View Full Version : AK's such as Romanian, Hungarian, Polish...

June 20, 2012, 03:16 PM
I have been looking at AK-47 "style" rifles.

Really surprised at what they're going for now. Don't know if it's inflation, supply or demand?

Anyways, as much as I'd like to get an Arsenal AK, I have a hard time paying $900-$1000 for one.

What are the decent cheaper variants?

Romanian? Do they have the mag wobble and front sights figured out now?
Hungarian? How about that fore grip?
Polish? Underfolder? Will it maintain over the years?
Zastava? (for a bit more $)

I don't need a perfect finish or beautiful wood, actually prefer plastic, but I don't want any poorly converted cobbled together gun either.

I welcome other suggestions and criticisms.

Yes, I would like to get a quality AR15 and M1A eventually, but am interested in AK-47's as well.

I go to the range and am not a tactifool.

June 20, 2012, 07:06 PM
I can only comment for the romanians.
the reason for the issues with mag wobble and sight posts is that that's the way they come from the warehouses. IIRC when CAI gets them they replace the triggers and furniture(6 parts made in the USA) to make them 922R compliant and then they grind down the magwell to allow for double stacked magazines. this process is what causes the mag wobble because they usually grind too much off. My WASR would not feed steel surplus mags and my brothers WASR also will not feed from steel mags....we have to have the thicker tapco and Pmags to operate with any level of reliability.

then there's the main reason I sold mine. they rust....A lot....regardless of cleaning or ammo shot out of them. I got sick of opening a gun that was cleaned twice since it's last range trip and still finding rust everywhere. I live in an arid climate and I keep my guns in a dessicated safe so there is no chance that it's the environment. if the Viet Kong were outfitted with WASRs instead of kolishnikovs(or whatever they actually used) then Vietnam probably would have gone very differently.

then there's the fact that surplus ammo is selling for the same price that factory 7.62x39mm was going for 3 years ago and factory AK ammo is now more expensive than 5.56x45mm. coupled with the fact that even with evil black tacticool furniture and red dots and I still could not warm up to the operation and ergonomics of the gun... and I just couldn't justify owning one anymore.

that's just my thoughts on owning a romanian and just AKs in general. needless to say I am now an avid AR15 supporter.

June 20, 2012, 07:26 PM
Thanks for the response. They do seem very hit or miss in terms of quality. I don't want to get a cheap gun and have to put hundreds in it to make it right. Should probably listen to my gut and not my head. Going cheap usually costs me more in the end.

June 20, 2012, 07:34 PM
from my understanding the polish are a little less hit or miss but they have the same problems as the romanians because of the in house grinding at CAI.

yugos are good but not fully compatable with all of the AK aftermarket. if you are going to get an AK I would recommend an arsenol saiga or bulgarian... if you don't want to spend $1000 on one then the AK may not be for you. it's a crappy prospect considering that 4 years ago these were $350 rifles but you've gotta love democratic presidents and the gun ban hysteria that election years bring. by november I estimate that those same AKs will be over 1100 and by this time next year they will be closer to 1300 before people come to their senses and let the hysteria wind down a bit and prices will drop but never below what they are now.

June 20, 2012, 07:38 PM
^regarding this^

Why do you think the AKs have ran up but not ARs and other black guns?

June 20, 2012, 07:59 PM
In my opinion they were artificially low to start with. It's kind of like what happened with the SKS. They used to be $75 and you could find them everywhere. Once there stopped being a massive flood of them on the market, they weren't anymore. Same thing happened with WW2 surplus rifles, and numerous other things.

June 20, 2012, 07:59 PM
because it is easier to establish an importation ban than it is to enact an assault weapons ban. 922R is a current limitation on the importation of AK 47s in particular that is still in effect and could easily be modified to either create more restrictions or fully ban the importation of said weapons. also with energy costs going up it is getting more and more expensive for importers to import these rifles only to have to add american parts to make them legal and resell them. AR15s for the most part are all manufactured in the USA so they don't have to worry about customs and overseas shipping fees.it isn't just black guns, SKS have tripled in the last 4 years. mausers have gone from 250 up to 1000 dollars in some cases. even mosin nagants have doubled in price in the last 5 years. imported weapons usually start out low because there are so many of them and once importers start having to compete for them then they jack up prices.

June 20, 2012, 08:37 PM
I have a century WASR 10/63 and a polish milled ak and both are great rifles. The century WASR is a great rifle and for the money and if you can inspect it for faults it can be a great rifle. I really like mine and its great.

June 20, 2012, 08:48 PM
saiga. 300 bucks, and then you slowly buy the 200 bucks worth of conversion parts as you get the money. end up with a great 500 dollar ak that goes for 1 grand on gunbroker.

watch this video series to learn how to do it.

