AK-47 Manufacturers to Seek or Avoid

AK-47 Manufacturers to Seek or Avoid

This is a discussion on AK-47 Manufacturers to Seek or Avoid within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Folks- I have been thinking about getting an AK some time down the road. Given that this is most manufactured weapon in history and that ...

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Thread: AK-47 Manufacturers to Seek or Avoid

  1. #1
    Member Array GHFLRLTD's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Orlando, Florida

    AK-47 Manufacturers to Seek or Avoid


    I have been thinking about getting an AK some time down the road. Given that this is most manufactured weapon in history and that is has been manufactured in more states than any other, I thought a general discussion of the various sources might be a good idea.

    According to Wikipedia, the following countries have produced the weapon - licensed or not:
    • Albania
    • Bulgaria
    • Bhutan
    • China
    • German Democratic Republic
    • Egypt
    • Hungary
    • Iraq
    • India
    • Iran
    • Finland
    • Nigeria
    • North Korea
    • Pakistan
    • Poland
    • Romania
    • Soviet Union/Russia
    • Vietnam
    • Venezuela
    • Yugoslavia/Serbia

    What I am attempting to do is get some idea just what manufacturers have what level of
    • quality
    • reliability
    • fair market value for the money

    in the market.
    George H. Foster
    Orlando, Florida

  2. #2
    VIP Member
    Array GunnyBunny's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Victoria, B.C.
    No US maker?????
    CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    May 2008
    I was impressed by what I saw of the Chinese one, but.... I really couldn't get a better look at it ... because at the time there was a Chinese soldier yelling and pointing it at me, with a live one in the chamber. I didn't think he would understand my interest in it's quality.

    The funny part, I"m not kidding. I was trying to check out the features of the gun (at a distance) as he was yelling at me.... LOL.

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  5. #4
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Fayetteville, AR
    Okay. I can tell you what to seek. Bulgarian, (milled receiver preferably). After that on your list, I'd say Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, German (Austrian), and Egyptian in that order. I'm no AK guru, but that's what my research has led me to believe. In order to correlate the different country's manufacturing processes, you'll need a basic understanding of their level of technology as well as the economics of that region. Quantity of production won't always mean quality. Materials and workmanship are part of it. Remember, this is just my self-educated 2¢. I don't have a lot of experience in the field.

  6. #5
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    I agree with RamRod, the Bulgarians produced the best quality IMO.
    "Just blame Sixto"

    I reserve the right to make fun, point and laugh etc.

  7. #6
    Senior Moderator
    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    I've gotten to handle bunches, and maybe it's just me, but they mostly seem pretty much the same, with minor differences, although fit and finish does vary.

    My Romanian has never had a hiccup, same with a friends Yugo M-70, the bulgarians I have seen back in the states seem pretty solid too.

    I'd avoid Iraqi made firearms though.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  8. #7
    Member Array Longbow's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Montana, USA
    We are talking AK's here. I have owned Romy's WASR 10's and top of the line milled Norincos. All i can say is yes there is a small difference in how they feel shooting and yes there is a difference in quality as far as fit and finish. But I have yet to have any of them let me down as far as reliability and shooting.
    My Romy WASR 10 is my "go to rifle" if the SHTF and I won't have a unproven rifle for that. Weather it's a top of the line Milled AK or a inexpensive Romy, they are all limited to accuracy out to about 300 yrds. These are AK's they will perform as proven by hundreds of countries and many wars around the world. With a AK it all boils down to how much you want to spend and weather or not you like full or folding stocks. My Romy has been through hell with me in Tactical rifle classes and has always held it's own alongside any AR or FAL's or any other tactical rifle in the field. YMMV but I speak from experience.
    That being said, I would say don't worry about country of origin. Go out and handle different ones, throw them up to your shoulder and see how they feel and how they handle, The AK will pick you.
    "Planning to draw and chamber a round after TSHTF is like planning to fasten your seatbelt after you see the other guy run a stopsign..."

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  9. #8
    Lead Moderator
    Array rocky's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    try here for lots of AK info
    AR15.COM :: Forums :: AK-47
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    South Carolina
    I would recommend the The AK Forum

    The AK Forum :: Index

    And yes... IMHO the Arsenal Bulgaria made some of the best. Norinco Chinese right in there too. I have built a couple of Romanian G kit guns and a Polish Tantal (Ak74ish) and they were fine builds but the main AK I kept for myself is the Milled Arsenal Bulgarian (and I kept the Polish Tantal as well) the rest are in the hands of my Son and my Boss and a Coworker.

  11. #10
    Member Array JrHawk's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    My advice is to look to the builder of the rifle - not sure if this is what you meant by manufacturer. By law the rifle has to have a certain number of US components so a mix of US & foreign parts are assembled here in the states. Some rifles are imported as sport rifles, parts kits, etc.

    My suggestions - look to Rifle Dynamics, Krebs and Arsenal. Of the three you can find Arsenals on the market in the $600 plus range. Check out GunBroker. The Krebs and Rifle Dynamics AK's are very very scarce in the resale market as those that buy them keep them. They are over a grand and have long wait times for builds. I would also check out Arizona Response Systems (ARS) as they are recognized as a good builder and have product in stock. Stay with the 7.62 x 39 with your first AK.

    If you want an AK education go to Warrior Talk Forums - Powered by vBulletin
    Search the threads for the recommendations and the names I mentioned above will surface.

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