Contemplating a Kalashnikov


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Sergei Mosin
August 2, 2012, 12:58 AM
Because my AR needs something to glare at in the safe...

I'm not very familiar with the AK market, but I do have a pretty good idea of what I want: something as close to the original Soviet-pattern AK-47 or AKM as possible, in 7.62x39, with a fixed wooden stock and a bayonet lug. Any suggestions?

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Bhi curamach
August 2, 2012, 01:33 AM
Yes. All of them but I will stick to just a few in no particular order.
Romanian AKM patteren WASR10. Cheap and has never hesitated to go bang when asked. Not safe queen pretty or deadly accurate but a basic battlefield AKM.
Mine shoots everything with acceptable (to me) accuracy.
Saiga series in your flavor of caliber.
easily enough modified back to correct format and actually Russian made.
I have the 12 guage and love it.
12's a slightly different horse of course but a great way to get into AK patterns.
Arsenal has good products I hear. Spendy but those that got 'em seem to love 'em.
Yugo M70. Military(ish) wind nicely made. I can only speak on the wood foregrip underfolder model but the straight stock model looks to be of similar quality.
Enough to get started on I guess...
Cheers and enjoy.
Oops. Saigas don't possess a lug. Worth a hard look though.

Quentin
August 2, 2012, 01:51 AM
I've had my WASR10/63 over five years and it's still going strong. It's about the cheapest AK clone out there that works.

coalman
August 2, 2012, 02:54 AM
WASR 10/63, Chinese or Arsenal/Saiga. Get a chrome lined barrel. IMO, AK47 over AK74.

Sergei Mosin
August 2, 2012, 03:30 AM
My understanding is that the WASR rifles are assembled by Century. If that's correct, I'd rather stay away from them; Century seems to have a reputation for inconsistent quality.

Auto426
August 2, 2012, 05:59 AM
Take a look at what Atlantic Firearms has to offer. They have quite a few different guns to choose from, including some models that they have built specifically for them. They are a pleasure to deal with as well.

JustinJ
August 2, 2012, 10:12 AM
Its generally accepted that Arsenal is the best and i agree 100%. If you want a more traditional look get an Arsenal and then just install wood furniture.

Bhi curamach
August 2, 2012, 10:20 AM
Cant argue Century's history but mine is absolutely assembled fine. I understand through other boards most of the newer ones coming out are decidedly free of the canted sites issue and magazine well wobble/fit is much better.
I guess after far too many complaints they've stepped up the quality control.
The mag wobble seems to be very minor in mine and is different with each one of the ribbed back metal Mag's.
I mostly use the Bulgarian smooth slab sides and those lock up tight with zero movement.
The one and only Tapco mag is the worst of the bunch.
all that being said try to locate one in person if your concerned about a bad build.
A quick visual inspection will weed out any problem rifles.
If I didn't have any and only wanted one id get the Saiga and convert it.
Some can be found with the gas assembly converted to AK style. The hardest part of the conversion in my utterly error prone opinion.

bri
August 2, 2012, 01:25 PM
...something as close to the original Soviet-pattern AK-47 or AKM as possible, in 7.62x39...

Easy, Arsenal SGL. I like the look of the folding metal stock:

http://www.k-var.com/shop/images/D/SGL21-84_002%20copy.jpg

meanmrmustard
August 2, 2012, 06:48 PM
Convert a Saiga. It's fun, it's a learning experience, and you get to build it YOUR way.

flyskater
August 2, 2012, 07:23 PM
yugo m70 - thicker receiver than most AKs and built like tanks. or convert a saiga.

I love my ARs, but when it comes to business, I'll take a my AK 74 or 47

Cal-gun Fan
August 2, 2012, 10:12 PM
If you want an AKM, go with this:
http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct1067.aspx

If you want an AK-103, go with this:
http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct1170.aspx

ifit
August 2, 2012, 11:00 PM
id rather get the wasr 1063 or any pre-ban chinese ak, over any saiga or arsenal

meanmrmustard
August 2, 2012, 11:02 PM
id rather get the wasr 1063 or any pre-ban chinese ak, over any saiga or arsenal
Do elaborate.

ifit
August 2, 2012, 11:30 PM
meanmustard, its just cause i prefer these variants and others over the saiga/arsenal....thats all.

meanmrmustard
August 2, 2012, 11:42 PM
Ever owned, or used them? They aren't like ARs, which to me are pots and kettles, and have very different "personalities" I'd guess you'd say. I have, and without trying to sound too elitist, Saiga/Arsenal are what an AK SHOULD be.

