The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 9, 2010, 08:56 PM   #1
blackdog_507
Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 2009
Posts: 73
What kind of AK-47 is the best?

I've been wanting to buy an AK for a long time, but keep pushing it back on the priority list. A simple search of gunbroker will turn up a thousand different types, Yugo, Romanian, Bulgarian, Norinco, IOC, ATI, milled vs stamped, etc. I've handled a few AK's before and with their reputation for reliability and effectiveness, I really think I want to add one to the collection. Any advice on what kinds/types have the best reputation AND value? My local gun shop owner is trying to pedal me a USA made IOC milled receiver version. Are these any good?
blackdog_507 is offline  
Old August 9, 2010, 09:43 PM   #2
stubbicatt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2007
Posts: 1,062
Generally speaking you will find that the Kalashnikov is a reliable rifle. After that things change. Without a spring loaded firing pin, one chambered in 223 has a substantial potential of slam fire, IME.

Some have the side rail for Eastern Bloc optics mounting. This is a nice touch, and makes the rifle somewhat more versatile.

Some like the Type 1 through 3's, and if you can find one faithfully built on a US receiver, they can be very nice rifles. Others prefer other milled versions, saying that they tend to be more accurate.

Of the stamped receiver variety, perhaps the Yugo with its RPK trunnion is the most solid, that and the 1.6mm sheet metal.

For what they are they are a fine weapon. Find one you like and give it a try. If it doesn't pan out, there are others.

Not sure what the IOC one is you are looking at, but a photo might help.
stubbicatt is offline  
Old August 9, 2010, 10:14 PM   #3
chris in va
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 12,493
Build up a Saiga, that way you can make it 'yours'.
chris in va is offline  
Old August 9, 2010, 11:21 PM   #4
raftman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,889
Yeah, the nice thing about Saigas is the fit and finish seems to noticeably superior to the Century AK's. Don't get me wrong, I recently bought a Century-assembled WASR 10/63 AK, and it shoots with 100% reliability, just like the Saiga, but the WASR has a ton of rough and sharp edges on the inside compared to the Saiga. Also, the bolt seems to catch on the hammer occasionally with the WASR if you cycle by hand.

One of these days, I will have to compare them side by side for accuracy.
__________________
"My momma, she done told me, there's heart and then there's hate
If one of 'em's inside of you, the other one, it aint."
raftman is offline  
Old August 10, 2010, 04:48 AM   #5
RT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2000
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 2,191
http://www.k-var.com/shop/home.php?cat=350
RT is offline  
Old August 10, 2010, 07:17 AM   #6
briang2ad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 19, 2004
Posts: 811
Raftman:

What about accuracy compared to the Saiga? I think you can nail a WASR for $300 less. You can always 'work' on the WASR. If it functions and accuracy is the same, it fills the niche of the AK.

$700 for a 'nice' AK is still a bunch, when you can walk into a gunshop and walk out with a beatifully finished AR for $750-$850. I just handled a STAG AR which was about $800 even. VERY nice gun which I wouod guess can shoot about twice as accurately.

AKs DO have a place! I'm just not sure they're with it at $700-900 a pop.

ARs are now plenty available for under $1K - and VERY nicely made. I think AK buyers ought to 'wait it out' till their price points come down a bunch...

Last edited by briang2ad; August 10, 2010 at 07:37 AM.
briang2ad is offline  
Old August 10, 2010, 07:17 AM   #7
shredder4286
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 13, 2010
Location: NE Washington
Posts: 361
i have a romanian made ak- i upgraded the wood stock to a synthetic OD green stock that i like much better. i have around 600 rounds through it, no failure to function of any kind. if the russians ever invade, i'll be blastin her out the upstairs window
shredder4286 is offline  
Old August 10, 2010, 06:36 PM   #8
raftman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 4, 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,889
Quote:
Raftman:

What about accuracy compared to the Saiga? I think you can nail a WASR for $300 less. You can always 'work' on the WASR. If it functions and accuracy is the same, it fills the niche of the AK.
I haven't shot them in a side by side comparison for accuracy. I've only had my WASR 10/63 a couple of weeks and have had only one opportunity to shoot it at all, so I was mainly concerned with function. My initial impression is that the Saiga is probably a bit more accurate, but I won't have the opportunity to determine that for certain for a few more days.

