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looking to get into ak's but don't know where to start

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by michaelwilson98, May 27, 2013.

  1. michaelwilson98

    michaelwilson98 Mt. Angel, Oregon Member

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    I'm going to have about 800 bucks in January for a new gun and I've always liked m16's but ak's or fal's are starting to look alot better not saying anything bad about m16 but ak's are cheaper and more reliable. Just wanna know I can get a good quality ak47
     
  2. Seattle206

    Seattle206 Beacon Hill Member

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    I'm partial towards Chinese made Norinco AK's. With a budget of $800 you can snatch up a very good condition/new Mak-90. 1.5mm receivers(most european and american made receivers are 1mm thick), chrome-lined bores, blued finish, smooth trigger. They will have a thumb-hole stock and non threaded muzzle but you can easily have that configured(922r crap)

    Here is my picture with one that has already been de-banned and the other still in the process obtaining the Chinese furniture.

    8594331682_cf67a75d9a_b.jpg

    8593231073_3713f47527_b.jpg

    The top rifle has has 3-4k rounds through it and never experienced a failure of any type. It's always a crowd pleaser and everyone finds it fun and easy to shoot.
     
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  3. 206thsense

    206thsense Seattle, WA, USA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    ^Good looking AKs!

    You really can't go wrong with most AKs, but I'd also recommend getting one in 7.62x39 since ammo is more plentiful and cost effective.

    GunBot find 7.62x39 AK ammo in stock

    You can also get an AK chambered in 5.56, but Arsenal recently announced they're stopping production of those AKs... not to mention you'll be fighting all the AR owners for ammo. ha!
     
  4. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Platinum Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Kind of tough using the chicom furnature, so that leaves Thea available:
    1) US gas piston
    1) US slant brake
    3) US trigger group
    1) US follower in the mag (kind of lame)
    -----------------------
     
  5. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Or a US floorplate (also equally lame).

    At least AKs are relatively cheap to make compliant. I spent over $400 making my SAR3/8 compliant. That's as much as I paid for a WASR at the same time.

    Keith
     
  6. timac

    timac Loading Magazines! Well-Known Member

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    Chinese AK's are excellent. You can find a Arsenal SLR95 for that price range, milled receiver, excellent trigger. You can switch out the wood furniture with American made IWDHome.
    I prefer Arsenal (Bulgarian) built AK's, along with Chinese and AK's built by reputable builders. I've never had any issues with any of these rifles.
     
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  7. j4545

    j4545 WA Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Chinese AK's are a good start. Norinco's are not too shabby.
     
  8. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    NHM-91s make really convincing Russian RPK clones.

    Keith
     
  9. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Platinum Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I've un-mollested (3) MAK90s and (1) NHM90 and they were beautiful when finished. They didn't look like factory 56s, but they had new FSB, GB, cleaning rod, US FCG, US (Kvar) stocksets...darn nice firearms. I even LASER aligned the sights so there was none of that unsightly canting or offsetting of the front post.
     
  10. 308

    308 ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Platinum Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I had a new Chicom stockset for sale here a while back but I pulled it. It has the checkered grip as well. All the metal parts too.
     
  11. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Chinese AK's- Polytech is my all time favorite (IMHO better finish on the metal over Norinco), but spendy units though. $1,500+

    I'm running Romanian AK's at the moment, two WASR's and two DRACO's (one SBR'd) and they are all decently finished, and shoot quite well. Be advised, although generally the most affordable of all the AK's the QC is "touch and go" with Romanian kit, and you really need to know what you are looking at to avoid getting a hooptie that will cost more to get it up to speed than the original cost of the rifle. $450-$850

    Yugoslavian AK's are unique from most others... study them and you'll see.the diferences. $700-$1,200

    Polish & East German... I would go Polish first. $800-$1,200

    Russian AK's- kick donkey, $1,400-$1,800+

    You have "AK's" which have a milled receiver, and you have "AKM's" which have a stamped steel receiver. The former is heavier and more expensive, the latter is lighter and cost less.

