The Zastava M21 assault rifle is a standard issue infantry rifle of the Serbian army. It was designed and manufactured by the Serbian gun making company Zastava arms (Zastava oružje AD). This rifle is in current manufacture and is also offered for export sales. A semi-automatic civilian version of this rifle is produced in Czech Republic by the company Zelený sport using Serbian-made parts, but it is believed that this rifle is not available on the American market.
The Zastava M21 assault rifle is an evolutionary step in the development of the Kalashnikov AKM-type Zastava M70 rifles in the former Yugoslavia, now in Serbia. The M21 rifle uses the same battle-proven long piston stroke, rotary bolt action system, stamped steel receiver and many other features that made the AK so reliable and durable. Key differences from the earlier rifles are the hinged top cover and the Galil-style safety lever, added to the left side of the receiver.
The basic version of the Zastava M21 rifle features simple U-notch rear sight with fixed 300-meter blade and an additional flip-up 500-meter blade. It also has a side rail for mounting optical or night sights, pinned to the left side of the receiver. The Zastava M21ABS rifle features a railed top-cover with an integrated Picatinny rail and no iron sights. In both cases the front sight is attached to the gas block. Standard rifle features a barrel that is 46 centimeters long; Zastava also makes shorter variants for those who need a more compact weapon.
Other features include a side-folding non-adjustable shoulder stock, made from plastic, and plastic furniture. Full-size rifles can be used with a detachable knife bayonet or with an underbarrel grenade launcher. Standard magazines are made from steel and have 30-round capacity.
The Zastava M21 rifle basic specifications