Which AK to Buy or Avoid??


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Colorado
March 8, 2008, 01:26 AM
I want an AK. Or and AK style rifle. Hi-cap, easy to shoot and clean. With the LOOK! I saw a TV show the other day where a guy took a handfull of dirt and poured it in one, then put it back together and fired a full mag with no problems!! I posted this in another forum and got some great advice. This forum is 10x as busy, and wanted your advice. I have heard pretty good things about the Lancaster 7.62's. Wondering if there are some out there that I should be avoiding? Thanks for the input. - CO

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newsavageowner
March 8, 2008, 01:48 AM
I've heard good things about Lancaster. Good things as well about Vectors. They are on the higher end. Yugos are good as well and are more in the middle, and Century makes some for a reasonable price. Romanian WASRs are also a good deal for the money, but they are not nearly as nice as the others mentioned above in terms of fit and finish but they are very cheap...you also need to look closely at a few things on them when buying...specifically check for front sight cant issues.

asknight
March 8, 2008, 03:37 AM
Arsenal is the top dog.
Saiga is #2.

The rest is not for me.

senorlinc
March 8, 2008, 03:47 AM
i like my lancaster..500 bucks...russian red model..looks like the old school ak from movies and such. shoots straight, no problems. came w a noce case, polished bolt and was relatively cheap. arsenal is supposedly the top name but they arent cheap. did see a sa 107 sf today that seemed nice-new for 850

chris in va
March 8, 2008, 04:35 AM
Saiga for ~$300, convert it for another $150. Pick and choose what you want on there, truly a custom AK.

It'll be brand-new, another added bonus. Chrome lined barrel.

Bones11b
March 8, 2008, 08:45 AM
Arsenal is the top dog.
Saiga is #2.
The rest is not for me.
Have to agree 100% with Asknight. Having some experience under varying conditions with diffrent AK's, I purchased an Arsenal. Will probably add a Saiga to my collection someday. Wouldn't spend my money, time, or effort on any other AK's.

JWarren
March 8, 2008, 08:55 AM
Arsenal is the top dog.
Saiga is #2.
The rest is not for me.


In spirit, I agree. However, I've owned a Vector that I was VERY pleased with. I've read excellent reviews of the Lancaster.

For the right price, I'd consider some of the mid-range AKs such as Vector or Lancaster. Mind you, I said for the right price.

But then again, if I could inspect it, I might get a WASR for the right price just to toss in the back of my jeep.


Problem is that my idea of "the right price" is far different than what some want to charge for something like a WASR.


-- John

stubbicatt
March 8, 2008, 10:45 AM
I held and shot a Lancaster. Neat rifle. Had a Century Yugo, very accurate, but being made from old parts, the gas block was horribly corroded.

If I were to buy one of these today, I'd get the Lancaster Polish underfolder.

Hokkmike
March 8, 2008, 10:57 AM
Avoid WASR10 unless you can shoot before you buy.

jpwilly
March 8, 2008, 11:00 AM
I have a Lancaster AKM built on a 1.6mm Reciever with new Romey "G" parts, Tapco G2 Trigger, AK-74 style brake, Saw Grip, 6 Position collapsable stock, UTG Hanguard with metal Rails and VG. Shoots and Handles like my M4 (that's what I was going for)


http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p38/jpwilly/AKBlastbw.jpg

Your Local Armed Hebrew
March 8, 2008, 11:07 AM
I have heard and read positive feedback concerning the Israeli version called the Galil. However procuring one may be difficult. Israel don't seem to export many firearms other the the Desert Eagles and the Uzi. Probably because Zion needs all the weapons it can get.

nalioth
March 8, 2008, 01:25 PM
I have heard and read positive feedback concerning the Israeli version called the Galil.

While the Galil is a fine weapon, it is 2 generations removed from Mr. Kalashnikovs control.

MD_Willington
March 8, 2008, 01:49 PM
All the variants around have pro's and con's..

Check out the AK Forum... lots of info there...

JWarren
March 8, 2008, 02:50 PM
However procuring one may be difficult.

Uhm... Century has been importing/outsourcing manufacturing for one for a while now. I know that a few guys in this forum bought one.

http://www.jgsales.com/product_info.php/p/galil-style-golani-rifle,-223-caliber/products_id/1624?SID



Probably because Zion needs all the weapons it can get.


Uhm... Last I checked Israel doesn't primarily use the Galil anymore-- instead they have been using the M-16 for quite a while.


-- John

nalioth
March 8, 2008, 03:12 PM
There are lots of quality questions with the Century (and other makers who build on Ohio Rapid Fire receivers)Galils that the owner of ORF won't answer (http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27159).

Be wary.

JWarren
March 8, 2008, 03:15 PM
There are lots of quality questions with the Century (and other makers who build on Ohio Rapid Fire receivers)Galils that the owner of ORF won't answer.


Very true. I was pointing out the fallacy of the statements that I quoted.


-- John

coltcollector
March 16, 2008, 11:48 AM
Most of the bugs are out of the Century galils now and the accuracy is way above the AK's. AIM sold them out at $699 each.

benEzra
March 16, 2008, 01:12 PM
I would suggest that if you go with a Lancaster, you might want to have them go ahead and put the optics rail on the receiver (I don't think it comes standard, and you may want to put an eastern bloc optic on it someday).

