Romak 3 outshot my M1A


May 25, 2003, 07:42 PM
Not suppose to happen but at 120 yards from a rest using Russian '46 ball ammo, I shot 1.75 inch 5 shot group with the Romak 3. Using handloads with 147 fmj bullets the M1A shot around 2" groups at the same distance. I find the Romak3 to be much more difficult to fire from a rest than the M1A, its very hard to hold steady and a little uncomfortable, sandbags instead of a padded tripod would be a big improvement. I was using a 10X Redfield on the M1A and a Russian issue 8X. The barrel on the Romak heats-up much quicker than the M1A's ergo the barrel was always much warmer on the Romak while the M1A's was only slightly warm to the touch before firing. Quess its time to make some custom reloads for the Romak and see what it will do although I'm happy with the 1.75" with service ammo. Maybe I ought to try service ammo on the M1A.:D

BTW: I shot a 2.5 inch 9 shot group with the Romak 3 at 120 yards. One of the ten Russian '46 cartridges failed to fire, they are over 55 years old:D

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May 25, 2003, 07:44 PM
Put a RSA trigger in it and strap a big thick cheekpiece on it so you can get a decent cheek weld and you may be even more impressed.:D

May 25, 2003, 10:13 PM
I have a Bulgarian SLR-95 that has shot confirmed groups of 2" at 100 yards. Many gun "experts" say that's not supposed to happen. It's one reason I tried handloading for the AK-pattern rifles.

Having said that, a well-tuned M1A should be able to put them inside 1" at 100 yards, too, given enough money and time. ;)

May 26, 2003, 01:13 AM

How many groups have you shot with each? Regression to the mean will give you a real picture of the accuracy of each rifle, one against the other.


May 26, 2003, 01:46 AM
It even got Coronach upset enough to challenge it! ;)

I can just hear him now, "By Gawd, there's no way a Commie autoshucker would ever do better than a copy of a 'Merkin battle rifle!"

If one reads the actual military acceptance criteria for such rifles as the M1 Garand, M14, and M16, it gets real interesting. 3 MOA out of a Garand was good enough for Uncle Sam. :what:

May 26, 2003, 07:43 AM
Groups mentioned are fairly typical, I just never compared the groups of each rifle. I just ASSUMED that all things being equal the M1A would win hands down. Both rifles are firing service grade ammo (handloads for M1A). Its shocking how well the Romak3 did since the M1A had all the advantages; better trigger, much better cheek weld, heavier barrel, and 10X Redfield scope.

Again, equally impressive was the 9 shot (1 misfire, 55 year old ammo) the Romak 3 did with the hot barrel 3.25 inches and take away one flyer I get 2.75 ".

IIRC isn't the service accuracy of the Garand 4 inches at 100 yards and not 3 inches? At least during WW2 it was.

May 26, 2003, 10:02 AM
But don't tell folks who expect 1-MOA Garands straight from the CMP! ;)

May 26, 2003, 11:14 AM
To get that 1 MOA from an M1A is not uncommon but the "target rifle" M1A has little in common with the service grade M14 any more than the M16 has with the "match grade" AR15. Even then you have to use expensive match grade ammo to obtain those results. I bet that if the same efforts were applied to other battle rifles, you would often gain the same result. A good rifle design is common as dirt these days, as I see it the M14 is good but not the best.

Too bad Camp Perry won't allow "outside" competition. If they did I suspect the FAL would have been chosen 50 years ago and the AR15 might have been "an interesting idea" that never caught on. Can you count how many wars the M14 fought as a main battle rifle? I can, one and even then it didn't last the distance. Must be politics, out of all the nations in the World we were the only people to appreciate the M14 as THE superior main battle rifle.

Also bear in mind the crosshairs on the Redfield are a BIG advantage over the inverted V of the 8X Russian scope.

May 26, 2003, 11:23 AM
Nah, you musta been jerking the M1A.:D (kidding)

Pardon my lack of coffee, but what in the heck does this mean?

Regression to the mean will give you a real picture of the accuracy of each rifle, one against the other.


May 26, 2003, 11:45 AM
Is the Romak 3 the same as those "Romanian Dragunovs" you see for sale in the Shotgun News once in awhile?

Thought about picking one up someday, but the mags are almost impossible to find. Probably get a VEPR .308 instead, but I would surely love to have an AK in 7.62x54mmR.

