View Full Version : Looking to buy an AK. I have questions.

July 26, 2012, 09:48 PM
i am looking to buy an AK47 (7.62x39) I dont know much about them. roms vs yugos. vs polish vs ?, wood, poly, side folding, under folding, milled, stamped? etc.

what should i be looking for?

4V50 Gary
July 27, 2012, 12:26 PM
I've read that under folders wobble when they get older. No first hand experience with old under folders though.

July 27, 2012, 12:38 PM
I recently purchased my first, and found someone who had several and could show me the differences between milled and stamped, etc. To my best knowledge (no expert here by any means, but I've done some reading and shooting):

AKs with original wood stocks probably seem a bit short-stocked to 6-foot males who shoot from the typical American stance. I changed out the wood stock on mine for a collapsible stock with a rubber butt pad and it's MUCH more comfortable when shooting.
Same for the OEM wood grip, they are small. I changed mine for a Hogue grip with finger grooves and it's a big improvement for me.
I'm a reloader, but steel cased 7.62x39 ammo is cheaper than I can buy the components to reload, and reloadable brass is not readily available. AKs tend to beat up their brass is what I have read.
Milled receivers are less common and more expensive than stamped, and are considered to result in a bit more accurate rifle on average. More accessory choices are available for stamped receivers as they are more common.
AKs can't be imported as whole rifles but parts kits can be imported and supplemented with American-made parts such that there are a max of 10 imported parts (to be legal). This is wrapped up in the whole 922(r) thing. There are a number of American AK clone manufacturers as well.
Optics are a bit problematic for AKs. Most recommend a red dot affixed to a rail mounted on a part that replaces both the upper handguard and the gas tube (Ultimak is a manufacturer of these). An optic mounted on the dust cover won't hold zero (as I have read, haven't tried it).

I hope this is some helpful info, corrections and clarifications are welcome. By the way, a "real" AK-47 is a select fire weapon that includes full auto capability, so what you are likely looking for is an AK clone that is semi-auto only.

July 27, 2012, 12:56 PM
What is your budget and what is the intended purpose of the rifle?

July 27, 2012, 02:30 PM
Stamped Saiga from Arsenal. Buy once cry once

July 27, 2012, 02:57 PM
i would like to stay around $500. just looking for a good, long lasting accurate rifle. and i like the look of AKs.

July 27, 2012, 03:33 PM

In your budget I'd get a WASR. A properly built one will last thousands and thousands of rounds reliably and shoot around 3-5 MOA.

July 27, 2012, 03:44 PM
My younger son's first rifle was a Romy WASR 10/63...
It's flawlessly reliable, and 2-3 moa accurate with cheap ammo.

Could not ask for more.

He didn't care for the wood furniture, so we put it in an ATI stock with a correct POSP 4x scope. Fun as hell to shoot...

July 27, 2012, 04:41 PM
heres a nice ak for around 500, http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct446.aspx

July 27, 2012, 05:30 PM
Here's my WASR pic. The short stock was the first thing to go. As you can see, the stout side rail mounting system allowed me the addition of a laser and red dot sight. As the other poster stated, even as pictured it will hold 2-3" at 100 all day with Wolf hp's and never hiccup even once. As in the AR platform, accessories are affordable and everywhere. You can add them later. -7-


July 27, 2012, 05:39 PM
Dont get sucked into thinking you have to spend a lot to get a "good" one. Cost really has little to do with how well they will shoot. Where they were made and who made them does. Ive always had the best luck with guns assembled, or at least "barreled", in the country of origin in this respect. The worst shooting AK's Ive owned, were US assembled guns.

Ive owned them from one end of the price range to the other, and they all shoot pretty much the same. My lowly $350 SAR1 with its slightly canted iron sights, shoots just as well as my $700 Krebs Saiga conversion. With ammo they like, you should have no troubles shooting 3-4" groups at 100 yards from field positions using the issue iron sights.

If youre interested in a folder, your best bet is one of the side folders. The Romainian or German wire types are the most versitile, as they can be used on most stamped AK's without modification. They also are the correct length, and lock up solid. The under folders are cool, but the ones Ive shot all tended to be "loose", and annoying to shoot with because of it.

Contray to what a lot of people will tell you, the AK's standard stock is not "short". Its got the same LOP as most combat stocked rifles, including the M16/M16A1, the M1, M14, HK's, etc.

I think a lot of the problem with the complaints, is those who complain, dont shoulder the rifle properly, and it will appear to be short if done that way. When shouldered properly, your cheek in on the stock at the narrow portion at the front of the stock (not on the "comb), with your nose at or along side the top cover. When shouldered this way, the gun comes up quick and naturally, and is a very natural shooter. If you replace them with the so called "US" length stocks, it really screws with the guns shootability.

The main difference in price, is fit and finish, and "correctness" with some of them. The SAR's and WASR's may not be pretty, but they work, and you can clean them up with little effort and/or money. If you have the money, and want something looking more like an issue Russian AK100 series, then youre going to pay more. Just dont expect them to shoot any better for that look and extra money.

Personally, I like them pretty much stock, and if I add anything, its a Russian web sling, and maybe an Ultimak rail and an Aimpoint red dot. In some cases, a coat of paint too. I dont like them sticking out. :)

July 27, 2012, 06:01 PM
I bought a WASR AK47 from Classic Arms 8 months ago and it's perfect. It's accurate and reliable. Figure out what you want to do with it and don't spend more than you need.

Good luck!

July 27, 2012, 07:01 PM
I paid a whole $269.00 for my WASR 10/63 years ago. I have replaced the wood furniture, put a TAPCO G2 single hook trigger in it added and a UltiMak gas tube with a rail.


chris in va
July 27, 2012, 08:44 PM
$300 Saiga, $200 in parts...:cool:

July 27, 2012, 08:59 PM
+1 for the saiga,like mine in 308.;)

July 27, 2012, 09:06 PM
The Saiga conversion can be very confusing to someone not familiar with the AK platform. Honestly, I don't think it'd be any 'better' than a properly built (and refinished) WASR. Both have com-bloc barrels and trunnions and good rivets (again, if built properly). Those are the major things in the longevity and performance of the AK rifle.

Additionally, +1 to what AK103 said.

This WASR has thousands of rounds through it---0 malfunctions.

July 27, 2012, 11:50 PM
i used to be the AK type.. but ive since switched to AR15s for my own reasons.. but to assist you heres my opinion... an AK is not going to be a tack driver in any sense, so its pointless to pay any attention to benefits people claim you might received from a more expensive, milled receiver AK... stamped AKs are quite reliable.. and if you damage the receiver.. guess what?.. just pop the rivets and put all of the old parts into the new one...

as for manufacturers... i never liked romanians, didnt have much experience with yugos.. but russian AKs are good, russia sold the AKM machinery to the egyptians, so egyptian AKs are really good as well... also, other very high standard AK designs include polish and east german...

in my opinion, if you need an AK... either build one yourself from parts as you can buy all US made parts to do it, furniture, receiver, trunnions, barrel, sights, etc which are usually reproduction of polish parts... or go find one from one of those countries mentioned


also, the saiga suggestion is a good one as well, you can buy russian made saigas in nearly any caliber you want if you were interested in something other than 7.62x39 and is also a good choice

July 28, 2012, 04:09 PM
Inexpensive and you use the booger finger and it goes bang!:D I bought mine for $500 and got two steel mags. Refinished the furniture, added the rubber butt pad and flash suppressor. For me it was a shoot it and hoot and holler. It will take care of man sized targets at 100 yds it that is your cup of tea. Several hundred rounds of el cheapo ammo and no FTE or FTF!