FWIW, my AK is a 2002 model SAR-1:

http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/uploads/1168567538/med_gallery_260_23_20379.jpg

Optic is a Gen-2 Kobra from Tantal.

jpwilly
March 16, 2008, 02:37 PM
Most of the bugs are out of the Century galils now and the accuracy is way above the AK's.

So what are they claiming Galil's accuracy to be?

GunTech
March 16, 2008, 03:01 PM
I went looking for an AK and brought home a Galil. Better accuracy, 223, and there's an adapter for M16 magazines. My Golani/Galil is about a 2-3 MOA rifle, if I use good ammo.

They aren't the cheapest.


http://guntech.com/galil/golani_fastfire-1.jpg

RP88
March 16, 2008, 03:06 PM
Yugos are good...go for about 450-475 after all the extra costs. Much better than any WASR at least. But if barrel life is something you want, then consider a Lancaster or anything with a chromed barrel. Yugos require more cleaning, and the gas block corrosion usually isnt too bad if you get it, but there is nothing that can save the barrel unless you clean it thoroughly every time, and even then...

You'll probably drop an extra 100-150 bucks for something above the yugo models, but you'll be getting a rifle that shoots just as good if not better and has new (i.e. not corroded) parts

AK103K
March 16, 2008, 03:43 PM
Except for assembled kits, they all shoot pretty much the same. All your getting for the extra money is basically fit and finish.

Spending extra on a fancier rifle will not necessarily get you a "better" rifle. My $350 Romanian made Century SAR1 and $375 WASR10 would easily out shoot my $550 Arsenal/Global Trades built SSR-85C. The SAR or WASR never had any parts failures, the 85C broke a disconnecter early on, taking the gun out of action until it was replaced. The 85C sure was pretty though, and was the prettiest AK I've ever owned. To bad it didnt shoot.

Personally, I think the best AK's out there are the reconverted Saiga's. Krebs and AK-USA offer the nicest, but a lot of people do them themselves with good results.

harbingerm
March 16, 2008, 07:07 PM
I've heard a lot of bad things about Hesse/Vulcan builds. I have a 74 built on a Hesse receiver and never had any problems with it, but Hesse didn't assemble the rifle.

tpaw
March 16, 2008, 07:10 PM
Arsenal

http://www.arsenalinc.com/

Daemon688
March 16, 2008, 08:36 PM
I always thought Arsenal was a top notch AK. My opinion soured on them when I learned that there have been people receiving their rifles with canted sights. That's something Century would do and not something I would consider acceptable from a company that charges nearly twice as much for their product.

I'll stick with my Saigas, made in Russia with love :p

MudPuppy
March 16, 2008, 08:49 PM
Aimsurplus and centerfire is selling converted saigas for $550.

possum
March 16, 2008, 09:34 PM
i have a mak-90 and it is a great shooter, but if i was to buy another i would get one of the yugo undefolders. IMHO they are the best ak out there for the money they cost.

xd45gaper
March 17, 2008, 12:39 AM
no bulgarians or chinease rifles listed!??!!?! what about the polish rifles! come on people there are more AKs out there than a Romanian, Aresnial, and Sagias!

MD_Willington
March 17, 2008, 12:42 AM
Galil mag adapter works with PMAGS !! Awesome!

Zek
March 17, 2008, 12:58 PM
No one likes the Vepr?:(
Got one (have had it for years, back when they were 500-600 bucks), I think its awesome.

HorseSoldier
March 17, 2008, 01:16 PM
For the original poster -- what's your AK budget? Most any AK will go boom when the trigger is pulled, but some are definitely more equal than others in various other ways.

polik6887
March 17, 2008, 10:36 PM
if you want a milled receiver (heavier, but supposedly more accurate) get an arsenal

if you want a stamped get a saiga. (arsenal makes a stamped, but I would say saiga is better)

Roadwild17
March 17, 2008, 10:40 PM
I've got a Yugo and have never had a problem with it.

CZ 42
March 17, 2008, 11:02 PM
Now why doesn't anyone say STG 2000? You guys are making me uneasy, I just ordered on of 'em and seemed to me like it was about the best out there- especially for $380. Steyr cold hammer forged barrel? Glass filled german Wieger furniture? Tapco G2 trigger? Anyone? Oh, I'll tell you in 3 weeks when it ships... But man, they reviewed it in Shotgun News! Don't some of you have one? *tears hair out*

nalioth
March 18, 2008, 07:10 PM
if you want a milled receiver (heavier, but supposedly more accurate) get an arsenal The bolt is locked to the barrel at the moment of firing and does not start to unlock until the bullet has left the barrel. Receiver type has no bearing on actual accuracy. Since it is heavier, it may provide some "perceived accuracy", as more weight = less perceived recoil = less movement off target between shots.

But man, they reviewed it in Shotgun News! ... and they got paid/compensated for their glowing 'review'.

shuvelrider
March 18, 2008, 10:49 PM
My WASR10 singlestack must be a good one from Rom, brand new with the dragunov stock. Accurate and reliable, traded 2 inexpensive .22's and a bayonet for it at a gunshop, suits my need for a knockaround gun for the woods.

