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.223 AK...or another AR

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by wyM1Aguy, Sep 13, 2007.

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  1. wyM1Aguy

    wyM1Aguy Member

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    List...

    I have been looking for another .223 semi-auto to add to the collection. I have restricted myself to the .223 and .308 calibres, for simplicity and cost sake.

    I have a nice AR I built...and have heard/read much about the legendary reliability of the AK design. Most of this is, of course, the 7.62x39 variety. I was just wondering about the feasiblity of a .223 AK vs. building another AR.

    What do you think? If I went with the AK which model/mfg. should I look for? VEPR, Arsenal, SAR-3, etc.? Afraid I don't know much about AKs....

    r
     
  2. Browning

    Browning Member

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    If you do get an AK in .223 Rem get one of the VEPR's or one of the ones from Arsenal as they work really well. Some of the SAR-3's in .223 Rem work real well and some of them don't.

    The Romak SAR's in 7.62X39 and 5.45X39 work great, but I bought an SAR in .223 Rem and I had nothing but problems with it. It was brand new, so it wasn't like someone gummed it up before me or anything. Double feeds, stove pipes and an inability to pick the next round up sometimes was usually the problems I had with it.

    I've heard that some people have really been happy with theirs, so maybe I got a lemon. In my entire life I've had three problem guns and this was one of them. The VEPR's and the AK's from Arsenal seemed like they were put together a little better from what I've seen.

    You get what you pay for usually and this is one area where you shouldn't skip on paying for quality.

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=4&f=93&t=70455

    The way I would rate AKM's would go something like this with number 1 being the best and 10 being the worst.

    1) Custom AK's like Krebs.

    2) Russian, Bulgarian and Arsenal.

    3) Hungarian.

    4) Polish, East German and Chinese.

    5) Romanian and Yugoslavian (Parts for the Yugos supposedly don't match up with the rest of AK's out there.

    6) Maadi (Egyptian).
     
  3. Baron357

    Baron357 Member

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    Arsenals are great guns and I would suggest one it you have AR type money to spend. Stay away from the junk AKs or you will be disappointed when comparing them to your ARs.
     
  4. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    I suggest you pick up a Saiga in .223 and fix it up however you want.

    DSC03737.gif

    Best quality and Best value on the market for just about any rifle out there today.
     
  5. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    Get a .223 Galil that takes AR mags...

    AK varient and your AR can be fed with the same magazines...
     
  6. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Member

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    Some of the galil adapters can be finicky. An Israeli galil can be $2500...I'll just leave that at that. A century galil is about $1K and I like mine just fine, but it's also needing to be boxed up and sent back to correct a recall issue with the firing pin/bolt.

    Saigas are great, especially for the money. Especially if you like them stock.

    Veprs are awesome, but use some propriety furniture (stock is angle cut).

    My favorites, in order are:

    Tie for 1st - Arsenal Milled, Galil, Vepr, Yugo M90/95
    2nd - Saiga (only because stock mags don't work)
    3rd Tie for SAR-3 and BWK-22
    4th WASR-3

    I don't list the other polytech/norinco chinese stuff because I think its outpriced its worth due to rarity/collection status. No thanks.


    My absolute favorite 223 AK is a Yugo M95 that I put a fixed trunnion/stock on. It's built on a nodak 7.62 with modifications.
     
  7. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    The greatest turn-off of the .223 AK is the magazine situation. There just aren't very many magazines, nor are they cheap.

    I wouldn't mind a .223 AK if it were something that I could live with having 1-2 mags. But if this is going to be something I use often (like training) ..magazines are not permanent. They wear out. As such, I'd want a ready supply at a good price. That's why I'd go AR instead. You can buy the best AR magazine money can buy for $13. That's cheap by today's standards or any standard really. Might be cheaper if bought in bulk.

    With the AK, it is either some type of compromise, conversion, adapter - mags are not easy to find OR expensive.

    Depends on use. For a low-use range toy, a couple of mags is all you'll ever need. If you're going to run a lot of rounds through it or take classes with it, then you're going to want a lot more magazines.
     
  8. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    That is EXACTLY consistent with my experience with the .223 AK.

    Don't forget too that this stuff starts taking up space. Big box of these mags... big box of those mags.... This sling.... that sling....

    You get the idea.

    .223 AK mags seem to take a beating from the gun itself.


    Weiger mag
    weiger.gif
     
  9. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    well with a feed ramp... a Saiga .223 can run Orlites and Bulgarian mags alright
     
  10. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    and Weigers (the classic choice), and converted Ak74 mags, and Pro-Mags, too.
     
