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Discussion Starter #1
I plan on buying one but don't want to get screwed over on my first AK-47. What are some of the things to look for when buying one? Namely, how can I tell if it's going to be good or a hunk of crap? Thanks for any info you can give me.



Tango
 

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Buy a Saiga, convert it to your liking and bang away.
Buy a Saiga someone else converted, that you like and bang away.

Buy it new or used.


Saiga, the original Russian AK, 100% built in and imported from Mother Russia, courtesy of Uncle Mihail Timofeevič Kalašnikov.
 

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this is just my understanding and may not be 100% correct but I'll answer as best I can.
all aks are built on american recievers since it is illegal to import an AK but not parts so american companies make the recievers, import the rest of the guns and assemble a mostly imported ak47/74.

stay away from vulcan AKs
centuries quality control is hit or miss.
normally if you get a russian, bulgarian, egyptian or romanian you are in pretty good territory.
chinese, and yugoslavian are very poor.
the Czech republic has their own version which is fairly decent but none of the parts are interchangeble with other aks so no aftermarket parts will work with it.
the number of AKs to import has been drying up in the last few years so some companies are starting to make all USA part AKs, century makes one called the C39 sporter and looks pretty good but haven't seen any reviews of it yet.
I own a century arms WASR which is probably the most prolific AK47 you'll see on the market. it's a romanian import. mine will not use the steel mag that came with it but it uses the cheap plastic mags like a champ, apparently it's a fairly common problem with century wasrs and all you have to do is send it back in and fix it but I'd rather just use cheap mags than be without my precious AK for a couple weeks.

I hope you found this helpful. also if anyone sees that I'm putting out bad info just send me a message so I can avoid doing so in the future
 

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If you pay $600 or more for an AK (including all accessories), you're getting ripped off (IMO). Seriously, look at the safety switch on the things.


An AK, in my opinion, is like a shovel. It should make holes, even if it's covered in dirt. Yeah, you could probably buy a gold-plated shovel or an accurized AK, but it won't make holes much better than a cheap one. If you want something expensive that will make holes very far away, buy an AI or Chey-Tac or Barret.
 

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This is just my understanding and may not be 100% correct, but I'll answer as best I can.
All AKs are built on American receivers since it is illegal to import an AK , but not parts.
So American companies make the receivers, import the rest of the guns and assemble a mostly imported ak47/74.

Stay away from Vulcan AKs.
Century's quality control is hit or miss.
Normally if you get a Russian, Bulgarian, Egyptian or Romanian you are in pretty good territory.
Chinese, and Yugoslavian are very poor.
The Czech republic has their own version which is fairly decent but none of the parts are interchangeable with other AKs so no aftermarket parts will work with it.
The number of AKs to import has been drying up in the last few years so some companies are starting to make all USA part AKs.
Century makes one called the C39 sporter, and looks pretty good, but haven't seen any reviews of it yet.
I own a century arms WASR which is probably the most prolific AK47 you'll see on the market.
Its a Romanian import. Mine will not use the steel mag that came with it but it uses the cheap plastic mags like a champ. Apparently it's a fairly common problem with Century WASRs and all you have to do is send it back in and they'll fix it.
But I'd rather just use cheap mags than be without my precious AK for a couple weeks.

I hope you found this helpful.
Also if anyone sees that I'm putting out bad info just send me a message, so I can avoid doing so in the future.
xxx
 

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Buy a Saiga, convert it to your liking and bang away.
Buy a Saiga someone else converted, that you like and bang away.

Buy it new or used.


Saiga, the original Russian AK, 100% built in and imported from Mother Russia, courtesy of Uncle Mihail Timofeevič Kalašnikov.
Completely agree. Saiga all the way. And convert it yourself. Or buy a Arsenal.
Heres a unconverted Saiga. This is how they come into the states.
Then some companies like Arsenal take them and convert them into proper configuration and the right number of american parts to make it legal to own.

RAAC IZ-132 SAIGA 7.62x39 16" BARREL

Heres the Saiga Converted by Arsenal

Russian Arsenal SGL21 Saiga 7.62x39 Rifle

New Arsenal Saiga SGL21 7.62x39 semi-automatic rifle. Features a Russian made stamped receiver, hammer forged chrome lined barrel, front sight block with bayonet lug and 24x1.5 right-hand threads, muzzle brake, US made mil-spec black polymer stock set (including Warsaw Pact-length buttstock), standard mil-spec. handguards with stainless steel heat shield, US made double stage trigger group, 1000 meter rear sight leaf, scope rail, and accessory/optic lug.
 