But, preference in your case trumps all that. We buy what makes us smile.

ifit
August 2, 2012, 11:48 PM
never owned a saiga/arsenal but have closely looked at them handled them and shot them(friends own) did not see what the hype was all about. before my first ak i purchased a vz58 that put a smile on my face. then the rest is history for me bought all kinds of ak variants chinese/romys/hungarian/vepr and all have put a smile on my face without buyin one single saiga/arsenal:)

meanmrmustard
August 2, 2012, 11:56 PM
never owned a saiga/arsenal but have closely looked at them handled them and shot them(friends own) did not see what the hype was all about. before my first ak i purchased a vz58 that put a smile on my face. then the rest is history for me bought all kinds of ak variants chinese/romys/hungarian/vepr and all have put a smile on my face without buyin one single saiga/arsenal:)
I do love me some veprs, but I too find them in a class above Romys. Norincos I like better as well. IDK, something about the WASR being the archetypal inaccurate and low build quality rifle always put me off. How they hold their value is beyond me. I owned one, oh bout six years ago, that grouped best with brown bear. Best group I could muster with a clean, cold barrel at 50 yards was six inches. This while resting on bags. Not impressed.

Hopefully, your eyes and your WASR are and we're better than mine!

mberoose
August 3, 2012, 01:45 PM
My buddy recently picked up a WASR-2 (5.45x39)...my god is it rough around the edges. Even beyond the edges. But, it's still endearing like all AKs.

cyclopsshooter
August 3, 2012, 04:07 PM
century rifles are fine if you buy new- the new stuff is only imported by century-

Cal-gun Fan
August 3, 2012, 09:45 PM
Yeah, but the Cugir factory is almost as bad as Century when it comes to quality. Canted front sight bases all come from Cugir, not Century, as do many of the problems on the WASR.

ifit
August 4, 2012, 12:17 AM
segei mosin, i know you asked about the kalashnikov but you should also consider the vz58 from czechpoint. when i first bought my first ar15 years back i also wanted a ak type variant and was considering a saiga/arsenal, but found something way better and purchased a cz-usa vz58 before any of my aks, till this day is my favorite rifle out of all my ak variants.

Ohio Gun Guy
August 4, 2012, 02:16 PM
Love my wasr/s.... I think there were real issues with the early wasrs... 1990's era. The internet has refused to let those issues die. I have 2 of the 10/63's and would like to have as many more of them as I could afford...

Float Pilot
August 4, 2012, 04:27 PM
The best Kalashnikov type rifles were the old Finnish Vamet and original Israeli Galil rifles from the 1980s. I had both and they were excellent.

Some of the old Chinese solid milled receiver AK were pretty nice as well. They are almost impossible to find for sale up here these days.

I recently obtained a new CAI Polish Under-folder. The receiver is a US made NoDak and I think the barrel is US made as well. It is very tight and shoots nice groups for an AK. No mag wobble or loose fo0lding stock either. My only complaint is the Tapco G2 trigger. A problem I have solved.

meanmrmustard
August 4, 2012, 05:11 PM
segei mosin, i know you asked about the kalashnikov but you should also consider the vz58 from czechpoint. when i first bought my first ar15 years back i also wanted a ak type variant and was considering a saiga/arsenal, but found something way better and purchased a cz-usa vz58 before any of my aks, till this day is my favorite rifle out of all my ak variants.
Those are indeed BA. Wish I owned one.

Sergei Mosin
August 4, 2012, 07:15 PM
ifit, I like the vz.58, but the lack of a bayonet lug on the Czechpoint rifles is a bummer.