As far as the cost of Saigas goes, that really depends on how "true" of an AK you want it to be. A factory Saiga is actually $50+ cheaper than a WASR, and only gets more expensive if you want to convert it, or buy an already-converted Saiga, like those by Arsenal. I personally didn't do a full-on conversion for mine, and only altered it enough to be 922R compliant with 30-round magazines... and I changed the stock to the skeleton stock, but that's just for looks. So cost-wise it's probably about equal with my 10/63, but is a noticeably better-made rifle.
__________________
"My momma, she done told me, there's heart and then there's hate
If one of 'em's inside of you, the other one, it aint."
raftman is offline  
Old August 10, 2010, 09:51 PM   #9
EdInk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2009
Posts: 3,959
Best bang for the buck for overall quality, accuracy, finish is a stamped receiver Arsenal model.
__________________
Sic Semper Tyrannis
EdInk is offline  
Old August 10, 2010, 10:09 PM   #10
essohbe
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 22, 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 817
What kind is "best" depends on how you define "best" and for what use.

They all do the same things, to me.

My GP-63 is surprisingly accurate. They have the chrome barrels too.
If you don't want to spend a ton of money then try and get one of those, maybe one you can inspect first. Typically, as per owners' feedback, they have been better than the GP75's but I haven't been exposed to one of them myself.
essohbe is offline  
Old August 11, 2010, 08:37 PM   #11
briang2ad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 19, 2004
Posts: 811
Is a GP63 just a WASR 10?

How accurate is your WASR???

I'd say if it shoots a 3-4" group at 100 yards, it is likely fulfilling the role of a Arsenal...
briang2ad is offline  
Old August 11, 2010, 09:00 PM   #12
TylerD45ACP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 16, 2010
Posts: 1,654
I had a WASR 10 and it wasn't shooting 4" inch groups at 100yds. More like 8" groups from three different shooter so we knew that was what it was relativley capable of. I would vote for whoever was talking about Saigas , they seem to be close to the best. My WASR 10 was $300 even as well yes. It is cheap, I did not expect superb accuracy.
TylerD45ACP is offline  
Old August 11, 2010, 09:33 PM   #13
gandog56
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2006
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Posts: 964
The best one is the one I'm firing at the time.
__________________
Some people think I'm paranoid because I have guns. If I have guns, what do I have to be paranoid about?
gandog56 is offline  
Old August 11, 2010, 10:15 PM   #14
Teirst
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2010
Posts: 262
If you really want a NICE AK might as well buy a polytech. They have the infamous "Pre-Ban" and they are a limited quantity so the value can only go up.

Granted you could buy an AR for the same price however you asked for the "BEST" ak
Teirst is offline  
Old August 12, 2010, 01:51 AM   #15
Mosin44az
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2006
Posts: 2,127
Of the readily available brands, Arsenal is the best in my experience.

Krebs sounds cool, but haven't seen any.
Mosin44az is offline  
Old August 12, 2010, 09:09 AM   #16
blueorb
Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2007
Posts: 37
Don't know how you can go wrong for a WASR for a first AK. They are cheap, reliable and, like was already said, they are extremely easy to work on (or as most would consider it..playing with). You can customize it to your liking for not much money.
Mine shoots 4-5 inch groups at 100 yards which is plenty good for me. It's a fun toy that goes bang and blows stuff up.
blueorb is offline  
Old August 12, 2010, 09:16 AM   #17
SR420
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2005
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 2,808
Quote:
What kind of AK-47 is the best?
One that is loaded.




My personal favorite is the pre-ban Norinco that I own.
I prefer the stamped receiver.

