The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Semi-automatics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 9, 2013, 02:08 PM   #1
marbill
Junior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2010
Location: mid missouri
Posts: 11
Which ak to buy?

Wanting to buy a ak. Dont know alot about them. Are there any to stay away from? Any reccomendations? Suggestions will be appreciated.
Thank You!!
marbill is offline  
Old February 9, 2013, 05:52 PM   #2
FireForged
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 4, 1999
Location: Rebel South USA
Posts: 1,186
Stay away from "kit guns" that are made with a USA receiver.

If it were me, I would be looking for a MAK90, SAR1, or even a WASR before I would buy any of these kits guns that seems to be all the rage now-a-days.

I consider the Polytech AKS (circa 1999-00) to be the best AK variant out there but they are pretty hard to find. Second would be the MAK90 and is pretty much the best option if you are searching now. MAK's have a well made receiver, fire control group and actually has a finish. Most of what passes for a AK variant now a days looks like it was put together by someone in a highschool shop class. I will pass on the latter no matter what the gun magazines say.

note- I dont have anything against US made trigger parts or other accessories. I simply dislike the build quality and specs on the US made receivers that I have had the occasion to see.
__________________
Life is a web woven by necessity and chance...

Last edited by FireForged; February 9, 2013 at 06:12 PM.
FireForged is offline  
Old February 9, 2013, 06:34 PM   #3
bigghoss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2006
Location: Pueblo, Colorado
Posts: 2,659
Aresenal AK's are pretty solid at a decent price. Only buy a WASR in person so you can inspect it for a canted front sight base and lose magwell. I have a WASR 10 is a bit lose and I had to replace the trigger group due to a trigger slap issue but other than that is has functioned perfectly and is reasonably accurate.
__________________
I don't collect guns, I accumulate them.
bigghoss is offline  
Old February 10, 2013, 11:33 AM   #4
marbill
Junior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2010
Location: mid missouri
Posts: 11
Thanks for the help. Now the hunt begins for a price I can deal with.
Thanks again.
marbill is offline  
Old February 11, 2013, 09:47 PM   #5
Hairbag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 22, 2010
Posts: 446
Arsenal AK74 ! If you have deep pockets Krebs I think Arsenal and a few other brands are making them with the BHO feature which is nice.
__________________
I'm hairbag and I approve this message.
Hairbag is offline  
Old February 11, 2013, 09:49 PM   #6
cslinger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 14, 2002
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 953
Vepr, arsenal, polytec are about the best normal prod stuff. There are some solid custom makers though .
__________________
"Is there anyway I can write my local gun store off on my taxes as dependents?"
cslinger is offline  
Old February 11, 2013, 09:53 PM   #7
TXAZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 5, 2010
Posts: 1,510
What's your budget? If its not tightly constrained, its Polytech or Norinco.
__________________
!أنا لست إرهابي
TXAZ is offline  
Old February 12, 2013, 11:20 AM   #8
Lt. Skrumpledonk Ret
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2012
Location: Oh, Jesus.
Posts: 207
SAR1

I have a Romanian SAR1 that has been good to me over the years for deer hunting and plinking. I have experienced some trigger slap; sometimes if I squeeze the trigger slowly two rounds go off; and the front site is canted a bit but it doesn't bother me as it is only a cosmetic blemish that isn't important.
I got it 11 years ago with a 30 rd and 10 rd steel mag for $320

I've added two more steel mags, 3 tapco mags, a chest harness that holds 4 mags, and about 200 rds of ammo. I think I can get $1,000 for all of it as I parade it around a gun show soon. Someone out there will beam with pride as they walk through the door and their wife's jaw drops.
Lt. Skrumpledonk Ret is offline  
Old February 12, 2013, 01:13 PM   #9
Fishbed77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2010
Posts: 2,851
Can't go wrong with a Saiga. It's a brand-new true Russian AK built on the same production line as the the AK-100 series rifles. It includes some nice features like a bolt hold-open and a military spec chrome-lined, hammer-forged barrel.

If you are willing to do the sporter-to-ak stock and trigger group conversion yourself (it was not difficult even for a non-mechanically-inclined fellow like myself), there are some significant monetary savings to be had. It's a lot of fun, too:

Before:



After:


Last edited by Fishbed77; February 12, 2013 at 11:09 PM.
Fishbed77 is offline  
Old February 13, 2013, 11:13 AM   #10
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 8,048
Personally, I like some of the "kit guns" made with USA receivers over conversions that are based on 1mm receivers.

