The Al Kadesiah uses a 1.5 mm-thick, stamped steel receiver with a skeletonized, laminated wooden thumbhole stock fitted with a rubber recoil pad. The gas system is an impingement system similar to that used in the Russian SVD, but it does not have a gas regulator valve. The Al Kadesiah uses the Kalashnikov rotating bolt system, but the bolt has three lugs instead of two, and it rotates in the opposite direction. The long tail of the bolt has three longitudinal flutes to assist reliability in sandy environments. The trigger group is also similar to that of the SVD, but it is slightly wider and, therefore, not interchangeable with the milled-receiver Russian SVD. The barrel is 24.48-inches long with four grooves and a 1:10-inch right-hand twist. The muzzle has a five-prong flash suppressor 3.75 inches in length. The distinctive 10-round magazine has an impression of a palm tree stamped into its sides. Although the magazines are similar in appearance to those of the Russian SVD or Romanian PSL, they are not interchangeable. The overall length of the Al Kadesiah is 48.42 inches, and its weight with scope and a loaded 10-round magazine is about 9 pounds, 14 ounces.
For mounting optical devices, a metal rail is riveted and spot-welded to the left side of the receiver. A variety of telescopic sights have been used, including the Yugoslavian OM-M76 4X, the Soviet PSO-1 and the Romanian LPS Type 2 scope. The rifle has AK tangent-type iron sights calibrated out to 1,200 meters in 100-meter increments; the rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation. The adjustable post-type front sight is also an AK design.
The receivers are marked “AL Kadesiah 7.62x54 mm, Made in Iraq.” It should be noted the name has been spelled “AL Kadesih,” in an English-language Iraqi factory brochure the name is spelled “AL-Kadisia” (Arabic is a transliterated language often resulting in many different spellings of the same words; nothing is exact.) Many of these rifles were gold-plated (a bad idea for a sniper or any military arm) by order of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
AK-47 The Grim Reaper
This article is excerpted from “AK-47 The Grim Reaper,” recently reviewed in American Rifleman (October 2009, p. 42), in which author Frank Iannamico examines the seminal Russian design in a level of detail and analysis few have matched. Throughout the 868-pg., 9x11-inch hardbound book’s 17 chapters and more than 1,300 photos, drawings or illustrations, Iannamico covers not only the AK-47 and its semi-automatic clones, but also analyzes all known Kalashnikov designs and variants, by country, up through today’s AK-100 series. “AK-47 The Grim Reaper” is available from Chipotle Publishing, LLC, 631 N. Stephanie St., No. 372, Henderson, NV 89014 (702) 565 0746; Longmountain.com. The cost is $49.95 plus $12.95 shipping and handling.