Title: Iraqi Tabuk 7.62x39mm Assault Rifle, Gold Plated
Accession #: NHHC 2010-119-1
Size: 31 x 7
Medium: Metal, Wood, Plastic
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command
One gas-operated, select fire, carbine-length assault rifle with a folding metal stock. The pistol grip is black molded plastic and the foregrips are finished wood with an inlaid medallion on the right side. An adjustable rear sight is mounted to top of the receiver and a hooded, fixed front sight is attached to the forward end of the gas cylinder. The selector/safety lever on the right side also acts as a dust cover over the ejection port when in the closed, safe position. The release lever for the 30-round curved box magazine is at the front of the trigger guard. The charging handle, which is attached directly to the bolt, projects through a slot on the right side of the receiver’s sheet metal top cover.
The “Tabuk” is an Iraqi produced copy of the Russian AKM, itself a modernized version of the famous AK-47 designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov. Iraq began producing the “Tabuk” in 1980 with technical assistance from Yugoslavia. This example, similar to the AKMS with a folding stock, has been completely gold plated, including the barrel, firing mechanism, and magazine. It bears an Iraqi national eagle and an Arabic inscription that reads “Gift of his Highness President Saddam Hussein, President of the Iraqi Republic.” The rifle was recovered from Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.