June 20, 2012, 08:58 PM
I know the saigas are supposed to be good. I'm wary of having to install a bullet ramp which as I understand you don't have to do for the 308 models...which is interesting.

Will check out the vid. Thanks.

June 20, 2012, 09:06 PM
Late last year I bought a WASR 10 from Classic Arms and it's been great. It's Romanian. I heard all the horror stories, but mine had no problem with the front sight or mag wobble. I've had many range visits and it functions perfectly. It works just fine with steel and Tapco mags. I have some of each. It's accurate, too. Go for it!

June 20, 2012, 09:22 PM
I'm wary of having to install a bullet ramp which as I understand you don't have to do for the 308 models.

I have minimal metalworking experience, and the whole job took me about 2 hours the first time. The bullet guide is the scariest part, but also (after you are done) the easiest. I laughed at myself when it was all done, because I had been so apprehensive in trying it.

June 20, 2012, 10:52 PM
Alright, not messing w parts guns.

Arsenal or doing my own conversion if I get an AK.

But wait, are Arsenal guns just converted Saigas? So they are just parts guns with new instead of surplus parts?

June 20, 2012, 11:39 PM
wise choice, Arsenal has an awesome reputation, and they only run a couple hundred more than doing it yourself, and they come out looking NEAT. No gaps, no scratches.

let us know what you go with!

June 21, 2012, 01:10 AM
Looks like Atlantic Firearms has a good amount of reasonably priced AKs.

I suppose I thought Century had the monopoly on importing/assembling military style weapons for the civilian 922r market.

For $600/$700 looks like I can get something decent, better reputation and build quality.

Anyone have a one stop shop resource to show what parts are replaced in the various AK parts guns to make them compliant?

The Hungarian for instance is advertised as being made in Hungary, well yes, but aren't parts replaced like in an Arsenal?

June 21, 2012, 10:39 AM
I could be wrong here but in most cases 922 can be satisfied but replacing the trigger(3 pieces) and the furniture(handguard, buttstock, and pistol grip) since 922R just states that you must specifically have 6 american made parts in the gun. I have heard in some cases of companies cutting the receivers for import and replacing them with american made receivers. most of the time though you should have an original barrel, gas tube, front sight post, bolt carrier/piston group, recoil spring and dust cover.

June 21, 2012, 02:27 PM
Alright, not messing w parts guns.

Arsenal or doing my own conversion if I get an AK.

But wait, are Arsenal guns just converted Saigas? So they are just parts guns with new instead of surplus parts?


Arsenal takes new Saiga AK's and converts them using new, U.S. manufactured parts to meet 922r standards. Saigas aren't parts kits, they are new, complete, working guns made in Russia that are shipped into the U.S. in a sporterized form. Arsenal converts them from their sporterized setup to Russian military AK-74M/AK-100 series standards (minus the FA capability).

The Hungarian for instance is advertised as being made in Hungary, well yes, but aren't parts replaced like in an Arsenal?

Century is not the only one in the AK game for sure. They are the most famous because of their once uber cheap WASR10's, but those are almost $600 now.

And most of the what you find on Atlantic is guns built from demilled parts kits. Importers buy up surplus AKs and demill them, which usually involves cutting up the receiver and the barrel. The rest of the parts are no longer considered a firearm under U.S. law, and are sold as parts kits. Companies in the U.S. then take the parts and assemble them into working guns, usually on new U.S. manufactured receivers and with enough U.S. made parts to meet 922r compliance.

June 21, 2012, 03:27 PM

Mr Budha
June 22, 2012, 08:36 AM
I just purchased my M10-762 AK (A Romanian Variant) after doing a whole lot of looking around. Pretty happy with my decision. It certainly isn't as pretty as an arsenal but it works great.

June 23, 2012, 09:48 AM
Atlantic Firearms has some interesting options that are contracted builds just for Atlantic.

Looks good to me.

I wonder if those are a notch better than the lower end or Century stuff.

Krebs looks like one of the best of all the AKs, but they start at $1,200.

Mr Budha
June 23, 2012, 05:37 PM
^That is a pretty rifle. Good US made reciever, and a great finish.

June 23, 2012, 11:55 PM

The bullet guide is easy. Quarter a piece of gaspipe and make sure it doesn't interfere with the cam action of the bolt while in battery, now either:

- drill & tap it into the trunion,
- drill comletely through the trunion and use a nut and bolt with locktite (best)
- tack weld the thing on (watch for slag flying out and accidentally melting other parts on the gun you don't want them to)


June 24, 2012, 11:27 AM
I drilled and used locktite. Never had an issue

June 24, 2012, 11:32 AM
I can only speak for m own experience. I used to own a WASR, and while it had mag wobble it functioned perfectly, was as accurate as an AK can be expected to be, and was all around a great bargain for the $300 I paid for it.

