Plum, in the context of AK Plum or Russian Plum is a color of AK furniture (i.e. stock, grip, handguards, and other accessories) or magazines originally seen in the last decade of the Soviet Union. Original mags and parts from manufacturers in Soviet Republics are relatively uncommon but the color remains popular – which is why they are made by or at the behest of several American companies including Magpul, US PALM, XTECH, and others.
Beloved Vodka Blaster Color
The origin of the “AK plum” hue remains debated. Much internet lore is available, all of which could reasonably be viewed with dubiety. Cold War era Kalashnikov rifles were available in a variety of types and styles but the “big three” generally issued on a large scale were those with fixed laminated wood stocks, fixed plum stocks, and black stocks (both folding and fixed).
Whether the color originated, as some RUMINT says, with a Russian dye malfunction or some perceived benefit against NVGs, or some other reason, we have no idea. And no one else does either. Lots of weird shit went on in the late 70s and early 80s. Maybe Nikolai Ogarkov or Sergey Akhromeyev (or both) had a thing for Boy George and Cher’s hair. Does it matter?
• US PALM Grip in Russian Plum
• US PALM Mags in Russian Plum
Could be that YouTube’s Mishaco has the best answer.
“Maybe they were just thinking of US collectors in twenty and thirty years and just trying to be nice to us and give us something unique to play with.”
The exact color of AK Plum varies, much like FDE, Coyote Tan, and other types of Mud Hut Brown. For instance, some versions of Molot plum are different than examples of Tula plum, both in turn being different than Izhmash. Matte Molot mags are more common than the shinier Izhmash and Tula versions, but that’s not important right now. What’s important is that you can get ’em made-in-America.
“it’s worth noting that you’ll see all kinds…there’s shiny plum, there’s matte plum, there’s some that have speckles, little white speckles…that’s where it was dyed and didn’t mix with the white polymer. Those white speckles are undyed polymer. You’ll see some that’s lighter, more purple, some that’s lighter, more brown, and some that’s basically almost black. And of course later, in the 90s, Russia would be to a true black and they would even change the material, not just the dye…”
But as always we digress.
Regarding the original much sought-after (possibly even longed for) AK Plum waffle mags, and article on The Firearm Blog reads,
Made of a deep purple, glass-reinforced polyamide; around 5,000 of these were made and issued and seem to be the last general issue 7.62×39 mag produced, although they may or may not have been issued by the Russians. The how, why, and when they were used, doesn’t seem to be well known, but most examples come from the middle east via soldiers bringing them back. ~ TFB
Non Plum AK Bonus Picture
This might just be the ugliest Kalashnikov we’ve seen to date. Unfortunately we have no idea about the story behind it. Nor where it came from. If you have any ideas, hit us up in the comments below.
Plum AK Furniture in the Wild (~ish)
Close-up of the plum AK stock from the rifle shown above:
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