Considering an AK


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Lovesbeer99
August 4, 2011, 11:16 AM
I've never had an interest before but as the years go by my tastes and interest change. So if I want an AK pattern gun where should I start? My limited knowledge is leading me to a Saiga but honestly I have no idea.

I'd like something as traditional as possible though. I live in NJ so it would have to comply with local laws. I have a few guns I'd sell to help pay for this also.

Thanks in advance.

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Sam1911
August 4, 2011, 11:47 AM
It's kind of hard to answer that question. If you don't have preferences for what caliber you want, what kind of stock, etc, or even price requirements, all we can do is list our favorites and tell you that's the best thing to get.

A Kalashnikov is almost certainly going to be a restricted "assault" firearm in NJ.

A Saiga is a Kalashnikov action, just with a more "sporting" look and a couple of minor changes. They are well built. If you can legally obtain one, it would not be a bad gun to own. If you can legally "convert" one to the original AK pattern, it would be an even better gun to shoot.

You might want to wander on down to your local dealer's shop and chat with them about what kinds of Kalashnikov pattern guns they can sell you.

But, hey, as long as we're voting, you should get an AKS-74. They're the best. ;)

Sky
August 4, 2011, 12:01 PM
I never liked the AK!!! Guess it "was" a personality flaw!

I purchased one from Centerfire systems for $349 and after centering the front sight (rubber hammerized it) I am actually liking the thing. Accuracy for pig popping and just general plinking with cheaper ammo is a blast!

As Sam said the Saiga is good but about $300 more if you convert it( depending on how much converting you do?). I have a Saiga 410 shot gun and have shot and handled Saigas of various calibers on numerous occasions. To me they are a step up from the usual AK offerings......but hey it is an AK and other than cleaning the thing it is not a trophy kinda gun for me. Just something I can shoot and if it gets scratched from abuse or attacking zombies I can spray some flat black High Heat Ultra Rust-oleum paint and Walla it looks as good as new!

Cornhusker77
August 4, 2011, 12:25 PM
Centerfire Systems (http://centerfiresystems.com/SAI-762.aspx) have the Saiga rifles for around $350, and I believe Classic Arms (http://www.classicarms.us/) has them too in the same price range.
The Saigas are sporterized, the trigger is set back to use a hunting style stock. If you live in a restrictive environment, they are a good option and a darn nice Russian made gun.

Sam1911
August 4, 2011, 12:48 PM
Some notes from NJ law: http://www.nj.gov/njsp/info/pdf/firearms/062408_title13ch54.pdf

"Assault firearms" means:
1. Any of the following firearms:
...
Avtomat Kalashnikov type semi-automatic firearms
...

2. Any firearm manufactured under any designation, which is substantially identical to any of the
firearms listed in paragraph 1 above. As used in this definition, the term "substantial" means
pertaining to the substance, matter, material or essence of a thing and the term "identical" means
exactly the same. Hence, a firearm is substantially identical to another only if it is identical in all
material, essential respects. A firearm is not substantially identical to a listed assault firearm unless
it is identical except for differences that do not alter the essential nature of the firearm.
The following are examples of manufacturer changes that do not alter the essential nature of the
firearm: the name or designation of the firearm; the color of the firearm; the material used to make
the barrel or stock of the firearm; the material used to make a pistol grip; and a modification of a
pistol grip. This is not an exclusive list. A semi-automatic firearm should be considered to be
"substantially identical," that is, identical in all material respects, to a named assault weapon if it
meets the below listed criteria:
i. A semi-automatic rifle that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least
two of the following:
(1) A folding or telescoping stock;
(2) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
(3) A bayonet mount;
(4) A flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash
suppressor; and
(5) A grenade launcher;
A Saiga is an Avtomat Kalashnikov type semi-automatic firearm. Whether NJ recognizes that fact, I'm not certain. A Saiga would appear to eliminate the forbidden features that would make it "substantively identical."

It appears that you would need a license to own an "assault weapon or machine gun" to be able to have a converted Saiga, but it does appear that an as-imported one would be acceptable, as long as your magazines all were legal.

Cal-gun Fan
August 4, 2011, 12:50 PM
Arsenal Las Vegas actually makes a NJ compliant rifle, so I would guess that a saiga would fit the bill as that is what they are made from.

Lone_Sheep_Dog
August 4, 2011, 12:56 PM
I recommend an Arsenal SGL-21. Too bad you live in NJ. If I lived in one of those states, I would have to consider moving.

Thor88
August 4, 2011, 01:07 PM
You may want to consider popping over to the saiga-12 forum.

I know there are several members in New Jersey there that have gone through the process of converting their Saigas legally.

bri
August 4, 2011, 01:45 PM
...I'd like something as traditional as possible though. I live in NJ so it would have to comply with local laws...


http://www.k-var.com/shop/home.php?cat=430

You won't get much more traditional than a converted Saiga. New rifle off the assembly line from Mother Russia. The appropriate parts are swapped out in the US for 922 regs, but they're top-quality.

Lovesbeer99
August 4, 2011, 04:21 PM
bri - the Saiga on the www.k-var.com sight looks pretty cool but it's also pretty expensive. What makes this NJ complient?

Cal-gun Fan
August 4, 2011, 04:23 PM
It only has one of the two qualities that would make it illegal-a pistol grip.

Sam1911
August 4, 2011, 04:23 PM
What makes this NJ complient?

Probably the fact that it DOESN'T have two of the following:

(1) A folding or telescoping stock;
(2) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
(3) A bayonet mount;
(4) A flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash
suppressor; and
(5) A grenade launcher;

Note that the muzzle threads are missing or permanently capped, the bayonet mount is ground off, there is no flash suppressor, the stock is a fixed model, and the magazine is a short version (probably 5-10 rds).

bri
August 4, 2011, 08:53 PM
Sam looks like he nailed it... You could also convert a stock Saiga yourself and skip the front-end portion (making sure this is NJ legit, of course). All said and done, you're looking at around $500...

ThatGuyHank
August 4, 2011, 09:02 PM
Fellow New Jersian here, a saiga model "sporter" model is most certainly legal. I own a few. If you wanted you could get the pistol grip stock or a barrel with flash hider. My particular rifle had the pistol grip stock but no chrome barrel so I bought one that measured 18.5inches with flash hider. Just cut the end off and recrown it and voila.

Keep in mind this can be done with any "brand" AK rifle. Some companies like Arsenal and Century make NJ compliant weapons that don't require reworking to make comfortable.

Cal-gun Fan
August 5, 2011, 12:27 AM
Careful, the NJ laws state that one of the features is a muzzle threaded to possibly accept a flash hider, not just having a flash hider on the rifle. Saigas have threaded muzzles, so that would count as one evil feature. Thats why the Arsenal is so nice-it eliminates the threaded muzzle.

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