Are chinesse AKs junk?


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whm1974
February 13, 2006, 03:47 AM
Ok I know a person who has a MAK-90 for sale. He had it for around ten years and say's he only shot around ~400 rounds though it. He has also change it from the thumbhole stock to standerd AK looking stock and grip. it comes with carrying case, two 5 rds, and two 30 rds mags. and some ammo. he wants $350 for it.

Another person I know says all chinesse made guns are junk and shouldn't pay very much for one, if I buy one at all. He also mention that changing from thumbhole to normal stock/grip may not be legal.

Now is this a good deal here? Is the other dude full of it? and since he mention it, I'm wondering if I would be buying an illegal rifle.

-Bill

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1911user
February 13, 2006, 04:08 AM
Changing the thumbhole stock to a normal PG and stock is legal IF he added enough (6) US parts to make it considered US made and no subject to import restrictions. If the muzzle is bare and not threaded, then it is only 5 US parts needed. $350 is not a bad price if it's in good shape. Chinease AKs are not junk.

clange
February 13, 2006, 04:21 AM
Another person I know says all chinesse made guns are junk and shouldn't pay very much for one, if I buy one at all. He also mention that changing from thumbhole to normal stock/grip may not be legal.
This person has no idea what they are talking about. :)

There are tons of very well made chinese firearms. The AKs and SKSs are just two very good examples.

As 1911user said, changing the stock on one is legal but parts count applies.

whm1974
February 13, 2006, 04:23 AM
Well I did ask him if he still had the orginal parts and he said he did. So I could play it safe and put the thumbhole stock back on.

-Bill

MTMilitiaman
February 13, 2006, 04:50 AM
The MAK-90s are awesome firearms, esp the milled ones. My uncle has one and in terms of fit and finish, it is noticeably better than the Romanians. Also slightly more accurate. If you don't want it for $350, I'd love to have the money for it. I say jump on it.

And and it isn't hard to get your parts count up either. I believe you could add a US made FCG like the TAPCO G2 and that counts as 3 parts (trigger, disconnector, hammer). Add a US made handguard set and get 2 more. A Mojo ghost ring would probably count as another part and if that doesn't, a US made muzzle device would. That would be 6 parts right there.

whm1974
February 13, 2006, 05:12 AM
That would be 6 parts right there.

But how much would that cost me? I can buy a Yugo underfolder for around ~$500, and I want an underfolder. If the total cost come up to that I would buy the underfolder instead.

Another note. While I was looking for more info on the Mak 90, it seems there was a slip up and some of the mak 90's are very easy to convert to FA. And they are very illegal because of this.

What are my odds of runing across one of these rifles? And what do I look for?

I'm starting to have 2nd thoughts....

-Bill

rangerruck
February 13, 2006, 05:16 AM
the chinese use a milled receiver, 1.5 mm thick , very good!

whm1974
February 13, 2006, 05:17 AM
the chinese use a milled receiver, 1.5 mm thick , very good!

His is stamped. It may be 1.5 mm thick however.

-Bill

Glockman17366
February 13, 2006, 05:40 AM
the chinese use a milled receiver, 1.5 mm thick , very good!

I think you mean stamped...the sheet metal is 1.5mm thick (about .06").
The milled receivers are a bit thicker...say .09"

1911user
February 13, 2006, 10:17 AM
But how much would that cost me? I can buy a Yugo underfolder for around ~$500, and I want an underfolder. If the total cost come up to that I would buy the underfolder instead.

Another note. While I was looking for more info on the Mak 90, it seems there was a slip up and some of the mak 90's are very easy to convert to FA. And they are very illegal because of this.

What are my odds of runing across one of these rifles? And what do I look for?

I'm starting to have 2nd thoughts....

-Bill
You can look in the AK section of ar15.com and there is a thread showing the one you are worrying about. They are not common and very few made it past the distributors before being recalled and cut up. Check the link out. What they are is receivers that had the 3rd hole (for autosear pin) drilled and then filled with a rivit on each side. A semi-auto only AK only has holes for 2 pins (trigger, hammer) drilled.

They aren't that easy to convert either. Several parts have to be replaced among other things; it wouldn't happen by accident.

