In the early 1960s, the Romanian Army used mostly PPSh-41, Oriţa submachine guns and imported AK-47 rifles. With the development of the stamped Type 4 AKM receiver, and the Soviet Union’s call to each of the Warsaw Pact’s nations to produce their own assault rifles chambered in 7.62mm, be they AK-47 pattern or not, the Romanian State Arsenal developed an AKM clone featuring a forward-pointing front handgrip molded into the lower handguard, called the Pistol Mitralieră model 1963 (literally ‘machine pistol’ model 1963). The underfolding stock version is designated the Pistol Mitralieră model 1965, and features a rear-pointing front handgrip, allowing the underfolding stock to be completely retracted.
The PM md. 63/65 is almost identical to the AKM/AKMS, and thus is simple, inexpensive to manufacture, and easy to clean and maintain. The bore and chamber, as well as the gas piston and the interior of the gas cylinder, are generally chromium-plated. This plating dramatically increases the life of these parts by resisting corrosion and wear. Most md. 63/65 rifles lack a muzzle brake, but instead use a muzzle nut, as muzzle brakes entered production only in the late 1970s.