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My son is considering one. Mine is several years old, has been fantastic, but my current] knowledge of AK's is limited. So what I used to know about brands, etc., is certainly outdated.

What brands/models to consider? What to avoid? Looking for well built, but not extravagant. Function over finish (as long as it's reliable). FWIW, I used to consider Arsenal brand "extravagant" back in the day when I bought mine. Nothing wrong with an Arsenal, just too expensive for what they were, IMHO. Things may have changed over time however.
 

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I'm withholding recommendation of the Century Arms RAS47 until I have a chance to play with it. My previous experience with a Century AK was, ah ... not great. Had the first iteration of their milled-receiver model, and within the first 30 rounds, I had several issues. Huge burr in the chamber got a casing stuck HARD in the chamber within the first few rounds, then the upper hand guard popped off because the spot-weld(s) on the retaining ring of the tube gave up, and the rear sight kept falling off. Again, all within the first magazine. Might have been early-production bugs, I guess, because others seem to have had really good luck with most of the Century AK's over the past few years. I decided to give them another chance with the RAS47, which is a plain-jane model. We'll see...

Otherwise, the WASR is usually a safe bet. Needs a bit of polishing up of things here and there, but overall usually a good deal.
 

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I've had really good luck with Yugo/Zastava AK-47's. Not high-end AK'S, by any means, but for the money, I've been quite pleased. Mine have been quite reliable and the fit and finish seem good.
 

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Should've added I've had no major problems with my Zastava M92 PAP (AK pistol), although I did have to tap out the retaining pin on the piston, tighten it down on full turn, and then set the pin back in because it was all loose and wobbly, and it would sort of lock up if I tried to rack the bolt unless I pulled back at a very specific angle. Like, if I would try to do the usual reach-under with my left hand to rack it, the bolt would refuse to move because I was putting some slight downward pressure upon it, because the bolt was loose/wobbly and sort of hanging up inside of the gas block. Hard to explain with words, but ... anyway. Didn't cost anything but a few minutes of time to fix, but it was driving me nuts until I finally figured it out one day. Otherwise, the fit/finish on the Zastava AK's seems to be pretty darned good, especially for the price. And I LOVE the hinged dust cover on my M92 - dunno if they have that on any of their rifles, but it's a nifty feature. Also dunno if their rifles accept standard AK stocks or if they're proprietary, but still...

Arsenal makes good AK's, of course, but they're absurdly expensive for simply being AK's. VEPR and Saiga rifles that have been converted are nice, but also overpriced for what they are, especially considering that Kalashnikov Concern has a USA facility and is putting out rifles domestically that are every bit as good and actually a bit cheaper. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews on the I.O. brand AK's, so I'd tend to avoid them. Everything else ... ehhhhh, you're looking mostly at used stuff, and that's totally a mixed bag of randomness that depends a lot upon how it was cared for and used.
 

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Something a click above wasr and several clicks below arsenal (in price) are DDI rifles. I got the stamped underfolder and it is really nice.
Npaps are good to go too. There are no longer any inexpensive aks. Even the low quality ones like I.O. and Century are pricey.
Typical wisdom is to avoid domestic made aks and go Combloc only, which in our case is simply parts sets reassembled here with some switched out US parts.

James Rivers AK's are not too pricey either. Lee Armory puts out some good stuff. It's easier to say what to avoid: I.O., Century, don't know much about High Standard but I would avoid them until more info comes out.
 

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So ... avoid the new Kalashnikovs, then? Because they ARE being made in the USA, as well... :confused:
I was not trying to undermine your wisdom, just adding what I have, admittedly, only read.

I don't have a problem with USA made aks but so far what is being produced right now has not gotten great reviews.

Once Kal starts producing we will see if they are equal to or better than the kits being put out now. Until then we just don't know.
 

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Kalashnikov's been making and selling their AK's in the USA since last year. No bad press that I've seen on 'em thus far. I wouldn't mind owning one, myself, when some of their other models become available later this year. Umm ... not that I really NEED yet another AK, but ... well ... y'know ... I think I gave up on the whole "need" thing some time ago... :D
 

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Kalashnikov's been making and selling their AK's in the USA since last year. No bad press that I've seen on 'em thus far. I wouldn't mind owning one, myself, when some of their other models become available later this year. Umm ... not that I really NEED yet another AK, but ... well ... y'know ... I think I gave up on the whole "need" thing some time ago... :D
I did not know that, gots to do more research. I had heard Kal was going to have a place in Florida but had no idea it had already happened.
Edit: not much on the Web about them. That's kind of weird.
 

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what you really want to avoid is any AK with a CAST front trunnion (most notably the RAS47 and the I.O. AK's) because of the way the bolt locks up into the trunnion, most cast trunnions are not up to the wear and tear that these parts take and the gun will go out of head space within 5,000 rounds. It should be noted that the Polish military manufacture WBP also uses cast trunnions. DDI uses parts kits from WBP but they mill their own front trunnions to avoid the controversy of cast trunnions. Serbian NPAP's have had their issues as well, general thinking is that their receivers were not properly heat treated which can lead to cracks around the rivets. If you are looking for a good stamped gun that is well priced you really can not go wrong with the DDI (it should be noted that the finish on these rifles is very good). For a milled gun the C39V2 is not a bad choice as it is priced very well. WASR10's may not have the best finish in the world but they are built to mill spec in a military arms factory in Romania and they will take a beating and last well... if it were me I would go 1) DDI 2) WASR10 3) C39V2
 

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Love and recommend the zastavia ak's too. Mine has performed wonderfully. They have a unique button to remove the dust cover at the back, after lots of use that little guy vibrated loose and disappeared into the grass never to be seen again. Guess what though, it still went bang with out it. I feel like any gun you shoot several hundred times will need going over all the little do-hickey's and tightening the screws once in while. replaced the part for $10.
Now I want the one they make in .308...
 

