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Posted: 12/12/2003 1:54:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/12/2003 6:55:20 PM EDT by thompsondd]
I have, until this point, stayed away from AK ownership simply because I didn't need another caliber of ammo to stockpile. I also didn't want to get into buying seperate mags, etc.

However, I am having second thoughts and have seriously begun to consider picking up one manily just for plinking, etc. They seem like fun rifles.

I decided against an AK-74 because I already have a far superior small caliber rifle (my ARs).

So, if I do decide to get one, which AK-47 should I pick up? I don't really feel like forking out $1000 for a pre-ban. I want a pistol grip and not one of those funky looking tear drop wooden stocks. I guess that limits me to something that is 922 compliant.

I don't mind wood or plastic furniture. I actually like the OD and black furniture. I would prefer to stay away from ones that are known for receiver problems, sight posts that are offset, etc.

What I am looking for is suggestions on models and distributors/dealers.

Thanks for any help in advance.
Link Posted: 12/12/2003 9:33:42 PM EDT
Fortuneately, there are quite a few good AK-47's on the market today.

I own a couple Arsenal Inc. (of Las Vegas) SA-M7 rifles, and they are absolutely superb in every respect. They are very accurate for a 7.62x39 kalishnikov, and their fit & finish is about as good as one can get. Price from FAC for a standard model is about $530.00.

I would also reccomend a Vepr from Robinson arms, but I have avoided them because they do not accept standard AK-47 parts. That aside, they are probably the best Kalishnikov ever to be made available in the US. It is actually a Russian RPK (squad automatic weapon), neutered to fire civvie semi only. Prices vary from $500 to $600 depending upon from whom you buy and options desired. I think they come standard with a scope rail.

For a strict plinker, the Romanian SAR-1 series is all you could ever want. I don't own one because they are "rough" to say the least. They look like crack house rifles... just my opinion. I'm sure they are excellent guns for the price, but for a few hundred more, you can have something much, much better.
Link Posted: 12/12/2003 10:58:18 PM EDT
My advice would be to got with the SA-M7. They are probably the best mass produced ak's available at the moment. The sar-1 is also a good gun. You can get a SA-M7 for around $530 from FAC i think sar-1's go for $260-$320.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 5:42:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2003 5:43:59 AM EDT by Fruit_of_the_Looms]
Hey! I bought one of the "crack-house-specials."

The SAR-1 is a good gun for the money. I paid $340 at my local dealer. The metal finish isn't all that great, but it covers the metal. The rifle I got had the laminated stocks and they came with NO finish on the wood at all. Plus, the butt stock looked like it had been shaped with a chunk of cinderblock. I spent an hour with 100grit sandpaper and got all but the deepest marks out and smoothed up the upper and lower handguards. Then I added cherry wood stain (red=commies ), and 3 coats of Tung Oil. Except for the lack luster metal finish, the rifle looks great now. Personally, I would rather do this than pay more for something I couldn't "improve" somehow.

I really like my SAR-1. There are more expensive AK's, and they probably are better built. But they can't be anymore fun than my "crack-house-special." (I love that line, thanks. )
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 5:43:21 AM EDT
It really depends on what you want to be doing with the AK. Me, i bought an SAR, even tho i thought i never would. To make it into a "good" rifle would take probably close to 200 bucks or more (trigger, stock, and other upgrades). Even then it's stil a very rough, inaccurate rifle. This would put it on par in cost with MUCH better weapons like the SAM7s and VEPRs. But I bought it because i don't have any intention of tricking it out like that- it's just a box stock beater that i can drag into the woods, get all scratched up, and not feel bad about it. Were i to get an AK as a "serious" rifle i would definitely opt for one of the higher quality weapons previously mentioned.YMMV
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 5:43:33 AM EDT
#1: the Robinson Armament VEPR KTR-03

#2: the Arsenal SA-M7


Both are sweet, the RA has a bit of an edge in the accuracy dept. I have shot three of them over the past few mnonths and each one exhibits AR15 accuracy...the two Arsenals that I have shot are also very accurate... the trigger on the VEPRs is a bit better and could be why i shoot them better.

