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looking for a new AK

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by zephyr89, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. zephyr89

    zephyr89 Member

    Hey guys, I'm looking to buy a first AK. I definitely want wood furniture, probably laminated for increased wear and tear. Although I love ak-103's, and want to get one eventually, I really love the classic wood AK, and prefer it over the black plastic furniture. I would like to see something like a WASR, but with much higher accuracy and quality. I know that many on this forum have a disposition towards saiga ak's. I have only seen new saiga's with polymer furniture, so I would have to replace it off the start to get what I want. (Also, what is in involved in a saiga conversion, and how much would a gun smithy charge?) I remember hearing really good things about newly manufactured Bulgarian or Hungarian ak's. I can't remember which country was reputed to make the best.

    In conclusion, I am looking for a high quality AK that looks and feels like the original AK-47/AKM. I might get a saiga, but would prefer to not have to go through the converting process.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009

    THE DARK KNIGHT Well-Known Member

    Get a Saiga Sporter in 7.62x39. They are russian made at the Izhmash factory (home of the original AK). That will run you $400-550 these days. Then another $200-250 for the misc parts you will want/need. Spend about 2 hours of labor following the instructions in the video below. You will have a beautiful russian made gun as close to the AKM as anything for as little as $750. I did this myself with plastic furniture for even cheaper. The work is very easy, even for someone like me who is not mechanically inclined. No need for a gunsmith at all. All you need is a drill, dremel (can be done without dremel but dremel makes it easier) chiser, rubber mallet, and some duplicolor 500 engine paint.

  3. Pack

    Pack Well-Known Member

    This isn't strictly what you want, as I believe you said you'd like the gun to be close to an AKM, which of course means a stamped receiver - the Russians only ran milled receivers for a few years, starting in the early 1950s.

    At any rate, to me at least, its appearance is pretty classic.

  4. briansmithwins

    briansmithwins Well-Known Member

  5. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    Classic Arms will pretty much have all your choices for what is currently available:


    If I were shopping for your rifle I would buy:

    - Saiga in 7.62x39 - $350
    - Conversion parts: $75
    - Bullet guide: $25 (so you can use AK mags)
    - AK gas tube: $25 (so you can use AK upper handguards)
    - AK lower handguard retainer: $50
    - Furniture of choice: $75

    Total: $600 plus shipping and FFL fee and stuff like bake on moly and whatever tools you need.

    This of course takes some work but you will end up with a nice AKM type rifle. If I were to buy a new off the shelf AK type rifle today I would get a Yugo underfolder.
  6. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Well-Known Member

    If you want the look and good function out of the box, I'd look at the Bulgarian SSR-85 currently being imported by TGI:

    These are very nice cosmetically. Mechanically I don't know if they're really any better than other options.

    The Romanian WASRs are not that bad except for looks. You can get one with wood furniture, refinish the wood with $12 worth of supplies and only a few hours, and have a gun that looks pretty nice and didn't cost much.

    A Saiga is probably the way to go for mechanical quality but making it look like an AKM with wood furniture will cost a lot. You can get Saiga-specific wood furniture at Dinzag:

    If you do a "full conversion" on a Saiga then the buttstock and pistol grip from most stamped AK designs will work. The handguards are trickier as making a Saiga take AK handguards requires some extra parts. (Edit: those parts are listed in post #5 above)
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  7. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't.

    I'd get a WASR before that.

    Read my other posts on the current SSR-85c to see why.

    In the end, it won't cost any more than any other top quality Kalashnikov (and probably less).

    Another vote for the Saiga.
  8. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Well-Known Member

    My relevant comments on the SSR-85C are here (one of the threads you posted):

    Maybe some of them are heavily worn or damaged, but some are in like-new condition. I guess it's luck of the draw. Remember, I said this about them above:
    As for price, a fully converted Saiga may be cheaper than an Arsenal USA, ARS or some other quality custom build, but it's going to be pricier, if you want the authentic handguard, than most other factory AKs. Everyone needs to make up their own mind what they want.
  9. dscottw88

    dscottw88 Well-Known Member

    It's easier than you may think. It took me a couple hours in my brothers garage at the age of 19. And I'm not the least bit tool-savvy. A Drill press, dremmel, hammer, pliers, are all ya need.
  10. rocinante

    rocinante Well-Known Member

    I did the saiga conversion and the hardest part was drill and tapping for the bullet guide. And that wasn't difficult. I liked that it was russian, NEW, and maybe a little better quality than all the miscellaneous builds.

    I am hankering for another AK. Got two sons so need two AKs. Right? right.

    what do you guys think of this century AK at http://classicarms.us for $490?

    1975 AK GP 7.62X39 S/A RIFLE

    new Green River barrel and new U.S. receiver. don't know if it is chrome lined or not though. With the romanian rifles I am always afraid I am getting something that is shot out.
  11. NoLifer211

    NoLifer211 Member

    Recently picked up an Arsenal-assembled Saiga SGL20-41 (an AK). It shoots like a dream come true. I took it to my local range last weekend, and I easily and consistently put 20-30 rounds in 2 inch groups at 30 yards...at least I think so...there wasn't enough paper left in the center for an accurate count after 10 rounds or so. That was my second time on the rifle, and I haven't fired a [gas-op, autoloading rifle] in 8 years.

    It does cost significantly higher than the converted Saiga Sporter and the WASR series...but worth it, IMHO.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  12. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    . . . and the record dry spell continues.
  13. NoLifer211

    NoLifer211 Member

    deleted by poster
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009

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