What should I look for in buying an AK?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by NVBeav, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    I'm going to start looking for an AK-47-type rifle over the next couple months, but I'm not sure where to start or what to look for. [Note: If my wife reads this then she'll know I do ask directions :^)]

    What I would appreciate is guidance on what to look for and what to avoid. I'm pretty set on the 7.62x39 because I have some of that ammo already for my SKS, which brings up another point...

    With the price of an SKS rising well past what I bought one for 2 years ago, the price difference between it and the AK has narrowed to the point what I think it's worth the difference for an AK.

    Anyway opinions, guidance, and chastisement are eagerly being anticipated!
  2. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    For an AK-47....Avoid:

    Anyone wearing an ATF logo....

    and anyone wearing a diaper on his head.
    Homer Simpson likes this.
  3. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Now that you have made the first step, we need more info. It's like saying "I want to buy a car, and I want it to be a Chevy/Ford/Dodge" How much do you want to spend? Fixed stock, folder/underfolder?
  4. hartage

    hartage Monkey+++

    Suggestion would be to find an unissued AK. They are out there. I picked up an unissued sks. Barring that I'll tell you what I look for. I try to find major obvious issues like large dings that show being dropped/banged hard. I check the crown make sure it is in perfect condition, that affects accuracy quite a bit. I look in the bore make sure rifling is distinct and sharp. Usually the rifleing closest to the bolt end will take the most wear. Look at bolt wear parts ejector etc make sure they are not worn in excess. Of course if you can test fire it at paper so much the better. Good luck.
  5. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    $500 max but would like $375; prefer a side folder (not underfolder based on it's flimsy looks)

    Would also like some sort of mounting system for optics (the optics won't be part of the $500).

    Anything else I need to consider?
  6. hacon1

    hacon1 Monkey+++

    You can get brand new Romanian's for $350 and put your own furniture on for under a $100. I put a collapsable stock and composit guards on mine for $50. Adco Firearms, in Sylvania, Ohio can get you just about anything you are looking for, and I mean anything! Here's the link if you want to check it out. www.adcofirearms.com
    If you call to have questions answered, ask for Steve.
    I have bought several fire arms from him and he has always been the lowest price around. Good luck!
  7. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    Thanks Hacon -- I could only find AR stuff on your link. I've seen ads for the Romanian at places like IO and AIM Systems (STG-2000C) -- not sure if that's the same.

    I'll check back in the morning -- gotta get some sleep.
  8. evilgijoe88

    evilgijoe88 Monkey+++

    the mount for optic i would recomend the side attachment above any others. as for the style yugo makes the best ak's that can be easily purchased on the market.the romainians are decent, i own one. but it all depends on what u are lookin into. for accesories there is. tactical innovations, centerfire,aimsurplus, and as allways cheaper than dirt
  9. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    If you go the cheap route and buy a romy with a century receiver, be sure that you check the mag well to make sure that you can insert a mag into the mag well and pull it out with no problem. I had to modify a couple of them with a Dremmel, and I would rather not have to. Just something to look for.
  10. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I've owned several AKs while over-seas but never a semi-automatic. The ones that I have had all had milled steel receivers and were made in Russia or China. They were extremely reliable but I don't know anything about the ones that they sell here with the stamped receivers. I am going to buy one at the next gun show just to play with. I want an under-folder, and I think someone said the Hungarian or Yugoslavian ones were the better but I really don't know. The few that I have seen with a milled receiver are really expensive.
  11. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    Hartage -- thanks for your input - unissued seems like a good way to go, and your inspection tips make sense. [ps: I don't know how I missed your post last night]

    gijoe -- I'll keep in mind the side-attached scope... Any particular reason the Yugo is considered better than, say, the Romanian?
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    nvbeav, you might have a look at the AK47 threads by Magnus392. He is our resident AK specialist. Then a PM his way might turn over some additional info. Since he got engaged, he hasn't been around too much, but he's always been willing to help.
  13. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    EL -- After you "dremmel" out parts on your rifle, do you re-blue or something to keep corrosion away?... or it that a non-factor? tnx

    Here's a link to a Yugo underfolder for SeaCowboy... it looks pretty light and I can see your point about it. They've also got a Romanian underfolder there... I've set in my mind on something like the Galil side fold because it looks sturdy yet is still light weight, but that's an expensive ($800+) rifle (besides being .223), but I'll settle on something eventually.

