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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, someone enlighten me.

How does one visually tell the difference between the SAR-1 AK clones, which accept normal capacity magazines and are generally excellent guns for the money as long as you don't get one with twisted sights, and the WASR imports, which are Kalifornized to only accept the 10 round capacity magazines? Do the importers stamp them somewhere?

Edit: Also I notice some WASR imports accept the normal capacity magazines and some don't. What gives?
 

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I have the SAR1 Euc but - gotta admit I am unsure myself what distinguishing marks are to be seen.

We also have IIRC VEPR's, Norinco's, Polish - and some made from parts too. The milled receiver versions are reputed to be the best of course.

Maybe Class3 and others can fill in the gaps here - be interesting to quantify.
 

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read on AR15.com , big AK section.
 

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Want to know? The shop or dealer should have regular 30 round AK mags on hand.

If a double stack banana fits, it's been modified to fit the double stack mags.

The singles are substantially thinner.

SAR-x models *all* take full-cap mags.

WASRs generally do, but again, look closely at the magazine and well.

Some of the other models may not be as obvious - the Hungarian models with evil single stacks *look* like they take doubles.

And I'm not one who buys the 'milled is better' argument. These same guns ten or fifteen years ago were considered junk. Guns don't age like wine, and the same guys telling you that milled is better are the same ones who wouldn't touch 'em with a ten foot pole.

An AK generally IMO is an AK, as long as it works. Finish is secondary. It's not what you're buying it for.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
rfurtkamp we are in agreement. I've always felt a stamped receiver was just fine for an AK especially since I don't see much point in dressing one up, unless you've got a nice VEPR or something.

I find that when you're buying this kind of rifle, you should always consider the overall mechanical condition of the particular one you are buying, kind of like when you buy an SKS or any other surplus rifle. They're all a little bit of a crapshoot.

You're right that that's probably the best way to tell though. If it's sold with 30 round magazines, odds are it takes the regular magazines. I guess the thing to watch out for is someone trying to sell you one that comes with 10 rounders and then trying to sell you 30 rounders to go with it...

I was just hoping there was some way to look on the frame and be able to tell so I would know for sure.
 

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I used to think I could eyeball them. Then I met the Hungarian single stack models.

Now I use the insertion test. It's quick and foolproof. ;)
 

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Euc, my WASR has "WASR-10" hand written with an electric engraver on the left side of the receiver...as rfurtcamp pointed out, the WASR magazine well was originally made for a single stack 10 round magazine. After the ban was lifted, these rifles had the mag wells machined out to accept the 30 round mags. They work pretty well....just don't expect to do speed-changes with the magazines!

Also, if you go to www.vectorarms.com , look at the pictures of their AK-47's and notice that, on the side of the receiver just above the magazine well, there is a dimple that indicates the receiver was manufactured to take pre-ban 30 round magazines. The WASR doesn't have this....but the WASR does come with an optics mount point on the left side of the receiver that accepts readily available scope mounts (look at the picture of Chris's SAR-1 to see a mounted scope)...AK-47's have miserable iron sights (IMHO).

WASR's are notorious for "trigger slap"...mine had it bad, but I followed the directions at a website (that I can't recall right now) to get rid of slap and perform a trigger job at the same time (just need a dremel tool with cut-off wheel), and it made a miraculous difference!
 

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Euc, notice the elongated dimple just above the magazine well in this photo....I'm pretty sure that it indicates that this is a milled (not stamped) receiver. Stamped receivers have a much smaller dimple in the same general area to indicate a pre-ban configuration that will accept 30 round magazines.

Just thought you would like to know the difference :biggrin:
 

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Team American said:
. Stamped receivers have a much smaller dimple in the same general area to indicate a pre-ban configuration that will accept 30 round magazines.
The dimple has *nothing* to do with pre-ban configuration.

It's there to stabilize the magazine in the well in the standard AKM design.

Pre-ban, post-ban, etc. means nothing to the Russian military.
 

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Euc, notice the elongated dimple just above the magazine well
Dimple - what dimple! Oh - that dimple :biggrin:

Robert - point taken re milled - I was under a misapprehension that milled was better.
 

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rfurtkamp said:
The dimple has *nothing* to do with pre-ban configuration.
You are correct about that, rfurtkamp....I look for the dimple to indicate that the receiver was originally manufactured to accept full size magazines. In your experience, is the WASR (or even the SAR-1) the only AK47 that doesn't have the stabilizing dimple in the receiver? Is the lack of a dimple a reliable indicator that the rifle was made for single stack magazines?
 

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Team American said:
In your experience, is the WASR (or even the SAR-1) the only AK47 that doesn't have the stabilizing dimple in the receiver? Is the lack of a dimple a reliable indicator that the rifle was made for single stack magazines?
SAR-x has the dimple - they were native high-cap receivers.

The lack of a dimple doesn't mean much on a milled receiver, and I'm sure there are going to be exceptions on stamped guns too.
 
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