Thinking about buying an AK


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Strakele
March 7, 2008, 08:39 PM
Hey guys,

A friend and I were thinking about picking up a pair of AK's from the next gun show. These are really just going to be fun guns. We're not looking for pristine condition or great accuracy (speaking in AK terms). Just something we can take out for a fun day at the range and blow through some cheap ammo.

I'd just like some input on what to look for, what to stay away from, what to ask about, etc. Gun shows around here generally have some good prices which is why I'll be looking there. I know everything there isn't as great as some sellers would make it out to be, so I'd like some specific things to look for and check for, anything that should generally be avoided, and anything that we should specifically ask about.

Thanks a lot!

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JWarren
March 7, 2008, 08:50 PM
Strakele,

The most common issues you want to look for are Canted Front Sight Bases, Canted Gas Blocks (and therefore Gas Tubes), and Loose Magazine Wells where the magazine has excessive "wobble."

All of the above conditions are more commonly found in Centry WASR's than perhaps some other manufactures/importers.

One additional thing that I'd want to do is pop the receiver cover off and work the action. I'd want to see that the action works well and there isn't any rough or catchy places in the rails. This may be difficult to do as gunshows where the bolt is often blocked from movement.


-- John

Mojo-jo-jo
March 7, 2008, 08:56 PM
Quick AK Rundown:

1. Military surplus imports rebuilt as semi-auto:

- Yugo M70 - Nice. Available with a standard or underfolding stock.

- Romanian - Not as nice as Yugos, but a little cheaper. Standard or side folding stock.

Both are plentiful on the market now.

2. Commercial variants:

- WASR-10 - Romanian commercial model that has been adapted to take standard double-stack magazines. They are inexpensive, but not particularly well finished and are prone to trigger slap (but that is easily fixed with better trigger parts).

- Saiga - Russian commercial manufacture. They are nice, as well as inexpensive, but do not take standard AK magazines unless modified to do so. You can have a gunsmith make the modifications for $100-150.

- Norinco MAK90 - Chinese commerical version. These have not been importable for many years now, and have become relatively expensive. You still see them around though.

The number one thing to watch out for is canted front sights. WASR-10's and anything built by Century Arms seem to have the biggest problems with this. Vector Arms seems to be better, but more expensive and less common.

MIL-DOT
March 7, 2008, 08:58 PM
If your gunshow turns out to be anything like the one we just had here, then it may be the LAST place you wanna buy an AK from. I saw $420 Yugos going for $700, the Saigas were also way over priced.
Do a little research, you don't even need to screw with the search function, these threads are so common, you can just scroll back a few days,they're everywhere.
Also,Google up classicarms and atlanticfirearms, to name a couple good operations.

JWarren
March 7, 2008, 09:05 PM
Mildot wrote:

If your gunshow turns out to be anything like the one we just had here, then it may be the LAST place you wanna buy an AK from.


I concur. I remember the old days where you could find deals at gunshows and you looked forward to going to one for weeks.

Now, its just an opportunity to handle some firearms. One was here a couple weeks ago and I mentioned it to my wife. She said "I hope you aren't planning on wasting your money going to that thing. The prices are terrible." This comes from the mouth of a non-firearms enthusiast.

It seems to me that the internet has usurped the gunshow as the place to get deals. I may go to some of the larger ones in the area later-- but I've adjusted my expectations to the 2000's rather than the 1980's.


-- John

nalioth
March 7, 2008, 09:09 PM
- Saiga - Russian commercial manufacture. They are nice, as well as inexpensive, but do not take standard AK magazines unless modified to do so. You can have a gunsmith make the modifications for $100-150. ... or you can convert it yourself and buy ammo with the money you'll save.

Saiga conversion is as easy as falling off a log.

O.S.O.K.
March 7, 2008, 09:22 PM
One of the IO Stg 2000's. Interordnance makes these up on Romanian guns and from what I've read, they are a cut above the Century Arms guns. They are also very reasonably priced.

http://www.southernohiogun.com has em in stock and they are very good to deal with.

Here's a pic of one:

http://www.southernohiogun.com/images_2/AK-STG2000_noscope.jpg

These are basically East German Wieger clones. The muzzle is threaded with standard AR thread pitch and can take any standard AR muzzle break - for 30 caliber.

Strakele
March 8, 2008, 12:33 PM
Last time I was at a gun show (Dallas) they had some decent prices. I'll know what prices should be for stuff when I go, so I'll know if they're trying to rip people off. Anyway, thanks for the input guys. As for guns themselves, we're looking for good old traditional fixed wood stock AK looking guns, in the lower end of the price range. Doesn't really matter if they've been [ligthly] used. We don't want crap, but top of the line quality isn't really a big deal. Like I said these are going to be fun guns to shoot on private land, not from a bench at a range. It needs to be able to hit something, but an extra half inch or inch of accuracy is not worth an extra 100-200 dollars.

rangerruck
March 8, 2008, 12:43 PM
I will second the saiga, or stg 2000, all other typical wood stock ak's are going to all be about the same price, and all very average, and all fairly inaccurate. Unless you step up to the higher end ak's, and they are going to start running you 500 and on up. The stg, has the old pencil style m16 bbl, I think it is german or austrian made bbl, the rest is romanian, i like the furniture on it, the bbl is also button rifled chrome lined,uses the g2 trigger group, and they are also made in 223, and i think a dealer friend of mine also said they may come out in 545. it takes all types of regular ak mags, and it does it all for just around 400 bucks, and it is all 922 legal.
it is like having a saiga that is allready converted.

nalioth
March 8, 2008, 01:36 PM
The stg, has the old pencil style m16 bbl, I think it is german or austrian made bbl, the rest is romanian,

The STG line is all Romanian (it's the same as the WASR, only made for IO).

