A few friends and I have been on about AK’s in 5.56 recently. Especially with available guns like the Rifle Dynamics RN NATO, US friendly to feed AKs have a solid place in our market. However I recall one of the original masters in this space did not originate for our benefit. It was the Polish and their Beryl and the role that rifle would play post Soviet Union.
The Beryl was Poland’s big move with small arms, signaling their return to the fold of Western Europe with NATO. Prior to that the Polish were using AKMs and 74 variants, classics from the cold war. In an intelligent move the country decided their armed forces would modernize on a platform they already knew from the base production level to the individual soldier. And then, export them too!
The Beryl was adopted in 1996 and has seen modernization efforts inline with other western military forces to keep up with the use of modern equipment. Rails, adjustable stocks, the usual.
However currently the rifles have about a 50% total permeation within the Polish armed forces and most are still bone stock iron sight units from the original variant, not the C or D models. Not a single one I saw had so much as a light or a red dot during my personal time spent alongside the Poles in a NATO mission a year back. US Troops are spent well on,
But the rifle itself one of the first notable adaptions of the NATO round to the AK. Now that had been done before, including by the Polish themselves with the Tantal. Other notable examples include Romanian WASR-3 rifles. It had been toyed with but the Polish were the first to buy in big and grab tens of thousands of 5.56 AKs instead of continuing the “Nyet! Rifle is Fine!” stagnation.
And on that. Enjoy 9-Hole Reviews well weathered test of the Beryl! Also go follow them. For science! Do it…