Tantal
Polish Tantal is an assault rifle deriving from Polish 5.45x39mm Assault Rifle Program (its official designation: 5,45mm karabinek wz. 88) and was designed by Krzysztof Styczyński, Bohdan Szpaderski and Bogusław Białczak from Ośrodek Badań Rozwojowych in Radom (Center for Technological Research in Radom). The gun was designed on order from Szefostwo Badan i Rozwoju Techniki Wojskowej (Command Center for Research and Development of Military Technology). Tantal is an equivalent of a Soviet AK-74 assault rifle, but its construction is mostly based on Soviet AKM, and Polish prototype of AKMS wz. 80 assault rifles. AKMS wz. 80 was a Polish modification of Soviet AKMS with mechanically limited burst mode pattern similar to Belgian FN FNC. Work on Tantal program commenced in the early 80-ties. In 1981 the program was stopped, just to be resumed 4 years later in 1985. Tantal assault rifle was accepted as a service weapon by Polish Armed Forces in 1991.
5,45mm karabinek wz. 81
5,45mm karabinek wz.81 (5.45mm Carbine Model 81) is a prototype version of Tantal designed in the early 80-ties. The gun is a gas operated weapon with long stroke gas piston system. Gas piston tube is located above the barrel. The weapon has AK style rotating bolt with two lugs and a stamped steel receiver. On the right side of the receiver, there is a safety lever, which does not double as a fire selector. In a safe mode the safety lever locks the trigger, the slide, and the bolt. Fire selector lever is located on the left side of a receiver above the pistol grip. It has three positions for single shot, full automatic, and 3 rounds burst modes. Karabinek wz. 88 is chambered for 5.45x38mm cartridge. The gun is fed from 30-round double column steel magazine. It can accept AK, AKM, and RPK-74 magazines, but of course the gun can not fire 7.62x39mm cartridge. Magazine latch is located in front of the trigger guard. Gun's forestock, upper handguard, and pistol grip are made out of plastic material. Folding stock is made out of steel wire.
5,45mm subkarabinek wz. 89 "Onyks"
5,45mm subkarabinek wz.89 "Onyks" (5.45mm Short Carbine Model 89 "Onyks") is a short version of "Tantal" equivalent to Soviet AKS-74U. Onyks is a gas operated gun with a long stroke gas piston and gas piston tube located above the barrel. The weapon has AK style rotating bolt with two lugs and stamped steel receiver. AK style safety lever is on the right side of the receiver. In safe mode it locks the trigger, the slide, and the bolt. Fire selector switch is located on the left side above a pistol grip and it has three positions for single shot, full automatic, and 3 rounds burst mode. Subkarabinek wz.89 safety lever and fire selector have identical marks as karabinek wz. 88. Onyks is chambered for Soviet 5.45x39mm cartridge. The weapon is fed from 30-round double column curved plastic magazine (same as karabinek wz. 88 ) and the gun also accepts AK-74 and RPK-74 standard magazines. The chrome plated barrel is 207mm long with 4 grooves and 200mm right hand twist rate. The muzzle is terminated with flash supressor which could be used to launch rifle grenades. A blank firing adaptor could also be mounted on the muzzle. Onyks can not accept 6H4 bayonet, bipod nor Pallad wz. 74 underbarrel grenade launcher. Forestock, upper handguard, and pistol grip are made out of brown or black plastic. Folding stock, the same as in karabinek wz. 88, folds to the right side. The weapon has open rear sight graduated for 100, 200, and 400 meters. Rear sight is mounted in front of receiver cover (in same place as in full lenght AK rifles). The production run was extremly short consisting of no more than 200 units ever made. There was also a prototype version chambered for 7.62x39mm cartridge and subkarabinek wz. 91 prototype version chambered for 5.56x45mm cartridge.
5,45mm karabinek wz. 88 "Tantal"
