Which AK-74?

This is a discussion on Which AK-74? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; In looking at AK-74's I was wondering which one would be the best to buy. I'm down to these three being in my price range ...

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Thread: Which AK-74?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Which AK-74?

    In looking at AK-74's I was wondering which one would be the best to buy.

    I'm down to these three being in my price range and was wondering how you would rate them.

    1-Lancaster Rough Rider $499.00
    2-TGI - Truck Gun $499.00
    3-Elk River Arms $449.00

    I've read a few problem with the Lancaster, mainly on th scope mount, wondering if that is sorted.

    The TGI Truck Gun I haven't read anything on.

    And the Elk River Arms I haven't found anything on it either. It is on Classic arms site.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    Go for a milled receiver, if available. I have a stamped WASR and a milled Bulgarian... the difference is substantial, in my view...


    :::Edited to add that I misread the original post... thought we were on the topic of 47's, not 74's. Obviously a WASR reference is non-sequitor. I need a vacation... :::
    Last edited by PointnClick; February 15th, 2010 at 11:27 PM.
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  4. #3
    Distinguished Member Array Siafu's Avatar
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    Classic Arms Inc. has some for $299

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    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    The only one for 299.00 on classicarms.com is the lo-cap ak47 that only takes single stack 5 or 10 round mags.

    I'm interested in the 3 I mentioned, but would consider a different one if close to the same price.

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    I can only speak personally about the Lancaster "Rough Rider" AK74 I purchased from AIM several weeks ago. I cannot imagine a better deal on a quality AK74. I own several AK's and have been shooting the AK platform for 20+ years and this is a great deal for 5 bills. I was impressed with the quality of the rifle and it shoots extremely well. I went ahead and installed a ULTIMAK AK-47 SCOPE MOUNT so I could mount a red dot sight forward. I have side mounts on a couple of AK's and they work well but on this rifle I wanted the sight closer to the barrel. It works extremely well on this rifle.

    Remember to take everything you read on forums with a big grain of salt. I see people bashing Arsenal AK's and Vepr's also, but overall Lancaster builds nice rifles and the ones I have handled and shot I always have been impressed by them.

    You are doing your due diligence which is good! An informed gun buyer is a wise gun buyer and usually happy.

    Of the three you name, and this is just from my own extensive research like you are doing and my experience with AK's, the Lancasrer is the one to get, which is why I purchased it. You also may want to contact a saleman at Atlantic Arms because they sell both Lancaster and (TGI) Tennessee Guns International rifles, along with Arsenal and guns from Century too. They may be able to give you some good info and feedback. Keep in mind that there is very little that cannot be easily fixed on an AK anyway if you have even basic mechanical skills, and this even goes for the bottom feeders like the Romy WASR AK's made by the Century wrench monkies.

    Also Atlantic Arms will give you a $30 discount if you are a AR15/com member.
    When I leave the home port:
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    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback Pirate, with the amount of AK's you have seen and handled its nice to get your opinion. I'm leaning toward the Lancaster and the Elk River right now. I have read good about the Elk river one.

    Like you say you have to take what you read with a grain of salt. But the more opinions i get the better I will be able to make a decision.

    I like all three of them but like your suggestion of contacting Atlantic Firearms, I need to ask them about the Lancaster and the TGI to see which they sell more of and which has the most returns if either do.

    Atlantic has the most attractive deal on the Lancaster and I read there CS is very good. And I did get that membership at AR15.com so that would put it about the same price as the Elk River AK 74.

    I may have to contact Elk River Tool and Die also when I get in from work in a few weeks . Need to ask them if they ever produced finished AK74's or if they Only have produced the rcvr's.

    Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming.

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    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigrat View Post
    I may have to contact Elk River Tool and Die also when I get in from work in a few weeks . Need to ask them if they ever produced finished AK74's or if they Only have produced the rcvr's.

    Thanks for the feedback, keep it coming.
    I believe they only make recievers not complete rifles from parts kits to sell, but what I have read they are very good quality on par with NDS and Global Trades receivers. They do some custom work and will build a rifle for you with your parts kit and their recievers, but its a bit pricey for what you are looking for to go that route I think.
    When I leave the home port:
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    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Thats what I was thinking. I wonder if these Elk River Ak74's at Classic are Elk River rcvr's, but the rifle built by someone else?. Going to have to see if I can find a email for them.

    Ok just looked classicarms.com doesn't list a email addy so I won't be able to contact them. But I did send a email off to Elk River Tool & Die to see if they did the actual building of the Elk River Arms Ak-74's for sale on classic.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Just heard back from Atlantic and this is what they said.

    "We are sold out of the TGI ak74 and they will no longer be producing them ,
    we do sell several of the Lancaster's weekly and they have a lifetime
    warranty."


    Just heard back from Elk River , this is what he had to say about the classic arms rifle.

    "These are not our rifles just our receivers. I'm not sure who manufactured these."

    So its looking more like a Lancaster as the safer bet.

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigrat View Post
    In looking at AK-74's I was wondering which one would be the best to buy.
    I'm down to these three being in my price range and was wondering how you would rate them.
    1-Lancaster Rough Rider $499.00
    2-TGI - Truck Gun $499.00
    3-Elk River Arms $449.00 Any info would be greatly appreciated.
    These are all low production number rifles assembled from similar components.

    Beyond reliable function and acceptable cosmetics it's
    really luck of the draw.

    I would advise putting more weight on customer service
    reputation.
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  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsrule View Post
    These are all low production number rifles assembled from similar components.

    Beyond reliable function and acceptable cosmetics it's
    really luck of the draw.

    I would advise putting more weight on customer service
    reputation.

    You have a particular brand in mind?

    Thats what I want it to do, functions correctly and it have acceptable cosmetics. Would really like to have good CS incase it is needed but this is my first AK and I haven't got a clue to what companies have good CS.

    But on top of that I don't want to pay $800+ for a AK either to be honest.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    It would appear checking on GunBroker that the AK-74's for sell on classicarms.com are made by Century using Elk River Rcvr's.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigrat View Post
    It would appear checking on GunBroker that the AK-74's for sell on classicarms.com are made by Century using Elk River Rcvr's.
    Century has had a very spotty "build" record in the past with all their rifles but I think some general improvements has been noted recently.
    When I leave the home port:
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  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Yeah I read a few reviews about that particular rifle and they was positive. But out of the 3 Lancaster is my top pick.

    Then pretty much a toss up between the other 2.

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array Macattack's Avatar
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    hey i just posted the exact same thread on a diff forum. Am getting the same answers.

    Elk river buildt by Cai(so no thanks) does have a side rail but I'm gun shy about century due to a keyholing tantal that also jams like crazy that I have to sell to get a proper ak74...

    TGI is stopping production so get it soon or not at all. Does have the org. chromelined bulgarian barrel but no side rail. Stock set can be beautiful or painted a poo brown with lots of dings. Luck of the draw.

    Lancaster had some CS issues but seem to be better now. I asked the rep on a diff forum and he said the hubbub about the side mount was that that they were not original bulgy mounts but cheaper cnc versions. This isn't a collector rifle its a shooter. Also the barrel is stainless not chrome lined but is said to be more accurate.(just clean the heck out of it every time especially with surplus corrosive ammo) Also has a lifetime guarantee

    I've been researching these forever and still can't decide between the lancaster or tgi. Leaning toward the lancaster because of the better stock set but mostly the Guarantee and the fact that they will still be here next month!!!!

    Aim also has some ak74s periodically
    "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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