Best AK based SBR?


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Mark-Smith
April 8, 2013, 03:12 AM
I've been wanting to build an AK-based SBR, maybe starting out with an AK pistol like a Mini Draco and getting a Form 1 and a folding stock and converting it from a pistol to a SBR.

However, I'm not overly familiar with what's been done / what's out there as far as AK-based SBR's go. Is it better to use a AK-47 pistol and SBR it? Or look for a AK-74U variant as the base for a SBR?

I want something that has the punch of a rifle, the ability to accept standard 30 round rifle magazines and is compact as possible, and at some point, a red dot or holographic optic. Preferably in something closer to 7.62x39 size, rather than 5.56/.223. I know AK variants are a bit of a pain to mount optics to.

"Best" being qualified by:
1. Overall length of SBR (with stock folded).
2. Power behind the given caliber it's chambered in.
3. Ability to accept standard 30 rd. magazines.
4. Ability to mount a red dot / holographic optic.

What are your thoughts?

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Girodin
April 8, 2013, 04:12 AM
"Best" being qualified by:
1. Overall length of SBR (with stock folded).
2. Power behind the given caliber it's chambered in.
3. Ability to accept standard 30 rd. magazines.
4. Ability to mount a red dot / holographic optic.

Number one and number two basically run against each other. The shorter the barrel the more you lose velocity and thus energy. You can get some absurdly short AK builds but they lose most practicality IMHO. See e.g. the pistol pictured below. A mini draco is probably the extreme limit of what I'd consider very useful. My expereince is that you lose about 200 FPS from a 16" gun to a 11" draco and another 200 FPS or so going to the mini. The 7.62x39 doesn't lose that much as you chop the barrel and thus it is probably the best caliber. It is up to you to find the balance between short and velocity loss.

http://azatty.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/ak47.jpg

Almost any of them that people might mention will take standard mags.

As to mounting a RDS, the mini and other things that have too short of a gas tube to use the ultimak or the MI top guards (as well as no side rail) will give you the fewest good options. You can put a RDS on any of them though, its just a matter of finding what mounting solutions you are OK with.

I use to think the Draco or mini draco was hands down the way to go. It was so much cheaper than everything else and pretty good guns. Now, they seem to no longer be imported and price has gone way up. They still might be the best option but not the slam dunk they were when they cost $350.

I'm not a huge fan of the seeming draco replacement that CIA is now importing the PAP M92 pistols. While it has a 10" barrel and the extended rear "krinkov" style sights, it has a number of draw backs. It's barrel isn't chrome lined and the the way the rear trunion isn't a flat 90 degree surface to mount a stock to like the dracos are.

Someone else might have a better solution but I'd think a draco or mini draco may still be the most economical way to get a quality SBR in 7.62x39. Between the two the draco has the advantage of offering more velocity and really very little velocity loss compared to a 16" barreled gun. It will also allow for more options to mount a RDS. It also has more out of the box hand guard options than the mini. Also, the draco doesn't have to use the little plastic block to keep the piston in the gas tube. Overall I think the regular draco is probably a better choice, unless you really want to get as short as you can at the expense of everything else.

Mark-Smith
April 8, 2013, 03:25 PM
I'm in no particular rush on this project, what is a good price for a draco / mini draco these days (recent crazy price inflation not considered)?

wally
April 8, 2013, 04:44 PM
I paid $425+tax about 1 year ago, since made into an SBR, for my mini Mini-Draco, Cugir, Romania CAI import.

I haven't seen another since, but haven't gone to a gun show since the craziness kicked in Dec 19th. I've no real idea of the current situation, but this gives you a pre-craziness price point.

