User: Emil Matasareanu
Make and Model: Norinco Type 56 Sporter
Serial #: 406221
Year of production: Unknown but definitely not earlier than mid 1960s as this is a stamped receiver rather than the original milled variant.
Manufacturer's production run: 1956 - 1973
Importer: InterAmerican Company (also known as InterArms and InterAmerican Import/Export Company).
Year of import: Unknown
NHWD Artefact #: 1695
Status: Illegal conversion to select fire.
The primary rifle used by Emil Matasareanu in the North Hollywood bank robbery shows some rather extensive modifications.
The weapon has had its original smooth sided pistol grip and forward handguard removed and replaced with aftermarket items including a checkerboard pistol grip and Russian styled lower handguard with 'finger swells' (possibly chosen so as to aid grip whilst wearing gloves).
This rifle has an identical stock to the one mated to Phillips rifle, a Romanian side folder. The one seen attached to the crime rifle is the button release variant (the other being lever operated). It can be identified as being Romanian as opposed to the German variant by the profile of the buttplate stays and the angle of the insert in the top of the buttplate.
Like Phillips rifle one thing does stand out at the moment as being an oddity (and bear in mind that we are by no means experts on the intricacies on the many and varied AK platforms) is the presence of blued bolt carrier group.
From our current research, and we will happily stand to be corrected, the majority of Chinese bolt carriers came in an unfinished base metal color. There was an exception to this in the form of bolts from the Min Shan factory that had been blued. However the bolt carrier pictured above shows a step mark in the profile that Min Shan bolts do not appear to have (from the very limited amount of pictures we have been able to source of them).
The above bolt carrier appears to be a Eastern European offering, but that in itself raises other questions as headspacing issues occur when trying to mate bolt groups from this region to Chinese receivers. It is a curious oddity that so far we are unable to explain.
Obviously we will not detail how this can be done, and exactly who did the conversion is a point open to discussion although we believe the answer to that question is relatively simple. What we can show you is the evidence of conversion.
Circled Blue: The selector stop has been ground down to allow free movement of the selector to the lowest position (single shot) once conversion is completed.
Unlike Phillips rifle this removal appears rather crudely done.
The weapon as it rests is currently in its full auto setting.
Circled Red: This is the auto sear pin, an integral part of the conversion process. Aligning the drill point for this pin site is as a simple as using a paper template, a block of wood and a pillar drill.
Circled Yellow: Unlike Phillips rifle this firearm has had the detent for the selector to rest in the semi auto position reground, albeit crudely, into the receiver.
Along with a small piece of work done to the internal rails and purchase of a full auto bolt group, which is entirely legal then a civilian semi auto AK style rifle can be turned into a full auto weapon with only a modicum of information. The act of drilling a hole in your AK receiver combined with possession of said bolt group can see you with a rather nasty 10 years sharing a shower with a guy named Bubba. Not advisable.