  14. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    You can also get the side folding stock as an add on to the 7.62x39 AK for around $50 from Cheaperthandirt.com and you can get a reciever cover that has a scope mount rail on it for around $25. The reciever cover with the mount on it AND the set screws that hold it firmly in place with pressure against the reciever work pretty well IF you are looking at minute of chest accuracy and makes it easy to remove it and the scope and put on the original if you want to go with iron sites then put it back on and its still alligned to minute of man at 100 yards or so. If you are wanting it to be a tack driver though then make SURE it has an excelent bore and definatly go with the side mount or some othe type of permenant mount for the scope.
  15. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The work I did was just on the mag well. I have not had a problem with rust in this area, but I guess there is a first time for everything. When building my Romy kit up, I also had to grind around the hole I drilled in the receiver and it left a little shiny spot. I meant to parkerize or blue it later on, but this was back in 05' and I have yet to do it. The shiny spot is still there, and no rust as of yet. To be honest though, even if it did rust...........it's an AK. No biggie.
  16. Nomad 2nd

    Nomad 2nd Monkey+++

    WASR 10

    Check for:
    Straight sites
    Mag locking into the magweld fit
    the digits 'G2' on the left side of the trigger.

    Buy an Ultimak rail at www.ultimak.com

    I like the Romanian wire sidefolder ($30-$50) and all you haveto do is take the topcover and Op Spring out of the gun, unscrew 2 screws.

    Slide the wood straight out the back

    Slide the medal in, and put the 2 screws back in and reasemble.
  17. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yeah... Don't do any of this. Top cover scope mounts are notoriously awful, won't retain zero, and wobble. Be smart and use the side rail mount. like here: http://dpharms.com/ak47-double-rail-side-scope-mount-utg978-p-327.html

    If you need a folder, get a factory sidefolder like seen here:http://dpharms.com/romanian-ak-47-folding-stock-p-87.html

    Also, if looking at a Century gun check the Front sight post and gas block to make sure they are straight.

    As far as quality AK's go here is my list


    Sea, the Chinese stamped Rifles use 1.5mm receiver which is the thickness of the milled receiver. Now weight is saved around the front and rear trunnions. The Russians even abandoned the milled receiver in the 60's because they figured out how to make an economical and quicker to produce stamped receivers. Now several features where added to the 1mm stamped receivers to give them comparable strength to the milled models. So the difference will be primarily in the weight. Some say the milled rifle's actions are smoother. I haven't had the fortune of handling and firing a milled AK, so I wouldn't know.

    If you want a milled AK Arsenal USA is your only bet unless you can find a kit and have it built up.

    I just used the above links because I knew he would have what I needed to illustrate.

    No offense MM, I hate what you did to that AK we built you, and the suggestions you offer make the AK about as practical and useful as putting black out glasses on a lumberjack.
  18. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I agree with Magnus on the ranking. I have an Egyptian and it is a tough, rough gun, it is truely a trunk gun. I have a Yugo kit that I got from someone on this board and got a great deal as the rifling is literally new. The gun is built and is getting it's blue job done and am thinking that when it comes back, it may be to pretty to shoot and may have to go on display and I will have to get another gun for GP.
    As for underfolder versus side folders, the Yugo underfolder I have is extremely durable and surdy, nothing flimsy about it. I did get to use a side folder that was captured in Iraq and hung out in our arms vault and when new, are sturdy, this one was a east german varient and was no more sturdy than my underfolder. I didn't appreciate that big chunk of metal on the side of the weapon when trying to fire it, to me, it made the weapon feel off balance. Just my opinion, I'll stick with the underfolder.
  19. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Underfolders rock, I just posted the sidefolder if he bought a fixed stock rifle it would swap out easy. Personally I prefer the triangle sidefolder stock, the poly sidefolder rocks too.



    These are my fav folding stocks.
  20. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    None taken. The stuff I put on it was just what I could afford at the time to make it fit my particular needs. The reciever cover I got has set screws on it that 'help' to stabalize it by creating tension on it but if you can do the side mount (especialy if it is a detachable model so it can be striped if something happens to the scope) would undoubtedly be superior and is something I figure I will most likely look into after I get some more pressing bills taken care of.
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