You'll be happier just buying the Yugo; why fight it? Your friend could put the thumbhole stock back on the mak-90 then list it for $350 on a few gun boards; he'd get it.

Kramer Krazy
February 13, 2006, 10:22 AM
I have both a stamped and milled Norinco MAK-90. I bought them new in '93 and '94. Haven't had any complaints with them. They both are "AK accurate" at 100 yards, and they have fed/shot everything I've given them. My stamped one has only had about 300 rounds through it, though. The milled one is 2000+ rounds. I have heard of some of the milled ones getting the feed ramp dug out and grooved with 5000+ rounds through them.

MechAg94
February 13, 2006, 10:58 AM
You can also replace a couple gas system parts as well.

I think I would buy it.

1911user
February 13, 2006, 12:31 PM
By the time he adds enough US parts for the PG and normal stock, he'll be easily within $80 of the Yugo he really wants. Also fitting a new US stock to the mak-90 could be fun with the 1.6mm thick receiver (most stamped receivers are 1.0mm thick).

SnakeEater
February 13, 2006, 01:36 PM
I really like my MAK. Adding new furniture was pretty easy with help from a dremel tool. The Ultimak and Leupold red dot top off the package nicely.
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-3/975911/MAK90.jpg

atblis
February 13, 2006, 01:48 PM
Is it arsenal 386 that's good? Can't remember.

ktd
February 13, 2006, 02:33 PM
Chinese products in general are quite variable in quality, and a lot of that comes from quality control practices. If you pay them to put out a good product, they can. Seems like the same factory can put out complete junk, or stuff that ranges from great to poor, or everything shiny. The Poly-tech stuff generally seems to be good quality. The MAK stuff seems to vary a bit. When I worked in the shop we brought in a dozen, and I picked the best one for my personal purchase. Most of them were serviceable, but some had crooked sights and whatnot.

clange
February 13, 2006, 02:55 PM
You can look in the AK section of ar15.com and there is a thread showing the one you are worrying about. They are not common and very few made it past the distributors before being recalled and cut up. Check the link out. What they are is receivers that had the 3rd hole (for autosear pin) drilled and then filled with a rivit on each side. A semi-auto only AK only has holes for 2 pins (trigger, hammer) drilled.

They aren't that easy to convert either. Several parts have to be replaced among other things; it wouldn't happen by accident.

It doesnt matter, they ARE a machine gun WITHOUT anything being done to them. They dont have to be converted, the ATF says they are a machine gun right now. You probably know this, but for everyone else this needs to be clear.

Luckily, they are very rare.

OP, if the MAK already has a pistol grip and normal stock, did your friend add the US parts to make it compliant? If so, you wouldnt have to spend anything else. If its already got a pistol grip and normal stock but needs US parts, you're looking at $45 for a fire control group and pistol grip, and you'd still need one more US made part. You could change out the handguards or buttstock. A tougher way to go would be the gas piston, but you could use an imported buttstock and handguards. The easiest would be a magazine floor plate, but then you can only legally use magazines with US made parts.

whm1974
February 13, 2006, 05:50 PM
You'll be happier just buying the Yugo; why fight it? Your friend could put the thumbhole stock back on the mak-90 then list it for $350 on a few gun boards; he'd get it.

Well the Yugo underfolder is $500+taxes and whatnot. He's asking $350. Of course if I end up changing parts then the Yugo may be the better deal.

OP, if the MAK already has a pistol grip and normal stock, did your friend add the US parts to make it compliant? If so, you wouldnt have to spend anything else.

Don't know, I'm not sure if he even knows that this is required. How many people get busted for this? I'm talking regular people not dealers and importers.

The easiest would be a magazine floor plate, but then you can only legally use magazines with US made parts.

This is so stuiped. If I used the wrong magazine I'm now a felon?

-Bill

ftierson
February 13, 2006, 05:59 PM
This is so stuiped. If I used the wrong magazine I'm now a felon?

If the mag floorplate was used to get the US parts count, the answer is, "Yup."

And, as you say, it is really stupid. But then again, being stupid rarely stops BATFE (and many other regulatory agencies, as well).

Forrest

whm1974
February 13, 2006, 07:48 PM
In that case I would be better off buying a WASR-10 or that Yugo underfolder that I want anyway.

