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Posted: 1/6/2002 4:53:36 PM EST
[i]Firstly, I know that this is an AR board, but I've seen a lot of AR guys here talk about their AK's + I they offer a number of things for the AR and I figured you might want to hear about the quality of their products. I was thinking of keeping this report short and to the point, but after all that Red Star Arms did for me I wanted to give the most complete and honest appraisal of my visit and product as I am able. I apologize that this got a wee bit long….. [/i] Well, Saturday the 5th, Ken Roberts of Red Star Arms invited me to their place to try out a new product that they believe will be a revolution to the AK series of rifles. First, I’d like to thank Ken Roberts and everyone from Red Star Arms and Power Custom for a fun and exciting day! My roommate (Joe) and I drove up on Saturday, and everyone we met was friendly and full of ideas. I had just started to think recently that I was fairly knowledgeable about gun stuff, but after hearing them talk I was blown away with their experience and understanding of guns. Although the weather sucked, we shot and handled countless numbers of rifles and pistols all day. Here’s a quick picture of just a few of the guns we got to play with: [img]http://www.student.smsu.edu/s/srv656s/red3.jpg[/img] I could go on about all the different awesome guns we got to use during our visit, but the reason I went to Red Star Arms and the reason you probably are reading this is to hear about their new trigger. Many people will argue different weaknesses of the AK rifle, but a definite weakness imposed on many of the imported AK’s is the trigger system. If you didn’t know, according to section 922 of some retarded law your imported AK-47 is required to have a certain amount of US parts (I think if you don’t have a pistol grip, this requirement is dropped). Anyways to comply with this, after your AK is imported some parts are changed out, and the trigger is one of these parts. The original AK trigger system was milled from a solid billet of steel (I am a computer programmer so forgive me if my explanation of engineering falls short), well the US made trigger that is thrown into the imported guns is cast (metal poured into a mold) and most would not argue that it is not as good as it should be. The one I had in my Romanian SAR-1 had trigger slap (after each shot the trigger would spring forward and slap my trigger finger) that would eventually make my trigger finger numb. The trigger pull was heavy and awful and of all the guns I have it was the worst. The Red Star Arms trigger system is a whole new trigger system designed from scratch for the AK. From handling the Power Custom products and the Red Star Arms products I got the feeling that when they do something, they do it right. They definitely did their homework and definitely did not skimp when it came to quality.
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 4:54:25 PM EST
So is there a cheap replacement for the AK out there? Yes. Is the Red Star Arms trigger the cheapest? No. Is it worth it? I say [b]Yes[/b], from what I’ve seen and felt. They had two AK’s set up with the trigger when I got there, and after the first shot I knew I’d never be able to go back to the awful trigger of my SAR-1. The first one I shot had a two stage trigger that is the standard configuration of the triggers they ship. I ran the bolt and shouldered it, leveling it on the target. My index finger found the trigger as the front site post found the target. As my finger touched it, it naturally picked up the first stage of the trigger which was a slight smooth rearward movement of the trigger towards the rear before I felt the pressure on my fingertip of the second stage. I exhaled and as the second stage broke cleanly, I grinned and shot a few more quick shots in disbelief. No numbness in the trigger finger and it was a night and day difference from the gritty, long, heavy trigger pull of my SAR-1. The second one AK I shot was the same trigger adjusted to single stage trigger pull. It was a pleasure to shoot, and it was almost too good of a trigger to put on a combat rifle!! The guys at Red Star Arms have really come up with a winner. The trigger on my AK is something I have always hated, and while the Red Star Arms trigger could have been a simple replacement to the trigger system of the AK, they worked their asses off and made a fully adjustable system that reeks of quality. Each trigger is hand polished, hand checked, put into a rifle and pre-adjusted before shipping, and is adjustable for Pretravel, Overtravel, Disconnector Engagement, and Trigger Pull. If you have ever paid attention to gunsmithing news or competition shooting you have probably heard of Ron Power, and the trigger has been designed by some of the greatest minds in the gun business. You can tell just from looking at the trigger from outside the gun that it is something new. It has a different curve to it, and has a much better feel than the crap that came with the SAR’s. Here’s a picture of my 2 AK’s. The AK on the bottom is a brand new SAR-1 that’s only been taken out of the box for pictures and does not yet have the new trigger: [img]http://www.student.smsu.edu/s/srv656s/red1.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 4:55:16 PM EST
Here’s a picture of the two triggers inside the rifles. The AK on the left is the one with the Red Star Arms trigger system. Those “Holes” in it are places to adjust the different aspects of the trigger (You use an Alan wrench). I would like to tell you which hole adjusts what, but Ron Power adjusted mine for me and I’m frankly frightened to touch it lest I ruin a master’s work: [img]http://www.student.smsu.edu/s/srv656s/red2.jpg[/img] When I shot my AK after the trigger was installed it was like a whole new rifle. I always was envious of my roommate’s hair trigger on his Norinco Hunter and my trigger officially kicks his AK’s trigger’s ass!! It is set pretty light and operated like a dream. I ran a mag through her then Ken Roberts suggested that I try bumping her. I didn’t need much encouragement, and I dropped my AK to my hip, spraying lead downrange with ease, emptying the mag in one long burst. NO PROBLEM HERE!!! All in all I had a fantastic time with everyone during the visit, and I’ll always remember their cool toys and great hospitality. Everyone was very knowledgeable and helpful and I am afraid that my humble words do not do them justice. I am incredibly impressed with their motivation to work with regular AK owners to try out their product and the way they are open for suggestions. It’s rare these days that people come up with new ideas for stuff. Even rarer when someone comes up with a good idea, and rarer still when someone has a good idea coupled with the motivation and ability to follow through with it. I’m just a college student at SMS that was randomly picked from the ranks of AK-47.net to try out their new product, and if you have any questions I’ll do my best to answer them but I suggest visiting their website if you want some really technical answers. www.redstararms.com Here’s a pic of Ron Power adjusting the trigger for me! [img]http://www.student.smsu.edu/s/srv656s/red4.jpg[/img] Shawn
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 4:59:30 PM EST
Sweet!! I'll be ordering a set very soon for my SLR-95. Its trigger is not gritty or heavy, but it has a lot of take up and you never really feel a second stage. It just creeps way back and then the gun goes bang. Are they taking orders yet?
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 7:13:43 PM EST
I think they are taking orders..... I really didn't ask.... here's a link to their website... [url]http://www.redstararms.com[/url] Shawn
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 7:20:21 PM EST
THeyr'e taking reservations. I reserved a set. Thanks!!! And great review, BTW.
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