AK Exhibits Page 16

1982 Egyptian Automatic Rifle Misr (ARM)


Fig. 1: Left side view with Soviet 3-cell AKM magazine pouch

Considered a cult classic today, the 1984 MGM motion picture "Red Dawn" is a thoroughly enjoyable period film that has a following of fans who found it's mainly unrealistic scenario of a US invasion by Communist forces to be quite entertaining. The combination of a well-rounded cast of very talented young actors (including Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, & Charlie Sheen) and realistically fabricated props and equipment did much to overcome an interesting yet fanciful script. The plot was centered around the exploits of the "Wolverines", a cadre of high school teenagers armed with captured Kalashnikov rifles, defending their homeland against foreign invasion carried out by Cuban forces backed by the Soviet Union. Even considering today's political reality, Red Dawn is a very entertaining motion picture, and has gained quite a following of loyal fans, many of which are Kalashnikov enthusiasts.

I hope that both Americans and Russians could view the movie today and enjoy it's entertainment value, and be glad that it is based on a fantasy that never was. As with the Rambo series of films, I would guess it would be very popular in Moscow movie theaters.

Fig. 2: Right side view

Our interest in the film concerns its use of a wide variety of Russian based weapons. Specifically, Kalashnikovs were spectacularly featured in use by both friendly and opposing forces. An original example is presented here, one of a handful of semi-automatic "Red Dawn Maadi" ARM rifles that have been sold into private hands.

The Maadi ARM (Automatic Rifle Misr) is an Egyptian copy of a late middle production Soviet AKM. The Maadi Company For Engineering Industries direct Kalashnikov production at "factory 54" in Cairo, the machinery and skills being obtained directly through the help of the Soviet Union. Thus, weapons produced here are very close copies of the AKM produced in Russia at the time the assembly line was placed into full service, with little changes made since then.

The style of the Egyptian ARM suggests a late 60's or very early 70's Soviet pattern. This can be determined by the style of several key parts, to include the flat top gas block, front sight base indetations, receiver cover, trigger assembly, sheet metal indentations and spot welding pattern. It is also clear through historical records that Soviet support for the weapons industry in Egypt was reduced significantly by 1971.

Misr rifles used in Red Dawn were imported by the US division of Steyr-Daimler-Puch in 1982 and are in all respects identical to the other Steyr pre-ban import ARM's. Only a few thousand were imported. Serial numbers on rifles we have observed would indicate this to be true.

Stembridge Gun Rentals, Inc. provided the firearms for the motion picture, and according to Lone Mountain Outfitters which performed an inventory of those weapons in 1998, 32 were select fire (Pearl manufacturing conversions) and 21 were left as original semi-automatics. For more information on the Red Dawn weapons, and a complete listing of the serial numbers, visit LMO's web site at www.longmountain.com

Left side lower front area of the receiver is marked with importer information. In this case, the text reads "Steyr, Secaucus NJ." The Egyptian Maadi factory crest consisting of a Pharoah's headdress is found on the right side of the rear sight base, while a stylized Factory 54 symbol is scribed into the sight base's left wall. It is interesting to note that on these pre-ban Maadi rifles, the "54" in the emblem is in Arabic writing, while on most post-ban rifles, the "54" which is inscribed inside the symbol is written in Western characters.

Model nomenclature, calibre, manufacturer, and country of origin is stamped on the left side of the receiver just above the pistol grip. Overall, the finish is weatherized from both in-house scuffing and hard use, and shows much of it's phosphate undercoating.

The metal is untouched, even sand and blank-generated powder residue can still be found inside various parts. Considering the barrel assembly, sheet metal design and stock pattern, this rifle would be a close emulation of a 1971 Soviet model.

Finish is intentionally left roughed up to look battlefield correct for authentic movie roles.

A view of the left side of the receiver shows the serial number to be S001625, certified with a letter from the prop company to be a true "Red Dawn Maadi."

We must admit that the original Egyptian furniture on this rifle has been exchanged with a matching set rescued from a well used ex-PLO 1975 Soviet AKM. We find the original Russian wood to be far more handsome than its' cheaper Maadi counterpart. Notable differences include a side mounted sling swivel, better quality laminations and materials, type of finish used, and the sharper profiles of both the lower handguard and the cheek weld of the stock.

The barrel assembly is purely a Russian late middle production pattern, with a flat top gas block and a front sight base with front and rear indentations. The bayonet is the standard Russian Type 1 AKM Bowie blade model, with a light orange-tan bakelite handle and painted metal scabbard.

This image includes a late style bakelite 7,62mm magazine, a few of which were actually used in the movie but installed in simulated AK-74's built up from Maadi AKM rifles. If anyone owns one of these rifles, we would certainly love to post images of one on this web site!

See our AK-74 Production Variations Study by clicking the link above.

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