History - In the early 1960s, the Romanian Army used mostly PPSh-41, Oriţa submachine guns and imported AK-47 rifles. With the development of the stamped Type 4 AKM receiver, and the Soviet Union’s call to each of the Warsaw Pact’s nations to produce their own assault rifles chambered in 7.62mm, be they AK-47 pattern or not, the Romanian State Arsenal developed an AKM clone featuring a forward-pointing front handgrip molded into the lower handguard, called the Pistol Mitralieră model 1963 (literally ‘machine pistol’ model 1963). The underfolding stock version is designated the Pistol Mitralieră model 1965, and features a rear-pointing front handgrip, allowing the underfolding stock to be completely
Patriotic Guards version - The most-produced civilian export variation of this rifle is that of the ‘Gardă’ designation, produced for the Romanian Patriotic Guards. These rifles have a letter ‘G’ engraved on the left side of the rear sight block. The civil guard versions are modified by the removal of the sear and the modification of the disconnector to be semi-automatic only. Tens of thousands of these have been imported into the United States and sold as ‘parts kits’ (the receiver is destroyed by torch-cutting per BATF regulations – without the receiver, the kit is no longer legally considered a firearm). They are colloquially known among firearms enthusiasts as “Romy G’s” or “G Kits”
A PM 63 - The PM md. 63/65 is almost identical to the AKM/AKMS, and thus is simple, inexpensive to manufacture, and easy to clean and maintain. The bore and chamber, as well as the gas piston and the interior of the gas cylinder, are generally chromium-plated. This plating dramatically increases the life of these parts by resisting corrosion and wear. Most md. 63/65 rifles lack a muzzle brake, but instead use a muzzle nut, as muzzle brakes entered production only in the late 1970s. The navy is the only remaining large scale operator of the md. 65 because of the weight of the metal underfolding stock.
Operating Cycle - To fire, the operator inserts a loaded magazine, moves the selector lever to the lowest position, pulls back and releases the charging handle, and then pulls the trigger. In this setting, the gun fires once, requiring the trigger be released and depressed again for the next shot until the magazine is exhausted. With the selector in the middle position, the rifle continues to fire, automatically cycling fresh rounds into the chamber, until the magazine is exhausted or pressure is released from the trigger.
Dismantling the md. 63/65 is identical to dismantling the AK-47 and it involves the operator depressing the magazine catch and removing the magazine. The charging handle is pulled to the rear and the operator inspects the chamber to verify the weapon is unloaded. The operator presses forward on the retainer button at the rear of the receiver cover while simultaneously lifting up on the rear of the cover to remove it. The operator then pushes the spring assembly forward and lifts it from its raceway, withdrawing it out of the bolt carrier and to the rear. The operator must then pull the carrier assembly all the way to the rear, lift it, and then pull it away. The operator removes the bolt by pushing it to the rear of the bolt carrier; rotating the bolt so the camming lug clears the raceway on the underside of the bolt carrier and then pulls it forward and free. When cleaning, the operator will pay special attention to the barrel, bolt face, and gas piston, then oil lightly and reassemble.