Here's what I would (and have) looked for:

1. 1.5mm or 1.6mm stamped steel receiver thickness. I have handled and shot 1mm, 1.5mm and 1.6 mm receiver guns, and I greatly prefer the fit, finish, quality and sturdiness of the thicker stamped receivers.

2. double check to make sure it is one of the known, quality receivers, and not something built out of an old shovel.

3. Parts are important. IMHO, the Polytech parts sets (must be built around a 1.6mm receiver) are the best. Very hard to find, however, and you might as well pay the premium for the Polytech pre-89 import. Next, I like the Polish parts, all matching, underfolder and chrome barrel. I have one of these and it is a good build. I still like the Polytech 1.6mm AK with slightly heavier barrel and more robust internal parts better, but my Polish parts gun is a great machine.

I bought my Polish underfolder built on a 1.5mm DCI receiver several years ago - all numbers match on the parts, and they look new. Hard to find these nowadays.

Here's a Polish Underfolder built on a DCI 1.5mm receiver with Tapco fire control parts for compliance. The Tapco trigger is actually pretty good much less slop than the Polytech I had.

Last edited by Skans; February 13, 2013 at 11:20 AM.
Skans is offline  
Old February 13, 2013, 01:23 PM   #11
Drhc116
Member
 
Join Date: April 26, 2012
Posts: 75
Do yourself a favor and buy a Norinco mak90. they can be had for around 700-900 bucks. They are built on the 1.6mm reciever with crhome lined barrels. Polytech and Norinco are some of the best AKs on the market. If you want a pre-ban, it will cost a bit more but will also have the bayo lug and compensator. Just my 2 cents
Drhc116 is offline  
Old February 13, 2013, 02:46 PM   #12
chris in va
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 12,654
VEPR, Saiga or Arsenal.

I wouldn't buy one right now though, wait until the dust settles...unless you like paying an extra $400 for one.
chris in va is offline  
Old February 13, 2013, 03:24 PM   #13
blfuller
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2013
Location: Washington State
Posts: 235
If you can find a Hungarian SA85M, pre or post ban, this would be a nice gun. Preban gun has all the evil features and a post ban has the thumbhole stock or maybe someone has converted it. Make sure you check for all the compliant parts if it is a post ban. These are the Cadillac of the production AK's. Not sure what your budget is but they aren't going to be cheap.

For an inexpensive host, the Saiga can't be beat.
blfuller is offline  
Old February 13, 2013, 03:28 PM   #14
blfuller
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2013
Location: Washington State
Posts: 235
Skans,
Just an FYI, your muzzle brake is upside down...
Quote:
blfuller is offline  
Old February 13, 2013, 05:43 PM   #15
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 8,048
Yeah, I noticed that too - it's correct now. I remember that I took it off to see if a Polytech thread protector would fit.
Skans is offline  
Old February 15, 2013, 12:50 PM   #16
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,145
MAK90 is a solid gun if you can find one.

It has a chrome barrel and bolt/op rod. Does not corrode and I have shot corrosive ammo in mine and not an issue. Most solid AK out there bar none.

Keep in mind if it has been changed from Thumb-hole to a conventional stock it has legal issues. Easy to deal with but a possible BATF problem

Basically it can only be changed from Thumb-hole to conventional if it has 5 US made parts (an updated Thumb-hole I think is ok but have not looked at that).

Easiest is having a US made stock (3 parts, not all the individual parts like upper hand guard count) and a US made magazine (3 parts which means the spring does not count). Gets you over the top.

There are no internal parts on the MAK90 that can be improved so it makes not sense to buy any of that stuff.



