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Old December 5, 2014, 05:27 PM   #1
ezmiraldo
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Recommendations of top-quality AK makers and tips for first-time AK buyers

Hi guys! I'm trying to get a new AK47 rifle for less than $1000 that is of good quality. What manufacturers would you recommend that are currently producing high-quality AKs today and which are available for purchase inside the U.S. (given various bans on imports of AKs)?

Here're the manufacturers I've heard good things about:
  • Arsenal
  • Krebs
  • PolyTech
  • Norinco
  • romanian-made AKs
  • Bulgarian-made AKs
  • Saiga
  • Chi-Com
  • Valmet
  • vepr
  • Yugo

Any experience with these, or others? I appreciate your help!

P.S. I'm not very knowledgeable about AKs, but I know that I wanna get one.. I don't care about looks. All I want is for it to be reliable and have good accuracy (hits on man-size target to 200-300 yards). Any tips for buying an AK or for selecting which one would be good enough for my criteria would be much appreciated.
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Last edited by ezmiraldo; December 5, 2014 at 05:56 PM.
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Old December 5, 2014, 07:27 PM   #2
WV_gunner
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I'm not an AK expert, but, and many will disagree, why not Century? They don't have the best but if all you want to do is shoot at giant targets then it will do it. With a rifle, you can hit a gallon jug at 100 yards with the regular sights. I have a Draco, had no intentions in buying it, I even waited a week to think about it, but I just had to have it. Plus it was around $50 less than the rifle. I've recently put a $50 red dot on it and I'm hoping to try deer hunting with it next year.
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Old December 5, 2014, 07:30 PM   #3
TXAZ
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I've had 2 + the pistol variant.
I'd stick with the Polytech, Norinco or Valmet.
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Old December 5, 2014, 07:35 PM   #4
Robinson
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I have all on your list except the krebs. I prefer the vepr with the wood thumbhole stocks hands down when it comes to quality, price and handling. The wood stocks are attractive and have better cheek weld. Veprs have thicker recievers and heavier profile barrels.

Valmet from finland haven't been made for a while and good examples can easily exceed $1000

Ak prices are high now. Arsenal used to be priced at about $750. If I were you I would wait until prices come down or the trade embargo with russia ends. In my opinion most aks are not 1000 dollar weapons.
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Old December 6, 2014, 07:34 AM   #5
ezmiraldo
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Thanks guys. A really stupid question: Are parts from AK47s made by different manufacturers and made in different countries interchangeable?
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Old December 6, 2014, 07:49 AM   #6
WV_gunner
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We bought our Century AKs a few years ago now, I believe my pistol was $425 and the rifles were $475. Heck at the time the most expensive SKS the gun store had was $300 and I almost bought one and a Mosin instead of the Draco. Those prices don't exist anymore. I forgot AK prices skyrocketed in the last two years. Around a year ago I remember seeing Century AK rifles, used, and well a little rough looking for over $700 at stores. I'm not sure if you can even find them anymore. The last time I was in a gun store was over a year ago but I'm sure AKs are still up there. I remember before the gun scare I was thinking about building a few with pre bent receivers and selling them. I never had the opportunity to buy a kit and now the prices are too high.

Now that I thinking about it, my friend's rifle did have one failure. The rivet for trigger I think it was came loose. He took it out and replaced it with a bolt. This was after several hundred rounds and being hunted with I believe. The Draco has had no malfunctions except problems caused by the drum. Having a drum is pointless and fully loaded they weigh a lot. But it was a gift and its just a range toy. But trust me, I'm not the village idiot with it. I'm actually hoping to find a 3 or 5 round mag so it doesn't protrude so much and take a white tail with it.
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Old December 6, 2014, 07:53 AM   #7
TXAZ
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Quote:
Thanks guys. A really stupid question: Are parts from AK47s made by different manufacturers and made in different countries interchangeable?
Actually an excellent question. Not to the same degree as many ARs.
The basic designs are usually the same but differences in tolerances and "improvements" vary a lot.
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Old December 6, 2014, 11:36 PM   #8
joeb
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The Yugo's have their own variations and lots of stuff doesn't interchange. Some mfg's use different barrel journal diameters. If the country made the standard AKM's almost everything mixes, though minor fitting may be needed.

The last 74 I built is an E.German/Romanian/Bulgarian/and whatever other parts I had laying around rifle.
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Old December 7, 2014, 10:18 AM   #9
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Though not on your list try to find a Hungarian SA 85 M. finest of the Kalashnikov series.
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Old December 8, 2014, 08:58 PM   #10
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On a budget, an N Pap (Serbian variant) isn't half bad although I found the stock comb to be high for the irons. Since I use a red dot, it isn't really an issue, more of a plus. Check them out, quality is pretty darn good IMO.
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