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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    881

    Default AK-47 and Varients - Before I get bitten...

    by these AK bugs flying around me, when I have one in hand how do I determine origin, condition, and whatever seems right for selection? Is there a "look for" list somewhere?

    Thanks.

    -AndyB
    Ironbarr
    .
    -AndyB
    --As Always... For Whatever The Value

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    16,899
    Tell us a little more about what you are looking for in an AK and we can probably help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    881
    Urban defense - carbine - probably 7.62x39 - forged I would think, but as light as possible - at 73 I'm no SAW toter :) . Not sure about folder stocks.

    An AK may relieve an AR-15A3 (16") w/red dot or carry handle w/4x scope; 3-point strap. This config works for me and is all I need in a goto SA long gun.

    I want to simplify my life - least is best these days and if/when it passes to family, the "education level" may be a bit shy.

    Where and what am I looking for to judge it fairly when I have one in my hands?

    Thanks.

    -AndyB
    .
    -AndyB
    --As Always... For Whatever The Value

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    17
    Heck - for anything other than a "range queen" I would get a "stamped" receiver - it is easier to manipulate because it is lighter in weight.

    cheers

    tire iron

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    350
    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I have 2 AK's now. Both are made by Red China company Norinco.

    The one I own in USA is a 1989 model. I have mounted on it the scope mount that looks like the ones on the mosin nagant sniper rifles. I have an Aimpoint 2000 red dot site on it. I know, I know......old and obsolete. I will take it and kill anyone who bad mouths it (just kidding, sorta).

    The other one is also Norinco. I have it beside my sleeping bag as I type. The script is all china crap. There are lots of Automat K. Norinco is better than most of them.

    steve

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    16,899
    I-barr,

    A stamped receiver will be lighter.

    You can get a Romanian AK (fixed stock) in this area for ~$320. They are kind of rough looking but reliable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    215
    The stamped receivers are every bit as good as the milled but cheaper and lighter. The original AK47 was designed for a stamped receiver but the Russians didn't have the welding technology to produce them in sufficient quantity so they immediately switched to the milled receivers. Later, they switched back with the AKM. Nothing wrong with the milled receivers, either. I saw the occasional bad batches of the Chinese made weapons with either type of receiver.

    The only thing to watch for on the Romanian AKs is a tipped front sight housing and gas block. If the sight is tipped too far, you may not be able to zero the iron sights. If the gas block is tipped too far, you may get binding on the piston. Both can be straightened and repinned fairly easily.
    Sion ap Rhys

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    2,077
    Try to find a SAR-1, they are less finicky about which magazines will fit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    171
    If you want an AK and don't want to spend a lot of time researching or worrying whether you got the "best" one, buy an Arsenal of Las Vegas brand with a forged receiver. They are the "Cadillac" of AKs available in the US. I won't bore you with a lot of reasons why. You can find them on this forum if you want to hunt around. Here's the model to get:

    http://www.arsenalinc.com/sam7a1r.htm

    And here's one for sale:

    http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/prog...asp?Prodid=195

    I will add that my Arsenal AK has a much nicer trigger than ANY factory AR I have shot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    185
    Elmer is right about the Arsenal rifles...top of the line with milled receivers. They get more money for them though and they are a bit heavier. They are excellent quality however.

    In the stamped realm I would look for a Romanian SAR-1. They aren't imported any longer but have a real military stamped receiver. They usually feed from any magazine and are still available for $400 and sometimes less. Something to look for though on an SAR-1 is to see if the gas tube and front sight block are straight and line up with the rear sight. There are some that have a cant to them. It's not hard to fix the cant but better to get a straight one right off.

    For a few dollars more ($500 and up) you can get into a Vector with or without an underfolding stock built on a stamped US receiver made by Armory USA. They are very well built rifles.
    I just took my newest Vector underfolder to the range this morning for the first time and couldn't be happier. No malfunctions and I made one adjustment to the front sight and I was in there. It is a very tight rifle.

    If you have more questions specifically about different models there's a wealth of knowledge on this forum and someone can probably answer just about any question. Someone above mentioned Chinese Norincos. I have a couple of them and for me they are the best stamped AK made. They are harder to find and haven't been imported in the original version (Type 56) since about 1989 or 90 but they are around on Gunbroker and the like. They fetch a hefty price but are excellent rifles.

    Good luck in your search.

    Cheers!

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