Here is how it turned out:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=181880&d=1364233266


Here is the Draco-C I did first, using a VZ side folding stock (which used to be cheap and plentiful). The Ultimak mount needed a fair amount of milling to fit, but worked out well:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=143233&d=1306945949

Telekinesis
April 8, 2013, 06:38 PM
The easiest (and probably shortest) AK you can SBR will probably be the Drako. I'm not sure about availability, but if you can find one it's going to be your best bet. I would also stick with 7.62x39 because it looses less velocity when compared to something like the .223 or 5.45 when shot from a short barrel (it's also easier to suppress with subsonics if you want to go that route eventually). Optics mounting will be a little more difficult than a standard AK, but there are ways to mount micro red dots in place of the rear sight that will work well with a short AK.

Personally I would go with something a little less mainstream (if you can call any AK SBR mainstream). I would take a Khyber Pass clone (7.62x39 AK that uses a AK 74 style sidefolding stock) with a standard length gas piston, but with a 90 degree gas block with an integrated front sight, and then cut the barrel as close to the gas block as I could. Then I'd make sure to thread the barrel in a standard threading (not the left hand AK threading) so that I could use a suppressor without needing an adapter. Its been a while since I spec'd it, but that should leave you with a barrel around 10-12" and will still let you use an Ultimak or similar rail system. Not exactly the shortest, but I think its a good balance between size and usability.

Girodin
April 8, 2013, 10:05 PM
The Ultimak mount needed a fair amount of milling to fit, but worked out well:

It is my understanding there are now ultimaks that fit the draco sans modification.

(7.62x39 AK that uses a AK 74 style sidefolding stock) with a standard length gas piston, but with a 90 degree gas block with an integrated front sight, and then cut the barrel as close to the gas block as I could. Then I'd make sure to thread the barrel in a standard threading (not the left hand AK threading) so that I could use a suppressor without needing an adapter. Its been a while since I spec'd it, but that should leave you with a barrel around 10-12" and will still let you use an Ultimak or similar rail system.

Wouldn't it be easier to go with a draco and then simply add the side folder you desired? You would also have a gas system you knew would run right.

Girodin
April 8, 2013, 10:09 PM
what is a good price for a draco / mini draco these days

Its hard to say. Once they stopped coming in prices were as high as $700-800. Then the PAP 92 came in and looked cool and most people don't realize it is a lesser gun and that surely helped push prices back down. Then the panic happened and I saw people asking $900 and more for them. Things are calming down but it is really hard to know what something like a draco is worth. You probably need to shop around and see what people are actually selling them for (not simply what the are asking). I'm really curious why CIA stopped bringing them in. By all accounts they seemed to sale like hot cakes, particularly the minis.

Telekinesis
April 8, 2013, 10:47 PM
Wouldn't it be easier to go with a draco and then simply add the side folder you desired? You would also have a gas system you knew would run right.

Oh yeah, it would be MUCH easier to just take a draco and put on a side folder, but that would give you a gun that looked, felt, and handled differently than the AK I described. First of all, the receiver has to be cut differently to use the correct sidefolding stock (which most of the dracos don't use), and then using the normal length gas system would allow me to have a longer sight radius, as well as solve most reliability issues that typically crop up. Also, if I ever get around to building the gun, it would likely live with a suppressor on it, which would help add back pressure if any extra was needed.

I usually don't end up settling for the easy route, especially with guns that I'm planning on hanging on to for a while. It's a much more involved build than the typical draco conversion, but I never said what I wanted was gonna be easy :D

Girodin
April 8, 2013, 11:46 PM
First of all, the receiver has to be cut differently to use the correct sidefolding stock (which most of the dracos don't use),

If you are doing any build and adding the side folder you are talking about you will have to change the rear trunion and then cut the receiver. Thus, it is no more work to put it on a draco than any other AK that didn't already have it. By "add a side folder you desired" this is what I meant, a triangle side folder, the one you said you wanted. There are, of course much better stocks if function is one's priority, and at less cost, but the triangle side folders do look cool.

and then using the normal length gas system would allow me to have a longer sight radius,

Have you actually measured that? I just walked down to my safe and took some measurements. If you go with a gas block front sight combo you describe the sight radius between it and a draco will be negligable. At best you might get an inch more than the draco. If you are adding an ultimak I have to assume it is to put a RDS on it which further makes the sight radius issue a non issue. Its just not enough difference to matter in the real world. Having the slightly shorter gas tube and everything moved back does make for a better balanced and better handling gun.

using the normal length gas system would . . . well as solve most reliability issues that typically crop up.