The one thing I love about the VEPR is that the receiver is actually a modified RPK receiver....much thicker than a standard AK receiver....these guns not only look good...they are EXTRA tough.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 8:11:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/13/2003 8:20:58 AM EDT by thompsondd]
Thanks to everyone who has replied. Does anyone have any expeirence with Global Trades? They have some (IMHO) best 'looking' AKs that I have seen, but no nothing of the quality of the rifles or the reputation of the manufactuer.

www.globaltrades.com

I have also been looking at www.ak-103.com. Same deal. Looks good, but know nothing about the quality of the product.

Anyone ever deal with Ohio Rapid Fire? They have some awesome looking AKs. Isn't that an ARFcommer's site?
www.ohiorapidfire.com/ak.htm
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 4:18:43 PM EDT
Thompson, Ohio Rapid Fire is a top notch outfit. I have one of their Krinkov's and it is awesome.

I have a Bulgarian SA93 milled AK, nice weapon. A Romak stamped highcap 47, a Romak stamped highcap 74, a Bulgarian 74 built by Inrange, a SAR 1 that I bought used for $70. I have three kits awaiting builds.

How much do you want to spend? That is really the determining factor. You can get a like new AMD63 kit for Centerfire for like $140 shipped. A US compliance pack from Tapco for around $60, a receiver from OOW or Hesse for less than $80 and build it yourself or hire a smith to put it together for $100-$150.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 4:25:48 PM EDT
Another vote for the SAM-7.

If you want opinions on Global Trades, check the AK side, there are a couple there about them now.
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 4:32:31 PM EDT
Global Trades does produce some honest-to-goodness beautiful rifles. They are coming out with a new reciever produced in-house very soon. I have heard of many problems with the SSR-56 production rifles, but I am sure that the vast majority of them are of A-1 quality. Everyone on God's green earth will make a mistake every now and then, so consider the SSR-56 problems very lightly in judging this company. I wish I had a time machine so I could go back and buy some of their previously produced rifles. They really do know how to put those things together.

I would wait for a little while to see what everyone says about the new reciever. They look decieveingly simple from the outside, but the internal construction takes some effort. Whatever problem(s) arises from this new series will be straightened out quickly, once it is discovered. Besides, they seem to be taking their time on this one. Global Trades will always have my confidence.

I think for your purposes, looking to krebs and ak-103 might be a little excessive. They make very nice rifles, but they will cost at least $100 more than the Vepr and SA-M7, and I seriously doubt that their rifles are built any better. In fact, I feel that a SA-M7 or Vepr will hold up much better over the long run than anything built on a Saiga reciever. Nevertheless, we are talking AK's here, so they all will last quite a long time. I don't know your firearms personality (everyone has one h
Go for the Vepr or SA-M7!!!
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 7:28:48 PM EDT
I just bought this Romanian SAR-1 (under $350) from a local dealer at the last gunshow, here in Phoenix.


Like you, I was looking for a fun plinker that uses inexpensive mags and ammo.
7.62x39 ammo is about $75/1000 rounds and 30 round mags go for about $10-15.

It's no tack-driver, but it sure is fun and reliable!
Link Posted: 12/13/2003 7:34:37 PM EDT
Try to pick up a post-ban polytech. I got mine a few years back for $350.00+sales tax. Throw on a ACE stock kit and a trigger group from REDSTAR ARMS. You'll have problems wiping the smile off your face.
Link Posted: 12/14/2003 7:27:42 AM EDT
I have a Global SSR-85C that I have had nothing but good luck with. It has been accurate for an AK and 100% reliable. I have heard some bad reports about their SSR-56 rifles, but I think overall their rifles are top notch, plus Jimmy is great with customer service. Their ability or lack there of to come with new rifles on the time table they set is a whole different story.
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 10:36:59 AM EDT
I am new on the board but I have some input regarding your "which AK" question.I have owned an SAR 1 for approx. two years now. I have punished this rifle more than any rifle I have ever owned. I have bump fired it to the point where it was so damn hot that I had to lay it on the ground and walk away. I had it parkerized at Global in Houston Tx.It wears a K-Var black polymer stock (with metal heat shield)a Gordon Tech. trigger group a Krebs peep sight and a 74 style brake. For $300.00 dollars this gun eats and craps the worst ammo on the market. For a plinker the SAR 1 with a few enhancements is hard to beat.
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