May 26, 2003, 11:53 AM
I just picked up a 2003 SAR-1 a couple of weeks ago that has already done repeatable 3-shot groups of just under 3" @ 100 yards, with Wolf hardball. Usually, 2 of those 3 are about an inch apart. That tells me that the gun is mechanically capable of better accuracy than I am wringing from it. It does NOT like Wolf HP, with groups running about twice the above, and notably higher POI. Your rifle may be just the opposite, each one being a law unto itself.

Funny thing- I sighted it in and shot decent groups on a cloudy day; shot it yesterday in bright, directly overhead sunlight and fought the glare-mosters all over the front & rear sights. 100 yard groups on paper were not nearly so good as those mentioned above under these conditions, but I was still able to break 5 clay birds (or pieces thereof) from the bench in 6 shots.

I read a lot of 'internet wisdom' about how it is unreasonable to expect an AK to shoot any better than 'minute of torso' at 150 yards. I don't buy it. Most of these rifles seem to have decent mechanical accuracy, comparable to their NATO counterparts.

Wringing good accuracy from the AK family is no small feat. It would hard to imagine a rifle design with sights, stocks and triggers that SUCK worse than they usually do on an AK. Those three little items are 3 of the 4 cornerstones of good rifle accuracy (4th being a good barrel) and a gross deficiency in any one of them can result in a major accuracy problem. Kalishnikov managed to bat .750 and screwed up 3 of them.

Usually about now come the lectures me on what the intended use and accuracy parameters of the AK are. If we were talking military issue full-auto guns that had been used hard, I might buy into that. Here in the good old USA we civilians are limited to the semi version of the gun, so I expect it to SHOOT. Any rifle (US or foreign) that won't do 2 MOA from the bench is a boat anchor in my book; heck, I've got a .44 Redhawk that will do 4, and it's a darn sight easier to carry.

The SAR-1 will do it with good ammo, but it's not gonna do it as easy as an AR will. It's going to require some tweaking and sight work.

Congrats on your ROMAK. Most of the Romanian guns I have seen had good, tight barrels and decent crowns, which means the potential is there.

Steve Smith
May 26, 2003, 12:34 PM
I believe it. The standard M1A is certainly no champion of accuracy, but of course an AK variant isn't either. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.

May 26, 2003, 01:07 PM
"To get that 1 MOA from an M1A is not uncommon but the "target rifle" M1A has little in common with the service grade M14 any more than the M16 has with the "match grade" AR15. "

I think you would be very surprised at just how close a "match grade" AR15 is to any other off the shelf AR15.

"Too bad Camp Perry won't allow "outside" competition. If they did I suspect the FAL would have been chosen 50 years ago and the AR15 might have been "an interesting idea" that never caught on. "

"Service rifle means a US military service rifle or its civilian equivalent. This means the M1 Garand in 30-06 or 7.62mm NATO/308 Win, the M14/M1A in 7.62/308 or the M16/AR-15 in 5.56mmNATO/223 Rem. Military rifles from other countries or an earlier era are regarded as match rifles. "
Taken from an article entitled; Equipment Notes For the Beginning Highpower Rifle Competitor by Stewart A. Leach.

May 26, 2003, 01:21 PM

Sorry. its the once-statistician in me coming out.

What it means, basically, is this...the larger the number of examples, the better your "statistics" will be. For instance, lets say I have two rifles, Rifle A and Rifle B.

Rifle A is a real tack driver. It IS accurate. It will do sub-moa groups all day long, assuming the ammo is right, the weather conditions are right and I'm doing my part.

Rifle B is mediocre, at best. It is a 3 MOA rifle on a good day.

Now, lets say I go out and shoot a group with each rifle. It is perfectly possible to get a smaller group with Rifle B than with Rifle A, due to the fact that there are a truckload of variables that go into group size, and only one of them is the inherent accuracy of the rifles.

However, if I shoot 2 groups, its is less likely that Rifle B will outshoot rifle A both times. 3 groups....4 groups....5 groups....and so on and so on. The more you shoot, the more likely it is that both rifles will perform as they do on average...and the average for rifle A is far better than the average for rifle B. The tendency of samples over time to more and more closely resemble the average for the given population is called 'regression to the mean.'

Stats jocks out there: yes, I know...thats just a quick and dirty explanaition. Statistics makes my brain hurt. And sometimes my eyes bleed, too.

Anyway, what I was asking is many groups had he shot with each and compared? If he went out and shot one group each and was like "well, gawwwww-lllleeeeeee!" thats not a good comparison. however, if he's shot a bunch, thats a different story. Looks like he's shot a bunch.