No, using a normal length gas system and then chopping 5-6" off of the barrel is likely going to be the cause of reliability issues. I cannot say whether a suppressor will counter that or not. Whacking at the barrel without touching the gas system is not the typical route to reliability.

I can say that AKs aren't the best suppressor hosts in the world and subsonics tend not to cycle the action. That said I still have a suppressor for an AK SBR in the works. If you know what you can expect then it isn't disappointing.

It's a much more involved build than the typical draco conversion,

I've been into Dracos since they first hit the US. I don't know what a "typical draco conversion" is. I'm not sure what a typical Draco SBR even is. I see so much variation in them. Adding a triangle or a AK100 series folder is more involved than just drilling and tapping the back plate and adding the various stocks that can be added that way. I've seen a lot of people swap rear trunions to add the stock they want.

In sum, would taking a draco, chopping the sighthood, adding a Ultimak and then adding a triangle side folder no be easier than finding another gun, adding a triangle side folder, adding a gasblock sight combo, then cutting and re-threading the barrel? Would it not provide you with what you define as a Khyber Pass (different folks think this means different things) gun, a 7.62x39 with a triangel SU74 stock? Would a factory proven 11" barrel and gas system not be better than a chopped one and an untouched or guesstimated gas system? The look and handling would be VERY VERY close and the end result likely would be better. Now if you are going to do a very detailed Khyber pass build and start with a bare receiver and go authentic markings etc, that is a different matter. If you are that into it I'd suggest skipping the ultimak. I don't think they are a common sight on khyber pass guns.

The easiest route may be, and it might even be the cheapest, to ad would be to get something like the gun linked to below and then chop the barrel once you have a stamp. That is the linked to gun's whole raison d'etre. I tend to think of the cost of draco builds based on what they used to sale for. That said I don't think one is going to find $345 Dracos any time soon. Thus, once you add the $184 or so it seems like a triangle side folder kit commands these days you may exceed the cost of the Kvar gun. This is even more true if you are not up to installing the side folder your self.

http://www.k-var.com/shop/SLR107-64.html

http://www.k-var.com/shop/images/D/SLR107-64_FOLDEDLFT.jpg

In sum, I suppose ease really depends on the base gun you are starting with and what work you can do yourself. The same is surely true of cost (as wells as what parts you have and when you bought them).

Telekinesis
April 9, 2013, 12:56 AM
Wow, didn't expect my entire idea to be micro analyzed, but I guess that'll be better for if/when I actually build the thing. For the record, this was something I threw together as a "this would be a nice gun to eventually get to" not something that I'm building tomorrow, and the level of research and planning I put into it reflects that. It was based more off of designs and guns I've seen and handled at the range rather than actual research.

The "typical" draco SBR conversion I've seen is where a guy puts a few holes into the back of the receiver and mounts an ACE folding stock on the gun and calls it a day. I personally don't really like how that looks. Subjective, I know, but I'm not gonna spend money to build a gun that I think looks bad. The Kvar you posted does look a lot like what I was thinking, and probably would be a good place to start.

As far as the receiver, I was originally thinking about starting with a Nodak "khyber pass" receiver which is already set up for the folding stock, so no need to install a new rear trunion or drill new holes as would be needed to convert the Drako. I've also been told that the Drako uses a different bolt/op rod setup than other AKs, which would make it more difficult to find replacement parts if I ever needed them.

And yes, I know AK's don't suppress well, but I have other guns that are for being quiet.

Girodin
April 9, 2013, 02:11 AM
Subjective, I know, but I'm not gonna spend money to build a gun that I think looks bad.

It would be your money, your gun and your purposes so if a particular look is part of those purposes then you definitely should get what you like.

I was originally thinking about starting with a Nodak "khyber pass" receiver which is already set up for the folding stock, so no need to install a new rear trunion or drill new holes as would be needed to convert the Drako.