-Bill

Dr.Rob
February 13, 2006, 07:53 PM
Sometimes the bluing is a little thin on the dustcover, otherwise they work welkl.

briang2ad
February 13, 2006, 08:03 PM
Mak 90 at a show for $350 + tax. etc. BUT - the safety lever was a bit bent. I figured $40 for a FCG, and about $100 for the stock set to be US to get the 6 parts and be very "safe". So, with shipping - easily $150. Then that is $500. My wife said "look around". I found a Yugo M70 for $450, and bought it. BUT, the Mak90, if it is in excellent condition is a decent buy at $350 - a real deal at $300 or less. When I bought my SA 85 thumbhole, they were $175!!!!!

1911user
February 13, 2006, 11:46 PM
Don't know, I'm not sure if he even knows that this is required. How many people get busted for this? I'm talking regular people not dealers and importers.

This is so stuiped. If I used the wrong magazine I'm now a felon? YES, those were called floorplate and follower guns

-Bill
You may not like it, but you need to understand the "US parts" count and how it makes currently available AKs legal. This is an end-run around not being able to import the rifles directly. Loopholes have very specific requirements. In this case, it requires enough US parts so that it is considered "made in the USA" and therefore not subject to import restrictions.

<scary worst case scenario deleted>

Just buy the Yugo you want and sleep well at night. Buying a factory built rifle and not modifying it should be a good defense if ever questioned. If you do change parts, understand what is US made and what isn't to keep the rifle legal.

I'd also advise your buddy to convert his rifle back (or get the US parts in it ASAP) since it has been directly discussed on a firearms website for all to see.

84B20
February 14, 2006, 12:57 AM
I've had my Norinko MAK-90 for six or seven years and have had no problems with it. Mine is a 5.56 and even though some accessories are more expensive I like the fact that the ammo isn't and is readily available.

MiniZ
February 14, 2006, 01:13 AM
The Chinese make a high quality AK variant. The market seems to believe this as well, since the prices are creeping upward(remember the days when you almost couldn't give away a MAK 90?).

However, it sounds like you really want an underfolder, so the Yugo is probably the best route to go for you, especially considering the price.

clange
February 14, 2006, 03:01 AM
Don't know, I'm not sure if he even knows that this is required. How many people get busted for this? I'm talking regular people not dealers and importers.

I have never heard of anyone getting busted for a parts count violation, and if you search every gun forum online, you wont find one either. The ATF has much better things to do with their time. They dont really care if your trigger, which is exactly the same as the one before it, has 'US' on it or not. MAYBE, maybe you can find someone that messed up a lot of different ways and had the parts count thing tacked on to add time.

Bottom line, almost zero chance of getting busted, but theres no reason to risk it when you can be compliant for $50. All of mine are compliant. I dont want to be the first guy everyone reads about, getting busted at a gun show.

It is illegal in some states and legal in others. You need to check your local laws.
Yeah, the pistol grip thing can be state by state too. The parts count thing is a federal law.

whm1974
February 14, 2006, 08:06 AM
Just buy the Yugo you want and sleep well at night. Buying a factory built rifle and not modifying it should be a good defense if ever questioned. If you do change parts, understand what is US made and what isn't to keep the rifle legal.

I'd also advise your buddy to convert his rifle back (or get the US parts in it ASAP) since it has been directly discussed on a firearms website for all to see.

AFAIK the kit he used is american made but I don't if that is enough parts. I think I'll end up getting the yugo.

I have never heard of anyone getting busted for a parts count violation, and if you search every gun forum online, you wont find one either. The ATF has much better things to do with their time. They dont really care if your trigger, which is exactly the same as the one before it, has 'US' on it or not. MAYBE, maybe you can find someone that messed up a lot of different ways and had the parts count thing tacked on to add time.

I thought so. I was thinking this would be a very hard law to enforce. Or not really that important to them in comparsion to NFA volations and whatnot. But it is still the law.

I used to know people who would never buy something like an AK or AR15 from a private party, only a gun dealer. You never know what the person did to his weapon.

