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Old November 21, 2020, 03:47 PM   #1
FoghornLeghorn
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How to shop for an AK?

I'm tentatively considering an AK-74 and know nothing about them. I did a TFL "search" and the most recent thread that came up was several years old.

I'm looking for more recent info.

What brands are recommended? Brands to avoid?

Hornady has 5.45x39 ammo as a "new" product, for them. Ammo shouldn't be a problem, yet.

But it's not a rifle that would get shot a lot.

Besides brands, what features are good? Etc.

thanx
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Old November 21, 2020, 04:41 PM   #2
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I have a PSA AK...

sorry--just noticed the numbers were reversed and you meant 74.

never mind.
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Old November 21, 2020, 06:32 PM   #3
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Building or buying??

Aeroprecision are great uppers/lowers. Havent bought but remember--buy once-cry once.

Triggers are important. A 3 pound shoots much better than a 5+ pound..
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Old November 21, 2020, 09:02 PM   #4
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Langenc, he is talking about a AK74, not an AR.

Unfortunately, now is more than a couple of years too late to be looking for a AK of any sort and even more so an AK74. My suggestion is to keep looking for a Eastern European manufactured rifle, probably an Arsenal. I seriously doubt that you are going to find a new one, but you never know. Be prepared to pay some pretty good money for one, but at least with a factory built rifle it should be a buy once, cry once deal.

Do yourself a huge favor and try to stay away from kit builds unless it was done by a well known builder with a very good track record. I have a 1958 Polish Kbk-N and a Yugo M72B1 RPK that were built for me by Two Rivers that are absolutely beautiful. Expensive, but well worth the money.
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Old November 22, 2020, 12:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
now is more than a couple of years too late to be looking for a AK of any sort
That's about my time frame. I have 4 ARs and a stripped lower (w/S&W parts kit).

So there's no hurry. I'm just now beginning my research. Sometime next year, maybe?

Anyway, I see Arsenal Bulgaria. Arsenal USA. Century. Izhmash. NoDak spud. Palmetto State Armory. Romarm. Saiga.

I heard Century used to be bad but maybe have changed?
https://youtu.be/RgmYepQ48HQ
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Old November 22, 2020, 05:43 PM   #6
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As far as I know there are only three Century AK’s that are worth having and all of them are AK47 pattern rifles. Izhmash and Saiga are the same and are no longer imported. Arsenal’s come into the country sporadically and most I see are AK47’s. Nodak only makes receivers and are used on kit builds.

I have high hopes for Palmetto, but they are still new to the AK game and I don’t think they are manufacturing a 5.45x39 pattern AKM. If I remember right, Romarm might have made some AK74’s for the US market but if they did it couldn’t have been a lot of them as I never see any for sale.

You might want to do yourself a favor and look for a AK47/AKM. They have gotten more expensive like everything else, but at least you can easily find one.
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Old November 22, 2020, 06:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
I have high hopes for Palmetto, but they are still new to the AK game and I don’t think they are manufacturing a 5.45x39 pattern AKM.
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/884582867

As far as Izhmash and Saiga, etc. All the brands I mentioned are currently on Gunbroker.

But thanks for all the information. Much appreciated.
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Old November 22, 2020, 06:53 PM   #8
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Check Atlantic Firearms. The had some Polish builds.
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Old November 24, 2020, 01:56 AM   #9
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgmYepQ48HQ

OP: I apologize, skimming this topic I though you were also considering 7.62x39.
Maybe Rob has videos of 5.45x39 rifles?

Rob has tested many rifles to 2,500, often 3,500 or 5,000 rds. Monitors headspace and controls barrel temps throughout the processes.

Excluding his silly dirt, mud tests, when certain guns show internal, very premature (for the ammo quantities tested) bolt lug, trunnion etc wear because of soft, cheap commercial steel, that is not caused by what he does in the first scenes with dirt and water.

>>> I'm glad to report that This specific Century model (VSKA) did well at the 5,000-rds. point.
The other brands of Century-"designed" (sub--) rifles which I watched, sadly, didn't do so well.

FWIW, his WASR 10 did really well at the 5,000 rds. point, along with a variety of other imported rifles (5,000 rds.), and possibly his PSA also.

Last edited by Ignition Override; November 24, 2020 at 02:07 AM.
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Old November 24, 2020, 01:47 PM   #10
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What are you planning on doing with it? The AK-74 is a redesigned AKM. Keep in mind that "I want one." is a reason.
The 5.56 x 39 is a varmint cartridge as loaded by Hornady. They use a 60 grain V-Max only.
"...Ammo shouldn't be a problem, yet..." It's already a problem. Midway shows 2 brands only. Hornady as "Out of stock. No back order." Likewise for Hornady brand brass. Tula, steel cased, FMJ ammo is out of stock too.
Graf's shows Hornady only and they don't have any ammo or brass either.
"...Century..." Wouldn't touch anything from Century myself. They cobble stuff together out of parts bins with no QC.
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Old November 24, 2020, 07:37 PM   #11
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Check out Gunbroker.
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Old November 24, 2020, 07:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
How to shop for an AK?
Go to magazin with rubles in pocket. Say Skolko. They say mnogo. Give rubles. Go home with AK.
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Old November 24, 2020, 09:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Go to magazin with rubles in pocket. Say Skolko. They say mnogo. Give rubles. Go home with AK
Правда, но очень много

Good features depends what you want to do with it. At this point I would not buy any AK that didn't already have the side scope mount riveted in place. Personally my eyesight is on the poor side and I find AK sights horrible to shoot with.

Do you want a side folder? Look for a side folder. Do you want to put on accessories like foregrip, flashlight, laser, etc? Might want to look for a gun that has an Mlok or similar handguard out of the box.

Chrome lined barrels are desirable for shooters who shoot a lot of ammo, especially surplus. On the other hand, production cold hammer forged barrels can be very accurate.

I have not tried PSA's 5.45 offering but my PSAK47 Gen 3 will shoot under 2.5 MOA with Wolf bulk ammo. It's a fine gun but I'd I wanted to spend money on it I'd replace the muzzle device and trigger. I don't like the MOEKhov stock much either. Kind of punches straight back to the face and since it folds, as a left handed shooter I've caught the hinge in the lip several times while firing (not an overly pleasant experience)
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Old November 25, 2020, 04:22 AM   #14
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Why 5.45x39 and not 7.62x39?
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Old November 25, 2020, 01:49 PM   #15
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If possible...avoid purchasing the Century Polish Tantal AK74 sidefolder. There were complaints that Century used soft metal on their Tantal barrels during production.

The first Century Tantal I bought had a bent barrel, which made it impossible to zero in.
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Old November 27, 2020, 02:27 PM   #16
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Erno86:

* About some Tantals (5.45 rifles-at least by definition): You probably know this, and so this is for the benefit of other people.

Several people who bought them reported that Century used 5.56 barrels in some of them, but the 5.45 bullets going through these "AK-74" bores "somehow" weren't accurate at all.

And in some cases Century supposedly did not agree to install the correct barrels for owners who needed them.
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Old December 3, 2020, 12:30 PM   #17
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Having collected AK's since the 70's right now I would go through Atlantic Arms. I especially am fond of the Polish builds. If you could find an older Tantal ( not Century ) I would go that route. Arsenal too.
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Old December 4, 2020, 06:48 PM   #18
Super Sneaky Steve
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Right now you're not getting a 74 or 545x39 ammo without paying a lot of money. If you don't absolutely have to have it now wait.
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