The Mikhail Kalashnikov family of carbines has been developed over the years as technology has progressed. From the well-known classic AKM chambered in the 7.62x39 mm cartridge, through the RPK, AK-74 and AKS-74U Krinkov chambered in 5.45x39 mm, and recently also in pistol calibers. This is also the case with the last design created by Kalashnikov, this time made by Victor (the famous designer's son) - the PP-19 Bizon model. The new weapon was designed to be chambered in 9x18 mm Makarov, 9x19 mm Parabellum or 7.62x25 mm Tokarev cartridges, which would currently classify it as a PCC (Pistol Caliber Carbine). The design with a characteristic silhouette is based on the AKS-74U elements. However, the principle of operation was modified - the long-stroke piston was replaced with a simple closed bolt, straight blowback method of operation. The additional requirement of small size and high magazine capacity resulted in the use of the distinctive helical magazine, which is the most recognizable feature of the "Bizon" and, at the same time, was at first glance mistaken for an under barrel grenade launcher. The PP-19 Bizon, accepted into service in 1996, received a development version in 2004 in the form of the PP-19-01 Vityaz.
During the modernization, a more classic design was chosen, doing away with the helical magazine in favor of a classic curved magazine and operation identical to AK carbines. In this version, the carbine was put into service, where in 2018 it was modernized to the form that is being currently reproduced by the replica LPPK20(2020) by LCT Airsoft.
An airsoft PP-19-01 Vityaz, i.e. the LPPK-20 (2020) by LCT Airsoft
- overall length: 467 mm (replica with the stock folded), 660/720 mm with the stock unfolded
- inner barrel length: 255 mm;
- weight (without a battery and with an empty magazine): 3.05 kg;
- power supply: a stick type battery under the receiver cover;
- magazine capacity: 2x mid-cap, 50 BBs each
- declared muzzle velocity: 362 fps
The replica is delivered in a standard packaging offered by LCT Airsoft. A box with a logo and a sticker indicating the model on the side, a plastic molding containing the replica, a product catalog and two interconnected mid-cap magazines.
The replica has a modified receiver from the AKS74U. It is shorter and partially modified, just like in the original. There are embossed firing mode markings on the receiver as well as the Izhmash factory marking. In addition, it also has a unique serial number on the trigger guard. The dominant material the replica is made of is steel, which is a standard for LCT Airsoft products.
The dust cover is placed on a hinge with a spring that lifts it when opened. We probably cannot count on this feature working with any kind of optics installed, but it is very useful when arranging batteries with wires and adjusting the hop-up system as it gives better access. The cover is made of steel, but the rail for the optics is made of a different material that is not attracted to a magnet.
The batteries that fit under the cover are the split stick type. Since there is more than enough space for them, longer packs with higher capacity, regardless if LiOn or LiFe, will fit without any problems. One of the biggest issues with this replica is the much smaller shell ejection port (additionally moved backwards), which makes access to the hop-up chamber adjustment very difficult, if not impossible at the extreme adjustment range. The movement of the dummy bolt is also surprisingly short.
The barrel assembly and its components are also made of steel.
The gas block of the replica is made of steel and has a classic handguard lock. There is an adjustable steel rear sight mounted on it, with 5, 10, 15, 20 setting markings.
The outer barrel is made of steel and has traces of rolling. Its assembly is based on a locking pin and two screws placed at the bottom. There is a 14 mm CCW thread at its end, so installation of most muzzle devices should be trouble-free.
The standard muzzle device has cutouts in the upper part and is locked by a spring pin. The base of the front sight is very similar to that of the AKS74U with an additional short mounting rail for accessories. Installing accessories in this place will cause problems due to the small amount of space, so it should be treated more as an aesthetic feature.
There is definitely more space on the handguard with a short side and a long bottom rail. The black polymer from which the handguard is made is very similar to the material of the magazines and, after disassembly, it reveals additional elements. In the lower half there is a "heat shield" made of aluminum (which in the case of an AEG replica is a nice touch of attention to detail) and in the upper half there is a steel cover for the gas tube.
For some reason, fitting of the whole thing on the replica is not the best and after the first disassembly the parts may loosen significantly. Bending some elements should solve this problem. The safety/selector lever can also by improved, as it is very stiff straight out of the box. After loosening the mounting screw, the situation improves.
The replica has a profiled pistol grip similar to the one seen in the AK-12. The mounting screw is hidden under the push-in bottom.
Other manipulators include a metal trigger and quite a short steel magazine catch. The stock locking button is identical to that in AK-74 rifles and the new stock comes from the LCT Airsoft modernization package.
The stock, made of polymer, with a rather futuristic appearance is not a typical element. The adjustment system is based on a fin that we tilt to make adjustments. Their range is quite narrow, only 60 mm and the provide six possible positions.