Cal-gun fan, http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct1067.aspx which you linked above looks promising. I can't quite tell if it will take a bayonet though. Do you know who's assembling these rifles?

jason41987
August 4, 2012, 07:29 PM
if you want an AK type rifle, forget about the VZ-58.. its not even remotely similar to the AK.. they are entirely different designs.. saying theyre similar would be like saying an mini-14 and M16 are similar rifles... VZ58 is a short-stroke tilting block rifle with an entirely different trigger group and if i remember correctly, zero interchangable parts.. the only thing they having in common is the caliber they fire

heck, even a mini-30 is closer to an AK because atleast that has a rotating bolt, which means it shares atleast one common feature the AK has

-----

anyway.. ive been comtemplating an AK as well, im going to build mine myself, so i can be sure its put together right as many of them floating are of questionable build quality from manufacturers that really dont care (like century).... to buy one.. if im not mistaken, doesnt arsenal base a lot of their parts off of the bulgarian design?... i would buy either arsenal or a saiga

meanmrmustard
August 4, 2012, 08:08 PM
if you want an AK type rifle, forget about the VZ-58.. its not even remotely similar to the AK.. they are entirely different designs.. saying theyre similar would be like saying an mini-14 and M16 are similar rifles... VZ58 is a short-stroke tilting block rifle with an entirely different trigger group and if i remember correctly, zero interchangable parts.. the only thing they having in common is the caliber they fire

heck, even a mini-30 is closer to an AK because atleast that has a rotating bolt, which means it shares atleast one common feature the AK has

-----

anyway.. ive been comtemplating an AK as well, im going to build mine myself, so i can be sure its put together right as many of them floating are of questionable build quality from manufacturers that really dont care (like century).... to buy one.. if im not mistaken, doesnt arsenal base a lot of their parts off of the bulgarian design?... i would buy either arsenal or a saiga
But they're both gas piston, so the similarity in gas operation is withstanding.
So, your comparison makes no sense, as a Mini is gas piston, AR is DI.

I won't speak for ifit, but I gather that was his point in grouping the two together.

jason41987
August 4, 2012, 09:52 PM
the VZ.58 is a short stroke gas piston, the AK is a long stroke.. and technically "direct impinged" is also a short-stroke system since it relies on that initial impulse to operate... so not even the gas system is the same between the VZ and the AK.. theyre just entirely different designs

meanmrmustard
August 4, 2012, 10:31 PM
the VZ.58 is a short stroke gas piston, the AK is a long stroke.. and technically "direct impinged" is also a short-stroke system since it relies on that initial impulse to operate... so not even the gas system is the same between the VZ and the AK.. theyre just entirely different designs
We can agree to disagree, on the connection and differences. I see more of a similarity in the VZ and ak, than I do a gas piston operated Mini, and a DI AR that uses nothing of the sort other than gas routed to the bolt. The stroke length is an afterthought, they're both GP! DI is NOT!

jason41987
August 4, 2012, 11:23 PM
different gas system, different carrier, heck, the VZ-58 doesnt even use a rotating bolt, its a tilting block... the VZ-58 with its short stroke gas system and tilting breechblock would make it closer related to an FAL than anything else.. its no an opinion, just a fact about the rifle.. people just assume theyre similar because they use a similar gas block, sights, and magazines which give the end result an AK look externally, but mechanically its more FAL than AK...

and my suggestion to the OP if he has the tools and isnt squeemish about doing the work (he could find video-guides on youtube), i would recommend getting an inexpensive AK parts kit and receiver flat and build one himself

Trent
August 5, 2012, 10:21 AM
Romanian WASR or SAR, Yugo M72, Bulgarian arsenal, Norinco MAK-90 (just ditch the thumbhole crap stock if it has one). All very good.

Stay AWAY from Egyption Maadi's. Junk. Had one blow up on me once! Locking lugs sheared right the hell off. Replacement (under warranty) had a front sight canted left 16 degrees off vertical. Replacement to THAT had a magazine notch in the wrong spot, wouldn't feed rounds. Just.. junk.

