Budget AKM, aka AK-47

Discussion in 'Semi-Automatic Rifles' started by surevaliance, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. surevaliance

    surevaliance
    Auburn WA
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    My wife wants an authentic-looking stamped Kalashnikov in x39 with wood furniture - mostly for the aesthetic reason.
    However, while she doesn’t want to spend more than $700, she doesn’t want a wall hanger.
    Does anyone have personal experience with VSKA 7.62 x 39 ?

    I have lost my hope finding decent quality AK-style rifle here, in the US, years ago. So I am not familiar with what is currently available on a market.
    All feedbacks will be highly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  2. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo
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    You can find them, but you gotta pay.

    The newer Palmettos seem to have good reviews, Century's US made ones have had issues but the vskas kinda sorta seem OK, but who knows.

    Check out AK Operators Union on the u toobz, he torture tests and is very fair with his reviews. Doing a vska right now IIRC.

    I dont know if you will find what you want new for that price. We are a decade past "cheap AKs".
    Look through Atlantic Firearms also, they seem to hqve some decent deals.

    eta: Look for used Romanian guns-- SAR-1, WUMs, WASRs, a quality build on a G kit...these will be the most "bang for the buck" and in your price range.
     
  3. OldTengu

    OldTengu
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    Going to be paying one off soon. Had it on layaway through buds. Between the ak operator's union, Mr. Gunsngear, kimo, and Atlantic, there are lots of decent reviews for it. When I get it home, you're welcome to help me run some mags through it.
     
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  4. surevaliance

    surevaliance
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    Thank you everyone! I think I would give it a chance.
     
  5. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo
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  6. USMC1911

    USMC1911
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    Yup the Norincos are the best bang for the buck imo. The NHM-91 is also really nice. Ironwood really makes some fantastic stuff. If that was a slant cut I wouldn't touch it. YMMV
     
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  7. RedRover

    RedRover
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    No personal experience with the VSKA, however, I would be wary of buying any home-grown AK(M) from CAI.

    These rifles have had some reviews that have complained of head-space issues and premature wear(MAC-Military Arms Channel comes to mind).

    While many are hoping that a U.S. company can start producing reliable and affordable AK(M)s, the jury is still out at the present. Century's last foray into building value-priced AK(M)s -- the RAS47 has been given nicknames like 'grenade' and 'ticking time-bomb' for their propensity to potentially kaboom after a very reasonable amount of rounds. A lot of these domestic AK(M)s are being built with cast parts that have traditionally been forged in their overseas manufactured counterparts.

    The VSKA supposedly is using forged parts(ie. front trunnion), but SEE: my first sentence again.

    Now, if you're wife is planning on shooting it a few times a year, and the rest of the time it's gonna sit idle, she ought to be gtg, though for $700(or less), you ought to be able to get a decent new WASR or NPAP....or a decent pre-owned MAK-90, SAR-1, Maadi (or comparable) that will be a time-tested/proven as reliable rifle.

    One domestic company that piqued my interest (and is reasonably priced) is Riley Defense. I've read a few reviews when they were first starting out a couple of years ago, but I haven't looked back into them again since then. You might also give them a look if wanting to buy a brand new rifle.
     
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  8. MechaNik

    MechaNik
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    I picked up a Romanian m+m m10 for barely $400 OTD. Been flawless for about 10 mags but it also doesn't have wood furniture. Don't know if that would add to the cost. Point is, you might find a diamond in the rough if you just look around your LGS instead of online. You never know what's gonna get overlooked/marked down
     
  9. Savage Jav

    Savage Jav
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    What about a build party get together? Have a Romanian kit that needs to be put together
     
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  10. USMC1911

    USMC1911
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    I'm jealous I wish I had a kit to build heck I wish I could even find a good g kit for less then a full rifle.
     
  11. Savage Jav

    Savage Jav
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    Arms of america has a barrled romanian kit for 389. Just need a receiver and rivets. You can probably get a gun together for under 500
     
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  12. Savage Jav

    Savage Jav
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  13. surevaliance

    surevaliance
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    I am, too, aware of poor RAS-47 quality.
    Yep, it seems like VSKA is a different story.
    From CAI website:
    "The VSKA rifle features an all new bolt carrier, front trunnion, and feed ramp machined from S7 tool steel and specially heat treated for maximum durability. S7, often referred to as a “Shock-Resisting Tool Steel,” is commonly used for tools like chisels and jackhammer tips as it has maximum shock resistance and high compression strength, while retaining toughness. The front trunnion and bolt are machined from billet and exceeded the durability goals for the project. Additionally, the VSKA features a carburized 4140 steel bolt, a chrome-moly 4150 barrel..."
    VSKA 7.62 x 39
    Also, later pre-ban Norinco guns, that were made in a hurry at the end of 1993 - beginning of 1994, are well known by their quastionable quality.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 9:06 AM
  14. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo
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    I dont know where you came up with that, but its wrong.

    Most of the "post ban" guns were ones that were stuck in customs after the '89 Bush ban. They were modified here to conform with the regs ( thumbhole stock, plain muzzle, ect ) then released for sale. Others were sent that way from China until Clinton killed the imports from China.
    eta....the Norinco comment, didnt quote for some reason
     
  15. papersoldier

    papersoldier
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    Brandon Herrera (one of the Youtube AK guys) documented 6,000 rounds through a VSKA and while there was some peening and deformation on the locking lugs it still passed headspace checks which is more than can be said for the RAS-47's. Personally I'd probably hold out for a parts-kit AK or cruise some local stores on the off chance they have something nice, but it appears that the VSKA would probably be fine for at least 6k rounds.
     
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  16. surevaliance

    surevaliance
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    Well, no VSKA found yet locally, but these two CAI-buit are $750 ea.
    This one looks like Yugo N-PAP by Zastava:
    1.jpg

    Another one is AK63DS probably based on Hungarian kit:
    2.jpg

    Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 11:59 AM
  17. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist
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    Get an Npap over a RAS.
    VSKA has had conflicting reports.. so id hold off. Initial VSKA reports were terrible.

    The Npap line of rifles “can” have carrier tail mushrooming. I had it happen to a russian saiga.. so its not that big of a deal. It wont hinder performance and:
    A. Will harden itself out
    Or
    B. You can add a +15% recoil spring
    (as some have done) which slows the carrier tail hammering on the FCG hammer

    The M70/Npap line of rifles now have every bit as much furniture options as the other AKs. Im actually a big fan of the M70 types of rifles.
     
  18. surevaliance

    surevaliance
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    Also, another local store has VSKA for $640.

    So now I am on the fence:
    1. CAI N-PAP with fixed stock, $750
    2. CAI Hungarian underfolder, $750
    3. CAI USA VSKA, $640
    confused5.gif
     
  19. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist
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    If you can wait, Zastava is bringing in their own M70 line of rifles. Which may drive the cost down.

    If you have the ability to buy an under folder, those ALWAYS have resell value due to the cool factor alone. $750 is awful high.

    A guy here on the forum has his Npap for sale for $550. Comes with a magpul stock, not sure if he has the original but Robert RTG, AK builder or Apex will have a surplus wood stock as a replacement anyway.

    Id hold off on the Vska.
     
  20. surevaliance

    surevaliance
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    Another local store has used WASR-10 for $650, but it looks crappy.
    I am leaning toward VSKA wich comes with CAI limited lifetime warranty.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 12:49 PM

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