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Best quality AK style weapon

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kayo, Nov 26, 2013.

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  1. pippin53

    pippin53 Member

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    Hmmm, since the question was "ak style" and not "ak variant," I'm gonna put my two cents in on the Czechmate VZ-58.
     
  2. shootr

    shootr Member

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    Thanks (for) giving such a comprehensive overview of AKs Willie!

    I've been thinking of getting one and was looking at a PAP and now think I will go that route. Your write up put it all in perspective!
     
  3. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    ^^

    My pleasure. You'll like the PAP, it's a factory rifle from a world class manufacturer. The USA-Legalizing mods are generally well done these days. I think you can buy any of them with confidence. I'd just stay away from the ones with the rail on the rear cover. The covers are way too loose to have any expectation of repeatability from any optics mounted there. If you get one with the (ugly) rail on the cover, you can remove it by drilling out the rivets, but it's better to just get one that's right and not then have the rivet holes in your cover for life. Mine came with the rail, I hated it, and was able to buy a "naked" Yugo top cover as an individual part. Bear in mind that the Yugo top covers do not interchange with any others.

    Trivia for enthusiasts: The Iraqi "Tabuk" AK is a Yugo, as Saddam imported literally tons of Yugo AK's and then had Zastava assist setting up production locally in Iraq according to the Yugo design. Two Rivers Arms builds up "Tabuks" using Yugo parts, a new receiver correctly marked, and they are VERY VERY nice replica builds. These are highly prized as additions to AK collections. Two Rivers Arms also is a great source of expertise and small parts for the Yugos. The small leaf spring under the night sight of original M70 Yugos is often missing, for example, and Two Rivers had had them made as an aftermarket part. Highly recommended supplier.

    As a bit of a clarification of my first long post, rifles available here fall into four distinct categories:

    1: "Preban" large capacity rifles. This means that they are (A) factory built overseas and (B) were originally built with magazine wells etc. designed for double stack magazines. Examples: MAADI, Norinco, Valmet, Galil, etc. Quality is generally superb, and prices for these reflect their quality and rarity. Typically these are collectable safe queens owned by people who know what they have.


    On to what most shooters have access to at more reasonable costs, Postban there are three families:

    1: Factory "assault configuration" rifles assembled overseas, which are all originally built for the single stack "small capacity" magazines, and which are then "rebuilt" in the USA with the required number of US parts, and an enlarged magazine well to allow the standard magazines to fit. Examples: WASR, PAP, etc. These are all solid inexpensive shooters that are poo-poohed by internet experts and shot by the thousands by Bubbas like me.

    2: Factory "sporting configuration" rifles that are then remanufactured to include the evil features. Examples: Saigas, etc. Quality initially is very good, quality post-reconstruction can be variable based on who does the work, and with what parts. Buyer knowlage is essential when buying these.

    3: Parts sets from overseas built using receivers made in the USA. These are "Domestic Production" rifles and will generally use an original parts set supplemented with enough US made parts to be legal, assembled on a US built receiver. Parts sets can be surplus, or brand new production. Quality can be highly variable based on who built it and what parts were used. Quality of some is superb, quality of others is dismal. These range from shot out parts sets put together by Bubba who folded a flat with a sledgehammer over a block of steel, to craftsman built rifles from makers both famous and not so famous. Buyer knowlage is VERY essential when buying these. They can be bottom of the barrel (no pun intended) hack jobs like my own Romanian parts set that I assembled using machine screws instead of rivets on a flat that was literally hammered over a block, to absolute gems like my Tabuk built by Two Rivers Arms, to very nice rifles made by someone you never heard of using good parts and a good receiver, such as my M70 on the Nodak Spud receiver, built in a garage by someone who really knew what they were doing. These are the category that the Arsenal's fit into.


    Bottom line is that if you want it to take a 30 round magazine and you want it all to have been done at the factory, you are looking at preban rifles. If you are looking at postban rifles, either the assembly will have been done overseas with modifications to accept the 30 round magazines done here or the assembly will have been done in the USA on an US made receiver. You can't have both in a postban rifle. So... pick one of the above and enjoy.


    Willies Postban Choices:

    Best bang for buck: PAP's and WASR's. Cheap, "go bang every time" and are generic. Buy one.

    Best value in a high quality, factory-assembled rifle: Saiga, either converted or left as-is.

    Best fun for the buck: Build your own using a GOOD set of parts and a GOOD US receiver. No-brainer choice is a good Yugo parts set on a Nodak Spud or similar receiver.

    BEST BEST BEST? Pick one of the custom makers using a quality US receiver and good foreign parts sources and enjoy. Plan to spend $$. Builds by Krebs, Arsenal, etc., would be no-brainer choices if you want "modern" and Two Rivers Arms would be a no-brainer choice if you want "classic".




