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 Want to buy a Romanian AK-47, what do I need to know and avoid ?
Merkaba  [Member]
3/8/2006 12:44:01 AM
what do I need to know ?
I've researched a bit and see tons of varieties and a few reviews

are there certain models, serials, years, etc. to avoid ? (known problems, jams, stovepipes, etc.)

local shop I trust sells Romanian AKs for $400

but I want to make sure it's not a model/make/year that is known for problems before I spend $400+

of course I'll inspect the bore and everything I can before buying

this will be my first AK so any helpful feedback is greatly appreciated

Thank You

according to this thread
http://ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=4&f=93&t=70455
lots of people think Romanians are the lowest quality AKs
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AndrewB  [Member]
3/8/2006 10:44:19 AM
I don't think the Romanian AKs are low quality, the finish typically isn't that good, but other than that they're usually just as good as any AK.

I's been my expreience that the WASRs have more problems, but they're caused by the Trained Monkeys at Century not the Romanian manufacturer. The problems I've seen in the small sample of WASRs I have experience with have mostly had to do with the magazine well.

The Monkeys filed down the mag catch on my WASR-3 too much in an attempt to get their butchered converted 5.45 bakelite mag to work with it. When I tried to use proper mags in my WASR-3, they wouldn't work because they would rock too far back and cause the stripped round to fail to enter the chamber and get smashed by the bolt. The proper fix would have been to simply replace the mag catch, but at the time K-var was sold out of the pivot pin I would have needed, so I opted to weld up the catch and file to shape. It works great now.

The other experience I had was with a friend's WASR-10 being very finicky about feeding certain types of ammo. It wouldn't feed Wolf HP at all and was picky even with FMJ. I found that the rear magwell had been improperly bent inward rather than filing the mag catch slightly. This resulted in the magazine presenting rounds to the feed ramps too low causing them to jam into the breach face. Simply fix was to bend the receiver back to proper proportion and then file the mag catch until a magazine would lock in and release without too much force.

Here are three basic things that you can check:

Rack the bolt. It should move forward and backward and only "catch" in the middle of travel i.e. about half way back. The "catching" here is normal, it's just the bolt rubbing over the hammer. The travel of the bolt should not be stiff or feel like it is dragging anywhere else.

Check to make sure the Front sight is relatively straight up and down. It's normal to be a little canted to one side or the other. This is usually just a cosmetic issue- rarely is a front sight so canted that the rifle can't be zeroed.

If you can, insert a magazine loaded with a snap cap, or other dummy round, pull back the bolt handle all the way, and let it fly forward. The dummy round or snapcap should then be in the chamber and the bolt should be all the way closed. When you pull the bolt back again, the dummy or snapcap should be ejected.

If the rifle passes these three tests, you should be fine.
JorgWalther  [Member]
3/8/2006 8:35:38 PM
My 0.02 ..do not jump on the Romy AKM "NEWBIE BANDWAGON" and buy a WASR.
Any type of WASR.

Look on the gunboards or the gun auction sites(gunbroker/gunsamerica) and get a SAR series rifle.

Not only do they have real Romy mil-receivers but their value will hold/increase.

Again, just my lousy 0.02......


JorgWalther  [Member]
3/8/2006 8:39:32 PM

Originally Posted By Merkaba:
according to this thread
http://ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=4&f=93&t=70455
lots of people think Romanians are the lowest quality AKs



I agree..WASR's are low-quality. Stick with a SAR series. You will thank me later.
mykrowyre  [Member]
3/9/2006 11:26:58 AM
Nah. There is nothing wrong with the WASRs. The only difference is that they don't have dimples and have in some cases had the magwells opened up for hicap mags.

I suggest going with the SARs (SAR-2) because they are more "authentic" due to the dimples in the receiver. They will sell for slightly more and retain value better.

Having said that, the WASRs are just fine shooters. The lack of dimples has no effect. There are plenty of real ak's out there without dimples. Awhile back there were several pictures of various militaries using aks with no dimples. One was china.

Look on gunbroker.com and gunsamerica.com for an SAR. If you just can't find one and can only find WASRs, then get one or wait it out.

I have a WASR and an SAR, and the WASR was in far better condition than the SAR. The WASR was straight with no slap. The SAR2 had canted sights, slapped like mad, and the furniture was cut all wrong. Also, the bolt carrier looked like it had been dragged behind a truck.

