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Posted: 9/7/2002 10:48:05 AM EDT
Okay, I just opened up another can of worms, but after my previous post regarding Why Ak not AR, I am convinced to get both, the AR is a bit easier to choose from, because the AK's seem to have so many different manufacturers and origins, Romanian, Bulgarian, chinese, egypt etc.. Which one to choose and why? Also I notice theres a AK-74 that shoots a different round, whats the story with that one? Thanks for the help!
Link Posted: 9/7/2002 11:38:21 AM EDT
There are basically two decisions you need to make:

1. Which caliber (7.62 x 39, 5.45 x 39, or 5.56 x 45)?

2. Which receiver (milled or stamped)?

5.56 x 45 might be a good choice with regards to ammo compatabilty with the AR and you can do a more fair comparison of the rifles side by side.

With regards to receivers...milled is heavier. Both are reliable. Caliber will come into play here as milled receivers are most commonly found in 7.62 x 39.

Personally, I chose the SAR-2 in 5.45 x 39. It is very light, it shoots a potent round, and it isn't plaqued with some of the quirks of the 5.56 x 45 AK's. I also own a milled AK in 7.62 x 39, but prefer the SAR-2. The milled AK is pretty heavy when loaded and the recoil can get tiresome after extended range sessions. It's a beautiful and very functional gun, but the SAR-2 fits more of my requirements.

Bradd
Link Posted: 9/7/2002 11:38:37 AM EDT
No big deal on the last thread, it was actually more civil than they usually are. Try posting it on the AR side and watch 15 pages of arguements and mud-slinging!

This is a very open ended question, but it comes down to what you are willing to pay, and what you are looking for.

On the bottom end of price and quality you have the Romanian rifles (SAR series) and on the top end you have the Russian, Bulgarian and Yugo models. I will just pick the Romanian SAR models as other people know more about the other rifles.

The SAR-1 is 7.62 X 39, the SAR-2 is the 5.45 X 39, the SAR-3 is 5.56 (.223)

They are great starter rifles. The quality is fine especially on the newer models. But always look at it before you buy, the front sight base can be canted on some.

The stocks are usually laqured quite badly, but with enough sand paper you can turn it into a really nice piece of wood. They function as well as any AK despite not being of the highest quality - the virtue of the AK!

From this gun you can ad K-var stock sets or the RSA trigger or add the origional muzzle break. Or, you can just leave it alone and enjoy it as a no frills simple cheap workhorse.

The SAR-2 in 5.45 is harder to find because I think it is a secret that has just come out. It is far more accurate then the 7.62 X 39, has less recoil and is a more lethal round. Ammo is as cheap as the 7.62, but sometimes harder to find.

I have a Chinese MAK 90 and I really think it is a great shooter. My SA-93 (Bulgarian) has a totally different feal to it, but shoots really nice as well.

In the 5.45, I have two different Romanian models. I have done a lot of building up on these two rifles, but they are as nice as any other AK. With these, the recoil is so light, I can dump a whole 30 round mag. as fast as I can pull the trigger and never move off target by more than a few inches.

Link Posted: 9/7/2002 12:38:51 PM EDT
what do you think of this russian Ak?
http://www.gunsamerica.com/guns/976265420.htm

Link Posted: 9/7/2002 12:55:22 PM EDT
www.gunsamerica.com/guns/976265420.htm

The VEPR's are very nice. I was seriously considering a VEPR II in .223. I chose not to go that route becuse I prefer the shorter European stocks and the VEPR is pretty heavy due to the RPK reinforced receiver. Very high quality, though.

Bradd
Link Posted: 9/7/2002 1:02:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2002 1:29:42 PM EDT
Hey JM,
Another thing that hasn't really been touched on yet is hi-cap mag price and availability. 1) The 7.62 are readily available and come in either steel or synthetic(roughly the same price in quantity if you shop around).
2) The 5.45 come almost exclusively in synthetic and can be even cheaper.
3) The .223 tend to be more variable in price, availability and reliability. The best most reliable are the E.German steel Weigers but they are spendy in AK mag terms. The Bulgarian polymers are hit and miss with reliability in the readily available .223 AKs (SAR 3 and VEPR)

The other nice thing about the SARs and VEPRs is that they come with a side mounted bracket for attatching optics including red dots and scopes
Link Posted: 9/7/2002 1:32:09 PM EDT
Good points, Font.

Bradd
Link Posted: 9/7/2002 1:52:03 PM EDT
Well, before the LEGP thing came about I was planning on a VEPR K small bore for my next AK. The grip and shoulder fit me perfectly and the balance is nice with the beefy receiver and heavy bbl.
I have a Norinco Hunter with a wood version of the funny looking VEPR handguard. It is very forgiving of hand placement so I do not burn myself after blasting a few mags. The lack of a gap between bbl and gas tube likely holds heat in the bbl also.
My SAR2 works great; better than my 7.62 AKs. It is on a real AK74 spec receiver and has a thin bbl for great handling. But the pencil bbl heats up very fast. IMO the 5.45 round is better than the 5.56, but western 5.56 ammo is better in the US. 5.45 is usually easy to buy by the case at shows (and ammunitionstore.com is local for Campy and me :)
For pure value you can't beat a SAR. If you stick with 5.56 ammo, the Weiger mags seem to be made for the SAR3 and the VEPR seems to be better with Bulgy or converted bakelites (followers and dremel feedlips).
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