Advice on purchase of an AK47


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Anna's Dad
February 15, 2008, 05:31 PM
I know very, very little about these (or any other) rifles. I'm pretty much a handgun guy. That said, I'm probably going to be buying one or more soon in anticipation of an "assault weapons ban" under President Clinton or Obama.

I was looking at a M70 Yugo AK-47 under folder with either a wood or synthetic forearm.

Good idea? Bad idea? Should I look elsewhere?

I'd really appreciate advice on the matter as I really don't know what to look for (or look out for!). Thanks.

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kcmarine
February 15, 2008, 05:42 PM
Good gun. AKs aren't really a "YOU MUST GET THIS BRAND" firearm. Most are good. All work about the same, and the exception to this is when there is something visibly wrong with the firearm. There are certain things to look out for on certain brands, but I'll leave it to the owners of those brands to say what those things are.

I'm pretty happy with my Russian Saiga.

Beowolf1911
February 15, 2008, 05:48 PM
Get a good feel of that under folder before you set yourself to it I find them very uncomfortable. If you plan on ever shooting it with the stock down you might want to consider a side folder. I own a WASR-10 which gets panned as the worst AK out there and I love it. From what I have read you have to make sure the front sights are on straight, but I had no problems and would recommend it to others. The only advice I can really offer is buy a lot of ammo and have fun.

Anna's Dad
February 15, 2008, 05:53 PM
Beowolf,

Some of the side folders look like the obscure the trigger. That's one of the reasons I was set on the under folder.

Is that just bad photography or do some of them prevent usage of the gun when collapsed?

LeibstandarteAdH
February 15, 2008, 05:57 PM
Is that just bad photography or do some of them prevent usage of the gun when collapsed?

None that were not invented and made in the USA. AFAIK

sonyhoppes
February 15, 2008, 06:35 PM
I don't think the side folding stock would interfere with the trigger, but it looks like it might make it difficult to manipulate the safety.

jwxspoon
February 15, 2008, 06:36 PM
I bought a WASR underfolder from J&G Sales. 100% reliable and I absolutely LOVE it.

jw

R127
February 15, 2008, 07:06 PM
The Yugo is a nicely put together AK for the money and the underfolder gives it a cool classic look. Many people don't like the cheek weld with the underfolder though so try one out first. If you don't like it there is a fixed stock version of the Yugo also.

Anna's Dad
February 15, 2008, 07:22 PM
I'm looking at buying online so unless I can find one locally I can't really try it. If I buy the underfolder and don't like it, are there options for replacing the stock or am I stuck with whatever I get?

Appreciate all the help, everyone!

takhtakaal
February 15, 2008, 07:30 PM
Yugo underfolders in 7.62x39 can be nice, especially with wood, instead of black plastic. I got an early one from Century through Centerfire Systems and have been very happy with it. I'm not sure if the quality of the builds carried through into the "black plastic" period, or not. Some say I lucked out, others swear by their M70 clones. Unfortunately, Century doesn't have a generally great rep with their firearms.

7.62x39 is upwards of $200 per 1K these days, the best deal right now apparently being the FMJ Wolf 124 gr. Military Classic from AIM at $169 before shipping. I've got a bit of their 7.62x39 HP and like it immensely.

If the cost of 7.62x39 puts you off, you might consider an AK-74 in 5.45x39. Ammo is dirt cheap for the time being, at 12 a round delivered; Century sells it for about $120 per 1,080 round tin, and shipping is a cheap flat rate past $75, and free after $500. Lots of people have been very happy with Tantal (Polish AK-74) clones from both Interarms and Lancaster Consulting. Atlantic Firearms sells both for $599 and $649, respectively:



Interarms Tantal clone (http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/programming/expand.asp?Prodid=216)

Lancaster Consulting Tantal clone (http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/programming/expand.asp?Prodid=455)

None of these options come with an immediate option for mounting optics, the best manner for which is to install a side plate on the left side of the receiver. I'm not sure if the Lancaster model would allow it, since it has a left-side mock selective fire switch. The Interarms model can take a side plate for optics; I have an Interarms model, and am pretty happy with it. Everything you might want to know about accessorizing a Tantal is here (http://tantal.kalashnikov.guns.ru/optics1.html).

