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    Thread: The Great Kalashnikov - Official AK Thread

    1. Member Uberhare's Avatar
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      02-18-2010 05:29 PM #1
      Didn't see a dedicated thread to the mighty AK so figure I'd get one started. Been quite a few years since I've fired one much less owned one. thinking of getting back into it via fairly nice paratrooper style Yugo made model:

      The lion does not concern himself with the opinion of the sheep.

    2. 02-18-2010 06:29 PM #2
      In for later, gotta run.

    3. Member VDubby18's Avatar
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      02-18-2010 07:01 PM #3
      Should be picking up a romanian tomorrow.

    4. Member SilleyWilley's Avatar
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      02-18-2010 08:21 PM #4
      Some of My AK builds










    5. 02-18-2010 10:17 PM #5

      $400 AK. $700 Scope.

      I know the scope looks too high, but it shoots very nicely. Cheek-weld on the AMD's are non-existent.

      The spacers WILL come out, but I need shorter screws...which I don't have...

      It also shoots awesome on my GSG, but I have to raise the reticule up a lot of clicks...lol

      The AMD is one hell of an AK. Trigger is nice, recoil is MUCH less than a typical Romanian AK...I don't know why. I don't see myself ever selling it.

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    6. Member ErikGTI's Avatar
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      02-18-2010 10:45 PM #6
      Do we really need a seperate AK thread? I mean every thread Obin posts in becomes an AK thread. Haha, just kidding.


      And so I don't get yelled at, here is a pic of my brother's AK and AR at the range.


      Erik

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    7. Member twerked's Avatar
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      02-18-2010 11:37 PM #7
      so for someone considering buying an ak, where would one even begin?

    8. 02-19-2010 12:15 AM #8
      Caution:

      The AK in its original configuration is indeed one of the most simplistic/cave-man/reliable rifles. Consider it like an old Toyota pick-up truck. Runs anything you want, and can be fixed with sticks, stones and brute force. HOWEVER. US laws require almost every single AK rifle to be assembled state-side from parts kits, with a certain number of parts being US-produced. The end result is that - while a Somalia pirate can wander down to the bazaar and pick up an actual AK build in a military arsenal for $50...some of the worst AKs in the world reside in the US. Its a sad but true fact. Up until you hit around the $500 mark - you're running maybe a 15-20% chance of getting a rifle with some kind of funk up. Could be canted sights, magazine wobble, or something which actually makes the rifle useless.

      Aside from going to a custom builder (a talented AK builder means you'll end up with an excellent rifle) there are a few brands you should avoid. Century Arms is a huge supplier of "WASR" rifles, built off of semi-only Romanian civilian defense AKs. These range from excellent to garbage. I wouldn't order one from a website or sight unseen. Or if I do - give it a thorough looking over and test fire it if you can before picking it up. My buddy has one which is great, many people have ones which suck.

      Arsenal is probably the best non-gunsmith built guns. They produce the equivalent of a brand new AK pattern rifle. They currently teamed up with Saiga/Izhmash and have released a great line of SGL rifles. They were selling SGL AKs for $499 a few months - the steal of the decade. That price was better than the same rifle in 2003. Most Arsenals are not cheap, and if you're an AR nut who doesn't think an AK should cost over $250 - good luck, and happy trails.

      Lancaster makes some nice rifles, but their service is horrible - and the guy who runs the company is apparently a dick-head. Do your research, see if you can find a nice Arsenal - or look into buying a parts kit, and having a reasonable gunsmith assemble it for you. Both of my primary AKs have been (or are being) revamped by Jim Fuller. He is an excellent AK smith. Red Jacket firearms is also very good.

      If you can afford it - Arsenal rifles will give you a 99% chance of having a perfectly fine, accurate, modern rifle. I would say 100%, but I'm sure someone will run into the thread touting a lemon, and condemning them.

      If you have some cash - Kreb's Custom firearms also makes some great rifles - a little pricier than Arsenal ones, but beautifully done rifles.