    There is tons and tons of info on the various makes. Read, Read, READ.
     
  12. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    I wouldn't purchase anything you'll have to convert or make 922r compliant (in order to use standard capacity mags legally) The reason being your $800 budget can and will quickly jump another $100-$350 easy.

    Second, i wouldn't purchase an under folder unless you're a collector or have had previous experience with under folder aks or aks in general they look cooler than they really are. A fixed stock AKM is ideal for the first time AK buyer. Also, wire folders and sheet metal triangle folders provide no cheek weld and if you're not familiar with the AKM platform id just pass on those stock setups for now as well. They have a purpose and can be useful but are better for more experienced ak operators.

    Third, choose your caliber carefully (theres a reason major magazine manufacturers here in the us produce more 7.62x39 ak mags than the other calibers.. And its got a lot to do with current and future market trends.. The 7.62x39 will always come out on top). Leave the 556 to other platforms and forego the 5.45 until its more domestically available. Oh sure some fellas like the .308 vepr and saigas (like me) 5.56 aks or 5.45s but think about the quality and availability of magazines and ammo. As of right now things are a lot harder to come by, mags and bolts for some 556 ak variants especially norincos and others could be even harder to come by. The 556 and 5.45 akm though useful to me comes off as more of a novelty, not to mention reliability in 5.56 and 5.45 aks can be problematic. (This isn't always the case, but when aks are finicky.. Its usually with those calibers.

    Fourth: the model type. Id get something that is mostly compatible with surplus parts. This leaves the yugo m70s, tantles, galil/golanis out for some specific and some main and common surplus parts.

    Fifth: look at the threads of the rifle, some out there can have odd or non existent barrel threads. The yugo paps (26x1.4or 5.. Something like that) and the early wasr 10s (1/2x20tpi) have odd threads where muzzle devices aren't all to available or there is a lack of variety. This is now being remedied by CNC worrier and krebs with muzzle adapters. Don't get a non threaded barrel and use "pin on breaks" they're just extra junk and some can even fly off if not centered when a projectile leaves the muzzle.. Thus wasting your money any way. Either have the barrel threaded, use a fsb with 24x1.5 threads or don't even fuss with it. Id personally try and find a barrel with a 14x1L threaded barrel due to even more muzzle device options given the availability of 14x1 as well as 24x1.5 muzzle devices (with the use of an adapter) with the 7.62x39 it isn't totally imperative to have a muzzle device for standard bench and occasional rapid fire sessions this those without muzzle devices and get away without a muzzle device but it does help. :)

    Fifth: unless a professional converted the saiga ak you may be looking at.. I wouldn't bother buying a garage gunsmith special.. Especially a 556 saiga.. As with the golani this can be very picky with tolerances, bullet guide and magazine fit. (Mine accepts galil magazines but was finicky with the bullet guide a garage gunsmith Adhered on with what looks line JB weld, but thats another story). Its harder to mess up the 7.62x39 saigas but it can be and has been butchered by some to where a serious overhaul by a professional was needed. In leu of that, most everything can be fixed on an ak so not all is lost.

    All in all for decent parts and modularity, id try to get a ARSENAL chambered for 7.62x39 stamped receiver with a standard fixed stock. This will give you many more furniture and optic rail mounting aftermarket options if you choose to tailor fit it to you.

    Theres a ton more to it, but those opinions will get you by. Any questions feel free to ask.
    AKs are by far my favorite platform (aside from the g3 hk33 clones)
     
  13. unklekippy

    unklekippy In The Mountains Near Sprague River Well-Known Member

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    Norino MAK-90's have a better factory trigger than any aftermarket you could buy. They are by far the finest AK in 7.62x39 for your money.

    Bulgarian AK74's are great guns. My personal favorite is a Bulgarian kit on a Nodak Spud receiver. A ballistically superior cartridge helps.

