Review: Zastava Arms ZPAP92 Alpha & ZPAP92 Alpha FS1913 AK-47-Style Pistols
The quote is not 100 percent accurate and the book is long since gone, but close enough that it has come to the forefront of my mind on more than one occasion as we transverse this landscape that is 2020.
The darling AR-15 we know today was pushed hard against by other rifles of the day. Hechler & Koch‘s illustrious models 91 & 93s, FN‘s FAL, IMI’s Galil, and the Valmet M71s all were staunch competitors to Colt‘s AR-15. One rarely saw an AR on the rifle range, and nine times out of ten when you did, it was in the hands of a “match” shooter who was slung up in a canvas jacket, lying prone atop a shooting mat with a leather sling contorting his body.
In most circumstances, I was armed with little more than a fixed blade knife, an extendable baton and a charming smile for defensive purposes. Filed under what you might call “worst case scenarios,” should things to go terribly awry and I’d be in the need of a long gun, the prevailing arms of many of these foreign nations were pistol-gripped pump shotguns, British SMLEs in .303 and, the AK-47. So while developed a working knowledge of the AR, I applied my training mainly to the AK-47.
Zastava Arms AK-47 Pistols
The relatively flat and compact AK-47-style pistol platform allows for the gun to ride loaded and at the ready while being perfectly legal wherever it is legal to have a loaded handgun on their person or in a vehicle. With its arm brace folded, the ZPAP pistol can be deployed and deliver more than acceptable accuracy using either a point/instinct firing position or flash/sight picture to get into the fight out to 10 yards.
If time or circumstances allow for it, the arm brace can be quickly be brought into position to create a sturdier firing position. My only complaint with the side-folding FS1913 model is that the brace’s spine is polymer and has some give to it. I think Zastava would be better served employing a spine made of steel or at least steel re-enforced, but given that until a few years ago this wasn’t even an option, I’m not going to complain. It’s not perfect, but it works.
I then moved on from paper targets and went to steel silhouettes at ranges from 25-100 yards. The reason was completely intentional. In the last decade plus there has been a bad habit in the social media world on basing a firearm’s worthiness, with regards to accuracy, only so far as pictures of cute little cloverleafs. This is all well and fine to expect such groupings from precision rifles.
A gunfight is a whole different creature that holds no such standard and a goal of neutralizing a threat. Further, we all know that any variation of the AK, pistol or rifle, isn’t going to win any beauty or accuracy contests. Yet, one cannot simply dismiss its capability as a rugged and readily capable defensive firearm.
If I expected any change in the ability to hit, this is where it would begin. At 50 meters, it proved to be no great challenge in getting hits. I recorded three failed strikes at 50 meters, all of which came from the standing position with no sling. These came from the side folding brace, but three errant rounds to 147 strikes is largely irrelevant.
Dropping to both a squat and then prone I found my rate of success began to dramatically increase. There were still a handful of misses in each position, but given the rudimentary sight system and basic ammo selection, throw in some basic human aspects of erroneous behavior and nature takes its own course. With each pistol equipped with an optics rail mounted just forward of the rear leaf sights, mounting a small rugged optic would improve the overall obtainable accuracy by a shooter.