Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Croatian .22 LR conversion for 7.62x39mm stamped AKs

To continue more of the .22LR AK theme lately of this semi-defunct blog, today I received my Croatian Grizzly Defense Industries (no website) AK .22LR conversion kit from Centerfire Systems (currently sold out).  This seems to be the same conversion kit that was shown and SHOT Show 2019 as covered by The Firearm Blog. That article also does a great job of explaining why it is only for stamped AKs in 7.62x39. I did contact Armamentos at the listed website and filled out their contact page when I saw the TFB article but never received a reply.  These are definitely different than the Ciener .22 AK conversions that he no longer has in production.  Also note that this conversion kit claims standard, not high velocity, .22LR.

First unfired impressions are that it looks maybe even better than Romanian standards on the AKT98/WASR22/RAK-22. It isn't super hard to install as long as you push down on the hammer.  I was hoping the barrel insert would be past the gas port to possibly prevent fouling, but it is definitely shorter.  However, it may be just short enough not to cause lead "misting" like that I see inside the blast chamber of a .22 suppressor.  Clean up will be one of my questions along with ejected cases getting stuck under the dust cover (common WASR22 platform issue), but right now the bigger issue is with the magazines.  The magazines are robust with a BHO follower.  However, similar to my Chiappa RAK-22 with the Black Dog Machine WASR22 magazines, the magazine doesn't latch all the way in on my recent Romanian build with Nodak Spud NDS-3 receiver.  When I get more time tonight I will update this post with some other AK fitting tests.

UPDATE: Mag latch is only an issue with one rifle, doesn't seem totbe a fault of the conversion kit.  It fits my M92 built off a Morrissey underfolder receiver and Yugo mag latch, another rifle built off an Romanian parts kit, and a MAK-90.  The instructions say that other than Yugo or Romanian AKs may need "minor gunsmithing," but it at least installed in the MAK-90 easily. 

One other observation, the bolt handle is located much further back than even the WASR22.  When uusingit for training and not just plinking I think I will still try to index where the normal bolt handle is and move back to catch it.  Not the best solution but otherwise it is potentially a better training tool than the WASR22 if you have AKs that are setup multiple ways.


  1. I also ordered a .22 conversion Grizzley my Romanian AK from Sarco.
    I install the kit. No problems. Out to range, seem work great with a variety of .22 LR. BUt after about 200 rounds the extractor assemble failed, only part I could recover was the spring!! I contacted Sarco, the gave me the run around, say I should return to manufacture for warrenty service. After several more emails back and forth. They said to return the kit to them and they would repair. Kit returned, cost me $15 shipping. Several weeks later, the repaired kit was returned. Back to the range. After only 100 round, the exactor system failed again!!. Returned to Sarco, another $15 in shipping.
    This time they sent me a refund.
    PS Several year back I ordered a AK .22 conversion from JA Ciener, after about year, I requested a refund. JA wanted to charge me a restocking fee of 10% !! I did some web searching -- the short story, JA was charged with mail fraud, did a plea deal, I finally got my money back with interest.
    Jim B.
    Sandy, Ut

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