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Posted: 7/30/2003 8:53:26 AM EDT
Delving in to the AK genre who makes the worst AK variant in the world? Specific instances are a nice guage, but on a grander scale which AK's are mostly just junk?

Which variant made is the best in the world, from copy to copy it is solid, well crafted and worth every penny of the price?

Which are in the middle ground? Best bang for the buck? Easiest to find a decent one? Etc?

I am looking to jump in on the AK market, and need to know where to start. If I like the system and the operation I may end up making one of my own or buying the best, but I kind of wanted to know what is what.

I see a ton of SAR-1 marked stuff, but they look like the trash.

Thanks.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 10:58:12 AM EDT
SAR-1's look like trash ? Hmmmph.



Alright, they're not the nicest guns out there, but it's an AK, and if it looked too polished it just wouldn't look right...
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 11:13:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By zhukov:
SAR-1's look like trash ? Hmmmph.

www.gunsnet.net/album/data/500/22519SAR-1_brake_medium.jpg

Alright, they're not the nicest guns out there, but it's an AK, and if it looked too polished it just wouldn't look right...



Don't be a "homer"....the SAR-1 stuff I see around here is trash, period. Loosely fitting handguards, scarred/marred receivers, pitted barrel exteriors AND interiors, mis-aligned pistol grips, etc....

The one you have looks like a fine example. Too bad the ones around here don't look like that.

Did you have to buy new furniture and such, or was it like that off the shelf?
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 12:02:32 PM EDT
I have no regrets about the 2 SARs I picked out a few years ago. For a 5.45 your best now is a custom build Bulgy kit. Never had my hands on a ak-103 product, but read only rave reviews. If I did not have concerns about handguards ability to dump heat, I'd have a VEPR on top of my list (and for the 20" bbl my 5.56 AK may be one anyway). Arsenal Inc in Nevada is targeted for my next AK. Those are my choices under $700.

Not sure what was the turning point for Maadis; some are nice and some are nasty. And some of the WASR and Saiga/Izmash bubba hicap mod versions at Ohio shows are far from perfect.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 3:09:41 PM EDT
check out the sa m-7 from arsenal, best ak for the money right now. $600
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 4:03:13 PM EDT
I'm sure the SARs aren't the top of the list, but it seems like your area must just have bad luck. I saw quite a few at gun shows befoare I bought mine and they all looked fine. Mine has no scratches and all the funiture is on tight.
They are known for canted sights though, which is a drawback, but mine doesn't seem to suffer from that
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 5:52:42 PM EDT
J&G has the SAR-1 with laminated furniture in stock. i went there 2 weeks ago and was impressed. nicest SAR's ive seen yet
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 6:00:37 PM EDT
I saw one of the laminated stock SAR-1's from J & G at a gun show recently too, and it was a real pretty AK from what I saw. Nice laminated furniture on it.

Hear aimsurplus is a good buy too.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 6:06:53 PM EDT
SHIVAN, for near the top you might check out the Krebs AK's. I have a Krebs and a SAM-7 and both are fine rifles. (If you lean toward the SAM-7 be sure and get the SAM-7S - the "S" stands for scope rail or means it has a scope rail.)
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 6:26:09 PM EDT
Well years ago I bought Romanian because according to what I understood the Romanian AK was the closest to the Russian design and many stated that the Romanian work was excellent. As far as AKs go it is very well made and despite the extra extra extra dose of finish on the handgaurds I'm very pleased with it.

If I were to get another I'd go Bulgarian just because of the milled receiver but for now I'd rather invest in my FAL Stg58 (beautiful European walnut furniture) or AR (SIR or RAS2).
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 12:41:23 AM EDT
Well, I can give you my opinion-most of my experience is with miltary issue ones though....

