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Posted: 5/2/2002 4:44:35 PM EDT
I am looking into purchasing an AK in 7.62X39 but don't know what to look for. I have 2 ar15s (bushy and armalite) as well as an Springfield M1A and a Springfield Garand. I really have no experience with AKs at all. Any tips would on what I should look for would be greatly appreciated.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 5:02:48 PM EDT
You want advice? Go to the AK section and ask CampyBob. He knows all.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 7:10:55 PM EDT
I really like my Vepr II K, but it is heavier because of the HBar and RPK reciever. I also have a pre-ban Poly Tech, Its got great (for an AK) fit and finish, light weight and accurate with proper ammo (Chinese Surplus)
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 7:20:13 PM EDT
...what Vinnie and Berthold said...
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 7:32:57 PM EDT
The advice given so far has been very good. The VEPR is verry nice, great rifle, but not really a traditional AK. The Chinese are also good but would need preban to get a pistol grip model or need to be modified to get the correct parts count.

I really love my SAR-1 crappy finish and all. It just adds character. There is really no such thing as a bad AK. They all work. It really becomes a matter of what you want to spend. My reccomendations would be the SAR-1 $350ish or the SAM7 in the $650ish range. Both are as original as postban gets. The way to go is stamped receiver, lighter weight and more durable. The milled have a slight accuracy advantage, but not much. I generally get between 2-4" groups but this aint bad for a $300 rifle that always goes bang with the cheapest russian ammo I can find and is more than adequate.

The only advice with the SARs is to never buy one site unseen. They have had QC problems in the past such as canted sites and gas block. This would be most evident upon first inspection and is easily fixed. Century will fix then free if you send it back. I fortunately did not have this problem. At any rate, an AK is a must have, I loved mine so much I bought another in .223.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 9:05:12 PM EDT
i got a pre 89 feg damn thing is get wood looks nice kinda heavy thu. but a damn fine ak.

ive heard great things about sars i think ill probly end up picking up one next fun show.
Link Posted: 5/2/2002 9:07:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 5:07:31 AM EDT
If you want something that looks like an original miltary AK I would suggest a Bulgarian model, price is usually kind of high ($500 - $600 range)

If you are looking for a "beater" I would suggest something like the Romaninan SAR series for around $300 - $400

Last night I finally got a Robinson Armament VEPR K (carbine) in 7.62x39 and it cost me $550, some guys don't like the stock set on the rifle because it doesn't look like the original military version. In my opinion I like the stock set on the VEPR to any AK that I've ever held, it's much more erognomical. The fit and finish of the VEPR are much better than even my Bulgarian AK.

If I could only have one AK I'd get the VEPR, just my .02


Good Luck


Semper Fi
Jeff
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 5:37:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 5:45:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By USMC03:
If you want something that looks like an original miltary AK I would suggest a Bulgarian model...





Nice!

and as Campy said, the milled ones are heavier but mine doesn't seem to be quite 10lbs....well, maybe with loaded.
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 6:24:02 AM EDT
Listen to Campy, the SAR2 with the 5.45 round is really nice. Recoil is about the same as my AR15. The SARs may be on the inexpensive side, but with a little work you can make them very nice. It's amazing what you can do to the stocks with a little elbow grease and some Minwax.

Here's my personal SAR2, the stocks are different than what comes standard though. You can see the removable muzzle brake Campy referred to.


I also have a Polytech in 7.62, it's hard to go wrong with the CHinese rifles, quality is superb, and they have about the best trigger feel you can get in an AK.
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 8:44:22 AM EDT
My 2 cents - fro what it's worth is to go with a Romanian SAR-3 (cheap beater), but love the fact that I can interchange the ammo with my Armalight. Can pick them up fir about $280 from a dealer in NY (forgot his name, but will look for it the weekend if you're inclined

Mail me at grepit@techemail (to remind me) and I'll see if canfind the invoice I rcvd
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 9:53:54 AM EDT
I have two AK47's both in 7.62X39.

One is a preban Chinese Polytech National Match with a 20" heavy barrel and milled reciever.

