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Old 23 April 2010, 06:59
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Question What to look for when buying a used AK-47?

I will be heading out to a gun show this weekend with the intent of picking up some new toys. What should I look for when buying a used AK-47? I admit my ignorance on the weapon as a whole and besides the normal wear and tear of firearms, is there anything special I should look for?

My thanks in advance...
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Old 23 April 2010, 09:48
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SOP is to avoid Century Arms AKs but I have one and it works very well. They have a reputation for being hit or miss.

I'm no expert, but I've heard Egyptian, Russian, Polish, and newer Chinese are decent. Shake it, look and listen for rattling pieces, check magazine fit - shouldn't have to pry it out or jam it in, cracks in the wood (or, God forbid, the metal), look for rust on the bolt or elsewhere, check the action - mine has a little wiggle room but not enough to shake apart, shouldn't be too loose or too tight. Wiggle the trigger, shouldn't be much give if any. If you can, dry fire it a few times to make sure nothing feels out of place. Check for Cosmoline. If it's still got packing grease in it, it hasn't been used that much.

That's about as far as I know.

Scotty
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Old 23 April 2010, 12:01
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CV,

Unfortunately purchasing AK's has become more complicated with the explosion of companies producing them from U.S made receivers and parts kits. Generally speaking Norinco pre-ban AK's are good to go as are some of the others mentioned by Scotty.

I would look for Arsenal Ak's as they tend to be solid and reliable. Lancaster Arms AK's are very nice looking, but some have had issues. If I was in the market I would probably lean towards one made by Arsenal or a Krebs Custom AK.
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Old 23 April 2010, 20:58
glockcqc glockcqc is offline
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CV

I wouldn't recommend buying a "used" AK. With the predominance of "bump-fire" marksmanship & hig cap mags & drums, this option lends itself to a high chance of purchasing a weapon that has past it barrel life ( ie throat errosion or corrision due to corrisive primers) & a bolt that desperately needs a new extractor.

Buy a new one. Get an Arsenal.

Good shooting
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Old 23 April 2010, 21:33
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Look for the milled receivers and chrome lined barrels. beware the parts guns that have been cut in half, brought to the US as Scrap or parts and then rewelded (Like the old M1 Garands, called oddly enough "rewelds").
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Old 24 April 2010, 00:43
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Arsenal rocks. I have a SLR-95 with no problems.
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Old 24 April 2010, 02:29
GoG-Man GoG-Man is offline
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to add to all the above....

Disassemble the rifle, and lay it on a flat table. You should be able to look down the trunnion (rear sight), gas block, and Front sight; they should be aligned. If they are all going different directions you could have problems. The AK is pretty forgiving, but it is one more thing to look for that could indicate problems.

I would also recommend looking on youtube, and ATAC TV. Jim Fuller has posted some videos that you can glean some free knowledge from.
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Old 24 April 2010, 07:42
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Thanks all. As usually, SOCNET is a great resource.
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Old 24 April 2010, 09:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CV View Post
Thanks all. As usually, SOCNET is a great resource.
Of course we will see the requisite gun porn after the purchase, Right?
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Old 24 April 2010, 10:04
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1- milled receiver (vs. pressed)
2- matching serial numbers on parts. Minimum....you want the same ser. no. on the receiver, the bolt, the bolt cover, and the upper. If you get one with two different ser. numbers on parts.....DO NOT BUY IT unless you can truly discern that the seller knows what the hell he is doing.

IMO...stay away from:

- "shorties"
- chrome, gold, nickel, or ANY plated models
- bullpups and other conversion kits

Bottom line is there is no replacement for a standard AK. All the paint jobs, plating, sights, and other pimping just ruins them (IMO). Type 26 is the best, I think.

If you decide to buy one with a pressed receiver it sadly does not really matter which type you buy....they are all no better than the other. Milled receiver is going to cost you.

AK-47.net is a good resource but I have not been there in years.

Good luck!
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Old 24 April 2010, 13:40
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Depends on what you want it for... You'll look for different things.

I have a romanian stamped AK in 7.62 that I got just because I wanted an AK. I was able to pick that up for $329. It has been great for just knowing how an AK works, etc. When I bought it 10 or 11 years ago it was great because I could get one of those sardine cans of commie ammo for $85 and shoot it all day long.

I also have a Norinko in 5.56 that I got in some horse trading.

So if you're like me and just want an AK, you should be able to find a stampped one for a reasonable price - $500.

At the bottom end, you have re-built stammped reciever guns. Some of them are great, some aren't. Then all the way up to milled reciever with a folding stock. There is also value to some people on the quality of the wood, etc. Personally, I shit can the wood and replace it with US made poly as soon as I get an AK.

Watch out for the WASRs that take 30 round mags. Those were originally made to accept special 10 round mags and the mag well was widened to accept a 30... by hand like with a dremmel. So they didn't reall get it right on all of them so they seem to be kind of hit and miss. Inspect that carefully and seat/unseat a magazine in there a couple times.

You want a "rivet" build... The reciever should be bent in a press, rails attached, then heat treated and THEN the barrel trunion and stock tang attached by presing rivets into them. Some guys out there were buying reciever flats, bending them by hand and screwing the trunions in rather than reveting them and painting them black. So you end up with a non-heat treated receiver with screws in it... total POS AK. Beware of the silly looking guy at the gun show with a table of cheap AKs that he "hand built".

Century is hit and miss (they make the WASRs... go figure). But they are also one of the only companies importing and building a ton of AKs.

If you want a nicer one, as others have said, Arsnel makes some really nice ones.

http://www.arsenalinc.com/products.htm

Some of the large volume retailers have a pretty good selection of surplus up to new guns to choose from:
http://www.atlanticfirearms.com/storecategory90.aspx
http://www.centerfiresystems.com/ak_firearms.aspx

Check those pages out for intel on retail prices (figure in shipping and FFL) and use that to compare when shopping for a good used deal at a gun show.

Some of the Yugo were pretty nice, but the supply of them has gotten pretty low so they aren't as easy to find anymore.
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Old 25 April 2010, 09:23
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I picked up a Romanian stamped 7.62 for $399, NIB. The vendor had 12 of these that sold out in 2 hours.

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Last edited by CV; 25 April 2010 at 09:32.
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Old 25 April 2010, 09:57
Gryfen-FL Gryfen-FL is offline
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thanks for throwing that titbit about ATAC!
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