Zastava AK NPAP rifle – what went wrong?!

Zastava NPAP AK – what went wrong?! Why NPAP is DEAD?

YouTube video

This is honestly shocking to me, because none of those abuses should sideline rifle permanently to the point like it happened with NPAP. I really like Zastava products – I think that their military production line is fantastic…the problem with NPAPs is, that they have very little common with their military brothers and i’m not talking about “cosmetics” but rather factory quality control on the “commercial line”…

79 responses to “Zastava AK NPAP rifle – what went wrong?!”

  1. Dennis Lehman Avatar
    Dennis Lehman

    I just bought is a Zastava N-PAP but haven’t shot it yet. I noticed the gas piston is not fixed well for the bolt carrier and has some play, and can be wiggled back-and-forth slightly. It is also drilled and pinned. I’ve had AK’s in the past, I don’t remember any of them being pinned or loose. Can this cause a problem? Century arms tells me this is normal. What is your advice? They want me to go out and shoot it first to see if I have any problems. I noticed that if I cycle it slowly it seems to hang up and you can see the rod appears to flex slightly. If I cycle it fast it runs okay. I sent in information to Century arms for warranty repair to get a new bolt carrier and gas piston but they’re really putting me off. Have you seen this problem before?
    Thanks for any help you can give me. After your test i’m a little leery about this gun.

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Some play will be ok on these…you should go and try to use it to see if it is cycling correctly…they are not going to take it back now anyhow…maybe all is good…worth a shot…;-)

    2. Marc Avatar

      I bought an NPAP and after approx 350 rounds the Pin that holds the gas piston to the bolt came apart. Century claimed its never happened before and had no spare parts and after talking with serious AK affection-ados as well as a very experienced gunsmith who specializes in military and class III, none had ever seen this failure. It cost me $70 to get repaired. Im really surprised because my NPAP pistol has thousands of rounds through it and not a single issue. Bottom line is Century Customer Service IMHO flat out SUCKS! I will NEVER buy anything that Century Arms imports or distributes again because they were such AHOLES to me. They blamed it on the distributor that sold me the rifle when in reality a simple replacement bold and I would have been a happy camper. My AMG65 has over 5000 res and ZERO issues!

      1. Rob Ski Avatar
        Rob Ski

        Sadly, your experience with CS isn’t isolated…hands down.

    3. Dave Avatar

      I have the exact same thing going on. I’ve never shot it yet. Christmas present. But when I was pulling the bolt back it seems to catch or drag. So I took it apart and the piston is pined and has play .

      1. Rob Ski Avatar
        Rob Ski

        Play in the piston is normal – nothing to worry about.

      2. Al Avatar

        my bolt catches as well… any easy solutions or did you send it back?

  2. Tony Grogan Avatar
    Tony Grogan

    Just curious if I should sell my nearly new npap and buy a wasr? Video got me thinking. Also curious what was production year of npap in video. My npap seems go to go ,but one plus on the wasr is the standard ak-akm furniture and parts and accessories. I can get nearly all my money back and can pick up the wasr for around $600. Also could order the Iraqi contractor wasr from Atlantic firearms. Let me know what you would buy in the $700 or less choices. Thank you in advance for your help

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Oh, i f i could, i would jump on those contractor WASRs in no time – i heard nothing but good things about these…
      @my NPAP year – it doesn’t say on the receiver…but it must be from at least 2014

  3. Matt M Avatar
    Matt M

    Hey Rob,
    You did a review of the NPAP back in August 2014. It was in the Volume 4 Episode. In that volume the NPAP received a pretty good review. Did you use the same NPAP in the torture test? Since it received mixed reviews, would it be worth it to test another?
    I bought my NPAP based on the first review.

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Hi Matt, that is correct, but that was more an overview than review. I think I even said that “this rifle has nothing to prove, because it is from Zastava…”…I knew Zastavas from Europe and they are very good rifles…I should never assume anything. This is my fault and i take a blame for it. From now on, every rifle will go through the “grinder”. No exceptions. I don’t care if they are made by Arsenal or Kalashnikov concern, every rifle will go through the basic grinder like we have now, because this really isn’t anything crazy. All AK rifles should pass drop test without any problems.
      BTW, what is your serial #? My Serial # is: 16364

      1. Matt M Avatar
        Matt M

        Hi Rob,
        serial #027254
        Just a follow up… just got mine. Have not taken to the range yet. Fit and finish seem good. It is a pretty beefy rifle, which is why I got it.It has taco trigger, with the paperclip retainer. That will get changed out. The onlY other issue is the safety selector sticks a bit. Other than that, it seems solid.

