Let's talk AKs people

So if one would have a budget of $600~650 what’s an AK to look out for new or used? Most of the cheaper AKs seem to have bad reviews or ratings.

Being an AK noob (like I was an AR noob before I built mine) I need an education on the brands and features. I get the basic operation but haven’t a clue about the rest.

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Would your preference be a Wasr or one of the other if the prices were the same?

I had a folding stock Norinko Type 56 (AKM) and I actually liked it and got good accuracy out of it. Popped a cottonail rabbit at 100 yards one day out of my garden and astonished me, a friend and the rabbit. The iron sights were actually pretty good - though I had to drift the front post and it wasn’t centered in he “tunnel” guard. Never failed to cycle or fire.

I’m thinking it was about $650 NIB at the time. When Billy Clinton got elected an acquaintance offered me about $300 more than I had paid for it so I sold it to him. Kind of regret that.

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My best advice, being new to the AK platform as well, is to save up and don’t settle. You won’t be happy with the garbage out there that may happen to be in budget at the time. It sounds like you have done some researching so far.

I knew I wanted to buy a Polish underfolder, so I waited over a year until I found one at a good price. Solid build, little to no stock wobble, and Polish machining and heat treating is better than most current U.S. made AKs. Oh yeah, and NO cast trunnions like some manufacturers here. Wait it out! You’ll be much, much happier. Trust me.


I don’t know what the prices are lately, but I had a Saiga a while back - it was ok, but they use non-standard magazines (clips?). Yeah, I know, you can modify them to use standard AK mags/clips. (Sorry, I forget the difference, and don’t really care.)

A bit above your price range are the Arsenal AK’s. From what I have heard, they are the ‘best’ AK’s. If the day comes when I buy another AK, it will be an Arsenal. Be prepared to spend over $1,000 (more like $1,500 to $2,000), but supposedly worth every penny.

So, I agree - save up and buy what will make you happy in the long term.

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I’m inclined to agree and for that price I might just save up for a VEPR.


I have a Saiga and they are easily converted back into a AK47 pretty easy, mag modification is very easy so they will use any AK mag. Palmetto State Armory build a pretty good AK for $500…they generally have them on sale with Magpul Folding stock and handguards…scope rail is also already attached…


VEPRs and WASRs tend to be the “standard”. I think Arsenal really is the best option, considering all the different choices available from the company. I’ve heard good things about the the Polish Beryl as well.


You can buy the Polish Beryl here in the states? I thought yhat was unobtanium. I hope an AK12 variant hits the U.S. market soon.

I havent looked to buy myself, but I know MrGunsAndGear was able to pick one up.

I recently bought a WASR-3 ( a Romanian AK chambered in 5.56X45mm from the CUGIR factory) and found it well out of headspace… by a good 4mm. Now I have the choice to rebarrel it. the two choices are 5.45x39mm or another 5.56x45mm barrel. Pros vs Cons?

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Are you sure that you have a field gauge+ 4mm! If so that is huge!
Please for the love put a 5.45x39 barrel on it as long is a AK74 mag can be easily installed.
I’m not 100 % sure, but you may want to track down a 5.45 bolt. 223 base is .372”, 5.45 is .390” I don’t know if you have the room on your current bolt or just want to hit it with a end mill quick.
1: cheaper ammo that is all over the internet ~.25 a piece.
2: the projectile is much longer than standard 55 gr .223.
3: the design of the cartridge is better “due to the tapered case”.
4: cheaper magazines.
1: you will have to change a few things around for the conversion.
2: Russian ammo shooters will run into haters at the range.


Did anything ever come of this rifle ?

Not around here, AKs get as much love as AR15s. They seem to get more “cool” points among non-gun people or less serious gun people. I think that smaller ruskie round would be much more cool of a project and im an AR15 fan boy.

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You’d probably love the 5.45

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I sent the rifle into a local shop. He agreed I needed to rebarrel. Now I’m just playing the waiting game

Did you stay with 5.56? It go 5.45?

I stayed 5.56 due to logistical reasons. If I buy bulk 5.56, I can feed both my AR, my WASR, and my brother’s AR. Otherwise I would have gone 5.45x39

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Sound choice
The conversion to 5.45. Am be a pain in the ass

I know I do!

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