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Page AK-47 » Romanian
AK Sponsor: palmetto
Posted: 4/12/2003 2:26:31 PM EDT
Just picked up a 2002 production SAR-1 (serial # S1-6xxxx-2002) at the Dallas Market Hall funshow today, and I'm very pleased with it.  Price was $323.33 + 8.25% sales tax = $350.00, and included the buttstock cleaning kit, instructions, green nylon sling, three-round test-fire target, 5-rd mag, and two 30-rd mags.

The front sight and gas block were in alignment, and the varnished wood handguards and buttstock were a pretty good match:

Field-stripping was no problem (no stuck takedown lever).  There was a moderate amount of cosmoline, which was quickly removed with acetone.  The bore, bolt carrier and bolt were also cleaned with acetone, and everything was relubed with thin coatings of Break-Free CLP.

I haven't test-fired the rifle yet, but I also picked up 500 rounds of Silver Bear 7.62x39 Match 124 gr. FMJ for $45.00 including tax.  This ammo is non-corrosive, with Berdan primers and zinc-plated steel cases.  I believe the bullets are steel-jacketed with copper wash, as the magnet test was positive.

Including the $7.00 entrance fee, my cost for the day was $402.00, two dollars over my budget.  I managed to avoid buying beef jerky, cheap jewelry, or Beanie Babies  

However, I was sorely tempted by the Global Trades tables, as they had SSR-56s for $494 + tax.  The parkerizing and blonde wood furniture were excellent - fortunately I was out of cash, and I managed to avoid dragging out the VISA card.

I may be able to test-fire tomorrow, and I'll post the results of the test ASAP.  However, I have to use PMC 122 gr. FMJ as the indoor range closest to me doesn't allow steel-jacketed ammo like the Silver Bear.

Side note:  If you're in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, I highly recommend the seller, Eric aka "Vorbek" of Military Antiques in Ft. Worth.  I've bought FAL aluminum mags from him before, and he's a straight shooter, well-respected at the FAL Files.  His web site is:


Sorry for the long-winded report

Link Posted: 4/12/2003 5:51:40 PM EDT
From the few SAR-1's that I have seen pics of, it looks like you got yourself a very good one. Be pleased.
Link Posted: 4/12/2003 10:07:40 PM EDT
 Good report.  I would think it quite helpful for those just getting into to this insanity to have a detailed breakdown of what bought and how much.  If your baby shoots as good as she looks you will be braggin' soon.
Link Posted: 4/12/2003 10:13:14 PM EDT
Looks like you got a good one.  My 2002 model got refinished as soon as I got it home
Link Posted: 4/12/2003 10:23:05 PM EDT
Thanks for the compliments, now I have to figure out how to dress it up - maybe an FSE Krinkov-type fixed stock?

If there's trigger slap when I test-fire it, I'm going to replace the fire control group with an FSE set.


Did you refinish the wood, metal, or both?  What materials and methods did you use?  I have a pint of Norrells' flat black moly resin in the garage, hmmm.

If only I could figure a way to fit the barrelled receiver in the oven - it's too long, even diagonally.
Link Posted: 4/12/2003 11:05:22 PM EDT
I refinished both.  The cheap way

I forget who posted the original instructions or I would give him credit...

I simply stripped the wood, bleached it, then restained it.  Finished it off with Birchwood Casey Tru-oil.

The metal I cleaned, baked, cleaned again (it fit in my oven...), then painted with a high heat low gloss black paint - then baked again.  Nothing fancy but looks great.
Link Posted: 4/13/2003 9:14:38 AM EDT
No no, leave the stock alone. I'd make it into an AKM Soviet Clone. You need a slant compensator on the muzzle now.

Throw in a Power Custom (Red Star Arms) trigger too. I don't know about the stock. It's always hard to tell from a picture.

By the way, if you have a Russian scope or a friend who has one, make sure the scope rail works. The one on my SAR-2 did not, and it cost be a pretty penny to replace (it had to be re-riveted, etc.).

Refinishing is up to you. You can do what I did and send it to someone for complete refinishing, or you can flat black paint like you have. It's up to you as to how much $$$$ you want to put into the gun.

Did you buy that AK-74 kit yet? If so, you might as well use this as your "beat up" gun, and then pimp up the AK-74.
Link Posted: 4/13/2003 10:08:29 AM EDT

I ordered the K-VAR AK-74 kit on Friday, and mailed off payment to Ohio Ordnance for their AKS receiver.  Haven't decided yet on the gunsmith.

As you suggested, I think the SAR-1 will be my beater gun, and the AK-74 build will get all the "fancy" stuff - Red Star Arms FCG, FSE Krink-style stock, and refinishing.  I think I'd like it to look like the one on Tantal's front page (thanks for the link.)



I think it was "MRW" who posted his "$25 Wal-Mart SAR-2 Makeover":

Page AK-47 » Romanian
AK Sponsor: palmetto
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