I've been pestering people over at the Galil/Valmet forum and everywhere else. Now it's your turn. Here's the deal:
I own two ARs and now I want an AK system rifle - this would be shot monthly and maybe used in tactical class on occasion. I don't like the "feel" of normal AKs - I'm tall and have long arms and they don't fit me at all, no matter how I try to adapt to them. So this leaves out all the Arsenal, Vepr, Poly Tech, Bulgarians, etc.
I saw a Galil at the range and loved it but I'd have to sell a kidney to get one. Unfortunately, this type of AK variant has the ergonomics that I need. I've researched Galil, Valmet, Krebs KTR, Robinson, and most recently Daewoo. All seem to have strengths and weaknesses. I want a 7.62 but I'll take a .223 - I don't need or want a 308.
I like the Krebs KTR because it is made in the USA and it has places to mount optics, etc. but they are expensive and probably will not keep their value. Pluses are that I could get it chambered in the 7.62 and mags are cheap.
Ditto on the Robinson's.
The Galil is expensive even in .223 (forget the 7.62 - obscenely expensive) and has no way to mount optics - mags are expensive and parts? They will never lose value and will probably appreciate. Parts?
Ditto the Valmet although they are not quite as expensive.
I don't know anything about the .223 Daewoos (I've asked about them on the AR forum) except I saw one recently and it was pretty nice - I know they are a hybrid and are the least expensive of the bunch but parts may be an issue. They can use AR15 mags I guess, which is a plus.
My question is do I get the Krebs/Robinson shooters and to hell with appreciation (if I love it, I won't be selling it anyway) or save for the Valmet/Galil and put up with iron sights but have a classic battle rifle?
Thanks for reading my ramblings!
All semi-auto rifles have strengths and weaknesses.
First, have you shouldered and shot an AK equipped with the longer "NATO length" stock from K-VAR?
Second, if you are tall and have long arms you probably have long fingers which would allow you to operate the safety/selector easily with your hand on the PG. Otherwise, BlackJack Buffers makes a replacement lever called "SWIFT" which works vey well ergonomically.
I consider the Krebs KTR to be the modern evolution of the Galil - literally in the VEPR based platform (weight and strength wise).
You need to ask yourself which rifle is the one YOU WANT. Because you won't be happy with something other that that.
Thekatar and Templar,
Thank you for thr replies. I haven't tried the longer NATO stock or seen an Arsenal Inc. SA-M7SF - there's a gun show this weekend and I'll look around there. I will be shouldering a Krebs KTR for the first time this weekend too.
As far as what I want, I couldn't tell you - that Galil was really something and I haven't seen but love the looks of the Valmet M76. If the Krebs is an updated Galil, maybe that's the way to go. Or if the Arsenal fits? Hell, I don't know.
This sucks - normally I know exactly what I want.
Ok, I'm going to go into armchair psychology mode:
In two posts you've mentioned "Galil" seven times. I think that you are talking yourself into a Galil. I don't think you'll be happy unless you have a Galil...
/psycologist mode off/
You also said that you would rather have a 7.62mm, though...
The rifle Templar recommended would fit your bill. So would a 7.62mm KTR-03S. These are both high-quality, expensive rifles.
I am also thinking that a standard VEPR K in 7.62mm would fit your bill - tell us what your total experience with the Kalashnikov platform. I'd like to know what you have shouldered and fired because the fit on some of these variants is wildly different.
Also, what is the main, overriding issue that is important to you? What is the next runner-up?
I know I beat this horse a lot around here but if you want an accurate AK platform and like the 5.56x45 then you should seriously consider the Arsenal SA M-5S with scope rail. They run around $689 and it comes with the NATO length stock. Mine is just as or more accurate than either of the 5.56x45 Galils that I've owned, the only real drawback is finding enough Bulgarian magazines although they are available if you look hard enough ...
Yes, the Galil I saw effected me. Kind of like when you see a Ferrari for the first time or a truly beautiful woman - it can change your life.
I want an AK type rifle or AK-AR hybrid that "fits" - my expereience is limited to shooting a Romanian and shouldering every AK I can find at the gun shows around here which included Bulgarians, Chinese and one Yugoslavian. Nothing I've picked up felt right. I haven't handled an Arsenal or Vepr yet. I want it to have or have the capability of mounting an Eotech on it. I want it to be well-made and ready to go - i don't want to give it to anybody to "fine-tune." I want to be able to use if for a tactical class if I want.
I've had 3 ARs - Colt, Bushy and Olympic. I'm down to 2 now but they all felt great to shoulder. I'm not getting that lovin-feelin with any AK I can afford (however, see above - I haven't tried them all).
Like I said - I'll go to the gun show this weekend and try what I can find again. Thanks for the comments!
I owned a Krebs KTR. It's a very nice gun and it held its value fairly well for me.