-Bill

1911user
February 14, 2006, 10:29 AM
AFAIK the kit he used is american made but I don't if that is enough parts. I think I'll end up getting the yugo.
-Bill
This is the first time you mentioned any kind of "kit" instead of just replacing the thumbhole stock. If it was done as part of a pistol grip kit, it may be legal and certainly a good price unless it was abused. There were/are kits of parts sold then and now for replacing thumbhole stocks. The downside to the lower cost kits is they commonly used a mag floorplate and/or follower as 1 or 2 of the parts. If you bought the mak-90, you'd need to know what was and was not done to it.

Kramer Krazy
February 14, 2006, 11:14 AM
Mine is a 5.56 and even though some accessories are more expensive I like the fact that the ammo isn't and is readily available.
7.62x39 ammo is quite cheap. I picked up 1000 rounds of Golden Tiger (pretty much the same as Wolf, Silver Bear, Brown Bear and others) for only $95 OTD at a local gun show. There aren't many calibers where you can buy 1000 rounds for under $100.

whm1974
February 14, 2006, 08:25 PM
If you bought the mak-90, you'd need to know what was and was not done to it.

This may be true for a lot of firarms. I was reading something awhile back that it is or was commen for AR-15s and M1 Carbines to have the wrong(read illegal) hammer, bolt, and whatnot installed.

When I get my tax refund I might go shopping.

-Bill

whm1974
February 15, 2006, 08:14 AM
I ran into a friend yestiday, and to make a long story short he said most AK are made from weak steel and are tempermental about working right and have other problems. now he has been saying this every since I got my FOID a year and half ago and I mention that I want an AK of some sort.

Now he has an expensive AR-15 and a Para-Ordince PDA(?) so I'm wondering if he is just a gun snob. or listerns to gun "experts" too much.

Everyone I know that owns an AK seems to be happy with with as far as funtioning goes. If they have any problems at all, it with using american made ammo.

-Bill

Kramer Krazy
February 15, 2006, 10:28 AM
This may be true for a lot of firarms. I was reading something awhile back that it is or was commen for AR-15s and M1 Carbines to have the wrong(read illegal) hammer, bolt, and whatnot installed.
Not necessarily true as being "illegal". In 1993 and 1994, you could buy M1 carbines all-day-long with M2 components. I even saw one at a gun show that had a disconnector in it, and it is not a semi-auto functioning part. When they were importing them (at $129 each), as the parts piles got smaller, more and more M2 parts were used to manufacture semi-auto M1s. There are seven parts alone, without even owning a rifle, that are defined as machineguns.

There is no reason to own a disconnect, disconnect spring and plunger, selector switch and spring, and actuator arm, as these serve no function in a semi-auto rifle, but........it's not uncommon to find any other M2 part in an M1. If it is illegal to have any of these parts in the M1, someone sure better inform a LOT of people.....even people who have no idea how to recognize them......As for M-16 parts.....yeah, that happened a lot, too. Last I read, to play it safe, you're best off swapping those parts.....or modifying them to an AR-15 configuration, but just having an M-16 hammer in a gun full of AR-15 parts, won't necessarily get you into any trouble (it's been posted before that Colt has been distributing AR-15s with M-16 bolt carriers, just recently).......Anyone know of any fact-based laws that say you can't have a single M-16 or M2 part in your rifle?

1911user
February 15, 2006, 11:04 AM
I'll be polite, but your friend is very un-educated about AK-type rifles. I never thought I'd read "tempermental" and "AK" in the same sentance. AKs are not perfect (neither are ARs), but both work well when maintained as needed and fed decent ammo.
Do some reading (not asking questions, just read at first) on ar15.com in the AR and AK sections.

I ran into a friend yestiday, and to make a long story short he said most AK are made from weak steel and are tempermental about working right and have other problems. now he has been saying this every since I got my FOID a year and half ago and I mention that I want an AK of some sort.

Now he has an expensive AR-15 and a Para-Ordince PDA(?) so I'm wondering if he is just a gun snob. or listerns to gun "experts" too much.

Everyone I know that owns an AK seems to be happy with with as far as funtioning goes. If they have any problems at all, it with using american made ammo.

