1989 Time Machine: The Rarely-Seen Norinco Type 84S in .223
By Chris Eger
This beautiful Norinco Type 84S-1 AKS available in the Guns.com Vault is a Chicom-made underfolder that was only imported in 1989. (All Photos: Guns.com)
Gather round and hear a tale of an extremely rare .223-caliber AK-style semi-auto rifle that was only imported for a single, controversial year.
With the U.S. appetite for Kalashnikovs initially whet by the early shipments first of Finnish Valmets and then of Steyr-imported Egyptian Maddi ARM rifles, by the time Red Dawn hit theatres in 1984, the hunger had grown to omnivorous proportions. The problem was, the Valmets and Maddis were expensive at the time, running $700 and up in 1985 dollars.
With Valmets trimmed from import in 1986 by the Reagan Administration and Steyr no longer bringing in Maddis, eyes turned to Bejing and a variety of Chinese-made semi-auto Type 56 AKM-style clones, marketed under banners ranging from B-West, Poly-Tech, Clayco, Norinco and others, started to flow into the country around the same time. Largely new-in-box production and meant just for the overseas market, the only tweak done before clearing customs in the U.S. was to gain an import mark. Seen as something of the Rodney Dangerfield of the AK offerings at the time, these guns could be