The Same AK Question You've All Heard Over And Over Again...


August 10, 2007, 02:48 AM
Okay, since the first page has no real info on AK choices, I'm going to post a new thread. In two years, I will be 18. When I turn 18, I will start buying firearms. One of the firearms I will eventually buy will be an AK-47. I was wondering what a good choice for an AK-47 (in 7.62x39 caliber) is. I've heard of WASR-10s, but so far they haven't really endeared themselves to me (haven't got that feeling, y'know? 'Course, all I've seen are pictures of the darned things, but still...), and I was wondering: what else is there? Just a question, feel free to jump on here and answer it.

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August 10, 2007, 03:04 AM
For a high-quality American made AK, check out Arsenal ( The have both stamped and milled receiver versions with various configurations and features. You can expect to pay upwards of $500 for them, but you won't be disappointed.

Prince Yamato
August 10, 2007, 03:05 AM
Since you're turning 18, I'm going to assume that finances will be somewhat of an issue. In that case, you're going to be looking at Lancasters and Vector Arms AKs. Lancaster is probably better, because they have chrome barrels. I'd get a fixed stock version and buy a Romanian side folding stock from AIM to put on it. I guarantee, you'll get the bit by the folding stock bug and you'll post, "which folding stock should I get?" to which the answer should be, "Romanian". So in summation:

Lancaster or Vector
Wood Furniture if you have the option (it just looks classier)
Romanian folding stock if you want a folding stock

Forget adding other crap for now. The more you add, the more that can go wrong.

You can expect to pay upwards of $500 for them,

Not anymore... try $800+

August 10, 2007, 05:23 AM
If you're wanting something similar to a Vector, but either can't get on the list or don't want to wait, give Arizona Expert Arms a gander.

August 10, 2007, 06:24 AM
I was wondering as to what you mean by the WASR not having the "feel." Or should I ask what "feel" are you looking for?

Answering that may help with your decision. With the exception that WASR's do not have the magazine well dimples, they are pretty much like any other AK in design and weight. Oh, some have nicer finishes and such, but there won't be much difference in the "feel" department. I've never liked the lack of magazine well dimples on WASRs, but that is just me. As long as the well holds the magazine without wobble, it would be the same.

I am going to assume that at 18, your finances will be more limited. That may well come into play in your decisions. Could I also assume that you are not really into do-it-yourself building? Again, those things do come into play.

Here are a few options from my experience and from my reading on AKfiles and THR:

Arsenal: Excellent top of the line AK. I believe they are all Bulgarian parts guns. From my understanding, Arsenal isn't making new milled receiver guns anymore. You'd probably be able to get one used, but I think Arsenal is doing all stamped receivers now.

Vector Arms: From my experience, they are a great upper-middle AK. I've read on here that they are not using chrome barrels these days. The one I own was purchased 3 years ago and does have a chrome barrel. These rifles are parkerized. Typically, Vectors are made using Polish parts. My Vector is built using a Ewbanks reciever.

Lancaster Consulting: I've never played with one, but I've read great reviews here. They are built on Romanian parts, if I understand correctly.

Saiga: In terms of build, Saigas are probably one of the more accurate and well-built AKs in existence today. They are built at the Izhmash factory where the original AK was built. The downside is they are imported in a sporter configuration. You would need to have someone convert it to the original configuration. It will be important, like in any AK, to play the section 922 US parts game. If you bought one pre-converted, you will pay about the same as you would for an Arsenal AK.

Century WASR-10: Entry-level AK. They are reliable. Finish is the weakest link in any AK coming from Century. I had a SAR-1 (came before the WASR) from Century. The powder coat was weak, and the stock was crudely finished. I refinished the metal with Black Oxide Duracoat, and refinished the wood with Pecan stain and Satin varnish. It transformed the firemarm into a beauty.

There are concerns to getting a Century AK. The first is canted sights and/or gas tubes. The other is wobbly magazine wells. For these reasons, it would be best that you are able to examine before you buy.

There are other manufacturers, but those are the ones you will most likely hear about or see. Good luck with it.

-- John

August 10, 2007, 07:36 AM
I have two saigas. a 7.62x39 rifle and the S12 12 guage shotgun. I did a pistol grip conversion and put ACE folding stocks on both. Very good weapons and lots of fun, especially the shotgun. 10 rapid fire rounds of semi automatic buckshot will get someones attention. It is scary looking.

Deer Hunter
August 10, 2007, 10:30 AM
Another vote for a Saiga. It was the third rifle I bought when I turned 18. They are amung the best AK clones on the market.

August 10, 2007, 10:39 AM
I just got a Lancaster.
It works great but out of the box it didn't feed right. They checked it out back at the factory and found that there was a burr in the chamber. The owner took it out for the test fire after the repairs and I haven't had any issues with it since, at least as far as function goes.
But on the folding stock...
I bought a romanian sidefolder thinking it would be just a simple swap. Two screws and it would be on, no problem.
Then I actually tried it.
The rear of the reciever was too small for the stock to fit and after i made it small enough that way I found that the screw holes didn't line up. I finally did get the folder on it but it was not a simple task. It took a whole lot of filing. If you don't own a big mill bastard file and a vise I would suggest that you do not attempt this. Unless you are willing to pay someone else to get it to fit.

