DO You Get What You Pay For With The AK-47? - Page 2

DO You Get What You Pay For With The AK-47?

This is a discussion on DO You Get What You Pay For With The AK-47? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have owned AKs since the mid 1990s. In the AK world of today you need to distinguish between the bargain basement rifles and the ...

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Thread: DO You Get What You Pay For With The AK-47?

  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    I have owned AKs since the mid 1990s.
    In the AK world of today you need to distinguish between the
    bargain basement rifles and the quality rifles.
    Unfortunately PRICE alone is not a good indicater of value!

    The wasrs (cheapest)are all Brand new guns , serviceable - but lacking in fit and finish. ( sometimes these will have slight functioning
    issues )

    In the middle you have the "Kit guns" which are generally made from
    demilled surplus rifles with some new parts and a refinish.
    Its best to examine these in person before you buy , or make sure
    the MFG gives and will honor a solid warranty.

    At the top are the models from Arsenal Inc , Vector , and the Custom
    built rifles from several very respectable makers.

    Do NOT expect to find a NIB trouble free AK for under $400
    unless you are a very lucky person.
    -------
    -SIG , it's What's for Dinner-

    know your rights!
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    "If I walk in the woods, I feel much more comfortable carrying a gun. What if you meet a bear in the woods that's going to attack you? You shoot it."
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  2. #17
    New Member Array foob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsrule View Post
    Do NOT expect to find a NIB trouble free AK for under $400
    unless you are a very lucky person.
    Saigas are NIB and less than $400. They go for $250-$350 depending on the model/caliber. They may not look like AKs, but conversion takes a few hours with hand tools.

    Haven't heard of anybody with problems with them.

  3. #18
    Member Array Illuminaughty's Avatar
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    Saiga's, unless converted only take saiga mags. They do not accept standard AK magazines.
    "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." George Washington

    ...we are NOT a free people.

  4. #19
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    I am not an AK expert but I have shot from cheap to the more expensive AK's. I find this to be a great battle rifle no matter in what price range you buy. I have take a cheaper WSAR-10 and put syn furniture and red dotted it and made this my rifle. You can find so much extra's for an AK now a days. I like to own an AR but my choice is an AK. That seems to be the worlds choice also.

  5. #20
    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    The Mid priced ones tend to be heavier built and represent the true lasting values. Of course that mid price point keeps moving. However the best built ones do indeed represent a class to themselves. A mid range being 500-600 dollars. Or milled being 600 to 700 dollars. Still fairly afordable and retain thier value very well. You can do quite well with $400 - 600 dollars getting a very well built example of an AK as it was designed to be and well finished at the same time.

  6. #21
    Member Array The Goose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by absit View Post
    $300 - GP WASR 10. Everything an AK was designed to be, everything else is blasphemy, and expensive for nothing.

    Don't argue, you know it's true. The original AK was cheap, reliable, and ugly. The WASR 10 is the epitome of those things.
    +1 +1 +1

  7. #22
    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    I disagree.... somewhat I would have too.

    The original AK was never meant to be "THAT" cheaply made as the WASR ends up being.

    In fact it originaly was milled out of one block or metal. Which was the design. Then it was cheapened up later only by need to lessen the cost due to metal shortages and milling machine costs.... then when other third world countries started making them it gotten cheapened some more by thinner stampings and and then some more by cheaper components and cheaper finishes....

    But its design was not to cheapness. its design was function and ruggedness with lose enough tolerances to handle dirt and such. Its design lent itself to be easily cheapened, this is true. But any even an AR can be cheapened up. But it was never the intent. Kalishnikov would not agree that it should be built that way.

    But it's original design was never "intended" to be as cheaply made a a WASR 10 ends up being made. Never. One can argue that this is still good enough. But never that it was intended to be made like that thing is.

  8. #23
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    IMHO it depends on your needs and values. If you love workmanship then go to the higher end of the scale , if you want something to pack into a pvc pipe and bury then go cheap , either will run , and have basicly the same practical accuracy . If you want to show it off to buddys , well spend a bit more , if not well you wont wear out the cheapest ak you can find , and any issues can be fixed easily with a rat tailed file and sandpaper lol .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