The other is a postban Hungarian SA 85M standard length with a stamped reciever. I put a pistol grip and stock on it from K-Var Corp. The blonde grip and stock matched the handguards perfectly.

The Polytech I bought for $900.00 NIB and the Hungarian I bought used for $325.00.

Both are great rifles but I like the Hungarian better cause its lighter and shorter.

If I were you I'd go with a Hungarian SA 85M. It has a flawless finish unlike the SAR's and built better.

SAR's have very poor finish and some I've seen at gunshows were very poor quality. Don't get me wrong, you can find a good one and they are rugged and reliable, they wont jam but I like guns with a nice finish.

I wouldn't mind having one for a good beat around gun.

Now for your AK47 you'll need some good mags. Go to K-Var Corp and order the synthetic Bulgarian waffle mags. They are new for $10.00 each. These mags are incredible. They look great, won't rattle like steel mags and function perfectly. They are also steel reinforced.

I bought 20 from them and I have never had any trouble with any of them. Out of 20 I had 2 that needed to be filed just a little to fit. They were a little tight but they only needed about 2 or 3 swips with a hand file to make them fit perfect.

Good luck with your purchase and happy shooting.
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 10:41:33 AM EDT
Thanks for all your comments. I will be at the Indy 1500 in June, so I was hoping to get one there if possible. I am from the Peoples republic of Illinois, but Indiana allows me to purchase there with a lot less hassle. Addtionally, the reason I was thinking about 7.62 was just the price of the ammo.
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 10:51:45 AM EDT
I love my SAR1! Since I sees pictures posted,
here's mine with custom painted stocks from
www.nouglyguns.com



Link Posted: 5/3/2002 11:16:24 AM EDT
If you can find one get a SSR-85B or C from Arsenal USA that was built on a FEG receiver. Here is a picture of mine



The only problem with getting a 7.62X39 is that you will eventually want to get a 5.45 too.

Kyle
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 2:26:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/3/2002 2:51:52 PM EDT by garheadjr]
Heres mine. I actually dont know squat about it other than its a NMH91. Dude I bought it from said it was pre-ban, but I dont know how to tell and I am skeptical. I got a screaming deal on it if it is, and if not I think I paid about $50 more than I should have, but the finish on it is way better than the others I saw at the show so I am still happy. Maybe somebody can tell me something about it as long as its posted.

Edited because you apparently cant link to webshots.
Link Posted: 5/3/2002 11:38:39 PM EDT
Drums are fun, I got my sar-1 NIB with a 75rnd drum for $370, It works great, It has alot more recoil than my AR and the muzzle climbs alot, but its a good reliable gun, I dont especially like the trigger pull though, It hurts my finger, also the gun gets real hot really fast.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 4:42:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2002 4:47:17 AM EDT by s0ulzer0]

Originally Posted By MAHABALI:
Drums are fun, I got my sar-1 NIB with a 75rnd drum for $370, It works great, It has alot more recoil than my AR and the muzzle climbs alot, but its a good reliable gun, I dont especially like the trigger pull though, It hurts my finger, also the gun gets real hot really fast.



Go to the AK forum, there are links on how to resolve the "trigger slap",
or go to Red Star Arms and get the trigger assy for 79.00!
Resolves slap, 2 stage and adds 3 US parts to your parts count!
redstararms.com/

Fixing the slap:
blackrifle.gunsnet.net/triggerslap.htm

Threads:
ak.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=51742

ak.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?id=51498

There are more, just do a search.....
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 7:34:41 AM EDT
I'm going to concur with grepit and recommend an SAR-3. It's biggest benefit being the light recoil (when compared to 7.62X39) and it's ammo interchangibility with your AR.

If you didn't already own an AR, I would probably recommend an SAR-2. Even lighter recoil makes for fast follow up shots.

I no longer own any AK's in 7.62X39 after experiencing the low recoil and superior (IMHO) ballistics of AK's chambered in .223 & 5.45.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 11:46:00 AM EDT
Yeah the drums are a riot. Havent tried to bump fire with it yet though...heheheh. I get giggiling just running though them quick, and yes, it does heat the barrel up terribly.