Most AK's are good, but I've only owned Yugo, Chinese, Romanian, and Bulgarian.

Some of the Romanian triggers are on the "rough" side. Trigger slap will have you very upset with the gun after a mag or two (on some specimens it's PAINFULLY bad). That is hit and miss though, I've owned a few which were just fine. And a few that I couldn't get more than 5 rounds off before I had to put my index finger on ice.

Trent
August 5, 2012, 10:22 AM
(FYI I sold several dozens of AK's when I had my FFL, I was particularly fond of the EARLY Yugo M70AB2 underfolders with wood furniture. The build quality was spectacular. Century International's production went downhill BAD towards the end of that run, about the time they started running out of wood furniture and switched to plastic. From there on it just got worse and worse.. had a LOT of returns for repair)

jason41987
August 5, 2012, 12:16 PM
i keep getting the impression from AK gurus that bulgarians are absolutely top quality AKs... even had higher standards than the russians did with theirs... only downside though is the only 7.62 bulgarian kits ive been able to find were in fact milled.... all their stamped kits are AK-74s

on that note.. have you considered an AK-74 over the 47?... ammo is cheaper now, the round is more accurate, and if you look at the ballistics charts, after a short distance the 5.45 actually becomes more potent than the 7.62 since the poor ballistics coefficiency of the 7.62 causes the round to drop like a rock, and the bullet in the 5.45 was designed specifically to destabilize and tumble only after impact with a target, remaining perfectly stable up until that point

but.. k-var sells 7.62mm trunnions made in bulgaria that.. though im not 100% sure, i believe you can use to put together a milled kit on a stamped receiver?

meanmrmustard
August 5, 2012, 12:49 PM
7.62 has better barrier penetration, if that matters.
Not so good for fragmenting in flesh. Deer I've shot with it were through and through with soft points at 125 yards.

Trent: sorry that happened to you! Can't say ive ever had a problematic Maadii. I've found them quite reliable, but all things that can happen usually do.

SpentCasing
August 5, 2012, 08:55 PM
The only problems with Maadis Ive ever heard of is when Century (surprise, surprise) decided to force-fit Mak90 parts with the MISR using angle grinders and ball-peen hammers creating the MISR-90.

Trent- was your rifle a Century build by chance?

Trent
August 6, 2012, 02:48 AM
SpentCasing;

Not sure who made it but safe bet is Century. It was bought in 1998, post ban config. Probably was a franken-AK. I'm sure the originals are quite good.

Okiegunner
August 7, 2012, 11:33 PM
If you would consider a 74, then Waffen Werks builds a really nice one. Paid $699 incldg. shipping from "Atlantic"

Very little recoil. Much less than my 9mm Beretta 92. (which is very little itself), I know...rifle-pistol comparison, but you get where I'm coming from.

Also, if you buy ammo in bulk, its like 13-17 cents a round. I'm not trying to pimp this particular rifle just because I own it. I own it because it appeared to be one of the better values around at this time.

Also BTW...Trent, sorry you got a lemon. I have always heard really good things about the Maadi. I would like to own one. (a REAL one anyway)

Gunner

armysniper
August 9, 2012, 05:13 PM
The OP asked what is closest to the origional AKM. Anything from Century Arms are junk compared to all other AKM variants. My first AK was a WASR 10, it did what it was supposed to do, but compared to other AKM's they are junk and dont let anyone try to tell you that, that polished turd is anything other than that.
Here is a link to everything you need to know about buying an AK 47 here in the USA what to look for and such.

http://www.ak47world.com/rifles.html

The best place to get the best price on an AKM is at a local pawn shop. I just purchased a excellent condition SAR-1 for $350 out the door. If need be I can scan the receipt for the nay sayers. And yes a SAR 1 is an excellent AKM copy because they were actually built at the former Soviet armory.

One of the BEST 'Real Military Arsenal' AK's EVER imported into the USA (Milled-Receiver & Steyr Hammer-Forged Barrel) - a REAL Arsenal of Bulgaria (not from Arsenal Inc. of Las Vegas) SLR-96MB (Factory Muzzle Brake model) - that once sold for around $500 in 1996 !

