Are Century Arms good?


June 25, 2005, 12:11 AM
Well I just turned 18 years old and I know some time this year I might buy a long gun. I remember going to Dunhams maybe a month ago and seeing a "Century Arms" AK style semi auto rifle. Is this brand "Century Arms" a good brand? For about $360 it sure was a good deal. But I'm kind of suspicious of what the AK's performance might be.

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June 25, 2005, 12:16 AM
Opinions may vary but - if my L1A1 was anything to go by - CAI seem to ''throw'' guns together. I guess some may come out good, some not so good. Almost for sure with a CAI AK - some work to trigger group (or Tapco conversion) will be needed to get rid of the trigger slap.

Might be better to look for a used (but not shot out) - AK clone (Romanian perhaps) or VEPR.

Let's see what others have to say.

BTW - welcome to THR :)

June 25, 2005, 12:19 AM
Century Arms is the importer, for that price it is probably a Romanian AK, something like this one:

June 25, 2005, 12:59 AM
It seems that the new 'no-ban' Romanian WASRs from CA are much improved over some of the craptastic WASRs of 2002-2004.

I bought mine in January of this year, and it looks good, nice even finish, laminated matching stocks, gas block on straight, and it appears to have the Tapco G2 trigger installed, it has NO trigger slap at all. The mag well modification was clean, and very little metal shavings left behind compared to other guns I've seen.

I bought mine for $360 as well. (The kit that comes with sling, mags, bayo, mag pouch, etc). It is a great gun, and has overcome my AR15 for Favorite Rifle, at least temporarily!

It's accuracy also surprised me. Even wolf does pretty good it in. Dump a few mags and the groups open way up, but that's normal. But, my point is, the gun seems to be accurate enough that I picked up some dies and will be reloading for it soon.

June 25, 2005, 02:41 AM
I have heard fairly good things about their AKs but otherwise Century Arms, as a manufacturer, is not known for being the best show in town. Or even coming close. "Drunken Monkeys" is what many people call them. Some people say they are improving their quality but I have no experiance there.

June 25, 2005, 03:26 AM
So I take it that the WASR at AIM is a good bang for the buck.

June 25, 2005, 10:25 AM
"Drunken Monkeys" is what many people call them.Angry beavers.

If CAI just imported it without touching it - it'll probably be just fine. If they had their sweatshop 'gunsmiths' assemble any part of it, I'd run away. I've lost many, many hundred of dollars learning this.....

June 25, 2005, 11:38 AM
My friend had a WASR from dunhams and IMO, dont look at them too long. They're cheap yes, but the ones they put on sale are the absolute bottom of the barrel. My friend's WASR had a problem that the saleman said was pretty common, in that the 30rnd mag took quite a bit of effort to jam into place. And to pull it out. That story soured me on dunhams but not century since I have seen som great guns come from them. YMMV

June 25, 2005, 03:33 PM
In a word NO, they have a bad reputation.

The Grand Inquisitor
June 25, 2005, 05:06 PM
There have been some issues with CAI's CETME's (if anecdotal evidence is worth anything, I have a CAI CETME that is fantastic, accurate, reliable, and well priced) but most of their AK's have ZERO problems and are very reliable (I think this has less to do with CAI than the high quality of the Kalashnikov design), but I would spend a little more money and get an SAR-1 in 7.62 or (even better) an SAR-2 in 5.45.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Kalshnikov rifles, the finest and most reliable modern small arm.

June 25, 2005, 05:11 PM
I have a CAI WASR-10. Mine is even one of the earlier models. No real problems with it. I also have an nice AR-15 I built on a CAI marked receiver, but they didn't make it.

Short version: If you're looking at a CAI marked product do some checking as to how that particular gun has been received. The AK's have generated fewer complaints than the CETME's, for example. I wouldn't have any qualms buying the former.