Not to "micro analyze", but it behooves the discussion not to say things that are factually incorrect and may well mislead other people who may read them. In that spirit, this is not really right. The nodak spud receiver has the holes for the side folder kit, which is very nice, inasmuch as not everyone is up to cutting them, themselves. That said, unless I'm mistaken, it does not come with a read trunion in it does it?

It doesn't look like it to me:

http://www.nodakspud.com/images/NDS-1KPweb-1.jpg

http://www.nodakspud.com/images/NDS-1KPweb-2.jpg

You still need to add a rear trunion. This part:

http://ak-builder.com/images/detailed/1/triangle_sidefolder_2.jpg

Perhaps they offer a receiver I'm not aware of, one with the trunion installed already. I've been into AKs for a little while but am not au current on every product every company offers.

Building on new receiver is a cool project. Sadly it just isn't as economical today as it used to be. If you bought a Nodak spud receiver, a Khyber pass parts kit from AK builder, and a few of the other parts you'd need you would be real close in price to that gun from KVAR (of course you'd have to buy from KVAR who is a crap company selling good products at high prices IMHO). If you don't already have the tools needed add that to the cost. You would still need to swap the gas blocks, cut, crown, and thread the barrel too. You may need to buy the tools for those jobs too. The end product will vary based on who is doing it. Some people do a good job, others not so much. If you are paying someone to build it for you that really adds to the cost.

There is something very right about a "Khyber Pass" gun being a home built gun of mismatched and assorted parts. That said it probably wont be real cheap and if you can stomach buying from KVAR (and are lucky enough to not ever need their horrible customer service) then the gun I linked to might be the more economical route and yield a more valuable and perhaps higher quality end product.

I've also been told that the Drako uses a different bolt/op rod setup than other AKs, which would make it more difficult to find replacement parts if I ever needed them.

The bolts for both the Draco and Mini, near as I can tell, are the same as other AKs (at least the one's I'm familiar with). AKs don't really have operating rods as such. The carrier on the Draco is the same as my other AKs, but it does have a shorter piston. The Mini (without field stripping one for reference) IIRC basically just has the end of the carrier as the piston. I would not think it would be real hard to modify a carrier and/or gas piston to work properly in a draco or even a mini draco.

And yes, I know AK's don't suppress well, but I have other guns that are for being quiet.

As long as one goes in knowing they likely wont be disappointed. I've seen people buy cans for 16" ARs and then be pissed because its not movie quite. Often happiness with results can depend heavily on having realistic expectations going in.

Girodin
April 9, 2013, 02:16 AM
BTW, just for reference and comparison here is a Draco with a triangle side folder. It also has a side rail added, refinished wood, and a slant brake. Its not mine but more than a few folks have added triangle side folders to Dracos. If you can do the work yourself to add it and find a draco at a decent price this can be a good route.

http://i42.tinypic.com/rwuct3.jpg

JustinJ
April 9, 2013, 11:05 AM
Then the PAP 92 came in and looked cool and most people don't realize it is a lesser gun and that surely helped push prices back down.

How is the PAP lesser than a Draco?

Girodin
April 9, 2013, 04:33 PM
The pap doesn't have a chrome lined barrel. This is the big disadvantage vis-a-vis the Draco for a couple of reasons, at least for me. The M92 also has a funky rear trunion. The latter means its likely going to be more work to add various stocks. A lot of the fixes to deal with it result in something that looks cobbled together. It's something one could work around and have look and work fine, but it's one more issue to deal with.

JustinJ
April 10, 2013, 10:31 AM
The pap doesn't have a chrome lined barrel. This is the big disadvantage vis-a-vis the Draco for a couple of reasons, at least for me. The M92 also has a funky rear trunion. The latter means its likely going to be more work to add various stocks. A lot of the fixes to deal with it result in something that looks cobbled together. It's something one could work around and have look and work fine, but it's one more issue to deal with.

