AK74 for my girlfriend


March 7, 2012, 11:46 AM
Hello everybody.
Last week my girlfriend and I went out to get some target practice with a former coworker and friend. My friend brought a few different rifles for us to have fun with, one of which was an AK74. My girlfriend shot that rifle and she absolutely fell in love with it. I want to get her one soon, but I know nothing about these rifles. My friend said that his was an NDS 2 that was made in Bulgaria, but that is all Greek to me. Is there any specific type of 74 that I should look to buy? I don't mind spending a little extra for a higher quality model, and my only criteria is that it has a fixed wooden stock (she loved how the stock looked)
Any help would be appreciated.

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March 7, 2012, 11:53 AM
I would get a Saiga, and have it converted with wood furniture from Timbersmith

March 7, 2012, 11:57 AM
Where do you think the price range would run for that?

March 7, 2012, 12:01 PM
Around 600

March 7, 2012, 12:20 PM
Definitely go with an Arsenal. To convert an AK to true form would be far more expensive than a home conversion. Even if you don't mind the hand guard and bolted trigger guard you still won't have a threaded muzzle unless you pay a smith to do it. One of the reasons she probably liked it so much was the light recoil which is had by installing the 74 muzzle brake on a threaded barrel.

Base price for an Arsenal 74 is generally $800 or more if you want a NATO(longer) stock or folding stock. Arsenal has two versions. The Russian, which is a completely converted Saiga, and the Bulgarian. Both are top of the line and the important parts are made in the respective countries so they have original AK receivers, barrels, carriers and bolts. The trunions are also properly riveted. The american parts made by arsenal are also very high quality and almost indistinguishable from the Eastern European made. The same gun can aslo be had in 5.56 as well as 7.62. Atlantic Firearms usually has very good Arsenal pricing. KVAR has the largerst selection.

March 7, 2012, 12:27 PM
Check out Atlantic Firearms' selection. They have cheap to expensive ak-74's, mags, ammo, pouches, etc. I think they also offer a discount to THR members. If it were me, I would buy the Arsenal because they are so sexy.

March 7, 2012, 12:27 PM
Here is one that fits the bill:


I hear pretty good things about them, and the price is pretty good being that it has an original chrome lined barrel and all the good features like threaded muzzle with brake, bayonet lug, takes standard capacity mags, etc... the only thing it doesn't have is an optics rail on the side. Oh well, if you want optics on an AK I prefer an Ultimak anyway.

March 7, 2012, 12:34 PM
Also the polish tantil runs about 400. Cheapest ak74 on the market but still a good service rifle.

Dave Markowitz
March 7, 2012, 12:35 PM
I have an NDS-2. It is an American made rifle from Century Arms with a mixture of imported and US-made parts. Among the American parts are the receiver, barrel, and the fire control group (hammer, trigger, disconnector).

The furniture is also American made and is the only real problem with them, as it's mediocre quality, and the handguard lacks a heat shield. I will be replacing mine with a set from K-Var.

March 7, 2012, 12:41 PM
I would recommend to get a Waffen Werks AK 74. I was told that it's got a nicer finish and you can order it for cheaper than the Interarms posted above.


They don't list it as a Waffen Werks AK 74 but in one of the pictures you can zoom in a make out "Waffen Werks Knoxville TN" and a E-Mail confirmed it. They don't come with a Magazine so you'll have to order one.

Rob G
March 7, 2012, 05:11 PM
Arsenals are really nice and I love mine but honestly it's a high dollar gun. If you just want a nice looking shooter I'd buy the Waffen Werks. They're around $600 and you can get them with a nice wood grain stock. They're really good quality too so you shouldn't have any problems.

March 7, 2012, 07:30 PM
Get a AK from a place that has a good, no BS return policy.

Contrary to popular belief, building a AK isn't as easy as assembling a AR. Lots of parts require correct fitting to work right.

I'd recommend on getting a rifle that has a side optics plate. Having a factory method of mounting optics can come in handy down the road. Even if you don't care about it now it's nice to have options.


March 7, 2012, 10:53 PM
I would avoid anything by Century Arms. Just thank me later.

March 7, 2012, 11:20 PM
Dont count out Arms of America of Colorado Springs, CO. They have AK 74 built by Elk River Tools and Die. They make really nice AKs.

March 7, 2012, 11:39 PM
Contrary to popular belief, building a AK isn't as easy as assembling a AR. Lots of parts require correct fitting to work right.

Not to mention the Rivets. Putting the AR 15 together is like Legos but an AK is a different story.

March 8, 2012, 11:06 AM
If you want top quality go with an Arsenal. You will pay more for it but they are probably the best AKs available. I bought mine (in 7.62x39mm) on sale about a year ago NIB for $699 and really like it. If you are patient, places will run good sales on them. Also, check gunbroker for a used one. (An AK is like a Honda automobile, they will pretty much run forever other than cosmetic issues.)

That said, pretty much any AK variant will function reliably enough to get the job done. Among the less expensive models, I would recommend the ones from Atlantic Firearms because they seem to have the most positive owner feedback.

Most of your newer AKs (especially those made of entirely new parts, rather than surplus kits) will come equipped with polymer furniture. This done for both cost and performance. However, if you want wooden furniture that is an easy fix. Many places sell the wood furniture seperately and there are usually plenty of people willing to swap even (or simply purchase) for your polymer furniture.

You do need to realize that there are different build/part qualities and qualities of furniture (both polymer and definitely wood) put on the AK pattern rifles. In general, the "better" the country then the better the overall rifle. Bulgaria, Russia, China and Poland are usually held in better regard for quality. American made AK stuff can vary greatly and you'll need to do your homework.

Despite their communist background, not all AKs are "equal." I hope this was helpful to
you in your decision process.


P.S. If she likes the colors maroon or purple, show her some rifles with the "plum" color furniture.

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