June 25, 2005, 08:54 PM
Heh, I might stay away from this one. I think I'll go for the Saiga 223 and get the parts to make it into a AK101 clone. :D

June 25, 2005, 09:54 PM
I have a Century Arms SAR-1. I happen to like it. Decent weapon, decent price. I hear it can be hit or miss, however.

June 26, 2005, 09:29 PM
Century Arms is hit or miss I personally have never had any problems, with their imports or builds I have had the Cetme, ak and the FAL all worked great. If you don't mind learning how the gun works , doing some fine tuning, you have a degree of patience and like to tinker it is worth the risk, if you want instant gratification out of the box I wouldn't risk it. Personally the milsurps that I have had that did not work totally right have taught me a lot and have been worth it just for the education.

Gary G23
June 26, 2005, 10:11 PM
The Century AK's I have examined look like sh*t.

June 26, 2005, 11:09 PM
i now own 2 Century Arms guns, a russian m44 from 1945 and a NIB GP WASR-10. the m44 had fairly rough furniture on it, and the bluing was worn a bit, but everything else was excellent, and a saturday spent sanding and re-bluing and staining (which i thouroghly loved doing), and the gun is like new. as for the WASR-10, it had a mild fail to feed issue for the first 30 rounds(like 5 rounds out of the 30), then everyting smoothed out and now it goes bang everytime since. also, the bluing and wood were MINT, but i like a darker color on my wood, so i stained it, but that was just for my preferance, it wasnt needed. maybe i just got lucky twice, but i'd buy from them again in a heartbeat.

June 27, 2005, 03:07 AM
My L1A1 "Klinton Sporter" was a mechanical nightmare, but I had a lot of fun with it anyway.
:banghead: :cuss: :fire: :scrutiny: :evil:

June 27, 2005, 11:36 AM
I bought a CETME from century about 6 months ago and I am not thrilled. seems I bought a project not a rifle. (admittedly I was warned)

On the other hand I have a Romanian SAR 1 that I couldn't be happier with.
She is my darling!

I would look for a used one.

June 27, 2005, 12:21 PM
My Century L1A1 was the worst piece of crap I've ever had the misfortune of buying. The thing would fail to feed on every single shot, it did this with both magazines it came with. I started loading the rounds through the ejection port and after 10 shots of that the entire bolt froze up. Part of the firing pin fell out of the bottom of the gun and no amount of force would budge the bolt.

Needless to say I asked for a refund on that POS. The dealer was at least sympathetic and refunded the cost of the gun and the cost of the transfer fee.

Dave R
June 27, 2005, 12:53 PM
I have a love/hate relationship with Century. I love the price. I hate the stupid fixes I have to do to make their rifles work. I have 2 Century rifles, an AK and a CETME. Both required some home gunsmithing before they would work normally. However, I have to confess, that now that I have both rifles working well, I love 'em both. That CETME is a great shooter.

But I would NOT recommend a Century-assembled rifle for a new shooter.

As was mentioned previously, if its something Century imported without touching, like a Swiss K-31 or a Moisin, no problem.

June 27, 2005, 01:11 PM
I have a SAR-1 (civilian AK-47 lookalike) imported by Century Arms, and I love it. For the price, there isn't a better gun available. However, it is wise to inspect the gun to make sure the front sight and the gas block are on straight before you buy it.

Pappy John
June 27, 2005, 02:44 PM
I bought a CETME from century about 6 months ago and I am not thrilled. seems I bought a project not a rifle.
Ditto here, except for the 'not thrilled' part. Lucky for me, I have lots of tools, workspace, and mechanical repair background. It's a great rifle now. Only took a month and a half to get it that way, but a lot of that time was spent waiting for good range conditions for testing during December and January. Brrrrrrr!

Cost me less than $300 used, from a person with less patience and aptitude. I'd stake my life on it's reliability and accuracy today.

