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Posted: 6/1/2002 7:58:55 PM EDT
I think I need an AK now.  I know the AR's pretty well, but am clueless on the AK's.  Which one should I buy?  
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 8:02:39 PM EDT
How much do you want to spend?  I got the itch a month ago but didn't want to spend a lot of money.  I bought a SAR-1, sight unseen.  It was a gamble, but worked out well.  The rifle I got is really nice and they guy threw in 6 30 round mags instead of 3...pretty good deal for $299 plus shipping and FFL.
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 8:10:08 PM EDT
Rom. Sar is a great rifle, but can be kinda ugly.

Russian VEPR is a very nice AK rifle, but non-standard stock.

Both will include a side-rail mount so you can connect a russian style 'quick-attach' scope.  Both will not fail you and will go bang every time.

The Polish parts sets rifles from Arsenal USA are excellent as is just about anything from Tennessee Guns.  My personal preference is for the Chinese versions -- tough, good prices, always work, plenty available, and like all AK's, will eat anything.  Grab a copy of Shotgun news and go from there.

Good Luck
Link Posted: 6/1/2002 8:20:14 PM EDT
Price is not a factor....  As long as the bride don't know....lol

Seriously, I would like to get a rifle and a few mags for around $4-500.  Ugly is not a factor.  

You should see my truck. It gets me to work everyday...  You should see my bride...

I better stop there...

Thanks for the advice, keep it coming.

Looking to spend 4 or 5 bills.....  

Link Posted: 6/1/2002 8:31:16 PM EDT
30 mags are cheap (like $10 each), so don't get hung up on those -- in fact, spend the extra 10/15 bucks and get the 40 rounders... FUN!  The drums are kind of a drag -- 75 rounder for $100 (when you compare prices to a couple of 40 rounders).

All the guns listed can be had for around that price range.  But, if you want the cheapest and still functional with a Hi-Cap magwell, get the SAR, but try and check it out first.  Some of the front sights have been coming in canted (like the MADDI's were) due to third-world slaves taking rifles apart and adding US parts.  Less of a problem than it used to be, but check anyways.  Used AK's are great deals as well -- they are either shot ALOT or not at all (hanging on a wall to 'look cool').

Link Posted: 6/1/2002 10:57:44 PM EDT
Global had some nice looking Aresenal SAR1's today for about $450 ish.
Link Posted: 6/2/2002 12:45:12 AM EDT
I bought a VEPR K in 5.45x39.  It is a great gun.  
Link Posted: 6/2/2002 5:08:18 AM EDT
i picked up a romulan SAR3 (.223) and it shares the same food as my ARs.  installed the redstar trigger group & mojo sights on it & its a good shooter.
Link Posted: 6/2/2002 5:47:30 AM EDT
I would also go for the SAR series.  Great rifle and certainly the best bang for the buck.  There are pricier AKs out there and if you are only gonna have one rifle get one of those.  I tend to be the less is more type that is the AK philosophy.  The SARs are a sure bet to give you value for the $$ and many years of rugged reliability.
Link Posted: 6/2/2002 5:47:57 AM EDT
I've been told that the Chinese AK barrel is pressed in not threaded. The Russian and Bulgaria AK'S are threaded . Which are better?
Link Posted: 6/2/2002 7:04:53 AM EDT
I have two SAR-1s, two hi-cap WASRs (looks like an SAR but doesn't have the dimples in the receiver above the mag well -- these were 10-shot low caps that Century milled out to accept hi-cap mags, and function flawlessly), and one Bulgarian SLR-95.  For your needs, I would agree that the SAR or WASR hi-cap would be the way to go. The SAR is essentially an AKM-based weapon, stamped receiver, and will accept virtually all Euro-Combloc parts for "stamped" receivers.  

Just take your time examining the weapon and pay attention to the vertical alignment of the front and rear sights and the gas block.  Many of these have sights that are canted L or R a bit, and the fix is rather involved since removal of the front sight base pins can be difficult.  It is best to  be selective when you buy, and have it right the first time.  Usually the canted sights don't affect operation, but if you are like me, the cock-eyed sight picture drives you nuts.  You can avoid being one of the posters on another board that write "I bought an SAR and it has canted sights, what do I do?"  Shouldn't have bought it in the first place.

As far as mags, they are very inexpensive at $10 ea. give or take being new or used and what the dealer is asking.  I prefer 30s as they are very common and do not project below the weapon as far as a 40 rounder does.  I bought several 20 round Hungarian mags from Ivanhoe's (www.ivanhoeoutlet.com) for $10 ea to use for bench or prone firing.  Using a 40 round mag for bench or prone is extremely impractical unless you dig a small foxhole for the mag.  :)

Many have bought SAR-3s because they are compatible with the AR ammo.  SAR-3s have had their share of unique problems, including chambers reamed to incorrect lengths (aka incorrect headspace.  Too long and the case head separates, too short and the bolt won't close reliably with some ammo).  Another issue is that the hammer face is not modified properly to strike the shorter .223 bolt squarely.  www.akdude.com has correctly modified hammers.  Also, the SAR-3 is picky about mags and will feed only with properly modified mags or with the steel EG "Wieger" mags available from Interordnance, something like four in an EG pouch for $50, may be more or less.  And SAR-3s also are prone to misaligned sights.

For a first AK, a select SAR-1 and a half-dozen 30 round mags is a outstanding package.  7.62 x 39 ammo is at the moment $80 to $100 a thousand depending on dealer and shipping.  You could spend $450 on an SAR-1, six mags, and 1M rounds with a bit of selective shopping.  

Good luck!

Link Posted: 6/2/2002 9:57:01 AM EDT
I bought a Chinese underfolder recently.  Those things are sweet!!
Link Posted: 6/2/2002 10:25:03 AM EDT
For your price range I would find one of the Arsenal USA guns, or an SA-M7 used, or if you are not hung up on the original 7.62 caliber get the Romanian AK-74 from Centerfire Systems in 5.45X39. All three are great guns that will stand out from the other post-ban AK's a little bit.

Here is a pic of my Romanian AK-74 and Arsenal USA SSR-85B:



Link Posted: 6/2/2002 3:06:25 PM EDT
you can find good deals on auctionarms.com I talked to a guy from Idaho, gmsidaho was seller name. Call or email Gerry with any questions: (208)870-3197 or [email protected]. He was nice and has great deals. Can usually get some extra mags too.

Only $300, then you can spend the extra 100-200 on ammo, red star arms trigger group, mojo sight, lotsa stuff. www.redstararms.com
Link Posted: 6/3/2002 10:03:18 AM EDT

You are correct -- the Chinese AK barrel is pressed on -- as are all stamped AK recievers (SAR, MAK, Polytech, Norinco, Hungarian, Arsenal USA, etc..).  In fact, if you look at the large pict. that Wiggins put up (thanks -- those are NICE), you will see a round indent directly above the MagWell, most stamped recievers have that indentation.  

AK's were originally designed to be on stamped recievers (cheaper, and designed to flex).  Milled receivers are generally more accurate, tighter, and more expensive.  The barrels also screw on.  There have been some reports that the milled recievers aren't as 'tough' as the stamped -- i.e. they are more rigid and can crack whereas the stamped type can flex.  I have yet to hear of that problem in the real-world, but the accuracy/tightness, along with (generally) better barrels in the milled recievers make them a great choice.  

Either choice is great.  
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