Strakele
March 11, 2008, 12:29 AM
OK cool. Can AK74 models be had for the same or similar prices as an AK47? I was thinking maybe 5.45 wouldn't be bad. Looking in the around $300 range, and I realize that much of what falls in that range will be used.

Mojo-jo-jo
March 11, 2008, 10:36 AM
Before you jump on the 5.45, check ammo price/availability. You may be OK there, but it's scarce and expensive where I live.

Just something to think about.

takhtakaal
March 11, 2008, 10:42 AM
Before you jump on the 5.45, check ammo price/availability. You may be OK there, but it's scarce and expensive where I live.


http://centuryarms.biz/proddetail.asp?prod=AM1352

$120 for 1,080 rounds. Not expensive at all, and a phone call away. Their shipping is super reasonable. If UPS can find you, the world is your oyster.

wdlsguy
March 11, 2008, 11:50 AM
http://centuryarms.biz/proddetail.asp?prod=AM1352

$120 for 1,080 rounds.
Please keep in mind this stuff is going to be corrosive, you will need to clean accordingly.

Clipper
March 11, 2008, 02:14 PM
- WASR-10 - Romanian commercial model that has been adapted to take standard double-stack magazines. They are inexpensive, but not particularly well finished and are prone to trigger slap (but that is easily fixed with better trigger parts).

I am really getting tired of seeing this...The WASRs being sold in the last year or so have the Tapco trigger installed. It's stamped on the trigger, so it's not hard to verify. Just look for the ones with this trigger, and like ANY gun purchase, take a close look at the construction and overall concentricity of the construction, and I think you will find the WASR is a nice, inexpensive and fun way to blow up some plinking ammo. I'm even working up some ammo preferences for next deer season.

Omaney
March 11, 2008, 02:35 PM
$120 for 1,080 rounds. Not expensive at all, and a phone call away. Their shipping is super reasonable. If UPS can find you, the world is your oyster.
And pretty darn fast getting to your door. You'll be plinking away in less than a week. EDIT_Oops! I bought mine from AIM Surplus.

par0thead151
March 11, 2008, 03:02 PM
why not build your own AK?
centerfiresystems had 89$ kits up until last week. still a kit will cost you no more than 150$, a flat 15$, rivets 9$, compliance parts(HR922) 60 some dollars...
then you have yourself a quality AK made by you!

buzz_knox
March 11, 2008, 03:23 PM
Please keep in mind this stuff is going to be corrosive, you will need to clean accordingly.


Most all the ammo you'll find in this caliber is corrosive to one degree or another.

It's not that hard to clean up after. I've got thousands of rounds through an SLR-105 without any issues and without major cleaing. Evinrude Johnson Engine Tuner works great for cleaning up after corrosive ammo in an AK.

Hokkmike
March 11, 2008, 03:27 PM
Check out Atlantic Firearms for ideas. Stay away from WASR 10's .

http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/

Remember, you get what you pay for.

strat81
March 11, 2008, 08:19 PM
WASR-10s are fine, but are rough around the edges. When you drop the rifle, or accidentally drag it along the concrete bench at the range, you won't cringe when it's just a $350 WASR and not a $800 Arsenal.

+1 on the new WASR trigger groups. My WASR came stock with the TAPCO G2 trigger group and it's nicer than the mil-spec trigger in my AR.

I'd avoid 5.45x39 because there is no domestic production of that ammo.

TexasRifleman
March 11, 2008, 08:26 PM
All of the above conditions are more commonly found in Centry WASR's than perhaps some other manufactures/importers.

Just steer clear of these completely. Mine arrived with just about every problem one can have and it shoots maybe 6MOA, probably not that good.

It's basically "junk gun" status. Probably the worst gun for the money I've ever purchased, and I've owned LOTS of guns.

Came straight from Century this way, just avoid it altogether.

I suppose there is the odd exception but the gamble just isn't worth it.

Atlantic Firearms
March 14, 2008, 07:55 AM
We have sold several hundred STG 2000 rifles with only 1 issue , you may also want to consider the Lancaster Russian Red rifle we carry , they are more money but are top quality and nice fit n finish.

http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/admin/images/content/lcred2.jpg

MRIman
March 14, 2008, 04:32 PM
I say don't do it!!!!
They are like "potato chips"!!!!!!
YOU CAN"T HAVE JUST ONE!!!!!!!!!

MRI

DoubleTapDrew
March 14, 2008, 05:37 PM
Just steer clear of these completely. Mine arrived with just about every problem one can have and it shoots maybe 6MOA, probably not that good.

It's basically "junk gun" status. Probably the worst gun for the money I've ever purchased, and I've owned LOTS of guns.

Came straight from Century this way, just avoid it altogether.

I suppose there is the odd exception but the gamble just isn't worth it.

Yikes! Did you pay $10 extra for the "hand picked (worst rifle of batch)"? :p
I got a Vector and am happy with it, but it definitely cost more than the cheap ones. Next on the list is a Saiga if I can find one around here, for some reason they are scarce 'round these parts. The last gun show I went to looked like Century family reunion for AKs though.

mio
March 14, 2008, 06:10 PM
what exactly do you mean by canted sights?

Strakele
March 14, 2008, 07:30 PM
Yeah, I think I'm going to stick with an AK47 in 7.62.

Thinking about the Romanian SAR-1.

What do you think?

nalioth
March 18, 2008, 06:14 PM
what exactly do you mean by canted sights?

Identifying cant (http://www.gunsnet.net/Linx310/cant.htm)

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