Best AK for the Money


June 20, 2007, 08:29 PM
I have read some other post on AK's and have always been a AR guy but I am thinking of purchasing an AK in the future. So for the money what is the best one to get. I know they are made in a few different places and seem to range from 350 to over 600. Whats your opinions ?? I want one !!!!

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Gun Wielding Maniac
June 20, 2007, 08:56 PM
If you can find one of the Yugo M70's, folding stock or fixed, for under 450, you've done as well as you can do.

June 20, 2007, 09:02 PM
Depends how much work you want to do on it. A lot of people love the Saigas, and they feel and look great. I think they're around $250 NIB. But, they come as a "sporter" edition (stock with no pistol grip) that accepts only single stack magazines. So, you need to dremel out the mag well to accept standard double stack AK mags, and you need to do a fair amount of work to get a standard pistol grip & stock combo on there. Or you can pay to get one already converted, but then your price goes WAY up.

If you're not willing (or able) to do all of that, you could get a WASR 10 (double stack, pistol grip, etc.) for around $300 NIB. Some will argue they're not good, but I disagree. They're totally reliable and function well. Mine is as accurate as any AK I've fired. The wood is rough and not finished well, but you could always sand, stain, and polyurethane it if you really care that much. I guess you have to ask yourself what you want to use it for.

Are there better AK variants out there? Absolutely, but they're generally more expensive. I strongly considered a Saiga, but I don't have the tools, the knowledge, or the time to do all of those modifications, and if I paid someone to do it, then I might as well have bought an AR-15 b/c it'd be just as expensive. Plus, 7.62x39 ammo is now outrageously priced and not really much (if at all) cheaper than 5.56mm.

So my vote for best bang for buck goes to the WASR 10 if you want one ready to go with all the AK double stack, pistol grip features for ~$300+. If you don't mind spending more time or money, then I'd buy a Saiga. Just make sure if you get a WASR 10 to check the left side of the trigger to see if it says "Tapco USA G2" (this is a better trigger than the Romanian stock one & it'll have no trigger slap like the Romanian one). Also, make sure the sights are straight, as some have been known to be canted (crooked). A quick check in the store will tell you these 2 things.

Just my $.02

June 20, 2007, 09:28 PM
The one you build yourself.

Prince Yamato
June 20, 2007, 09:48 PM
Yugos are good, but they take proprietary furniture. WASRs are OK. Juna stated $300 as the pricepoint, but I think most places sell them around $400 now. Basically, the order of top of the line to bottom goes something like:

Custom made guns
VEPRs (which are RPK based and take different furniture)
Vector Arms and Lancaster Consulting
Any used pre-1994 gun (Norinco, Maadi, Mitchel arms)

Now, that's not a comprehensive list and is somewhat debatable (I put the pre-ban guns towards the bottom, because you can't buy them new with warranty any more), but in general, that's what you are looking at. Any of those guns will function fine (though Century Arms builds tend to lack quality control), but the fit and finish is what is subject to debate.

June 20, 2007, 09:57 PM
But, they come as a "sporter" edition (stock with no pistol grip) that accepts only single stack magazines.

This is wrong. The are double stack but lack the bullet guide to use regular AK mags. The bullet guide can be ordered for $20 and takes all of 5 minutes to install. The mag catch will need filed down a wee bit as well.

The .223 needs the front of the mag well opened a little bit to accept AK74 mags.

June 20, 2007, 09:59 PM
f you can find one of the Yugo M70's, folding stock or fixed, for under 450, you've done as well as you can do.

Same here. Love mine. I also assimilate ARs but these are good guns.

June 20, 2007, 10:05 PM
+1 for the Saiga. You can get all the compliance and conversion parts for as little as about $120. I got my rifle for $249 + $17 S/H from R&R Arms ( So when it's all done, you can have a top quality AK for under $400 (or you can go crazy like me and spend a lot more!) I think the results are worth it, though:


June 20, 2007, 10:35 PM
+1 on building it yourself

Its not that difficult, and raw parts including compliance parts can be had for around $250

With a little skill (not really that much) and some know how you can have one up and running in 3-4 hours counting de-mill

Slim Geezer
June 20, 2007, 10:41 PM
Have one built. Jim Fuller in Las Vegas builds a great AK. If you're interested in details, email me.

June 20, 2007, 11:18 PM
had a wasr 10, paid $350 2 years ago. unjammable rifle, rapidfire. on the downside, hard to control, very inaccurate. my 44 ruger could keep all six shots in the target at 100 yards, the ak could not keep 6 shots on the plywood.
traded it.
under 50 yards you could hit something fairly reliably.
gun scared the crap out of evildoers, made bad people who showed up at my place keep their distance and wait for cops. they also suddenly became very polite.

June 20, 2007, 11:24 PM
wasr 10 is pretty good and ive had one for about 3 years before i heard everyone talking so bad about them. Never jams and the accuracy is alot better than what people say. The biggest accuracy problem has to do with the crappy stock sights which can easily be replaced with some aftermarket sights or optics. Dont let anybody scare you away from the wasr but be sure to look it over good before you buy it just like anything else. problems could be mag wobble and canted sights and supposedly early models had problems with trigger slap. The new ones I believe have a tapco trigger and that isnt so much of an issue anymore. my friend has a yugo and they are nice but they dont have chrome lined barrels if that matters to you. have fun!

