The Zastava NPAP: A Good AK For The Budget Minded?
Very recently I found myself in a position to add an AK to my collection, something that I’d been wanting to do for quite some time. At first I was looking at buying a Romanian-imported WASR, but a friend of mine recommended the Zastava NPAP, and I decided to give it a try with the mindset that if it wasn’t up to par I could sell it locally and put the money towards a good AK. I watched and read reviews of the gun, and by all standards except ease of customization the gun sounded like a great buy for the money. I checked online, and saw that they were on sale starting at $539 and $579 for the fixed and underfolding stock variants respectively. While initially leaning towards the fixed stock I decided to go with the underfolder design, mostly because I like the compactness as well as the look.
The gun shipped well-packed in a cardboard box filled with foam and wrapped in bubble wrap.An initial inspection of it at the shop showed no deformities or issues with the finish, and no front-sight cant like you’d find with cheaper AK’s. My local gun store was kind enough to sell me two boxes of ammo at a discounted price which sure made the later range-test a hell of a lot more fun. When I arrived home with the rifle, I inspected it further, checking headspace and magazine fit. I also tested general tightness of everything on the rifle, and I must say I was impressed. From the safety, to the underfolder, every bit on the rifle is solidly-built and very tight. My only gripe so far was with the PMAG that came with the rifle, but that’s more of a personal/aesthetic gripe, not one with any functional merit. I had bought a few mags, of various types, as I wanted to ensure that the gun would feed reliably from a variety of magazines. I had an easier time inserting the metal mags into the gun than I did with the polymer ones, but your mileage may vary. I stocked up on some ammo and targets for the range test, and waited for a nice weekend to go to the range.
Aside from the PMAG the rifle ships with, there are not too many negatives about this rifle. However there are a few a few things I feel that I need to disclose, in the interest of a fair review. First of all, the bore isn’t chrome lined which I understand can be a deal-breaker for some people. There is also a general lack of options for customization in regards to the NPAP due to the hand guards being longer than the norm for an AK. Having said that, Khyber Customs makes an aesthetic “Cheesegrater” upper hand guard for them, and that is what I intend on putting on my rifle. Finally, there is no bayonet lug on the new gen of NPAP, but I do plan on adding one at some point, as well as the iconic Yugo rifle grenade sights.
In addition to simply testing how well I could use the gun, I also chose to bring two friends who aren’t exactly huge firearms aficionados along. I wanted to see how easy the rifle was to use for a layman who didn’t exactly know the ins and outs of the rifle. As expected, they had little to no trouble with the gun, with the exception of one friend continually inserting the magazines wrong until shown the proper way. Collectively we burned through a good 250+ rounds in a day, with some accurate fire, and admittedly too many magdumps. It functioned well with all three types of ammo we ran through it, Tula, Wolf, and Monarch. Contrary to all the lore I’ve heard spouted about the AK, I found it to be fairly accurate, with some of my groups being as shown.
All in all, the Zastava NPAP underfolder is well made, and is a fun, and accurate gun for the price. Definitely don’t buy it if you’re looking to “tacticool” an AK-type rifle, simply due to the lack of aftermarket parts. Definitely do buy it if you’re looking for a nice range queen or for a cheap entry-level AK. It does have some problems, but none that the price tag doesn’t make up for. I definitely would recommend this rifle to anyone looking for a nice AK for a nice price. It shoots smoothly, and is cheap to feed, what more could you want for a day at the range?