__________________
facebook.com/M14EBR.US

Last edited by SR420; August 12, 2010 at 10:53 AM.
SR420 is offline  
Old August 12, 2010, 10:41 AM   #18
Lashlarue
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 26, 2008
Posts: 533
Any, with a milled receiver will give you AK reliability and AR accuracy.I had a millled Norinco(Chinese) with a 20" barrel, would shoot sub 2" groups at 100 yds.Someone made me an offer I couldn't refuse $750,for a rifle that I paid only $139 in 1990.
__________________
I've made a lot of money in my life, most was spent on booze, babes, guns, and poker,the rest I wasted!
Lashlarue is offline  
Old August 12, 2010, 10:45 AM   #19
Teirst
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2010
Posts: 262
I think it is a problem that many view the AK as inferior to the AR. The phrase "if I am going to spend that much I might as well buy an AR" turns up a lot in these topics, and it always will as long as we have people that see the AK as an inferior platform.
Teirst is offline  
Old August 12, 2010, 02:39 PM   #20
HistoryJunky
Member
 
Join Date: April 7, 2010
Location: Freeport, IL
Posts: 74
About AK accuracy

Because this applies to the thread, I have a question for those of you who are knowledgeable about AKs and such.

I've heard a lot of talk about receiver thickness helping out potential accuracy for AKMs. I know that there is 1.0mm, 1.5mm, and 1.6mm receivers out there. I was just wondering if there might be any validity to this claim that a thicker stamped receiver might help the gun be more accurate. The claim is that the thicker receiver "flexes" less than a thinner receiver.
HistoryJunky is offline  
Old August 12, 2010, 07:20 PM   #21
seed
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2004
Posts: 411
I wish I knew you Lashlarue when you still had that milled Norinco! Even though you made a lot more than you paid for it, you still sold it for a very low price in today's world.
seed is offline  
Old August 12, 2010, 08:03 PM   #22
igor
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 27, 2002
Location: Kalifornistan
Posts: 155
The Mercedes of the AK world come from Finland. Find a SAKO 92S if you can - it will be easier to get a Valmet 76 though, since those were exported to the US in some quantity.

Galils come in a close second. And, if SIGs count as an AK, they would probably trump all of the above...

What will probably be readily available, though, will be the milled receiver Bulgarian Arsenals with their supremely sturdy polymer mags. They are excellent guns and a much better value than any of the above.

Because when all is said and done, it's still an AK.
__________________
Good karateka I have known were intelligent, original, capable, unpredictable, aggressive, brave, and dangerous. Most had a dark side. Daily practice for decades at hurting other people does not make liberals.

John Farnam quoting a friend, Feb. 2004
igor is offline  
Old August 13, 2010, 09:46 AM   #23
Katophract
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 7, 2010
Location: Vernal, UT
Posts: 209
The VZ's are a good option as well. Not an AK, but a great gun. I have a WASR and has never failed me. I'd say, it depends on you budget. If you can afford an Arsenal, get one. Perhaps there's some long term effects that the lesser WASR make will have problems with down the road, but I've never heard of it. Saiga is also a good choice. (I've noticed that even in threads where people say "please don't suggest an AR, that's not what I'm looking for", people need to suggest an AR. Personal pet peeve. Sorry.)
__________________
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.
Katophract is offline  
Old August 13, 2010, 10:02 AM   #24
IM_Lugger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 27, 2004
Posts: 2,011
this one
Attached Images
File Type: jpg m4.jpg (171.1 KB, 3397 views)
__________________
"I feel the Beretta is a great character, it's so strong and elegant. The other guns look dumb to me." - John Woo
IM_Lugger is offline  
Old August 13, 2010, 10:12 AM   #25
SR420
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2005
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 2,808
Quote:
IM_Lugger this one
:barf:











__________________
facebook.com/M14EBR.US
SR420 is offline  
Reply

Tags
7.62 , 7.62x39 , ak-47

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12897 seconds with 8 queries