As an aside, I will say this if cosmetics is the main concern the milled ones IMHO are the prettiest.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 6:06:03 AM EDT
My Maadi ARM is a nice rifle. It doesn't have any of the problems of some Maadis that I hear about except that I needed to adjust the front sight elevation which was easy with the supplied cleaning kit. Fit and finish are great. It has an excellent feel and really not that much recoil. A gun shop near me has a SAR-1 that is selling for $450.00 (lol). The fit and finish are horrible and the door in the buttstock that holds the cleaning kit had to be pulled in order to close. I have seen SARs for sale for around $300.00 or less and I guess if you needed a rifle for everyday use that will see abuse the SAR would be my choice. It is the ultimate disposable rifle.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 6:53:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN458:

Originally Posted By zhukov:
SAR-1's look like trash ? Hmmmph.

www.gunsnet.net/album/data/500/22519SAR-1_brake_medium.jpg

Alright, they're not the nicest guns out there, but it's an AK, and if it looked too polished it just wouldn't look right...



Don't be a "homer"....the SAR-1 stuff I see around here is trash, period. Loosely fitting handguards, scarred/marred receivers, pitted barrel exteriors AND interiors, mis-aligned pistol grips, etc....

The one you have looks like a fine example. Too bad the ones around here don't look like that.

Did you have to buy new furniture and such, or was it like that off the shelf?



My 2003 SAR-1 is even nicer looking than his, in terms of finish on the wood. No problems in sights, only a little trigger slap easily fixed. I am very impressed with the fit and finish of the rifle.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:19:26 AM EDT
Thanks guys.....keep it coming. As far as great SAR-1's, I have no doubt there are examples out there, just not on the gun racks around this area apparently.

Thanks again so far....

Are stamped receivers worse off than milled? Or just a preference?

I know this is kind of like forged vs. cast in the AR world, but still wondering.

I know these questions are all newbie type stuff, but I know you guys know your stuff.

Thanks,

Ed
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:57:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN458:


Don't be a "homer"....the SAR-1 stuff I see around here is trash, period. Loosely fitting handguards, scarred/marred receivers, pitted barrel exteriors AND interiors, mis-aligned pistol grips, etc....



The SARs are new guns. The barrels aren't pitted. I wouldn't go around calling people homers until you clean yourself up some.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 8:09:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2003 8:11:49 AM EDT by SHIVAN458]

Originally Posted By SouthernShark:

Originally Posted By SHIVAN458:


Don't be a "homer"....the SAR-1 stuff I see around here is trash, period. Loosely fitting handguards, scarred/marred receivers, pitted barrel exteriors AND interiors, mis-aligned pistol grips, etc....



The SARs are new guns. The barrels aren't pitted. I wouldn't go around calling people homers until you clean yourself up some.



Really? Interesting. The one's marked SAR-1 on the rack in my local gun store were:

A) Used, not new.
B) Had pitted barrels, judging by the condition, likely from rust.
C) The handguards on the first of three I picked up, came off the gun.

D)Not in relation to AK's, but what EXACTLY the fuck is YOUR problem?

I have explained that I am 100% new to AK's I wouldn't know a top grade AK if it bit me on the ass, and asked for my phone number. I am relaying EXACTLY the condition I found SAR-1's in my area, the three I commented on were the latest three, the others I have seen were at a smallish gun show, and they were also less desirable than some of the other AK's I saw on the table. Being new to AK's, and the other guns with no markings other than a serial number, I had no way to identify anything else.

The guns I have seen, that I can identify, have all had SAR-1 etched in the receiver side. Everything else, like one that had a shorter barrel with blond furniture, and a folding stock {for $1100 used} was unidentifiable, to me, as anything other than an AK variant.

So maybe you can take you bad fucking attitude and shove it up your ass, mmmkaayyy?

And of course I mean that in the nicest possible way.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 9:26:01 AM EDT
On the topic, I have a SAR-1, and it is absolutely amazing. The ONLY problem I had with it was that the pin holding the trigger in place would slip out, but that was because the metal piece holding the pin in place via the grove on the inner-left was loose. I just slid it in place, and it hasn't moved since. It is yet to jam, has great grips, and has never let me down. When I ordered it, it was supposed to come with a 30rd banana clip and a 10rd clip. Instead, they sent it to me with a 30rd, and to my delight, a preban 40rd banana clip. I keep the 40rd clip loaded at all times for home protection.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 10:40:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN458:
A) Used, not new.



Therein lies your problem.

My guess would be that the prior owner abused the hell outta that thing. From what you describe, that would be my guess anyway.

I've got an SAR-1 and just recently an SAR-2, and while I dont much care for Century's electric pencil lettering, aside from that they're just fine. No problems such as you have described.