DON'T get 'Suckered' by the New Crop of Yugoslavian M70 'PAP' AK-47's which are PRONE to 'Catatrophic FAILURE' due to importer MILLING OUT the former 'Single-Stack' Yugo PAP M70 AK's to take Hi-Cap Mags - but the 'PAP' has a Narrow Trunnion - that when opened to accept Hi-Cap Mags - make the Rifle considerably WEAKER in the Critical Trunnion/Chamber area that sees the MOST STRESS of an AK-47's firing/usage cycle !!!

As Norinco & Poly-Tech of China build EXCELLENT AK's, and so does Hungary with their SA-85M AK's by F.E.G. (not AMD-65 'Kit Guns' by Century...), 'Real' Yugoslavian AK's - imported by Mitchell Arms of Santa Ana, CA in the 1980's, Egyptian Maadi AKM, ARM, RPM & RML models only (not the MISR & MISR-90 'creations' by Century Arms...), 'Real' Bulgarian AK's like the SA-93, SLR-95, SLR-96, SLR-101 & SLR-105, and 'Real' Romanian AK's like the Intrac MK-I (AK-47), MK-II (AK-74) & early SAR-1, SAR-2 & SAR-3 Rifles !

If the WASR-10 functions OK w/o 'Failure to Feed' or 'Failure to extract' problems - then it's worth $500 to some retailers - as many distributors are ALL SOLD OUT of this less-than-desirable AK-47 w/o dimples on its receiver for proper magazine alignment - as the WASR-10 tries to compensate for this with defeciency by having pieces of sheet metal welded into its magazine well - (see Google & You tube for more on issues SOME PEOPLE have with WASR-10 AK's - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6H_sw-YKOc ) !!!

Still, besides the numerous problems that SOME have with WASR-10's - it's the LOWEST-PRICED AK-47 on the market & many Gun dealers & their 'victims' (uneducated buyers) ignore the WARRANTY NIGHTMARES that others have had with Century's WASR-10 Rifles - as some WASR-10's can be OK ?

The problem with Century Arms - could be a gamble with your time & your $$$ (that you won't have with a Norinco MAK-90, Hungarian SA-85M, or Bulgarian SA-93, SLR-95, etc.) - because even if the WASR-10 is new & the WASR-10 has problems - you won't get a new rifle from the FFL dealer who sold it to you if the rifle has problems & if the WASR-10 is used - how much $$$ do you want to spend for a gunsmith to fix the WASR-10 if you have no warranty ???

Also, on the other end of the AK spectrum - pictured below is a Russian Saiga 'IZ series' AK - that we constantly hear kids & others say, "I saw a 'Real' Russian AK-47 for $350 OR $400 or so..."

Oh really !!!


Unfortunately they're unable to accurately compare Sporter AK's like the Saiga IZ series (pictured below) to realize that after they convert the non-pistol Grip Saiga IZ AK-47 (pictured below) to have a standard Pistol Grip & standard or folding stock AK-47 buttstock & pistol grip (over $100 in most cases - which then makes their $350 bargain cost over $450...) - they'll still have a non-standard AK-47 that WON'T ACCEPT Standard AK-47 Mags/clips or drums - as special Surefire 30 round Mags COST OVER $40 a piece to fit in the Saiga IZ series AK-47 pictured below !!!

jason41987
August 9, 2012, 06:14 PM
closest to an old school AKM would probably be the romanian or egyptian... egyptians are made on the same tooling the russian AKMs were made on, egypt purchased them from russia... any poor egyptian AK is probably a result of some half-attempt at putting together a parts kit from a company that rarely cares (like century)

Sergei Mosin
August 9, 2012, 08:27 PM
I handled a WASR at the LGS yesterday. I won't be buying one.

meanmrmustard
August 9, 2012, 08:31 PM
I handled a WASR at the LGS yesterday. I won't be buying one.
Good idea.

snake284
August 9, 2012, 08:31 PM
Because my AR needs something to glare at in the safe...