      Beautiful Kreb's SBR+Permanent Hider Tantal (for sale, PM me if you're interested! The last AK I'm selling!)

      Tennessee Guns International (AVOID THEM) AK-74 - didn't work, sold for 50% cost to a buddy as a parts kit rifle. Garbage...sadly.

      My beautiful Lancaster AKM Russian Red - sold because I have too many rifles, in too many calibres...beautiful gun, and accurate.

      Arsenal SLR-107UR - best handling AK ever...was going to SBR it, then changed calibres...sold - shown for scale along with my old M6A2.

      Arsenal SGL-31 - currently at Mr. Fuller's shop being chopped and modified...

      Arsenal SLR-105R Ban Era rifle...which became my current go-to gun seen below (after a LOT of money and time) Thanks to Mr. Fuller again...

      I'm no builder (like the guy up above) but I can recommend some companies, and suggest a few key modifications I think should go into any AK if you're going to consider it a go-to fighting rifle.


    9. Member nevermas's Avatar
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      02-19-2010 12:23 AM #9
      Quote, originally posted by ErikGTI »
      Do we really need a seperate AK thread? I mean every thread Obin posts in becomes an AK thread. Haha, just kidding.

      lol i came in here to post this : )

      War Eagle!

    10. Member twerked's Avatar
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      02-19-2010 01:23 AM #10
      Quote, originally posted by Elbows »
      Caution:

      The AK in its original configuration is indeed one of the most simplistic/cave-man/reliable rifles. Consider it like an old Toyota pick-up truck. Runs anything you want, and can be fixed with sticks, stones and brute force. HOWEVER. US laws require almost every single AK rifle to be assembled state-side from parts kits, with a certain number of parts being US-produced....

      thanks for the info i'll keep an eye on this thread and try to learn some stuff. it probably won't be for a few months, but i've been contemplating getting one just because


    11. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      02-19-2010 11:13 AM #11
      Quote, originally posted by Elbows »
      Caution:

      The AK in its original configuration is indeed one of the most simplistic/cave-man/reliable rifles. Consider it like an old Toyota pick-up truck. Runs anything you want, and can be fixed with sticks, stones and brute force. HOWEVER. US laws require almost every single AK rifle to be assembled state-side from parts kits, with a certain number of parts being US-produced. The end result is that - while a Somalia pirate can wander down to the bazaar and pick up an actual AK build in a military arsenal for $50...some of the worst AKs in the world reside in the US. Its a sad but true fact. Up until you hit around the $500 mark - you're running maybe a 15-20% chance of getting a rifle with some kind of funk up. Could be canted sights, magazine wobble, or something which actually makes the rifle useless.

      exactly. i wish the photos of the Tabuk factory in Iraq were available on the public web. the machinery was no more complex than what you'd find in a high school shop class. they still managed to make guns as solid as a tank that could withstand abuse from an illiterate conscript with a 4th grade education.

      if you ever come across photos of Factory 54, the Zastava Factory, Tula, or £ucznik you will see that these weapons were manufactured in a high quality and organized facility but on basic equipment.

      i personally will applaud anyone who can truly make an AK from the bottom up because that is a true gunsmith. you need to know metallurgy and have access to some heavy duty tools. it's not just "some assembly required" like an AR-15. to make an AK you need welders, presses, torches, drill presses, and heavy riveting equipment. a true military AK is a thing of beauty.

      obin

      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    12. Member seoulstice's Avatar
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      02-19-2010 11:23 AM #12
      ^ I'm sure you saw it but there was an article on the Tabuk in the most recent issue of American Rifleman.

      The Arsenal rifles they offered were certainly a great deal when they offered them for $500...unfortunately they weren't available for that cheap when I was looking.

      I wanted something that was better quality than a WASR so I ended up buying a Saiga carbine and converting it myself.


    13. 02-19-2010 11:59 AM #13
      I'm sad to say, I totally missed the boat on the pre-ban era. I would love to have a Polytech fixed stock with underfolding bayonet AK. Like Elbows, I'm not a fan of American receiver'ed parts guns, which can be hit or miss quality wise (literally). Slightly off topic, I regret not buying SKS's when they went for under $100. At the time, I figured I already had AK's, why do I want an SKS? Someone should have slapped me and said "DUDE, THOSE ARE MOSIN NAGANT PRICES". An SKS is way better than a Mosin.

