Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >

Notices

Firearms & Knives - Other Brands Post Your Non-S&W Gun, Knife, and Blade Topics Here


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-25-2020, 12:14 PM
Ziggy2525's Avatar
Ziggy2525 Ziggy2525 is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,112
Likes: 394
Liked 2,140 Times in 683 Posts
Default Question for AK experts

For some time, I've wanted to get an AK. Won't get one until after the corona crisis is over, but.... I have been searching and digging into AK's. The more I dig, the more confusing it gets. So, I'll toss this out. What makes a good functional AK? Not a collector gun, a shooter.

American made vs Eastern European? Russian vs Czech? Milled receiver vs stamped? Wood (and which wood) vs plastic furniture? Brand or model? Seems like opinions are all over the place.
__________________
Vegan by proxy.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:05 PM
Flattop5 Flattop5 is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Southern Arizona
Posts: 429
Likes: 25
Liked 633 Times in 238 Posts
Default

An AK expert in Nevada once told me that 2 "very good" AKs are:

1. the Yugo M70AB2 (which apparently is no longer imported)
https://www.classicfirearms.com/yugo...fold-ri1588-x/

2. the Romanian SAR-1 (which is no longer imported)
ROMANIAN SAR-1 AK-47 (NOT WASR 10/63) W/AMMO,12-30RD MA in lexington, Kentucky gun classifieds -gunlistings.org

Edit: between the 2, I'd choose the Yugo.


---------------
__________________
So very Politically Incorrect

Last edited by Flattop5; 03-25-2020 at 01:07 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #3  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:30 PM
Glashaus Glashaus is online now
SWCA Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 943
Likes: 1,086
Liked 2,846 Times in 624 Posts
Default

Right now there are fewer choices than a few years ago. One place to look is Atlantic Firearms, they cater to AK’s and will usually have a decent selection. There are some new imports from Poland that are looking promising. Pretty much stay away from the US AK’s. There are some guns that are made with US receivers and barrels but using de milled foreign AK parts sets, some of these can be quite nice.

When in doubt always go with a ex Comm Block factory rifle

AK 47 / 74 Rifles - AtlanticFirearms.com
__________________
Life NRA, Life TSRA, C&R FFL
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #4  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:31 PM
murphydog's Avatar
murphydog murphydog is offline
Moderator
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 21,243
Likes: 81
Liked 11,327 Times in 6,162 Posts
Default

These are not really my thing, but in my observations the ones that seem to go for the most money are those with milled (instead of stamped) receivers, along with Norinco from China, Valmet, and Arsenal. I'm sure just about any make works fine but these are the ones that get the big bucks.
__________________
Alan
SWCA 2023, SWHF 220

Last edited by murphydog; 03-31-2020 at 04:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #5  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:35 PM
BARgunner BARgunner is offline
SWCA Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 427
Likes: 774
Liked 728 Times in 150 Posts
Default

Anything built by Arsenal. I prefer the sheet metal receiver as it is lighter than the milled models. I like the polymer stocks over wood for functionality. That being said, I have several with wood furniture because I like the way it looks. I have a number of AK's but the two that get the most use are sheet metal receivers with polymer stocks. Both are Arsenal's and both have about 15K through each of them. They are a very reliable battle rifle and if that's what you are looking for, go with an Arsenal.
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Like Post:
  #6  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:37 PM
Valmet's Avatar
Valmet Valmet is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 2,575
Likes: 1,662
Liked 2,164 Times in 1,167 Posts
Default

Lots of great AKs out there. If money isn’t an issue, buy a pre-ban.
__________________
Some Might Say.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #7  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:49 PM
Wyo's Avatar
Wyo Wyo is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,672
Likes: 659
Liked 3,698 Times in 827 Posts
Default

I like the Arsenal AKís the best. They just run forever and you seldom hear about problems with them. Having said that, the out-of-production models have gotten really, really expensive. I had two, a Russian SGL-21 in 7.62 and a Bulgarian SLR-104FR in 5.45. Never used the 5.45 rifle so I sold it recently on GB. That thing went over $2400, and that seems to be the going rate for them these days! I guess that tells you what the market thinks of these rifles. Go with Arsenal if you can but be prepared to pay for it.
__________________
ďEverybody could shoot."
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #8  
Old 03-25-2020, 01:53 PM
Puller's Avatar
Puller Puller is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: North Mississippi
Posts: 291
Likes: 673
Liked 1,465 Times in 227 Posts
Default

I had a Romanian SAR-1 for a number of years and really liked it. It had a milled receiver and the sights were not canted, which seemed to be something to look for when buying. I hunted with it and killed a few feral hogs and one nice buck during deer season and I found it to be as accurate as your average .30-30 lever gun with open sights.

