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You guys are smart…….anyone recommend a new AK in the $7-800 range? January 15, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, blogfoolery, fun, silliness.

I have two SKS, one of which is a Chinese-made SKS-M built at the factory to take AK mags.  They’re nice guns, though I’ve been having persistent minor, but annoying problems with the -M for a while now that I can’t seem to get permanently fixed.

As such, I’ve been looking at buying a proper AK-47 type in 7.62×39.  I’ve been reading about the various makes, and there seems to be a wide discrepancy in opinion on many of them.  For instance, some people advise to steer far clear of a WASR or Zastava (N-PAP), and go with a more expensive model.  I’ll tell you, I’ve handled a few of the cheaper ($5-600) models from Century and they felt like junk (sloppy action, loose fitting stock, splintery wood, etc).  But if you don’t go with Century, it seems like there is a huge price jump to a brand like Arsenal or similar that puts you in the $1000 price range, which is really higher than I want to go.  On the other hand, others say that new WASRs (that are actually available) are much improved and shouldn’t be a problem (and there are “better” types from Century that cost a bit more but may have a lot higher quality).

I should add that I’d like to buy new, I’ve bought some used guns and my experience has been mixed.  That’s another complication, it seems a lot of places are sold out of new AKs of any type (thanks, Obama).

I have read that the Century C39, which is entirely US-made, is pretty good and I have seen them in my price range.

Anyone have experience with different AK types and feels competent to make a recommendation?  I’m not a great expert in the type, there is a huge variety and I’ve barely scratched the surface of the many different makes and models available.

And, yes, I like Russian guns.  Always have.  I don’t have anything against ARs I just don’t want one.  I guess it’s my latent commie sympathy showing through, or something.

It’s also a way to respond positively to my bishop’s very negative rant.  See, I’m helping keep some Serbian or Bulgarian in a job!



1. docmx001 - January 15, 2016

I have a Romanian model at least 25 years old, and as tight as the day it was made. If you want Russian, you’re going to pay at least $1500. You can find some Polish on atlanticfirearms.com in the $900 range. But also scour your local dealers.

Tantumblogo - January 15, 2016

Sorry, I should be clear. I like Russian-type weapons, I don’t own any actually from Russia. I have a Chinese SKS-M and a Yugo SKS.

I did look at Atlantic. They are out stock on almost all their AK models. Impact Guns has some but they are lower-end models and pretty high priced.

Is your’s a WASR, then?

docmx001 - January 15, 2016

It’s AKM. Most WASRs you will find are modified to AKM specs to receive the standard AK mag. Original WASRs have a single stack mag.

2. richard w comerford - January 15, 2016

Mr. T:

Re: AK 47

The best place for advice and links, IMO, on firearms in general, what and where to buy and how to use them:


The blog owner is a retired Army Special Forces weapons specialist, combat veteran and Special Operations Diver.

God bless

Richard W Comerford

3. Sobieski - January 16, 2016

I am not an AK expert, but based on what I have read, Arsenal is your best bet in the US market for quality. You will pay, though. I’ve heard the Bulgarian variants are very good, but Arsenal also offers Russian Saiga AK mods from Izhmash. When I was seriously considering an AK, I was thinking of a Bulgarian in 7.62 or a Izhmash in 5.45. I wasn’t entirely sure on the caliber, but leaning towards the 7.62. Arsenals are probably over-priced given the current climate and usually out of stock.

I’ve heard good things about the Egyptian models and mixed reviews on WASRs and Century Arms. Some people think the latter are junk; others have had good experiences. I have heard some good things about the C39v2 and wondered whether it would be a good low cost alternative to an Arsenal. It’s a tough decision, but at the end of day a firearm needs to be dependable so I am inclined to spend the extra money for a quality firearm. Here’s an interesting video by MAC on AK reliability:

He tests an Arsenal.

4. JL - January 16, 2016

I recommend subscribing to the (Texas-based) magazine, Gun Tests, if you don’t already, and searching their online database, gun-tests.com, for relevant reviews.

5. Sobieski - January 16, 2016

Here’s a review of Century Arms’ C39v2 by hickock45:

Seems like a good rifle, though it’s not Russian made. I believe new Russian AKs are banned in the US, though, so the closest thing you can get is the Saiga-modified Arsenal.

Tantumblogo - January 18, 2016

I’m just a bit leery of Century. I’ve seen 3 in the flesh and while one was OK the other two were junk. I’ve never seen such sloppy guns. And they were being sold as “new.” They sure didn’t look or act new. I know one has been on display for 2 years and hasn’t moved, so maybe it’s been up there for ages and gradually gone to pieces sitting on a wall.

But seeing people’s reviews I’ve seen most are happy with N-PAP or C39 though there is complaint over stiffness in the safety. They say it’s really hard to move, for some reason.

I continue research. Thank you for your suggestions. And in response to another commenter, I like Arsenal guns, they’re just a bit higher than I’d prefer to go.

6. Sobieski - January 18, 2016

Yes, I understand your concerns. I do believe some of the stuff Century Arms sells (or may have sold based on their current catalog) was imported, like the Romanian stuff, which was hit and miss.

I have heard good things about the N-PAP as well and also the new C39v2, so I think Century may be cleaning up its act. The C39v2 is built by them and of US manufacture. Before I bought one, I suppose I’d want an expert to look things over or know I was purchasing from a reliable retailer. Nutnfancy also has an extensive review of the C39v2 and thinks the latest version gives the Arsenals and N-PAPs a run for their money.

At this point, I’d probably go with an Arsenal or the C39v2 — not sure I could even find the former. Regardless, I have lots of other stuff to spend money on, so I probably won’t be getting anything soon.

7. Sobieski - January 18, 2016

I meant to say some of the Century Arms stuff was both imported and possibly built from used parts. I think due to restrictions, companies here may have to use used parts in some cases or substitute American made components with imported firearms to get around bans — I could be wrong or confusing that with something else though. It’s been a while since I was up on all the restrictions/caveats with AKs and am going off memory. Regardless, the C39 is all American made by contrast, which is what I meant to say above vs. just repeating that fact again. So it probably doesn’t fall under the same restrictions.

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