AK-74 Range Report

AK-74 Range Report

This is a discussion on AK-74 Range Report within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Well..... I got my new baybee in my hot little hands this past Friday. Fit and finish is awesome... particularly for a Century build. My ...

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Thread: AK-74 Range Report

  1. #1
    Member Array The Cat's Avatar
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    AK-74 Range Report

    Well..... I got my new baybee in my hot little hands this past Friday.




    Fit and finish is awesome... particularly for a Century build. My underfolder AKM is a Century... and while fit and finish are just fine, its parkerizing was THIN and spotty, not unlike Lindsay Lohan. (However, a baked-on coat of enamel later, it's just fine. The jury's still out on Ms Lohan.)

    I disassembled and cleaned it thoroughly. I had an extra set of US-made Bulgarian-style handguards and pistol grip, so I swapped out the Tapco stuff that came on it. The buttstock's got to GO - I didn't like the way it angles up, plus it's a bit too long. I'm accustomed to Warsaw-length stocks on AK's. Plus, the way it curves up, I figured it'd screw with cheek weld. A new one shall arrive tomorrow evening.

    I took it to the range. With me were a couple boxes of Wolf 60gr. and a couple boxes Silver bear 60gr. On the way, there was a conveniently-timed gun show so I got a Promag 30rd mag.

    Recoil was soft and pleasant. No muzzle rise - that comp on the end does its job well.

    Problem:



    Keyholing.... not every round, and both brands did it.

    Me and my buddy Schadenfreud have done some extensive studying on the net, and surprise surprise, it looks like Century used 5.56mm barrels on earlier Tantal builds, and maybe 74 builds too!

    So, I did the little test of sticking a 5.45 round into the muzzle.... There's maybe 1/4 inch of copper between the brass and muzzle.... but in a known 5.56 barrel it goes in all the way to the brass.

    SO, that rules THAT out! (whew!)

    One hypothesis is that my 74 just doesn't like the 60 grain bullet... from what I can tell, it was designed for a 52 grain bullet, but dayumm, can it make THAT much of a difference?

    Ideas? Opinions?


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    Member Array The Cat's Avatar
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    I almost forgot - once, it failed to eject.

    The bolt carrier caught the empty. Have you EVER heard of an AK doing this???

    Plus, the Promag doesn't latch up. The Bulgarian that came with it plus an East German fit nicely, but the PMag doesn't.

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    Senior Member Array Katana's Avatar
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    Check the flash hider. I've heard of bullets striking it on the way out the barrel and causing major accuracy issues with the '74 style flash hider.
    "Stand your ground, don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!" - John Parker April 19th, 1775 Lexington, MA

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    Will do!

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    Senior Member Array zero's Avatar
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    Congrats on your 5.45. It is a fun caliber.

    I am curious about how the keyhole situation will be resolved. Keep us posted.

    As far as the mags....I have stayed away from aftermarkets for the AK's (except the S12).

    AIM has the Bulgy and Russian surplus mags back in stock. Hard to beat the price of 4+, they lock up and run fine in my 5.45.

    Katana you got me a bit concerned about that "bullet striking the break". Just got a bulgy FSB and 74 break in the mail. Hope installation goes well...never thought about malfunctions.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Macattack's Avatar
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    I had purchased a polish tantal from century and it keyholed like crazy. Not a prob if you are plinking cans or watermelons, but a bit annoying when trying to be at all accurate on paper. Tried to get century to make it right, but they sent it back to me. I guess they cleaned it alittle? No improvement. It would also fail to extract occasionally.(had to hammer an empty case out with a rod and wooden mallet every 100 or so rds)

    So i sold it for a loss and got a ak from tgi with an official chrome lined bulgarian barrel. They unfortunatly don't make these or sell these anymore.(tgi)

    Now i have a great shooting ak74 that has had no malfuntions whatsoever!!! I have shot almost a tin of ammo through it(about 1k) and it is very accurate at fifty yards and best of all..............the holes are round!

    I now refuse to buy century aks. I'm sure some are great but the way they handled their screwup irked me a bit. When i buy a gun, i want the correct caliber barrel on it. that is non negotiable.

    oh yes and the promags are awful! Go bulgarian or russian. It does make a difference!
    But hey, they messed up. Everyone makes mistakes.
    But then they implied that i was using the wrong ammunition. I said "no, all the different ammo i tried does the same thing!" They then had the gall to tell me that the bullet was designed to tumble through the air to create maximum damage to the target.

    Sorry about the rant, but this one strikes abit close to home. I had saved up forever to buy my first ak and it was a dud. They are supposed to eat everything while being covered in mud. I'm still trying to trust my new ak that has been flawless, but i'm a bit gun shy so to speak.
    "In those days, there was a lot more respect for other people and it showed in peoples values.... Today the word value means nothing more than something you get on the $1 menu at McDonald's." -BARK'N

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    Senior Member Array Gun Bunny's Avatar
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    I would fire some rounds without the comp, that would tell you if it is hitting it. Also check the crown, maybe?

