Firearm Infobox
Name, Image, type, origin
Name Zastava M21
Image 300px
Zastava M21S (shortened variant)
Type Assault rifle
Place of origin Flag of Serbia Serbia
Service history
In service
Used by Serbia, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Iraq, private military contractors
Wars Iraq War
Production history
Designer Zastava Arms
Manufacturer Zastava Arms
Number 16,000+
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
Width {{{width}}}
Height {{{height}}}
Barrel length M21 - 460 mm(18.1"), M21S - 375 mm(14.8"), M21C - 325 mm(12.8")
Diameter {{{diameter}}}
Crew {{{crew}}}
Cartridge 5.56x45mm NATO
Action Gas-actuated (rotating bolt)
Muzzle velocity 925 m/s
Effective range 450 m up to 600 m with a scope
Maximum range
Other identifying characteristics
Wood parts (Y/N) {{{wood}}}
Common color {{{color}}}
Imprint {{{imprint}}}

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 famous Kalashnikov rifles from Russia[1].


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.

History and variantsEdit

In serial production, Zastava Arms produces three variants of the rifle – long and short barrel as well as carbine M21C. The shorter variant carries the M21S designation and is intended for use by special military and police units for urban combat and anti-terrorist operations.[2]

File:Serbian soldiers with M21.jpg

Production and usageEdit

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.[3]

In 2006 and 2007, Zastava M21 assault rifles were spotted in the hands of Iraqi forces and private military contractors during the Iraq War.[4]

Currently close to 7,000 M-21 assault rifles are in service with the military of Serbia.

Design and FeaturesEdit

  • Ergonomically designed and balanced
  • Low recoil
  • Light weight and compact
  • Efficient and reliable locking system
  • Polymer, easily adjustable stock
  • Polymer magazine.
  • Hammer forged barrel with chromium plated rifling to increase accuracy
  • Built in "Picatinny" rail, allowing attachment of standard NATO aiming devices
  • Bayonet attachment
  • 40 mm under-barrel grenade launcher
  • Flash hider to decrease blinding of the operator and to stabilize the weapon


  • Knife with scabbard
  • Blank ammunition attachment
  • Cleaning kit
  • Oil can
  • Cleaning rod
  • Sling
  • 4 spare 30rds magazines
  • 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher set (rubber buffer, cleaning brush, ammunition bag, holster)


External linksEdit

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