I stumbled across the sole post on this almost vacant WordPress site this morning. It features photos which show close-up detail of an AK-103, apparently from Libya. These are the first photographs I have seen that show sufficient detail of the receiver to conclusively establish the provenance of the weapons in question. These images, along with the evidence shown in the last update, lend more weight to one of my original speculations that these weapons were exported to Libya from Russia.
The receiver bears the designation ‘AK 103-2’, indicating that the weapon features a three-round burst function. More tellingly, to the left of the serial number, on the trunnion, can be seen the factory marking of the Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant, or IZHMASH (ИЖМАШ), an upright arrow inside a triangle. The serial number, beginning with the two digits ’07’, indicates that the rifle was manufactured in 2007.
We can now confidently conclude that at least some of the AK-103 rifles seen in Libya were manufactured in Russia. What remains to be seen is how many rifles were purchases from Russia, and whether or not the proposed USD $600 million factory to manufacture the AK-103 under license has been made, or will be made, operational.
Update 05/11/2011: I’m curious as to how many of the 103s seen in Libya are 103-2 variants. If anyone has, or finds, photos from Libya showing receiver detail, please contact me.
Update 30/11/2011: @blabeen, a former Major in the Libyan Army who defected to the rebels’ side, has let me know that he has seen “many” AK-103s, and that all of those have been 103-2 variants. He also notes that the AK-103-2 is known locally as ‘the Israeli Kalashnikov‘. This is quite odd – no word on why as yet.
Update 05/12/2011: You can read about weapon optics of the Libyan conflict, including models spotted on AK-103s, at my personal blog.
Photos courtesy of libyanproud.wordpress.com