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this is just my understanding and may not be 100% correct but I'll answer as best I can.
all aks are built on american recievers since it is illegal to import an AK but not parts so american companies make the recievers, import the rest of the guns and assemble a mostly imported ak47/74.

stay away from vulcan AKs
centuries quality control is hit or miss.
normally if you get a russian, bulgarian, egyptian or romanian you are in pretty good territory.
chinese, and yugoslavian are very poor.
the Czech republic has their own version which is fairly decent but none of the parts are interchangeble with other aks so no aftermarket parts will work with it.
the number of AKs to import has been drying up in the last few years so some companies are starting to make all USA part AKs, century makes one called the C39 sporter and looks pretty good but haven't seen any reviews of it yet.
I own a century arms WASR which is probably the most prolific AK47 you'll see on the market. it's a romanian import. mine will not use the steel mag that came with it but it uses the cheap plastic mags like a champ, apparently it's a fairly common problem with century wasrs and all you have to do is send it back in and fix it but I'd rather just use cheap mags than be without my precious AK for a couple weeks.

I hope you found this helpful. also if anyone sees that I'm putting out bad info just send me a message so I can avoid doing so in the future


Saigas feature a Russian made stamped receiver and barrel> Just thought id let u know :) No offense but century arms rifles are Not very good. A jumble of mis match parts from who knows where slapped together and shipped out wich results in lots of problems. Saigas/arsenal are numbers matching rifes. Barrel, reciever, etc..


New Arsenal Saiga SGL21 7.62x39 semi-automatic rifle. Features a Russian made stamped receiver, hammer forged chrome lined barrel, front sight block with bayonet lug and 24x1.5 right-hand threads, muzzle brake, US made mil-spec black polymer stock set (including Warsaw Pact-length buttstock), standard mil-spec. handguards with stainless steel heat shield, US made double stage trigger group, 1000 meter rear sight leaf, scope rail, and accessory/optic lug.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow, thanks for all the info! Now one AK-47 I was looking at was a Romarms AK-47 at a pawn shop near where I live. If I wanted to get it, what are some of the problem areas I need to look for? (Example: The sight post is bent at a 45 degree angle = don't buy it) Little things like that is what I'm asking about. Sorry if i didn't make that more clear in my first post.


Tango
 

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OK, I gotta disagree with a few of these...

normally if you get a russian, bulgarian, egyptian or romanian you are in pretty good territory.
I wouldn't make such a broad-based statement...a lot of Romanians are crap. But many are also great rifles. It would be wise not to buy a Romanian AK sight-unseen, especially if it is a CAI build!

Same goes with the Egyptians, some are not worth the money.

chinese, and yugoslavian are very poor.
Way off on this one, for the most part Chinese and Yugo AKs are great rifles; and I would say even more so the latter than any Romanian. Again, this comments is far too all-encompassing to be correct.

the Czech republic has their own version which is fairly decent but none of the parts are interchangeble with other aks so no aftermarket parts will work with it.
Partially true, because the Czech rifle is a Vz. 58, and despite somewhat resembling and using the same ammo as an AK, it is not one. Oh, and the Slovaks use it too. But it is better than a "fairly decent" rifle, it is a pretty damn good one!

I own a century arms WASR which is probably the most prolific AK47 you'll see on the market. it's a romanian import. mine will not use the steel mag that came with it but it uses the cheap plastic mags like a champ, apparently it's a fairly common problem with century wasrs and all you have to do is send it back in and fix it but I'd rather just use cheap mags than be without my precious AK for a couple weeks.
The CAI WASR is the "most prolific" because it is the cheapest AK available. It is probably also the most "hit or miss" AK on the market. I've seen some horrible WASRs with unbelievable mag wobble issues plus other build problems.

And I've not seen that many CAI WASRs that wouldn't take steel mags. If anything, the plastic mags having the most problem fitting; and the most common problem with CAI WASRs is that the mag well has been widen too far, leading to excessive wobble.

I also wouldn't trust CAI to do a good job on the warranty issue, I sent a M70AB2 back to them for a canted front sight and the "repair" is some of the ugliest gunsmithing I have ever seen!

I hope you found this helpful. also if anyone sees that I'm putting out bad info just send me a message so I can avoid doing so in the future
See above, it doesn't do the rest of the forum any good if someone corrects you in private. Even if it's just a disagreement of opinion, the discussion should occur in the same place where the comments are made!
 

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I had issues with my wasr out of the box. century fixed me up and I trust it 100%. they did a GREAT JOB and excellent customer service. it runs steel mags and polymer mags with very little "wobble" with steel mags.

