Wildcard

The Galil has ties back to the original AK series of rifles, and IWI is producing modern variants with their Ace series – including the Galil Ace pistol.

Galil ACE Gen 2 Shooting
Galil ACE Gen 2 Shooting

Compatible with AKM magazines and the 7.62×39 round, it’s worth noting that IWI just released a 5.45 variant. That one is not widely available on the streets at the moment, though.

The Galil features numerous improvements over the AK series, including an ambidextrous safety, left-side charging handle, and full-length optics rail.

Galil ACE Gen 2 Shooting
Galil ACE Gen 2 Shooting

With an 8.3-inch barrel, the Galil has a tri-rail forearm with room to attach plenty of accessories. It even comes with an SB Tactical brace that folds out of the way for a more compact package.

IWI even tosses on tritium sights to complete its modernization.

Galil ACE Gen 2
Galil ACE Gen 2

This build is what the AK could become if the Russians ever chose to update the platform beyond stick rails and optics.

The Galil Ace pistol is the most modern variant of the Galil and, for that reason, deserves a spot on this list.

1849
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

We have a full review on the Gen II Galil rifle…as well as a video!

Conclusion

AK pistols are an area worth exploring.

Though some are designed for more serious use while others are downright silly, these itty, bitty Kalashnikovs continue to rise in popularity for good reason. SBRed, braced, or even fired from the hip…these tiny AKs are meant for fun!

AK Club
Welcome to the club

Who else is into AK pistols? Let us know which ones you rock and roll with and why. Dipping your toes in the AK arena? Check out our Complete Buyer’s Guide to the AK-47.

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13 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    Greg Hodge

    Have a NAK9, fully decked out with brace, light, dot, etc. I LOVE IT! Just scored a Draco pistol in 7.62X39....and so it begins.

    October 19, 2021 6:53 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    sound awake

    forget everything you just read here
    go to bear creek arsenal dot com
    getcha a 10.5 7.62x39 pistol upper - complete with mlok rail bcg ch and enhanced firing pin - $225
    then go to palmetto state armory dot com and getcha any complete pistol lower - $175
    then go to joe bob outfitters dot com and getcha a couple cproducts 28 round 7.62x39 magazines - $25 each
    add some 45 sights and a sig red dot for $150
    for $600 all in its going to run like a top and it will be 10 inch steel plate capable at 300 yards with tula ammo
    i did this exact setup in and i love it
    and you will too

    October 16, 2021 9:49 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tadd

    What the hell is wrong with your webpage ?

    October 15, 2021 4:57 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jacki Billings, Editor

      Hey Tadd, we're having some technical difficulties, but we're working on it! Hang tight! Thanks!

      October 16, 2021 11:06 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Nathan Spurgeon

    I rock the Charles Daly Chiappa PAK 9 with the pistol tube and fin brace. It’s red skeletonized with a red skeletonized pistol grip and red skeletonized angled foregrip. It really helped the overall look of the gun!! I do plan to cerakote with a red and black camo. The Glock mag conversion is a must!! Ilso went for the threaded barrel version with 1/2-28 threads and flash can. It quickly became one of favorite guns to shoot!!! I highly recommend one!!!!

    December 21, 2020 12:26 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Donald L Robbins

    How about USA made? Daniel Defense or Geissele 5.56 Pistols?
    Review some other higher end options.

    December 11, 2020 8:26 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      David, PPT Editor

      DD and Geissele do not make AK pistols, in any caliber. Arsenal is widely considered to be the higher-end option for AKs in the USA.

      December 11, 2020 11:15 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Matt

    Running a Century arms C9v32 pistol with a milled reciever and the return to zero mount on the side this gun wont miss, wont break, and damn sure wont jam! Love AKs and Century arms I own CZ pistols a scorpion evo, and was even able to get ahold of a Canik tp9sfx whiteout only 2000 made and with the reflex sight I haven't had anyone including police officers beat me in shooting. Love my AKs so much my most recent AR builds have even been piston operated!

    December 10, 2020 8:54 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Greg Hodge

    I'm running a NAK9 with a blade brace, custom right side mag release and magwell, and Obsidian 9 suppressor. I LOVE IT! Also yeah, it takes Glock mags.

    December 10, 2020 7:33 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Alternator

    Prices at time of writing. So, you wrote this in 1984? None of these guns have even been available for ages, let alone at such prices.

    December 10, 2020 7:06 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Comrade

      If you follow the big AK sellers, you can generally find them. They go quickly though. Atlantic Firearms is my preferred, they send e-mails and notifications when they're going on sale.

      December 16, 2020 9:14 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jeff Banks

    Ok, weird thought, but wouldn't a great name for the Galil pistol be the Ga-lil? Then you could nickname the rifle size the Ga-large.

    December 10, 2020 6:14 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Keith Denigan

    7.62x39 = 7.62 Soviet
    7.62x54R = 7.62 Russian

    December 10, 2020 5:08 pm