View Full Version : What's the best quality surplus (cheap) AK-47 type rifle?

December 15, 2002, 12:08 AM
Seems I won 5 new 30 round Chinese mags off of gunbilker so now I guess I'm getting an AK as a plinker for now instead of an 8mm Mauser.

I hear alot of good about Norinco, but they seem to be a little pricey for a surplus rifle.

I've seen a ton of SAR-1's for decent prices like $249, but they are a little lacking in the QC department from what I've heard.

Can somebody give me some suggestions?

I'd prefer unissued or NIB if possible so that I know that it hasn't had some of that Wolf ammo through it.

(btw, I can't afford one for a couple months or so)

December 15, 2002, 12:13 AM
If you're looking for standard caliber(7.62x39), you'd be hard pressed to find anything cheaper or better than the SAR-1.If you can't look at one in person before you buy it, ask the salesperson to make sure the gas block and sites are straight before they send it to your FFL.If not, send it back to Century for a fix.They're not exactly pretty, but they're reliable and with new furniture, they look very nice.The Egyptian Maadi's are also getting into the $300 price range but I have no experience with them.

December 15, 2002, 12:31 AM
Thanks, it's going to be mostly a plinker/closet queen/prairie dog slayer, so I think I'm going to go with the SAR-1.

The Russian Saiga's also look appealing for $180 or so. Does anybody know if they accept hi-cap AK mags? A seller I talked to said they did, but I'm not so sure....

December 15, 2002, 01:21 AM
None are surplus. A surplus AK would be automatic.

Chinese AKs, like the MAK90, haven't been imported since the early 1990s and had some rather unusual features for a stamped AK, like a spring-loaded firing pin and a double-hook trigger. The blueing was pretty thin and the thumbhole stock sucked, but they're pretty nice otherwise. I paid $300 for mine in 1992, but I wouldn't expect others to fetch more than $375.

You should try to inspect any newer AK before you buy it in regard for canted sights and trigger slap (though easily remedied).

December 15, 2002, 01:22 AM
You are buying a "cheap" gun????

Why not buy a AR-15?? Cheap guns like Hi-Points, and AK's are BAD. Why not buy a Wilson Combat AR-15???

Can I make a comment on Columbine while im here Psychosword?

Yes, SAR-1's are good, some have canted sights, but well within the adjustable range of your front sight. Its built VERY strudy, and has light trigger slap (its quite bearable) Chrome lined barrel, and has one of the damn hardest cleaning rods to ever get off a gun EVER!!!

I love ┬žar's!!!

Now you need a hi-point.
BTW did you win 7.62x39 mags or 5.45x39???

December 15, 2002, 02:07 PM
I've seen a ton of SAR-1's for decent prices like $249

Where at? Cause I want one. You might find a WSAR1 (Converted single stacks) for close to $270, but the best price I've seen by the time you pay for everything (shipping, FFL) is about $335.00.

I've got a SAR1 that I initially had problems with double tapping. A call to Century Arms got me a new trigger pack sent so I could replace the parts with no problems. Now it runs great!

I plan on getting a couple more just to save for the future.

Good Shooting

December 15, 2002, 04:04 PM
Saigas do not accept hi-caps without modification. To be legal you also have to add US parts which means you have to convert them to standard AK pistol grip setups. It's not hard but may be more than you want to do. It should be more of a project gun rather than you first AK IMO... I also think the front handguard on the Saiga looks like crap. The Saiga is a bastardized AK wish it was standard AK fare... Say what you will about the SARs, at least they look like AKs...

I've got a SAR1 and 2, and I really like them. Cosmetically they aren't as nicely finished as some of the higher priced AKs, but they are still good rugged AKs. The trigger parts are cheaper US made units, and sometimes are substandard. That is the only place I would fault the gun. That usually manifests itself as trigger slap. You can fix this yourself easily or you can replace the whole fire control group with better US parts. (FSE sells a good set for $35-$40ish I believe www.rpbusa.com and Red Star Arms sells a really touch notch fully adjustable FCG for $80ish www.redstararms.com). The wood is pretty ugly on the SARs too. Refinishing the wood yourself is easy and can turn out really well, or you can replace it with any AK setup you want (keep your synthetic US pistol grip if the set you buy isn't US made...)

