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Page AK-47 » Chinese
Posted: 9/8/2019 8:49:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/8/2019 8:52:02 PM EST by 4q2]
photo hosters..I hope they all got vd and  never reaid, picked me up a REAL nice norinco nhm 90. lotsa info on mak 90-91 but notta lotta info on this one..anyone with info post it up ! thanks a lot guys I know this is a slow thread and ALOT of info is gone thanks to GREEDY photo hosters . rant over.  I dunno what happened but I hope hosters cannot reproduce
Link Posted: 9/8/2019 9:42:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By 4q2:
photo hosters..I hope they all got vd and  never reaid, picked me up a REAL nice norinco nhm 90. lotsa info on mak 90-91 but notta lotta info on this one..anyone with info post it up ! thanks a lot guys I know this is a slow thread and ALOT of info is gone thanks to GREEDY photo hosters . rant over.  I dunno what happened but I hope hosters cannot reproduce
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What kind of info do you want?


The Norinco NHM Series of Rifles



The Norinco NHM series of rifles can be considered highly political in their origins, owing their existence in large part, if not entirely to the 1989 assault weapons ban. The terms pre-ban and post-ban respectively are routinely used to describe various models of semi-automatic rifles that were either manufactured before or after the 1989 ban went into effect. This differentiation is usually monetary based, used to denote rifles with certain cosmetic features available before the 1989 ban which were no longer available post legislation.

There is some debate on what the acronym NHM actually stands for, it’s alleged the three letters denote the name ‘Nam Hum Manufacturer’ while others believe the letters actually stand for ‘National Heavy Match.’ It should be noted that a now defunct business operating out of Sacramento, California known as ‘Old Sacramento Armory’ owned by Edward Faust, imported firearms under a number of different company names. Among them, New Helvetia Mercantile (NHM) Corporation, commonly found stamped on a number of imported firearms across the United States.

To date, sources to verify the veracity of any of these claims remain elusive and are speculative at best, though the term NM (National Match) has been used previously with other Chinese arsenal derived AK variant firearms. So called transitional-weapons such as the NHM90 may feature many alterations designed to meet the legal guidelines enacted by the ban such as muzzle caps to cover threaded barrels, Bishop or Boyd thumb-hole stocks in place of pistol grips, means to limit magazine capacity, front sight de-hooding, removal of bayonet and cleaning rod apparatuses etc. Many of these firearms will have serial numbers which are denoted with the acronym, “MS” followed by the serial numbers themselves. It is alleged this acronym stands for the Min-Shin factory where some of these firearms are said to have originated from.

There are a number of state sponsored factories in China with many pre and post ban models exhibiting numerical codes inside a triangle (56 & 66), usually on the front trunnion, denoting the factory of origin. Many of the under folding stocks were removed, capped and refitted with thumb hole stocks, however there are reputed to have been limited models of NHM90’s which were marketed with the under folding stocks folded in addition to the thumb hole stocks. The collector may elect to keep these capped under folders in their ban compliant state, however they are routinely converted back into their pre-ban condition with attached, working under folder stocks. The under folder stock models routinely bring a premium compared to their contemporary, traditional stocked models.

Many of the 7.62 x 39mm NHM90’s are in fact neutered 56S rifles, which are a pre-ban model of Norinco manufactured firearms. There are also many 5.56 caliber NHM90s that are actually neutered 84S series Norinco rifles, the reason behind the name change and neutering of pre-ban features is because these rifles were caught in legal limbo once the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 went into affect and thus were altered in order to meet the requirements set out by the enacted legislation. With their original models (56S, 84S) specifically named in the legislation new monikers were conceptualized and the resulting NHM, MAK and other sporter series rifles were born. It is believed that there were also models of NHM90 rifles who were produced after the 1989 legislation however that is only speculation and conventional wisdom has it these are post-ban rifles with pre-ban origins.

The 5.56 caliber NHM90’s are typically crudely labeled “NHM90” on the left side of the receiver, though some examples exist of these with other markings elsewhere on the rifle as well. While some the 7.62 x 39mm model rifles are also found with crudely labeled “NHM90” markings at times as well, the more professional attempts at stamping NHM90 are fortunately more common place. Various transitional markings can be found on both models ranging from the crossing out (X’s) of the factory designated stampings to the complete washing off of the stamping marks altogether. The 5.56 Nato (.223) NHM and MAK-90 lines, themselves formally of the 84s series, later materialized into the BWK92 model of Norinco rifles. The magazines for these rifles are scarce and thus command a premium compared to more prolific and cheaper 7.62 x 39mm magazines on the market.

Within the 7.62 x 39mm NHM90 series rifles are examples with blued bolt and bolt carriers. These rifles are rumored to have been part of a canceled special order to an importer in North America, though examples from various importers around the United States can be found challenging any broadly conceived notions to this degree as open for debate. The blued bolt and bolt carrier feature is also commonly found in other post-ban firearms such as the AK-47 and MAK-90 Sporters’ respectively with pre-ban examples found on certain 56S series rifles.

