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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 1/16/2015 4:04:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/16/2015 10:57:13 AM EST by vtrollingrock842]
Gentlemen, I have enough money to buy either a MAK-90 or a SA-85M but not both. My understanding is they are considered high quality. This is what I know some far: The Norinco MAK-90 is Chinese, milled (1.5) and there are two variants: straight and angled cut. The angled cut is very limited to stock and muzzle device options. The SA-85M Hungarian, stamped and consider one of the best (so my research as led me to believe) and there are more options for mods. I'm interested in hearing from folks who own one or the other or perhaps both. If you can provide pro's and con's for each of the models, I would greatly appreciate it! I respect the opinions of you gentlemen because you all have a passion for the AK and most of you are quite knowledgeable about them. Also, please leave out the "get an arsenal" or "polytech is the best AK." Im not here for that, just the ones already mentioned please. Finally, I've scoured the AK threads and am unable to find any topics discussing the above. So, if it is already a thread, please direct me to it. In the meantime what's is everybody's opinion?

Thanks
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 7:08:32 AM EST
Most MAK90's are stamped receivers (whether angled or straight) ,although they are thicker (1.6mm vs 1.0mm) than a normal AK receiver.They also tend to have sweet double hook triggers,which require no enhancement or replacement.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 7:26:42 AM EST
I vote for the SA-85M. I've had plenty of Chinese rifles over the years though.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 7:40:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/16/2015 7:44:47 AM EST by Tactical_T]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By wayneinboca:
Most MAK90's are stamped receivers (whether angled or straight) ,although they are thicker (1.6mm vs 1.0mm) than a normal AK receiver.They also tend to have sweet double hook triggers,which require no enhancement or replacement.
View Quote


To my recollection.....Mak90's come in two flavors.....Milled Receiver with slant back receiver (or) Stamped Receiver with 1.5mm-1.6mm standard back receiver. Both are excellent quality and construction.

Anyway, both the Mak90 and SA85M (stamped or milled) are both very high quality factory-built rifles. You really cannot go wrong with either one.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 8:04:02 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Tactical_T:


To my recollection.....Mak90's come in two flavors.....Milled Receiver with slant back receiver (or) Stamped Receiver with 1.5mm-1.6mm standard back receiver. Both are excellent quality and construction.

Anyway, both the Mak90 and SA85M (stamped or milled) are both very high quality factory-built rifles. You really cannot go wrong with either one.
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Originally Posted By Tactical_T:
Originally Posted By wayneinboca:
Most MAK90's are stamped receivers (whether angled or straight) ,although they are thicker (1.6mm vs 1.0mm) than a normal AK receiver.They also tend to have sweet double hook triggers,which require no enhancement or replacement.


To my recollection.....Mak90's come in two flavors.....Milled Receiver with slant back receiver (or) Stamped Receiver with 1.5mm-1.6mm standard back receiver. Both are excellent quality and construction.

Anyway, both the Mak90 and SA85M (stamped or milled) are both very high quality factory-built rifles. You really cannot go wrong with either one.



This..........you could get the stamped receiver with a slant cut too.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 8:23:39 AM EST
Mak 90
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 8:48:52 AM EST
MAK 90
One of the best values on AKs
The stamped are just as good as the milled. Milled have more value only due to the fact they are harder to find.

I ended up with Both in a weird way , had been looking and looking for a milled MAK , found a sweet MAK 90 stamped - bought it.
A week later found a Milled MAK at a great price. Both rifles were purchased by people in the 90s & shot very little. I had no reason to keep both so I did my own testing and evaluation.
Accuracy was actaully identical. I clamped both rifles in a rest and at 100 yards I was getting 2-3" groups. I adjusted the sights on both, and continued to shoot about 300 rounds through each rifle.

I still have my stamped MAK - I realize this is not scientific review supported with tons of pics

Since making my choice , I have had the opportunity to shoot some other AKs at our local range
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 9:00:19 AM EST
Both are quality firearms.