Good point about the barrel but the rear trunnion is more a pain in the rear issue. Glad i have both, though. Just trying to figure out which to SBR first.

Mark-Smith
April 10, 2013, 08:24 PM
My thread has been hijacked!

No, but seriously, the mini Draco sounds like the best option by far. Now the only challenge is to find one at a reasonable price. Hopefully I don't have to wait for forever.

Girodin
April 10, 2013, 10:35 PM
Now the only challenge is to find one at a reasonable price.

That may be tough. A quick search turned up only one on gunbroker. It had some accessories (some of which add value and some of which were total junk). It has a starting bid of $1400. Finding one for sale at all seems to be a bit of an issue given the relatively few that were imported and the fact they seemingly aren't coming in anymore. Finding one at a decent price will be even tougher. There are various other "Krink" options when you start getting into that price range though.

Mark-Smith
April 11, 2013, 12:28 AM
I noticed that one heh. Looking at the past auctions, there were only two that sold for less than $850.

I just want as short an AK as possible (while still functioning reliably). If I have to find a parts kit and gunsmith it up, I suppose that's an option too if it'll be cheaper. I really, really don't want to spend close to a thousand for an AK that's roughly worth $350-$400.

Girodin
April 11, 2013, 12:41 AM
If I have to find a parts kit and gunsmith it up, I suppose that's an option too if it'll be cheaper. I really, really don't want to spend close to a thousand for an AK that's roughly worth $350-$400.

Well it seems as if all those AKs that were worth $350-$450 are now worth much more. What made the Dracos and the mini so cool was that you could get a very good SBR for a bargain. Now it just seems there aren't any routes that will get you there for much under a grand. Parts kits are no longer particularly cheap and going that route the expense quickly adds up. Panic prices do seem to be falling where I live and online generally. So there is hope that they will come down some. However, prices were up a notable amount even before the panic. I don't think you are going to come across a $350-400 Draco or mini again unless you are unbelievably lucky. Best of luck though.

tnxdshooter
April 11, 2013, 05:00 AM
I've been wanting to build an AK-based SBR, maybe starting out with an AK pistol like a Mini Draco and getting a Form 1 and a folding stock and converting it from a pistol to a SBR.

However, I'm not overly familiar with what's been done / what's out there as far as AK-based SBR's go. Is it better to use a AK-47 pistol and SBR it? Or look for a AK-74U variant as the base for a SBR?

I want something that has the punch of a rifle, the ability to accept standard 30 round rifle magazines and is compact as possible, and at some point, a red dot or holographic optic. Preferably in something closer to 7.62x39 size, rather than 5.56/.223. I know AK variants are a bit of a pain to mount optics to.

"Best" being qualified by:
1. Overall length of SBR (with stock folded).
2. Power behind the given caliber it's chambered in.
3. Ability to accept standard 30 rd. magazines.
4. Ability to mount a red dot / holographic optic.

What are your thoughts?

I think if I was going ak sbr I'd go micro Galil.

Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.

Mark-Smith
April 11, 2013, 08:24 PM
Micro Galil is only in 5.56 though right?

tnxdshooter
April 12, 2013, 03:34 AM
Micro Galil is only in 5.56 though right?

Yeah,

Still awesome though. I mean I guess you could go with a Draco pistol and put a stock on it. Either way its going to be NFA.

Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.

TAKtical
April 12, 2013, 04:32 AM
5.56 suffers drastically reduced performance from a short barrel. 7.62x39 doesnt lose much at all which is why its a prime candidate for sbr.

meanmrmustard
April 12, 2013, 04:36 AM
BTW, just for reference and comparison here is a Draco with a triangle side folder. It also has a side rail added, refinished wood, and a slant brake. Its not mine but more than a few folks have added triangle side folders to Dracos. If you can do the work yourself to add it and find a draco at a decent price this can be a good route.

http://i42.tinypic.com/rwuct3.jpg
What's that white stuff near and on the hinge of your side folder? Lube?

justice06rr
April 12, 2013, 05:13 AM
Well it seems as if all those AKs that were worth $350-$450 are now worth much more. What made the Dracos and the mini so cool was that you could get a very good SBR for a bargain. Now it just seems there aren't any routes that will get you there for much under a grand. Parts kits are no longer particularly cheap and going that route the expense quickly adds up. Panic prices do seem to be falling where I live and online generally. So there is hope that they will come down some. However, prices were up a notable amount even before the panic. I don't think you are going to come across a $350-400 Draco or mini again unless you are unbelievably lucky. Best of luck though.

