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AK questons

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Greggor, Dec 19, 2010.

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  1. Greggor

    Greggor Member

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    First, since this is my first post I just want to say hello to this community and like what I have been reading thus far.

    I am not a huge collector mainly just a couple of handguns and a .22 a friend talked me into a new rifle and I wanted some avid shooters thoughts on it.

    It is a Bulgarian ak-74 made by Century and from from what I have read people aren't too crazy about them.

    What made me buy it was price ($350 new with 2 mags) and ammo price 1080 surplus rds. for $129.00.

    This is my first assault style rifle and my questions were how accurate and well-made is this rifle and I know 0 about cleaning after using surplus ammo.

    I figure worst case I spend about a dime a shot to shred some cans in the backyard but hope I'm wrong.

    Any input is appreciated and I look forward to learning more.

    Cheers and happy holidays!
     
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    You won't likely have any problems with a Century-built gun. They mostly work just fine. There are a few things you can check, but if you can hit what you're aiming at and the rifle doesn't malfunction, you're in the clear.

    How accurate yours may be (and how accurate it may be with surplus ammo) are questions only you can answer. I've shot 2" groups at 100 yds with mine with surplus ammo and the iron sights (I built it, not Century, but it is a Bulgarian AKS-74 kit, not very different from yours). They aren't the easiest guns to shoot well off the bench (not exactly designed for that) so the limiting factor may be you.

    Cleaning is easy. Boil a pot of water. While it's heating up, strip the rifle down to the bits & pieces. When the water is really hot, douse the receiver, gas system, piston, bore, etc. with super-hot water. Scrub it out and douse it again. The hot water will evaporate pretty quickly and will have washed away the corrosive salts.

    Then clean and OIL WELL as normal with any decent gun oil.

    I normally come back the next day or two and do a quick check to make sure there aren't isn't any surface rust starting where I missed a spot, but there never has been.

    If several million Russian (and soviet) troops could keep them alive shooting nothing but corrosive ammo, you sure can too.
     
  3. chineseboxer

    chineseboxer Member

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    Bulgarian or Romanian??? Anyway, don't listen to the nay sayers out there. It will serve you well. Just don't expect AR accuracy out of it. My Romainian would throw about 5" groups at 100 yards. Just realize what they are designed for. Great forum with huge emphasis on AK info is warriortalk.com.
    Enjoy and cleaning is a snap. There is plenty of info on youtube.
     
  4. sturmgewehr

    sturmgewehr Member

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  5. avs11054

    avs11054 Member

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    I just recently got a CAI AK. I'd heard all the bad mouthing on the forums, but like you, got it for the price. Mine is accurate, and so far, has gone "bang" every time I've pulled the trigger. I'm not disappointed.
     
  6. sturmgewehr

    sturmgewehr Member

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    It's not "bad mouthing" when you have a very real problem and Century decides they don't want to warranty your defective rifle.

    Please click on the link above. Also, please don't be insulting to those of us who have had problems with both their products and their customer service (or lack thereof).
     
  7. Messenger Guard

    Messenger Guard Member

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    My Century works fine. Complaints seem to center around canted sights and wobbly mags. If you have neither and it functions, I wouldn't worry. Hot water or windex for cleaning. If you don't know how to tear it down, go to you tube. Best of luck.
     
  8. sturmgewehr

    sturmgewehr Member

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    Unfortunately, the wrong bore diameter is just as common of a problem as canted sights (I took this picture earlier this year at a gun store):

    1125297803_owFjR-L.gif

    ...and wobbly mags.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2ByJyDM1DA

    There's absolute proof other issues exist. The problem, as I found out this morning, is that Century will not warranty their defective rifles.

    So, if you have one that works. Great. If not, you're in a pickle with a useless rifle you can either use as a noise maker, paperweight or spend another $425 fixing it thereby turning it into a $900+ Century rifle.
     