        1. Rob Ski Avatar
          Rob Ski

          Yours is way ahead of mine. Over 11000 difference between our rifles. I hope it will serve you well.

          1. Scott Avatar

            I recently purchased my npap back in Feb 2015, was wondering what the difference would be between your and mine considering your comment “11000 difference between ridles”.

          2. Scott Avatar


          3. Rob Ski Avatar
            Rob Ski

            Hi Scott, do you know when your rifle was made? You have very low serial number…My serial was 16364

          4. Zane Avatar

            Now I am left wondering. Mine is #013452 single stack Npap. I have not had much issues with it but I have not shot it heavily. At least it came with 21 mags and was only $450. I prefer my Saiga sporter with aftermarket Dinzag trigger though.

      2. James Avatar

        Hello. My serial number is 003342. I’ve shot a 1000.00 Plus rounds so far and zero problems. I hope I got one of the good ones.

  4. Greg S Avatar
    Greg S

    I wonder if these imports have had their magwells opened up in the US after importation from Zastava. The EAA (single stack with thumbhole) version has been very reliable for me. If they are not careful in machining the magwell opening it is possible that the receiver will flex more. It would be consistent with the rife chewing up the polymer mag as occurred earlier in your test. Both the EAA version and the M92 PAP seem quite stiff and I would be very disappointed if a simple drop caused them to flex and release their ‘paperclip’.


  5. Adam Avatar

    After seeing this, I’m glad I sold my PAP, and never dropped it!

  6. robert mcbeth Avatar
    robert mcbeth

    I have an o pap, century installed the “paper clip” incorrectly and the trigger axis pin fell out, the gas piston was WELDED IN PLACE, and the tapco trigger group was a terrible p.o.s.

    After a retainging plate, arsenal trigger group, and surplus bolt carrier/gas piston it has been a very good rifle. Century does a very poor job of anything they touch.

    Maybe i will send you my rifle for testing

    1. Rylan Avatar

      Did you install the single hook Arsenal trigger group in the O-Pap? I am looking at getting an N-Pap underfolder and when I do the Arsenal triggerisgoing in if it fits.

  7. Abner Diaz Avatar
    Abner Diaz

    Rob, has the cause of the failure been determined? I remember that the hardening of the metal may have been done improperly. Does this still hold true? Did you contact the manufacturer to maybe get some insight?

    Keep up the great work. AKOU 47-74 rocks!

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Sadly, because of this and RAS47 video, our relationship with Century, deteriorated very quickly…i will leave it at this…

      1. Abner Diaz Avatar
        Abner Diaz

        I don’t understand. Century should take the results of these tests and use them to improve the product With regard to the RAS47. This is an opportunity missed by Century. Is the WASR test still happening?

        1. AB77 Avatar

          They won’t, because it would shrink the profit margin on they’re sales. They make guns for the people who love the legend of an AK but should be sold to ISIS rather Americans.

      2. Rob the Polack Avatar
        Rob the Polack

        Century arms is all about a quick buck and no quality

  8. Greg Brizendine Avatar
    Greg Brizendine

    I have watched your reviews and training on YouTube. I really appreciate them. I have served overseas but just got around in the last couple months to purchase an AK. I got a NPAP a couple months ago. After much research in gun stores and gun shows – with AKs with canted sights – and many issues I found this on sale at Sportsman Warehouse here were I live. Compared to the WASRs I have seen for the same price – the quality of mine was excellent. The entire rifle was excellent shooting – yes its heavier and longer but it feels like a tank. I have had may active duty shoot it and they loved it. Every mag I have tried has worked – the metal after about 1,000 rounds still looks and feels new. Compared to the AK rifles in stores around me it was far superior. I will keep an eye on it and look more closely. The only problem I have had is finding a sling for it – Got a Romania AK sling that I attached to the stock as an easy and cheap fix. I have dropped mine – put mud in it – grass – dirt. No problems. The fit of the parts compared to other rifles I have seen to me seem like I did not get a lemon. Not sure of the patch is bad or I have a new one with the corrections. I hope and pray it stands up.

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Hi Greg, good to hear, did you get NPAP or OPAP? I’m asking because usually Opaps are heavier…

      1. Greg Brizendine Avatar
        Greg Brizendine

        Rob – NPAP. Mine has taken every mag – quality is high. Put about a thousand rounds with no problems. Safety sticks – should I bend it out a little?