ETA:

I'm looking at buying online so unless I can find one locally I can't really try it. If I buy the underfolder and don't like it, are there options for replacing the stock or am I stuck with whatever I get?


The Tantal is full tang construction, and it is very easy to swap stocks on and off. The Yugo, not so much. The underfolder mechanism is very specialized and takes up a ton of room in the shoulder end of the receiver. You would need to do major surgery to use something aside from an underfolder mechanism. Point in favor of AK-74 clones like the Tantal.

The Yugo is a nicely put together AK for the money and the underfolder gives it a cool classic look. Many people don't like the cheek weld with the underfolder though so try one out first. If you don't like it there is a fixed stock version of the Yugo also.

People have had issues with the fixed-stock Yugos. Evidently, the wood design is none too cheek-friendly. The UF, though, can be made so with some camp-craft and a length of 550 paracord.

Anna's Dad
February 19, 2008, 05:27 PM
Thanks all for the advice on the stocks. Also, I hadn't considered 5.45x39 but will certainly look into it.

sdj
February 19, 2008, 07:13 PM
I own a WASR-10 which gets panned as the worst AK out there and I love it. +1 on that. :)

Buy lots of ammo, because these things are FUN!

Enjoy.

jpwilly
February 19, 2008, 09:58 PM
Lancaster Arms builds good ones with a much better fit and finish than the bottom end stuff.

MIL-DOT
February 19, 2008, 10:28 PM
The Yugo is a pretty nice rifle, but if i were to get another,i'd definately get the full wood stock version. Ain't feelin' the UF like i always thought i would.
I saw these at the gunshow here in Colombus,Ga last weekend going for HUNDREDS more than they can be had from AIM and clasicarms. The lancasters are nice, got mine back when it only took three weeks for them to get one to ya.
If i were in the market for a single AK, i'd go with a saiga, whether you convert it or not.And they come with scope mount installed.

Omnivore
February 19, 2008, 11:34 PM
We have two M70s here-- one underfolder with black plastic and one fixed wood. They're both good rifles, but the fixed butt definitely feels better. An underfolder is a compromise-- you loose some ergonomics for the sake of easier transport. The underfolder we have is also heavy. The plastic furniture is the heaviest we've found, and this one has a thicker receiver (that can vary depending on who assembled it).

The M70s, you should understand, are not compatible with any after-market furniture that we know, so if you plan to change anything out, you might want to consider somethinf else. We make a forward, low optic mount specifically for the M70s, which is a drop-in affair and very solid:
http://www.ultimak.com/m9.htm

The underfolders have a dedicated receiver that will not accept any other buttstock without cutting and welding and/or riveting. Not worth the bother to change out when a new rifle is so cheap, IMO. Again, the regular (fixed butt) M70 receivers do not take any other AK buttstock, and all M70s have longer than normal handguards.

We've have several of the WASRs and SARs (same origin) and for the most part they have been just fine. Look for the aforementioned canted sight blocks though. A little bit of cant is no problem (other than looking a bit odd) but one of them we have needs the front windage adjustment all the way hard to one side to get a zero. Just barely makes it, so you have no adjustment to one side. These AKs have the distinction of being compatible with the widest array of accessories too, plus the one's we have came with a side rail for those who are interested.

Bulgarian and U.S. Arsenals have always been good, as are any of the Russian stamped AKs we've seen. Some of the Chinese AKs have also been very good, but one must look for signs of abuse. I once bought a MAK-90 on a whim and found out later that it had a broken firing pin and horribly worn bolt lugs.

azhunter12
February 20, 2008, 12:17 AM
I would go with a Saiga or build your own.

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