  9. Greggor

    Greggor Member

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    Thanks for the input....I can't believe a gun could be put in packaging that bears a company name with something so f'n obvious like the sights on this rifle. It's called quality control and Inspection points people!...Get some!

    Sort of late for me as it's being shipped to me as I type.

    I doubt a buddy would sell me a rifle with such an obvious defect....but times be tuff you never know.

    Is this problem a fix for an average guy with good hands or am I going to have to be sending it to a gunsmith?

    from the photos he sent me this gun looks bad ass and sweet at the same time and I will be really let down and have to rob somebody to buy an AR then rob somebody else to pay for those .223 rds.:eek:
     
  10. Greggor

    Greggor Member

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    Wow....just watched the youtube reviews and am shocked....He's right that rifle is worthless.

    Mine, however, is a Bulgarian build not Polish....Does anyone know if these are seeing the same problems?
     
  11. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    It becomes such when the implication is made that the majority of Century rifles are similarly defective, IMO. Yes, Century puts out some lemons, arguably at a higher rate than a lot of other manufacturers/importers, and their customer service is sometimes (but not always) poor. But extrapolating from that to "all Century imported AK's are worthless junk" is IMO incorrect.

    There's no way to put a percentage on it, but I'd say well in excess of 90% of Century AK's I've looked at are fine, if roughly finished, rifles. I wouldn't buy a Century sight-unseen, but I would freely buy another one as long as I could inspect it in person first, and mine has certainly been a good rifle.

    To the OP, shoot your rifle and enjoy it. If it works (and it likely will), it's good. If it doesn't work, exchange it for one that does.
     
  12. sturmgewehr

    sturmgewehr Member

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    I don't believe I made such a statement. Feel free to quote me if I did, but I'm pretty sure I didn't. The simple fact of the matter is that Century has a reputation for putting out poorly made stuff. They didn't get that reputation by accident or by unfounded "bad mouthing", as I just found out first hand.

    I would say your 90% figure is a bit off base given the number of canted sight rifles I've seen. If you honestly believe that, why wouldn't you buy a Century rifle sight unseen? It seems to me you don't even believe that statistic. They may go bang (my Tantal does that very reliably), but as for being "fine" that's relative. If your standards are low enough, I'm sure 100% of Centurys rifles are "fine", including mine. If you're used to buying Ruger, S&W, Glock, Colt, etc. then I suspect your tolerance for their level of quality is relatively low.

    He's buying it second hand, what would he exchange it for? Century isn't likely to do anything other than tell him tough luck. He could sell it to some other unsuspecting person on the 'net or trade it in to a local gun shop I suppose.

    Chances are his rifle will work. Some models have fewer severe problems than others, obviously. The WASR's are generally ok functionally if you can deal with canted sights and other cosmetic issues. But I would say if you're looking at a Tantal you have a very high probability of getting a rifle that's useless and Century won't warranty it.
     
  13. avs11054

    avs11054 Member

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    Greggor -

    Here's my advice to you, debates about Century Quality aside:

    If you're looking for a sub 1 MOA rifle that has zero cosmetic flaws, a Century AK, and maybe any AK at all, is not what you should have gotten. However, if you want a gun that'll hit a human size target out to 200-300 yard, and will fire every single time you pull the trigger, the Century AK will do that.

    As stated in my previous post, I got one, and it shoots fine and is accurate. When I got it, I wasn't expecting it to put every round through one hole. I bought it NIB sight unseen. I would agree with benezra that over 90% of them do not have the problem. Also, if you look through the forums, I'm sure you'll find about 50% of the people who hate Century because of the problems with their rifles, and 50% who have good, well functioning rifles. Keep in mind, you can easily find plenty of people to talk bad about a product they've had problems with. It's harder to find people to talk good about something, because they're out enjoying their product.

    It seems it might be too late for you since you said it was already shipped, but I would have confidence in what you bought since you got a good deal.
     