  9. Ron Avatar

    It was truck, I believe caused problem. You can’t drive truck over open mag well on hard ground and not have problem. Watch ends flex up in vid. Just took a while to total fail. That drop could not have bent receiver in my opinion.

    Enjoy the channel, keep testing.

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      No other AK tested that way ever failed. Also, right after the truck, rifle was still functioning. Later on i did inspect rifle in details. I was able to bend receiver in my hands…trust me, this isn’t normal…

    2. Steve Avatar

      I think the same thing all ground spots are gonna be different compaction this being not the same test for each gun it tacoed lol but much respect rob keep on keepin on you the man give n pap another shot and dont run it over

  10. Ron Avatar

    Understand. Thanks for your response Rob. I would like to see another test of this firearm in the future if possible, I obtained a u-pap prior because it looked quality, century should not react in the negative way, they should sent another rifle to be tested, just my opinion.

  11. weasel54 Avatar

    fabryka brony radom goes good with some good vodka, kielbasa, and pierogi i will stick with the popolski ak,s

  12. weasel54 Avatar

    fabryka brony radom goes good with some vodka, kielbasa, and potato pierogi. i,ll stick with the popolski ak,s

  13. Nic bagshaw Avatar
    Nic bagshaw

    I bought an Npap in midsummer of 2015 because it just seemed more.legit than the wasr. Thebfit Nd finish were better and the buttstock was.longer. It shoots fine. I didn’t see any of the problems detailed above.
    The only beef is that it is finicky about mags. It will only use TAPCO and a Korean import mag. Chinese military will not work nor will Russian military. The seem minutely too long.

  14. Ramiro Avatar

    Hey Rob ive learned so much about the ak platform from your channel on youtube. Ive learned to love the rifle so much i went out and bought a m+m industries akm built on a romanian stamped reciever. I just wondered what if anything have you heard and expierenced with this rifle? I got a good deal on a used one 700 with 3 extra mags and scope mount

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      So called M10 are made in Romania. I don’t have that rifle, but people are generally very happy with them.

    2. Dave winfield Avatar
      Dave winfield

      Damn !!! $700. Glad I got mine when I did. $535 out the door. I’ve seen them up as much as $900 now

  15. L.L Avatar

    CAI, is and always has been an outstanding AKM importer and producer. To talk down on CAI over an imported rifle regarding a torture test is simply ridiculous without further proof that they did NOT take the issue at hand and rectify it albeit why in the hell would they help AKOU with this matter any firearm sold here in the U.S.A. has a limited or a lifetime warranty under NORMAL CONDITIONS. just get one imported or made by CAI shoot the shit out of it and if a problem occurs they will with no doubt help you through it. I had issues with my wasr 10 just recently and was sent a new wasr with no problems
    If your in the market for an AK and it so happens to be a CAI product that fancys you check for the normal issues if it passes bag it you will be good to go!!! I’m in no way writing this to knock Mr. Ski, but Rob is a PRO, master of AK i love watching his shit but Rob has so much influence in this market it s just not fair at times especially with this review. Now with the ras47 having cast parts I agree is stupid although have not seen or heard a cast trunion to fail…

  16. L.L Avatar

    Please delete my post I was just looking for info on the npap and found this I am sorry did not see this was fron 2007. It’s the post about npap review not be fair and cai is a good company.. sorry Mr. Ski you are the man. Hope to meet you one day

    1. Steve Avatar

      Lol mrski please

  17. Andrew Wassenberg Avatar
    Andrew Wassenberg

    Rob , I am looking at buying my first AK and looking to spend around 6-700. Really wanted this one but then I came across this video. Maybe I should just snag a QC inspected WASR from Atlantic firearms while they are still available. What would you recommend?

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Try to get opap, wasr10 or vepr.

      1. Alex Bailey Avatar
        Alex Bailey

        Rob, I watch your videos, you post the link to Atlantic Firearms, so that is where you order your rifles from? I’m taking my first step into the AK world tomorrow and can not decide between a WASR 10 or C39V2. Any help would be greatly appreciated

        1. Rob Ski Avatar
          Rob Ski

          WASR10, OPAP or Vepr before C39v2

          1. Alex Bailey Avatar
            Alex Bailey

            Thank you so much for your response! WASR at my LGS it is. I watched your guide on buying new AKs I’ll be sure to check the rivets, front sight, and pop the hood!