All fixed now... no big deal but saying the WASRs are poorer quality than the SARs is not true at all.



SAR-2 top, WASR(1) bottom.
Delta068  [Member]
3/9/2006 12:32:54 PM
Well is WASR is a good rifle....

Can someone explain why the area where the gas piston and the bolt carrier connect has been like eroded away. It looks as though someone took a cement block to it and scraped it. Its only on the right side. I've fired about 3,000 rounds through and and always thoroughly cleaned and oiled it. I really don't understand it.

I replaced with a stainless F/A carrier and bolt so I know this one won't scrape up.

Anyone have this probably with a high volume fire WASR?
Cigolon  [Member]
3/9/2006 2:26:42 PM
my advice depends on how much you are looking to spend. there is nothing wrong with the wsar rifles, but some people have a lot left to be desired. century surely crossthreads the muzzle break a lot, which is a real pain if you want to switch that out, and the mag dimples aren't there. that being said, there isn't really anything wrong with it if you just want a good starter, they're wonderful. you can order them offline for cheap and do a FFL transfer for a few bucks cheaper than 400 most likely. the wsar's wood cleans up beautifully as well, so if you want a good finish- its a good place to start.

the sar rifle is a definate better thing, but to really get it up to speed you'll need to thread the barrel and add a muzzle break. you'll also need to find one and pay a little more for it. so, for what thats worth- you may be also able to dig up a totally different country's ak for a little more or about the same.

so, how much are you looking to spend and what do you want.
mykrowyre  [Member]
3/9/2006 3:53:28 PM

Forgot to mention, they are the same rifles built on the same parts. The *only* difference in the receiver. Without going into the details about why, one doesn't have dimples and the other does.

As for the question about the wear on the gas piston, it's either just wear or grind marks to make the piston slide without binding. Just ignore it, it's fine.

For more info read this:
www.gunsnet.net/Linx310/model.htm
mykrowyre  [Member]
3/9/2006 4:00:45 PM
Forgot to mention:

Do NOT under any circumstances, buy one with a Tapco folding stock unless it's dirt cheap, OR has a threaded barrel and a bayonet lug. In the case of bayo lug and barrel thread, get it and replace the stock asap. SARs are not threaded and don't have bayo lugs. You have to do it yourself but it's worth it because the SARs have the original receiver.

That crapco stock is garbage! Sorry if I'm am offending any tapco owners...if I am...well please do yourself a favor and get rid of that thing!! You will live a longer happier life.

JorgWalther  [Member]
3/9/2006 8:08:26 PM

Originally Posted By mykrowyre:
Forgot to mention, they are the same rifles built on the same parts. The *only* difference in the receiver. Without going into the details about why, one doesn't have dimples and the other does.




Please post a pic of a WASR-3 with a correct Romanian 22mm FSB installed.
Aint gonna happen.

I do not believe they use correct Bulgarian .223 barrels on the WARS-3's like they use on the SAR-3's.

All..buy what you can afford and enjoy it. I just hate when I see so many ppl buy a WASR and get bummed out because they didn't do a little research.
We are all here to help.


JorgWalther  [Member]
3/9/2006 8:14:15 PM

Originally Posted By mykrowyre:
OHHHH I forgot...here's the BEST TIP EVER.

Do NOT under any circumstances, buy one with a Tapco folding stock unless it's dirt cheap, OR has a threaded barrel and a bayonet lug. In the case of bayo lug and barrel thread, get it and replace the stock asap. SARs are not threaded and don't have bayo lugs. You have to do it yourself but it's worth it because the SARs have the original receiver.

That crapco stock is garbage! Sorry if I'm am offending any tapco owners...if I am...well please do yourself a favor and get rid of that thing!! You will live a longer happier life.