      One irony of the Assault Weapons Ban, instigated mostly by politicians from California... is that the original importers for these guns were almost all based in California. These Californian companies sold thousands and thousands of rifles, ammunition, and accessories, undoubtedly earning millions of dollars.

      As a matter of fact, one of those importers is still around, albiet a shadow of their former selves: http://stores.polytechparts.com/StoreFront.bok







      Quote, originally posted by Elbows »
      They were selling SGL AKs for $499 a few months - the steal of the decade.

      Yeah, I kinda wish I bought more. I'm kinda getting bored of the "AK-103" pattern now though. I'm kinda getting bored of the "AK-103" pattern now though. They're selling for $699 now.


    14. 02-19-2010 12:09 PM #14
      And let's not forget the Valmet & Sako's. Imported from Finland in the late 1970s through the 1980s for well under $400 They go for $2-3k today. While not true AK's, they retained the basic Kalashnikov action but improved the rifle's accuracy.

      1976:


    15. Member DonL's Avatar
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      02-20-2010 01:33 PM #15
      God, you guys suck...

      I ordered my carry .38, and now you've got me wanting more toys. I'd love to pick up at least a decent SKS, but even those are starting to approach the point where you may as well wait, keep saving, and soon pick up an AK.

      Besides, I have another Russian import I need to pay off a bit first...

      It seems the government is currently saying, "While we're conducting this unspecified, unwarranted surveillance, we're totally thinking about how to not violate the 4th Amendment that we're currently violating. Because terrorism."

    16. 02-20-2010 01:35 PM #16
      Cute kid - adoption, or you married to a Russian gal?

    17. Member DonL's Avatar
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      02-20-2010 02:42 PM #17
      Adoption. Some of the Russian gals over there, though... WOW! I would have married in another place or time.
      It seems the government is currently saying, "While we're conducting this unspecified, unwarranted surveillance, we're totally thinking about how to not violate the 4th Amendment that we're currently violating. Because terrorism."

    18. 02-20-2010 02:47 PM #18
      Hahaha, I actually used to visit Trident military surplus back when I was airsofting consistently...lo and behold, while a confusing site, it had a link to Russian mail order brides, lol...it was interesting.

      Congrats on the adoption man, she's adorable!


    19. 02-20-2010 03:02 PM #19
      Quote, originally posted by twerked »
      so for someone considering buying an ak, where would one even begin?

      Well the cheapest AK you can get right now, depending on how you look at it, is a WASR-10. They go for around $400 right now...

      Next step up after that would be the Yugo M70's. These lack chrome lined bores & pistons, which IMHO are important. Most people prefer the Yugo's because they are made out of a thicker gauge steel and "feel" more solid.

      Then come the Bulgarian and Russian Arsenal & Saiga guns, which I think are the best of the current crop of AKs.

      I didn't cover any of the Egyptian, Chinese, or Romanian SAR guns that are not imported anymore, but you would be able to find on the used market...


    20. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      02-20-2010 10:59 PM #20
      one thing i absolutely love about AKs is the legendary reliability. we just passed 1,030 rounds through the AMD-65. NOT ONE SINGLE MALFUNCTION OF ANY TYPE WHATSOEVER!

      the specified minimum service life of a military AKM is no less than 10,000 rounds. the design calls for no more than 20 malfunctions of any type during those 10,000 rounds: or 1 malfunction per 500 rounds fired. contrast that to the horrific 1 failure per 66 rounds fired the U.S. Army experienced with the M4 during the dust test.

      i have to run another 500 rounds through our SAR-1 so it can pass the 20,000 round mark. the last malfunction i had was with a bad magazine i loaded in 2004. since then the gun hasn't hiccuped one single time. that's what you get when a gun is designed properly from the beginning.

      obin

      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    21. Member DonL's Avatar
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      02-21-2010 12:00 PM #21
      Every now and again, we find our local Dunham's Sporting Goods stores selling these.