I have fired my wasr and a few friends wasrs as well. I would trust my friends wasrs as I would trust my own. it will do anything a saiga or arsenal will do except COST MORE and need special parts. :rolleyes:

all my numbers match.

my friends rifles all have matching numbers too.

all new tapco trigger group and piston.


there is nothing wrong with a CAI wasr. I had a bad one I will admit it unlike some guys with some brands of weapons that wont admit they had issues. seeing people bash the wasr is like glock guys bashing the XDm :rolleyes:
 

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Saigas feature a Russian made stamped receiver and barrel> Just thought id let u know :smile: No offense but century arms rifles are Not very good. A jumble of mis match parts from who knows where slapped together and shipped out wich results in lots of problems. Saigas/arsenal are numbers matching rifes. Barrel, reciever, etc..
thanks for the info, but I was under the impression the the saiga wasn't a "true" AK since it requires parts specifically made for a saiga kind of like the armalite AR10s that aren't completely compatible with a DPMS AR10?

I wouldn't make such a broad-based statement...a lot of Romanians are crap. But many are also great rifles. It would be wise not to buy a Romanian AK sight-unseen, especially if it is a CAI build!
centuries quality control is hit or miss.
Same goes with the Egyptians, some are not worth the money.
I was actually speaking in broad terms with this statement because I only know a few guys that have used them but all of them where very satisfied with theirs

See above, it doesn't do the rest of the forum any good if someone corrects you in private. Even if it's just a disagreement of opinion, the discussion should occur in the same place where the comments are made!
you are absolutely right with that, it's just normally people take opinions and make it sound as if I'm preaching the gospel of frank. usually it ends with me getting pist and saying stupid stuff or moderators closing threads.

there is nothing wrong with a CAI wasr. I had a bad one I will admit it unlike some guys with some brands of weapons that wont admit they had issues. seeing people bash the wasr is like glock guys bashing the XDm :rolleyes:
amen to that!
 

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thanks for the info, but I was under the impression the the saiga wasn't a "true" AK since it requires parts specifically made for a saiga kind of like the armalite AR10s that aren't completely compatible with a DPMS AR10?
I believe the machinery cover and the bolt/bolt carriers/piston are different as well as the gas tube. I also believe the saiga rifles use a thin barrel.

I could be wrong but from what I have seen I don't think I am.
 

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there is nothing wrong with a CAI wasr. I had a bad one I will admit it unlike some guys with some brands of weapons that wont admit they had issues. seeing people bash the wasr is like glock guys bashing the XDm :rolleyes:
I was thinking it's more like Jennings guys bashing Jimenez.

Heck, I don't even know if my WASR even has numbers. It's not like it's an anschutz or an early production Colt Python. It's one of the most mass-produced firearms in the world. It was made cheaply. Cheap production is the essence of Kalashnikov.

All I know is that if I pull it out of my trunk, good things happen.
 

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I had issues with my wasr out of the box. century fixed me up and I trust it 100%. they did a GREAT JOB and excellent customer service. it runs steel mags and polymer mags with very little "wobble" with steel mags.

I have fired my wasr and a few friends wasrs as well. I would trust my friends wasrs as I would trust my own. it will do anything a saiga or arsenal will do except COST MORE and need special parts. :rolleyes:

all my numbers match.

my friends rifles all have matching numbers too.

all new tapco trigger group and piston.

there is nothing wrong with a CAI wasr. I had a bad one I will admit it unlike some guys with some brands of weapons that wont admit they had issues. seeing people bash the wasr is like glock guys bashing the XDm :rolleyes:
Ummmm...I have a WASR-10/63 (from Henderson), as well as a SAR-1, several Yugos and a Saiga SGL-20 among other AKs. I can tell you that there is considerable difference between a WASR and a Saiga, and that's not to bash the WASR but it is like comparing a Toyota with a Porsche. There is a reason why Saigas have a much better reputation, it is earned and deserved.

I will admit I wasn't always a fan of Romanian AKs, but after owning a few I do recognize them for being great rifles. However, I still rate them lower than a Yugo or a Russian. I also still recommend them to friends who are looking to buy an economical AK. But I also recommend that they inspect it closely before buying it. I've seen many a bad WASR, one recently had such a bad mag wobble to it that I laughed when I handed it back to the gun shop employee who was showing it to me! I couldn't believe they hyped their "inspections" while selling a gun that had such an obvious flaw.

