Zastava M70 ZPAP review

zackmars

Well-Known
Nov 4, 2015
1,695
113
Texas
Ithe 1970's, the Yugoslavians would adopt a domestically produced version of the AK/AKM design. While it might not appear to be anything special, it still has a number of interesting changes from the standard AKM series.



These include a thicker receiver, bulged front trunnion, gas cutoff, rifle grenade sight, dust cover locking button, and flip up night sights. These were done largely to allow the rifle to better handle the launching of rifle grenades, but also means the rifle is very durable.



The recent Zastava imports omit several of these features, the gas cutoff, grenade and night sights are gone, but you do get a chrome lined, cold hammer forged barrel, and an optics rail. The bayonet lug is also gone, but that's because of a certain group of child-immolation agents.

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I bought the black polymer version, only due to me not being able to find the wood stock model. The polymer stuff is ok, good quality. Not my jam, but it's alright.



But it's not wood, so I bought a surplus handguard and pistol grip from Apex. There's no pictures of David Hasselhoff or 90210 on it, which is a bit of a let down, I also got an aluminum folding stock from Zastava USA.

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As it sits now.



The folding stock is pretty nice. Solid aluminum so it's not super light.



TBH I would have still replaced the factory wood furniture, having seen some in person, they just look a bit off.



Some up close shots of the rivets. Nice and flush.

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Barrel pin. The Yugo's use an RPK trunnion, so the pin wont be flush.

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The optic rail is the Yugo version, keep that in mind should you want an optic.

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Magazine fitment is good, no issues on any of my mags, but I don't exactly have a great collection. Russian bakelite, Polish, and Croatian. Fit is just right. The Croatians have quite a bit of play, but have not given any issues



The magazine that comes with the rifle was a magpul MOE.



Muzzle device is a standard slant brake, i did replace it with a BD2 brake from Meridian Defense corps. It's not too aggressive, it's very easy to double tap a 13×19" target at 25 yards with ease from a standing position. Even with just the slant brake, the gun doesn't feel like its beating the absolute shit out of itself, like most other 7.62 AK's I've shot.

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Safety has the bolt handle cutout, which I like. Some people don't like them because they don't 100% seal up the gun when on safe, but it's nice to have on the range, since I don't like chamber flags, and using empty cases is just so ghetto. Selector markings are English, and obligatory "read manual before use" eye sore.



The action is remarkably smooth (for an AK), smoother than any Arsenal I've played with, no hanging up on the hammer here. The finish is also quite nicer than the Arsenal guns.



The gun strips and reassembles fine, standard AK stuff, though the dustcover lock takes some getting used to. Considering the gas cutoff, night and grenade sight are gone, I am surprised this made it in, but it's not hurting anyone there. Its actually starting to grow on me, kinda like a tumor.



The trigger isn't an ALG or TAPCO, but still isn't that bad. There is a bit of grit and virtually no wall. No trigger slap, and very nice reset. Its a very easy trigger to shoot fast. Were it a bit cleaner, it'd be a close contender with the Geissele SD3G. Pull weight averages about 3lbs. Normally that is too light for my taste, but the take up and reset make up for it. Not my favorite trigger, but still nice.



Accuracy at 50 yards with barnaul
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The gun likes to stack holes, I am sure with an optic/better shooter, it would really tighten up.



Front sight base is not canted, i cant really get a better picture than this unfortunately

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Reliability is great, not a single issue, no parts breakages. In total I have over 700 rounds through this rifle. Not enough to test long term durability, but enough to get a good feel for the rifle. No parts deformation or abnormal wear. I will note the lever that secures the upper handguard and gas tube is remarkably stiff, but has loosened a bit. A bit.



Of all the newer AK's I've shot, this really is a nice rifle. It takes off some of the elements that collectors will want, but you do get some practical upgrades in return.



If you are looking for a shooter, this is a great option, probably one of the best currently on the market, but if you are looking for a more historically accurate representation of a Yugo AK, you may want to track down an older Century NPAP, or kit build.



