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Best Overall AK on the Market

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by WALKERs210, May 8, 2013.

  1. WALKERs210

    WALKERs210 Well-Known Member

    A simple question, or maybe not so simple. Of all the different Importers offering AK's and disregarding the prices what would be the general thought as to the best AK using quality parts, workmanship, dependability. I have seen some weapons that have been bashed then on next page praised. So who has the most consistent AK.
  2. C-grunt

    C-grunt Well-Known Member

    Arsenal is always a good choice. I don't know if they are "the best" but they are really really well made. My buddy bought an Arsenal and that gun has changed a lot of people views on the accuracy of the AK platform.
  3. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Well-Known Member

    I know many folks will disagree with me on this, but there is definitely a point of diminishing returns that you hit pretty quickly with AKs. You can spend a lot of money to tune and customize them all you want, or buy a high end brand, and you will still not have gained all that much.

    I agree with C-grunt in that Arsenal is almost alway a good choice, be it their Bulgarian milled or Russian stamped (Saiga) AKs. Actually, any well-done Saiga conversion will be a very good rifle.

    You can certainly spend a lot more money on a Krebs Custom, etc., if you want to, and will definitely get a slick, nice-looking rifle, but functionally, it will work pretty much the same and be as reliable as a well-made production-line gun.

    There are plenty of lower-end AKs that I would avoid, though (IO, Hesse, etc.).
  4. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    The preban Chicom AKs were the best before the Arsenal SLRs.
  5. Piratesailor

    Piratesailor Well-Known Member


    You can get into the price/quality issue all day long though.
  6. Dunkelheit

    Dunkelheit Well-Known Member

    Finnish M62S
  7. valnar

    valnar Well-Known Member

    If you aren't sold on an AK per se, look for the Vz.58 from Czechpoint.
  8. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    In my experience, the milled Arsenals are probably the most consistent AKs. The extra weight of the milled AKs (they go about a pound and a half or so heavier than stamped units) is nice to have as it dampens the already gentle recoil of the 7.62x39 round enhancing controllability even more. Of course, there are those who'll complain about that little bit of weight and then go on to slap four and half pounds worth of accessories on their favorite AR. :evil: All of their parts are new manufacture. (the receivers are hot die forgings with brand-new Steyr chrome-lined barrels)

    I've got six milled Arsenals (3 SAS M7s, 2 SA M7 Rs and a SA M7 A1) and all are well finished (the baked on epoxy finish is tough and evenly applied) and very accurate rifles (the iron sights routinely yield 2" - 2 1/2" groups at 100m).
  9. WALKERs210

    WALKERs210 Well-Known Member

    In the early 90's I worked at a Pawn/Gun shop, had access to just about anything that one could want. Never had any real interest in the AK platform, but I did appreciate the SKS and how a cheap rifle could and would function so well. In the last couple years I have owned two AK's one being a Maddi that seemed to be a very decent build, don't remember who imported it. I recently decided to go ahead and start looking for an AK hence for this post about which is not so much BEST but a better choice. 481 your post has really solid information and will defiantly sway my choice. Thanks to all for their input.
  10. Ar180shooter

    Ar180shooter Well-Known Member

    While it's not technically a member of the AK family, IMO the Sig 551 brings the best or the AK and Ar platforms together. AR style ergonomics, optic mounting and upper/lower receiver design combined with an AK style long stroke gas piston and 2 lug rotating bolt. Hard to beat from a design standpoint IMO.

    The newer Sig Sauer rifles have (from what I've heard) resolved the QC issues that the early 556's had. It's just another option worth considering.

    Swiss made 551 SB (technically a Canadian legal PE90 Classic Green Carbine)
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  11. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Well-Known Member

    As far as bang for your buck, I would have to agree that the Norinco ak's were/are the best value.
    No more expensive, generally, than WASR's, or other cheaper ak's, but they were all properly built and used thicker receivers and barrels.
  12. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

    I would say after a saiga the law of diminishing returns set in. it seems that American gun makers cannot stand guys getting a good battle rifle for 3-400 bucks think also the norinco M 14 they have to fiddle with them to get the rifle to 1000 and then tell you the $4.99 ammo is no good try the 21.99 ammo
  13. aka108

    aka108 Well-Known Member

    I have a old Arsenal SA M7S and those were well built with a lot of attention to fit and finish. Also have two stock Saigas which are mass built and inexpensively finished. The Arsenal holds a slight edge on accuracy. If I had to carry one around all day, the Saiga is much lighter. Either povide the same level of shooting enjoyment. Really depends upon how much you wish to spend.
  14. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    The best sights goes to the Sig 551 A1 rotary rear sight. I ve handled the 556 model and like the sights. The weak design was the mag release button that be accidentally press causing the mag to drop.
  15. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    Glad I could help. There are a lot of good options out there- the VEPR series offers an especially robust stamped receiver (1.5mm) and is known for being quite accurate. I have one of those (done by Krebs with an baked epoxy finish, -74 brake, and a skeletonized stock) also- it is a very nice rifle.
  16. -Jake-

    -Jake- Active Member

    I recently got an early import Maadi and it is a thing of beauty. Also my Chicom AK is sweet. If money is no object though I'd go with an Arsenal with all the Kreb$ goodies.
    Last edited: May 10, 2013
  17. justice06rr

    justice06rr Well-Known Member

    Top 2 on my list is Arsenal and Polytech AK's.
  18. PavePusher

    PavePusher Well-Known Member

    Isn't this sort of like asking what's the best disease to contract, rabies or syphilis?

  19. tnxdshooter

    tnxdshooter Well-Known Member

    I recently purchased a Norinco MAK 90. It is stamped with a square cut receiver. The receiver is 1.6mm thick compared to most ak 1mm thick receivers. I plan to add pistol grip and stock instead of the thumb hole and make it 922r compliant. I've heard from more than one person that the MAK 90's and the norinco type 56's are some of the best out there. If you get a MAK 90 make sure you get a square cut receiver. That elk make things slot easier when going to change out stocks.

    Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.
  20. ShooterGuy

    ShooterGuy Well-Known Member

    I have almost a dozen AK platform rifles currently, and have owned almost double that over the years and learned a lot of lessons through trial & error + wasting a lot of money in the process. The 3 of them I would mention here for reliablity/accuracy ("go to guns")....

    Arsenal, undisputedly great rifles. However you can do the same things they do to an Izhmash Saiga for far less money yourself and educate yourself on the platform in the process.

    Vepr, a bit more weight but so far I've been in love with the two I have, they're with me for life, just like my Saigas.

    Zustava PAP m92, when I first got it I had some feeding and reliability issues. Widened/Polished the feed ramp, polished the receiver rails, tuned the bolt carrier, now it's one of my favorite to shoot...just tons of fun.

    You're going to run into tons of opinions from blowhards talking up all sorts of different AKs primarily because it's what they own, and they're proud of their toy... However don't let this sway your opinion. Find some friends with different AK variants, ask to see them/shoot them. Pay attention to quality of construction, materials used, reliability, accuracy, etc.

    However at the end of the day....for your first AK I would suggest starting with an Izhmash and build from there. You might find this informative...

    Last edited: May 10, 2013

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