I only sold it when I lucked in to a deal on a SAR-1 (the predecessor to the WASR) and it functions just as well without the mag wobble thanks to it having the mag well dimples the WASR lacks.

DE Shooter
June 24, 2012, 04:07 PM
My experience...Saiga's in several calibers I have owned have been flawless out of the box. I've never modified them, because I like them with the skeleton or standard stocks they came with out of the box (except for an older EEA .223 that needed a new FSG. I've owned a couple Century made AKs in 5.45. I will never buy another unless I can completely inspect it first! Sight unseen, they are like rolling the dice!

June 24, 2012, 04:28 PM
Little to no AK experience here, but:

Shouldered a Century converted Saiga at LGS.

Loved it, everything about the rifle felt right and (with proper cheek weld) my eyes were looking directly down the sights.

At around $600, it is more expensive than doing the conversion yourself. But - it is less than an Arsenal converted Saiga, and has the better trigger.


To me, it is the happy medium if you prefer plastic over wood.

June 24, 2012, 04:41 PM
I subscribed to this thread early on. I'm pretty badly bitten by the AK bug recently and I wanted to get some feedback on the current guns.

I haven't owned an AK for several years now... last one was a SAR-1 that set me back $274.00, if that tells you anything. It was a Romanian Century with pretty much all the maladies you've read about, but it was utterly reliable with the menagerie of ammo I fed it. I sorted its problems out one at a time, from the miserable trigger group to crooked gas block AND front sight block, the muzzle that looked like it'd been crowned on a gravel road. I eventually got that gun shooting five shot groups of about five inches at 200 meters, so long as you didn't heat it up too much. It would do that with Barnaul Silver Bear FMJ or Wolf 154 SP.

So I am real tempted to buy a WASR and just repeat the process. The I.O's are getting real good accuracy reviews however, so it might be worth the extra coin (to me) to start with a better barrel.

I know they're just AK's, guys, but I cannot abide anything inaccurate with a rifled barrel.

June 24, 2012, 09:40 PM
Our first, and only, AK to date is a Romy WASR 10/63- shoots 2"-3" at 100 and is 100% reliable with any ammo.

Next one will also be a WASR 10/63- unless I can pony up for a Krebs...

July 7, 2012, 10:50 PM
I was just out to Sportsmans Warehouse and they are handling AK's now,,,Saigas,,,they did not have any in at the moment so I did not get a price and regular AK's from a company called M&M they were sold out of those but I believe the price was around $600.

I have five AK's. two Arsenal milled receivers in 762x39 and three Vepr's, one in 762x39 one in 556/223 and one in 308. I recently purchased some 762x39 Lapua ammo and have match ammo in 556 and 308 and someday will do accuracy testing with all of them and report back.

If I were just starting out and buying AK's my choice would probably be the Saiga,,,cheapest price and I would only convert it to use regular 30 round AK magazines and leave the furniture alone,,,would not cost much and as long as it works I don't care what it looks like.

July 7, 2012, 11:14 PM
Take a look at JG Sales (JGSales.com). they have a pretty good selection of AK's from around the world.

July 8, 2012, 01:22 AM
Definitely get the Saiga and convert it. I bought a Saiga in .223 in December and just did the conversion today. I was scared to death to do it because I had never done anything like it before. It was honestly pretty easy. I used a hand drill for the rivets and a drill press to drill the hole for the bullet guide. I think it turned out AWESOME.

I just got a J&G mailer and they have WASRs for $480, but that is the lower quality stuff. Then they have converted Saigas for $750.

The thing is I bought mine for $300 unconverted and spent right at $200 for the stock, pistol grip, bullet guide, fire control group and a 30 round magazine.

The two best things about doing the conversion yourself are:
The satisfaction of doing it yourself
Having the gun exactly as you want

If you have ANY experience with tools I would suggest buying it unconverted and doing it yourself. There are so many sites and YouTube videos to help you.

July 8, 2012, 01:38 AM
With how easy it is to do the conversion I don't understand why anyone buys the WASRs. Not worth it from my point of view. Pay more for a rifle and get more problems with it??? :confused:

July 8, 2012, 08:19 AM
A lot of people, myself included, don't have the tools to do the rivets properly. That's the big reason most people don't do the conversions in my opinion.

July 8, 2012, 09:39 AM
See, that's the thing, you don't have to use any rivets. The only thing I did with rivets was drill them out. If a man doesnt own a drill then this is a perfect reason to go buy one.