June 21, 2007, 12:18 AM
Im with EricThe Barbarian here. My WASR 10 GP has never failed me. Never jammed, and accuracy isnt all that bad. Ive found out that mag wobble depends on the mags you use. Some mags fit better then others for some reason. But mag wobble doesnt affect the performance of the rifle much, unless it is really bad. Ive had mine 2 years and I am not the original owner. I bought it off of a friend, and he NEVER took care of it. He had it less than a year, and on several occasions shot it to the point the hand gaurds almost caught fire. I dont understand why so many bash the WASR's. I didnt have a prob with using the stock sights. Ill stick to my cheap WASR's

June 21, 2007, 12:47 AM
Vepr, Vepr, Vepr and still Vepr. What's not to love: a thick (rpk) receiver, bbl, comfortable furniture and accurate as hell.

Atlantic has 'em.

June 21, 2007, 12:02 PM
IMHO, the best civvie AK for the money are the Romanians (SAR's and WASR's). If I were going to go out and buy another one today, it'd be a WASR with the Tapco trigger group. If you buy at a gun show or from a stocking local dealer or pawn shop, you can inspect the rifle yourself to make sure the front sight assembly and the gas block are on straight. Yes, some other AK variants are nicer, but a Romanian will give you 90% of the functionality for 50%-60% of the price, unless you go the build-it-yourself route.

Here's my SAR-1 (2002 model), a pre-WASR Romanian AK lookalike. The sight is a Kobra (from Tantal) and makes the carbine a LOT easier to shoot well.

June 21, 2007, 02:10 PM
Saiga for the money. If money is no object, Arsenal, Inc out of Las Vegas.

June 21, 2007, 02:54 PM
For the "over $600.00 crowd", the Arsenal milled AK's are some of the nicest AK variants I've ever seen. Fit and finish is superb, accuracy is outstanding - the 7.62x39 zipping down that Steyr barrel holds beautiful groups. Together with a PO3 5x21P, it dispells the mythology behind: "AK's are inaccurate"...

June 21, 2007, 03:11 PM
Saiga for the money. If money is no object, Arsenal, Inc out of Las Vegas.


June 21, 2007, 03:36 PM
Since the Saigas are new and reasonably priced, they are good values. The problem with them--especially the .308--is that there are no factory mags holding more than ten rounds. Yes, you can modify other mags, or pay $45 each for the FBMG mags for the .308, but reliable, cheap factory mags are widely available for garden variety 7.62 and 5.45 AKs. The MAK-90 has a fine trigger and is a bargain if you can find one under, say, $400. I just bought a WASR-2 from Aim Surplus for less than $300 and am having lots of fun with it. It has an excellent trigger, is basically new, and has been totally reliable with polymer and bakelite mags (not with one steel mag).


June 21, 2007, 05:53 PM
FYI: Saiga is not a single stack... otherwise everyone converting them would be explaining how they had to hog out the magwell like the single stack romi's, and that is just not the case...

I have the S223 BTW... and converting it is not that hard... just getting the time, parts and money together to do the conversion is the hard part for me...

June 22, 2007, 12:01 AM

June 22, 2007, 12:27 AM
Best over the counter AK, a Yugo M70B2 ya are getting the best American made reciever ya can get 1.6 mm(versus the standard 1 mm thick found on all others except Norinco) fully heat treated NODAK Spud, ya are getting a brand new hammer forged match grade barrel made by Green mountain barrels, No they are not chrome lined which doesn't really matter as #1 there is no corrosive primed 7.62x39 sold in the USA anymore and even if there was failure to properly clean even a chrome lined barreled gun will still result in a corroded gas system and bolt which brings us to the Yugo bolt and bolt carrier they are the only factory original stainless steel ones ya can get (many folks buy em from parts suppliers to use in their regular AKs) the new ones come with black plastic handgaurds if ya want wood ya can find original or there are alot of companies making custom furniture for Yugos now, the pistol grip it comes with is very comfortable ergo style grip but if ya don't like it ya can always use any custom AK grip..... Heres the really cool part ya order a $30 USA made grenade launcher (NATO SPEC) that screws on in place of muzzle brake and then make ya some simple tennis ball dummy grenades and have fun "bombing" the neighbors dog 100 yards away....... or if ya live in a state that lets ya leagally play with fireworks ya can make up your own areial firwors shows... ohhh yea and there is that super heavy duty RPK front trunion (thats why the front of the reciever is bulged) it combined with the heavier duty reciever make for a milled quality rifle at a stamped price its basically a 16" barreled RPK......

The Yugo's bein sold by Century only have one area where Century can screw em up that being getting the sights straight, if they are then at $425 there aren't many that give ya so much for the price......... WASR and SARs....... way way down the latter I won't even get into that one ya can get all that info with a simple google search or visit (the number one site dedicated to AKs rather than just firearms in general ya'll find folks with tons more experience with nothin but AKs there and well............... not many will recommend a WASR on their worst most malicious day ;)

heres another thing the Saiga nor any other can do as well........ wanna go manual operation for MOA (with quality ammo) then just shut off the gas valve by flippin up the grenade site ya now got a super accurate match grade barreled straight pull bolt action.......... try doin that with any converted Saiga :)

June 22, 2007, 12:58 AM
Best for the money are Krebs Customs, I'd say. They cost AR-15 kind of money, but are worth it in terms of fit, finish, and performance.

June 23, 2007, 01:33 AM
Converted Saiga!

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