At the end of the stock there is a butt plate with horizontal lines and the possibility of vertical adjustment. The stock also has QD sockets for mounting a carrying sling swivel. These mounts are not metal inserts, but only cast in polymer. When using QD swivels dedicated to firearms (e.g. Ferro Concepts), it is not possible to attach them correctly due to the mounting slot being too shallow. Therefore, it will be necessary to choose an appropriate swivel to be able to use these points. The mechanism of locking the stock in extreme positions also questionable. When the stock is unfolded there is slight play on it, and while unfolding it, the stock hinge can get stuck on the pin, therefore it is usually necessary to use both hands to unfold it. The problem would be solved by rounding the inner edge on the pin side or simply lubricating it.
The replica comes with two curved mid-cap magazines placed in a steel connector. It is possible to remove the magazines from the connector, but it is not easy and requires some work. Using joined magazines obviously did not bother me that much, but folding the stock is impossible with the magazine sticking out on the left side. The magazine well itself is removable, made of polymer and, together with the magazines, has no play.
As a side note, we tested the latest addition for service technicians. The new tool allows to freely disassemble stocks from AK, VAL/VSS, PP-19 replicas or even gas powered AK replicas made by GHK, but you will be able to read about it in a separate article.
The disassembly of the replica is in no way different from other AK replicas. After disassembling the replica into its basic parts, it's heart is visible. At first glance, the gearbox is identical to the one installed in the recently reviewed replica of the LGM VAL or the LCK-12.
The frame is a traditional cast with the manufacturer's logo, 9 mm bearing sockets and quick spring replacement system.
The cylinder ports are not rounded but there are reinforcements around it. The polymer piston with a 15 metal teeth, the aluminum piston head and the aluminum cylinder head with a double O-ring that same as the the above mentioned replicas. A type 2 cylinder was used, but it is still made of brass with chrome plating and ribbing.
The nozzle is black, made of polymer and has a length of 19.45 mm.
The mechanical components are the same. We still have 9 mm ball bearings, polymer tappet plate and LCT gears with factory installed delayer.
The shimming of the gears and the lubrication of the whole mechanism is good, with the right amount of grease and no play in the gears. The motor used in the replica is not very powerful, it has just 22,000 RPM, but the response of the replica is very pleasant. The gear on the motor is a D type and the motor frame comes from AK replicas.
The whole thing works very nicely and smoothly, with a good trigger response time despite the lack of a MOSFET or an ETU system. The wires in the replica are stiff and the plug is Mini-Tamiya.
The inner barrel is 255 mm long and made of brass. The hop-up chamber is standard, but due to the modified receiver and smaller space, there is a different element responsible for its adjustment. The bucking is black and made of silicone and is pushed by an ordinary rounds spacer.
During shooting, we experienced double-feed on single fire, but we were unable to identify the reason behind it. When using the replica with a 7.4 V battery, we could not complain about the response time or slow operation, and with an 11.1 V battery, the replica still worked perfectly. The performance in terms of rate of fire and range is certainly not the highest level compared to high-end replicas, but most users should certainly be satisfied. The FPS were measured using 0.2 BBs and the results are as follows:
- 414.3 FPS
- 411.1 FPS
- 412.8 FPS
- 412.6 FPS
- 412.0 FPS
- 409.7 FPS
- 408.9 FPS
- 411.0 FPS
- 411.3 FPS
- 414.6 FPS
Average: 411.6 FPS
Target Shooting Test
The replica was tested outdoors with the Hop-Up system properly set for 0.2 g BBs at a distance of 25 m. The results can be seen below on an A4 size target.
The replica fits very nicely in one's hands and feels light (weighing just 3 kg). The profiled pistol grip and the handguard with rails on the bottom and on the right side fit very nicely in the hands. As a platform based on an over 70-year-old project, we can say that it lags only slightly behind the competition such as the MP5 and other PCCs.
Operation (taking the safety off and replacing magazines) requires decisive movement, which ensures that the magazine is inserted and the replica has its safety off.
The stock from the AK-12 modernization package is comfortable, but its short range of adjustment may bother some people. Replacing it with another one will not be a problem, however, because it is an AK standard like many other external elements of this replica. The LPPK-20 is not another AK replica, while retaining many elements characteristic to this platform. This allows to freely modify the replica and personalize it while maintaining smaller dimensions and weight. The advantage is certainly the magazines that one can simply carry more of. Their workmanship is also more than satisfactory and will not require looking for alternatives. So if you are looking for a non-AK replica, but at the same time want to have the legendary level of reliability and durability for which Mikhail Kalashnikov's designs are known, then the LPPK-20 by LCT Airsoft should be an option worth considering.
This text was created as part of an commercial cooperation with LCT Airsoft. As always, we have made every effort to ensure that the following article provides reliable information. It presents the author's opinion and does not close further discussion, to which we invite you in the comments.