I'm Not Sure, But Maybe I Want An AK

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by WrongHanded, Mar 11, 2022.

  1. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    If you want an AK, get an AK. If you get a good one they are great weapons.

    On ammo price, yes 7.62x39 has gotten more expensive than it was several years ago but it is still less expensive than .223. It’s not going to be dirt cheap to shoot, but that has applied to pretty much everything for the last 2+ years.

    Accuracy issues are also overstated. While it’s possible to get a bad barrel, most AKs in my experience shoot between 2-3 MOA which is what my ARs shoot given comparable ammo. It is easier to find match .223 ammo than 7.62x39 of course, so people shoot $2/round ammo in their AR and complain that their $0.40/round AK won’t shoot the same groups. My Arsenal is consistently a 2 MOA gun which is fine for what it is. Most people can’t shoot better than 2 MOA from unsupported field positions anyway.

    On length of pull, the stock is short if you use a “traditional” bladed stance to shoot, but if you use a more modern, squared up stance the LOP is much better. It’s all in how you use the gun.

    I’m not left handed, but I do shoot my guns on the off side. I’ve never had issues with getting hit by brass. You also have an advantage that the charging handle is already on that side so you don’t have to rotate the gun/reach underneath in order to cycle the bolt.

    This may have been answered above, but Arsenal is a brand. It is a Bulgarian AK made to their specs with the exception of what is required for import. In my experience they have better fit/finish than some of the other brands, but they do occasionally have issues like canted gas blocks or front sights so you’ll want to inspect the one you buy. That said, I would definitely take an Arsenal over a Century.

    Another thing to think about is the configuration you want. If you’re not looking for a clone, some of the things to look for are milled or stamped receiver, folding or fixed stock (and if you want a folding stock, what type), gas block/front sight combo or separate gas block and front sight. Do you want to only use irons or do you want the ability to add optics?

    If you plan to predominantly use iron sights, I would recommend not going with a combo gas block/front sight. Going with a separate front sight gives you a longer sight radius which helps minimize errors. I’d also recommend getting a side rail for mounting optics. If you don’t want to use it you don’t have to, but if you ever do want to use it in the future it’s much easier if you already have one installed on the gun.

    Unlike the AR, an AK is very much a gun where you need to buy it in the configuration that you want. For example, the folding stocks require different receivers and rear trunions. While there are ways to add an aftermarket folding stock to a gun with a fixed stock, if you want a real side folder or underfolder, you really need to buy the gun that way. I’m not saying it can’t be converted, but at that point you might as well be building the AK from scratch because you’ll need a machine shop to change the rear of the receiver.

    As a generalist AK, I’m a fan of the AK-100 series (like an Arsenal SLR 107) with a side folding stock. Put an Ultimak railed gas tube on it, a red dot, a weapon light, and a sling and you have a very good fighting rifle.
     
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  2. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    All his videos are great. I do wish he'd clean up his language a bit, so I could watch when the grandkids (six and eight) are in the room. But I can watch when I'm alone, so no biggie I guess.
     
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  3. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    I miss my Maadi- it was the cosmetically roughest AK Ive ever had, but also, somewhat surprisingly, the most accurate. That one got stolen, I never would have sold it. :(
     
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  4. Twisted Chemist

    Twisted Chemist Member

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    My sympathies....
    I'd miss mine too. Sure it isn't a milled receiver high-end model but they feel good and shoot okay. Talk about rough, when mine first arrived it looked like the red varnish had been slopped over the wood by an impaired box turtle. Swapped that out for some Chinese furniture and was pleased.
    Have you looked for another?
     
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  5. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Of all the guns I’ve ever sold, I miss my AK (cheap Romanian SAR-1) the most. Had to sell it to come up with a deposit on an apartment during a financial tight spot, and I regret letting it go to this day.

    My own advice would be to keep it light: 16” barrel and 1mm stamped receiver. There is sometimes a lot of love on Internet gun forums for milled receivers, 1.6mm RPK-style receivers, etc. for craftsmanship reasons or perceived durability, but lighter is better IMHO. Loaded steel 7.62x39mm magazines are quite heavy (a third the weight of the empty rifle) so adding a bunch of weight in the receiver makes it more of a pig to handle.

    The AK benefits more from a red dot than most rifles do, due to the very short sight radius. I ran a Kobra on mine.
     
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  6. Twisted Chemist

    Twisted Chemist Member

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    Do you mount the red dot on the rear sight mount? Would like to put glass on my Maadi some day.
     
  7. drobs

    drobs Member

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    I also am left handed and really wonder if Mikhail wasn't left handed. Everything about the AK is prefect for the left handed shooter. The bolt handle and safety are all easily worked by your right hand.

