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School me on the AK-47

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by VWguy69, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. VWguy69

    VWguy69 Forest Grove, oryGUN New Member

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    kicking around the idea of buying a AK-47... Just for chitz and giggles. I don't want anything top of the line or anything like that, but I don't want to buy a door stop either.
    What do I need to know? All I know now is they look cool and they are 7.62x39... I have shot one once or twice though.
     
  2. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Well...I'll tell you what I know and not what I think....my opinion is not worth much but perhaps the two years I invested in researching and training with those who do know has yielded me with some knowledge about this model...

    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.
     
  3. terrylf72

    terrylf72 Portland, Oregon, United States Member

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  4. VWguy69

    VWguy69 Forest Grove, oryGUN New Member

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    are there any that I should just stay away from?... I see a big range in prices... mostly romanian in my price range.... Is WASR a brand name or part of the description?
     
  5. Humpyslayer

    Humpyslayer Kent Member

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    I wouldn't feed too much into the hype of this is good, this is bad in AK's. There are different levels of "quality" (chinese polytech's are suppose to be good and the romanian one's are suppose to be bottom of the barrel in fit and finish). The reality is they really aren't that accurate and every AK I've handled from a Romanian (which I owed and loved) to a Maadi Egyptain (also was good to me) to an Arsenal (top of the line in my opinion) all have been reliable and fun. Why spend a grand on an AK when a $400 WASR is going to be just as reliable. Sure, you got a really pretty AK dropping a grand on one and all your shooting buddies will get a hard on over it but it ain't gonna gain you much in reality. Unless you're a contractor or operator going into combat situations where you're potentially going to put your life on the line everyday, I wouldn't worry about it. I would have trusted my life to my beat up romanian WASR for home defense and it was a fun plinker.
     
  6. VWguy69

    VWguy69 Forest Grove, oryGUN New Member

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    SWEET!.... I was hoping that I didn't have to spend $700-$1000 on one, I just want it to mess around with.... until the zombies come anyway;):cool:
     
  7. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Apparently my message got lost in the tome! No you do not need to spend a fortune. Just about any AKM is going to be a keeper. The lesser the quality the more issues you have particularly with the trigger. We have one at OFA that is a cheapy...the trigger reset actually hurt your finger. It took about 15 minutes to fix it and it works as well as the higher end AKMs. You should find a dandy for under $1000 as long as you stick with a standard AKM like you can find from Atlantic Firearms.
     
  8. VWguy69

    VWguy69 Forest Grove, oryGUN New Member

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    no, I heard ya.....lol I have no problems tinkering or upgrading the trigger at a later date... it's just easier to get my wife to "agree" if I start with a $500-$600 gun. Heck!... I don't even got to spend $1000 on a car.....lol
    I'm sure I will learn alot more before I am actually ready to chunk the $$ down... like how to "modify" the trigger or upgrade it...
    BTW... I love to "dink & fiddle" with my guns, I own 1911's, Bersa's & soon to own a Kel-tec...lol, So I'm not scared to tinker:p:bluelaugh:
     
  9. candyman

    candyman Scappoose, OR Active Member

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    what he said for the most part
    i would rank hungarian #1
    and russian #2-6 depinding on when it was made


    just keep away from from rifles without mag dimples
    they where imported as single stack rifles
    alot have issues and have poor resale
     
  10. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Now the next question you wanted to ask but didn't know you wanted to ask is AK47 in 7.62x39 or AK74 in 5.45x39. I prefer 5.45x39 for a number of reasons the #1 being cost of milsurp.
     
  11. VWguy69

    VWguy69 Forest Grove, oryGUN New Member

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    can you elaborate? do the mags you mention have a better smile?:) the bad ones smooth? haven't seen many, so it's all a guess for me.
    I think in the long run I would prefer the 7.62 vs 5.45.... just in case I run into Zombies eventually. dosen't seem to be that much more expensive... prolly only shoot about 1000 rnds. a year. plus I can borrow/loan with my buddy who has an sks.
     