Comon..you can still use them for canoe paddles. (no offence Tapco)
dermofo  [Team Member]
3/9/2006 8:57:32 PM
I bet my wasr built with romy akm parts from 78 will last just as long and be just as deadly as a sar. These are AKs it's like we're argueing over the quality of our rolexes here. It's hard to go wrong with an AK. They were designed to be built cheap and reliable and will fire after being out in the dirt for months/years regardless of if they're a sar or wasr. Just my .02
JorgWalther  [Member]
3/9/2006 10:11:34 PM

Originally Posted By dermofo:
I bet my wasr built with romy akm parts from 78 will last just as long and be just as deadly as a sar. These are AKs it's like we're argueing over the quality of our rolexes here. It's hard to go wrong with an AK. They were designed to be built cheap and reliable and will fire after being out in the dirt for months/years regardless of if they're a sar or wasr. Just my .02


And I bet a GEO METRO will outlast a Corvette in daily driving too..what's your point?

I am talking about a collectable AK with resale value ....not "duribility".

SAR series rifles have real military receivers and they have not been imported in 3 years.

All I am doing is looking out for the original thread poster. I hate to see ppl get burned on deals.


JorgWalther  [Member]
3/9/2006 10:28:46 PM
BTW...6 years ago I purchased my first AKM..a 2000 SAR-1(NIB).
Over the years I have purchased a "few" more different caliber SAR rifles.

I did the research (lurked on the gunboards BEFORE I purchased one.)

It's like buying a car...or anything. Do the research before you buy so you don't get stuck.

We are all part of an AK community..just trying to help others out.

AndrewB  [Member]
3/9/2006 11:11:02 PM
My WASR-3 has a 22mm Romanian FSB on it. (The FSB had to be bored out a couple hundredths.)
JorgWalther  [Member]
3/9/2006 11:14:54 PM

Originally Posted By AndrewB:
My WASR-3 has a 22mm Romanian FSB on it. (The FSB had to be bored out a couple hundredths.)


Good to hear. You did good.

All I was stating is that WASR-3's are not SAR-3's(original Romanian issue for NATO acceptance).

You just proved my point..thx Andrew.
drobs  [Team Member]
3/16/2006 5:13:47 PM

Originally Posted By JorgWalther:

Originally Posted By dermofo:
I bet my wasr built with romy akm parts from 78 will last just as long and be just as deadly as a sar. These are AKs it's like we're argueing over the quality of our rolexes here. It's hard to go wrong with an AK. They were designed to be built cheap and reliable and will fire after being out in the dirt for months/years regardless of if they're a sar or wasr. Just my .02


And I bet a GEO METRO will outlast a Corvette in daily driving too..what's your point?

I am talking about a collectable AK with resale value ....not "duribility".

SAR series rifles have real military receivers and they have not been imported in 3 years.

All I am doing is looking out for the original thread poster. I hate to see ppl get burned on deals.





And 3 years ago everyone thought the SAR1's were crap. Wonder what will happen to the WASR10's when they stop importing them.
tapeo1  [Member]
3/16/2006 8:06:32 PM
How mechanically inclined are you? If you have some basic tools or know someone that does, you can build a Romanian AK from a kit and end up with a nicer rifle for about $100 less than the WASR you're talking about.

I built this Romanian from a kit and it cost just under $300 to build including receiver and compliance parts...



mykrowyre  [Member]
3/17/2006 9:14:03 AM
Man I love that wood. Nice work. Building has the advantage of a US receiver... so you have one more US part which means you can use the original romanian pistol grip.
Shane333  [Team Member]
3/17/2006 11:09:00 AM

Originally Posted By tapeo1:
How mechanically inclined are you? If you have some basic tools or know someone that does, you can build a Romanian AK from a kit and end up with a nicer rifle for about $100 less than the WASR you're talking about.

I built this Romanian from a kit and it cost just under $300 to build including receiver and compliance parts...

i16.photobucket.com/albums/b23/iamiwa/R5.jpg
i16.photobucket.com/albums/b23/iamiwa/R2.jpg



I'm with Tapeo1.

Here's my example:
Bought the Romy parts kit for $100
Compliance parts cost another $65
Found a Romy Sidefolder stock on ebay for $30 (lucky find)
I plan on spending about another $70 on receiver and rivets.

= $265 + a little sweat equity/elbow grease

Also, I'm on the SG backorder for 10 mags (another $25)

That means that I'm still paying under $300 for an awesome AK with ten magazines!
AndrewB  [Member]
3/17/2006 5:36:00 PM
I wonder if a Bulgarian FSB would fit on a WASR-3's barrel...

