MPiKM East German AK Review: Vickers Tactical Channel

In the video below, the Vickers Tactical Channel reviews the rare MPiKM, the East German AK. This is a fascinating look at a unique rifle that just might be the only one of its kind in the entire United States.

A Rare Find

Larry Vickers says he found this rifle at Century Arms. Apparently, it had been found sitting on a pallet in Croatia in the back of a warehouse. There is evidence of rust and pitting on its exterior but according to Vickers, the internals are brand new and untouched, never having been fired. In fact, when Vickers fires the rifle on this video it’s the first time the rifle has ever been shot.


How the East German AK Differs from Russian AKs

Larry Vickers with MPiKM East German AK

Vickers explains that the MPiKM differs from the Soviet AKM mostly in aesthetics. (Photo credit: Vickers Tactical Channel)



The MPiKM is actually quite similar to the Soviet AKM you all know and love. Vickers describes the aesthetic differences:


“The main thing that sets it apart is the furniture…other than that it’s almost identical. Brown plastic furniture here is kind of a classic sign. When you see that, certainly it’s East German furniture and very possibly an East German firearm. [It’s] what Wilkinson called a lizard-skin buttstock back in the day; I don’t know why but that’s always stuck with me. It’s actually more of a pebble-grain finish. Pistol grip is brown plastic with checkered panels, front, and rear.


Now, moving up you have a plastic cover on the gas tube, but the handguard is Bakelite, you can tell by the look. And, the earlier ones were wood because clearly, the brown plastic did not work out real well for handguard material. Other than that…largely laid out like a Soviet AKM.”

That First Shot

Larry Vickers with MPiKM East German AK

Vickers fires the first shots ever through his MPiKM. (Photo credit: Vickers Tactical Channel)

Vickers ran Sellier and Bellot ammunition through his MPiKM for its first shots ever. Of course, he ran it full-auto, because why wouldn’t you? In his hands, the rifle looks like a smooth, flat-shooting gun. It appears to cycle flawlessly in semi-auto and full-auto.


Build Your Own

internals of the MPiKM East German AK.

A closer look at the internals of Vickers’ MPiKM. (Photo credit: Vickers Tactical Channel)

The MPiKM featured in this video review by Larry Vickers is one of a kind; you’re not going to find another factory, unfired MPiKM on the market. What you will find, though, are parts, kits, and reproductions.

As Vicker said, the major differences in this model are aesthetic, which makes it simpler to create your own reproduction MPiKM. Plus one of the best parts of building your own rifle is getting the opportunity to learn how it works and why for yourself. Being a well-rounded AK owner is always a good thing. And remember, a well-made magazine is vital to your build because magazines are the first part to fail.

If you prefer a modernized build, check out these upgrade ideas for the AKM. You can never have too many guns.

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you’ve seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master’s Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.