I sold mine a couple of years ago because it seems my cousin wanted in more than I did, especially when he offered more than double what I paid for it. Otherwise, it was a real fun gun.
__________________
Live long and prosper
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #9  
Old 03-25-2020, 02:44 PM
LVSteve's Avatar
LVSteve LVSteve is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lost Wages, NV
Posts: 12,209
Likes: 12,495
Liked 14,832 Times in 5,756 Posts
Default

The Bulgy AKs are robust but heavy. Many Saiga rifles were converted to AK style after the AWB bill sunset. They are stamped but the metal is plenty thick. The 20" versions are used as the basis for building fake RPKs. My only complaint about the Saiga I used to own was that it was drastically over gassed. Thw WASR 10/63 that re[laced it was entirely different, recoil wise.
__________________
Release the Kraken
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #10  
Old 03-25-2020, 03:07 PM
AManWearingAHat's Avatar
AManWearingAHat AManWearingAHat is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 441
Likes: 138
Liked 676 Times in 248 Posts
Default

From a durability stand point based on data from machine gun ranges, milled AK's are superior to stamped ones from a durability standpoint regardless of how thick your stampings are. That said most people will never even approach shooting their AK enough for it to matter.

Arsenal makes a good albeit expensive product. You can buy with confidence but you are paying for it. Saiga AK's are probably the best stamped ones out there but you will be looking secondary market. Romanian and Bulgarian would be my close second to Saigas. I would stay away from Yugos, some are no longer imported and there are some non-standard configurations out there. My experiences with them have been hit or miss so I tend not to recommend them. I recommend staying away from state side offerings right now, jury is still out on quality and durability.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #11  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:03 PM
Ziggy2525's Avatar
Ziggy2525 Ziggy2525 is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 1,112
Likes: 394
Liked 2,140 Times in 683 Posts
Default

Thanks guys. Good stuff.
__________________
Vegan by proxy.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:14 PM
Mrnurse Mrnurse is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: nc
Posts: 439
Likes: 380
Liked 521 Times in 251 Posts
Default

Well for me: Arsenal -OK to expensive at 1300.00+, M70 Quite Good but now no longer made, The SAR 95...a Milled Thumb hole was the Best AK I ever Owned..Styer Barrel, Nice machine work, their 1300.00 if you can find them. For 2000.00 + or so Valmets are Outstanding rifles. Notice all are Used/no longer made. I would Not buy anything New ..just my 2 cents. Forget Pre post ban Stuff...its all going to become a Ban item sooner or later. Oh Yea Chinese Ak are fair at best...I Shoot a Older Galil myself .... and my M 70 folder.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #13  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:27 PM
Screwball Screwball is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: ME
Posts: 269
Likes: 60
Liked 269 Times in 92 Posts
Default

Iíve heard a lot of good coming from the newer generation PSA AKs... but wonít say yay/nay until I physically have one in hand.

Waiting on UPS to pick up my AK-P (black MOE with their triangle brace; Krinkov clone in 7.62mm) from their warehouse... and ship Ground to ME. First day I can pick it up, Iíll find out.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #14  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:33 PM
Pisgah Pisgah is offline
Member
Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 2,519
Likes: 7
Liked 3,106 Times in 1,064 Posts
Default

I went through the AK phase once upon a time -- eventually had Chinese, Romanian and US-made versions. All worked flawlessly, BUT -- lousy accuracy, weighed a ton, and are the most uncomfortable/inconvenient weapons to carry ever devised.
__________________
Pisgah
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #15  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:42 PM
Inusuit's Avatar
Inusuit Inusuit is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: SE Wyoming
Posts: 2,009
Likes: 3,203
Liked 2,792 Times in 1,034 Posts
Default