Link Posted: 7/31/2003 11:22:25 AM EDT
I would be very surprised to see pitted barrels, were rusted, etc. such as you describe. The wood they use is from the Romanian Crap tree, which grows right outside the factory I think. All I did to my stock was flatten the heavy varnish with wet/dry sandpaper and buff it with 0000 steel wool. The finish is usually thick and not applied very smoothly. The wood color may not match between pieces. The parkerizing (or whatever that process is) could be better. That's about it though.

I would be very surprised to see a military issue AK built to a very high standard - that's the beauty of AK's. Even a crummy Romanian SAR built like you describe will still kill you dead while looking like crap. I think the fit/finish issue is more of an issue for US buyers who are used to that kind of thing. Of course there's nothing wrong with wanting that kind of gun. I'm just happy with a lesser built gun.

You asked about milled vs. stamped receivers. Someone much wiser than me once said: "If the gun is designed to be forged, then a forged receiver is best." I assume this applies to AK's also. There are some 2nd generation AK's out there which had milled receivers, so if you have a receiver design of a gen 2 AK, then you want a milled receiver. The SAR, and most other modern variants are of the AKM design, and are meant to be stamped.

And I'm not a Homer, I'm a Helmut actually.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 12:32:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 12:35:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
Best bang for the buck?

the sar series.




Which is comprised of? Thanks CB...
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 1:15:03 PM EDT
the SAR series is comprised of:
SAR 1 7.62 mm
SAR 2 5.45 mm
SAR 3 5.56 mm
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 4:55:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2003 5:01:30 PM EDT by SouthernShark]

Originally Posted By SHIVAN458:

Really? Interesting. The one's marked SAR-1 on the rack in my local gun store were:



IF what you are saying is true, then the guns were not new. Would a used Bushmaster be considered as a new gun? Would a rusted Bushmaster without handguards be what you put up against a new Armalite? Well that's your decision.

It's obvious that you either saw some bad guns, or you just have no idea what you are talking about. The fact that you paid $60 bucks to be part of TEAM AR15 does not convince me of your gun "knowledge." What I do know about you so far is that you don't know jack about AK's, but you want to insult anyone's whose opinion on them is different from yours.


A) Used, not new.
B) Had pitted barrels, judging by the condition, likely from rust.
C) The handguards on the first of three I picked up, came off the gun.



Ok, the guns were used. What are you some kind of retarded kid who learned to type? You don't know the difference between new and used.

You SAID that you don't know about AKs. But now ALL of us, who own many many AKs, are all WRONG and are HOMERS. Because YOU know otherwise. Even though you just said that you know nothing about AKs. Since you know so much, why ask?


D)Not in relation to AK's, but what EXACTLY the fuck is YOUR problem?


My problem is that I am wasting my time responding to questions posed by a complete dumbass. I know that you have problems with logic (it's the IQ thing), but let's run back over things. YOU are the person who came on here, started dumping on people's rifles, and calling people names. If YOU don't like how I respond to your attitude problem, well that's just bad bubba.

Any other questions?
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 6:41:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN458:

Originally Posted By SouthernShark:

The SARs are new guns. The barrels aren't pitted. I wouldn't go around calling people homers until you clean yourself up some.



Really? Interesting. The one's marked SAR-1 on the rack in my local gun store were:

A) Used, not new.
B) Had pitted barrels, judging by the condition, likely from rust.
C) The handguards on the first of three I picked up, came off the gun.

D)Not in relation to AK's, but what EXACTLY the fuck is YOUR problem?

I have explained that I am 100% new to AK's I wouldn't know a top grade AK if it bit me on the ass, and asked for my phone number. I am relaying EXACTLY the condition I found SAR-1's in my area, the three I commented on were the latest three, the others I have seen were at a smallish gun show, and they were also less desirable than some of the other AK's I saw on the table. Being new to AK's, and the other guns with no markings other than a serial number, I had no way to identify anything else.

The guns I have seen, that I can identify, have all had SAR-1 etched in the receiver side. Everything else, like one that had a shorter barrel with blond furniture, and a folding stock {for $1100 used} was unidentifiable, to me, as anything other than an AK variant.