5,45mm karabinek wz. 88 (5.45mm Carbine Model 88 ) is a production version of Tantal. The gun is gas operated weapon with long stroke gas piston, and gas piston tube located above the barrel. The gun utilizes a standard AK style rotating bolt with two lugs interchangeable with AK-74 slide and bolt. The gun has stamped steel receiver. The AK style safety lever is located on the right side. In the safe mode the safety lever locks the trigger, the slide, and the bolt. Safe mode position is marked as "Z" standing for Polish word "zabezpieczony". Fire mode is marked as "O" standing for Polish word "odbezpieczony". On the left side of the receiver just above a pistol grip there is a 3-position fire selector switch with modes of fire marked as "P", "C", and "S". They stand for single shot ("P"=pojedynczy), full automatic ("C"=ciągły), and 3 rounds burst ("S"=seria). Karabinek wz. 88 is chambered for Soviet 5.45x39mm cartridge. The gun is fed from 30-round double column curved plastic magazine. It can also accept AK-74 and RPK-74 type magazines. The chrome plated barrel is 423mm long. It has 4 grooves with 200mm right hand twist rate. The muzzle is terminated with a flash supressor/muzzle brake device, which could be used to launch Polish rifle grenades using standard ball ammunition. Gun can launch GNPO HEAT grenade, NGOS-93 flare grenade, NGZ-93 incendiary grenade, and NGD-93 smoke grenade. Muzzle device also accepts 6H4 bayonet and blank firing adaptor. A folding bipod could be attached under the barrel. The forestock, upper handguard, and pistol grip are made from brown or black plastic. There are also provisions for mounting a special forestock for Polish Pallad wz. 74 underbarrel grenade launcher. A steel wire stock folds to the right, and is similar to East German AKM (MPKiMS-72), utilizing AKM style stock latch system. Tantal receiver's cover and its latch comes from Polish kbkg wz. 60 assault rifle. Some Tantals are factory equipped with a rail on the left side of the receiver for night vision scope. Therefore guns with those rails have modified fire selector lever. The gun has open rear sight graduated from 100 to 1000 meters at 100 meter intervals. Derivative construction oficially designated as karabinek wz. 91 (also known as Tantaloberyl) is chambered for 5.56x45mm cartridge.
Tantal-summary
Karabinek wz. 88 was produced until 1994 in Radom State Arsenal. There were no more than 20,000 Tantals ever produced. The weapon was decomissioned from service in Polish Armed Forces in the 90-ties due to no further need for a Soviet style weapons chambered for 5.45x39mm cartridge. 10 000 Tantals were sold to Iraq in 2005 by Polish Government owned Decomissioning Agency (Agencja Mienia Wojskowego). There are also unconfirmed, and probably untrue informations, that some Tantals were used in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Polish soldiers never liked karabinek wz. 88 ans subkarabinek wz. 89 for their non-ergonomical stock, low quality of materials, complicated and new field stripping system different from standard AK rifles. Onyks was also criticized for very loud report and big muzzle flash. (Endemic features of short assault rifles). Based on karabinek wz. 90 a new Polish kbs wz. 96 Beryl was constructed along with kbk wz. 96 Mini Beryl which was based on subkarabinek wz. 91.
version
karabinek wz. 81
karabinek wz. 88
subkarabinek wz. 89
cartridge
5.45x39mm
5.45x39mm
5.45x39mm
muzzle velocity
900m/s
880m/s
700m/s
muzzle energy
1377J
1316J
883J
barrel lenght
438mm
423mm
207mm
lenght
765mm with stock collapsed

973mm with stock extended
748mm with stock collapsed

943mm with stock sxtended
519mm with stock collapsed

720mm with stock extended
weight
3.57kg without magazine

4.1kg with full load 30 rounds
magazine
3.37kg without magazine

4kg with full load 30 rounds
magazine
2,9 without magazine

3.53kg with full load 30 rounds
magazine
magazine
double column 30 rounds
magazine
double column 30 rounds
magazine
double column 30 rounds
magazine
fire selector
single shot, 3 rounds burst, and
full auto
single shot, 3 rounds burst, and
full auto
single shot, 3 rounds burst, and
full auto
rate of fire
700 rpm
700 rpm
700 rpm
Polish UN Peacekeeper in Lebanon with karabinek wz. 88 
Polscy antyterroryści z subkarabinkiem wz. 89 "Onyks". Zdjęcie wykonano najprawdopodobniej we wczesnych latach 90. 
Subkarabinek wz. 89 has played in PitBull movie 
Iraqi soldier with karabinek wz. 88