I have a WASR which I think is a good choice for an entry level AK. The sights on mine are straight and not canted. I think it's a 2017 vintage. I replaced the wood with something more to my liking and put a peep sight on it. It's a fun gun.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #16  
Old 03-25-2020, 04:55 PM
Chino74's Avatar
Chino74 Chino74 is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Battle Born
Posts: 284
Likes: 186
Liked 359 Times in 167 Posts
Default

Skip the milled receivers, they offer no real world advantage, add weight & negate the 'flex' that most stamped receivers are designed with, skip the US made other than Arsenal which is good if you want to spend the money otherwise any good Bulgarian, Polish or Romanian AK is a good choice. Additionally East German is good, just about any Euro made AK will be good to go but stay away from the Maudi (Egyptian made). Also Yugo is not standard parts configuration for gas tubes & furniture and possibly a few other things.

If your are into variants you can't go wrong with the Hungarian FEG AK AMD-65. Additionally don't get hung up on chrome lined barrels that's not a deal breaker.

I'll second Atlantic Firearms. Also you can Contact Mark AKA Gunplumber at Arizona Response Systems LLC...he makes top drawer AKs.

My 2 AKS (Hungarian AMD-65 & Polish Under folder) are both very good rifles & accurate for me, no issues what so ever. Rather than fixed stocks I prefer underfolders or side folders., much more flexible in terms of modes of use & carry options. And yes, all Wire Under Folders and most side folders will have some slight wiggle sooner or later, if you're OCD then better get a standard furniture fixed stock AK LOL.

Last edited by Chino74; 03-25-2020 at 06:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #17  
Old 03-25-2020, 05:46 PM
Murdock Murdock is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Down East Maine
Posts: 676
Likes: 347
Liked 767 Times in 243 Posts
Default Yugo M70AB2

My only AK, but it's grown on me. Yugos have flip-up night sights and -- of critical importance to be sure -- are set up to launch rifle grenades.

The barrel that came with it was a mess; bullets found their way out of the muzzle, but it looked like the proverbial rusty water pipe inside. Still had fair accuracy though. I lucked into an unissued Yugo barrel a couple of years ago, and now it has much improved performance.

Keep in mind that unlike most other AKs, Yugos don't have chrome-lined barrels. Clean it!

I feel so naughty every time I use it.
Attached Thumbnails
Question for AK experts-20200325_173221-jpg  

Last edited by Murdock; 03-25-2020 at 05:52 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #18  
Old 03-25-2020, 06:16 PM
Justin T's Avatar
Justin T Justin T is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Spring, TX
Posts: 365
Likes: 265
Liked 666 Times in 240 Posts
Default

So many flavors, like skittles!

For a standard Mark I Mod 0 shooter, a Bulgarian or Romanian will be fine.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #19  
Old 03-29-2020, 09:36 PM
Rayfan87's Avatar
Rayfan87 Rayfan87 is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Laurens, SC
Posts: 174
Likes: 56
Liked 266 Times in 89 Posts
Default

From what I've seen, your best bet is to avoid American made with the exception of PSA gen 3 and newer like the AK-e. Arsenals are made on parts from, if I remember correctly, Bulgaria. Yugos require some non standard parts but that only matters if you're going to change like the stock., easiest way to spot one of those is they put an extra vent hole in the forearm. I may refinish my Opap stock because I like the looks of the dark red wood instead of the lighter colored on there currently.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #20  
Old 03-29-2020, 09:41 PM
SC_Mike's Avatar
SC_Mike SC_Mike is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 2,850
Likes: 16,283
Liked 8,589 Times in 2,122 Posts
Default

I've an old school Norinco Mak 90 that originally came a wooden thumb hole stock. I traded a buddy an old O/U 12 gauge for it. 0 issues.



Also a Polish 1960 with a milled receiver from Century. Again, 0 issues.

__________________
Matthew 14:29

Last edited by SC_Mike; 03-29-2020 at 09:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #21  
Old 03-30-2020, 04:39 AM
hkcavalier's Avatar
hkcavalier hkcavalier is online now
US Veteran
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 2,337
Likes: 1,154
Liked 4,390 Times in 1,257 Posts
Default

I like my Arsenal, though it's the basic fixed-stock gun that I upgraded with some Magpul parts. The factory triangle or solid stock folder is a better way to go IMO.