Some people like to turn their noses up at AKs and SAR1s in particular because of looks. Well screw that...

BTW, I had several MAK90s before these SARs. While the MAK is finished nicer, it is made with substandard metal (groups really spread out the hotter the gun gets) and has thin weak blueing. I like the SARs better. It was interesting to shoot mine back to back with my SAR1. The SAR1 was slightly more accurate, especially when the MAK heated up. Like I said the MAK is finished nicer but when it comes to AKs finish doesn't mean jack squat except to superficial idiots.

December 15, 2002, 05:22 PM
FAC has the Sar-1 at $285.00 now.

December 15, 2002, 10:38 PM
http://www.joeken.com/ak47.htm has em for $275 as well.

Tropical Z
December 16, 2002, 01:01 AM
SAR's may work,but i can't stand the sound of a flock of baby chicks runnin around!:barf:
And Romanian receivers aren't nearly as nice as any other AK on the market.

December 16, 2002, 04:26 AM
SAR's may work,but i can't stand the sound of a flock of baby chicks runnin around!

:confused: :confused: :confused:

December 16, 2002, 06:03 AM
The SAR's are a good deal. As long as the sights are straight, everything else is easy. Mine had some trigger slap I couldnt work out, so I put Red Star trigger in it. A $10 can of Aluma Hyde II from Brownells made it look brand new. The stock cleaned up nice with some elbow grease and a little steel wool.

As for the baby chicks......must be the new model. :)

Tropical Z
December 16, 2002, 12:34 PM

December 16, 2002, 01:29 PM
LOL, gotcha. :)

December 16, 2002, 02:02 PM

December 16, 2002, 02:10 PM
Cheap guns like Hi-Points, and AK's are BAD.

SAR-1 AK's are 'cheap'.

Hi-Points :barf: are 'junk'. Ravens :barf: are 'junk'.

Can I make a comment on Columbine while im here Psychosword?

Permission granted. :D

Now you need a hi-point.

I have enough paperweights. :cool:

BTW did you win 7.62x39 mags or 5.45x39???

762 mags :)

December 16, 2002, 08:31 PM
Just got my SAR-1, and like it so far... like others have said, the finish sucks (wood does not match), and I put in the RSA trigger group (adjustable).

December 17, 2002, 02:22 AM
What exactly is wrong with Wolf ammo?

December 17, 2002, 04:11 AM
Beats me, I never had any trouble with it.

December 17, 2002, 05:38 AM
Wolf ammo has a laquer in it that causes kabooms over time if you allow it to build up and the ammo is also very dirty, but that can be cleaned. I'm mostly worried about the laquer build-up and the amount of damage that steel cased ammo can do to a perfectly good gun. It's also not very easy to clean, so alot of people let it build up without knowing it. Also, the ammo is steel cased which is hard on your gun.

December 17, 2002, 06:16 AM
Whaa?? AKs eat Wolf like candy. Maybe if you had some wizbang space gun AR you'd have to worry about it. I think this kaboom crap from lacquered cases you have in your head is more than a little exaggerated. All most people use in their AKs these days is Wolf... It's not the most accurate, it smells bad after firing, and the steel cases MIGHT be hard on the extractor after 10,000 rnds, but the stuff is not going to do jack**** to your AK...

December 17, 2002, 06:21 AM
Well, maybe it's not so bad for plinking ammo, if you clean your gun alot, but I just can't stand the crap running through any gun of mine.

December 17, 2002, 07:05 AM
I've got close to 10,000 rounds of Wolf, Barnaul and others through my AK's. In all that, I think I've had two misfires. The only gun malfunctions were due to broken US parts. I've never seen "lacquer build up" in any of my guns. I see neck and primer sealer "specks" in and around the reciever, but nothing that would be called "buildup". It wipes right out when you clean the gun. Dont blame the ammo for "out of spec" chambered guns or or bad hygene habits. I think a lot of this is "internet myth" that just gets passed on without experience. For what its worth, I prefer the Barnaul soft point over the others. It "seems" a little hotter, and at least has a bullet that has a chance at expanding. Its also a little more accurate in my guns.

