|Beryl AK Rifle|
The Poles adopted the 5.56mm NATO cartridge in 1997 as their standard issue cartridge for their service rifle, the Wz. 1996 (karabinek szturmowy wz. = assault carbine pattern 1996) also known as the Beryl. Prior to the adoption of the 5.56mm NATO cartridge, the Poles used the Russian 5.45x39 cartridge.
The Beryl is generally accepted in the AK community as being one of the better made AK variants. The rifles feature a number of design changes to the original AK design. Integrated rails, improved stocks, enlarged magazine release, etc. set the Beryl apart from its peers in the AK community. The Beryl rifles are AKM's, meaning the receiver is made from a sheet metal stamping.
The first firearms to be imported will likely be Beryl pistols. Since pistols aren't subject to the restrictive 922r laws that make importing military rifles from overseas very difficult, the pistols will be manufactured 100% in the Fabryka Broni Łucznik plant located in Radom, Poland. The company rep at SHOT Show 2012 said that pistols featuring 16" barrels are also being considered so that once in the country they can be converted to rifles with the proper number of U.S. manufactured parts to satisfy 922r regulations.
We can expect to see the Beryl on U.S. shores sometime this spring (2012).