I can second that they were already going up in price pre-panic, mostly after the election and up to mid-January before Obama came out with his EO's. I was lucky enough (relatively speaking) to jump on a Draco Pistol for $700 in January and was happy to pay that price then even if that's double the price .

But the Draco pistol (not the Mini) is probably one of the best platforms to go with. I don't think they look weird at all, esp if you add some accesories. The barrel is 12.25" so you still get a good velocity for the 7.62 round, and accuracy should be about the same with a 16" AK given some trigger time.

I would suggest to wait a little bit til later this year when things cool off and prices go back down a bit to try and pick up a Draco Pistol or other AK pistol variant. Some people are still asking waaay too much for "assault-type" weapons; I just saw a post on a forum asking $2500 for a Draco :eek:
Additionally if you wanted to suppress, I would personally go with a 300Blackout AR15 instead because parts are now coming back in stock and down in price.

TAKtical
April 12, 2013, 05:39 AM
The days of $300-$400 AK's of any kind are behind us. Might as well just come to terms with that. $599? Maybe. But unless the entire US stops buying AK's for 6 months to a year, we will never see those $300-$400 prices again. Its been over a year since you were able to get something of quality for that price. I bought a Draco for my birthday last year in february and the cheapest ones available "new" were $499.

Girodin
April 13, 2013, 01:12 AM
What's that white stuff near and on the hinge of your side folder? Lube?

It really does help if you read posts, and pay attention to the words in them. I clearly stated the pictured gun was not mine. That said, I think what you are talking about is a ray of light.

The barrel is 12.25" so you still get a good velocity for the 7.62 round, and accuracy should be about the same with a 16" AK given some trigger time.

As to draco barrel legnth see http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=4&f=98&t=135350


Additionally if you wanted to suppress, I would personally go with a 300Blackout AR15 instead because parts are now coming back in stock and down in price.

Additionally, they suppress MUCH better, are more accurate, quality mags are cheaper, and provide the many other advantages of the AR platform. Down side is there is not cheap steel case (which should be the case again at some point for the 7.62x39).

The days of $300-$400 AK's of any kind are behind us. Might as well just come to terms with that. $599? Maybe.

My guess is that barring more panic inducing events regular 16" AKs will come back down in price a lot. That's what happened during the last panic. Saigas went back to $299 and AMD 65s were like $450 or so. The M10s, I don't recall the exact price but they were reasonable. I wouldn't be feeling the need to buy $700+ Wasr 10s and the like right now. Gun prices are slowly falling online and in my local shops and classifieds.

meanmrmustard
April 13, 2013, 04:13 AM
Deleted

Mark-Smith
April 13, 2013, 02:23 PM
Additionally, they suppress MUCH better, are more accurate, quality mags are cheaper, and provide the many other advantages of the AR platform. Down side is there is not cheap steel case (which should be the case again at some point for the 7.62x39).


A suppressed SBR really isn't on my list, as it's the overall length I'm focused on. I'm interested in 7.62x39 due to the size and power of the round in a short barreled weapon.

I suppose I could look for a 7.62x39 AR, but between the buffer tube making a folding stock a bit of a nightmare (want to fire the gun with the stock folded? HAH!) and the fact that the entire platform seems to be designed around a 5.56 sized round, it seems far more trouble than its worth.

Don't get me wrong, the AR is a great platform, but in a 7.62x39 SBR type role, it doesn't appear to be the best choice.

