Meridian Defense Pestilence AK

Meridian Defense Pestilence AK

One of four guns in Meridian Defense Corp Apocalypse Series is the Meridian Defense Pestilence. Each weapon is handmade utilizing a mixture of both import and American components. These “apocalypse” unique project segment rifles are designed to be cut in appearance and performance above the rest. I took the weapon of a buddy and went to the range to look how good this model of AK could be, rather than taking their word. Meridian Defense Pestilence AK

TFB Review: Meridian Defense Pestilence AK
Meridian Defense Pestilence AK
TFB Review: Meridian Defense Pestilence AK
Meridian Pestilence Stock

Some may look “just like another AK,” but the Meridian Defense Pestilence line adds a completely new level of polished features. Romanian military parts kits are used for all Pestilence Rifles. Scraping off the existing finish, adding a new stain, Meridian screws the wood. During this process, the final two digits (or several of your choices) of the kit are added to the stock. Meridian Defense Pestilence AK

Meridian Side Rail Optics Mount

The receiver is built by Meridian and includes a receiver-mounted optics rail and Tango Down grip.  This is paired with an optics-ready rail upfront so you can choose from a wider variety of optics for your rifle.

Meridian Pestilence Dong Grip

It is built on a Md.63 components kit from Romania. These Romanian kits are quite widespread and are often modified or changed slightly. Often, the dungeon is carved out or cut in a corner to accommodate a wider range of journals. I always enjoyed the dong grip, and I’m happy that it was finished and not cut in any manner. Meridian Defense Pestilence AK

Meridian Muzzle Device – Dead Air Key-Mo Muzzle Brake

The western influence begins to be noticed at the front of the cannon. A railed gas pipe for fitting luminaires, lasers, lenses, etc. has been superseded in 1913 by the UltiMak handguard. This rifle, which I operated in this configuration, is already loaned with this MRO and Inforce WML-HSP Trijicon.

When it comes to muzzle devices, Meridian has many of alternatives, especially muzzle brakes. This rifle has a muzzle brake in Dead Air Key-Mo type pinned and welded into a 14.5-inch nitride that gives it a total length of 16in. Meridian Defense Pestilence AK

Meridian Engraving

What sets the Meridian Defense Pestilence aside from the rest is the insane almost OCD attention to detail. I spoke with Paul at Meridian about how exactly these rifles are assembled.

Meridian Pestilence Rivets

After each rifle is built and inspected, the metallic parts are then fully blued before the finishing process begins.  The entire rifle (including magazine(s)) is then distressed by hand, giving it a seamless battle-worn finish that matches the original furniture.

Meridian Gas Block Close-Up

Overall, the finish does a great job of making the rifle look seamless, and as a result, the non-standard parts like the gas block don’t stand out as much. Meridian Defense Pestilence AK

Meridian Pestilence Disassembly

Even the dust cover, which typically shows some sort of wear, was immaculate on this rifle.

Meridian Full Disassembly

The owner of this rifle isn’t a huge fan of cleaning AKs (I mean who is), but even in this condition, all the internal components had a very clean fit and finish.

Meridian Pestilence At The Range

First, it was time for the Meridian Defense Pestilence to be tested as a silent host and evaluate how well several common aftermarket magazines have accepted. I also tried the rifle with Circle 11, Xtech Mag 47 and Magpul PMAG in addition to the magazine supplied by Meridian. Meridian Defense Pestilence AK

Meridian Pestilence Test Ammo

I employed a mixture of lacquered and unlacked steel-cased munitions for ammo. 196gr Brown Bear Subsonic, 123gr Tula, 122gr Red Army Standard and 123gr Hollow Point Barnaul were among those (not pictured).

Meridian Gas Block

The gun was faultlessly suppressed and unremoved with high-speed ammo. You can expect that the gun is highly gassed (like as any other AK), and that used steel casings are at 7 feet distant. Magpul PMAGs all fit into this rifle and worked perfectly, however beware that they are very tightly fit. Tight enough to attempt and wiggle in using the dong grip up front. It truly does not worth it.

I only noticed a failure with the weapon when the gun was unrestrained utilizing the 196gr Brown Bear Subs. These ran perfectly with the silencer installed, but the pressure did not suffice to cycle when the Sandman-K was removed. Meridian Defense Pestilence AK

Apart from the mistake, the gun constantly targets rounds.

Note: During the testing my camera was decided to die and my images were lost. However, you can see the owner of this gun here with his own review footage.

Pro and Conflict
The Defense Pestilence Meridian is a firearm which will turn heads in all directions. The fit and finish is flawless till the amount of years on the stock. It’s pure nostalgia for AK. Any improvements (such as the ALG Trigger or KNS Piston) that I would have made are available for the Meridian build options. You can get exactly what you want if you order a pestilence.

Meridian Defense Pestilence AK

The pestilence employs an own front-view base and gas block to decrease the overall viewing radius. This changes the whole front portion of the gun from its original set-up. As a consequence, there is no cleaning rod or bayonet lug, and a shortened barrel is present. These modifications are not optional, hence accept them or leave them.

The Verdict

In the midst of where old-school nostalgia and new refinement meet, the Pestilence lands solidly. With wood furniture, it does not look excessively tactical, while making optics and attachments easy to mount. This is not a cheap esthetic and Pestilence will run you back $1,799 with 40 weeks of lead times.

It is a production weapon restricted, so when it’s gone, it’s gone. Personally, I liked this gun so much that immediately after I sent it to its owner I made an order for it. So I would consider placing an order on a moment before they are sold out when you’re on a market for a one-of-a-kind high-end AK.

Thanks to Jake from 1 in particular.

Meridian Defense Corp
Meridian Defense Apocalypse Series “Pestilence” Rifle


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