And it's not the same as the Glock guys who bash the XD, they do that out of pure ignorance! :razz:
 

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I have no doubt the saiga rifles are nice but they wont function any better than a wasr. the most accurate AK or the best running AK will still be just another accurate good running AK. it doesn't matter where its made. it shoves the round in, it fires the round,it ejects the casing, and shoves another round in.

its only going to run so well. only going to be so smooth. only going to be so accurate. people better than me (pretty much anyone can shoot better than me) can hit 200 yards plus with a wasr maybe 300 yards. that's all someone should really ask of it.

really, does it matter if the receiver is dented around the rivets? does it matter if the furniture is a bit rough? does it matter if steel mags are a wee bit sloppy in the mag well?
I will grant overly sloppy might be an issue, but for a defense weapon I don't see perfection as a desirable trait. ya know?

if it cycles reliably and shoots as accurately as you need it to, its every bit as good as a saiga or arsenal. the proof being in the pudding as they say.

aside from function everything else doesn't matter. shouldn't matter anyway.

for everything someone would have in an arsenal they can buy the same functioning rifle in a wasr with a crate of ammo.


maybe i am wrong. maybe i am weird. but i dont care about ugly.
 

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oh god what did I start?
:shock:
 

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Never underestimate the power of good ammo.

Even the best AK pattern rifle will shoot minute of torso with cheap ammo. Avoid stuff like TulAmmo, wolf, herters, etc if you're looking to get better than 4-6 MOA. Let's put it this way, my SAR-1 doesn't shoot any better than my XDm at 100 yards with cheap stuff.

M67 tends to get better groups, as does Lapua and other higher quality imports.

If you're willing to pay $.75 a round (more for defense ammo), boxer primed American made ammo from reputable companies get great groups, but only if they use a .310-.311 bullet. .308 stuff tends to be less accurate. Also beware that soft primers can lead to slam firing if you don't keep the firing pin and the space it rides in clean.

You can also roll your own x39 handloads for maximum accuracy on the cheap.
 

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I have no doubt the saiga rifles are nice but they wont function any better than a wasr. the most accurate AK or the best running AK will still be just another accurate good running AK. it doesn't matter where its made. it shoves the round in, it fires the round,it ejects the casing, and shoves another round in.

its only going to run so well. only going to be so smooth. only going to be so accurate. people better than me (pretty much anyone can shoot better than me) can hit 200 yards plus with a wasr maybe 300 yards. that's all someone should really ask of it.

really, does it matter if the receiver is dented around the rivets? does it matter if the furniture is a bit rough? does it matter if steel mags are a wee bit sloppy in the mag well?
I will grant overly sloppy might be an issue, but for a defense weapon I don't see perfection as a desirable trait. ya know?

if it cycles reliably and shoots as accurately as you need it to, its every bit as good as a saiga or arsenal. the proof being in the pudding as they say.

aside from function everything else doesn't matter. shouldn't matter anyway.

for everything someone would have in an arsenal they can buy the same functioning rifle in a wasr with a crate of ammo.


maybe i am wrong. maybe i am weird. but i dont care about ugly.
Like a guy who dresses up a base model civic expecting it to be anything but a civic.

A ak is a ak , built loose to function in adverse conditions , you are right in your above statement.
 

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oh I just realized that to forgot to mention polish AKs...they are the cheapest ak you can find but are pretty much in the same boat as the romanians. hit or miss quality but Century will replace it if you buy a bad one.
and to answer the OPs second post. rattle in the trigger, "excessive mag wobble" and crooled front sight are all issues to look out for when you are shoping for an AK. if you are looking at on in your local gunstore ask the guy working the counter if you can load it up with a few snap caps and cycle them through manually, if it has issues even acomplishing that, then it might be best to look at a different AK.

then again, my advice is considered highly controversial. follow at own risk :D
 

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Never underestimate the power of good ammo.

Even the best AK pattern rifle will shoot minute of torso with cheap ammo. Avoid stuff like TulAmmo, wolf, herters, etc if you're looking to get better than 4-6 MOA. Let's put it this way, my SAR-1 doesn't shoot any better than my XDm at 100 yards with cheap stuff.

M67 tends to get better groups, as does Lapua and other higher quality imports.

If you're willing to pay $.75 a round (more for defense ammo), boxer primed American made ammo from reputable companies get great groups, but only if they use a .310-.311 bullet. .308 stuff tends to be less accurate. Also beware that soft primers can lead to slam firing if you don't keep the firing pin and the space it rides in clean.

You can also roll your own x39 handloads for maximum accuracy on the cheap.
I call bull on this, each gun will have it's preferences with ammo, everybody must see what does well in each 'particular' gun.
Both Tula & Wolf average 2-3MOA for my 7.62x39, but I primarily shoot Yugo which averages 3-4MOA because it is more cost efficient.

None of the regular domestic commercial ammo offerings has done any better than 2MOA for my rifle. And I honestly don't expect them too.
I cannot justify spending money on boutique ammo for any AK.

These are AKs, they are not precision/target rifles.
Any ammo grouping Minute of Man or better, is awesome! :cool:
 
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