Girodin
April 13, 2013, 04:16 PM
I'm interested in 7.62x39 due to the size and power of the round in a short barreled weapon.

I suppose I could look for a 7.62x39 AR,

7.62x39 and 300 BLK are very similar rounds in terms of ballistics. Much of what was written above about performance from a short barrel is the same for the 300 BLK. A 300 BLK is after all a 7.62x35. If it were me, and I was considering AR style guns I would get a 300 BLK over a 7.62x39. The 300 BLK is better suited for use in an AR. There are lots of good 8" 300 BLK uppers. There is no real good way around the buffer tube though. Even if you could do something with a stock like the ones on the HK416C (pictured below) or ACC Honey Badger its still not as short as a folder. Personally I find an 8" 300 BLK SBR to be an overall better/more versatile package than a 7" mini draco SBR. It might not be better for a narrower set of requirements/priorities.

Also if you are open to an AR platform and power is a big priority the big bore ARs (458 socom etc) also perform rather well out of 8" barrels. While they are not long range guns (and neither is a 7" AK) they are pretty big hammers within their practical ranges.

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/hk416c_01-tfb.jpg

If going as short as you can possibly get when everything is folded/collapsed/etc is you first priority it will be tough to get shorter than 7" mini draco. Most mini draco SBRs, IIRC, tend to be about 17" or so with the stock folded (the exact length obviously depends on the exact folder used) and around 25" with it extended. Depending on the muzzle device used you can add a couple inches as well. My experience is the mini needs a pretty good flash hider if you intend to fire it more than once in the dark. In my testing, even with an A2 birdcage style hider, the mini gave off a seriously blinding fireball when fired at night. The same hider made regular draco manageable. I'd like to try a vortex on a mini but haven't had a chance. It would add more length.

Depending on your exact uses, something like a Kel Tec sub 2000 might be of interest. It is really short when folded. Folded the sub 2K is 16" long. It is 29.5 when it is open. It has some drawbacks It of course has KT build quality, cannot fire when folded, and is chambered only in 9x19 and 40 S&W. That said a 9x19 based on my experience picks up speed in a 16" barrel. With a hotter load it can push a 124 grain HP to right around 1500 FPS. Perhaps one could get more if they used hotter loads still or something like Winchester 127 grain +p+ loads. I've never tried to really hot rod it and see. I've seen people report 1650 with 135 grain 40S&W out of the sub 2K. That isn't to far off the muzzle velocity of a 123 grain bullet getting the 1800-1900 FPS that a lot of people report. Now again certain uses might require us to look harder at ballistic coefficients, bullet construction, etc. Velocity and energy numbers only tell part of the story. What are the realistic distances to be shot and what is to be shot at those distances?

The Sub 2000 has some notable advantages. It is cheap. It takes mags for various popular pistols. MY preference is the glock versions. This allows use of 33 round mags and 50 round drums (for 9x19 models). Generally ammo has been cheaper. It isn't an SBR, so no stamp or other requirements that go along with an SBR.

One other non-AK gun worth looking at might be a Rob arms XCR mini. It is 18" OAL when folded and (at least in theory) can be had in 5.56, 7.62x39, or 6.8 SPC. Why no 300 BLK? I don't know. The 6.8 SPC does well from that barrel length though. There is much that could be said about the XCR but its not worth mentioning unless it is something that is even in the running to begin with.

Mark-Smith
April 13, 2013, 04:49 PM
That Robinson XCR-L Micro is a sexy beast!

http://xcr.robarm.com/images/slides/xcrl/model3.png

Looks like it runs around $1,500ish though, plus tax stamp. Bit more than I want to spend right now.

The Sub 2000 is pretty nice as well, pity that it only comes in pistol caliber rounds :(

At this point, I think I'll just wait around for someone to sell a mini Draco at a reasonable price.

Girodin
April 13, 2013, 08:11 PM
The Sub 2000 is pretty nice as well, pity that it only comes in pistol caliber rounds

Depending on your intended use that may not be as much of a disadvantage vis-a-vis something like a min draco as it seems. Also depending on intended use the Sub 2K may not be a robust enough design to consider.