If I could get them for the same price, I would probably grab the SA-85. They are a really nice rifle, and aren't quite as common as a MAK.

That said, I would have no issue with the MAK 90.

I don't think one is better than the other, get the rifle that seems to be the best in terms of condition and price for you.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 10:10:38 AM EST
Are we talking pre-ban or post-ban? $2000 or $850?
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 12:50:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/16/2015 12:53:56 PM EST by WildBill13]
Both are great rifles. I prefer the SA-85M because of the superior metal finish and beautiful blonde wood. It has the thinner European receiver. I sold my pre-ban Norinco 56-1-S, bought a SA-85 and have no regrets. They are really nice rifles.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 2:12:57 PM EST
Dang, that question is like asking to choose between a 69 mustang or a 67 GTO.

But my vote is for the SA-85. Some of the nicest AK's ever made.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 2:41:59 PM EST
SA-85 by a very thin margin
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 2:47:49 PM EST
Mak all the way.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 4:29:28 PM EST
I sold my 3 Chinese AK's. Kept the two SA-85M's. Although the Chinese ones ran 100%, the finish and machining quality were sub-par compared to the Hungarian guns. Tool / Machining marks everywhere; roll marks looked like they were stamped in by hand. Kind of like the difference between a brick and a finished cut of polished marble. If you're gonna throw it at someone, they'll both get the same job done. But yes, the Hungarian ones were of much better quality.
Link Posted: 1/16/2015 10:47:38 PM EST
The Hungarian will accept standard akm spare parts and accessories and is easier to convert to pre ban.

The Chinese is heavier and has a better trigger IMO

You will be happy with either.

Link Posted: 1/17/2015 12:32:28 AM EST
I have a pre ban hungarian fixed stock Kassnar import if interested........IM me
Link Posted: 1/17/2015 1:43:14 AM EST
I appreciate everybody stopping in to shed some light on my topic. It sounds like I cant go wrong with either the MAK-90 or the SA-85M pre or post banned rifles. As of this moment, I think I'm gonna go for the SA-85M (I'm sure by morning I will have changed my mind 5 times lol). It Sounds like I will have more options with the SA-85M whether I choose the traditional route or decide to build a tactical shooter. Looks like the MAK will be my follow-om mission!

Keep the thread rollin!!

Link Posted: 1/17/2015 3:59:52 PM EST
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Originally Posted By vtrollingrock842:


Keep the thread rollin!!

View Quote


Don't mind if I do

SA-85m, since this pic I replaced the lower handguard with a nice grippy Hogue, other than that i'm never going to change a thing again, this is the perfect AK IMO, nice and lightweight all around, extremely well built, and unbelievably accurate.



Link Posted: 1/17/2015 11:20:42 PM EST
Love my MAKs, but if i could just choose one, i would take my deban sa85m over my mak90s
Link Posted: 1/18/2015 2:00:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/18/2015 2:05:32 AM EST by vtrollingrock842]
Dragynn,

That's a clean looking SA-85M! What stock adapter and rail are you running? Also, How does the adapter being lower effect your sight picture?
Link Posted: 1/18/2015 5:49:14 AM EST
I would also vote for the SA85. I think the fit and finish is much better on a Hungarian rifle and with the current influx of Hungarian parts kits it will be much easier to properly de-ban it. You will need a FSB a gas block and a stock kit. There's no better time then now.
Link Posted: 1/18/2015 6:55:35 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By WildBill13:
Both are great rifles. I prefer the SA-85M because of the superior metal finish and beautiful blonde wood. It has the thinner European receiver. I sold my pre-ban Norinco 56-1-S, bought a SA-85 and have no regrets. They are really nice rifles.
View Quote


