What's The Best AK-47 Semi Clone on the Market?


July 1, 2005, 08:48 PM
All that arguing about M-16's and AK's got me wanting a new AK to replace the SAR-1 my roommate got. Ideally, I'm after something in the $500 range that would have better accuracy than the SAR-1, but keep the 7.62x39 cartridge and the awesome reliability. I would really rather not buy from the chicoms, though I have no problem buying from the Ruskies or former Soviet Block nations. What about these new American-made AK's?

Also, I doubt I'd ever add much to it other than maybe a folding stock.

If you enjoyed reading about "What's The Best AK-47 Semi Clone on the Market?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Father Knows Best
July 1, 2005, 08:52 PM
I don't think anyone is really manufacturing entire AK's in the U.S. From what I've heard/read, the highest regarded AK's currently being imported are the Bulgarian made SA M-7 imported by Aresenal, and the Russian made VEPR imported by Robinson Arms. Technically speaking, the VEPR is not an AK because it is based on the Russian RPK light machine gun, but it looks a lot like an AK and the basic operating system is the same. It's just a heavier, more durable and more accurate version.

July 1, 2005, 08:58 PM
Not to intentionally hijack the thread, but could someone also explain the answer to the question in general? I personally don't know much about all the acronym named rifles (WASR, VEPR, etc)--what's their quality, etc? I"ve been looking into an AK myself, but don't know one thing from the other as far as finish, accuracy, etc.

July 1, 2005, 09:06 PM
Eightball, the new WASRs being imported are pretty nice IMHO. aimsurplus.com has a great deal on them. I've heard theirs are some of the best quality. One downside is that you'll probably have to get a new trigger group or pay a smith to do a trigger job incase the WASR develops a trigger-slap.

Cosmoline, you'll probably want to go with a VEPR from the price you've stated. If you do an advanced search using the title VEPR you should find many threads on them. I've never shot one or handled one but shooters state they are very accurate for AK47 standards.

www.ak47.com is the VEPR website.

July 1, 2005, 09:07 PM

Examined some of these at a gun show. Simply the most beautiful, well-made AK's I've ever seen. Priced a lot more than the Romanians, though.

I think that Arsenal's products are generally regarded as being the top of the AK heap, although others may come somewhat close.

Harry Paget Flashman
July 1, 2005, 09:26 PM
Am no expert on AK's but own a WASR-10 and love it. When loaded, it shoots every time I pull the trigger.

July 1, 2005, 09:34 PM
You just missed out on a great group buy on the VEPRS :(

July 1, 2005, 11:47 PM
Up here in Canada we have the Vz-58 and CZ 858-2 Tactical, I have one on order along with a Robinson XCR.

I have heard that these VZ and CZ's are more accurate than other AK variants.

July 2, 2005, 12:14 AM
+1 on the Romanian (romak) Wasr-10's. i got one NIB (the GP model) a few months ago and love it. it did have like a 50 round 'break in' period (meaning, it needed to fire 50 rounds or so to get rid of a few fail to feeds and fail to ejects) to smoothe everything out, but it has been 100% reliable since on every round. nice gun, and the Gp's have a nice grain in the wood than takes a thin coat of stain easily if wanted. honestly, i bought it as a 'poor mans' ar-15 with plans to mod the poop out of it, but after a little easy cleaning and a light coat of stain on the wood (and aftre firing a few hundred rounds) i would feel a bit sad/ashamed to alter it.
i forgot to mention, mine was a Century Arms import

Father Knows Best
July 2, 2005, 12:23 AM
As I mentioned in another thread, I just today picked up an Arsenal SA M-7S in like new condition for the bargain price of $399. When I told the shop owner I'd take it, he asked if I knew anything about them. I told him that I'd heard great things about the Arsenals being the best AK's available.

He said he had one that was even better, and pointed to a wood stock AK on the rack behind the counter (where he keeps the really good stuff). He said it was a Norinco. I didn't ask the price (couldn't afford another one, anyway). It had wood furniture and looked like a standard, unmolested AK.

So what's the deal with Norincos? Are they supposed to be really good?

July 2, 2005, 12:58 AM
took it to the range this afternoon. I shot 40 rds at 50 yds. PMC ammo. All 40 rds,. went into the 8 inch shaded area of the target. Most about 2 to 3 inches off center and a little low and to the to the left. All from a bench rest. All over iron sights. Right out of the box. And I am not that good a shot.
I had read that the VEPR was probably the most accurate AK clone. I believe it now. The weapon is heavy though. Feels really substantial. And it looks great too.

Dave R
July 2, 2005, 02:01 AM
Most about 2 to 3 inches off center and a little low and to the to the left. Adjust your sights to center that group and you should be good to go.

July 2, 2005, 03:05 AM
WASR-10 is a semi-automatic AK-47 clone made in Rumania and designed to take single column 10 round magazines only. This was to comply with the now defunct AWB. I have no idea what WASR means, but the '10' isn't hard to figure out. They're quite functional, but pretty rough.

Vepr is a Russian word for Boar or Wild Hog. They are made in the Russian MOLOT arms factory and are generally considered to be the best quality imported AK/RPK firearms you can purchase these days.

Overall the Yugoslavian AK clones were probably the nicest I've seen, but they are quite expensive and scarce.

Some of the Chinese Polytech AK clones were pretty nice as well, but a step or two down from the Yugos.

I've seen some folks say that the guns assembled by Arsenal in TX from Bulgarian receivers are the best that you can buy these days, but I've never handled one.

The Hungarian and Bulgarian SA rifles are pretty nice. I'd rate the Hungarians a bit nicer--pretty close to the Vepr in quality, fit & finish, but the Bulgarian was definitely a cut above the run of the mill AK Clone. Just quite not so nicely finished.

July 2, 2005, 05:29 AM
Based on handling the brand new WASRs at the gunshop i was unimpressed. This particular brand-new example was on a shelf next to a very old and used Norinko Mak-90. The second hand Chinese rifle had better fit and finish that the brand new Romanian, and oddly enough it was in better condition too.

July 2, 2005, 10:35 AM
I have a VEPR K in 7.62x39. I had it at the range this week with a harris bipod and a 3-9x40 scope. I was able to hit a lightbulb and a small padlock at 100 yards. Great rifle.

July 2, 2005, 12:37 PM
Don't forget about Vector. I looked at a Century made WASR and was really glad I spent a few bucks more on my Vector. The best $500 (I paid a little less) AK IMHO. The only downside is availabiltiy. I waited a couple of months for mine. Maybe they're catching up with production now.


If you enjoyed reading about "What's The Best AK-47 Semi Clone on the Market?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!