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How to end up with a decent AK?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SodaPop, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. SodaPop

    SodaPop member

    I missed the boat on picking up an SAR I for a decent price, but most of the ones I've seen lately are horrible. I have a friend that has a couple SAR rifles and they are the best I've seen out there.

    Buying a Saiga and converting it to take AK mags? What kind of cost does that incur?

    I am thinking about picking up 2 AK variants and putting optics on them. I'd also want to have a decent trigger.

    Is it worth getting an SAR or Saiga or should I go with a higher end AK?
  2. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Well-Known Member

    Get an Arsenal Inc SA M-7 and don't look back.
  3. skunyun

    skunyun Well-Known Member

    Romanian SAR1 , if you have the chance to look at the rifle , check for canted sights (this is one thing most complain about) the 2002 and newer have seen less problems. You will also want to go ahead and get a replacement trigger group, due to trigger slap that usually develop after a few mags, this can be fixed with a little filling but I would go ahead and get a replacement. Also make sure you are buying a SAR1 and not the WASR (these usually have the mag well altered to take the high capacity mags.

    I have a SAR1 havew shot hundreds of round through it and have nothing but fun, they are a trip to shoot, ammo is cheap and they will eat and spit out anything you feed it.
  4. CZ-100

    CZ-100 Well-Known Member

    If you still want a SAR-1 there are still places that sell them Sub $300
  5. TacticalSquirrel

    TacticalSquirrel Well-Known Member

    It all is going to depend on just what kind of an AK you're gonna want. Like any rifle, you're going to pay for more for quality. I've got SAR's where there are minor issues, and if one can visually inspect it to get a good one, it's worth a bit of a premium price over a mail order in my opinion. I also went the high end and got a Saiga conversion done by AKUSA. You're looking in the neighborhood of $650-$800 for one of these. I went this route as I was looking for a non-traditional AK to be manufactured for me. If you just want a standard AK, the models by Arsenal may be what you're looking for in the mid price range. If you want something that will be a Krinkov, or AK-100 shorty, you're going to spend more.
  6. SodaPop

    SodaPop member

    I owned a Saiga about 6yrs ago but sold it for a really dumb reason. I want something that takes AK mags but I don't know if I want to go threw the whole Saiga conversion thing.

    I've shot about a dozen SAR I and SAR II and I've seen lots of malfunctions with the SAR I. All of the SAR II rifles worked flawlessly.

    I just want one to take regular AK mags and that's it. What did you have done to it?

    What is a WASR?
  7. TacticalSquirrel

    TacticalSquirrel Well-Known Member

    The WASR, in a nutshell, is a Romanian AK that was initially imported to only accept a single stack 10 round magazine, and thus had a narrower mag-well. The mag wells and feed ramp were cut out to accept the standard double stack magazine. The models are usually identified by no dimples stamped into the receiver above the magwell and possibly a muzzle nut pressed on and welded to the barrel. Some people have said that the WASR's are slightly more accurate than the SAR. I have one but haven't put it to this test against my SAR. Mine came with the thumbhole stock which to me fullfills a certain look is all. Some dealers or wholesalers, in an attempt to get rid of WASR's, advertise them as SAR1's. Price of a WASR should be about $20 or so cheaper than a SAR.
    My particular AK is a model of the AK-104, which is a shorter 12.5 barrel model of an AK, but not as tiny as the Krinkov's 9 inch barrel. Mine takes more standard AK parts than does the Krinkov as well. A different front sight is combined with the gas block and placed just in front of the handguards rather than out at the end of the barrel. To me a sight belongs out of the way, and I prefer it in this spot.
    What types of malfunctions have you seen with the SAR1s? To be honest, if you are seeing "a lot" of malfunctions, it would surprise me and lead me to wonder what tinkering the owner has done to it. The vast majority of them run very well, despite some of the quality control issues with the canted parts. The trigger slap is the only thing I can think of that really is that major of an issue.
  8. TearsOfRage

    TearsOfRage Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't worry about trigger, that's easily fixable. AKs have got to be the easiest guns (the easiest semiautos at least) to do trigger work on.

    The SARs are great guns - my favorite rifle is a SAR3 - but some of them don't have the greatest fit and finish. My Polytech is much better in this regard. When you rack it you can feel how much smoother the action is.
  9. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    Well, I am on my third AK.
    Here is what I have learned about them.
    I started out with a Robinson Armament VEPR K .223. It was dead reliable and really accurate for an AK. I shot several 1.5 inch 100 yard groups with it from a hot barrel and using only sandbags for support while shooting prone. It was a good gun, but I found the balance to be virtually nonexistent, so I got rid of it.
    I then got an SAR-1. I bought it from an online seller for around $350. It was a little rough when I got it. The bolt would try to jump out of the rails when the action was cycled by hand and the sights were slightly misaligned. The action wore in after about 60 or so times of being cycled before I went to try it out. It worked just fine. Eventhough the sights were a little off, the gun zeroed alright, so that was no big deal. The only thing was that I was a better shot than the rifle would allow. It got around 6 to 8 inch groups at 100yds. That bothered me, so I sold it.
    I now have an Arsenal SA-M7 Carbine. It is finished much better than the SAR and about the same as the VEPR. It weighs about as much as the VEPR did, but the balance is between your hands, so the gun is still fast handling. The milled receiver makes it heavier than the SAR, but only by about a pound. This does reduce the already minimal recoil of the 7.62x39 a little. The round doesn't really kick in the first place, but an AK does jump around. The milled ones jump less.
    Mine came from the factory with the rear sight slot milled out of square. I called them, and was informed that the gun would need to be sent back to be repaired. I didn't want to be without the gun at the time, so I installed an RPK style rear sight on it to fix the zero problem cause by the sight being off. The gun will do 3.5-4 inches from 100yds.
    It is now good to go. I sometimes carry it with a 30 rounder in while walking in the woods.
    In summary, the VEPR is reliable and accurate. The SAR will be reliable, and may or may not be reasonably accurate. It probably won't be as pretty, but it will work.
    I feel that the Arsenal is the best compromise between the two.
    You gotta decide what you need based on what you want them for and how much you can spend.
    Personally, it wouldn't be a bad thing to have a couple SAR's put away for a rainy day.
    And some ammo and mags.:D
  10. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    Go to a gun show that has several SAR's and pick the nicest one. I have a recent-production SAR-1 and the trigger is as smooth as that of my Finnish M39, and exhibits NO trigger slap at all. Rear sight notch is way too narrow, but I'm in the process of fixing that with a file (and a variety of nifty rear sights are available for around $50, anyway). Perfectly reliable and as close to the looks of the real AKM as you can get. Magazines are also very inexpensive.
  11. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2003
  12. goon

    goon Well-Known Member

    I had something intelligent to say, but I forgot what it was.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2003
  13. Forseti

    Forseti Well-Known Member

    Do the Saiga conversion. Its pretty easy. No special tools, other than a dremel and a hacksaw, maybe a small file.

    CDNN has the Saiga for $159, US parts kit for $40, kvar stock for $39. (not including tax, shipping, handling) If you don't change out the front hand guard, it is very easy. And you will only need to add 4 US parts to stay under the "no more than 10 foreign parts" limit.
  14. NevadaPistolero

    NevadaPistolero Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2003
  15. SodaPop

    SodaPop member


    Is that all it costs to convert it? I don't really care about changing the stock. I just want it to to regular AK mags.
  16. zxc

    zxc Well-Known Member

    a MAK 90 will do for 3-400. not a parts piece.

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