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Love and recommend the zastavia ak's too. Mine has performed wonderfully. They have a unique button to remove the dust cover at the back, after lots of use that little guy vibrated loose and disappeared into the grass never to be seen again. Guess what though, it still went bang with out it. I feel like any gun you shoot several hundred times will need going over all the little do-hickey's and tightening the screws once in while. replaced the part for $10.
Now I want the one they make in .308...
The M77 is probably the best value in .308 AK's right now, they have an adjustable gas regulator and can be modified relatively easily to take M14 mags... look up ginsboy on youtube for some pretty cool mods
 

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Kalashnikov's been making and selling their AK's in the USA since last year. No bad press that I've seen on 'em thus far. I wouldn't mind owning one, myself, when some of their other models become available later this year. Umm ... not that I really NEED yet another AK, but ... well ... y'know ... I think I gave up on the whole "need" thing some time ago... :D
I am having a terrible time finding info on the USA Kalashnikovs, would it be too much trouble to provide some links?
 

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I don't think it will make much difference. Kalashnikov designed the rifle to be mass-produced by semi-skilled labor on crude machinery. With low tolerances on every part and specification, it would still work.
I cannot see how any 21st-century US company can possibly screw this up with computer-controlled machinery.
It's like trying to find the best USA-produced one of these:laugh2::

This is NOT a 600-yard precision elk-hunting rifle!
No AK is a great rifle, they are however reliable and functional like a car jack:).

If a US company can manage to screw up duplicating this proven, incredibly-simplistic design, they should be damned to the pink-sheets:mad:.

Made in China and rusted all to hell, this one ran flawless and hit good:
Shooting range Gun Shooting Shooting sport Sport venue

Anyone recognize this guy;)?:D

A brand-new one with new 75-round drum, $699:eek:.

...or less:rayof:.
 

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I don't think it's so much an issue of the companies' inability to produce accurate reproductions of AK parts, but rather it's how they poorly assemble and fit them together that creates problems. Crappy welds, improper fitments, loose bits, leftover burrs of metal, misaligned whatevers ... lots of pieces, lots of ways to fail. The Century Arms C93 that I originally had - one of the first big USA-made runs of AK's, with a milled receiver - was an absolute POS right out of the box. My experience with it was apparently not a singular one, as I heard about more than a few folks having problems with their early models. They've since apparently worked out a lot of the kinks in their production, however, and now they're churning out pretty good AK's, both with stamped and milled receivers. I decided to give them a second chance by picking up an RAS47, which I also bought as sort of an investment, as I'll either be selling it or my older WASR (whichever I deem to be the lesser AK) if prices get stupid-high again on AR's and AK's in the post-election months - if nothing else, I'll at least break even on my purchase cost. Overall, inside and out, the RAS47 appears MUCH more nicely-finished than the previous C93, and WAY better than the WASR (even after I've done a lot of my own finishing work on that thing).

An AK is sorta like a hammer: not exactly complicated, but it's still possible for a company to make one so shoddy that it's either barely functional or completely worthless. Ever used a hammer and had the top of it pop off in mid-swing because it wasn't properly staked from the factory? :)
 

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I don't think it's so much an issue of the companies' inability to produce accurate reproductions of AK parts, but rather it's how they poorly assemble and fit them together that creates problems. Crappy welds, improper fitments, loose bits, leftover burrs of metal, misaligned whatevers ... lots of pieces, lots of ways to fail. The Century Arms C93 that I originally had - one of the first big USA-made runs of AK's, with a milled receiver - was an absolute POS right out of the box. My experience with it was apparently not a singular one, as I heard about more than a few folks having problems with their early models. They've since apparently worked out a lot of the kinks in their production, however, and now they're churning out pretty good AK's, both with stamped and milled receivers. I decided to give them a second chance by picking up an RAS47, which I also bought as sort of an investment, as I'll either be selling it or my older WASR (whichever I deem to be the lesser AK) if prices get stupid-high again on AR's and AK's in the post-election months - if nothing else, I'll at least break even on my purchase cost. Overall, inside and out, the RAS47 appears MUCH more nicely-finished than the previous C93, and WAY better than the WASR (even after I've done a lot of my own finishing work on that thing).

An AK is sorta like a hammer: not exactly complicated, but it's still possible for a company to make one so shoddy that it's either barely functional or completely worthless. Ever used a hammer and had the top of it pop off in mid-swing because it wasn't properly staked from the factory? :)
See post 15, tell me what you know about Kalashnikov America. Nobody seems to know or they just don't care to share what they know.
 

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See post 15, tell me what you know about Kalashnikov America. Nobody seems to know or they just don't care to share what they know.
Exactly what do you want to know? :confused:

http://www.kalashnikov-usa.com/

http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/27/news/companies/kalashnikov-florida-factory/

https://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/kalashnikov-usa-releases-prices-for-american-made-aks/

Only downers I've read about them thus far are that the muzzle brake is supposedly pinned on (or at least it was on early units) and there's no bayonet lug (if that's a must-have detail for anyone). Otherwise ... it's a USA-made Kalashnikov.
 
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