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How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 06:55:14
by Drewsifer
I'd really like to purchase an AK style rifle for my next rifle. However the more I look, the more it looks like there is a serious problem with getting a quality AK for any price. I understand that quality is a relative term for AK's, but I know good ones exist. So how I do I go about finding a good AK? I'd love a Vepr but they're a little pricey. Arsenal AK's are supposedly nice, but I've heard a lot of horror stories about them lately. An Century Arms......don't get me started on Century Arms.

I'm not pick about 7.62x39mm or 5.45.

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 08:54:32
by ChicagoGuy
While I'm no a wealth of information on this subject (or any other for that matter). I too have been interested in picking one up. There are SO MANY on the market. I'll be watching closely and listening to those that currently own or have purchased in the past. I can though give you a link I've been visiting recently. They seem to have a fair price and the products look to be quality. I'm just a little uneasy about pulling the trigger (pun intended) on an online purchase sight UNSEEN.

http://www.classicarms.us/

Hope this helps. If you do make a purchase. Please share the news and results. Also at the risks of asking a dumb question and getting off topic. Whats the deal with "Century?"

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 09:01:57
by GeneFrenkle
Pick up a Saiga and do the conversion yourself. If done yourself you learn the rifle well and have full QC.

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Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 09:09:29
by zephyp
GeneFrenkle wrote:Pick up a Saiga and do the conversion yourself. If done yourself you learn the rifle well and have full QC.

[ Post made via Mobile Device ] Image


+1

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 09:35:20
by gunderwood
The Vepr's are very nice, but also much heavier. Kind of defeats the purpose of a lightweight carbine IMHO. Kind of like people who hang a ton of stuff of their AR. The Saiga's are one of the best if you are up for the task.

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 11:06:02
by OakRidgeStars

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 17:10:34
by Drewsifer
OakRidgeStars wrote:http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/

http://www.aimsurplus.com/


Yeah, I've been there. And JG Sales, and Buds Guns, and Impact Arms, and K-Var. But that doesn't help me. I want to know what brands are reliable? Because every brand I've looked at has serious problems with QC.
GeneFrenkle wrote:Pick up a Saiga and do the conversion yourself. If done yourself you learn the rifle well and have full QC.

[ Post made via Mobile Device ] Image


I'm extremely wary about doing this myself. Unless someone was willing to help me do it. Cause I don't have a lot of tools, or experience in this area.

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 18:46:47
by gunderwood
Drewsifer wrote:Yeah, I've been there. And JG Sales, and Buds Guns, and Impact Arms, and K-Var. But that doesn't help me. I want to know what brands are reliable? Because every brand I've looked at has serious problems with QC.

QC was never a Soviet priority. The closest thing to American QC that I am aware of is the Vepr, but it still is an AK. Saiga's would be my pick, but at the end of the day the AK was designed to be a cheap and easy to manufacture firearm, QC was never a concern. The AKs reputation for reliability is exactly because they are simple and very, very loose. Besides the peasants shooting them were expendable.


Drewsifer wrote:
GeneFrenkle wrote:Pick up a Saiga and do the conversion yourself. If done yourself you learn the rifle well and have full QC.


I'm extremely wary about doing this myself. Unless someone was willing to help me do it. Cause I don't have a lot of tools, or experience in this area.

It is a very basic operation. You are just replacing foreign made parts with mostly functional equivalent American parts because the ATF says that makes it OK. Stupid law, but you have got to do it if you want the features that make it an AK.

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Sat, 12 Feb 2011 20:06:57
by GeneFrenkle
I don't have experience either but did a partial conversion to keep the rifle look. Swapped out FCG parts, gas piston, and forearm and added a bullet guide. It took a drill, some cobalt bits (not Kobalt), a workbench/vise (mine is a workmate), and 10" visegrips. Could even do it on the kitchen table. Go slow, use plenty of cutting oil, and keep backing off on the drilling and tapping. Get the kits which come with the bits and taps to make it easier. Literally, if I can do it anyone can. Only thing left for me to finish up is completing tuning the bullet guide to get consistent last round feeds. Waiting for some mags first.

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Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Sun, 13 Feb 2011 03:09:18
by Diomed
If you're buying any mass-produced AK sight unseen, you just have to accept that you're rolling the dice on stuff like front sight block alignment. Even the quality brands - like Arsenal - have issues. It's not usually going to have a function problem, the gun will still work (Century builds and some others excepted), but some things won't be perfect.

Either handle and inspect them in person before buying, or else get one from one of the domestic boutique houses (either one of their builds or a build to your specs). Otherwise you don't know what you may get.

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Sun, 13 Feb 2011 19:44:31
by ChicagoGuy
Anyone ever purchased from Classic Arms? I'd love to know if they are selling quality products?

http://www.classicarms.us/

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Sun, 13 Feb 2011 22:06:36
by Hiwaytahell
Classic Arms sells products made by Century. Look at the adds for both...they say the same thing.

Quality AK...Norinco, Polytech. Bring your piggybank.

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Mon, 14 Feb 2011 16:16:36
by kanata67
I got a 1923 dragoon m-91 and my ar-15 from them with no problems. I do advise ordering by phone rather than the web site however.

ChicagoGuy wrote:Anyone ever purchased from Classic Arms? I'd love to know if they are selling quality products?

http://www.classicarms.us/

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Wed, 16 Feb 2011 00:05:01
by Drewsifer
If anyone is having the same problem as I am, you may want to look the Vz58 instead. Overall better rifles, although they get butchered during import as well. However I've heard a lot of good things about them.

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Wed, 16 Feb 2011 02:33:36
by Diomed
Drewsifer wrote:If anyone is having the same problem as I am, you may want to look the Vz58 instead. Overall better rifles, although they get butchered during import as well. However I've heard a lot of good things about them.

Of course, the similarity between the two rifles is purely cosmetic. The magazines don't interchange either (the Czech mags are quite a bit more costly than AK mags).

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Wed, 16 Feb 2011 12:37:26
by Drewsifer
Diomed wrote:
Drewsifer wrote:If anyone is having the same problem as I am, you may want to look the Vz58 instead. Overall better rifles, although they get butchered during import as well. However I've heard a lot of good things about them.

Of course, the similarity between the two rifles is purely cosmetic. The magazines don't interchange either (the Czech mags are quite a bit more costly than AK mags).


The price has gone down a little on the Vz58 magazines. They're still more than AK magazines, but I've heard very little bad things about Vz's. Accurate, light weight, and reliable. Plus, they come in a little under even a WASR's.

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Tue, 02 Aug 2011 05:29:16
by matthew03
Krebs builds a very nice Kalishnakov.

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Tue, 02 Aug 2011 22:03:19
by RocKor
I'd go to a store that sells Arsenal's and get your pick of the litter. Don't get a Century unless you REALLY know how to pick a good one (I thought I did, and I still got screwed). I'd only go with a self-converted Saiga if you KNOW what you're doing. I simply am not good enough with even basic tools (nor do I have the time or patience) to convert one myself.

But MOSTLY you are paying for fit, finish, and straightness. MOST AKs will work, it's just some look and run better than others.

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Thu, 04 Aug 2011 01:58:40
by Diomed
matthew03 wrote:Krebs builds a very nice Kalishnakov.

And the price tag to match!

Re: How to buy an AK?

PostPosted: Thu, 04 Aug 2011 17:08:20
by ImmortalArms
A brand that is usually missed is Interarms (High Standard - Houston TX). I have 47 and 74 (actually Tantal) and have sold several of them. No complaints from anyone...they keep referring friends.