Zastava M21, Serbian Assault Rifle


Zastava M21
The Zastava M21 is a modern assault rifle developed and manufactured by the Serbian Zastava Arms company. The M21 is designed on the basis of the Kalashnikov rifles from Russia.

The Zastava M21 rifle chambers and fires the 5.56x45mm NATO or .223 Remington round. It is gas-operated, air-cooled, magazine-fed, selective fire firearm with a folding stock.

On 29 April 2004 the M21 was officially accepted by the Military of Serbia and Montenegro as the successor to its 7.62 mm firing Zastava M70/M72/M92 assault rifles.

In 2004, the then Ministry of Defence of Serbia and Montenegro, ordered 500 Zastava M21 assault rifles. Serial production of the new rifle began on 1 September 2004 and 5,000 rifles were produced in 2004 with the M21 designation.

In 2005, a number of M21 rifles, costing 150,000 euros, was received by Macedonia, who was the first foreign customer of the M21.

In 2006 and 2007, Zastava M21 assault rifles were spotted in the hands of Iraqi forces and private military contractors during the Iraq War. In March 2008 Iraq ordered 2,000 M-21 rifles to serve in their army.
Zastava M21 assault rifleCurrently over 18,000 M-21 assault rifles are in service with the military of Serbia.

Zastava M21
Type Assault rifle
Place of origin Serbia
Service history
Used by Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, Armenia, Iraq, Private Military Contractors
Wars Iraq War
Production history
Designer Zastava Arms
Manufacturer Zastava Arms
Produced 2004-Present
Number built 23,000+
Variants M21, M21S, M21C
Weight M21 - 3.85 kg, M21S - 3.8 kg, M21C - 3.59 kg
Length M21 - 998/750 mm, M21S - 915/666 mm, M21C - 856/606 mm
Barrel length M21 - 460 mm (18.1"), M21S - 375 mm (14.8"), M21C - 325 mm (12.8")

Cartridge 5.56x45mm NATO
Action Gas-actuated (rotating bolt)
Rate of fire 680 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 925 m/s
Effective range 450 m (492 yd) with iron sights
600 m (656 yd) with optics
Feed system 30 rounds
Sights Adjustable iron sights, optional mount required for optical sights

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