    The charging handle acts as a brass deflector - just like on the M1 Garand and M1A/M14. As long as the charging handle is on the right side of the AK you will have no issues with brass as a left hander. Note there are some AK's where they swapped the charging handle to the other side.

    I've had a few of my AK's to 400yds on steel gongs with no issues. My 1st AK was a Romanian SAR-1 bought in 2001. I've swapped stocks on it many times over the years. It took a trip to Krebs Custom for some work back in the day when he still did custom work.

    This is how it currently looks. I recently have been playing around with different lights on it.
    Light Mounted SAR1.jpg

    Back when Romanian G AK kits were cheap - $60 to $100 I built 4. The 2 on the left and 2 on the right (below) I built myself on FFL receivers. I hand formed the rivets using a hammer and punch.
    [​IMG]

    The underfolder I built has had it stocks changed to polymer. Which I think looks better. I built the underfolder to remind myself how much I hate shooting underfolders. The stock is altogether uncomfortable to shoot with:
    [​IMG]

    I own 1 Serbian Zastava AK - it's am M92 AK pistol. I got that bug to change the hand guards, pistol grip, and muzzle device on it when I bought it. One of these days I'll switch it back to the way it came from the factory. If the AFT gets there way, this will become an SBR.
    [​IMG]

    Being an AK nut - you gotta have a 12 gauge AK. I missed the cheap Saiga 12's back in the day. My Lynx 12 is made in China and uses Saiga parts and mags. It is crazy reliable and will empty your collection of 12 gauge ammo really fast, if you are not careful.
    [​IMG]

    The other day, I was looking at Palmetto State Armory's website. They have a ton of AK's in stock right now. If I were to buy another I'd get one of theirs.
     
  8. drobs

    drobs Member

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  9. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Huh. When Maadi was the only choice back before the wall came down and Styer of Austria was the importer they were very well finished guns. great machining on external parts and a beautiful gloss finish.

    All the AK I had ever seen were surrendered or captured guns, so sort of “road hard and put up wet.” The best AK I had seen was an MPi-K some East German had defected with (and what I first formally learned take down and operation with actually). The Maadi a buddy paid big bucks for in1983 was nicer.

    of course Ammo was expensive and neatly unobtainium back then.

    My Division (3AD) in 1982 had four Romanian AKM with the forward grip and fixed stock that floated around the Infantry Regiment a Platoon at a time so the boys could learn enough to pick one up and use it if necessary.

    Earlier at Ft. Polk and Ft. Bragg Every thing was a Vietnam War pick up and showed the effects of war…. and the hands of 47-11 GIs not fully responsible for them… and Red Chinese manufactured most of them.

    Still when my lower case “s” “survivalist” bug was activated after China and east block got turned loose on the US market and 7.62x39 M43 ammo was every where and cheap I ‘needed’ something to shoot M43.

    My inner infantryman found that my main issue with the AK was the same thing others saw as a plus…. that big old “banana magazine”. When I went to the prone it seemed the AK had my head waving around in the air to me. As an old three position rim-fire match shooter it felt like too much of me was off the ground with that AK mag. I found myself “monopoding” frequently.

    So I went with the SKS. Fortunately just as I was about to trade it away because the urine smelling Red Chinese steel core made the SKS about as accurate a a smoothbore 12 gauge with Foster slugs Keng Firearms brought in a Ship load of Lapua nice clean burning, lead core, all brass case, boxer (reloadable) ammo….. and kept the price near what the crap was going for. Made the SKS a new rifle!

    Midway made some soft point ammo reputably good on White tail deer and a couple of boxes of that along with a couple of small ammo cans (M-60)full of the Lapua FMJ fully scratched that lower case survivalist itch back in the last century.

    SKS still fills that roll. Today lots of folks make nice Boxer M43-ish ammo. Before the ammo famine bullets were available for reloading that nice brass.

    Even the AR boys can join the “semi-auto .30-30” crowd with a KS47 style 7.62x39 upper from a number of places and purpose built 7.62x39 AR magazines.

    Some go so far as to buy complete guns with lowers made to handle AK magazines

    Anyhow as others have noted, the SKS is an option, and not a bad one.

    -kBob
     
  10. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    If you just want to put a red dot on your rifle, I would recommend an Ultimak railed gas tube or if you have a side rail another option is a RS Regulate mount. Both of these will let you keep your existing rear sight and with certain optics you can even cowitness the optic and irons. For magnified optics, the RS Regulate mount is the way to go.