Severl US made magazines if you want multiple at the ragne. You can keep your old ones, just not have them in the gun (i.e backups only if you get into a sitation no one cares, i.e. SHTF.
RC20 is offline  
Old February 15, 2013, 02:37 PM   #17
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 8,048
Quote:
There are no internal parts on the MAK90 that can be improved so it makes not sense to buy any of that stuff.
I have compared a Polytech stamped receiver AK alongside my DCI/Polish parts AK with Tapco fire control parts. While I'd agree that I like the overall look, feel and finish of the Chinese AK parts over the Tapco parts, the Tapco fire control parts feel much better in use than the Polytech parts. Basically, there is far less take up and overtravel with the Tapco parts, and the trigger pull is much cleaner - nearly that of a decent AR. Part of the take-up is eliminated because the receiver has a little protrusion in front of the trigger that acts as a trigger stop - eliminating a lot of the take-up.
Skans is offline  
Old February 17, 2013, 10:33 PM   #18
Wally21
Junior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2013
Location: DFW, TX
Posts: 10
The AK I own I believe was 7.63x39mm sporting rifle made by Izmash in Russia. I'm not sure what exactly it was called since the majority of the certificates it came with are in Russian. But the dealer I bought it from converted it to look like an AK-47. It had a price tag of $700(before tax) if I recall correctly.
Wally21 is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 10:08 AM   #19
Fishbed77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2010
Posts: 2,851
Quote:
The AK I own I believe was 7.63x39mm sporting rifle made by Izmash in Russia. I'm not sure what exactly it was called since the majority of the certificates it came with are in Russian. But the dealer I bought it from converted it to look like an AK-47.
If it was in 7.62x39mm, it was most likely a Saiga IZ-132 prior to its conversion - the same rifle shown in my previous post.
Fishbed77 is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 11:47 PM   #20
flgunguy
Member
 
Join Date: August 14, 2012
Posts: 33
Hold off. Your going to get taken to the woodshed right now. The only thing even on the market right now are bottom of the barrel Century wasr's, which are going for $1200. Yes Bud's has them for $1200. Wasr's are a $500 rifle IF that. You will not find any Saiga's or Arsenal's in stock right now.

Yes, the online dealer may have a picture of one and process your credit card but no one is shipping right now because no one has anything in stock. As an owner of a bulgy slr series rifle the best thing I can tell you is do not waste your money right now.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ak rip off.jpg (98.6 KB, 24 views)
flgunguy is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 09:28 PM   #21
Puddle
Member
 
Join Date: January 19, 2013
Posts: 57
If you can, I would wait.

And I'll get flak for this, but I love my WASR 10. I got it for less than $400 and it is one of the most fun rifles I own to shoot. It eats any 7.62x39 I feed it and is as accurate as any other AK I have shot. Nice furniture, too and it came with a bayonet and sling and two really nice magazines.

Having said that, I would recommend buying one from a shop and not online. WASRs are really hit/miss in terms of quality. Some look like hammered dog meat. But if you can find a good one, grab it (when the prices come down).
Puddle is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 09:50 PM   #22
Fishbed77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2010
Posts: 2,851
Quote:
And I'll get flak for this, but I love my WASR 10. I got it for less than $400
You shouldn't get any flak for that. When they were around $400 and less, the WASRs were raging bargains, provided you got one without a canted front sight base or loose magwell. The chrome-lined barrel is a plus, as well. A good WASR is just as reliable and accurate as any other AK.

At the $1000+ or so they are selling for today, though, I wouldn't even look twice at one. That's just a crazy price, considering the other options out there.
Fishbed77 is offline  
Old February 21, 2013, 01:32 AM   #23
Venom1956
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 4, 2008
Location: WI
Posts: 3,107
Ha thats a great picture!

Wonder if I should sell my Arsenal if WASRs are fetching that MUCH!
__________________
E-Shock rounds are engineered to expend maximum energy into soft targets, turning the density mass into an expanding rotational cone of NyTrilium matrix particles, causing neurological collapse to the central nervous system.- Yeah I can do that.
I guarantee you will know it if a bicyclist hits your house going 1000 mph.
Venom1956 is offline  
Old February 21, 2013, 02:42 AM   #24
Justice06RR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2010
Location: Central FL
Posts: 1,285
I would agree that you should hold off on buying an AK right now, or you will be raped on the price.

Unless you have the money to burn and must have an AK right now, then go with the reputable ones like Arsenal, Polytech, etc. It will be almost impossible to find even a basic WASR10 or Romanian for less than $1k, so expect to pay maybe $1200 for a regular AK, or close to $2k for a top-tier AK.
Justice06RR is offline  
Old February 21, 2013, 03:02 PM   #25
Aberration
Member
 
Join Date: July 14, 2012
Posts: 35
I got my Arsenal SGL through RRC Firearms. $1150 was not bad at all IMO.

They get them in stock every few weeks, and they are sold in hours. Get them on Facebook, thats how I got the notice they had some in stock.
Aberration is offline  
Reply

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 06:53 PM.


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 0.13614 seconds with 8 queries