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  1. #1
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    Default Which AK should I buy

    This is not meant to be a definitive guide of any sort. This is meant for people new to AKs to get a better feel for some of the info that is out there and some of the differences. This is a "buyers guide" please start a separate thread for any discussions.

    Why isn't this a definitive guide?

    One, I don't have the time to put it together.
    Two, there are whole sites devoted to that.
    Three, times change and info can get stale.
    Four, this is a gun forum so periodic discussion isn't a bad thing. Please try the search before posting just in case this question was just asked.

    Before buying or asking which AK you should buy please review the following info. This will help the membership here give you a better answer.

    What purpose is this purchase going to fill?
    - Defensive
    - Just shooting/plinking
    - Collecting

    Do you have other carbines in your collection?

    Now some info on AKs.

    There are 3 different types of AKs out on the market today.
    - Pre-ban
    - Post-ban
    - Kit build

    Pre-ban

    These are collectible AKs and command a price premium. These are Pre-ban because they were imported into the U.S. prior to any AWBs. The guns are 100% foreign made, and most of the time they were made in the same factories as were F/A AKs. Some of the highest quality and rarest AKs fall into this category. Also, these are the only AKs some people can own who live in a state with a AWB.

    Some examples:
    - Mitchell Arms imported Yugoslavian
    - Steyr Egyptian
    - GSAD Chinese
    - Polytech Chinse

    Post-ban

    There are two categories of post ban AKs.

    - Semi Post-ban: These where "pre-ban" rifles that where imported into the US before the ban but where stuck in warehouses when the ban happened. What imported did where to add a thumbhole stock, grind off bayonet lugs, and either turned down the threads on the barrel or welded a muzzle nut on. This turned them into "sporting" rifles and they were allowed to released to consumers after they were re-marked. Although they are/were the same as true pre-bans, they do not command the same value as true pre-bans because they now have to follow 922(r)

    examples:
    Norinco Chinese Mak90
    Intac Egyptian ARM/AML/etc

    - Post-ban: This covers all other imported rifles after the ban. These rifles where imported in "sporting" configurations. That means no pistol grip, no bayonet lug, no barrel threads, and they can only accept single stack mags. What some importers do is to "de-ban" them. They open up the magwell to accept double stack mags, they put the typical AK stock on and add a pistol grip. In order to do this they have to replace certain foreign made parts with US made parts to comply with 922(r).

    examples:
    Romanian WASRs
    Russian Saigas

    Kit builds

    These AKs where built from kits that were imported into the country. The kits came from F/A AKs that cut to ATF specs. Basically, the F/A receiver had to be cut in three specific places. Once the F/A gun is cut, the ATF views the parts as just parts and not a firearm. The kits are then built into semi-auto versions of what they originally were. These can be hit or miss. The quality of these guns are very dependent on the builder who built them. Some variations/countries of origin where only imported into the US as kit guns. So for a collector, kits are they only way to get certain variations.


    Finally, lets talk about receivers.

    Milled receivers: These where milled out of a solid block of steel. Milled receivers are therefore heavier and "sturdier" than the later style receivers which where made from stamped sheets of steel. There are two very easy ways to identify milled receivers. First, you will notice that there won't be any rivets in the front and back part of the side of the receiver. The rivets are not needed because there are no front or rear trunnions. The trunnions aren't needed because those parts are part of the receiver. Second, you will notice that there are lightning cuts that are milled into the receiver above the magwell. Milled AKs are the true AK-47. Stamped use a different designation. There are 3 different "versions"/"revisions" of milled receivers called types. Each was an improvement over the previous. The fact of the rifle having a fixed stock or underfolder doesn't related to the "type" of milled receiver. Below is a picture of 3 different Type III receivers.



    Milled Type 1: These were never imported into the US. It was the original version that the Russians used. It was a combination of Milled parts and stamped parts.

    Milled Type 2: These are 100% milled receivers. These are pretty rare and I believe that the only kits that were imported to use these were Russian. The Russian kits cost more than a lot of the AKs out there right now. No post-ban Type 2 AKs where imported that I know of. Some unique features are that the barrels are screwed into the receiver. The rear tangs are not milled into the receiver, and the lightening cuts above the magwell are not parallel to the bottom of the receiver.

    Milled Type 3: These are the most popular milled receivers. There are "Pre-ban", "Post-ban", and Kits for the Type 3 receivers. There are Russian, Bulgarian, Polish, Yugoslavian and Hungarian Type 3 rifles. Some distinctive features are: Press and pin barrels, the rear tangs are part of the receiver, and the lightening cuts are parallel to the bottom of the receiver.

    Stamped receivers: Due to better manufacturing, and wanting a cheaper way of building AK-47s, the Russians changed the receiver to a stamped version. AKs with a stamped receiver are known as AKM-47, the "m" standing for modified and where produced in 1960. Here the receivers are cut and stamped into a sheet of steel and then bent to form the receiver. With the new design, they now had to produce rear and front trunnions. The rear trunnion really just allows the stock to attach to the receiver. The front trunnion does a little more. It is what connects the barrel to the receiver. The barrel is pressed then pinned to the trunnion, then it is riveted onto the receiver. Stamped recievers also have "dimples" pressed into them above the magwell to increase their strength. Most stamped receivers are 1mm thick. There is a version (RPK) that is thicker 1.5mm and has a bulge where the front trunnion fits into the receiver. These receivers where built this way to be "sturdier" to handle the increase in volume of fire of the RPK rifles. The bulge in the receiver is accommodate the thicker front trunnion. Some countries use the RPK receiver on their standard AKMs, most noticeably the Yugoslavians. They used this receiver because they had gas blocks to allow them to fire grenades from their rifles.