    Sorry your new baby is fussing. I know the feeling.
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    Member Array The Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Bunny View Post
    I would fire some rounds without the comp, that would tell you if it is hitting it. Also check the crown, maybe?

    Sorry your new baby is fussing. I know the feeling.
    I just remembered - we actually tried that.... no difference.

    At least it's a 5.45 barrel instead of a 5.56.

    I'm going to try some 52 grain bullets, and if that doesn't work, Cope's has a Bulgarian barrel, ready to install. I figure a Bulgy barrel in a Bulgy trunnion... maybe a minimum of difficulty?

    I have a buddy that's a damn fine smith, and he should be able to install it.

    I HAD thought of cutting my losses and selling it, but ******, I like that gun! Plus, it's in fine shape and very well built, apart from having a lousy bore. Even spending $125 on the barrel and having it installed, the total $$$ would still be waay less than a 74 built by a big name builder. Sure, it being a Century, it wouldn't have the resale value of the others, but I don't care because guns never leave my collection anymore.

    What do you think of my reasoning?

    As a P.S., Mrs Cat has pretty much laid claim to it, and she's approved fundage for the barrel transplant!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Gun Bunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cat View Post
    What do you think of my reasoning?

    As a P.S., Mrs Cat has pretty much laid claim to it, and she's approved fundage for the barrel transplant!
    Let's see now, spend more money, and it ain't your gun anymore? humm? Sounds good to me!

    I would think that the barrel is bad for sure. Does your smith have any experience with the AK? There is lots of how-to's on the web. Just mating a new trunion and a new barrel you have to get the head-space correct.
    Kahr CW9
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Cat, I found with my CIA build that I get keyholing every so often myself. Haven't checked the bullet in the end of the barrel yet, but would think it would be like yours.
    I will have to try and remove the flash hider but suspect this will not be the culprit either. I suspect a barrel with the wrong rate of twist or something along them lines. I will have to try removing it today and see.
    Funny thing with mine is sometimes I get them allot and other times just a few. I have heard reports of them tumbling at 25-50 yards and not at 100 and beyond but this always sounded strange to me.
    Good luck keep us posted. The only way so far I figured out how to fix mine was I bought a Saiga and now shoot it almost exclusively. Man the Saiga is nice.

    Forgot I have been using Russian surplus ammo from Aim.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigrat View Post
    Cat, I found with my CIA build that I get keyholing every so often myself. Haven't checked the bullet in the end of the barrel yet, but would think it would be like yours.
    I will have to try and remove the flash hider but suspect this will not be the culprit either. I suspect a barrel with the wrong rate of twist or something along them lines. I will have to try removing it today and see.
    I'm HOPING it's twist rate. Hey do me a favor - take your muzzle brake off and look at your rifling. Mine is present, but looks, well, weak.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rigrat View Post
    Funny thing with mine is sometimes I get them allot and other times just a few. I have heard reports of them tumbling at 25-50 yards and not at 100 and beyond but this always sounded strange to me.
    That's exactly what mine appeared to be doing at the range. I didn't mention it in my original post because it sounded plain weird.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rigrat View Post
    Forgot I have been using Russian surplus ammo from Aim.
    I ordered some in hopes that the lighter bullet will shoot straighter in mine. This thing's driving me crazy.

    We're GONNA GET THIS CRAP STRAIGHTENED OUT!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Cat,

    I don't see very well up close anymore after my lasik surgery. the best I can tell it is there but I would have to say even with my limited knowledge it looks weak to me also. The strange thing is a bullet inserted into the end of the barrel goes only a smidge further than in my Saiga conversion. So I don't think it is a .223 barrel, I think it is a 5.45 barrel.

    I think you will find the Russian surplus will do the same thing as the Wolf and the Bear did. I would say the amount of bullet left showing on mine is more like 1/8th inch were you said yours was 1/4 inch. Don't know if that makes any difference.

    I'll have to see if i can get a scope sighted in so i can shoot it at 100 and see what it does.

  13. #13
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    It sounds like we have the same barrel difficulties then... but I'm VERY glad that you have another 5.45 barrel to try. That greatly enhances my calmness level :)

    Bunny, about my Smith friend... if anyone could do it, he can. Hell, I think I could do it, if I had access to a press.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Yeah so far zero keyholes with the Saiga. And to be honest only a few with the CIA but that is more than I like.

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    Actually, I can live with a few, as long as I know what's going on and have the means to fix it at some point.

    My priority is getting one of these barrels while they're available:

    Cope's Distributing

    ... and switching it out someday.


    I'll say one thing: I LOVE the Tapco G2 trigger

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