So maybe you can take you bad fucking attitude and shove it up your ass, mmmkaayyy? hat





OH MY GOD!!!! You can't connect the friggin dots of
1)used guns
2)rusted and
3)with handguards falling off

and come up with "some dumbass who couldn't maintain the most basic rifle was the previous owner of this rifle"?

Plus, lose the friggin' attitude or go piss on somebody else's carpet because you're being an asshole coming in here stating the you don't know jack shit about what you're talking about then stating that those who do have experience are even dumber than you (as if somebody could be that dumb and still surive)
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:09:40 PM EDT

Really? Interesting. The one's marked SAR-1 on the rack in my local gun store were:

A) Used, not new.
B) Had pitted barrels, judging by the condition, likely from rust.
C) The handguards on the first of three I picked up, came off the gun.



<sigh>...not worth it...must resist...must reeesssist.

take care,
Tec
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 7:43:20 PM EDT
The best AK type rifles in the world are probably the Chinese military versions. After that I would say the Russian or Hungarian Military issue models. Now fo rthe question you asked, which is the best Ak that you can purchase in the US, I would have to say the SAR 1, but what do I know, I am jsut a homer. When you are looking at used AK's you have to remember that every swinging dick redneck in the country has heard the exact same urban legends as you, that AK's don't need to be cleaned and cared for, that you can store them in the bottom of lakes for years (oh wait you can do that) etc.. but the truth is that a poorly maintained example of a Ferrari would leave a person with the impression that Ferraris are junk, and that anybody who like them are Homers. My experience with AK's comes in large part from battlefields where I encountered these weapons in teh hands of enemies and allies. I have found the AK to be a very robust weapon indeed, but they have thier drawbacks they are generaly not precision instruments, they are what I call down and dirty, they will fore dirty, they will take a ton of abuse and continue to function, asthetics freaks will not enjoy owning an AK type rifle, they are ugly, the finish on a fine example of an AK can sometimes be plain awful. I Like the SAR series because they seem to me to best represent what the AK is all about, a cheap FUNCTIONAL, dependable rifle, you can easily pay two or three times what a SAR1 costs on a prettier rifle, but in the end you are paying extra for cosmetics, not funtion (the nicer rifles are normally slighty more accurate, but not much). A stamped reciever is a better reciever than a milled reciever, it will last just as long, weighs less and is a butt load cheaper to produce, however some people prefer the heft of the milled unit, but mostly the preference towards a milled reciever is more an issue of preceived quality, rather than an actual difference in quality, the Russians stopped making milled units for many reasons chiefly the cost, (remember htat this was the battle rifle that thier soldiers were going to be carrying to fihgt off the imperialist hordes armed with M16's so they would not have been willing to sacrifice much quality for cost), but don't be fooled, the cost issue was really not that big of a deal to them they were a communist dictatorship, and they generally saw a more wastefulo labor intensive endeavor to be preferable, so there were definately performance advantages to the stamped reciever. If it will make you feel better you can spend a grand on a preban rifle and another grand getting it tweaked the way you want it, but you will end up with a rifle that doesn't do anything that rusty,pitted,ass looking homer gun you turned your nose up at can't do it may be a little more accurate than a more expensive rifle, but from what I have seen disposable income doesn't equal marksmanship skill.

I own a post ban Hungarian that is a much nicer looking rifle than my SAR's and it does shoot a little better, but I like my SAR1 better. I had the oportunity to fire and handle many many AK series rifles in my military carreer, and the SAR1 just seems to remind me more of the beat up captures that I fired, htey weren't pretty but they got the job done. If you are looking for a pretty rifle there are plenty out there, for you to choose from, but please don't come to this site were most members are fairly knowledable on the subject of AK47/AKM rifles and disparage others who are trying to help you. If you want an honest opinion, I doubt that you will find many here who will agree with you on the SAR1's being junk, they are not pretty rifles (at least not unitl recently), but they are functional weapons that will normally perform at a level higher than thier owners are capable of performing.
Link Posted: 7/31/2003 11:29:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2003 11:42:34 PM EDT by jimtash9]
If you want to buy a SAR then go to a gunshow where you will have a selection to choose from. It has been my experience to see between 25-100 SARs at the ones that I go to and some are better finished than others. Look for ones with laminated furniture. If I ever run across one that I like, I won't have any problems buying it. One thing about AKs that you should keep up with is to make you wipe the entire rifle down with very light coating of oil, especially the barrel. Very prone to surface rust even from just handling it with bare hands.
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 6:30:29 AM EDT
Since some of you don't seem to understand:

On 7/30/03 I don't think I could have honestly said that SAR's were available new from any vendor, nor could I have mentioned another AK variant by make, other than a Draganov.