  14. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    sturmgewehr, you're quite right; everything you said was spot-on. There is a good bit of "all Century guns are crap" sentiment around the gun forums, though, although it hasn't shown up in this thread.

    If you were looking at Tantals, yeah, those seem to have had a worse-than-average track record. I'm mostly familiar with the Romanian Century imports (and own one), and the WASR's I've looked at are on the whole pretty good (particularly the newer ones). I am quite pleased with the SAR-1, though I did open up the rear sight more to my liking.

    As to quality expectations, I also own an AR (and my 9mm is a 3rd-gen S&W), and I enjoy both the AR and the Century AK. The AR is definitely a much more polished and ergonomic firearm, but it also costs twice as much. For the money, the only centerfire semiautos in the price range of a WASR aren't nearly as capable, IMO.

    As to not buying one sight-unseen, if I am spending $350 on an item, a 10% chance of getting a lemon is still too much; I'm going to buy somewhere that I can inspect it in person. My SAR came from a local gun shop.

    My mistake; I missed the part about it being a private sale.
     
  15. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    I'm afraid not.

    The "wrong bore diameter" affected a relatively small run of Century Tantals. This makes it quite uncommon.

    // throws on the scratched ol' record //

    All AKs have "mag wobble".

    It's when the "mag wobble" is so severe it causes the AK to malfunction that you have something to whine about.
     
  16. sturmgewehr

    sturmgewehr Member

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    It was such a "small run" of affected Tantals that it permeates every AK forum on the Internet with reports. It was so uncommon Century was inundated by return requests causing them to refuse to service them, initially claiming it wasn't their barrel problem but the users ammo problem. Now that they've been out of production for a year, they're now refusing to service them claiming they're all out of warranty. Their own gunsmith told me they were produced with out of spec barrels and it's a common problem.

    But if you have return numbers that counter the rampant reports such as mine, by all means, post it.

    As for mag wobble, I never said it was a problem, I was addressing another posters comment so "whine" to them.
     
  17. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    While not exactly on topic, my experience with the Century made CETMEs in the middle of the last decade have soured me entirely on their product. This sort of issue has plagued that company for many years.

    The Century made VZ58 I examined had the way out of alignment sights also, same as the CETME I purchased.
     
  18. sturmgewehr

    sturmgewehr Member

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    Mr. Billado, the former head of the Century warranty service department who now runs his own shop posts this on his website:

    1133520945_vCLVq-L.gif

    Answer me this; if Tantals with out of spec barrels are such a rarity, why would Mr. Billado take the time to specifically list fixing Tantals with out of spec barrels on his website?

    He told me in a one-on-one conversation that I personally had with him that the Tantals were shipped with faulty barrels, period. Now, some folks may not notice a keyhole problem as they don't shoot for accuracy, and others may have lucked out and with the ammo they're using and their guns seem to shoot ok (for now, until a little wear sets in). However, I'm sure the consistency of their barrel production likely matches that of their firearms quality control in general, which is "bad" at best and is likely all over the board. I doubt anyone here would dispute this statement with a straight face.
     
  19. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Member

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    nalioth, I actually agree with you on this one!:scrutiny:
    I have had lots of experience with a verity of century guns in the past. This is a very uncommon problem. They are not perfect by any means, but almost always function and work appropriately.

    But I still don't like Saiga conversions!:neener:
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  20. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    If there are a couple thousand with bad barrels out there, and you can make $150/each + parts rebarreling them, it's very much worth adding a line on the website to let people know about your services.

    Yes, all of the early (RI-1436 series) Tantals were shipped with bad barrels, amounting to between two and three thousand rifles. But Tantals aren't and weren't a very large percentage of Century's product line; the number of WASR's sold each year alone dwarfs the entire production run of Tantals, good and bad, and by accounts most of the RI-1576 series Tantals don't keyhole, although there are still a few lemons.

    "Century made a bad run of Tantals and refused to stand by them" is not the same thing as "Century guns are bad across the board." Nor is the OP considering a Tantal.
     
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