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  9. #24
    JT
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    Quote Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
    In fact it originaly was milled out of one block or metal. Which was the design. Then it was cheapened up later only by need to lessen the cost due to metal shortages and milling machine costs.... then when other third world countries started making them it gotten cheapened some more by thinner stampings and and then some more by cheaper components and cheaper finishes....
    Actually they first used stamped receivers, and then they switched to milled, and then they went back to an improved stamped design. There is debate about why they went to milled. Some say the original stamped weren't strong enough. Some say the machinery used to make the stamped receivers was needed else where. Some say there were quality control issues when they started mass producing the original stamped receivers.
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  10. #25
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    well to cut the point to the bone , if you want a rifle that is not necessairly as nice to run as some othere , that will go bang and hit a man at 200 yards or so if you do your part no matter the hell you drug it thro , then get an ak , any ak . at the end of the day it will go bang , thing is you can soak it in sea water for 2 months , then roll it in mud , it will go bang , and the new one wont shoot a dammed bit better . Once you accept the ak accuracy issue ( about on par with the mini 14 or mini 30 issue imho ) its going to work if you do your part in learning the manual of arms for the mags , safety , ect.. A cheap ak is on my shopping list now , since i have rifles other than it cheap is good for me .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  11. #26
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    Get the WASR and make it a project gun. There is a couple of websites that will take you by the hand on how to clear all those "pesky" workmanship "defects" some people complain (It is Lego-simple if you need an example) and it will be cheaper than buying a high end AK or an AR.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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  12. #27
    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT View Post
    Actually they first used stamped receivers, and then they switched to milled, and then they went back to an improved stamped design. There is debate about why they went to milled. Some say the original stamped weren't strong enough. Some say the machinery used to make the stamped receivers was needed else where. Some say there were quality control issues when they started mass producing the original stamped receivers.
    Yes... its true there is some debate about some of the variations. But one thing is for certain is that initialy Kalishnikov (at least he claims this to be the case) had to convince the powers that were, to losen up the tolerances. Because they seemed to be having lots of trouble with jamming. Sound familiar? Well this all happened under the cover of covert Russia of the time. Not in public like the AR did. So even so its developement had growing pains similar, it escaped being labeled as such like the AR did. According to him they were trying to mimic the tight precise tolerances of the traditional rifles and the ones that Germans believed in. Which, for this design and field purpose, was not preferable for dependablility. And this whole idea of making things slop around was probably more Kalishnikovs best contribution to the gun. Even if some argue a lot of it is just copies of other things he made this key contribution to it all. Which eventualy won its place for reliability. Something that may not get mentioned a lot.

    However at that point no one ever argued for less durable parts. At least in Russia at the time. All that became applicable later when other countries attempted to build large quantities on the cheap. Which they did. However some countries that built them did not ever compromise. Bulgaria for one. Who Kalishnikov himself said built the best AK's (at least is quoted as saying) By using Milled or very thick heavy receivers all the way. Some did. The Chinese did for a time and so did the Russians for a while. Then on down the line they got more cheaply made. And those that did build them cheap relied on numbers of them and pretty much had to build them cheap. Some say that they fielded such poorly trained armies that they figured they only had to last a short while in the field and then be replaced. Or lost. But at least could be continuously rebuild cheaply if need be. But heck... a lot of the cheap ones can last in our usage. And do. But I just wanted to comment that the design never hinged on cheap build. It hinged on modularity, simplicity and reliability more than anything. And sometimes that does not involve cheap. In some cases it resulted in it out of nessecity

  13. #28
    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    One word:NORINCO

    The Chinese make great AK's. Yes, I know the thumbhole stock is ugly (can be replaced) but the receiver is thicker and better quality.
    Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!

  14. #29
    JT
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    Quote Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
    However at that point no one ever argued for less durable parts. At least in Russia at the time. All that became applicable later when other countries attempted to build large quantities on the cheap. Which they did. However some countries that built them did not ever compromise. Bulgaria for one. Who Kalishnikov himself said built the best AK's (at least is quoted as saying) By using Milled or very thick heavy receivers all the way. Some did. The Chinese did for a time and so did the Russians for a while. Then on down the line they got more cheaply made.
    This is also up to debate. I have heard that it wasn’t that the Bulgarians “refused to compromise”, but that they did not have the money to upgrade production processes to make the improved stamped receiver at the time (they now make both). Also, although it cost less to make the stamped, it was not seem as a “cheaper design”. When Alex Robinson of Robinson Arms (former importer of the VEPR) asked the Russians if they would make a milled version he was told that the stamped were superior and they considered milled receivers to be outdated technology.

    To clarify, I like milled receivers, I just don’t have a problem with stamped. I use to think that I would only own a milled receiver. Until I got a VEPR. It does have a thicker receiver (1.5mm vs. 1mm) than a standard stamped receiver, and while I prefer milled or a thicker stamped like a VEPR, I have learned over time that there is nothing wrong with a standard stamped. There are millions of AKs around the world that have had an incredible durability with 1mm stamped receives.

    Some of the cheaper versions (like the WASR) have had problems, but I have never heard of any attributed to the receiver. Most of the problems I am aware of have had to do with the people doing the conversion to make them high capacity. Primary back to the time when Century used “a bunch of monkeys with hammers” to do their conversions. I understand that they have gotten a lot better and have corrected the problems, but that use to be the standard assessment of their conversion process.
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  15. #30
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Do you get what you pay for????

    Yes IMHO, you pay a third world price for a third world quaility weapon.

    Advantage: You can take care of it(cleaning or not) like you live in the third world and it will function.

    Disadvantage: It will shoot about as acurately as third world militaries. (which aint too good, but good enough for close in stuff).


    JMO
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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