The RAK in DayZ is really a derivative of the PM-63 RAK made by Fabryka Broni Radom in Poland. Designed as a collaboration between several leading Polish engineers in the 1950’s, the RAK — whose name means “commandos’ hand-held automatic” — was the result of the call for a light automatic weapon to be used by soldiers serving in support roles. It is an early example of a personal defense weapon (PDW), slotting in below a full submachine gun but above a handgun.
The RAK’s unique and unconventional design does have some merits, featuring an open bolt and slide design that has the moment of firing occur as the slide is moving forward which helps to reduce recoil. It also has a built-in retarder to bring the fire rate down to a more controllable 650 rounds per minute rather than the gun’s natural 840 rounds per minute cycle. The smart design includes a spoon-shaped compensator at the front to resist recoil, and uses a small number of total parts as well.
The original PM-63 design used 9x18mm Makarov rounds, but subsequent variants used 9x19mm Parabellum (PM-70) and 9x17mm Short (PM-73). We are given the smallest caliber variant in DayZ with .380 Auto (also known as 9x17mm Short or .380 ACP). In real life, all variants of the gun feature a folding front grip and folding rear stock which are intended for use during full-auto firing. When folded up, it can be fired one-handed like a handgun in semi-automatic mode. The version we have in DayZ cannot be folded up.
Image via TheTruthAboutGuns.com.