So, in all honesty, those who have helped thanks -- to those who thought I had some sort of ulterior motives, fuck off.

It's a shame that people can't ask questions.

I'm sorry if some of you are so attached to your SAR-1 that my comments about the ones I have seen have offended you so deeply -- again being 100% new to anything dealing with AK's I thought the SAR-1's were like CMP Garands, military surplus in varying states of presentability.

SouthernShark your attitude still sucks ass, be a man, post your shit in the open forum. Verbatim.

I guess the reason I haven't gotten to the AK side of the ball sooner is because this is the type of attitude I had been seeing from the outside for so long, and I didn't really feel like dealing with the childish and swarming bullshit.

I guess you guys all learned AK's by clairvoyance or osmosis.

Again, to those that helped, thanks.
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 11:04:09 AM EDT
SHIVAN458,
nothing personal, but I think you came accross as little hostile in your reply.
But we are here to talk guns, not personalities.

My experience with my new Laminated SAR-1 was overall quite good. Finish not perfect, but the bore was absolutely brand new, with crisp rifling, no rust whatsoever anywhere as cosmoline permeated every crevice (it was definitely never fired since it left the factory). It functions without failures (after 900 rounds), and I have managed to achieve about 2.5 MOA at 100 yards with a bipod and Winchester 7.62X39, more than I had hoped with an AK variant. It does have trigger slap, but I intended to upgrade the trigger, so that was no surprise. The iron sights are poor, so a peep sight from Mojo is a must, and maybe a scope later on as the rail is preinstalled on the SAR series. New mags are dirt cheap here, about $9 for a 30 rounder locally.

Overall, needs some work to be a refined collection piece, but for $320 or so, it's a good shooter and has a lot of potential IMHO. I paid $20 extra for the laminated stock, and the wood is much prettier. Needs a bit of sanding to be perfect. As always, depends on what you expect, but I am delighted with mine.

On a fun factor scale of 1-10, I give my SAR-1 an 8. My new Bushy M-15, while more accurate, refined and better finished, I give a 7. Neither rifle has reliability issues, the SAR is just a very down-to-earth rifle that is fun to shoot and can be fairly accurate, if you are willing to work at it bit, in my view.

Anyway that's my experience. I hope you have a good experience with whatever AK variant you get, if you take the plunge.

DR
Link Posted: 8/1/2003 11:16:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SHIVAN458:

Originally Posted By zhukov:
SAR-1's look like trash ? Hmmmph.

www.gunsnet.net/album/data/500/22519SAR-1_brake_medium.jpg

Alright, they're not the nicest guns out there, but it's an AK, and if it looked too polished it just wouldn't look right...



Don't be a "homer"....the SAR-1 stuff I see around here is trash, period. Loosely fitting handguards, scarred/marred receivers, pitted barrel exteriors AND interiors, mis-aligned pistol grips, etc....

The one you have looks like a fine example. Too bad the ones around here don't look like that.

Did you have to buy new furniture and such, or was it like that off the shelf?



_DR, this was my response that evidently baited SouthernShark in to calling me a liar. More than once.

I am sorry if it was gruff, but I am used to hearing "I like XXXX because I own XXXX." With nothing more to add than it must be the best because I own one.

zhukov posted a very fine looking example and I wish I had seen one like that locally, but he seemed offended, and my intent was not to offend people who were looking to help.

To tell me that I am lying, or that the state of the firearm is not as I described is ludicrous. I simply don't know enough about AK's to know that I was putting down a fine weapon.

Again, my assumption/preconception was that all SAR's came as reissued surplus, in used condition. Since this thread originated, some people have given me links and I have looked harder on the net.

I know now that you can buy them new, and that I should have been looking for new ones, not on the used rack.

Hopefully that clears things up.

Like I said, maybe SouthernShark should man up and post what he sent me via IM. Please post it.
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