    Saiga's are(or at least were) an incredible value. There is really no need to move the trigger group forward. A magazine adapter is along the lines of $25-50. My second favorite 5.45 is a Saiga with a Tapco 6-position stock that just happens to take Bulgarian Circle 10 magazines without an adapter, so even more money saved.

    An AK is so many times the superior of any AR(or m16, fr that matter) it isn't even funny. From its ridiculous cartridge to its laughable gas system, the AR is an overly complicated mess.
     
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  14. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    While I agree that the AK is probably a better overall battle weapon than an AR, I think your Ford vs. Chevy analysis is more than a bit over-the-top skewed towards the AK. The Russians thought that the 5.56 NATO cartridge was 'ridiculous' enough to develop a new AK series around their own 5.45 version.

    A system that IMO beats all three...is as accurate as an AR, simpler than and as robust as an AK, and as hard hitting as an M14...is the direct impingement system of the French MAS 49/56. The French certainly aren't known for their engineering, but with this rifle they almost hit a home run. If they hadn't limited it to a 10-round magazine and a proprietary 7.5 caliber, the M14 and G3 would have been stillborn.

    Keith
     
  15. mancat

    mancat Kitsap County Well-Known Member

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    but when you "garage gunsmith" a Saiga .223 properly, it's a pretty damn great rifle. here's mine. I'm also building a Bulgarian AK-74 kit with a 5.56 barrel (shares same mags) when I finally get my garage fixed up.

    Saigas were a great intro to the AK workd a few years back. the prices and current availability knocked them out of that spot, unfortunately.

    VOGlx.jpg
     
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  16. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    advice only for the new to the ak crowd. Ive been around the block enough to see that the 556 aks can be problematic for those who don't understand how finicky the 556 aks, bullet guide and mags can be. Aside from that, a SELF conversion is one of the best ways for a person to get a real grasp of the aks function and also a great rifle/man bonding experience. (Sounds weird but almost all of those I've converted i wont sell, a real labor of love went into some of them)

    But my advice was more for those seeking to outright purchase an akm. Garage gunsmiths have been known to be pioneers in the industry, sadly some mistake a rifle with a standard capacity mag, pistol grip and a pretty finish for a well converted saiga.. And the price usually reflects the overall quality when it comes to privately sold home converted saigas. Great ones are out there.. But sometimes there are those that need improvement.

    Very nice rifle by the way. :)
     
  17. mancat

    mancat Kitsap County Well-Known Member

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    I'll throw my first-time advice in then.. I'm not a huge fan of Chinese AKs personally, and you have to fight the used market to get a decent non-scalping price. IF I was a first time buyer today, knowing what I know now, I would probably go straight to a standard Arsenal/FIME SGL-21.
     
  18. biggie24420

    biggie24420 Beaverton Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with getting an Arsenal for $800. If you can..... GET IT!
    Personally I would stay away from rifles made with used parts, I have to have a chrome lined barrel, and as far as mag dimples go... eh. I have an Arsenal SLR 101S with a milled receiver and a M10 with a stamped receiver. My M10 doesn't have a dimpled receiver and the magazine wobble is very little... depending on the magazine. With most of my Mil. Spec. mags and polymer mags, I have less wobble than a dimpled receiver.

    Anyways.... IMO, I'd stay away from CAI builds and used parts kits (not everyone knows how to properly build an AK), I am not a fan of I.O. Inc, and I wouldn't buy a WASR. Based on what I see online, it's gonna be hard because what used to be around $450-$600 is now $800+
     
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  19. Ironbar

    Ironbar Tigard, OR Well-Known Member

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    Isn't it funny- a few years ago you could buy two AK's for that $800.00. I bought my fully converted Saiga AK from Classic Firearms for $399.00.
     
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  20. mancat

    mancat Kitsap County Well-Known Member

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    Just FYI.. The M10 and WASR come out of the same exact assembly line in Romania. The only real difference is who imports them and who makes the double-stack receiver cut. Century has been doing the receiver cut by CNC milling for years now, and the only stories of real bad magwells were mostly pre-2008.