So, is it just a nice Romak, or is it a bad M1A, or both? ;)


May 26, 2003, 01:22 PM
Yes, The Romak 3 is the Romanian version of the Dragunov SVD except it has a great deal in common with th AK47 design. You can buy a target trigger for it and it comes with a chromed bore. I drove all the way to AIM south of Dayton Ohio last summer (8 hrs. round trip) to get the whole package deal for $775 plus tax. The cheap 7.62X54mm ammo is a great motivator also, <.07 a round!

Its one of those rifles that sooner or later I will buy another if and when the price ever drops to $650 or so (if ever). $775 is still the best price around WITH scope and extra mag. Look for the Russian '46 ammo, I do not believe it is corrosive and if it is, it is so mild that a squirt of WD40 and a patch takes care of it. The Silver and Yellow tip ammo is suppose to be the most accurate ammo available but the <2" service accuracy makes me happy using the cheap '46. I'll load-up some boxer handloads just for kicks but I doubt I'll get much better groups at 120 yards, but I've been suprized before, haven't I?

May 26, 2003, 01:25 PM
telewinz beat me to it :) ...

May 26, 2003, 03:26 PM
Two questions:

Is there a stock for it that is compatible for a left-handed shooter?

And can you get extra mags? How much?

May 26, 2003, 03:34 PM
I got my spare mags from K-Var but they are currently shown as sold out. They cost me $99 for four and came with a pouch. They are nicer than the ones that came with the gun!
The stock can be replaced with a commercial plastic one and a rifle that has been done to is shown here

May 26, 2003, 04:11 PM
Most Romak 3's come with a 10 and 5 round magazine. The mags are built pretty well so they should last. I see them for sale every once in awhile for about $70 but since they are still being made it shouldn't be too hard to find extra mags IF needed. Even without the scope the Romak3 would made a deadly MBR, a decent Garand is going for $600 and up and the Romak3 will out shoot a Garand for just a $100+ dollars and will equal or beat a service grade M14 (M1A) for several hundred less dollars. I'm not saying that the Romak3 would be God's personal choice as a weapon (that would be the FAL:D ) but it is underated by non-owners.

May 26, 2003, 04:22 PM
SWEET! I want one. I'll have to find extra mags, though, expensive or no. I like to have at least 10 mags for my rifles. (I've got about 15 for the FAL, going to get more.)

Hmm...maybe I'll end up buying this AND a VEPR this summer, since I don't think I could choose.

May 26, 2003, 04:31 PM
The remedial math section thanks you Mike. I knew what regression was, but to the means triggered that high school math headache. It was my worst subject.:o :D

Andrew Wyatt
May 26, 2003, 04:37 PM
out of all the nations in the World we were the only people to appreciate the M14 as THE superior main battle rifle.

that's because we're better riflemen.

Sir Galahad
May 26, 2003, 04:55 PM
One of the best things the Kalashnikov design has done is put a formidable weapon into the hands of the average American who can't lay out the cash for an AR. (And also for us who don't like the AR.:D )

May 26, 2003, 06:13 PM
Impact Guns in Utah has mags for seventy bucks apiece. Expensive, sure, but the mags only hold 10 rounds, and aren't banned (I'm assuming the price is high becasue very few of the magazines are imported for whatever reason.) I think 5 mags would be a good spread for this rifle, and I could always pick up one here or there as I find them.

Are the mags for this rifle the same ones as regular Dragunovs?

I know that this rifle isn't really a Drag. Will a Red Star Arms drop-in trigger group fit?

The second picture features what looks like an ATI stock. I'm assuming then that this rifle will accept the same buttstocks/pistol grips as regular AKs? (I know I'd have to keep the thumbhole stock, I just don't want to go hunting for one specially made for the Romanian Drag.) Are there any synthetic handguards available by any chance?

How's the fit and finish? Better than a typical Romanian AK, I hope? If not, can the rifle be cleaned up by places like Azex Arms that work over the Romanian AKs?

May 26, 2003, 06:19 PM
No, it uses it's own mags, not Dragunov ones.
I installed an RSA trigger in mine and it was fairly easy. I did have to Dremel away a small amount of metal but the instructions told me exactly where to remove it.
The trigger pull is now very good. Not good "for an RPK", just plain good. :)
(The receiver used on these is actually an RPK receiver that has been reinforced.)

May 26, 2003, 06:23 PM
I've done a little looking. Looks like to get the ATI stock to fit I'd have to do some dickering. I don't have a dremel, but I have a friend who has one. I hope it doesn't require much; that buttstock looks lefty UNfriendly.

May 26, 2003, 06:41 PM
I do believe those ATI stocks are completely ambidextrous.