The Yugos are quite nice as well, and being more of a "commodity" kind of gun invite lots of garage customization. This one has a homemade pistol grip, bar-stock sling mount, and top cover drilled and tapped for a rail, among other aftermarket additions. That's a 60rnd quad stack mag by the way. Works well but needs some lube to function 100%.

__________________
Psalm 27:2
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #22  
Old 03-30-2020, 06:38 AM
canoeguy canoeguy is offline
US Veteran
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Far Southwest Virginia
Posts: 1,450
Likes: 415
Liked 2,490 Times in 332 Posts
Default

I lucked in to a Chinese MAK-90 this summer at a yard sale, the original stock was cracked, I replaced it with a Choate Dragunov style stock. It has been a fun shooter.....

Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #23  
Old 03-30-2020, 08:03 AM
jake1945's Avatar
jake1945 jake1945 is online now
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Iowa
Posts: 394
Likes: 191
Liked 347 Times in 151 Posts
Default

My Romanian Wasr10 imported by CIA, made in 1989 has performed flawlessly. It has the forged underfolder stock with wood fore end.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-30-2020, 08:47 AM
Valmet's Avatar
Valmet Valmet is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 2,575
Likes: 1,662
Liked 2,164 Times in 1,167 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puller View Post
I had a Romanian SAR-1 for a number of years and really liked it. It had a milled receiver and the sights were not canted, which seemed to be something to look for when buying. I hunted with it and killed a few feral hogs and one nice buck during deer season and I found it to be as accurate as your average .30-30 lever gun with open sights.

I sold mine a couple of years ago because it seems my cousin wanted in more than I did, especially when he offered more than double what I paid for it. Otherwise, it was a real fun gun.
You had an SAR-1 with a milled received? Iím not saying you didnít, but Iíve never seen an SAR that wasnít stamped.
__________________
Some Might Say.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-30-2020, 09:17 PM
BigBill's Avatar
BigBill BigBill is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: north america
Posts: 12,359
Likes: 1,675
Liked 11,375 Times in 4,741 Posts
Default

It depends on what caliber and what accuracy you will accept?
In 7.62 x39 I’d go for a Chinese sks with the chromed lined bore and chamber.
In 223 I’d go with the Russian izmash saiga these are brand new Ak /AKM rifled with chrome lined bores and chambers.
In 308 I’d go with the Russian izmash saiga too. Again with chrome lined bores and chambers

We benchrested a brand new right out of the box 308 saiga using 308 ball Fmj South African ammo. At 100 yds she shot 1 1/2” groups. With different shooters she still printed 1 1/2” groups. We didn’t bench the saiga in 223 yet.

The Russians at izmash admitted the saiga is more accurate in our calibers of 223 and 308. They believe it’s the design of our brass case.

With the brand new Russian Izhash Saiga we’re getting a untouched, unmolested sporting rifle as they call it. It’s a dependable, reliable semi auto rifle. I waited a longtime because I didn’t want someone’s butchered rework. I never seen any semi auto rifle spit out rounds like an AK/AKM.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:16 PM
robvious robvious is offline
Member
Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Eastern Nebraska
Posts: 1,480
Likes: 2,477
Liked 2,727 Times in 1,024 Posts
Default

I have only one... a "stuck on the boat almost pre-ban" NHM 90 Chinese type 56 like new... and it hasn't been shot in years... prefer my Yugo 59/66 SKS... the NHM is a "top of the line Chinese AK..." but is not nearly as accurate as my SKS...
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 03-30-2020, 11:57 PM
hittman77's Avatar
hittman77 hittman77 is offline
Member
Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts Question for AK experts  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,977
Likes: 1,136
Liked 2,792 Times in 858 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SC_Mike View Post
I've an old school Norinco Mak 90 that originally came a wooden thumb hole stock. 0 issues.

^ This! ^

If you're interested in a newer AK that comes with rails ..... I've had excellent performance from a M+M Inc. AK.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question for the experts TimZ S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 14 08-30-2019 01:27 AM
A question to CHP 3RD gen experts grcoffman104 Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols 5 01-14-2017 01:59 PM
Question for the experts pawncop S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 7 11-15-2014 09:48 AM
Question for Experts slabbandit Smith & Wesson Competitive Shooting 12 03-27-2014 08:39 PM
Question for the S&W experts oldman45 The Lounge 11 10-03-2011 03:44 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:52 AM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)