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If the day ever comes when I need more than a handgun--which AK-47?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by tbeb, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. tbeb

    tbeb Well-Known Member

    I may never need more than a handgun for protection in the small town where I live, but one never knows. Right now I don't own a long gun, and just thought it would be nice to have a rifle. Even though I may not shoot it much, I would practice more with a rifle than a shotgun. I am familiar with semi-auto .22 rifles and shotguns. I've spent a little time reading about AK-47's. I chose this weapon because it is a high capacity semi-automatic, and it's argueably more reliable than any other. I would spend up to about $480, shipping included. I prefer a regular stock, and not a sidefolder or underfolder. I will buy online so what do you recommend that can use any AK magazine, and who sells it? Thanks. Oh, a couple other things: 1. I don't want to do any work myself; and 2. Is a flash surpressor or whatever it's called, a good thing to have on this weapon/caliber combo?
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2006
  2. Glockfan.45

    Glockfan.45 member

    In your price range the Romanian WASR 10 from Century Arms is your best bet. It will work with any high cap AK mags. Finish quality will vary from rifle to rifle but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Rest assured it will go bang every time.


    Heres mine, over 5000 rounds of cheap dirty Wolf ammo without one single failure, (and I never clean it).
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2006
  3. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    in that price range you could get a norinco. i have a mak-90 and it is a pretty darn good shooter. i have never had any issues out of mine at all. it shoots best with wolf 154gr sp's. at 100yds i keep em in the black all day long even with a hot barrel. and if i am taking my time and not letting it gt extremely hot i can tear uo the x-ring and 10ring in a stadard 25meter pistol target. and when using the e-type shiloutes a 100yds i can keep em all in the 5 zone, in any shooting position i choose. they are good shooters. i also believe that the mak's have the best trigger out of any ak i have shot, that is stock of course. i got mine for 300 otd, yes did get a good deal i believe, they will probally be a little more than that but defenitly doable in your price range.

    i am not a big fan of the wasr's i think they are low quality and all the ones i have held and messed with have not been good in the fit and finish/ quality department. they might be good for those first getting in the ak relm.

    here is a pic of mine.
  4. karlsgunbunker

    karlsgunbunker Well-Known Member

    Century has a GP WASR-10 low cap for $219. 5 minutes with a dremel and it will accept Hi-cap mags.

    How far are you from Indy?

    PM me if I can order one for you.
  5. Kaylee

    Kaylee Moderator

    If I had a budget of high-400s, was definately sold on an AK action, and was looking for a weapon rather than a "representative historical sample" or range toy -- I'd go for a Saiga. You can get one of those for under $300, mod it to AK mags right off, and add lots of ammunition for pretty cheap -- then go back and convert it to a pistol-gripped configuration at your convenience.

    That said, remember that a rifle is a machine. No machine is perfect. Just 'cause it won't often bobble doesn't mean you shouldn't practice a few failure drills. :)
  6. Juna

    Juna Well-Known Member

    I'm in the same boat, but with an even smaller budget--around $300. I'm leaning toward the WASR 10. I've handled multiple at the local shop, and it's true that the wood finish is very rough, but to me that doesn't matter. I can swap out the furniture or polish it up later. I just want a tough, reliable, reasonably accurate AK variant before they're banned.

    I did take a hard look at the Saiga, and I like the fit & finish of it a lot. It feels very solid. The only issue is that I don't have a dremel or the tools & know-how to convert it to a PG, hi-cap AK variant. There's a web site with step by step instructions, but the time, technical skill, and money involved in the conversion caused me to shy away from them. If I knew someone who'd convert it for me, I'd be all about a Saiga.

    Are the Norincos really much different from a WASR 10, and if so, how?
  7. doubleg

    doubleg Well-Known Member

    I'm not a ak expert but the only difference I see is where their made. What country do you trust more, Romania or China.
  8. possum

    possum Well-Known Member


    by the above statment i can tell that there is little knowledge about the various ak's and where they are made. like has been said before in other threads not all ak's were created equally!

    i tell you what you take two of them side by side and shoot both of them and you tell me which one you like best. the trigger in the norinco's are worth the little bit of extra money. i guarantee it!

    just take a dremel tool to it, yeah ok! while we are at it lets get new furniture for it, put in a better trigger, get a front sight post that isn't canted, and take off the muzzle dvice because it moves freely on the end of the barrel.

    how bout this we spend a little bit more and get something you will enjoy for alot longer than th initial yah i got an ak factor.
  9. Juna

    Juna Well-Known Member

    What capacity mags do you guys have for your AKs? Are the 40 rounders reliable? That looks like a 40 rounder in the pic of the Norinco. Any mags to steer clear of?
  10. usmcdoc14

    usmcdoc14 Well-Known Member

    mags to avoid;
    Pro mag or any "made in usa" polymer/plastic mag.

    all the rest work just fine. My personal ones are Bulgarian waffle mags.
  11. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    those are 40rd mags, i have 4 of those and 1 30rd mag that came with it. the 40rd mags i got from natchezss.com, they were normally crazy high on the price of them but they hav a deal where you buy 3 or mor and you can get the for $16.88 a piece i think it is. they have been very relabke and i have never had a single issue with them. though i love the capacity of the big mags i also want to gt some 20rd mags, they are alot better to use at the range, especially from th prone or the benh rest, plus they don't weigh you own as much as the others and get in the way as much.
  12. soul_rapier

    soul_rapier Well-Known Member

    ak's made in china are better . norinco (some of them ) fit and finish are little bad BUT they are better then WASR 10 . If you would like to spend a little more go with a polytech them are in my opinion top of the food chain of ak's . dont let people tell you that arsenal better they aren't i have one its no better then my norinco i have and cost like 2 times more and they are US made now so we probly screwed them up some how making them....... LOL..... just go with norinco or polytech never had a problem out of any of mine
  13. Glockfan.45

