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AK 47's - Which One's are the best? Or Worst?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Warthog, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Warthog

    Warthog Turner, OR Active Member

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    I have started thinking about getting an AK 47 to add to my collection. Don't know much about the MFG. of them, other then like AR's there are tons of them out there. I figured a Russian made would be good, but I'd like to hear from those who already know.
     
  2. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Like with most other things, it depends on how much money you want to spend. Arsenals are spendy but get good reviews for quality. Preban Norincos are nice but are more for collectors given their prices. The fit and finish of my Century/Romanian underfolder AK-47 is not the best but it runs like a champ and they are fairly inexpensive. If you are looking for something to be proud of, then spend the extra money and get a nice one. If you just want a shooter, then the "cheap" Romanians usually fit the bill.
     
  3. Seattle206

    Seattle206 Beacon Hill Member

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    Best out of the box? I would say imported bulgarian, usa arsenal, norinco+polytech, any early import maadi or polish.

    I would put russian saiga up there but if you want to have it converted to an authentic AK look its going to cost $$$ for a quality job, or you can skimp on the $$$ and do a hack shack job.

    If you want something that simple shoots get a wasr or a century built ak, this includes the yugo AK's though they do feature nice beefing parts just the fact that they are not chrome-lined and built by the idiots at century prevents me from wanting one.
     
  4. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Lots of info here; http://www.gunsnet.net/forums/ although members can get a bit political in the open discussion forums........
     
  5. unionguy

    unionguy Portland Active Member

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    I've owned/own a WASR-10, a Vector, and two Yugo's (with NoDAK US receivers from Century). My favorite has been the Yugo's. They are a tiny bit longer in length so they fit me better (I'm 6'2") and they have the thicker 1.5mm receiver so they feel more robust. I also like that the bolt is chromed and carrier are chromed.

    I've heard that VEPR's are the best, however. They go for a lot more. The Vector is high quality too.

    Good luck!

    All AK's are fun to shoot and are as reliability as a swiss watch!
     
  6. unionguy

    unionguy Portland Active Member

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    Response to Seattle 206: My Yugos by century were very well built...I heard a lot of speculation that they outsourced the Yugo builds...it may be true because they were way better than other Century products I've owned (including a WASR-10).
     
  7. 22many

    22many PNW Well-Known Member

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    I have a bulgairan and a romanian and I can tell a big differance in quality between the too. But, the ak platform in general is a good product so you cant go wrong with any you choose. It basically comes down to one thing, how anal you are about your firearms.
     
  8. Randini

    Randini Salem Member

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    I like my norinco pre-ban underfolder had a Yugo too and it was a very fine weapon.
     
  9. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    I like the Bulgarian!
     
  10. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    A few years ago the Marines wanted us to develop an AK/AKM Awareness course to prepare Marine Infantry Leaders for the Sandbox. To prepare for this course we did extensive research and consulted with authorities on the AK/AKM platform in order to make a purchase on some AKM's for the Marines and Private Contractors to use in our course. I'm confident some will disagree with our findings but here is the short of what we learned:

    First of all, what most people today label an "AK" is in reality an AKM (M=modern). The AKM replaced the AK in 1959 and is the most prolific of the AK series. The AKM is a stamped receiver rather than milled like the original AK47 was. The AKM model is now the most common battle rifle in the world.

    Some purists insist the AK milled receivers as the "best". And perhaps they're correct. But the rest of the world seems content with the AKM stamped receivers. Unlike many of today's AR platforms, an AK or an AKM is not "match" anything, never was and never will be...therefore there really is no additional benefit in having a milled receiver unless you just want one for a collection or because of the CDI Factor at the rock pit! It just seems that having a milled AKM is like putting $8 worth of Timex watch components in a $1500 Rolex watch case...and the reason is? So you might want to consider sticking with a modern AKM with a stamped receiver if you’re content with a shooter.

    Today, there aren't many true imported AKMs floating around on the open market. Most are USA stamped receivers assembled using imported parts. There are a few purebloods that came over from the motherland but you'll pay for them. Assuming you can find one here is what my research suggested in order of quality:

    1) Russian
    2) Bulgarian
    3) Chinese (tied for this spot by the Polish)
    4) Polish
    5) Hungarian
    6) Madi (Egypt)

    Some actually rank the Chinese as the most robust in construction and actually having the best barrels. Their stampings are thicker on the stamped receivers and their milled receivers are forged. The chrome lining in the barrels are very good generally.

    All of this is obviously open to each person's interpretation and I'm making no claims as to being an expert or having any great insight in these systems. I just know the Polish AKM’s we use at the Academy work like a charm. I’d rather invest my time in training, mastering the manual of arms and learning how to fight with them under stressful conditions leaving the "which one is better" to the pedantic cranks who walk the aisles of Gun Shows or dawdle at Gun Shops on Saturdays mornings.

    The key thing to look for is the trigger...on some cheaper models the trigger return is hard on the trigger finger but there is fairly easy cure. Also be advise the trigger reset is significantly different than firearms manufactured to NATO/SAAMI specs and it will take some "getting used too."

    If you don't like "dink or fiddle" with gear then find one that was assembled from a reputable shop and from people who have a good track record.
     
  11. Parker

    Parker near the range New Member

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    I've owned/own Chinese (milled/386), Bulgarian (Arsenal) and Romanian...they all work and shoot the same.
    The Romanian is the most consistent in accuracy, being a 5.56 shooter.

    Of what's out there and available now, IMO the Yugo is the best deal going.
     
  12. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Puyallup, WA Well-Known Member

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    The Bulgarian (Arsenal) SLR-95 is an awesome AK! Milled receiver and the Hammer, trigger, disconnector and barrel were sub contracted by Stery. It isn't a match rifle but for an AK it has very smooth and crisp trigger and the downside... $800.00 is a good deal with average market value is $1100 to 1200 bones. They were imported with the thumbhole stock so my suggestion is to install, for 922(r) compliance, are the butt stock, pistol, hand guard, gas piston, muzzle attachment and floor plate. Try to keep the original H/T/Disconnector if you can.

    SF-
     
  13. pathfinder

    pathfinder oregon Member

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    i had a Chinese type 56 with folding stock It was a great shooter .. My Maadi was a nice one to , both of these were preban AK's and had no problems with them.:thumbup:
     
  14. scooter

    scooter Medford, OR Member

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    My Maadi is a great shooter. Finish is a little rough though.
     
  15. Autonomous

    Autonomous Olympia WA Member

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    I own a WASR 10 Romanian semi auto AKM....I really like it...bought it a year ago before prices went up...it is rustic to say the least...little bit of wood treatment went a long way...it is what i could afford and I love the thing...
    With that said...I am lookin real hard at the milled receiver Arsenal AKM's...Mostly because they are so easy on the eyes...
    Guess it just depends on how much you want to spend...J&G Sales .com has some nice deals going on... Mostly on WASR's but also some Yugo's as well as the AKM 74's Bulgarian I think....
    Whatever you end up getting I hope it treats you well...Great rifles to shoot...
    Good luck
    -A