Someone suggested that right after I posted that I'd gotten my WASR-3 FSB project finished.
paragon  [Member]
3/20/2006 9:32:25 PM
Well, at risk of telling you something you already know...

It all depends on what you want and what your budget is. I bought mine for $399 knowing full well that it wasn't a "top of the line" AK. But, that's not what I wanted either. I was mostly looking for an introductory AK that I could use to learn about the gun and have a blaster around that is cheaper to shoot than my other guns. Since I already have an AR with too many toys and gadgets I wanted to stay simple this time. I would recommend getting the Romanian and spend some money on mags and ammo learning the gun, as I learn much better hands-on. Put research in in the meantime and if you want to go all out on the next one then by all means...

But that’s just me. Sorry to go a little OT but I just bought mine on the Wednesday so I don’t have much specific information from year to year, etc.
mykrowyre  [Member]
3/21/2006 9:01:36 AM
I agree, unless you consider yourself an "ak nut", there is nothing wrong with buying a WASR. As everyone has said the real difference between the WASR and the SAR (or even a kit build), is that the receiver doesn't have dimples in the side. This is purely cosmetic. There are plenty of home built rifles without dimples... but ak purists want the dimples because they usually build clones of the military issued aks.

I have a WASR, an SAR, and am now building a polish underfolder. I love them all equally and would not give up any of them regardless of dimples or no dimples.

I'm doing a build right now and here's what it's costing me so far:

$235 polish underfolder kit shipped
$30 receiver flat and rivet kit shipped
$125 receiver jig shipped
$ 65 us parts
$ 25 bolt cutters
$000 mig welder, already have it
===========================
$480 (not all that much of a savings)

if I sell the jig and rivet tool afterwards:

$330

I'll probably end up bending 10 flats for later and then selling off the jig.

tapeo1  [Member]
3/21/2006 2:39:20 PM

Originally Posted By mykrowyre:
I agree, unless you consider yourself an "ak nut", there is nothing wrong with buying a WASR. As everyone has said the real difference between the WASR and the SAR (or even a kit build), is that the receiver doesn't have dimples in the side. This is purely cosmetic. There are plenty of home built rifles without dimples... but ak purists want the dimples because they usually build clones of the military issued aks.

I have a WASR, an SAR, and am now building a polish underfolder. I love them all equally and would not give up any of them regardless of dimples or no dimples.

I'm doing a build right now and here's what it's costing me so far:

$235 polish underfolder kit shipped
$30 receiver flat and rivet kit shipped
$125 receiver jig shipped
$ 65 us parts
$ 25 bolt cutters
$000 mig welder, already have it
===========================
$480 (not all that much of a savings)

if I sell the jig and rivet tool afterwards:

$330

I'll probably end up bending 10 flats for later and then selling off the jig.




$330 is an excellent price for a built Polish UF. Now, if you used those same figures to build a Romanian kit, you'd be looking at around $100 less or $230 for total cost after you sell the jig and rivet tool. Pretty dang cheap if you ask me!

The added bonus of being able to say, "I built this baby myself!" is priceless!!!
mykrowyre  [Member]
3/21/2006 4:18:27 PM
Exactly...the real reason I am doing it is just to do it... and also because I want an underfolder to replace the one I've always regretted selling years ago...

Makarov  [Member]
3/24/2006 12:57:28 PM

Originally Posted By Delta068:
Well is WASR is a good rifle....

Can someone explain why the area where the gas piston and the bolt carrier connect has been like eroded away. It looks as though someone took a cement block to it and scraped it. Its only on the right side. I've fired about 3,000 rounds through and and always thoroughly cleaned and oiled it. I really don't understand it.

I replaced with a stainless F/A carrier and bolt so I know this one won't scrape up.

Anyone have this probably with a high volume fire WASR?



Without seeing the piston/bolt carrier I am going to guess this is how it came from Century. The piston is one of the Romanian parts replaced with a U.S. made part in order to be ATF compliant. On the examples I have seen (SARs) it looks like they used a couple vise-grips to rip the original off and put the U.S. made piece on leaving the metal looking like "someone took a cement block to it and scraped it". They then hit it with a shot of Krylon which rubs off after a few range trips and cleaning sessions. It is ugly but doesn't seem to be a problem.
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