  18. Dave winfield Avatar
    Dave winfield

    I love my npap. Granted it’s a new one sn#o45945. 6thiusand rounds. Multiple classes & zero malfunctions other than crap ammo.

    1. Dave winfield Avatar
      Dave winfield

      6 thousand rounds. Damn fat thumbs. Hahahah

  19. Sherkahn Avatar

    Just bought my npap and i have no Plans To drop it, do push ups on it, or run it over…just sayin

  20. Koki Arrington Avatar
    Koki Arrington

    I have a Zastava NPAP with a single stack magazine. I’m having light primer strike issues after the first shot. I cleaned the bolt assembly and the firing pin, but the light primer strike after the first shot continued. What could be the problem?
    P.S. I’ve had this rifle for almost two years, and it was working great until the above problem occurred recently.

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Are you using Tula Ammo?

      1. Koki Arrington Avatar
        Koki Arrington

        Yes, I’m using Tula ammo. I’ve been shooting Tula ammo in this rifle since I bought it, was working fine until about a month ago.

  21. Greg Brizendine Avatar
    Greg Brizendine

    I should have taken a picture of the new NPAP being sold here in Roanoke, VA – they took the high comb stock off and put the cheapest wood stock I have ever seen. The stock did not even fit the rifle – it was put on sideways and not flush with were the stock meets the back of the rifle – Century did not even try to fix it nor did the store try to send the rifle back. I should have taken a picture of how bad the stock looked. Bad quality assurance to let something this bad out the door. Mine still fires and works like a dream – I love the high cheek comb on the stock – the heaviness helps with recoil – shoots like a 5.56 in relation to recoil. 2 inch groups at 100 yards. Took Rob’s shooting tips with the iron sights – hits steel out to 300 yards with no problem.

  22. Brndn Avatar

    New to the AK world, but I bought a CAI NPAP in spite of seeing this video first (by the way, I love your channel, Robski). In store, compared to the WASR, the NPAP seemed more robust at every turn: the front sight, gas block, and trunnions all were MUCH beefier, and the furniture was of higher quality. It takes every mag I’ve procured, including Chinese army bakelite. So far I’ve swapped out the stock for the Magpul Zhukov Yugo, and just ordered a Ultimak scout rail and Primary Arms Micro Dot. I went in and polished the trigger control group with a dremmel, sandpaper and jeweler’s files, and also filed and polished the hammer a bit to smooth the bolt action. To sum it all up: I totally love my NPAP and feel it’s a fantastic entry into the AK world for a noob on a budget in the age of embargos on Mother Russia. I’m now obsessed with all things AK and am plotting my financial life to someday procure an Arsenal, Izhmash, and, after I win the Powerball, a Rifle Dynamics. Robski, I think you got a lemon NPAP. These are great guns. Thank you for your work informing us about these fantastic Kalashnikovs.

  23. Scott Avatar

    About to buy my first AK style rifle. Due to my budget, my choice has narrowed down to the WASR 10 or the NPAP. I was leaning towards the WASR, per info from the AKOU channel, but I am not able to find any used ones and I was told WASR’s will no longer be imported, although I’m not sure if that’s true. I am able to order a new NPAP but I am leary because of the video. I want something thats going to be reliable without paying the price of the higher ended AK’s, and I especially need to get it soon because I feel a ban is coming. If I do get the NPAP, what parts should be replaced if possible to make it better? Thanks.
    P.S. I have found your site and youtube channel to be very informative and helpful. Keep up the good work, and thank you, Rob Ski, for your service.

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      If you can, try to find WASR10…the same price.

      1. Will Avatar


        If you want a WASR hit up They have them in Stock $699. Sux they are so expensive now. I bought my SLR107FR from them last November and they are a great company. Best of luck.

        1. Scott Avatar

          I just checked it out. I found a WASR on there, but it was $750. I probably would have still got it anyways but its out of stock, as is the majority of AKs on the site. None of my LGS’s are able to get a WASR at the moment either. Thanks anyways though.

  24. KaiserjaB Avatar

    First off, big ups to Rob Ski and Paul and everyone at AKOU Local4774! While your tests probably wouldn’t pass muster in the scientific community, you do a great service for those of us who are trying to learn about the AK platform, thank you!
    Being on a budget (read “married”) as well as a general tight ass, I decide to go with the wasr as my first AK. I called CAI and was told that they don’t know when or if they would get any more. However an LGS near me says they can have one in 4-6 weeks and they have a layaway program. So in November or December I’ll let you guys know how this all pans out. If the gun store in question lives up to there word, I’ll let the AKOU community know as this is the only place I have found “The Horny Whore”.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

  25. George Connelly Avatar
    George Connelly

    Bought 2 Century Arms NPAP both are very good fit and finish. Sights straight, very little movement when mag in place, rivets all properly placed, no corrosion around sights. Both shoot tight pattern. 500 round trough one, 100 through the other.