-Bill

ktd
February 15, 2006, 12:40 PM
I ran into a friend yestiday, and to make a long story short he said most AK are made from weak steel and are tempermental about working right and have other problems.
well, Ak's are not quite as reliable as some people make them out to be, though they are better than many other designs. There is however, a wide variety in the execution. A good commercial Yugo or some such is actually pretty nice. He may be one of those people who equate stamping with weak, especially since milled versions are available. But the only stamped receivers I have seen failed were exposed to IED's. The only real tempermental ones I have seen are rebuilds, though any rebulid can be problematic (CAI).

clange
February 15, 2006, 02:48 PM
Now he has an expensive AR-15
Say no more.

Like everyone else said, he doesnt really know what he's talking about. Factory built AKs, and kit buids by good builders are very very reliable. The stamped receiver is not a point of concern. The AKs reputation for reliability is built on the stamped AKM, not milled receivers. The milled (russian) AKs were only made for 8 years. Everything since then has been stamped. Most of the AKs in the world are stamped. Stories coming out of iraq about AKs firing with dime sized rocks inside are most likely stamped versions. Etc, etc.

As long as you get something factory built, or from a good known builder, it'll be fine.

whm1974
February 15, 2006, 06:39 PM
Anyone know of any fact-based laws that say you can't have a single M-16 or M2 part in your rifle?

From what I read, The ATF considered an AR-15 with any of the five M-16 parts to be a machine gun even though you will still need the auto sear to get FA even if you had all five parts installed.

He may be one of those people who equate stamping with weak,

From the way he talks sometimes I think you are right. He even called my S&W 22A junk because the frame is made from aluminam. Which is funny since most AR-15 lower receviers are made from the same metal, while AKs are made from STEEL.

-Bill

3big
February 16, 2006, 06:03 AM
First off I must say due to LACK of metal in China they use what ever they can find for thee barrels. Most barres are made out of OLD rail road ties!

My old mac look nice but when you go to shoot them they 8-10 inchs at 100 yards.
w
My Romak best dam move in the world get 4-6 inch with wolf!
MU yugo ak kit build with a fair boar even got 3-4 with wolf!

Mac dont like any surplus Rounds, maks have poor barrels, cheap barrel ruins ther gun!
buy a yugo or Romak you be much happier!

c_yeager
February 16, 2006, 06:27 AM
The Chinese Mak-90 is one of the best AKs you can get at any price. They have a thicker reciever than any other AK type rifle and they are widely known as being remarkably reliable and feature what is probably the smoothest trigger to be had on a non-Russian AK. People dont like Chinese goods because they are made in China, but there really isnt any reason to apply this reasoning to the AK, which was designed to be manufactured in the sort of industrial environment that exists in China.

aaronrkelly
February 16, 2006, 07:08 AM
The Chinese Mak-90 is one of the best AKs you can get at any price. They have a thicker reciever than any other AK type rifle and they are widely known as being remarkably reliable and feature what is probably the smoothest trigger to be had on a non-Russian AK. People dont like Chinese goods because they are made in China, but there really isnt any reason to apply this reasoning to the AK, which was designed to be manufactured in the sort of industrial environment that exists in China.

The above has been my experience as well. I have a MAK and its my best AK so far - hands down. The fit and finish is worlds better than a WASR at the same price (or cheaper). I gave $250 for my MAK.

If you want an underfolder your probably better off just buying an underfolder - but if you want a standard stock the MAK is a great buy. Some MAKS already are setup for the underfolder stock but the ones I have come across havent been that way.

The Yugos underfolders are great guns at a great price but EVERY place I called was backordered and they had a 2 month waiting list.

I ended up ordering a Vector Arms underfolder at Atlantic Firearms. They make a damn fine weapon.

Mannlicher
February 16, 2006, 08:27 AM
All I have fired and handled were ok.

MechAg94
February 16, 2006, 10:00 AM
First off I must say due to LACK of metal in China they use what ever they can find for thee barrels. Most barres are made out of OLD rail road ties!

My old mac look nice but when you go to shoot them they 8-10 inchs at 100 yards.
w
My Romak best dam move in the world get 4-6 inch with wolf!
MU yugo ak kit build with a fair boar even got 3-4 with wolf!

