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Posted: 12/14/2016 4:09:45 AM EST
Hey everyone,

Rifle noobie here considering buying my first AK. I am leaning toward the 74 platform overall, mostly for less recoil since this will be a target gun. I am willing to pay for quality and my very basic research has led me to the VEPR FM-74 and the Arsenals(not sure which model exactly, so many to choose from).

I really like the aesthetics of wood furniture on an AK but I would have to buy it that way and not do it myself since I am pretty much illiterate when it comes to rifles.

How do these rifles compare in quality? For a first time buyer, how do you feel about 7.62 vs 5.45?

I currently own a few CZ handguns and would like to continue my commie gun collection, hence why I am leaning toward the AK over the AR.

Thanks everyone, have a great night.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 5:30:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/14/2016 5:43:30 AM EST by parksyn]
I own both, a FM AK74 11 and SLR 104 FR, and I can tell you that the FM rifle has a much better finish and is overall much better built. The rivets are all perfect on the FM whereas my Arsenal has a few rivets that are uneven. The magwell cut is also much cleaner on the FM. FM also has chrome lined gas block which Arsenal lacks.

However, the issue here is that the FM rifle uses RPK furniture and thus finding accessories will be very difficult and expensive (Works with VEPR12 handguards). It is essentially a RPK74M that's been chopped up to be in rifle configuration. If you want something to barbie up or something that looks more like the military AK74M, then Arsenal will be the better choice.

Regarding ammo, 7.62x39 is easier to find and is also usually cheaper. 5.45 is still plentiful and cheap enough that I shoot more of the 5.45 than any of my other rifles.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 5:44:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/14/2016 5:47:10 AM EST by PatriotsFan]
These two weapons makers are at the top of the pyramid, no doubt. Aresenal quality is equivalent to iszmash/Russian military grade AKs. Top notch craftsmanship. However molot Vepr are made like tanks, there heavy duty receivers and are made for Rpk machine guns they are 50 % thicker than stamped AKs, and they have heavy duty forged barrels as well . Veprs will outlast anything imo. This real Russian made weapon is built with the highest quality and craftsmanship that will be handed down to your great grandchild. Vepr is my first choice...
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 6:56:21 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 10:03:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/14/2016 10:04:11 AM EST by engineer2001]
Aren't the VEPRs noticeably heavier? They look big-boned. I assume they'll weigh more.

I used to get HBAR AR15s until I found out what a huge difference even a little extra weight makes on a rifle. If you can get it lighter without losing accuracy, I say go lighter. That and the fact it has no cleaning rod are the major reasons I would personally stay away from the VEPRs.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 3:24:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/14/2016 3:25:14 PM EST by bm303]
Thanks for all the replies so far. I should mention that I am tall and lanky and not particularly strong. So if I am shooting standing I will definitely have issues if the rifle is excessively heavy.

Another option is to go with the VZ-58 imported from Czechpoint. How do they compare to the Arsenal and Vepr?
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 4:45:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/14/2016 6:39:23 PM EST by gabeowp]
i have both, both are winners! You honestly cant go wrong either way. If you want to change handgaurds like underwear then the arsenal. If you want to buy it, shoot it and depend on it then buy the molot with confidence.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 7:39:40 PM EST
I own several Arsenals. Great rifles. I just ordered the 47 Molot . Can't freaken wait ...
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 7:40:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/14/2016 7:42:13 PM EST by Farmer-Ted]
Both are great rifles. Do you want a want a clone of an AK74M with a side folding stock, cleaning rod, bayonet lugs and muzzle brake - get the an Arsenal SLR-104FR. If you want a great rifle and not worried about if really matches anything military - get for the VEPR.

Personally if I were getting a VEPR I would go with the 7.62 version. The thicker barrel and receiver seem overkill for a 5.45.
Link Posted: 12/14/2016 8:29:27 PM EST
You have picked the tip-top of new production AKs available in America.
However, if you are looking for the traditional look, I don't believe either Arsenal or Vepr are producing an AK in that style.

As far as quality between the two, I believe Vepr to be superior to Arsenal, but not by a large margin. I'd be complaining about imperfect rivets to differentiate the two. That sort of thing doesn't bug me though so long as there isn't a yawning chasm between the rivet and receiver though.

