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Zastava M21
M21A assault rifle
Type Assault rifle, submachine gun
Place of origin Serbia
Service history
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer Marinko Petrović[1]
Manufacturer Zastava Arms
Produced 2004-present
Number built 50,000+
Variants See Variants
Weight M21A: 9.15 lb (4.15 kg)
Length M21A: 39.37 in (1,000 mm) (extended stock)
29.52 in (750 mm) (folded stock)
Barrel length M21A: 18.1 in (460 mm)

Cartridge 5.56×45mm NATO
Action Gas-operated (rotating bolt)
Rate of fire 680 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 925 m/s
Effective range 450 m (490 yd) with iron sights
600 m (660 yd) with optics
Feed system 30-round detachable box magazine
Sights Adjustable iron sights, optional mount required for optical sights

The Zastava M21 is a series of 5.56mm firearms developed and manufactured by Zastava Arms.[2]

Overview[edit | edit source]

The M21 is based on the AK-47 Kalashnikov principle, chambered in the 5.56×45mm cartridge.[3] Like many modern assault rifles, the M21 can incorporate picatinny rails for mounting accessories like optics, vertical grips, bipods, etc.

The Zastava M21 is gas operated with a rotating bolt locking system.[3] It features a hard chromium-plated, cold forged standard rifled or an optional polygonal rifled barrel, integrated 22mm flash hider grenade launcher, rigid metal folding stock, heavy-duty synthetic handguard with an additional left hand side fire selector, cover mounted picatinny rail for optical sights. The rifle can also mount a 40mm under-barrel grenade launcher.[3] It has a magazine capacity of 30 rounds. The cyclic rate of fire is 680 rounds per minute, and the sustained rate of fire is 120 rounds/min.[3]


The regular barrel has six grooves with a right-hand twist. An octagonal polygonal version is also available and has four grooves with a right-hand twist (M21B). Barrels are also hard chrome plated to provide a longer service life.[4]

The rifle has conventional iron sights that consist of a front post and a flip-up rear sight with 300m and 500m apertures. A set of picatinny rails on the hand guard can mount various optoelectronic devices. The M21 is a modular weapon, with configuration dependent on the task and mission.

Optical sights:

  • ON M04 "TELEOPTIK and
  • ON M04A "ZRAK"

Optoelectronic devices:

  • Reflex sight, M04 "MARS"
  • Bookmark target laser M04A-AIM2000
  • Passive monocular M04 MINI N/SEAS
  • Passive sight PN 3x50 "SOVA"
  • Bookmark laser target M04 "INFIZ"
  • Passive monocular MINI N/SEAS combined with reflex sight M04 "MARS"

Variants[edit | edit source]

The M21 comes in several assault rifle and submachine gun variants:

  • M21A – Standard baseline assault rifle.[2]
  • M21S – Compact short barrel assault rifle.[5]
    • M21SBS – Built-in picatinny rail system.
  • M21 – Submachine gun model.[6]
    • M21BS – Built-in picatinny rail system.

Users[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Patente proglasili kopijom" (in Serbian). Glas javnosti. http://arhiva.glas-javnosti.rs/arhiva/2004/11/13/srpski/RG04111201.shtml. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.zastava-arms.rs/en/militaryproduct/assault-rifle-m21
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 http://www.zastava-arms.rs/cms/index.php?id=227
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "M21 deo naoružanja Vojske Srbije" (in Serbian). B92. 10 February 2008. http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2008&mm=02&dd=10&nav_category=9&nav_id=284297. 
  5. http://www.zastava-arms.rs/en/militaryproduct/assault-rifle-m21-s
  6. http://www.zastava-arms.rs/en/militaryproduct/submachine-gun-m21
  7. "Oružari ipak izvoze u Jermeniju" (in Serbian). B92. 29 December 2006. http://www.b92.net/biz/vesti/srbija.php?yyyy=2006&mm=12&dd=29&nav_id=225422. 
  8. http://balkanmonitor.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/zastava-arms-signs-30-million-tech-transfer-deal-with-azerbaijan/
  9. 9.0 9.1 http://www.sipri.org/research/armaments/transfers/transparency/national_reports/serbia/SER_08.pdf/view
  10. "Snajperi iz Zastave za Jordan i Indoneziju" (in Serbian). Blic. 12 January 2011. http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Tema-Dana/228720/Snajperi-iz-Zastave-za-Jordan-i-Indoneziju. 
  11. http://www.ekapija.com/website/sr/page/125406_en
  12. "So lucky to survive bomb horror". Wales Online. 14 September 2008. http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2008/09/14/so-lucky-to-survive-bomb-horror-91466-21813429/. 
  13. http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/files/portal/spotlight/country/eu_pdf/europe-serbia-2006.pdf
  14. "NATO vojnici nose srpske puške" (in Serbian). Blic. 28 February 2008. http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Drustvo/32109/NATO-vojnici-nose-srpske-puske-. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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