May 26, 2003, 06:51 PM
The ATI stock is (I had one on my first AK). I was talking about the original Romak-3 stock.

Yeah, I'll have to get one of these along with my VEPR .308, eventually, methinks. I do wish they'd import the VEPR in .35 Remington that they make.

I really super friggin' ultra mega wish that MOLOT would make a VEPR 20" in 7.62x54mmR, and that somebody would import it, and that I could buy it for $600 or so...

Steve Smith
May 26, 2003, 08:02 PM
Telewinz, if you knew a little more about Camp Perry and Highpower competition you might not have made any of those comments. Please do us a favor and KNOW about what you speak of before you pontificate about it.

I agree with Coronach's regression to the mean, fire 100 5 shot groups from each, and record. Then you'll know which is realy the more accurate of the two.

May 26, 2003, 08:52 PM
Could it just possibly be that the original poster of this thread may actually have a dog of an M1A? It does indeed happen, and I've seen dogs of M16's and AR-15's. (My last FN-made M16A2 was a total mutt during my latest deployment, but I didn't carry it for the purpose of High Power matches, either)

Telewinz didn't state Service Rifle in his "outside competition" paragraph. Neither did he mention Match Rifle. But he knew that the foreign service autoloaders weren't allowed to compete directly against the U.S. service rifles, hence his statement, which means he paid attention somewhere, versus just having diarrhea of the mouth.

Once upon a time, in my High Power days, I bought a Hythe rear sight and set up a match FAL, using a .308 Winchester Model 70 SS heavy barrel on an Imbel receiver. I knew that it wouldn't be allowed in Service Rifle, nor did I care. The idea was that it shot well enough to make the M1A and AR-15 folks sit up and take notice. When offered money, I sold that FAL and went back to a M14NM for my Service Rifle High Power gun. The FrankenFAL was a fun gun, build solely for the purpose of injecting some fun into an otherwise humorless sport.

Hey, folks, if a Romanian Dragunov/AK variant shoots demonstrably better than a given specimen of an M1A, or AR-15, then by all means, let the man have his day in the sun, instead of raining on his parade by telling him to go run a bazillion rounds through both guns for numbers, then reporting back.

Steve Smith
May 26, 2003, 09:31 PM
Didn't see that 444 had posted, actually.
Regarding this comment,
To get that 1 MOA from an M1A is not uncommon but the "target rifle" M1A has little in common with the service grade M14 any more than the M16 has with the "match grade" AR15. Even then you have to use expensive match grade ammo to obtain those results. I bet that if the same efforts were applied to other battle rifles, you would often gain the same result. A good rifle design is common as dirt these days, as I see it the M14 is good but not the best.

I actually agree to a large part. A match ready M14 will not stay that way for long on the battlefield, and a battlefield rifle won't stand up to the match standard. His second comment is the one that got me. As we all know, the FAL was in competition with the M14 for a US Service Rifle, and the M!4 won under somwhat questionable circumstances. Camp Perry has nothing to do with the selection process. Telewinz is ALSO right in that if the FAL did win that status, the AR might not have ever existed. I wasn't trying to beat him up as much as say that some of us have an intimate knowledge about that sport and it doesn't work the way he thinks it does. I try (but fail at times) to keep my trap shut about other disciplenes unless I know something is true.

It is absoultely possible that the original poster does have a dog of on M1A. IMHO, they are about 70% dogs (2-2.5 MOA) and some get to go to obedience training, but that's me and my opinion. Sounds like you have some hurt feelings about HP. The rules haven't changed, so you can't say the allowable rifles have changed. The one thing that DID change is the allowance of a MUCH closer-to-issue gun, the AR-15, into ServiceR ifle. It is, after all, much closer to what a troop gets than a match ready M14 or M1. All rifles do compete in an overall aggregate score. In addition, a direct comparison may be made between Match and Service Rifle scores. Nothing prevents that. SR has been the same since its beginnings, but one is certainly welcome to shoot their Red Ryder BB gun in MR and compare their scores with a SR anytime they wish. Please don't paint me with the "AR lover" brush. It is the best tool to do what I am doing, but it is not the best tool for fighting. I prefer the M14 or G3 for that, or in a perfect world a .243 FNC would be nice (oh to dream!). Shooting a match AR is like shooting an Olympic free rifle and the only difference from a troop issue gun is the float tube, better barrel, and a decent trigger. It (the AR) seems like a decent gun, and mine surprise me with their reliability, but the .223 is a weak round, for sure.