THIS. My Hungarian SA-85 has the thumbhole stock but the wood is so perfect and like new that I left the thumbhole stock on it. It is a great shooter. I also have a standard Hungarian SA-85 buttstock and wood blonde pistol grip but I doubt that I will change out my stock. These are getting harder and harder to find too.
Link Posted: 1/18/2015 7:29:30 PM EST
I have had a Mak-90, liked it, a Maadi, sold it the same day, and a Romanian G kit that I built to compliance with 922 rules. It shot just fine. I also bought a beautiful blond wood thumb hole stock model. I changed the SA-85m to 922r compliant with a K-Var USA made plum stock set, threaded the barrel and put a USA made AK-74 type muzzle device on it, and a Tapco G2? trigger group. It is the only one I still have. I cant say which one I liked most, they were all fun to shoot, but everyone told me to Keep the SA85m, so I did. The SA85m looked more refined than all of the others.

Thanks,
Mark
Link Posted: 1/18/2015 9:43:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/18/2015 9:45:08 PM EST by N4KVE]
Some of the SA85M's had the short gas tube from the AMD-63. To me while that looks cool on the AMD, it makes the barrel look too long with the 16" barrel. That's a personal choice. GARY
Link Posted: 1/18/2015 9:48:15 PM EST
What finish does the sa85 have? Because the only drawback on the mak is the blued finish, which scratches easily
Link Posted: 1/18/2015 11:33:10 PM EST
All SA85Ms have a baked-on finish. The pre-ban is matte black and the post-ban is glossy black. All bolt carriers are matte black.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 2:24:51 PM EST
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Originally Posted By vtrollingrock842:
Dragynn,

That's a clean looking SA-85M! What stock adapter and rail are you running? Also, How does the adapter being lower effect your sight picture?
View Quote


Thanks!

Stock adapter is the excellent Canis Designs m4 adapter, rock solid piece of kit. It does raise the stock up inline with the receiver, and some folks may have some difficulty using the irons with it, I have to kinda crane my head over farther than normal, but when it comes to using an optic it puts your head and cheek dead-on perfect. It does change the direction of recoil, pushes more straight back, which I like a lot, couple that with a good comp on front and double and triple taps print within an inch of each other steadily.

The optic mount is an Attero, it replaces the rear sight and adds a notch so you still have a static rear sight at least. They make a whole line of optic-specific mounts, for various reflex sights, Aimpoints and PA micros etc. I chose the generic rail mount which just gives you a short length of picatinny rail, so as to have some extra options with regard to optics, I can actually mount a short conventional long-eye-relief scope on the rail and it works great. Again this is a rock solid accessory, locks up tight as hell and holds zero through multiple range trips and cleanings, lightweight and gives excellent balance to the rifle as it sits right in the middle over the mag area.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 7:18:06 PM EST
First of all, congratulations on your good judgement; both are excellent. I have (or have had) 3 SA-85Ms and probably 8-10 MAKs (stamped and milled) and they're both excellent shooters...when added to the Bulgarian SA-93 and FAG (not CAI) AMD-65s...are the absolute best working AKs you can get in the US.
The MAK represents better value (chaeper, generally) than the SA-85, and more plentiful. However if the several-hundred $ price difference is not that big a deal for you, I recommend the FEG. Be aware, CAI has recently offered a knockoff of a Hungarian. Good on them for helping AKs into the American market, but I'd generally stay away from Century products, especially if you're going to have only 1-2 AKs.

The main differences have already been chronicled here, but to summarize...
Muzzle
- stamped MAKs have muzzles that are turned down too much for standard AK muzzle devices (AR-sized can work, however). SA-85s are cuttable to AK 14x1 LH. Note: make milled MAKs have enough steel to support an AK thread.
Receiver rear
Some stamped MAKs (and as far as I know all milled MAKs) have the stupid angle-cut at the rear of the receiver, making it very limiting for buttstock options. Not so at all with FEGs
Receiver thickness
MAKs are thicker, creating some limitations on receiver adapters. FEGs are standard thickness.
Availability
MAKs are everywhere; FEGs not so much.
You can't go wrong with either.
Have fun; good hunting.
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