I disagree about the "feel" thing. There is just something about WASR's that doesn't feel as solid as some higher end AK's. I can't explain it but it is real.
Now if you take hold of one of the Yugo AK's I have seen floating around, those things feel solid. Same goes for most milled reciever guns. My Lancaster has it too but not to the same extent of those two.
Then there are also those that use a 1.5 mm reciever...

August 10, 2007, 02:12 PM
in two years, under president clinton, dont expect to be able to buy an ak, or anything more dangerous than a steak knife


Full Clip
August 10, 2007, 02:21 PM

August 10, 2007, 02:40 PM
check out the "standard" AK's from lancaster, at $499 . mine's a romanian G model but they do bulgarians and polish builds,as well, though they'll cost more. mine shot dead-on accurate right out of the box, the finish is parkerized then done over with gun-kote epoxy, chrome bores ( vectors no longer have chrome bores, US made barrels now), great job on the wood furniture ( choice of yellow or russian red) and lifetime warranty. and i know what the above poster meant about "feel". some AK's feel like a piece of junk, my lancaster romy doesn't !

Essex County
August 10, 2007, 03:30 PM
I've had several and sold my last one a couple of years ago. I know and admire all it's atributes. I finaly settled on the AR platform and except for my H Bar they've all been my home builds..Believe me I know how hard it is to be on a firearms budget. I've been there a number of times. A whole bunch of AK fans are waiting to pounce upon me, but I'm not degrading the AK I do think AR's ar worth the greater initial expense. Have tons of fun with whatever you choose. Sincerely Essex

August 10, 2007, 03:48 PM
I like the "feel" of the Lancaster and Vector AKs, and I don't know how to explain "feel", but it is there. Just looking at the rifle gives me a feeling. I like wood, and I think that wood should be finished like a masterwork piece of furniture. Just me. I've got a Mosin-Nagant 1891/30 ($100, w00t!), and its furniture is beautiful. I'd want to same out of an AK. I don't really like the slant muzzle brake, but that's easily fixable. I've fired an underfolder, and I don't like it (no proper cheek weld!), so that's really out of the question for me. I'm really not into the folding stock thing, and I think the "bug" would have hit me by now (I've been thinking about this for a looooooonnnnnnnngggggg time), so I'm not worried about that, even AK-103 or German (or is it Romanian with the wire side folders?)-style folders. I can easily afford $500-$600 worth of gun, as it is going to be a prime focus for me when I hit adulthood, and, if I push myself, I could even go to $800, but that'd be hard. I don't think I'd need to go any farther than that, though. Chromed barrel makes me happy, but the Lancaster version seems to have a black plastic pistol grip, which I don't mind, but I'd prefer brown.

I'm looking at:
-Lancaster AK-47 RM Rifle
-Vector AK-47 Classic (love the wood on this rifle!)

And I think that's what it's really gonna come down to. Anyway, thanks for all the help. Oh, one last question:
When it comes with a threaded barrel, that means that you can take off the slant muzzle brake, right?
I think I'm more endeared to the Lancaster gun right now...

August 10, 2007, 03:50 PM
As for the AR guy, I want an AK because it's an AK. It's an iconic rifle (not that the AR isn't), and I'm particularly endeared to it, so, while I may get an AR in the future, my first semiauto will be an AK. That's just the way it is.
Glad you're happy with your guns, though. :D:D

August 10, 2007, 04:45 PM
OOOOOOhhhh boy. Yamato is right. Those Arsenal AKs sure have jumped. They want nearly 1000 for some of those things now. :what:

August 10, 2007, 04:56 PM
buy Romi G kits... you don't have to be 18 to buy them, they are just PARTS...

I'm sure you could trade several parts kits for an assembled rifle when you are old enough...

August 10, 2007, 05:33 PM
Willington, could you give me the precise name for "Romi G" kits? I'm assuming "Romi" is Romanian, but otherwise...
I'm pretty could at playing the "put together" game.

August 10, 2007, 06:23 PM
The Romi G kit is not the same thing as the WASR..

the Romi G is a real military demil, the Romanian Civil Guard had semi-auto military AK's, and that is where the Romi G kits come from.

Check out the kits Bocephus (spelling) is selling at akfiles, or the romi G kits from J&G sales... they appear to be the best, from word of mouth...

Gun Wielding Maniac
August 10, 2007, 07:46 PM
Personally... I'd just get it over with and buy an Arsenal SLR-107FR when they come out this fall. The AK-103 is the greatest 7.62 AK ever made and the 107FR is a copy of that gun. Side folding stock, scope rail, AK-74 muzzle device and FSB... doesn't really get any better.

August 10, 2007, 08:49 PM
There's also Wiselite and Armory USA, (global Trades) I'm not sure about Wiselite, I hear they only harden the receiver around the pin holse in order to save money. Can't say that I've heard anything bad about them though. I have two Armory USA AK's, a pistol and an underfolder. Both appear to have been assembled from Polish kits, but they are both quite tight, accurate, and reliable. I also have a WASR-10, and there is nothing wrong with it. The magwell is loose with some old Chinese magazines I have, but not with Eastern European mags. I don't have a 223 or 7.62 x 39 Saiga, but I do have a 12 guage and a 308.

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