Text and Photos by Dan Shea
Out of the Balkan fighting comes one more mystery- that is doing what mysteries do best- confusing a lot of people. Rumors of the Agram 2000 abound, and short mentions in Jane’s as well as some European magazines have not really unraveled the threads of this interesting submachine gun yet. SAR had the unique pleasure of going in-depth on a model 2000 at the MOD Pattern Room in Nottingham, England, and would like to thank Mr. Herbert Woodend, and Mr. Richard Jones, for their help in our investigation. The MOD Pattern Room is an incredible resource, and we hate to see the UK Government doing away with it. We do regret not being able to fire the Agram 2000, but taking it down to do a photo study was pleasure enough.
Necessity is the mother of invention, as the old saying goes, and the business of either trying to attack another people, or to defend yourself from attackers, seems to provide a whole lot of necessity. History would bear that out, I think, simply from the evidence of “Great Leaps Forward” in technology that accompany aggressive behavior.
The Balkan region has been a veritable hellhole of necessity for thousands of years. The three great Western religions collide in this region, and martyrs to the various causes have been readily available. It is difficult for those of us sitting in relatively safe and distant lands to really comprehend the carnage or the politics of the recent events there, so SAR will stick to the subject at hand; the appearance of an elusive new submachine gun- the Agram 2000.
There have been several prominent assassinations in the old Eastern Bloc areas where the words “Agram 2000” have been uttered, as well as assorted major drug arrests on the continent. Not much has been written about the Agram, and we don’t have the full story either- however, we did get a chance to do a photo analysis for the readers.
Origins are sketchy for this well made little submachine gun that borders on being a machine pistol. (There is no provision for a stock.) The original stories were that a farmer in Croatia had handmade the Agram 2000 in order to defend his family. Stories also claimed that he made it simple in order that his friends could also make their own Agram. All that an RKI (Reasonably Knowledgeable Individual) need do is look at one picture of this interesting submachine gun to know that this is neither a simply manufactured weapon, nor is it handmade.
The Agram 2000 is basically a sheet metal stamping from punch press dies. “Furniture” is injection molded plastic – including the “Agram 2000” marking that appears on the front grip. This is definitely a production line gun, and one that had considerable thought and engineering put into its birth. The magazine is robust and well designed- a double stack sheet metal construction similar to a PPS-43, with a large plastic “Grip” on the base. Metal is of good quality, and the finish is a nice, professional blue. Hardly the work of a single shop- which would tend to mill out the individual pieces.
The forward grip is ergonomic for the left hand forward grip of a right handed shooter. Ejection is from the right. Cocking is on the left, which to this writer indicates someone in the design path has had combat experience. Most experienced operators understand that in a firefight it is essential to not break one’s grip on the trigger, as well as to not break eye contact from the sights. Many modern designs force a combatant to do either or both while clearing or reloading, leading to fractions of precious seconds where that combatant must recover in order to fire. This can decide life or death for the individual on either end of the weapon, and a designer presumably would be rooting for the guy holding the gun.
The rear pistol grip has finger grooves, adding to the stability of the shooting platform- which can use all the help it can get- being an apparently high cyclic rate submachine gun with no buttstock. We had been told from several sources that the Agram was a 3 shot burst firearm. No evidence of this was found in the example we looked over. It is entirely possible that a sophisticated production model like this could have that as an accessory, but we saw no indication of it. Also, we were told that the rate of fire was very slow- 350 to 450 rpm. We were sadly unable to test fire this one (Hoping to change that- in November 2000, the SAR Expeditionary Force returns to the UK, with Dr. Philip Dater bringing his Larson Davis 800B meter and permission from the MOD for us to test sound reduction of various rare suppressors.) After some examination and comparison to other somewhat similar designs, none of us would believe that. It seems that a standard open bolt, blowback operation submachine gun, with this weight of bolt, strength of return spring, length of stroke, in 9mm parabellum, would have a rate of around 900 rounds per minute. This is an official WAG (Wild Assed Guess).
The Agram 2002 was not available for us to study. SAR has been unable to locate any examples. Essential differences are the 2002 has no front grip, and the sights are different. Jane’ Infantry Weapons 1998-99 describes the sights as follows:
Agram 2000: front, adjustable for height and deflection; rear, settings for 50 and 150m
Agram 2002: front, fixed; rear, tangent leaf with settings for 50, 100, and 150m
All in all, a very interesting new firearm. No one has stepped forward to take credit for the production, other than our knowledge that it is Croatian in manufacture. We in the SAR Expeditionary Force hope to bring you a shooting report on this interesting new firearm in the near future. We will try to include the various other Croatian submachine guns as well.
Specifications Agram 2000:
|Operation:||Open Bolt Blowback|
|Length with suppressor:||485mm|
|Height- (Grip base to sights):||162mm|
|Depth of widest point:||51mm|
|Weight without suppressor or magazine:||1.89kg|
|Weight without suppressor, Incl empty magazine:||2.11kg|
|Rate of fire: educated guess (Or WAG)||900 rpm|
|Magazine capacity:||32 round or 20 round|
|Length of forward tube:||195mm|
|Diameter of forward tube:||40mm|
|Length of rear tube:||68mm|
|Weight of suppressor:||.48kg|
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V4N4 (January 2001)|