I'm not very familiar with the AK market, but I do have a pretty good idea of what I want: something as close to the original Soviet-pattern AK-47 or AKM as possible, in 7.62x39, with a fixed wooden stock and a bayonet lug. Any suggestions?

I don't have either an AR or AK, but I now want both. The AR is the sophisticated choice of arms while the AK is the gutter rat. It can survive all kinds of missuse, take a lickin and keep on tickin. Seriously they're both great guns.

justice06rr
August 9, 2012, 10:51 PM
I don't have either an AR or AK, but I now want both. The AR is the sophisticated choice of arms while the AK is the gutter rat. It can survive all kinds of missuse, take a lickin and keep on tickin. Seriously they're both great guns.

You don't say? :)

I was an AR guy for a long time until I shot my friend's AK. Now I have one too.
I was watching the movie "Black Hawk Down" and it makes you want both!


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v424/eiji81/AR15/DSCI0240.jpg

you need to get one of each to really appreciate them. Each rifle are fun to shoot and have their own strong points.

Okiegunner
August 9, 2012, 11:09 PM
From what I can ascertain...The Maadi is a truely great rifle. I would love to own one.

From my personal experience, I can say this:

1. Arsenal SAM-7 A1R (milled) Truely, this rifle was flawless. Fit, function, trigger, looks(black poly). I became unemployeed in 2009 and was forced to sell this rifle in order to take care of my family. (I purchased this rifle in 2005) It turns my stomach everytime I think about losing this AK. Yes, it was that NICE.

2. Waffen Werks AK 74: After 3 years I was finally able to purchase a new AK platform. This is a really nice rifle. Solid build. KG Gun Coat, NDS reciever, CL Barrell, dark plum unissued Bulgarian parts kit build. Is it the quality of the "Arsenal" milled? No!! Is it close? Well, kinda...It is a very nice, quality build. Dark plum furniture looks very good. Single hook Tapco G2 trigger, quick reset and 0 slap.

Anyhow guys, just thought I would share my experiences with you.

Good luck and good shooting,

Gunner

ifit
August 9, 2012, 11:48 PM
will be placing an order for one of these, over a saiga/arsenal. and once i get it will post pics and range results. and see if its worth the price as compared to other aks that need converting.
http://www.jgsales.com/romanian-ak-47-wasr10-63m-rifle,-7.62x39-caliber.-coming-soon-p-3448.html

Float Pilot
August 10, 2012, 02:08 AM
The new Century AKMs are not the same as their old WASRs...
The Polish under-folder has a NoDak receiver and a US (Green Mountain) barrel. Mine is super tight and fairly accurate....

Ohio Gun Guy
August 10, 2012, 02:30 AM
The wasrs shoot, function, the same..... the finish needs some work, but thats easy and fun to fix. for me the difference is price. In my OPINION, the upper limit for buying even a good AK is the price of a decent AR. In the neutered versions the AR is closer to the intended design, than the AK...IMO.


That said, I love my AKs. Hope you get one. It's your money, good luck.

JHenry
August 10, 2012, 03:03 AM
i wanted to buy a quality ak, i wanted to get a stamped mak 90 with the intention to restore its original pistol grip configuration, but i ended finding a milled one with that problem already solved. Couldnt be happier with it. You can most certainly find a good AR for the same price as a high quality AK, but alot of the older, sought after models are rising in price and dont look like theyre going down anytime soon. Imo spending less isnt more when it comes to AKs. WASRs while functional are not desirable. With their prices creeping over $500 id much rather just spend more on a better ak variant. If your looking to retain value buy something that will never be imported again.

on a side note arsenal did release some slr101's. They are milled but the mag well was opened up at arsenal because they were single stacks. But if you want to get a milled ak with all the bells and whistles its a solid deal at right around a grand

Ohio Gun Guy
August 10, 2012, 03:07 AM
^absolutely agree if you are looking at it from a collectors stand point.

I dont think any of them will go down in value. Some will start and stay higher....