The AKM/47S, an early import model pre-dating the 56s line is also known to have a blued bolt and bolt carrier though there are purported to be models which have a more traditional looking bolt carrier in appearance as well. A similar fate met a variety of similarly labeled firearms, such as the Polytech AKS-762 SP and other similarly labeled firearms for example, in having to be re-manufactured and/or labeled in order to conform to the laws in acted after the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989. The ATF cited the Gun Control Act of 1968 and its sporting purposes clause to justify their actions in banning the importation of firearms with similar banned features layed out in the Roberti-Roos legislation.

The blued bolt and bolt carrier features are considered desirable in some circles due to the uniqueness and relative scarcity in comparison to other more common models upon initial observation. These rifles could be considered the holy grail of the post-ban Norinco AK world along with some of the Sile, N.Y. models which retain most of their pre-ban features and are therefore quite collectible. There are various post-ban model rifles which sport some pre-ban features making for interesting treasure hunts for the perspective collector.

Among the more interesting models to fall under this umbrella are the firearms imported by Sile, N.Y. These rifles can retain any number of pre-ban features, but are still considered post-ban models. The firearms are usually denoted with numerical characters before and after the original 56s stampings to set them apart from their true pre-ban counter parts. However there are some earlier Sile, N.Y. post-ban models which are essentially indistinguishable from their pre-ban counter parts other than the addition of a notch behind the magazine well which prevents the insertion of high-capacity magazines.

These rifles were sold in what is known as a “sporter” configuration along with a thumb-hole stock but could easily be converted back to the original Type 56 design making them as close to a pre-ban firearm as one can get without having a true pre-ban example. It is theorized that some AKM/47s model rifles may have been caught up in the 1989 ban and were given post-ban designations. This is significant because it would suggest that some of the transition models may in fact be something other than former 56s rifles which is commonly accepted.

Among this particular group of transitional post-ban firearms are the infamous third pin-hole receiver rifles. These rifles are alleged to have been shipped to the U.S by accident and have a third axis pin-hole on the receiver for easier conversion to a select fire firearm. They are uniquely marked for select fire on the right side of the receiver as well. The third axis-pin-hole receivers are said to have been permanently welded to prevent conversion upon arrival in customs and were ultimately recalled though some models are still out there in the hands of private owners. These weapons are classified as machine guns under federal law and if you’re in possession of these firearms you’re advised to de-mill the rifle immediately.

There are also examples in the 7.62 x 39mm caliber NHM90 model rifles with the more traditional nickel looking bolt and bolt carriers, again, both examples lending themselves to their original 56S origins ultimately.The same can be said for the under folder NHM90, MAK and other similarly labeled models, all of whom trace their ultimate origins to the 56S-1 line of pre-ban Norinco imported firearms.

Exact figures on just how many of these specifically stamped model rifles are in country are difficult to pin-point, but in reference specifically to the transitional models, it is safe to say not many due to the limited time frame they were conceptualized. A number of these firearms have been de-milled in states such as California, with the receivers destroyed and the remaining pieces of the rifles sold as parts kits. As a result, the already limited number of transitional weapons has been diminished even further. With many of these firearms finding themselves into private collections the availability of these rifles on the open market continues to decline as each year passes.

According to information from mouseguns.com, the NHM91 series of rifles are said to feature .668” diameter barrels and 1.6mm receivers, though it is said all Chinese stamped AK variants feature 1.5 mm receivers, making the NHM91 among the most durable and highest quality rifles of its kind ever imported into the United States. With chrome lined bores and double hook triggers, coupled with their thicker barrels and receivers, the Chinese derived AK variants are the most common firearm of its kind in the world today.

Originally billed as a sniper rifle and often times referred to as over built, these rifles are regularly confused with RPK rifles due to their longer, heavier 20 inch barrels and ruggedly built design. Though the Norinco Type 81 and 86S-7 (AK47S) are more closely associated (though not exact copies) with the original Soviet RPK design. The Polytech AKS-762 is also commonly outfitted with RPK furniture, which is more of an aesthetic accessory piece than anything which aids in the function of the firearm.

Some what standing alone among its peers, with only National Match and RPK type rifles to draw comparisons too, the NHM91 could be described as a novelty firearm which does not get the same kind of lime light as its shorter barrel, 16” inch length cousins. Originally imported in the early ‘90’s, the NHM91 rifles are often times dated to year of importation by examining the serial number. Both the NHM90 and NHM91 are commonly found with elevated, rounded notches behind the magazine release button designed to prevent the insertion of standard capacity magazines. However, it is not uncommon to find modified examples of these firearms with the notches ground off either.

