Higher end AK options...


March 12, 2005, 05:56 PM
I have a VEPR K, and like many things about it, but it is quite front heavy.

What else is out there in a similar price range, and what are the pros and cons? Arsenal Inc? Arsenal USA? What would you pick?

I would also like to consider ones with more standard receivers and front ends.

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March 12, 2005, 06:38 PM
For around the price of the VEPR series the only high quality models come from Vector Arms. With both wood and poly stocks and folding stock models are also available.

March 12, 2005, 06:42 PM
I'd be willing to go a little higher than the price of a VEPR, but 1 grand would be the absolute max, and preferably less.

March 12, 2005, 06:42 PM
Don't forget the Bulgarian SLR-95 and SLR-96 series. ;)

March 13, 2005, 02:11 AM

There are still a ton of the milled reciever models floating around in 5.56mm and 7.62x39.

Excellent firearms.

March 13, 2005, 02:35 AM
The milled receiver ones can be had for about 5-600 bucks. They are very nice shooting guns and very accurate. Ive got one.

March 13, 2005, 08:33 AM
Arsenal, Krebs, Vector Arms.

March 13, 2005, 10:56 AM
Galil in 5.56, Valmet and Sako in both 5.56 and 7.62x39. A used Sako 92S (none will be manufactured again) goes for 1800-2000 euros nowadays, though. Not kidding.

March 13, 2005, 02:59 PM
Actually, an AK in 5.56 that took M16 mags would be ok, tho it would require them to devise a new mag catch system. I personally am gonna keep my distance from the 5.56mm AKs. There is already a gun designed to feed and fire that cartridge reliably.

I would prefer a galil over the m16 tho. Unfortunately they are a tad difficult to get. Wouldnt mind an F2000 when they come out either, tho the price issue is there as well if my spidey sense serves me well.

March 13, 2005, 03:03 PM
What about a really nice Saiga conversion?


Check out this guy's gallery section. :)

March 13, 2005, 03:36 PM
Other constraints is that it has to be chambered in 7.62x39 and accept standard AK mags.

Thanks for the suggestions so far. What are your thoughts on milled vs stamped? (VEPR RPK excluded?)

What is the difference between Arsenal Inc and Arsenal USA?

March 13, 2005, 06:00 PM
Personally, I prefer milled receivers, your mileage may vary...

One of those companies is the US division of the Bulgarian company Arsenal, the other is not. Don't know which is which off the top of my head.

The Bulgarian company offers stamped receiver AK rifles as well.

March 13, 2005, 09:00 PM
I agree... I think I would like to go with a US made milled receiver this time around. I've handled several SA-M7s.

So far, I like the sound of this one:


It comes in no ban configuration with a bayonet lug and threaded barrel, but says that it is "coming soon"... does anyone know how long? Does anyone here own an SAM7, and would it be based on the exact same receiver?

March 13, 2005, 09:24 PM
The Galil isn't hard to come by just expensive. Atlantic Firearms has them for $1,679.00 :)

March 13, 2005, 10:02 PM
I'm sure the rifle is very nice, but that is WELL out of my target price range. It also uses proprietary mags, doesn't it?

March 13, 2005, 10:26 PM
I didnt say rare, I said difficult to get. 1700 dollars for a gun is prety difficult for me to justify to myself, especially when it is not functionally better than guns costing 1/4 to 1/2 as much.

March 13, 2005, 10:30 PM
Don't feel bad, I was never able to squeeze out more than $450.00!

March 14, 2005, 08:26 PM
Good article on the Krebs AK in this month's GUNS magazine. Awesome looking rifle, and has an AR-type rear sight, accessory rails, etc. to boot.

March 14, 2005, 10:25 PM
If the SAM-7 is anything like the SLR-95, it is well worth it.

Best AK type rifle I have ever shot, including the .223 and .308 Galils.

March 14, 2005, 10:44 PM
I think they are very similar, except that the sam7 has the receiver made in the USA. I think I'll be looking at the no ban version with the side rail as soon as they release it... for reasons unknown, it doesn't look like they put rails on the current no ban versions. I can't imagine why not.

March 15, 2005, 03:37 AM
Personally, I prefer milled receivers, your mileage may vary...

One of those companies is the US division of the Bulgarian company Arsenal, the other is not. Don't know which is which off the top of my head.

The Bulgarian company offers stamped receiver AK rifles as well.

Arsenal Inc. is the importer/US Division of the Bulgarian company. Arsenal USA is a separate entity who happens to import Bulgarian AKs. You do well to get either. Great rifles from either.

I like milled recievers, but can't justify the cost over a stamped. For my purposes (general plinking) a stamped works just as well. again, its up to you.