    So far I think I’ve gotten lucky. $540 each

  26. Rr Avatar

    Out of these ; Saiga wasr10 vepr arsenal slr107 what would you buy

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Wasr10 when on budget, Saiga if you can do conversion on your own and SLR107 if you want to have folding stock.

  27. Rr Avatar

    Rob it’s great to have someone like you put these rifles through those tests
    So that the American people have a chance to make an educated guess as to what ak’They may like to buy. It’s sad that our own American made ak’s arnt made the way they should ; cast parts and metals not beig properly heat treated to hardness.
    I wanted to ask you about that vepr from ” clash of the titans” the piston seemed a bit on the thin side compared to standard ak pistons .. any reason why ?

  28. PAUL BERMAN Avatar

    I just bought an NPap at a gun show last weekend.
    I noticed that the rear of the receiver has two rivets, compared to many I see on the internet with three.
    I doubt I will ever shoot 500 rounds through the gun or even 2500..

    Should I be concerned?
    I guess I have an older gun?
    How can I figure out the manufacture date?



    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Put some locktite on that push button release screw from the dust cover…also, we did 5k rds test on newer model, also with 2 rivets and after 5k receiver cracked around that hole for dust cover released button…just saying.

  29. Jeff Avatar

    Where can I find assessories for my Zastava npap df? Thamls

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Check with Apex gun parts

  30. Daniel Avatar

    My serial is a 55xxxx

    Has a century trigger

    3000 rounds with no issue im hope im the Lucky one

    Using a wolf extra power recoil sprint and a retaining plate

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Thanks for feedback.

  31. Zach Avatar

    serial #010345 is that a gen 1 or gen 2 npap? I love mine zero problems

  32. Andrew Raymond Avatar
    Andrew Raymond

    Hi Rob I installed the retaining plate in my Brand New NPAP DF. Easy to install. I took it to the range on Saturday and put 200 rounds through it . It shot well about 1 3/4 group at 50 yds. Did have to run the front sight all the way to the right to get it on center. Wow did not realize how hot this sucker gets but it was 98 degrees there. Next time I will wear gloves. All in all I love my CAI NPAP DF . Being retired Army I am very familiar with M4’s but this is my first AK 47 and I love her. I don’t expect to put it through the ringer as you do but I appreciate the info. I found a rear sight that is windage adjustable and will install it when it arrives ( Krebbs custom ). I will sight it in again once I am done. I will reset the front sight to center and make windage adjustment on the rear sight only.BTW her name is “Natasha”( from Boris and Natasha cartoons )and she fits in my red tennis racket case perfectly . Thanks again……Andy Raymond

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      You have to wear gloves when shooting rifles, especially AK. It gets hot quickly man.

  33. Tim N Avatar
    Tim N

    It must be a hit or a miss with these rifles. I bought one last Dec. It had one front rivet work loose, and the carrier tail was deforming fast. That was only after 340 rnds.
    The sights were also canted (so is the front sight on my Vepr, just slightly to the right) but it shot okay. I got rid of it without shooting it again.
    I think mine was put together on hangover day.

  34. Austin Avatar

    I want to ask, what is your reasoning exactly for choosing a Wasr 10/63 over an NPAP? If you can go into details please do….I want to weigh the pros and cons….ultimately I am looking for the longest lasting, most durable and reliable firearm that I can buy for my money…..due to sanctions I can’t buy more Veprs and only have one so i’m looking to buy 3 AKs at about 750 dollars each maximum and I want to know very specific reasons on why to choose the Wasr 10/63 over the NPAP….mainly because i’m investing in them and i’m going to modify nearly everything about the rifle as most people would…trigger, muzzle brake, grip and stock, forend….new hammer spring so before I invest about 2,000 or more I want to know why I should buy the Wasr 10/63 over the NPAP…Thanks.

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Because WASR10 is closer to regular AKM. Easier to upgrade, lighter and etc

  35. Matt Avatar

    I have a zastava myself and am thinking about upgrading the stock. Would like to get a 6 position stock but I amnot sure what one to get as most stamped receivers have the tang and these do not. Any recommendations?

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