    Standard AKM receiver:
    RPK receiver:


    I hope that this helps the members here who are interested in AKs. Actually I guess that I should say AK clones, as a good bit of this info is for semi-auto AKs.

    I hope to do a thread on the different countries.

    If I missed anything, please let me know.
    Last edited by mojo; January 2nd, 2013 at 09:52 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    If the police could confiscate all of your guns and ammo using just one van, then you didn't own enough guns or ammo.
    WTB - NDS3 or NDS1 receiver FTF

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Which AK should I buy

    Excellent info Mojo! As they say; feed a man a fish and you've got a cat on the back-porch, teach a man to fish and he stays out of the line at the Friday fish-frys...

    Let me climb on and post some links. Helps to answer "what country made my Romy WASR" questions...


    IMHO, the BEST AK forum on net, has subforums for all the major AK varients, PSLs, SKS, AND - a WASR22 subforum:

    http://www.theakforum.net/phpBB3/index.php


    Another great AK forum, also has country-specific subforums:

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/board.html?b=4


    A Romy AK-specific site for background info on WUMs, CURs, SARs, ROMAKs, WASRs;

    http://www.novarata.net/Linx310/model.htm


    SAIGA site;

    http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?....saiga-12.com/


    AK-derived VALMET site;

    http://www.valmet.org/forum/


    VALMET-derived Galil subforum;

    http://www.uzi-world.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=77


    Best SKS site! Good for those "will this hi-cap mag work in my SKS" questions, with subforums for the major SKS varients - and an AK subforum too;

    http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php


    Drag and PSL site;

    http://www.dragunov.net/

    1/17/2012 - another AK site...

    http://allak47.com/

    1/17/2012 - good CHICOM AK history sites...

    http://chicom47.com/
    http://akfortyseven.wordpress.com/category/chinese/
    Last edited by nfafan; May 15th, 2012 at 07:04 AM.
    All of my guns are lubed with BACON GREASE.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Which AK should I buy

    sticky worthy!
    Last edited by beefcakeb0; February 24th, 2010 at 12:50 PM. Reason: you can delete this too,

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    Default Re: Which AK should I buy

    Not this shit again.

    .

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Which AK should I buy

    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    Not this shit again.

    .
    Ba-bum-bump!
    All of my guns are lubed with BACON GREASE.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Which AK should I buy

    Some good info in this thread! I'm gonna pin it in hopes that more complete information will follow!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Which AK should I buy

    These are the exalted gharāniq, whose intercession is hoped for. LMAO

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Which AK should I buy

    Added some more info about receivers.
    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    If the police could confiscate all of your guns and ammo using just one van, then you didn't own enough guns or ammo.
    WTB - NDS3 or NDS1 receiver FTF

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Which AK should I buy

    Hey all, I'm new to the forum. I personally own an AK47c from inter ordnance or AKM. I cut the barrel down, re-crowned it and threaded it for AR-15 threads, put a 5 1/2 inch flash hider on there and spot welded it to make it a legal 16"...actually 17" just so no b/s. Added a DPMS folding stock and ergo grip is on it's way. Knocked the front sight off and used a gas block front sight. Also removed the rear sight and used a Tech-sight. Still waiting for samson to get the rear sight optics rail for my bushnell trophy. I LOVE IT !!! Also have to swap the galil style handguradds out jsut not sure what i want to go with yet. Next I have a Polish Tantal in 5.45 that i am going to customize, probably with a quad rail for lack of upper handguards for them. replace front sight as on the 47 and shave some off the barrel and extend it with a flash hider also. Also going with the dog leg rear sight for this one, would have on the 47 also but had to cut the rear tang off. Actually does anyone know of a GOOD replacement stock for AK's...NOT tapco...i dislike most of there furniture, hope not to offend anyone tho. I was thinking a Galil style stock, the steel folding ones, any ideas i'm pretty open and it would be MUCH appreciated.
    When ALL else fails...the AK won't !! Emotions...??? emotions are for people who CARE !!!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Which AK should I buy

    Not being familiar with AKs, this sounds like great information for somebody considering collecting them.

    Quote Originally Posted by mojo View Post
    Before buying or asking which AK you should buy please review the following info. This will help the membership here give you a better answer.

    What purpose is this purchase going to fill?
    - Defensive
    - Just shooting/plinking
    - Collecting

    Do you have other carbines in your collection?
    I see no guidance whatsoever in this thread for choosing an AK based on these considerations. And I think that choosing an AK based on these considerations is probably what most people are looking for.

    Also, I don't understand all the pre-ban/post-ban stuff. Are you talking about GCA 1968? You mention pre-ban being available in AWB ban states, and nothing imported after the "ban." AWB is over, I would think imports would be restored now with the exception of GCA1968. Can you please clarify which "ban" you are talking about?
    Last edited by ungawa; June 3rd, 2010 at 05:30 PM.

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