  11. seektruth

    seektruth Member

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    I bought a Saiga 223 to convert and haven't actually done it yet. I also own AR's and a bunch of mags for them. I had planned to adapt a Galil AR mag adapter to the Saiga, but after getting the gun and the adapter in my hands I don't think I'll go that way. I picked up some Galil orlite mags also, which is what I'll probably use if I go ahead with the conversion. If the Saiga didn't have such a crappy trigger to start with, I'd leave it stock.
     
  12. JWarren

    JWarren Member

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    Its fairly well known on this forum that I am an AK fan. Consider that as I saw the following.


    I've considered that at some point in the future I should have a firearm in .223. It's been really tough to justify in my area because of lack of multiple uses for a .223 firearm. My state requires a mininum of .24 Caliber for deer hunting and I suspect that there would be little left of a rabbit or squirrel if I used a .223. So, I've but getting a .223 a tad lower on my priority list-- but still plan on it. Eventually.

    My original idea was to get a AK platform .223 such as a converted Saiga. Like has been mentioned on this thread, there is one hang-up. Magazines.

    Even though I am certain that magazines will be available somewhere, they won't be the cheapest you will be buying. I already have one rifle that takes expensive magazines as it is (Saiga 308.)

    I highly suspect that AR magazines will always be more plentiful, easier to find, and cheaper than .223 AK magazines. This leans me towards the AR platform when I buy/build a .223.

    For me, the answer is rather simple. The AR platform is really my best choice. You see, the modular design of the AR platform addresses my "lack-of-practical-use" problem.

    My plan is to go with a AR platform for a .223 and register the lower on Form 2 as a SBR. This allows me to use shorter barrels and fill the gap in my collection for a SBR. I can use a NFA upper on it legally.

    At the same time, I can also invest in a 6.5 Grendel upper from Alexander Arms that would allow me to use this platform as another option for a deer rifle. If I get a wild hair, I could get a stainless, free floated match upper and have a long-range .223 for the heck of it.

    This would allow one firearm to fill the role of a M-forgery, SBR, hunting rifle, and long-range rifle.

    Now, I have no illusions. Just getting a role-specific upper for an AR platform is the cost of a lower-end AK.

    But what the heck. I am kind full up on AKs. Time to expand my horizons. See? I am a firearms multiculturalist! :)


    -- John
     
  13. LoadedDrum

    LoadedDrum Member

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    If you want a 5.56 AK get a SIG 556 if you have the cash. It solves the expensive, rare mag problem by using AR mags. It also has a better trigger and accuracy than any other AK. It is also easier to mount optics on.
     
  14. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    Galil 35 round 5.56mm magazines go for around 12-20 dollars a piece, depending on where or how hard you look. They feed flawlessly into my Saiga, and the bullet guide is not hard to install.
     
  15. LeibstandarteAdH

    LeibstandarteAdH Member

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    If your going to get an AK in .223, I will second staying away from the Romanian rifles. They leave Cugir with single stack mag wells, front trunions and bolt heads, which are all too slim when they mill the mag well out to make them high cap capible once in country.

    My all time best performing AK is a Yugo M-95 in .223 Rem. That being between Polish, Hungarian, and Romanian. From best to worst. Those are all that i currently own. I have never had an Arsenal 106 but have shot one. The Arsenal gun is no better then a propperly converted Saiga .223, but if you dont want to go to any trouble, or find one already converted, Go with either the Yugo M-95 or Arsenal SLR-106 series

    The magazine "issue" with a .223 AK is really kind of stupid its not like its a VALMET or something. Polymer magazines are availible for AK's in .223 for $12.99-19.99 depending on who you get them from, Aim, IOINC, that all feed and function 100% and are brand new.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
  16. geojap

    geojap Member

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    The VEPR is an amazingly consistent and fine rifle, but they are very rare these days and sell for twice what they used to compared to just 2 or 3 years ago.

    I have two very nice 7.62x39 AKs but lately I have had a really had a strong itch to get a .223 AK for a few reasons, so I have been thinking similarly to yourself. But I am not an AR guy, I would rather my rifles be reliable and functional first, and have the best ergonomics second. I would never want a rifle that may jam on me.

    After doing some research, the only problem that I found was that .223 AKs tended to have some reliability issues. I'm talking about those that are currently available, not your old Yugos and Galils that are very rare and cost a pretty penny. They would misfeed, and mainly the problem seemed to be caused by mags. After looking at several models, I discovered a few things. Saigas seemed to be the most reliable .223 AKs that were readily available. And Tromix and AKUSA Saigas seemed to be the best Saiga .223 conversions that were as realiable as AKs should be.