Looks like it runs around $1,500ish though, plus tax stamp. Bit more than I want to spend right now.

A mini draco is probably not going to be found for less that $800. I'm not sure what stock set up you had in mind but something like a really basic ACE/stormwerkz hinge and stock will run about $130. Adding a front hand guard like the Midwest industries ones for the mini runs about the same. Then if you add a means to mount a RDS of some sort you might spend another $90-160 or so. You'll certainly want some sort of muzzle device on that mini. If you get a cheap A2 thats another $10 (as I said earlier though its not that effective on the mini and you may be looking at approximately $90). Also add the expense of 922r parts, and yes despite having opining to the contrary in the past BATF seems to be of the opinion these days that an SBR needs to be compliant. This very likely means adding a US made fire control group to reduce your parts count by three. Something like a G2 FCG is about $35.

So if you can find a mini for $800. You can very easily spend another $365-545, not counting the tax stamp, to get it set up in with similar features (flash hider, railed handguard, means to mount RDS, folding stock) as that XCR. Obviously a lot depends on what exact parts you want to use. You could probably spend a bit less than my low end and certainly could spend more than $545. In sum, the price difference when you are all said and done might not be very different at all. You could easily be $1200-$1500 into a mini draco SBR pre stamp.

meanmrmustard
April 13, 2013, 08:14 PM
That Robinson XCR-L Micro is a sexy beast!

http://xcr.robarm.com/images/slides/xcrl/model3.png

Looks like it runs around $1,500ish though, plus tax stamp. Bit more than I want to spend right now.

The Sub 2000 is pretty nice as well, pity that it only comes in pistol caliber rounds :(

At this point, I think I'll just wait around for someone to sell a mini Draco at a reasonable price.
Pistol carbines have their place.

I've not had good luck with the KelTec, but I like the mags they can take.

Have you hit the old standbys, like Armslist and Gunbroker? J&G Sales?

Mark-Smith
April 13, 2013, 10:43 PM
In sum, the price difference when you are all said and done might not be very different at all. You could easily be $1200-$1500 into a mini draco SBR pre stamp.

Possibly. But that's after adding quite a bit to it. With something like the Robinson XCR-L Micro, you have a gun that's by all accounts, very picky with ammo and starts at $1,500, not counting furniture, RDS or anything else. With an AR based SBR, you can't get anything as short as a Draco, or with the ability to fire with a folded stock.

Plus, a mini Draco fits comfortably in my messenger bag. Anything longer really doesn't (and messenger bags bigger than mine start to look like hipster capes). I don't plan on using it as truck gun only, or a home weapon only. A pistol is good, but a rifle is better, and a SBR is the closest you can get to carrying one concealed without looking out of place. That and I don't imagine using it anywhere at over 100 yards, so minute of bad guy accuracy is plenty.

I've been keeping an eye on completed auctions for mini Draco's on Gun Broker and hopefully once the average final price goes down, it won't be too painful to buy one.

Girodin
April 16, 2013, 04:15 PM
Possibly. But that's after adding quite a bit to it.

True, but and this was my point, if you are going to have an SBR period you are going to have to add some of what I listed. If you want one that is very useful you will have to add some of what I listed. Lastly if you want capabilities you stated were important to you, such as adding a RDS, you will have to add some of it. In other words, to get an SBR with a RDS you need to add most of that stuff so you should account for it when comparing prices.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from anything or push you one way or another. In fact I think the mini draco makes a very cool SBR. Just trying to help you accurately compare the costs of various options.

Also, given your statements about pistol versus rifle rounds I wanted to try and help you understand the that the difference given some of the platforms being discussed, and particularly within 100 yards, is not nearly what you might imagine.

I've been keeping an eye on completed auctions for mini Draco's on Gun Broker and hopefully once the average final price goes down, it won't be too painful to buy one.

What have mini dracos been going for lately if you don't mind my asking? I've had a hard time even seeing any for sale places.

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