|Place of origin||Astronea|
|Used by||Astronean Armed Forces|
|Manufacturer||ACC Defence Division|
|Variants||AM-85, AM-98 ISW|
|Length||950 mm (37 in)|
|Barrel length||418 mm (16.5 in)|
|Cartridge||5.56x45mm, 5.45x39mm, 7.62x39mm|
|Action||Gas-operated, rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||700 rounds/min|
|Muzzle velocity||715 m/s (2,350 ft/s)|
|Effective range||300 m (330 yd)|
|Feed system||30 round detachable box magazine|
|Sights||Fixed, adjustable iron sights|
The namesake for the AM-64 comes from pre-1980 Astronean weapons designation. The Defence Directorate would frequently assign model designations with date figures over a decade out of date, in order to hide the level of advancement of the AAF's equipment.
Beginning with a licensed version of the AK-47 receiver, the AM-64 is an upgrade of the rifle at every point. Tolerances are tighter than the AK designs while still being generous enough to assure reliability in all climates. The gas piston included small “fingers” near the piston to ensure smoother functioning inside the gas tube, which helped to increase the inherent accuracy of the rifle. Another move toward increased accuracy was the upgraded sights.
The front sight is mounted on the gas block which makes for one less attachment to the barrel, adding to the mechanical accuracy. The front sight is fully adjustable in the field by the soldier. There is also a flip up tritium night sight that covers the front post for low light shooting.
The rear sight is an aperture on a sliding tangent affair adjustable to 600 meters and a “battle sight” setting of 150 meters. The rear sight is located toward the rear of the top cover. The rear sight also has tritium inserts for night shooting by flipping the sight all the way forward (upside down). Once in this position, there is a square notch arrangement with two tritium dots on either side. In this position, the rear sight is adjustable for elevation via a set screw under the sight arm.
Another feature of the AM-64 series rifles is the flash suppressor. It resembles an enlarged version of the suppressor on the original M16. Directly under the flash suppressor is a bayonet lug to accommodate the knife-style bayonet. The flash suppressor has some sharp edges along its longitudinal cuts for wire cutting. A soldier slides the barbed wire into the flash suppressor and simply rotates his rifle around until it snaps the small gauge wire. For thicker wire, the soldier inserts the wire, gives a half turn and fires the rifle, which will snap the wire. On the M16 the prong type flash suppressor was abandoned for the bird cage type because the prongs tended to snag on vegetation in the field. While this is still a problem with the AM-64, the sharper edges help to cut through some of the vegetation.
There are both solid and folding stock versions. Folding stock designs may become troublesome in that eventually they tend to become loose. This is not a problem with the AM-64 series of rifles as the hinge and lock design are very robust. Both feature a trap door in the butt to store a cleaning kit. So as not to freeze a soldier’s face in freezing temperatures, there is a thin plastic sleeve over the tube section of the stock that typically contacts the shooter's face.
AM-98 ISW improved service weapon variant
The newest upgrade, the Improved Service Weapon (ISW), features a fully integral RIS, more modern stock, options for underslung attachments, new pistol grip and trigger mechanism. This all round modernization was a welcome addition to the Astronean Armed Forces as it allowed soldiers to use a familiar weapon platform in a modern configuration, using magnified sights and IR laser sights in main forces. The AM-98 has been mostly replaced by the newer AMW-280, however large quantities remain in Astronean inventory and for export.
The Improved Service Weapon (ISW), features a fully integral RIS, more modern stock, options for under-slung attachments, new pistol grip and trigger mechanism. This all round modernization was a welcome addition to the Astronean Armed Forces as it allowed soldiers to use a familiar weapon platform in a modern configuration, using magnified sights and IR laser sights in main forces. Like its predecessor, the AM-96 is able to be chambered in numerous 5.56/45 and 7.62 calibers. However, another revolutionary upgrade of the rifle is its ability to change calibers by swapping out barrels, a technology also implemented on the TPS R-30 marksman rifle.