    Moving on:

    The VZ-58 is another excellent design, but other than it's cosmetic appearance at ten yards it has nothing in common with the AK. It's arguably a better rifle, and completely different in every way. Mechanically it has more in common with a Walther P-38 married to a M1 Carbine than it does with the AK. Only the caliber is the same and even that was an afterthought. One belongs in every serious modern military rifle collectors rack.


    Gobble Gobble...


    Willie

    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  4. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    The vz-58 has only one part in common with the AKM clones in the US..caliber. I've had several AKMs including a Hungarian back in 1988 in California that was quite accurate - I have no AKMs now and I have an SA vz-58, shown here last range trip with my CZ P-09.

    fundayvz-58andP-09_zps0e649e37.jpg

    I'd recommend it over any sub-$1K AK rifle, especially the CzechpointUSA version, very well done.

    The caliber itself is not inaccurate in my book, (thin book, never read, ;) ), as shown here by a group I fired yesterday morning.

    200yards125grBerrysPHP_zpsd8bb88b2.jpg

    That is off a front rest only, 200 yards, iron sights, out of my CZ 527M/CSR with Berrys plated flat point handloads. I know there are TONS of internet commandos who are far better shots than I am, but I think this is acceptable. It's not the caliber, it's the specific load or platform. Had a WASR-10 that couldn't hit a target past 50 yards...
     
  5. SilentStalker

    SilentStalker Member

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    Bottom of the line is, if you want a well built very reliable AK with good parts I think you need to be looking at anything near the $1000 and above mark! I am not saying that anything under that won't work but once you see a well built rifle vs. a cheaper version you will understand why there is such a difference in money. Like I stated earlier, I could not be happier with my InRange AK74! The quality is awesome, everything is tight, it eats everything, the iron sights are perfect, the trigger is beyond awesome and mine is repeatable under 1MOA gun. I have done it many times with Wolf Ammo. It's not as accurate as a TRG shooting prone from a bipod and a bag but its very accurate for a battle rifle! I can also say I much prefer the 5.45 over the 7.62 but that's just me.
     
  6. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    i wouldnt call the VZ58 a clone, a variant, or a style of AK.. theyre about as similar to AKs as AR15s are to FALs.. if you were comparing the VZ-58 to an SKS i could see it as both are 7.62x39 caliber tilting block rifles.. but apples and oranges between it and the AK

    that said.. almost all my interest in AKs are based around the AK-74 models, not a huge fan of the older 47s or the 7.62x39 really, but ill still say the polish archer rifle is the best AK out there.. ESPECIALLY if a variety of quality ammo or the ability to reload are things you look for in a rifle since youll have more choices in ammo with a .223/5.56mm AK than any other cartridge
     
  7. meef

    meef Member

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    Galil.

    Got one back in the 80's when they first came out.

    Didn't properly appreciate it at the time and sold it.

    To this day I haven't forgiven myself.

    :cuss:
     
  8. ifit

    ifit Member

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    so your wasr 10 could not hit anything past 50y?....interesting. brandon401401 (youtube) outa the box wasr 10 hitting man size targets out to 300y standing, and your boltaction 527m/csr hitting those targets sitting with a front rest...ok. you may not know but theres some wasr sleepers out there, i have one. and will give my more expensive czusa vz58:) a run for its money
     
  9. dcarch

    dcarch Member

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    My Saiga has been nothing but perfect since the day I got it.
     
  10. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    I was going to write Saiga but many of them suffer from nasty sight disease. Mine too has NEVER ever once hesitated. I mean I have shot the nastiest ammo at VERY high fire rates for extended red hot periods. And it lives and lives. BUT I need to ride the front sight full left to even get on a target at 50 yards and the rear sight is like a badly listing ship.

    It's a full legal convert with a NICE trigger job.
     
  11. ratt_finkel

    ratt_finkel Member

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    Thank you for the very thorough and detailed replies Willie. You should put that info on a blog or something.
     
  12. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    ^^ My pleasure.

    Moderators can feel free to combine the posts, edit them, and post as a stickie if they feel it would have value to the forums.


    Willie

    .
     
  13. Cryogaijin

    Cryogaijin Member

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    I note a distinct lack of "Vepr" from Willie's posts.
     
  14. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Yes, that is exactly what I said, the WASR-10 I had, even with a Red Star trigger pack for trigger slap, and canted front sight fixed, wouldn't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside. :fire: I sold it gratefully. I certainly would be interested in trying the CAI vz-2008, as that rifle is the one that bucks the Century Arms International "drunken monkey" reputation.

