View Full Version : Polish Tantal AK 74 Variant Review

September 24, 2012, 05:34 PM

I picked up this Tantal in March of this year to have another rifle that I could shoot tons of cheap 7N6 surplus ammo through. I had heard all the internet horror stories of the Century Tantals that had improperly sized chambers but I decided to take the plunge anyway due to Centuries 1 year warranty for all new gun purchases.

Picking the rifle up at my FFL I noticed the front sight was slightly canted but it didn't appear it was canted to the point that it couldn't be zeroed so I took it home. Well, the first range session proved otherwise. Although there was no keyholing, even with the front sight moved all the way to the right the rifle was still shooting about 3'' right at 50m so I called up Century and spoke with a nice young lady who gave me a claim number and I sent it in.

Two weeks later I was back on the range with it––-the rifle zeroed with the front sight post in the center of the tower so good on the Century repair guys. Of note, the rifle came back immaculately clean. Cleaner than I'd ever seen any AK.... I'm talking not a speck of carbon; it almost looked odd it was so spotless! I was very pleased with Century's warranty.

Here's a quick run down of the pros and cons of the rifle:

-Cost. I only paid $389 for mine and sold off a few parts to take my cost down to $330
-Reliablilty. This rifle has over two spam can through it with 0 malfunctions
-Seems well built (I know, CAI guns aren't supposed to be but other than the front sight post it is)
-Chambererd for the very effective and inexpensive 5.45x39 cartridge. Although it's more expensive than it used to be it can still be had for under $0.15/round.
-Comes with 2 magazines (Polish steel when I bought mine, your mileage may vary)
-Accepts any standard AK74 variant magazine
-Comes with a bipod and folding stock. I sold mine buy many people like the option of folding the stock
-Backed by a good warranty
-I like the bakelite lower handguard with the palmswells. It feels good in the hand
-The non-standard brake works very well, although it does add a little length to the rifle

-The barrel is US made and not chrome lined and will not last as long as other AK74 variants on the market. When I notice accuracy degridation, I'll have to have it re-barreled
-The finish is rough which is why I refinished mine with Alumahyde II semi-gloss black to fix that
-The front sight came canted. That said, I've seen plenty of SGLs ship with canted sights too so it's not exclusively a Century problem

Here's a video of me shooting the rifle from 15m, 100m at steel, followed by a quick tabletop review and a chronograph test using the 7N6 ammo:

Polish Tantal HD Video Review Link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAGM45dxDhM)

The 5 shot average was 3,027fps but I don't have the 5.45x39 round in my ballistics app so I can't compute the energy; if someone could help with that it would be great...


September 24, 2012, 06:26 PM
1078.2 assuming you were shooting 53 gr bullets.

I passed up a chance to get one of these a while back, and I'm kicking myself for it. I've got my name on a few waiting lists, and hoping one will become available sooner rather than later. I may just start buying a few cases of ammo so I'll be well stocked once one becomes available.

Did you buy it from an online retailer, or was it a private sale?

September 25, 2012, 08:20 AM
Nice Tantal, one of the cooler 74 variants.

September 25, 2012, 08:24 AM
The formula is Energy (foot-lb) = Weight (grains) times Velocity (ft/sec) Squared divided by 450395 (fixed constant).

(from http://www.reloadammo.com/footpound2.htm)

September 25, 2012, 12:35 PM
The formula is Energy (foot-lb) = Weight (grains) times Velocity (ft/sec) Squared divided by 450395 (fixed constant).

Thanks. I knew there was a formula but I'm lazy and too dependent on my iphone app :eek:

I did save it now though.

Did you buy it from an online retailer, or was it a private sale?

Online but I live about 50 mins away so I picked it up. Classicarms.com used to sell them for $389 in March. They're $429 now which still isn't bad but they sell out in a day or two when they get them in. You really have to watch the site.

September 26, 2012, 06:15 AM
Sounds similar to my thoughts on the 74 I got from CAI. Front sight was useable on mine but I have glass on it so non issue anyway. Mine keyholes the Wolf 70 grain but I wasn't really wanting to use it anyway. Shoots several brands of 60FMJ adequately and does well wtih Siver Bear 55HP(saving that for the AR 5.45 though).
This rifle will have a collapsible AR type stock on it in the near future so it actually fits a normal human.