You obviously misunderstood my blind squirrel remark...I was SAYING that every once in a while even an AK based gun is good...better than the average M1A even. Several things are most likely in play. #1, M1A is "average" at best, #2 AK is the exception to the rule, and/or #3 it was a freak accident. Of course, there are a few others, such as shooter capability and such. I'm not about to begin with all the possibilities. My original post was just meant to say that every rifle is a law unto itself and its entirely possible that he has a GREAT AK.

I don't see a problem with helping the original poster to develop a long running average of each gun's performance. One day's surprise is another day's frustration. I have been there many times with "this worked last week, why not now?"

May 27, 2003, 06:42 AM
WOW, I'm not sure what I said but I'll be very careful about saying it again. I'm not implying that the Romak3 is better than the M1A /M14, from what I've heard match grade M1A's WILL do 1 moa. Although from what I have read on the boards, the AK47 is about the only semi that doesn't get 1 moa, I suspect most NON-MATCH semi's get closer to 2 moa (or worse) if the truth were told. I suspect my M1A is average in performance since it's not a match rifle. NATO rates the Romak3 and Dragunov at about 2 MOA at 100 meters, to get 1.75" isn't that big a deal except the fact that I was using 55 year old service ammo.

So let me get this straight...

Foreign made STANDARD ISSUE military rifles ARE permitted to compete at Camp Perry against M14's in MATCH GRADE competition. So that means I could use my as issued AK47 or FAL against a match grade M14. Boy, my comments WERE a mile off the mark, I deserved those lumps.

There is little difference between the M16's used at Canp Perry and the M16's issued to our troops EXCEPT....floating handguards,maybe a better trigger, maybe a better barrel, and maybe better sights. I stand corrected again, sounds like there is NO difference.

May 27, 2003, 08:08 AM
Well, as has been pointed out, what you said was that Camp Perry doesn't allow outside competition, which is incorrect. If you want to shoot an FN in NRA High Power matches or for that matter this Romak, you certainly can. Instead of being classified as a service rifle, it will be classified as a match rifle. Your statement implies that the FAL is so good that it is being kept out of competiition, obviously if it were better than what is currently being used, it would be used. Probably by the majority of competitiors; but it isn't.

I also pointed out that your statement about "match grade" AR15s is also in error. There is very little to seperate the AR15 on your dealers rack and one being used at Camp Perry. And, most of the differences don't have a lot to do with the intrinsic accuracy of the rifle; they have more to do with you being able to realize the potential accuracy of the rifle. Better trigger, floated barrel (for shooting with a sling), maybe a different barrel (not because the factory barrel isn't just as accurate but so you can shoot much heavier bullets to minimize the effect of wind at the 600 yard line), and possibily sights with finer adjustments. An M16/AR15 isn't your dad's M14 or your grandfathers M1; the M16 is a very accurate rifle just as it comes from the factory and is capable of shooting in world class competition with very little fluff.

Sir Galahad
May 27, 2003, 06:54 PM
There might not be much difference between a Camp Perry AR and SOME ARs on SOME dealers' racks. But there is a world of difference between a Camp Perry AR and the average M-16 right off the rack in an average U.S. Army arms room.:D

May 27, 2003, 07:28 PM
But there is a world of difference between a Camp Perry AR and the average M-16 right off the rack in an average U.S. Army arms room.

You mean my 20+ year old M16A1, on an original converted Colt AR-15 receiver (or perhaps a nice Hydra Matic receiver), that' probably been cleaned from the muzzle end for over a decade isn't quite up to Camp Perry Match standards?

Huh! :D

Steve Smith
May 28, 2003, 09:19 AM
Not really. There't just not enough "stuff" on an AR/M16 to make much of a difference! Take an off-the-rack M16, give it a better barrel, a float tube and a better trigger, and IT will be a fine match gun too. Unlike its wooden stocked predecessors, there's just very little to do to that platform to make it work REALLY well.

Sir Galahad
May 28, 2003, 06:20 PM
Granted. But a 45B (Small Arms Repairman) does not have access to those parts as repair parts. So, the off-the-rack military-issue M-16 is always going to be significantly different from a Camp Perry. It would take a civilian to get a hold of one and do the modification or a 45B doing it with orders other than those governing standard repair of weapons. The barrel makes a world of difference, as does the trigger. But those, in and of themselves, make a significant difference since the average soldier does not have access to those upgrades. That's why I mantain there is a significant difference between a Camp Perry and an issue M-16. The platform may remain the same, but, you know, the same podiums at the White House were used by both Clinton and Bush, heehee.:D

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