Bazooka Joe71
March 18, 2008, 10:57 PM
IMO, I think Yugos are the best bang for your buck...I don't have a ton of experience with some of the high end AK's, but they are expensive and it is still just an AK. My yugo underfolder is accurate, nice fit/finish, reliable(zero malfunctions), only slightly more than a WASR, and couple hundred less than the upper enders.

I guess the more expensive AK's are supposed to be more accurate, but if you are looking for accuracy, why not get an AR 15 or an AR 10?

Saigas are also fantastic...But there's some smith work involved

chupacabrah
March 19, 2008, 01:03 AM
Saigas are also fantastic...But there's some smith work involved

Any idea how much it would cost to get a gunsmith to do the conversion work?

I found this link ( http://www.cross-conn.com/Saiga_Conversion/index.htm ), but it may be out of my capabilities. or maybe I'm just intimidated.

nalioth
March 19, 2008, 01:25 AM
Any idea how much it would cost to get a gunsmith to do the conversion work?

I found this link ( http://www.cross-conn.com/Saiga_Conversion/index.htm ), but it may be out of my capabilities. or maybe I'm just intimidated.

With the release of the Master Molder AK magazines, installing a bullet guide is no longer required.

The rest of the pistol grip conversion is easily done (I can perform this in less than an hour)

Whatever you pay a gunsmith will be too much, imho.

AK103K
March 19, 2008, 01:08 PM
This is an early Krebs converted Saiga. Its his chopped down version of the AK103, which they call the AK103K. It has a 14" +/- barrel with a permanently attached brake. I paid $700 for it when they first showed up, and I believe they get around $900 for the fixed stock versions now.

They pretty much restore the rifles to their original configuration. They take any of the regular AK mags and all the standard accessories.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d700b3127ccebc12073f192a00000036100CYuWbdo5bsU

Colorado
March 20, 2008, 01:41 AM
I was hoping to keep it below $500, but will go to $700 if it made a huge difference. To all that have replied so far, this has been great to read! I thank you all for your input. THR may just be my favorite site on line! If I'm outside, I hope to be in the mountains. If I'm inside I'm here! From what I hear so far, I can't go wrong with a Lancaster. Thanks again - CO

Odnar
March 20, 2008, 07:05 AM
I picked up a Norinco quite a while ago and I'd never go back. It has the thumbhole stock, which I was unsure of at first, but after shooting it I actually prefer it over my other pistol-gripped rifles. This probably doesn't help you since they've been banned from import for a while, but it's definitely worth consideration if you run across one in your shopping. ...Actually, there's one on AuctionArms (http://www.auctionarms.com/search/displayitem.cfm?itemnum=8536057) right now... (Not mine, I'll never sell it if I have any choice)

Whatever you buy, I hope you enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed mine!

Moose458
March 20, 2008, 05:30 PM
I have a Yugo under folder M70 AB2 that I got from Classic Arms Inc for $439.00 plus $25.00 to my FFL holder, and it is a very impressive rifle. If I could only have one AK-47 it would be this one, and I have an Arsenal Sam 7 A1R and two Romy Gs. All are real nice AKs and I would bet my life on any one of them, but the Yugo fits me better when using the iron sights, and it is built like a tank.

RelicHunter
April 25, 2008, 04:01 AM
:)Second vote for Norinco AKs, and it seems that our USN Seals concur!

Kind of Blued
April 25, 2008, 04:14 AM
Seeing as how you are in Colorado, go check out 5280 Armory. I haven't been to the shop, but I hear they have a great AK selection. They're only open Fri-Sun I believe.

az_imuth
April 25, 2008, 08:20 AM
My Yugo underfolder has been 100% from day one. I think they're hard to beat for the price, but they seem to be getting a little bit scarce recently. I have many other rifles that are more accurate, but few are as fun to shoot as the Yugo. Best of luck in whatever you settle upon.
azimuth
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v498/tditmore/akakleft.jpg

SimpleIsGood229
April 25, 2008, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by Zek
No one likes the Vepr?
Got one (have had it for years, back when they were 500-600 bucks), I think its awesome.
I'm attempting to get a 5.45 VEPR (16"). I really like the idea of the RPK's beefiness! :)

nathan
April 25, 2008, 10:39 AM
They all good in my opinion . Make sure the mag locks up good or it be a jammy baby.

MechAg94
April 25, 2008, 11:52 AM
I have to agree, the Vepr is a first class AK. The only knock on it is that its a little heavier than standard. Mine is tough, very reliable, and as accurate as it can be. I can do 3" groups with my Kobra sight pretty easily.

I have a converted Siaga that is just as accurate. It is a beautiful rifle that has also been very reliable. It was set up to use the Bulgarian waffle 5.56 magazines that Kvar sells.

I would also recommend getting the side optics mount. The sights for most AK's are at best adequate. The side mounts lets you easily mount a red dot or low power scope that can enhance usefulness a lot. The Kobra red dot scope and mount are available from Tantal (do a google search).

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