      Are they worth a crap, or does getting them sorted and uber-reliable cost about the same as just ponying up for a more "proper" AK in the first place?

      Hell, for the cost/benefit, are these really a "step up" from from a good SKS selling for the $250-275 that I/we typically see these days?

      It seems the government is currently saying, "While we're conducting this unspecified, unwarranted surveillance, we're totally thinking about how to not violate the 4th Amendment that we're currently violating. Because terrorism."

    22. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      02-21-2010 12:04 PM #22
      the WASR-10 is an okay rifle. Sorting out any bugs with the gun can be done quickly. If you can get a SAR-1 for $100 or so more then go for those instead. The SAR-1 was completely built in Romania as a high-capacity rifle. the WASR is not a terrible rifle though. My personal cutoff price is $299. The moment I start seeing them for that price I'll start jumping on the deals.

      obin

      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    23. Member nevermas's Avatar
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      02-21-2010 12:05 PM #23
      correct me if i'm wrong, but are the romanian produced WASRs the bottom of the AK barrel?
      War Eagle!

    24. Senior Member NoDubJustYet's Avatar
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      02-21-2010 12:18 PM #24
      pretty much. they're hit or miss really.

      I love mine. It's a huge POS that I can treat like crap... it's the epitome of an AK.

      Personally, I think it's retarded to spend more than about $500 on an AK - it defeats the purpose to spend anymore.

      I'm hoping to purchase a Congolese kid to maintain mine.


    25. Member 7.62's Avatar
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      02-21-2010 12:54 PM #25
      Quote, originally posted by twerked »
      so for someone considering buying an ak, where would one even begin?

      7.62 or 5.45? There were some good suggestions for 7.62 rifles already given in this thread. TN Guns currently offers the best deal on 5.45 rifles. $400 shipped gets you a gun built by ISD in Bulgaria with a Bulgarian chrome lined barrel.

      Lancasters start at $70-$100 more but their entry- to mid-level rifles now come with stainless steel or chromoly U.S. barrels. One of the biggest draws of 5.45 guns is the availability of very cheap surplus ammo ($0.12/rd). You definitely want a chrome lined barrel for shooting surplus ammo since it has corrosive primers.


    26. 02-21-2010 02:14 PM #26
      WASR-10s are - as mentioned before, routinely built by Century Arms. Thus, it is a bit of a crap-shoot. As Obin mentioned, you stand a decent chance of getting one which is okay, and might just have a few small issues.

      $379.00 is a mediocre price, but guns now days are silly anyway. Another option is to purchase a WASR-10 as cheap as you can, and send it to a good gunsmith to rework into a battle-ready rifle. There are a few companies which produce better rifles in the $500 range. If you're not picking up an Arsenal, or custom-build, I'd try to find a place where you can return the rifle, or have it "fixed" under some kind of warranty.

      I disagree a bit with NoDub's nothing over $500 statement. Heck my AKs now run me more than my uber-expensive AR. Unfortunately mine was expensive because I wanted an AK in a certain fashion - which they don't sell, so the modifications to it were expensive.

      A reliable, accurate, dependable rifle is worth plenty. Other than the TGI AK which never worked from the get-go, I have not had a single malfunction with any of my AK's, perhaps 2000 rounds through them. Check out http://www.atlanticfirearms.com <- they always have a wide range of rifles in the AK pattern available - just might need to contact them to see who makes certain rifles, as they're a bit skimpy with the details.

      5.45 vs. 7.62 is a big debate. 5.45 kicks less than 5.56 is basically as accurate, has better material penetration (barely), and shoots a tiny bit flatter out past 100 yards. However you won't find all the fancy sniper-ammo. Non-corrosive new stuff is .20 per round, surplus corrosive is around .10-.12. The 7.62 is much harder hitting - punches through anything, and is generally more serious than the 5.56/5.45 - but its heavy, and drops like a bowling ball at distance. The AK is a perfect rifle for 300 yards and under. If you want to bipod stuff and plink steel at 500 yards, you'd be better off with an AR.