MarkRB, where are you in IL? If you are close maybe we could get together for a shoot sometime if you want to try mine out.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 4:36:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 777:
I'm going to concur with grepit and recommend an SAR-3. It's biggest benefit being the light recoil (when compared to 7.62X39) and it's ammo interchangibility with your AR.

If you didn't already own an AR, I would probably recommend an SAR-2. Even lighter recoil makes for fast follow up shots.

I no longer own any AK's in 7.62X39 after experiencing the low recoil and superior (IMHO) ballistics of AK's chambered in .223 & 5.45.



today at the bigtown show, i too picked up a romulan sar3 and some waffle mags. i specifically sought out the .223 just to avoid a new caliber and be consistent with my ar ammo. gonna try the redstar trigger and polymer stock. my ak consultant bud said i did good getting the sar3 over the norinco.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 4:48:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mikNtx:

i too picked up a romulan sar3


romulan huh?
i've got a klingon ar180b.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 5:59:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2002 6:01:34 PM EDT by rocko]

Originally Posted By garheadjr:
Heres mine. I actually dont know squat about it other than its a NMH91. Dude I bought it from said it was pre-ban, but I dont know how to tell and I am skeptical. I got a screaming deal on it if it is, and if not I think I paid about $50 more than I should have, but the finish on it is way better than the others I saw at the show so I am still happy. Maybe somebody can tell me something about it as long as its posted.



It's not a pre-ban as in pre-89 import ban. The "91" indicates what year it was imported (or possibly when they started importing them), just like the MAK-90. In order to have it in the configuration pictured now, you must have some of the original chinese parts replaced with US made ones. The parts that are typically replaced with US ones are the trigger, hammer, disconnector, gas piston, and pistol grip. Some of the US conversions had only 4 parts replaced in the rifle itself, and required you to use a US made floorplate in the mag. It appears that your rifle may perhaps be in an illegal configuration as it is pictured - the entire stock set appears original, and there are no US made drum components that I am aware of (similar to swapping the floorplate with a US one).

Now, I'm no lawyer, but... the law the rifle may be in violation with is 922(r), and actually unlike the 94 crime bill, the it only outlaws the manufacturing of such a firearm and not possession, so the person who sold it to you is the only one who actually broke the law. That doesn't mean that it's not a possible candidate for confiscation, however.

Technically, the rifle is pre-94. However, it is unlikely to have been in a "semi automatic assault weapon" configuration before 94 and thus be grandfathered. In fact, since the muzzle appears to be bare of threads, it still isn't considered a "semi automatic assault weapon" - it is just non-sporting. I'm not sure when the whole "10 imported parts" thing was legally clarified, but I believe it was post 94, so there is no way it would have legally been in pre-ban (as in folding stock, threaded muzzle, etc) configuration before 9/94. Some have made the argument that if the rifle was illegally made into a semi-automatic assault weapon prior to 9/94, it is still technically grandfathered. Since a weapon in violation of 922(r) is not illegal to possess, just to manufacture, I have heard some say you would be OK if you had bought it like that.

I don't particularly agree with this - even though it seems technically true to me (once again, I'm not a lawyer), it seems the gun could at least be confiscated as evidence in a crime. OTOH, if they have such a hard on for you that they try to nail you for something like this, chances are they'll find (or make sure they'll find) something else anyway.

Rocko
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 7:37:30 PM EDT
Yup, that just confused the hell outta me. So its a pre-ban, non-preban, non assault, non sporting rifle? Ugh. Just dont tell anybody I got it. Hehehe. Seriously, you are saying to be leagle it probably needs some parts swapped out right? I was thinking of doing a trigger swap anyway.
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 8:02:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By garheadjr:
Yup, that just confused the hell outta me. So its a pre-ban, non-preban, non assault, non sporting rifle? Ugh. Just dont tell anybody I got it. Hehehe. Seriously, you are saying to be leagle it probably needs some parts swapped out right? I was thinking of doing a trigger swap anyway.