  12. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    You can buy 1080 rounds of 5.45 for about $150 delivered, .13 cents a round makes a difference when I have two teenage boys that can load it and shoot it faster than I can pay for it.:D You might be surprised how powerful the round is.
     
  13. VWguy69

    VWguy69 Forest Grove, oryGUN New Member

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    I don't doubt the power.... I'm sure it's efficient. BUT:p...lol I can't borrow rounds from my buddies or feed the SKS's with it.... Plus it's just me shooting:cool:
    Plus I just like bigger stuff;)... I carry a .45, even though .40 is easier and cheaper to get.:D
     
  14. emanon

    emanon SE Portland, Oregon Member

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    On a related note, I'd like to hear from folks who have experience with AKMs in .223/5.56 on what to look for and avoid.
     
  15. VWguy69

    VWguy69 Forest Grove, oryGUN New Member

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    How can I tell a dimpled one from non dimpled? I will probably order mine online, so I need to get educated.
     
  16. SheepDog223

    SheepDog223 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest a yugo underfolder in 7.62x39
     
  17. VWguy69

    VWguy69 Forest Grove, oryGUN New Member

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    I want the classic look with all wood furniture....and bayo and whatnot.... So far I'm seeing alot by century arms that interest me.... and they seem to be cheap!
     
  18. Buddhalux

    Buddhalux Hillsboro, Oregon Active Member

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    Look above the mag well area. If you see a dimple in the receiver then it's dimpled. If it's completely smooth then guess what that is.
     
  19. dario541

    dario541 medford, or 97504 Member

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    There are several AK's in our family. They won't win many target shoots. They are clutzy. They are designed for Third World countries where the potential users are peons who never get to have firearms of their own. These people can be handed an AK and taught to point and shoot (Spray and Pray) and if they put enough lead into the air they're going to do some damage. I guess that the AK's most redeeming feature is that it always goes BANG! They will function dirty (peons don't know how, or even care, to clean them), frozen and covered with mud, etc. The Russians have sold these in countries that range from desert to Arctic and they keep on keeping on.
    If you want something dependable that fires every time, this gun is for you. But, get a better American or European made rifle for target shooting.
     
  20. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

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    The WASR-10 Romanian AK's imported by Century Arms were originally designed to accept only single-stack 10 rd mags in order to be legally importable into the US.

    Once they are here, Century opens them up and adds enough US-made parts (Tapco G2 triggers) to make these guns legal to use with milsurp hi-cap mags. In order to make the wider mags fit, they simply grind out the mag well.

    The "dimples" in the receiever of some AK's are there to "pinch" the 30 rd magazines and keep them from wobbling and rattling around in the mag well. Guns that were made from the factory to only use 10 rd mags dont usually have these dimples. When Century grinds out the mag wells of these guns to fit hi-caps, they sometimes remove too much material and the result will be a loose magazine that can wobble a bit. It doesnt affect reliability or function, but it does make a rattling noise and it can be an issue for people who arent used to the crude finish of AK's in general. There are fixes for the mag wobble issue.

    Another issue with some of the Century WASR 10's is that the gas tube and front sights will be canted a bit to one side or the other. When you look down the barrel the front sight block will be "tilted" at an angle. You can adjust the front sight pin to compensate and make the gun hit to point of aim, but the pin will be noticably off-center.

    None of these issues will really matter if all you are looking for is a cheap plinker or a SHTF "bullet hose". All AK's, no matter what brand, are "crude" weapons with fit and finish that is far below what most of us are used to in our hunting rifles. These guns were made by peasants, for peasants, and were designed to work in mud and snow and sand with no maintainence.

    My humble suggestion; avoid buying any AK online. The WASR-10 guns are OK as long as you personally inspect them first to make sure the sights arent canted. If you want to avoid any issues with reliability, spend a few extra $$ and get a new one from a reputable local dealer who will take care of you if you have problems with it.