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Posted: 5/24/2003 8:30:14 PM EDT
Hello,

I am looking to purchase my first AK and have questions about which to buy. It appears that there are a number of models available from many different countries. Is there a prefered model and origin in the AK's? Are there certain models that have more accessories available for them? I really have no clue about these guns and would like to make sure that I get the best model possible for my money ($1,000.00 or less). It is also important to me that it be able to accept Hi-cap mags. What do I need to know in making this purchase guys?

Thanks in advance!
Link Posted: 5/24/2003 8:41:51 PM EDT
Well, welcome to the Dark Side.

A few statements then a few questions.
Any AK with a side scope rail is going to have the most opportunity for accessories. Other than that, they are about the same.

I assume you are looking for the best quality AK available, which leads to a few questions:

Is weight a factor?
Does it need to maintain the classic AK look?
What caliber? 5.45? .223? 7.62?
Postban or preban?
Link Posted: 5/24/2003 9:28:29 PM EDT
Read some of the posts in the various countries of origin.
From personal experience I can vouch for the Romainian SAR 1 and SAR 2 and the Russian Saiga hunting rifles. These are at the best bang for the buck end of the scale, around 300 dollars. Some of the beast buys in gundom.
Might want to decide on caliber first and go from there. You are about to meet a sturdy and dependable friend.
Link Posted: 5/24/2003 10:15:05 PM EDT
Hi Mbsk01,

Here are the answers to your questions.

Is weight a factor?

No

Does it need to maintain the classic AK look?

To an extent. I'm not sure where your going with this question so let me just say that I like the classis look especially with composite furniture instead of wood wood.

What caliber? 5.45? .223? 7.62?

7.62 (only because I understand this is the original caliber - please correct me if I'm wrong)

Postban or preban?

Doesn't matter to me. I assume we are only talking about a bayo lug and flash hider right? If there's a useful feature to preban beyond those then it might matter to me.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 12:03:56 AM EDT
Romanian WASR-10 Hi-Cap or SAR-1 are both good basic, traditional AK'S. I have a Romanian WASR-10 Hi-Cap and it shoots fine, accepts all mags, and has a side receiver scope mount attachment. The wood is the darkest I've ever seen. It's a good entry level AK. Chrome lined bore....it came with one 30 rd mag. If someday you go with a scope forget about receiver cover scope mounts....they won't keep a zero and shoot worse groups than the metallic sights.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 5:12:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/25/2003 5:12:46 AM EDT by Mbsk01]
This is a broad answer, but it should help.

Prebans also have the advantage of either having/being able to accept a folding stock.

7.62 is the original caliber, but 5.45 is the current caliber. You would have to assume that armies that use AK's switched for a good reason.

If you are looking for top quality, you have 3 choices (postban):

The Vepr which has non-standard looks but is available in a few different calibers. It has a reinforced receiver which is always a good feature but it adds a little weight. It is also made in Russia which adds a little bit of appeal.

Arsenal makes a top quality AK with a milled receiver (a good bit heavier) but is only available (for now) in 7.62.

I would be berated till the end of time if I didn't also mention the undisputed best bang for the buck. The SAR series, available at Aim Surplus and many other places, is the classic, traditional AK. The quality of those rifles is a bit lacking but they can be customized to your liking.

Their is also the choice of having a gunsmith assemble a whole rifle out of a parts kit, but that is a different monster altogether.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 6:05:10 AM EDT
Your questions/replys are off to a very good start. I'll toss in some caliber issues.

7.62x39 offers 125gr impacts, avg 5 shot groups are 4-5" at 100 yds, flight path drops fast after 150-200yds, cheap ammo everywhere.

5.45 and 5.56 offer 60gr impacts, avg groups are half of the 7.62x39 round, very flat trajectories for longer distances.

5.45 is not normally at the corner store but easy to get by the case from distributors. Round is tapered like the 7.62 and ultra reliable feeding.

5.56 ammo is also everywhere, roomier AK chambers do not tend to allow tighter groups when you splurge on fancier ammo options. Even in an AK the round is not immune to feeding issues, but SAR3s are happy with Weigers, Bulgarians are happy with Bulgy mags, etc.

Be sure to get a model with the optics side rail, if you want to blast under 100yds then set aside $140 for a Kobra.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 12:17:58 PM EDT
Most everyone has covered the high points. Within your CURRENT constraints the Arsenal rifle seems to fit best. The SAR's currently are better and better made all the time it seems and a great deal price wise.

I posted here, though, to tell you that for the money you are willing to spend you can find some very nice preban AK's.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 5:52:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/25/2003 5:53:23 PM EDT by 545x45]
Have a SAR-1 NO Problems with gun ,just the shooter is a little rusty. The gun will take a little more abuse but 9 out of 10 Green Berets can't be wrong.(the tenth one is still in the jungle tryin' yank the gun out of the dead nva)
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 10:29:32 AM EDT
Thanks guys! I really appreciate you taking the time to enlighten a newby. I have some things to think about now and definately have a much narrower choice with which to choose from. That will certainly help me in my purchase. Thanks again!
Link Posted: 5/27/2003 3:17:41 PM EDT
hey not to long ago i was the fresh noob here, now i have to sar-2 tricked out to give the 74 look,. and i'm going to get an ak-103 from akusa. anyway you go you will be happy. my preban colt hbar just sits in the gun safe now, she is jealous of my 2 sar-2 and their red star arms tigger's. lol
john
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