Tropical Z
December 17, 2002, 10:34 AM
My Hi-Point and most other guns eat up Wolf like a starving fox in a flock of one winged pigeons.Pansy guns are the only ones you have to worry about.;)

December 17, 2002, 01:51 PM
The only ammo my sar-1 has ever fired is WOLF. I shoot so much the heat from the barrel at times has made the wooden grip a little too hot to hold comfortably. Steam rises from my barrel and spit evaporates off of it like a hot skillet, yet every time I examine a WOLF cartridge to check the laquer it has not melted off. When i clean the gun I check for "Buildup" and I have never had any. My gun digests wolf really well, no missfires...

Oh yea, for all those who say im gonna ruin my rifling and crap, I dont care... Ill get a new barrel/gun. (mines a bit "canted" anyway)


Durability at a low price! Just like AK's!

December 17, 2002, 02:13 PM
Psycho, I don't know if you know this or not, but what do you think the Russian's shot through their AKs? Steel case ammunition is the norm over there.

In fact what do you think all of these Russian cartridge companies did before the fall of the Soviet Union? They didn't just spring into existence to supply us with cheap ammo. :)

December 17, 2002, 06:45 PM
What are you implying, that Russian ammo is good, just because that's all they had to shoot?

December 17, 2002, 06:47 PM
No, we're implying they are made to handle it, because that is all they shot!

December 18, 2002, 12:53 AM
For $370 I got an SAR-1 and 1000 rounds of Wolf ammo. Together, they'll hit a 5" plate at 100-yards all day long. They're really fun, they work, and they're really inexpensive. How can anyone complain about that?

desert maus
December 18, 2002, 02:03 AM
Lacquered cased rounds can cause problems in guns other than combloc weapons. Russian, Chinese, Romanian, etc. guns have always been made for lacquered ammo and handle it just fine. The guns that tend to have the most problems with it are AR-15's, mainly because their chambers are so tight compared to most AK's and SKS's. I've seen Russian ammo as old as the 1950's that was lacquered, and it was milsurp, so it must not be that bad in weapons designed for it if they've been using it for so long. The lacquer is mainly an added layer of protection from the elements, as is that heavy red sealant used on the primers and around the neck. Wolf isn't the most accurate ammo around, but it's the best for ComBloc weapons, at least for plinking.
BTW, most of the whitebox Russian surplus ammo IS Wolf. Since they can't import newly manufactured "military" ammo from Russia, they put it in pretty boxes with pictures and printing on them. If you look at Russian milsurp ammo and Wolf, you'll notice that, usually, the only difference is in stamps and markings on the bottom of the round.
However, today my friend and I noticed that some older Russian surplus ammo, while identical to Wolf in appearance, was a bit hotter than the Wolf ammo (so we had to make sure it served us well by destroying half a dozen gigantic old SCSI hard drives. It served us well, I might add:D )

December 18, 2002, 01:47 PM
No, we're implying they are made to handle it, because that is all they shot!

I want something better than bottom of the barrel. Why settle for Wolf when there are plenty others out there much better for about the same price. It's like settling for a Hi-Point 9mm when you can get a nice used Model 10 for the same price.

December 18, 2002, 02:44 PM
Why settle for Wolf when there are plenty others out there much better for about the same price.

Not in 7.62x39 or 5.45x39.

Maybe 9mm and 223.

Tropical Z
December 18, 2002, 11:17 PM
Comparing a Hi-Point 9mm to a model 10 is not productive.Both will go bang when you pull the trigger.Will the 10 outlast the HP? Probably,but so would most any other revolver outlast almost any semi.

December 19, 2002, 06:15 AM
Comparing a Hi-Point 9mm to a model 10 is not productive.Both will go bang when you pull the trigger.Will the 10 outlast the HP? Probably,but so would most any other revolver outlast almost any semi.

I wasn't making a semi vs. revolver question, I was implying that I try to purchase the best value.