With the conversion kit that I used from Carolina Shooters Supply the trigger gaurd screwed in and the pistol grip screwed into the trigger guard. Then you reuse the pins to hold the trigger and hammer in.

July 8, 2012, 09:53 AM
I have a WASR 10/63 I baught some years ago for around $400. Here is what I can say about it:

1. The gas block and front sight are canted a bit relative to the rifle, but seem to be canted TOGETHER, therfore maintianing the integrity of the iron sights. It does put a little extra strain on the stowed cleaning rod (big deal).
This is my biggest complaint about this gun, but because the sights line up and for a reason I'll mention later, it doesn't affact much.

2. The crown is fine.

3. Steel surplus mags work great. They do wobble slightly but this in no way affects function.

4. Has been 100% reliable with all ammo I have used in it. I have used a couple different kinds of Wolf and also Remmington. Have run at least 500 rounds through.

I bought a mounting rail for it that attaches to the side of the receiver. I have mounted a 1x red dot sight on that, so the iron sites are mostly irrelevant to me anyway. I love how light and easy this gun is to lug around as compared to other heavier rifles I have.

July 8, 2012, 11:05 AM
With the conversion kit that I used from Carolina Shooters Supply the trigger gaurd screwed in and the pistol grip screwed into the trigger guard. Then you reuse the pins to hold the trigger and hammer in.

Can you post pics of your receiver, gas block, and front sight post?

July 8, 2012, 02:36 PM
Not sure if this will suffice for what you were wanting to see. I was going to do a write up on it a little later when I have more time. This is a quick pic I took after doing it.

July 8, 2012, 07:59 PM
Thanks for posting that. I was just trying to see how far on the conversion you had gotten with the parts you mentioned. Any plans to do the front end?

July 9, 2012, 08:57 AM
Yeah, I am thinking about threading the barrel for a flash hider. I don't know that a muzzle break would really do much for it since it doesn't have much muzzle climb (being a .223 and all). Havent decided on that yet.

I am also planning on doing something with the hand gaurd. Haven't decided if I want to modify the one currently on there with some rails and cuts. Or, go with a different one all together. If I do use a different one it will probably be a quad rail.

I'm thinking a bipod on front with a Magpul AFG also. The Magpul AFG really looks like it would be more intuitive then any of the others.

I think my next thing though is deciding what optics and rail to mount it on. I have no clue what I'm gonna use, haven't looked into it much. I will probably stay between $150-$200 on the optics though. Thinking more mid to lower
price range.

Any suggestions (on anything)?

Uh oh, typed it all up, posted it then realized I kinda hijacked the thread..... Didn't mean to.. Sorry.. :(

July 9, 2012, 01:16 PM
For your price range I'd go with the MI extended rail with PA micro dot. Even though it is for AK, it will mount on a Saiga front end just fine. It'll still allow you to use your irons and won't break the bank. You can get the combo from primary arms for $160-180 depending on whether or not they have a sale going on. I did a review of the combo a while ago, link is below.

As for the flash hider---I absolutely think you should put one on there; if you think it doesn't have much muzzle climb now wait until you put a decent brake on it. Plus, that's one of the easiest parts of the conversion to do---two pins and call it a day.

MI/PA Combo Review (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxQJ9nSU1Ws&feature=g-upl)

All that said, I'd still take a properly assembled WASR for $400-450 :D

July 9, 2012, 03:04 PM
Just watched your YouTube video that you linked. That's the Magpul AFG that you have on your WASR right? How do you like it?

I was thinking about getting the side mount for my optics as my rifle has the mount on the left side of it. What would you think are the advantages/disadvantages to mounting it that way? I don't have much experience with scopes and none with red dots.

Oh and the way everyone else talks, isn't a "properly assembled WASR" an oxymoron?

I kid I kid.. Lol :p

July 9, 2012, 03:55 PM
It is an AFG. When I first saw it I thought it was 'gimmicky' but after trying it I was hooked. With VFGs, I had a tendency to pull shots left but the AFG allows you to pull the rifle into your shoulder for reduced muzzle climb really well; better than anything else out there IMO...

Nothing wrong with a side mount; unless you have a left side folder... Many of them sit high however so do your research before you choose one. Additionally, some side rail mounts fit some AKs but not others. Just depends. I don't like them but many others do. My AKs with optics either have a MI rail or an Ultimak rail; I think they're the best systems out there but that's just one man's opinion...

July 10, 2012, 10:02 AM
I'm just waiting to inherit my Grandpa's Norinco Chinese Pre-Ban AK-47 :D Then I can have a BLAST ;)

July 10, 2012, 12:42 PM
I'd be waiting for that too!