July 26, 2005, 11:22 AM
Century seems to be getting better thant they were. I had a CETME for 18 months...17-1/2 of those months were spent in transit to/from Century, or in the "repair center" or whatever they called it. The Century knockoffs of the US Rifle Cal .30 M1 could be called a "rifle" only in the sense that it had a long metallic tube with spirals in it, installed in a longish piece of wood.

Now, the M-44 Mosin-Nagant I have imported by Century is decent, although the wood has some dings. The WASR-10 series looks OK to me, but I haven't actually bought one yet...maybe in a couple of weeks. The Century imported .303 Brit Enfields aren't bad, either, from the 5 examples I have seen.

I will say that Century has moved from Drunken Money to "Sobering Up Monkeys."

July 26, 2005, 09:49 PM
I'd recommend staying away from anything Century. Occasionally there will be a good gun come out of there, but not often. When I turned 18 I went through the same thing. The guys on THR recommended that I not buy the Century AR, but I did anyway. It was a relatively accurate gun, but had some internal dimensional problems. Learn from my mistake, and save your coins to buy something a bit better.


Ps. I thought the guys at Century we called "gun monkeys" Atleast thats what people I know call them. Maybe they are changin from drunken monkeys to hungover monkeys...

July 26, 2005, 10:08 PM
Kal take your time picking your first gun. The Ak clone has the cool factor going for it. Ammo is cheap, the gun is reliable, and there are plenty of parts around. A few of indoor ranges won't even let people shoot ak clones around here. And most surplus ammo will not pass a magnet test.

If this is your first rifle, check out 10/22's. It dosen't have the same cool factor, but its a reliable starter rifle. There are countless mods and parts, cheap ammo.

You can save up $300 more and build an AR. Ammo is a bit more expensive, buy it in bulk and save, lots of parts, and reliable if you take care of it.

Your 18 and live in MI, you can get a handgun through a private transaction.

July 28, 2005, 12:34 AM
Isn't it fun when you get such consistent opinions?

I won't even try to address Century's .308 offerings, because I don't think that's what you were asking about (based on the price), and more importantly I'm not too confident of my opinion on those guns.

But, if you're talking about a Century Romanian AK-type 7.62x39, which probably means some sort of WASR thing, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. The people I know who own one (me included), and the significant majority of those who post on various firearms forums, have had largely positive reports for several years, and the quality control is reportedly improving and the earlier problems (trigger slap and canted sights) seem to be much less common.

Just in terms of "fun plinking," it's pretty tough to beat the Century AK derivatives, and the mags and ammo are pretty inexpensive. As suggested above, check out and a few other online places. I don't think you'd ever regret the purchase.

Having said that (and dang this makes me feel old), I remember what I was like when I was 18, and I'm not sure a WASR is a good first rifle, unless you have some experience and are ready to accept and understand all of the responsibilities that come with gun ownership. A .22 rifle is probably a much better choice for learning the basics, plus they're a lot of fun, and once you've got a few miles under your belt the WASR would be a good choice. This is the kind of advice I probably would have ignored when I was 18, but I'd encourage you to consider it.

July 28, 2005, 01:46 AM

They have Romanian WASR-1s, converted to hi-cap, right now for $330. Shipping and FFL transfer will up that, of course. I bought my SAR through them and was satisfied with the results. It's not pretty, its an AK. It does go bang, though, and it does shoot straight.


sgt mac
January 31, 2009, 08:03 PM
I bought one of their #4 MK1 Lee Enfields and got a fairly good deal.She came to me dirty as hell like she had been sitting in a warehouse for a long time.I had to clean her up,and work on the bore,but she fires great,and is accurate as hell.But this is not to say all my buys will be from Century.Any internet dealer can be hit and miss.I will buy again in March and it will either be Empire,or Allans armory. I'm a C&R collector and I've been hearing stories about CMP. It seems they have the jitters about the pending gun ban and the price of their M1s may come down.( hey hey hey).Any how lots of luck on that AK.

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