Yes, you need to swap out a total of 5 parts. You can get a US parts kit from places like K-VAR, Global Trades, etc. However, if you're gonna buy new stuff, you may as well go for the Red Star Arms trigger group - I believe that replaces the trigger, hammer, and disconnector, so you got 3 right there. As I said, the gas piston is one of the other widely available US made parts, so that's 4. I think that's about it that is US made for internals - I don't think anyone makes a US made bolt or carrier. This means to be legal, you'd need to swap out some furniture or use US made floorplates in your mgas (so no drum) - note that the upper and lower handguard together only count as one part, so it would be the pistol grip, buttstock, or handguards.

All the possible legal ramblings aside, what you have is really considered a postban US made rifle (well, after you swap out the parts, that is). This means that the pistol grip and detachable mag > 10 rounds is OK, just like an new manufacture AR, but a folding stock, flash supressor or threaded barrel, bayo lug, etc isn't.

Rocko
Link Posted: 5/4/2002 8:44:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/4/2002 8:46:36 PM EDT by Master_Blaster]


If pictures speak louder than words, then how much more do big pictures speak? This is the SA-M7 made by Arsenal, Inc., which is mfg'd here, under an exclusive license from the original Bulgarian factory. Arsenal even uses some of the Bulgarian factory's orignal set gauges for checking tolerances during manufacture.

These beauties have milled receivers, a nice muzzle break, & if you get the "7S" model, also come w/ the venerable AK side scope rail mount. K-Var & IOR Valdada make picatinney rails designed to interface w/ the AK's receiver rail, thus allowing use of Aimpoints, Reflexes, ACOG's, etc. At $750.00, they're a great buy.

Link Posted: 5/5/2002 7:02:28 AM EDT
The year of manufacture on Garhead's NHM91 should be the first two digits of the serial number. Based on the fact that the muzzle is unthreaded, my hunch is that the gun was made in 1993 or later. My own NHM91 was made in '92
(serial # under 00700) and still had the threaded muzzle. It came with the chopped off rear end of a muzzle brake threaded on to it to cover the threads.

If the manufacture date on the side of the reciever is 93 or later, the advise about U.S. built parts replacement is good to follow. It's a relatively inexpensive way to stay straight w/the feds
Link Posted: 5/5/2002 8:22:50 AM EDT
I just picked up my Robinson Armament VEPR K 16" barrel and the action is silky smooth. I have a Bulgarian Milled receiver AK just like the one that Master Blaster posted a pic of except mine has a walnut stock. I've always been told that the Bulgarian AKs are some of the best. In my opinion my VEPR puts my Bulgarian to shame as far as fit, finish, erognomics, and just over all feel. Again this is just my opinion, and I picked up the VEPR for $560.

I have checked out the VEPR IIs with the 20" barrel and they feel heavy overall and also muzzle heavy. With the VEPR K it feel extreemly well balanced and doesn't even feel like it weighs 8 lbs. Needless to say I'm very impressed, and really like the erognomics of the stock set, especially after shooting M16 / AR15s for the last 12 years.

Here's a pic, enjoy:




Semper Fi
Jeff
Link Posted: 5/5/2002 8:19:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MarkRB:
Thanks for all your comments. I will be at the Indy 1500 in June, so I was hoping to get one there if possible. I am from the Peoples republic of Illinois, but Indiana allows me to purchase there with a lot less hassle. Addtionally, the reason I was thinking about 7.62 was just the price of the ammo.



you can't. if you've got money to spend, and you were gonna spend it THAT weekend, why the hell ain't your butt registered for the BRC?

i mean, hell, you don't even have to go outta state for it.
Link Posted: 5/5/2002 10:20:02 PM EDT
I saw an SA-M7 at a gunshow this weekend The dealer wanted $610 for it NEW Looked really nice (From my small amount of AK smarts)
but it me the fromt grip is ugly as hell though I like the synthetic
Link Posted: 5/8/2002 9:21:54 PM EDT
screw traditon i have 5 AK's (most of the ones mentioned and the VEPR K 223 is the finest i ever shot.

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