Also as far as caliber, I got rid of my 5.45. Mainly because I was downsizing my collection in preparation for a move. But it was an insanely fun round that I do miss on occasion. I kept to 7.62x39 because of cost, availability, and because it's legal to hunt with in my state. The 5.45 was noticeably more expensive and harder to find than 7.62, plus I had people at ranges wanting to try an AK-74 a lot more than the AKM. For first time buyer, I always recommend the 7.62. I feel it gives a more original AK experience and helps differentiate it from an AR. It moves the rifle around but doesn't punish the shooter at all.
Link Posted: 12/16/2016 2:34:37 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bm303:
Thanks for all the replies so far. I should mention that I am tall and lanky and not particularly strong. So if I am shooting standing I will definitely have issues if the rifle is excessively heavy.
View Quote


It's not that heavy, a 16" barreled rifle is easy to handle even for guys with long skinny arms if you use modern shooting technique and the right furniture. A forward grip + The proper sling to wrap makes it super easy to hold steady, and the weight of the Vepr actually makes it a puppy to shoot, even in .308, 7.62x39 with a good muzzle device and the barrel doesn't even lift when fired, 5.45 will be like shooting a .22lr.

You want to see heavy, try a PTR 91 with an 18" barrel, I love mine but dang it's some work to hold steady shooting offhand.
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 5:35:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/17/2016 6:08:32 PM EST by bm303]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Farmer-Ted:
Both are great rifles. Do you want a want a clone of an AK74M with a side folding stock, cleaning rod, bayonet lugs and muzzle brake - get the an Arsenal SLR-104FR. If you want a great rifle and not worried about if really matches anything military - get for the VEPR.

Personally if I were getting a VEPR I would go with the 7.62 version. The thicker barrel and receiver seem overkill for a 5.45.
View Quote

Thanks Ted!!

At the moment I am leaning toward the Arsenal SLR-104. I am not sure regarding the SLR-104-34 vs SLR-104-31. The triangle stock vs the plastic stock.

If I do go the 47 route I would go with the Vepr or a VZ-58.

Any input on the stocks? The 34 with a wooden front handguard would look amazing. Something like the bottom one in this pic:
Link Posted: 12/17/2016 10:31:31 PM EST
I didn't think I would like the folding plastic stock on my SLR-104FR. I planned to replace it with a metal triangle and put wood handguards on the front like you show in that pic. But after playing with the plastic folder, I have really grown to like it. It's really solid like a fixed stock when locked up, and unlike the metal triangle, it has a hole for a cleaning kit, and it gives a good-feeling cheek weld too like a normal fixed stock would.

The only thing I changed was I put Magpul MOE handguards on it, and I had to dremel a tiny bit off the bottom/side of the Magpul guards to get the stock to fold and latch up right. The M-LOK on the new guards gave me a place to mount a flashlight. After shooting it a little, however, I think I will swap the trigger out too. This weird "two stage" thing it has going on feels really bad and make it hard for me to do any rapid follow-up shots. From what I have read, the VEPR comes with that weird trigger group too.
Link Posted: 12/18/2016 3:24:42 AM EST
Lol or do a few more push-ups and hit the weights more often. No need to push away a more heavy duty rifle due to snowflake mentality. I have an sgl21 and have shot my buddies vepr pretty often. both are pretty similar and comfortable to shoot. Solid rifles.
Link Posted: 12/19/2016 12:26:09 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bm303:

At the moment I am leaning toward the Arsenal SLR-104. I am not sure regarding the SLR-104-34 vs SLR-104-31. The triangle stock vs the plastic stock.
View Quote


Get the plastic stock version then pick up a triangle stock. Best of both worlds.
Link Posted: 12/19/2016 6:57:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/19/2016 6:59:22 AM EST by TX-Zen]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By bm303:
I am not sure regarding the SLR-104-34 vs SLR-104-31. The triangle stock vs the plastic stock.
View Quote



Ultimately it won't matter, you can and will swap between triangle and poly stocks as well as poly and laminate furniture. Budget yourself about $150-200 extra down the road and you'll have a nice set of poly and laminate to swap back and forth with.

I prefer the triangle folders for looks but poly is more functional. Better for your cheek in the cold and it can hold the cleaning kit



Same rifle with different furniture


Z
Link Posted: 12/20/2016 11:02:31 AM EST
FM AK. The best AK I've owned.



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