For the price ($1002 before transfer fee), it's not a cheap gun, but it is very well made, and ammo is still rather cheap and easy to find, and is better than something like a mini 30. Fit and finish are outstanding, accuracy is simply amazing, and was probably my biggest surprise with this rifle




I find this to be a better value than an Arsenal, and a higher quality rifle than a Century or earlier PSA gun.
 

Ioannes

Active Member
Oct 12, 2019
222
43
US
Thanks for the review. I enjoyed it. Just recently got myself a new M70 with the factory walnut furniture. Paid more for it than I'd ever thought I would for an AK but such is life. I've finished it like I do with my M1 Garands, 000 Steel Wool, 1200 grit sandpaper and 5 coats of minwax tung oil finish. Looks great.

Your furniture looks very nice. I am half tempted to do the same with mine. Plan on using it with iron sights only as Mikhail wanted it. I like how yours looks with the TangoDown(?) grip and the wood.

I have an M92 that I SBRed with a folding Galil style stock and 3x optic. Works as a truck gun for the moment.

Thanks again for the range report and review!

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 

Maverick44

Certified All-American Gun Nut
I just recently picked one up too. Great gun all around. I did have some issues with Croatian mags not working at all in my gun. They were so loose, the bolt would miss the back of the cartridge. Polish and Bulgarian mags don't have that issue, and the Pmag that came with the gun was pretty darn tight. I probably just got my hands on some shitty mags.

One thing I'd like to add about the optic rail. It causes the mount to sit farther back than the rail on other AKs. That might cause some eye relief issues with some mounts and some scopes. The LPVO I have on mine works fine with the adjustable stock that came with the rifle, but when the wooden Yugo stock I ordered gets here, the LOP is probably going to be too short for that optic. I can't find any 30mm cantilever rings that are the right height for an AK (medium height), so I'm probably just going to switch to a red dot. I'm using the mount that Zastava sells. I couldn't find an RS Regulate mount and didn't feel like spending the next few months looking for one.

Again, you might not have that issue, it depends on your mount and your scope.

The gun is accurate, stupidly reliable, and just really well made. The next rifle up in quality is about $1500, and I honstly don't see a whole lot of reasons to make that jump unless you just really want that particular rifle. For $1000, I don't think you're going to get a better AK.
 

zackmars

Well-Known
Nov 4, 2015
1,695
113
Texas
I just recently picked one up too. Great gun all around. I did have some issues with Croatian mags not working at all in my gun. They were so loose, the bolt would miss the back of the cartridge. Polish and Bulgarian mags don't have that issue, and the Pmag that came with the gun was pretty darn tight. I probably just got my hands on some shitty mags.

One thing I'd like to add about the optic rail. It causes the mount to sit farther back than the rail on other AKs. That might cause some eye relief issues with some mounts and some scopes. The LPVO I have on mine works fine with the adjustable stock that came with the rifle, but when the wooden Yugo stock I ordered gets here, the LOP is probably going to be too short for that optic. I can't find any 30mm cantilever rings that are the right height for an AK (medium height), so I'm probably just going to switch to a red dot. I'm using the mount that Zastava sells. I couldn't find an RS Regulate mount and didn't feel like spending the next few months looking for one.

Again, you might not have that issue, it depends on your mount and your scope.

The gun is accurate, stupidly reliable, and just really well made. The next rifle up in quality is about $1500, and I honstly don't see a whole lot of reasons to make that jump unless you just really want that particular rifle. For $1000, I don't think you're going to get a better AK.

I went with a PA 2x and a master mount. Works ok
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Maverick44

Certified All-American Gun Nut
Yeah, my Burris RT6 sits just a bit too far back for it's eye relief. I'll probably end up with a Holosun 407c or 507c RDS instead and will just stick the Burris on my AR.

There are a few things I could possibly do like modifying the mount to slide all the way to the front of the side rail or going with a set of AR height cantilever rings, but I was wanting to avoid the chin weld thing, and I think my rear sight would interfere with the mount before it would stop on the rail (I replaced the rear sight with an aperture sight, which sticks out over the dust cover farther than the original V notch sight).

RDS is the simplest option for me, and would make the gun a bit lighter.
 
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