Mac dont like any surplus Rounds, maks have poor barrels, cheap barrel ruins ther gun!
buy a yugo or Romak you be much happier!
I assume you mean railroad spikes. I doubt they made barrels out of wood even if it is treated wood. :D

From all I have read on these boards, it is unwise to judge any manufacturer by a single bad rifle. For any of them, you can always find one guy with problems.
My Vepr will do 4" with Wolf easily enough. I bought a few boxes of Brown Bear Match ammo that I want to play with though. :)

atblis
February 16, 2006, 12:28 PM
It appears that some of the Chinese guns are mad specifically for import to us. These generally suck. I've also heard that these are sometimes made by litterally slave labor (prisons).

Some of the Chinese guns are actually from their military arsenals. These appear to be as good as anybody elses. If you can figure out which arsenals are the real military, ones you can get a quite decent gun (Arsenal 386 comes to mine). 26 is a decent arsenal for the SKS.

Not all Chinese guns are junk. I have an NS522 that is quite interesting (very good shooter). From what I can gather the barrel is a Steyr barrel made in China. The gun is entirely milled steel.

whm1974
February 17, 2006, 12:11 AM
Well guys looks like the deal is mute. He has a friend that is suppose to buy a number guns from him, and they were talking about this before he asked me.

I did tell him that if his buddy doesn't buy I still may be inrested.

-Bill

clange
February 17, 2006, 03:18 AM
It appears that some of the Chinese guns are mad specifically for import to us. These generally suck. I've also heard that these are sometimes made by litterally slave labor (prisons).

Some of the Chinese guns are actually from their military arsenals. These appear to be as good as anybody elses. If you can figure out which arsenals are the real military, ones you can get a quite decent gun (Arsenal 386 comes to mine). 26 is a decent arsenal for the SKS.

Not all Chinese guns are junk. I have an NS522 that is quite interesting (very good shooter). From what I can gather the barrel is a Steyr barrel made in China. The gun is entirely milled steel.
Every chinese AK here, that doesnt cost $20,000+, is made for import to us ONLY. There arent any military surplus AKs, anywhere, because AKs are full auto.

nucstl1
February 17, 2006, 10:16 AM
I have two Chinese aks. 1 Stamped Norinco 56s, underfolder, and 1 Polytech Legend standard. Both shoot flawlessly, but I prefer the Legend. It has more to do with ergonomics than reliability though. As AKs are designed for small people, neither is ergonomically as compatible as the M1A or M4 I have. Now I have seen various problems with the east block AKs but I am not sure if the problems are wide spread or just one-off events. Two different friends have bought Romanian AK-47s in the past year, and both rifles had a feed ramp that looked like a block of steel that had not been machined....Both rifles had serious feeding problems out of the box...Both problems were remedied with 30 minutes of a dremmel. Cheap ammo is a plus, but it will never get down to the prices from a year ago. The mak is not a bad way to go for a first run....You can pick them up cheap and change out the stock easy enough.

possum
February 17, 2006, 02:06 PM
I own a mak-90 and chineese sks and i love both of them, I have many many rds through both of them and I have never had a single issue with them. i think they are well made and have strong recievers. much better than the romanians I have seen. i am not impressed withthe romaniains, i will probally buy another mak-90 or 91 ad make it a project gun.

whm1974
February 18, 2006, 01:59 AM
Now I have seen various problems with the east block AKs but I am not sure if the problems are wide spread or just one-off events. Two different friends have bought Romanian AK-47s in the past year, and both rifles had a feed ramp that looked like a block of steel that had not been machined....Both rifles had serious feeding problems out of the box...Both problems were remedied with 30 minutes of a dremmel.

I was thinking of buying one of these. It's my understanding that Centry doesn't always do a proper job on thier AKs

-Bill

Optical Serenity
February 18, 2006, 02:59 AM
My favorite AK I had was a Chinese MAK-90

dfaugh
February 18, 2006, 11:38 AM
FWIW...My best shootin' buddy has a pre-ban Chinese underfolder, and its the best AK I've ever seen, as far as fit, finish and accuracy. Don't know if this translates to the newer ones, though.

Also, I have an SKS-M (Norinco) which is also the best SKS I've ever seen, including my unissued Yugo, which is pretty good.

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