U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- I’m a huge fan of sub guns and one that I always thought would evade me was the Vityaz. If you’re not familiar the Vityaz, it is the sub machine gun for the Russian military. It’s straight blow-back 9mm, but other than that fact it very closely resembles the AK; just smaller for the 9mm round. I remember the first time I saw the Vityaz; I wanted one so bad, but didn’t think I’d ever get the opportunity to own one in the states.
The Vityaz was originally produced by Izhmash, the company that brought Saigas over to the states for many years, and I used to own one of those. I was very happy with the quality and they were just exceptional AK pattern guns. Over time, Izhmash became Kalashnikov, and now we are so fortunate to have Kalashnikov USA producing some of these amazing firearms right here in the good old USA. These are as close and true to the original as possible.
Kalashnikov USA announced the KP-9 and KR-9 a few years ago and took their time bringing it to production. In that time, some other 9mm AKs came to market but I held off waiting for what I was hoping would be the absolute closest thing I could get to a genuine Vityaz. While I’m not personally an AK aficionado, many people who are, have fully put their stamp of approval on the Kalashnikov KP-9 and KR-9 as being as close to an original Vityaz as feasible. What makes the KP-9 so great? Well, it’s a slightly smaller AK chambered in 9mm; what’s not great about that! 9mm is fun to shoot because it has light recoil and is affordable. When you can put that in an amazing little package like the Kalashnikov USA KP-9, it will make for some extremely fun range sessions. The fit and finish of the KP-9 are also just outstanding, and again, I’m not an expert on AKs, but I do know a sub-par one when it's in my hands. The K-USA KP-9 is of the absolute highest quality. But, if a gun is beautiful and doesn’t work, it’s still a dud. Have no fear, we ran all kinds of different ammo through the KP-9, from our usual cheap range ammo to steel case, and even heavyweight subsonic. We had absolutely no malfunctions through well over 1000 rounds; most of that being suppressed.
The controls are all typical AK, charging handle is on the right side, along with the safety, and there’s a paddle mag release. The mags are proprietary, and really just look like a shrunk-down AK magazine. They also very closely resemble the actual magazines used by the Vityaz. The magazines will be a sticking issue for some because they are proprietary and retail at about $46.00 each, and that’s quite a bit more than some other competitors on the market. The KP-9 has a Tapco trigger which I have heard several people are changing out. Mine is pulling at about three and a half pounds; I’m really happy with that and will probably keep it just the way it is.
Kalashnikov USA KP9
- Weight 5.62lbs
- Overall Length 18.25″ (without brace)
- Barrel Length 9.25″
- MSRP $999.00
Many people have asked on social media how I did this brace and I’ll walk you through it, but let me point out that Kalashnikov USA has a brace available that will attach right to the KP-9 receiver. This new brace will be cheaper than the route that I took, but sadly the brace wasn’t available when I did mine. However, here is how I accomplished the brace that you see pictured.
First, it’s important to note that the hinge is built into the receiver, even on the pistols, and this would be a very easy gun to Form 1 and convert to an SBR. I removed that part and replaced it with a JMAC Custom RSA 5.5 stock adapter that puts a section of pic rail on the back of the gun, allowing that attachment of SIG style stocks. Next, I attached the SIG rattler brace, but I couldn’t stand the propeller motion of the brace that the SIG has. I changed out the rear of the Sig brace for an adapter made by Custom Smith Manufacturing that allows you to take the Sig propeller brace off and attach a Gear Head Works tail hook; and now it won’t spin. This is an awesome brace setup, and I’m very happy with how it came out. It’s rock solid and feels great. However, as I said earlier it’s not cheap and there are other options. You can also get an adapter that allows the attachment of a buffer tube, and then you can install something like an SB Tactical SBA3.
The Kalashnikov KP-9 suppresses extremely well, but there is something that’s a little odd to deal with; there is no shoulder on the barrel. The best way to deal with this is by using a newer Dead air 1/2 x 28 direct thread mount that will shoulder on the end of the barrel, rather than the rear of the threads, where the normal shoulder would be. I have seen other people using other companies’ suppressors, and haven’t heard about a mass of baffle strikes, so I’m guessing anything will work, but if you want a good secure fit, I’d recommend Dead Air. We had 100 percent function while suppressed; even from subsonic loads.
I couldn’t be happier with the Kalashnikov USA KP-9. I had built it up on a pretty high pedestal in my mind for it to live up to, and it has actually exceeded my expectations. It is everything I had hoped a 9mm AK would be, and also knowing its the closest replica to the real Vityaz gives me that little bit of extra satisfaction as a gun collector. There are other AK 9mm variants available, and they may be good, but this is as close to the Vityaz as it can be. I hope that Kalashnikov USA continues to expand their lineup, and continues to offer more varieties of “authentic as possible”, made in the USA, AK variants.
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