As of right now, the Bulgarian company (Arsenal Inc.) only offers 5.45x39 in stamped configuration although they will be importing stamped models in the other calibers in the future. My guess is they are trying to get rid of the milled models they have on hand.

March 15, 2005, 02:42 PM
Like benEzra said, there's a detailed article in the current issue of "Guns" on the Krebs Custom 'AK' in 7.62x39.

It's made on a Saiga receiver, and incorporates just about all of the "Tactical" fooraw that an "Operator Wannabe" could ask for.

On the plus side, he's come up with a way to improve the sighting arrangements significantly: receiver cover mounted aperture rear (special mods to the cover to remove play and insure positive return to zero) and AR-15/M-16 style front post, both guarded.

On the minus, it costs nearly a grand and can only offer 2-3 MOA at best. While this might represent a distinct improvement over a run-of-the-mill AK varient, my plain vanilla 7.62x51 Garand and Chinese commercial SKS will both do as well and cost me a good deal less for the pair to boot.

In fairness, the author points out just how the mechanical differences in operating systems make it close to impossible for an AK to be built which can rival the accuracy of a purpose-built AR, M1A, etc. To my layman's mind, the explanation makes sense.

Still, if ya just gotta have some sort of AK and are willing to spend $1000 to get one that will shoot just as well as a good $200 SKS, $500 Garand, or $700 AR clone it is an option.

March 15, 2005, 03:05 PM
I did the Saiga conversion myself. I paid a little extra for the 5.56 Saiga, and converted it for a total cost of about $335 to $350 including the high capacity mags. Excellent quality.

March 15, 2005, 03:23 PM
I have looked at the Krebs as well...

They are basically just slightly modified VEPRs with a serious increase in price. I am a lefty, so the thumb selector does nothing for me. I don't want to sound flippant, but I don't care what they do to the top cover of an AK... in my mind it will never be a sturdy enough mounting point for a rear sight. The standard VEPR front sight works fine for me as well...

In short I personally consider the Krebs to be well overpriced for what it is. Others' mileage may vary of course.

Does anyone know if the American made milled Arsenal Inc guns use chrome lined barrels? I guess I should give them a call.

March 16, 2005, 11:51 AM
Actually I'm now thinking that this is the exact configuration I'm looking for:


Definitely worth checking out.

Browns Fan
March 16, 2005, 12:28 PM
My local gunshop has a Krebs Custom. It looks really cool, but I'm wondering if there are any significant improvement in accuracy over the basic Saiga 7.62x39 to justify coughing up over a grand for it.

March 17, 2005, 11:18 AM
Okay, I've got a Krebs KTR-03S made on a Saiga action. It was a hair under a grand. Was it worth the $? Let me say this. I've been to his shop, met the man, shook his hand, met his curtous staff. This guy knows AK's in and out. I opted for a Saiga based conversion. He also had a Vepr based unit for sale. I beleive the sights are his own design from his CNC machine. He builds the front accessory rail, which is the cats pajamas. He also buids the safety in the trigger guard, which is a huge improvement to the AK design. The unit is lovingly assembled and converted into what you see on the website from the Saiga .410 shotgun. If you want a hand built AK clone that shoots as good as the platform will allow, buy one. Everything is true to the original design, and is made with exceptiopnal quality. I have only shot mine at 50 yards, so I don't have any real accuracy results for you.

March 17, 2005, 11:31 AM
yea, check out this month's issue of GUNS magazine. the kreb's story is the cover article. nice pictures. i'm going to definatly check one of these out.

March 17, 2005, 11:35 AM
Sorry, forgot to mention how nice it is to have a REAL trigger on a rifle. The Krebs NM two-stage trigger functions wonderfully.

Roger Williams
March 24, 2005, 10:43 PM
I was facing the same choice you were a while back and I chose... the VEPR 16" Carbine. I have been extremely happy with it ever since.

It will run rings around ANY ak-47 or ak clone out there. Shooting it from a benchrest, I can get 1 inch groups all day at 50 yds. with open sights. Out at 100 yds. the groups open up to about 2-3 inches, but that is still with open sights! With a good small scope, I'm certain I'd be able to shrink those groups considerably... The only reason I haven't tried the Vepr out with a scope yet is because I want to use it as strictly a short range rifle (100 yards or less). The only scope I have tried is a tru-glo red dot sight. It works like a charm and does not lose zero.

I guess you have to ask yourself what you are really looking for. If you are looking for an accurate AK, I'd say stick with the VEPR. If you're looking for an accurate but light AK, go with the SAM-7. The SAM-7 is lighter by a little bit (a very little bit - not enough to notice unless you are carrying it a loooong distance), but I think if you are going for accuracy, I'd definitely stick with the VEPR.

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