    I would avoid the optics mounts that replace the rear sight. They tend to put the optic fairly high which isn’t as comfortable to use (unless you’re using night vision). It also removes your rear sight. If your red dot dies while mounted to a railed gas tube, you can just pull it off and keep shooting, but if you swap out the rear sight you won’t have that backup.

    Also avoid the railed top covers as most won’t hold zero. The exception to this is the Zenitco tails which are reportedly well made and do hold zero well.
     
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  11. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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  12. Twisted Chemist

    Twisted Chemist Member

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    Thanks for the advice! No side rail mount to been seen, so I'll try a railed gas tube or a Zenitco rail cover.
     
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  13. sarduy

    sarduy Member

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    The AK is the best gun for what it was designed for. A cheap automatic rifle model designation 47, does it need a bolt hold open? No. Does it need to be accurate? Not really, it’s a MG. It’s cheap to produce and easy to train an Army with.
     
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  14. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    The Kobra attached to the side rail, but I’d go with the suggestions above for options if you don’t have a rail. I’d probably go with the gas tube rail and a small red dot, myself.
     
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  15. danmc

    danmc Member

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    I’ve never had a problem with brass ejection and left handed shooting
     
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  16. drobs

    drobs Member

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  17. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    The VZ-58 obviously is not an AKM derivative (no matter what the high school boys say), but as the standard 58 shoots 7.62x39, and is the same size---

    I bought a Czechpoint Sporter (to sleep better at night vs. a possibly early Century VZ-2008) "Buy Now" in spring of 2019. 2,400 rds. so far and not even a Hint of a failure or any type of possible issue.

    How do we know how much ammo was used? This is complicated: I keep a piece of each small used cardbord (ammo) box in a labeled large baggie "VZ-58". .

    This is Not an endorsement for the following GB ad, Not my gun (Not for sale), but is simply to demonstrate what typical current "nib" prices are, and what is known to many as an excellent value.
    Prices back in 2015-2019 etc aren't really going to help any --present -- AKM/ VZ-58 shoppers.

    CSA Military VZ58 Rifle, 16” W/Blk Furniture 7.62x39, Part # VZ58-003 - Semi Auto Rifles at GunBroker.com : 927115759 :cool:
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2022
  18. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    In the intervening 20 years, Ive only ever seen ONE more Maadi in the flesh- and the owner wasnt selling, lol!

    Ya, I worked over the original plank of driftwood for about 3 hours with sanding blocks until it vaguely resembled a rifle stock.....it actually looked and felt pretty good by the time I was done with it.:D
     
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  19. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    The commercial grade Maadis Century was importing in the mid 90's were finished only in black spray paint and had terrible rough-hewn thumbhole stocks- but were still perfectly functional.
     
  20. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    My LGS just posted a 500rd case of brass cased PMC 123gr for $475. I think the high price is due to reloadable cases and obviously the lack of Russian surplus but less than a week ago he had a 1000/rd case of Tula for $400..... almost wish I still had my Saiga, I would choke on the case price of the brass just to have a good supply of reloadable brass....
     
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  21. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    NIGHTLORD40K:

    My Maadi (Intrac A.R.M.) had seen moderate use when I bought it about six years ago.

    Having put at least 2,000 rds. in it since I bought it, the results , —yesterday —are very Good with my No-Go headspace gauge.

    If this continues to be the situation with the Next 2,000 rds. , then I will gladly accept lousy black paint any day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2022
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  22. valnar

    valnar Member

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    It's probably my favorite rifle. I own two slightly different models - both from CzechPoint. At the time I bought them they weren't severely overpriced like today. I wanted something that shot 7.62x39, but the AK didn't really appeal to me. AK's aren't known for accuracy and they're heavy. The Vz.58 solves both of that.
     
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  23. Twisted Chemist

    Twisted Chemist Member

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    And that is being kind to the thumbhole stock. Had to be shed of that monstrosity quick, fast and in a hurry.
     
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  24. Rubone

    Rubone Member

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    And then there is this....actually quite accurate with the 20" barrel,and pretty well made, milled receiver, and the weirdest trigger ever!
    Norinco "Hunter".
    DCP_4485.JPG
     
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  25. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    I'll agree with @Obturation that AK prices just don't line up with their value these days. A cheap WASR type rifle rattles like an airsoft gun, shoots 6 MOA groups, and costs you $800. Anything nicer starts running you past the $1000 mark, for something that won't shoot any better than a $500 AR.

    If you want a cheap and dead reliable Combloc bullet hose, SKSes are still a pretty good deal; they haven't run up nearly as much as AKs. Bud's has some for $400 right now.
     
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