    27. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      02-21-2010 03:17 PM #27
      Quote, originally posted by NoDubJustYet »

      Personally, I think it's retarded to spend more than about $500 on an AK - it defeats the purpose to spend anymore.

      after finding out what governments pay for their AKs i don't feel bad about the prices we pay these days. if you buy the a Romarm PM63 10,000 at a time they'll charge you $350 each. so buying a somewhat neutered version of the same gun for the same price is not really that bad considering NO quantity discount. the Norinco Type 56s cost $100-$125 in bulk but that's only because the Chinese government subsidizes the cost 50%. in reality they are $200-$250 guns but that's because the Chinese want to undercut everyone else's prices in order to get a foothold on a defense contract.

      i paid $269.95 + shipping and fees for our SAR-1 back in 2002. that's not that bad really. try finding ANY sort of AK for any price these days and you can't do it. blame the internet actually. once foreign countries found out how much we were inflating the prices on their guns they jacked the prices up at the factory. we'll NEVER see $269.95 for a foreign-made AK ever again. it just won't happen unless all 3 branches of government go Libertarian.

      obin

      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    28. Member ItzDarrell's Avatar
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      02-21-2010 09:24 PM #28

    29. 02-22-2010 02:00 AM #29
      Quote, originally posted by Elbows »
      If you want to bipod stuff and plink steel at 500 yards, you'd be better off with an AR.

      They make AK's in 7.62x54R.


    30. Geriatric Member Obin Robinson's Avatar
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      02-22-2010 01:55 PM #30
      Quote, originally posted by TabulaVicious »

      They make AK's in 7.62x54R.

      they make 'em in 8mm Mauser as well.

      obin

      "We're society's crowbar. They hate us, they never want to acknowledge the dirty jobs they give us to do, but when the job is done they never throw us away - they just slip us back in the toolbox until they need us the next time. And there will always be a next time."-Jim Hooper. Beneath the Visiting Moon: Images of Combat in Southern Africa

    31. 02-22-2010 05:44 PM #31
      Quote, originally posted by Obin Robinson »

      they make 'em in 8mm Mauser as well.

      obin

      And 76.2x558mm (seventy-six point two by five hundred and fifty-eight milimeters) for those really big jobs.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AK-176


    32. Member Uberhare's Avatar
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      02-22-2010 05:53 PM #32
      Anyone own a AK-74 yet or is that even possible to get over here in the USA?
      The lion does not concern himself with the opinion of the sheep.

    33. 02-22-2010 06:01 PM #33
      Quote, originally posted by Uberhare »
      Anyone own a AK-74 yet or is that even possible to get over here in the USA?

      Elbows owns a few. The 5.45 surplus ammo is the cheapest centerfire cartridge you can buy right now, around $.12 a shot if you buy it by the crate.


    34. 02-22-2010 06:02 PM #34
      Check my post - the twin black rifles (one modified now, other in the works) are both AK-100/74 series rifles. They fire 5.45.

      This is the AK-100 series (the current issued AK pattern fighting rifle for the Russian military)

      The AK-100 series are the basic new crop of current firearms for the Russian military. Don't get me wrong, the vast majority are still equipped with AK-74s, and AKMs (wood/plum furniture etc.) But for top of the line, this is what they're running.

      AK-101: Polymer furniture, normal length rifle, operating in 5.56 nato
      AK-102: Shortened carbine model in 5.56 (export to NATO countries)
      AK-103: Polymer furniture normal length rifle in 7.62x39
      AK-104: Shortened carbine model in 7.62x39
      AK-105 Shortened carbine in 5.45





      Modified by Elbows at 3:08 PM 2-22-2010


    35. 02-22-2010 06:04 PM #35
      Quote, originally posted by Elbows »
      This is the AK-101 (the current issued 5.45 AK-74 pattern fighting rifle for the Russian military)

      Nice, but I prefer this photo:


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