by David Crane
While we’re on the subject of Russian assault rifles, we might as well mention a couple of their Polish cousins, the Z.M. Lucznik, Radom-made 5.56x45mm kbs wz. 96 Beryl assault rifle and kbk wz. 96 Mini-Beryl carbine/subcarbine. Basically just updated and improved versions of the Radom wz. 88 Tantal assault rifle and wz. 89 Onyks subcarbine, respectively, this dynamic duo represents the AKM/Kalashnikov taken to its logical conclusion.
The most easily-identifiable and differentiating feature of the 5.56mm Beryl Mod. 96 rifle and Mini-Beryl Mod. 96 carbine/subcarbine (Commando version) is the top receiver-mounted 1913 picatinny-type mounting rail (for optics).
The Radom Beryl group of assault rifles and subcarbines are, from what DefenseReview understands, in a similar league as…
the superlative Finnish-made 5.56mm Sako M95 assault rifle, quality-wise. However, since the Sako M95 assault rifle is no longer manufactured, the kbs/kbk wz. 96 Beryl family of weapons is probably the highest form of AKM/Kalashnikov rifles and subcarbines being manufactured at present—most likely even better than the AK100 series of rifles and carbines/subcarbines manufactured by Izhmash Open Joint Stock Company, Russia–and the Russian guns are pretty good.
If the kbs wz. 96 Beryl rifle and kbk wz. 96 Mini-Beryl carbine/subcarbine represent the AKM/Kalashnikov assault rifle taken to its logical conclusion, the Sako M95 represents, perhaps, the AKM/Kalashnikov assault rifle taken to its ultimate conclusion (save, of course, the lack of a 1913 picatinny rail system on the M95). That’s how well-made the Sako M95 is.
However, it’s possible that the kbs wz. 96 Beryl rifle is every bit as good as the Sako M95. At this point, DefRev doesn’t know, as we haven’t yet T&E’d either weapon, nor have we ever heard or read of a head-to-head comparison between them. It doesn’t really matter now, anyway, since it would appear that Sako stopped manufacturing the M95 assault rifle several years ago.
Not too long ago, Al Paulson wrote a really great, in-depth article on the 96 Beryl rifle and carbine/subcarbine for the #26 2004 issue of "Special Weapons for Military & Police". It’s the most informative piece on the 96 Beryl weapons family that I’ve read, to date. Mr. Paulson came away hyper-impressed with the high quality of the 96 Beryl weapons family.
If you are military (Mil) or law enforcement (LE), and you would like to acquire some Beryl rifles and subcarbines for you unit or team, you should contact IMPEX Enterprises, Inc.. According to Mr. Paulson, the best way to contact them is by email. Their Mil/LE sales email address is [email protected].
DALVAR OF U.S.A. used to be the importer of the kbs wz. 96 Beryl rifle and kbk wz. 96 Beryl carbine/subcarbine, but DefRev doesn’t know what happened to them–we haven’t investigated it, yet. DALVAR of USA used to be reachable at 702-558-6707, or by email at [email protected], but we don’t know whether or not that contact info still works.
Click here to visit the Weapon factory "LUCZNIK" – Radom company website. You can reach their sales department by phone (from the U.S.) at 011 (48) 362 25 75. Management can be contacted via email at [email protected]. The chairman of the Weapon factory “LUCZNIK” – Radom is Zygmunt OSÓBKA.