Tantal vs Bulgarian AK-74

Discussion in 'NFA Weapons' started by stjohnwayne, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. stjohnwayne

    stjohnwayne New Member

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    Hello all,
    as I said on a previous thread about the appleseed project, I'm looking at buying either a tantal or a bulgarian ak-74. Both are from century arms. I have heard they're not the best in the world, but they are the best bang for the buck in my price range. And they're both the same price, actually.

    My question is specifically about the tantal vs bulgarian variants. Which one is the overall better buy? Is there any difference in accuracy, reliability, etc? What about parts interchangeability?

    Thanks for your time.
  2. Bubba Rogowski

    Bubba Rogowski Member

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    Been on a similar search. Some people in forums are displeased by century builds, and speak more highly of the Bulgy's. For the cheaper Bulgarian 74s that are not from century, check:

    http://www.tnguns.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=27_28&products_id=1014
    --a wooden stock model with some dings for $500

    http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storeproduct843.aspx
    -a few others here if you look, this is just one.

    Even though I have not bought mine yet, I might throw in for some ammo cans near portland, if someone can get a discount for bulk.

    In forums, people tend to like the Bulgys, but I have no experience. I know some folks aren't wild about the tantal stock. And this response is for weapons with standard 16"+ legal barrels.
  3. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Member

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    IMHO, either one will do equally well. Both are ~ 4 MOA guns, depending on the ammo. I own two Tantals and a buddy of mine has one, too. I noticed slightly tighter groups with 60gr Russian commercial ammo than with mil surplus 7N6.

    You'd think this is heresy, but, if i were you, I'd take the Appleseed training with a scoped 10/22 and a factory barrel. That's what I've heard from people who've been though it. At 25yd I think the 10/22 will slightly outshoot the AKs in terms of accuracy, plus, the 500+ rounds you will shoot will be a lot easier on your pocket. I have shot both Tantals and my 10/22 side by side to 50ys so I have some first hand experience to share.

    At first I though the Tantal folding stock was hiedous. But it grew on me. Plus, you cannot igonre the folding stock convenience. I though of replacing all the furniture to mimick a Bulgarian, even got to buy it, from Ironwoodsdesings.com but ended up dropping it.

    Something to keep in mind, if you ever want to scope a Tantal built on a standard Tantal receiver and select fire dummy dial, you will have a heck of a hard time getting a decent scope mount. I couldn't care less for any of the dust cover rail mounts. If you insist on a AK platform, get yourself a Bulgi with a side scope rail already installed and you will spare yourself some grief. There is a very nice scout stile scope mount that replaces the rear sight leaf, it is pricy, but it would work on a Tantal.

    Also the guys who works this site once offered very spendy side rail mounts that work on a stadard Tatal receiver. You may contact him to see if he's got any left.
    http://tantal.kalashnikov.guns.ru/

    Finally, if there is any prone shooting involved, the 30rd mags are going to be a liability. You won't have any of those problems with a 10/22. Take several 10rd 10/22 mags (4-5). You will need them.
  4. onearmedswordsman

    onearmedswordsman Member

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    I just checked with a buddy who did the Appleseed training and he confirmed there IS prone shooting involved, and bipods are NOT allowed. There goes a suggestion I was gonna make about taking a Tantal bipod. I can sell you one of mine, and should work with a Builgi as well.

    He and his friend took a scoped and slinged 10/22 each for their Appelseed adventure, sighted at 25yds.
  5. MountainBear

    MountainBear Well-Known Member

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    Check with forum member Pogi. He really seems to know his AK's and can steer you in the right direction. As for me, I liked my Tantal (non Century build, as their barrels scared me, something about shooting a 5.45 bullet through a 5.56 barrel causes key-holing, go figure). But if I were to want an AK to play with, I'd buy a Bulgarian. It's easier to change out parts...
  6. pogi

    pogi Active Member

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    I'd go with the Bulgy if they are both Century builds because of the previous keyholing issues with the Tantals.

    The Bulgy might have a US barrel as well and who knows if they are using the proper barrel.

    That being said, it is a Century build and you get what you pay for from those folks.

    Lastly, like Bear said, Bulgys are easier to swap parts because the Tantal has some unique fixtures.

    My Tantal is my 1A and my Bulgy side folder is my 1B.
  7. stjohnwayne

    stjohnwayne New Member

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    So if century has had all these complaints from the 5.56 sized barrell, have they remedied the problem?

    Which brings my next question- the bulgarian is easier to change out parts. Does that include barells, if I end up with one of CA's mistake barells?
  8. Gov't Mule

    Gov't Mule Member

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    You are talking about a pretty serious endeavor. To accomplish a barrel change you need a shop press and some specialized jigs. The barrel would have to be head spaced (drill press required for oversized bbl pin) and then you would need at least a partial re-finish.

    It can be done, but you would need to the tools or the $$ to pay someone to do it.

    If you want to dig deeper in to AKs, I would suggest registering at the AK Forum.

    You might also find a deal on a TGI truck there...
  9. pogi

    pogi Active Member

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    I think Century has rectified the 5.56 barrel problems but they can't shake the bad press. Personally, I wouldn't buy a Century rifle because of the previous problems and also because the workmanship isn't up to my expectations.

    Changing a barrel is the same on any AK and can be done but will take some effort as Gov't Mule stated.

    The easy part about Bulgy modifications has to do with accessorizing. The Tantal furniture is unique, the Bulgy furniture is the same as most other AKs (except for Yugos).