    Chris at AKUSA has very fine rifles but they were more than I wanted to pay for an AK. So I decided on the Tromix, which cost about 65% of the AKUSA rifle. I just ordered my Tromix Saiga .223 w/folding stock from FBMG (owned by Correia on the HighRoad here). Correia is selling them for a price that is a bleeding steal in my opinion. I do not think that the current availability and price that Correia is selling these Tromix Saigas for will continue as is for much longer. I think that these Tromix Saigas will go up in price and the turnaround time from Tromix will increase, just because orders at Tromix seem to have increased very rapidly in the last few months.

    Anyway, these rifles are supposed to take Bulgarian 5.56/.223 mags without any issue. You can buy these from K-VAR for about $30. They are pricey for AK mags, but then again it's K-VAR of course. They are a monopoly; they have cornered the market since Chief Thunder got set up and sent away several years ago. But they are good quality mags at least, which should last. Mine will come equipped with a Tromix side folder, which appears to be similar to an ACE folding stock, which are really high quality folders.

    These .223 Saigas rifles are reported to be as accurate as any AK out there, as accurate as any VEPR. I read once that they do slightly better with the heavier 62 grain Russian ammo, versus the lighter stuff. Another pro regarding these rifles is that they do not seem to have any problem with the Russian steel-cased .223 ammo, as others have sometimes reported that AR's seem to have issues with it sometimes.

    I hope this helps. I was in the same boat as you recently, and this is what I decided to do. I have no doubt that the rifle I ordered will be a keeper. In light of the current prices for a quality AK, I think I got a total steal. I'll post some pics when I receive it next week. Kudos to Correia for having the wherewithal to order and have such a fine custom rifle stocked in his store already. If you contact Tony at Tromix right now, at this point in time, he will tell you that he has his orders filled and cannot deliver a rifle to you until 2009! :what:
     
  17. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Member

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    A couple of things, I don't think all Romanians come in as single stack chop jobs--I think the SAR-3 is a purpose built, normal mag using AK?

    Secondly, Kvar isn't the only folks with bulgy 5.56 mags--aimsurplus has 'em for cheaper.

    Finally, all you saiga shooters really need to quit buying up all the galil mags. Grr.
     
  18. geojap

    geojap Member

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    Crikey, thank you for pointing that out. I had no idea AIM had those. That will save me about $6 per mag.
     
  19. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    Saiga - this one uses Galil mags ($20/ea from CDNN and elsewhere).

    [​IMG]

    HA! NEVER!!!! :D
     
  20. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    get you a saiga ak for under 300 , give it a few mods, to accept standard ak mags, and never look back with regret!!!
     
  21. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    No sir. These are (from top) a Sar-1 and a Sar-3 (in .223). They both entered the country with fully functional high cap mag wells. They are made with military receivers (the 3d hole is not punched out is the only difference) and work quite well. Made in Romania.

    muzzles_415.jpg
     
  22. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    geojap is correct. The price on Tromix guns will be increasing, as will the wait times. Tony is swamped with orders. (for good reason, his stuff is awesome). Plus the base Saigas took a jump as well.
     
  23. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    I have an Arsenal SA M5 milled 5.56mm AK. It has been flawless. With the 1:7 twist it can shoot heavy bullet 5.56 loads. (So far all I've fired have been 55 grainers, though.) Although it's possible to use AK-74 mags with a replacement follower from Robinson Arms, I've stuck with Bulgarian waffle mags, which are what the gun is meant for.

    I've made two mods to the gun. 1. Replaced the "NATO length" butt with a "Warsaw Pact" length, since it fits me better. 2. Replaced the muzzle brake with a flash suppressor.

    I am debating whether I want to put a red dot sight on it using an Ultimak mount, or just replace the rear sight with a Mojo peep. Probably the former, since a red dot is more useful in poor lighting and accuracy won't be hurt by the AK's short sight radius.
     
  24. wyM1Aguy

    wyM1Aguy Member

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    Many thanks for all the excellent info.

    As I look into the .223 AK options a bit more I do see the 'reliable mag' problem as a recurring theme.

    As a result I am still confused as to the situation. It appears that the saiga is a great option...but it has to be "converted" to run standard AK .223 mags? This is where the Tromix thing comes in?

    If one does not want to go this route, and wants to run AK hi-caps right out of the box, then I am restricted to finding a VEPR, Galil, or SAR-3?

    I would really like to stay around $500. I can build a really nice (basic) AR for a little more than that.

    Decisions, decisions....
     
  25. LeibstandarteAdH

    LeibstandarteAdH Member

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    And what importer currently imports these rifles you speak of?

    My point was any Romanian rifle imported sience the ATF told Century that the whole SAR-1,2 and 3 lineup was not 922(r) compliant and could not be imported anymore.

    All of the romanin guns that have been imported in the last few years, and are currently being imported are not the rifles you have pictured or are referring to.
     
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