Oddball Croatian room-broom: The Agram 2000

  1. Editor
    In the 1990s, the new country of Croatia was in a pickle. Cut off from access to foreign weapons and facing a very well-armed Yugoslav military, the little republic was in dire need of modern small arms of every sort. That's where some local ingenuity produced a host of homemade but forward thinking firearms-- to include the Agram.

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    (The A2000 shown with its standard screw on suppressor. Photo via Zonawar.ru)

    Why was it made?

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    Back in the (former) People's Republic of Yugoslavia, there was a group of engineers in the state of Croatia who banded together to form a company called IM Metal just as the hard-working Croats decided to pack up their stuff and break away from being under the Yugo banner. This was in the early 1990s.

    The IM Metal gang built a series of pistols for the young and embattled Croatian military, the Walter P-38-ish PHP and the SIG P220-ish HS95. They later turned around and made the HS2000, which we know today as the Springfield XD.

    However, there were other Croatian arms makers hard at work to construct guns for the needy new Croatian military who was gun-poor due to a UN weapons embargo on all sides of the conflict that was the Yugoslav Civil War and the Croatian War of Independence. One was the firm of Precizna Mehanika (PM) which was made up largely of the family run gun shop of Ivan (John) Vugrek in the mountain town of Novi Golubovec.

    Moreover, John came up with a sweet little room broom.

    The Agrams

    Starting in 1990, the clan Vugrek began producing zippy little 9mm submachine guns for use by the local freedom fighters. The first model, the 1995 was based off George Kellgren's KG-9/KG-99 (the gun that later became famous in the U.S. as the TEC-9). Vugrek and his crew used injection molding for plastic work and simple metal stampings were used for the receiver. It was said the only steel was in the barrel. Then came the 2000, his magnum opus.

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    Introduced in 1995 (it was named the 2000 as according to legend it took Vugrek that many hours to come up with a working design) the polymer and stamped metal Agram 2000 is about as simple as it gets.

    Design

    Based mechanically on the Beretta M-12 submachine gun of the 1950s the gun used a telescoping bolt, like the Czech Vz23 and Israeli Uzi that preceded it. This type of bolt, a radical departure from the WWII era guns, allowed the action to be shortened by several inches as the bolt itself wrapped over and around the barrel. The use of polymer kept he weight way down.

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    (Does it get any simpler than this?)

    Whereas the Beretta tips the scales at 7 pounds unloaded, the Agram comes in at just 4. The weight of the gun is distributed above the bore axis of its 7.9-inch barrel, which gives it great pointability.

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    Blowback in operation, it had few moving parts to break or jam and its heavy telescoping open-bolt could fire at a very fast 800-rounds per minute (the Beretta was closer to 550) cyclic when on full auto. Since open-bolt designs are often prone to go off if dropped, the A-2000 was given a grip safety to make it 'drop-safe'.

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    Standard box magazines were 20-rounders but 32 round extended mags were made to keep the gun's appetite sated for a few more seconds. Overall length of the weapon was 12.25-inches, which was extended to 20.15 when the standard suppressor "can" was mounted. Although it made the gun front-heavy, it was also reportedly very effective.

    Use of the A2000

    These guns were never made in massive quantities, with only a few thousand estimated to have been produced. While not formally adopted by the Croatian military, they did see some service in police and paramilitary units in the country.

    A final version, the nearly all-polymer A2002, was introduced in 2000 but saw even fewer built.

    Croatia entered into NATO's Partnership for Peace in 2000 and joined the alliance as a full member in 2009, thus allowing it access to just about every modern weapon system in production on both sides of the Atlantic. With the end of the weapons embargo, Croatia became an exporter of its own locally made guns (hence, the HS2000 is now known as the Springfield XD here).

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    (The A2000 has become something of an Eastern bloc Chicago Typewriter in recent years)

    However, it also meant the end of other small shops like the Vugrek firm. This was compounded by the fact that, with peace in the Balkans, the A2000 has fallen into the hands of many Eastern criminal mafia types, being used in at least a dozen high profile assassinations in Ukraine and Russia in the past several years.

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    (Photo via IMFDB from Far Cry 4-- about the only way you can shoot the Agram 2000 without joining the Croatian security forces or Russian mafia)

    About the only way to get your hands on one in the states would be to spend some time gaming. As reported by the Internet Media Firearms Database, the Agram 2000 appears in Soldier of Fortune: Payback as well as Far Cry 3 and 4.

    So now, you know.

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