I guess I'm viewing this from a range toy, truck gun, shtf, etc....

jason41987
August 10, 2012, 03:16 AM
im actually looking for a stereotypical old-school AK to add to my collection sometime after the more tactical AK-74 is built... im going to build a polish kit though with a new fixed rear trunnion... the polish is pretty AKM, except for that underfolder which i will be doing away with... so thats an option too

Trent
August 10, 2012, 11:51 AM
jason;

I took a MAK90 and fitted it with all the "tacticool" crap that was for sale on the market, after the original thumbhole stock split from recoil. (Junk, those things)

I put a new adjustable trigger in, ghost ring / crosshair sights, black plastic furniture, etc.

It sucks.

The plastic furniture on front melts and smokes if you shoot more than 30 rounds quickly. The adjustable plastic stock required EXCESSIVE dremelling to fit, and feels ... wonky.

The peep rear & crosshair front sites suck. I thought they'd be an improvement but the crosshair front site completely washes out when you sight the target. Requires constant eye focusing between target and front site, which QUICKLY fatigues your eye.

The adjustable trigger WAS worth it.

But even with all of that, PLUS handloaded ammo, it still shot minute-of-pie-plate at 100 yards. :)

I'll put it back to wood furniture someday. In the meantime it's been collecting a LOT of dust for the last 5 years.

Inebriated
August 10, 2012, 11:55 AM
^unless you want a grip or light up front, or don't want to ruin wood... there's no reason not to just have wood on there. That's the conclusion I've come to, anyway.

Trent
August 10, 2012, 03:58 PM
I agree, Inebriated.

On a couple of guns, I've taken to cutting a tin can and beating it in to shape, using it as a heat shield between bare-wood and hot-barrel. It only took ONE TIME, but I decided I wasn't going to set my front grips on my AK on fire again. Haven't had any issues since adding the "silver lining", even on multiple back to back 75 round drums.

Inebriated
August 10, 2012, 04:17 PM
K-Var/Arsenal handguards have that heat shield, and it does make a big difference. I have a MI rail on mine now with an AFG, and while it's comfortable, wood still handles heat better... and looks a LOT better. So while I prefer function > form, I'm having to resist just going back to wood for looks.

Looks like another AK for me lol.

Girodin
August 11, 2012, 01:20 AM
^unless you want a grip or light up front, or don't want to ruin wood... there's no reason not to just have wood on there.

I like to be able to grip the rifle farther out than stock wood hand guards allow. I like something like the MI SS universal extended hand guard because it allows a grip that allows me a better grip on the weapon.

Inebriated
August 11, 2012, 02:37 AM
Whatever works for you. MI makes quality stuff. Mine has been great.

TonyAngel
August 11, 2012, 04:16 AM
Although I've shot a bunch of different AKs, I only have intimate experience with two.

One is my brother in law's Maadi. Total piece of crap. He bought it because it was cheap and he just figured that an AK was an AK. It does usually go bang, but whether it's gonna cycle is another thing altogether.

The other was my rifle. Forgive me if I get some of the details wrong because it's been a really long time. It was a Bulgarian model from Arsenal. I believe it was the SA-93. I think I got it sometime in the '90s. I paid $300 for it. I don't even think that it had a chrome lined barrel. It was the milled receiver version and I don't know if there was another. Maybe a good time reference would be that I was buying Norinco (I believe) ammo for $100 a case of either 1200 or 1400.

I do know that I kept the rifle for a good 15 or 20 years and put many cases of ammo through it. I think I might have cleaned it a few times. It never missed a beat. I don't know about accuracy. I never really tested it, although I was able to consistently hit a 10" steel gong at 100 yards off hand with it.

I wound up giving it to my secretary's husband a few years ago, because he liked it so much and he still shoots it like someone's chasing him. In hind sight, giving it to him may not have been the smartest thing to do, but what the heck. He's enjoying the heck out of it.

Moose458
August 11, 2012, 06:00 PM
I'll have to put my vote on a VZ-58 also. Love my AKs, but they don't compare to the CZ vz-58. All I've read about the VZ-2008 has been good too, and they are a lot cheaper.

bluethunder1962
August 11, 2012, 06:02 PM
Stick with american. Get him a ar10 to glare at.

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