Initial Impression of the GP WASR-10
From Bud's thread...
Due to extenuating circumstances I won't bore the forum with, I got an early look at one of my Christmas toys. Don't worry I'll act surprised.
I don't have the capability to post digital photos right now, but here's some links if you need a visual.
This is the importer's page for it.
I will in fact have a GP WASR-10.
At first I saw WASR-10 stamped on the receiver and my heart sank, but I started looking at it and suddenly started to feel a lot better. That "GP" prefix makes a world of difference.
I have to admit not having fired it yet, there's not a lot I can really say about it for sure but I do have some superficial observations to make here:
-This is probably a step down in quality from the SAR1, but you know what I can't really find SAR-1s too often any more, not at a reasonable price. The last one I saw for sale was $600. I kid thee not.
-I like its imitation of the original AK47's look. This particular model is in no means unique in that regard, I just wanted to say that.
-The sights do not suffer from the infamous slant. It looks like I will have to take my sight adjustment tool to the front sight post, but nothing bad.
-There is this weird thing that's supposed to be some sort of muzzle break on the end of the barrel. There's no way that's a Romanian part. On the plus side however, the barrel is threaded and this thing comes off. I don't know what you'd really want to hang on the end of an AK47 barrel, but the fact I have a threaded barrel compels me to wonder what I can screw onto it.
-The bore is chromed. That is a big plus.
-Bayonet lug is intact and not ground off. However I've never seen an AK47 bayonet in decent enough condition to be actually used but to be fair I was never looking for one either. I suppose you could slide one on and laugh at it or take a picture.
-Furniture is surprisingly good. It's not a beautiful walnut Marlin stock by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not pitted. Slightly better quality of wood than I was expecting, and it is fit well. It'd be such a pain in the butt to replace it I think I'll keep it. It actually looks okay. Not purty, but okay.
-Machine marks are abundant. You can tell it's Romanian workmanship. However the design seems true to the original and it seems simple and sturdy like an AK type rifle should be. It looks sort of crappy but an AK47 ain't gonna win no beauty contests.
-Side mount for optic bases, etc. Once again my mind wonders what I could put on this. I don't really know what kind of optic system would really be worth considering for an AK47.
-Bad: The mag well is typical of the WASR series in that it lacks the dimples we all desire. However, I played with it and it accepts the double stack magazines well enough. I looked at it under a flashlight and I've seen much rougher work on the earlier WASRs and even some of the Mak90s I've encountered. The bad part is that it's a little awkward to switch magazines in a hurry, and you can easily load the magazine in where it'll stay in the well, but it won't actually be in a position to feed. The good part is that I don't think any filework will be necessary and there's no rough edges, plus if you do put it in wrong, you can't pull the bolt back.
Okay so a quick magazine change seems out of the question, but honestly isn't the whole point of the 30 round magazine that you don't have to switch magazines?
-Good/Mixed - I personally like this, but it may tick off some purists. In a likely effort to be 922r compliant, the fire control group is a G2 unit from Tapco. I personally am happy with that, as that should greatly reduce trigger slap if it doesn't eliminate it altogether. The Tapco triggers also break cleaner more often than not.
-The pistol grip is not the same wooden furniture, but rather the Tapco pistol grip. I can live with that, it's probably necessary to make it U.S. legal. It would be nice if the grip matched the rest of the furniture but oh well.
-The gas piston is a Tapco part too. Probably for compliance. Could personally care less.
-The safety on mine functions pretty smoothly for an AK47 clone. I can actually move it with my thumb. Two other Romanian AK owners that I've encountered have safeties that are so stiff their owners shift them into fire with a hammer or pliers and never move them.
-My gut tells me that it will probably feed and fire like a champ.
-Stamped receiver in case there was any doubt. I personally just do not care on AK47s if it's stamped or milled.
It's definitely not the top of the AK market, however, at its purported price point of $450 and less, I think it represents what the AK47 platform is all about. I have seen much, much worse specimens.
This is definitely a big step up from the other WASR marked imports I have seen in quality, finish, and just overall. I think the Tapco parts are a good effort to make the best of a bad situation requiring so many U.S. made parts.
I think this will be quite adequate for my AK needs and would be for most people's. I like it because it seems as if it would be just fine how it is, but you could easily make it look nice by getting some aftermarket furniture or sanding and refinishing the wood already on it, and refinishing the receiver/barrel with an aftermarket coating.
I would like to figure out a light mount on it, and might even consider an optic down the road. AK47 sights leave something to be desired.