    Glockfan.45 member

    I have lots of 30 rounders from various countries, and a couple 75 round drums romanian, and chinese. They all work well but I would have to agree with possum stay away from US made poly mags. If you want to spend more money Yugo and Polish AKs are among the best. I got a Polish underfolder parts kit that needs to be built still but the quality is top notch. Chinese AKs I have heard dont share the same interchangability of parts like other AK variants do. People like to knock the WASR it seems but it is more than up to task for its intended purpose.
  14. mrmeval

    mrmeval Well-Known Member

    An AR-15 receiver with a 7.62x39 upper and a .223/5.56 nato upper on standby and a .50BMG upper in reserve. :p
  15. c_yeager

    c_yeager Well-Known Member

    With $400 and a little luck, one can find a rough but functional Mak-90 and a shoebox full of magazines. IMHO that rifle is vastly superior to anything made in Romania at the same price.
  16. aka108

    aka108 Well-Known Member

    For a very decent AK "type" rifle at about 260 to 300 bucks the Saiga is hard to beat. Going upscale the AK types made by Arsenal, Inc. out of Las Vegas are the cat's rear end. Probably none better in quality and workmanship.
  17. possum

    possum Well-Known Member

    i couldn't have said it better myself!
  18. ARperson

    ARperson Well-Known Member

    Shop around a little.

    I have owned, shot, or handled the following AKs.

    Cur-II Romanian 5.45
    SAR-2 Romanian 5.45 highly modified
    and finally a during ban thumbhole SA-85M

    The Cur-II is pretty well put together, has the dragunov stock, and is chambered in 5.45. My wife (the real ARperson, I really need to setup my own account) has firmly established that this is her now her AK and thanked me very much for it. It is quite accurate, is well finished, and and utterly reliable. When we lived in Phoenix towards the end of the day at Rio Solado she was shooting at and hitting the 300 yard gong regularly. A guy about 5 benches to our left was shooting an m4 at the same gong and missed everytime. After about 15 shots he just emtied his mag at it and still missed every time. He kept looking over at the cheap AK.

    The SAR-2 was my attempt to regain an AK-74ish type gun. It would not cycle after each shot. Failed to feed. Took off top cover and it would work fine. Had to replace the top cover with a Bulgie unit to make it function. I also but the 74 brake on it, but I don't know why, it still has no recoil and is now quite loud. (to those next to us) It is nowhere near as accurate or well finished as the cur-II. Had trigger slap so bad I dropped an RSA trigger in it. Still not accurate, still not well finished.

    Shot a friends SAR-1 and Norinco in 7.62. The Norinco was quite accurate, the SAR-1 not too bad, but worse than the Norinco. Norinco had no trigger slap, SAR-1 hurt to shoot. The SAR-1 stock also did not fit me well and I felt like the recoil was worse than an M1 or M1a. His Norinco made us want an AK in 7.62.

    So we purchased a WASR-10. Fit and finish worse than the SAR-1 and quite frankly it shoots large pizza sized groups at 50 yards. I have a shot out M-N that will key hole bullets into this group size!! Trigger slap is pretty good, but not too bad. We no longer shoot this gun because....

    Out local gunshop had a different looking AK with a thumbhole stock. (Which my wife and I happen to like for some reason:p ) It was very well finished and the operation was uber-smooth as compared to the SAR-2 and WASR experiences we had. It was a Hungarian SA-85M. I shot the gun at 100 yards and got about 8 -10 inch groups with was better than other AKs I have shot. We found it last year and paid $299 for it. I like it alot, the stock spreads out the recoil better, etc, accurate. No slap. This is a keeper.

    We may have just been AK unlucky with the SAR-2 and WASR-10, some people have had very good luck with them. But these are the only two guns we have ever contemplated selling.

    Good luck with your AK. There were a couple of SA-85s on Gunbroker for about $500. I think it is worth spending a few extra dollars for the better models. Otherwise you just end up buying another one when it comes along.
  19. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    I personally steer clear of anything that's NOT eastern bloc military surplus. I would not be confident in any U.S. made AK magazine, personally. Not that there aren't good ones out there, but the eastern block milsurp mags were made to function under all kinds of abuse, while the U.S. mags were made to make money from U.S. civilians who won't be shooting their guns in Siberia.

    Regarding capacity, I like 30-rounders for all-around use, and 20's when target shooting off a bench or whenever a 30 would be unwieldy. I have one 40-round ex-RPK mag that came with my rifle, and while that might be my choice in some hypothetical Katrina-type scenario, the 30's are lighter and less likely to bang into stuff.

    All my mags are steel. I have heard good things about the eastern-bloc polymer mags, but after having one U.S.-made polymer mag for my mini-14 develop a fatigue crack at the top rear, I'm a little leery of polymer rifle mags for long-term use.
  20. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Well-Known Member

    On mags, I would stick with the steel 30 round mags. They are cheap (new or used) and work. They also very tough. I have a few Bulgarian polymer mags, but I can't really say if they are better, maybe just a little lighter. I have tried a couple of Promag pistol mags and I would avoid them. You don't save any money and I don't trust their quality.

    IMHO, Romanian rifles are fine if you can inspect one before buying and still get a reasonable price. I would stick with the 30 caliber WASR's though. I bought one phone order in 5.45mm and the mag wobble was so bad it is not reliable. You can also inspect for a canted front sight and see if it has a US trigger group.

    I have never tried a Norinco. People say they are good for the money. There are companies in the US that build AK's on parts kits that are just as good.

    I have a Vepr which is excellent. I hear converted Saiga rifles are very good also. If you just want a hunting rifle to upgrade later, the Saiga might be the best option.

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