The NHM90 and NHM91 are also commonly found with muzzle devices covering the threads on the muzzles. Often times tack welded or pinned on, these devices are often removed by breaking the welds and pushing in the spring loaded detent pin on the front sight block. The NHM90 series of rifles are found with matching serial numbers on the receiver, receiver cover, gas tube, recoil spring guide, bolt and bolt carrier with the NHM91 models sharing serialization on the receiver, bolt and bolt carrier.

Examples without matching serial numbers are typically considered less desirable than their matching serial number counter parts and are there for less valuable as a result. Many of the post-ban MAK-90 models can be found with the threads turned down, or simply no threads whatsoever. This can make the NHM series of rifles an attractive option for those looking for firearms which have already been threaded.

These rifles represent attempts to break into the American sporting market while catering to the existing political climate rather than owing their design origins to communist military use. Incidentally, according to the same report from mouseguns.com, the MAK-90 (7.62 x 39mm and 5.56 respectively) both measured up at .608” diameter barrels, while the NHM90 was reported to have measured at approximately .601” in diameter. The milled receiver MAK-90s are purported to be .615” in diameter with the MAK-91 barrel measuring .684” in diameter for comparison.

This is significant because there exist examples of transitional MAK-90’s which are no doubt themselves neutered 56s series rifles as well (and in some cases un-neutered) lending to a distinction between individual model MAK-90s as some of the stamped receiver models will no doubt measure approximate barrel diameters between the front sight and gas blocks as being .601” (56S series origin) or .608” (post ban model) in design. Based on this information, it may be fair to theorize that the 1989 legislation lead to increased build quality from the Chinese in order to make up for the neutering of cosmetic features brought forth by the ban itself.

This information tends to lend credibility to the notion that not all MAK-90s are one in the same, and that there exist several variations under the same model moniker for the historian, collector or just regular Joe curious owner to ascertain and differentiate while attempting to identify exactly what model rifle you've got on your hands and the history and circumstances which lead to its existence. The NHM (90/91) and MAK-(90/91) series grew out of the 1989 George Bush Sr. assault weapons ban. With the existence of models known as ‘transitional weapons,’ some of which reflect the uncertainty of the times, with their modified features and often times graffiti-ish appearance, a great deal of concrete information surrounding any of these firearms is difficult to come by. Much of what we do know, including the information contained within this piece exist by word of mouth alone rather than historically documented fact.

In the world of collecting these firearms, terms such as new in the box (nib), like new in the box (lnib), un-fired, all serial numbers matching etc. go a long way in establishing grade, desirability, collect-ability, price and perhaps most important of all personal satisfaction with how your collection is stacking up in line with other similar hobbies such as sports card collecting. Placing a hierarchy of which rifles are more desirable or valuable than others can be difficult, as it is very much dependent on focus and the need to place specific firearms within the collection itself, thus lending desirability as subject to the individual needs of the collector and buyer themselves.

All of these Norinco based models are subject to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms regulations concerning the modification of aesthetic features on these firearms. Known as 922r compliance, this mandatory set of guidelines governs the assembly of firearms identical to those specifically laid out in the legislation as not conducive to “sporting purposes”. What this ultimately means in layman terms, if you were to alter these rifles from their post-ban condition, you would be required to do so with a specific amount of U.S made parts in order to be legally compliant under federal law.

With the Norinco NHM series of rifles being highly politicized, their origins ultimately resulting from the 1989 assault weapons ban, (and with importation of all Norinco semi-automatic firearms completely suspended following the 1994 Clinton assault weapons ban) it should come as no surprise that they once again found themselves in the center of political controversy. Following the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in December of 2012, a similar incident to those which inspired the previous a fore mentioned assault weapons bans, both models were specifically named in the proposed 2013 assault weapon ban list.

This series of rifles offers a unique and interesting experience for collectors who wish to pursue a fulfilling hobby by collecting the various transitional models associated with this Norinco line. And with the growing infamy and scarcity of such firearms the satisfaction gleaned from searching for and obtaining these models will surely lead to a gratifying experience as you chase your hobby of collecting transitional post-ban firearms. The NHM series of firearms and other related transitional series may just be the crown jewels of the post-ban Chinese AKM variant collecting world.
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Link Posted: 9/9/2019 5:55:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2019 5:56:24 PM EST by 4q2]
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Originally Posted By MudEagle:

What kind of info do you want?

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thanks a lot  
Link Posted: 10/13/2019 6:14:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/13/2019 6:14:23 PM EST by Seattle206]
Had my NHM-90 since 2006. It's one of my favorite shooters. Almost 10k through it and still easily 3 moa at 100 meters. No issues pinging the 16" gong at 200-250 yards with the iron sights.

My NHM came with the muzzle threaded and the bolt/charging handle was factory blued.

With my other post-ban rifle, Mak-90

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