    BTW, the target I am shooting at with my CZ 527 isn't man sized...it's a half scale IDPA target, measures 9x14". I will say I'd probably be able to hit a man sized target at 300 yards, and I will try to get one of my B-27 targets out to the range next time, if I can get a cease fire long enough to walk it all the way down there!
    I also post true pictures/video, and will ALWAYS be the first to say I am not the worlds greatest shot...especially in the world of the internet. :scrutiny::p Plenty of people out there who can shoot rings around me - look for Joe L P-09 videos for proof of that!
     
  15. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    i dont even blame the WASRs so much though.. granted romanian AKs arent top tier quality.. but a lot of them are pretty half-assed put together.. cant remember exactly who made them, im thinking century but i could be wrong... poor surplus ammo too and a lot of people assume this is standard or typical of AK rifles.. half-assed slapped together barely hitting the broadside of a barn with the muzzle pressed against the siding with cheap, dirty ammo..

    i could say bulgarian AKs are the best.. but again, if poorly assembled here in the US its going to be a not so good rifle.. i hear great things from arsenal, as stated before the archer rifles are very good.. myself, i just got the few extra tools i needed to put them together myself so i could be sure it was done right and had the luxury of choosing good components to replace the original for 922r.. and i could be biased towards bulgarians as thats what mine is, and what many of the arsenal AKs are too.. but id gladly buy an archer if i could afford it.. of which i cant
     
  16. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Member

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    I've got a bunch of AKs and in 7.62 the most accurate are my Krebs rifles. It's likely a combination of the crowning and great trigger. In terms of overall quality builds---Krebs and AK USA guns by Chris Butler are the nicest I've used/shot/seen. The attention to details really is impressive.

    If I could only have one variant in 7.62x39----KV 13 without question for all the reasons stated below:

     
  17. xxjumbojimboxx

    xxjumbojimboxx Member

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    I've owned and played with MANY of them, Saiga, Yugo, IO, Wasrs, AMD 65's.. Ive got a Yugo krink pistol too. I think all of the AKs run on the same playing field. Any one of the AKs can be just as good as the other as long at it was assembled correctly... The reason you see people ranting and raving about Arsenal AKs, is because they ALWAYS do it right. Canted sights, and mag wobble doesn't leave the factory. Whereas century lets a lot of that go. Not to say you cant get a good WASR, its just hit or miss. But if YOUR buying it... YOU can inspect it, to make sure its legit.
     
  18. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    I'll second the VZ-58....
    Way better built over the AK47.
     
  19. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    for the last time, VZ-58 isnt even remotely related to the AK rifle.. no closer related to the AK than the AR15.. actually, the AR15 might actually be closer related to the AK because atleast it uses a rotating bolt which the AK uses.. VZ58s just couldnt be any further.. i think people just see the angled gas block and the front sight sticking off the end of the barrel and associate it with an AK design

    anyway jimbo, what do you think of your yugo?.. i was considering basing my next build on a 5.56mm yugo kit
     
  20. Willie Sutton

    Willie Sutton Member

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    "I note a distinct lack of "Vepr" from Willie's posts"


    Not deliberately, I assure you. Put them in the same category as a Saiga.
    I don't have one so my mental inventory of AK designs didn't have a column for it.

    Certainly a high quality choice within the category.


    Thanks for the reminder,


    Willie

    .
     
  21. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    The VZ-58 looks like an AK, shoots the same caliber, is compared to the AK.
    The OP asked for "Best quality AK style weapon", the VZ certainly is that.... He didn't say AK variant like you think he said.
     
  22. xxjumbojimboxx

    xxjumbojimboxx Member

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    Got two... got the krink pistol... and the older model m70 underflder on a DC industries reciever (pre nodak spud)... a workhorse indeed.. the yugos are good because their built on a 1.6mm receiver... run of thw mill aks these days are built on 1 mm recievers... the yugos ate thicker because they slapped grenade launchera on their guns and needed more durable receivers... built rock solid.
     
  23. WinThePennant

    WinThePennant Member

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    I've got a Polish AK (receiver made in Radom, imported by IO Inc) and an Yugo N-Pap (late model, good wood with double stack bolt).

    The IO Inc is pretty much regarded by everyone on the Internet as a POS, but I love it. I'd put my Yugo N-Pap up against any other AK out there. The only thing I don't like about it is the Western style buttstock.
     
  24. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    i think ill go with an M85 for my next build then.. ill build it as a 16" krink rifle though
     
  25. xxjumbojimboxx

    xxjumbojimboxx Member

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    Ive got 2 io sporter econs... put wasr furniture on each... love them both... a lot
     
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