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SFFRONTMAN
07-20-2007, 10:16 AM
So now the lurking time is over, and its decision making time. Thanks to Blk4alb, I will hopefully have my AR build up and running soon. My question here is for you AK experts out there. I was on cold war shooters (where I am ordering my AR parts) and saw the AK's that they have in stock. My question is that with all the fuss ive heard about the WASR 10 quality (i.e loose mag fit, trigger slap, bent sights, and finish), is it worth it to spend the extra dough to purchase a AZEX AK? I am quite ignorant in this situation, and the black rifle bug isint helping me out right now. All your inputs and opinions will be greatly appreciated.

Mike

hoozaru
07-20-2007, 10:27 AM
you get what you paid for :D

RobT2K
07-20-2007, 10:30 AM
Romanian parts kits are still pretty cheap, so are NDS 3 receivers. I would just build up one of those, if you were considering a WASR 10. It probably won't compare to an AZEX build unless you spend a little more $$ for finish and a good kit.

grammaton76
07-20-2007, 10:40 AM
So now the lurking time is over, and its decision making time. Thanks to Blk4alb, I will hopefully have my AR build up and running soon. My question here is for you AK experts out there. I was on cold war shooters (where I am ordering my AR parts) and saw the AK's that they have in stock. My question is that with all the fuss ive heard about the WASR 10 quality (i.e loose mag fit, trigger slap, bent sights, and finish), is it worth it to spend the extra dough to purchase a AZEX AK? I am quite ignorant in this situation, and the black rifle bug isint helping me out right now. All your inputs and opinions will be greatly appreciated.

Mike

Most of the fuss you hear is from one or two sources. The folks happy about it far outnumber them - I'd just go with the WASR.

While the WASR's do sometimes have correctible issues, the AZEX's usually have non-correctable issues with the metal work. Well, it IS correctible, but only with a drill press, rivet jig, and new rivets. Which would destroy the fancy finish you're paying the Azex premium for. Frankly, I would rather have the WASR, unless the moly-coat-over-parkerization finish is really that important to you. It's the one and only thing Azex does that's really above and beyond all the other AK builders out there.

soopafly
07-20-2007, 10:43 AM
All your inputs and opinions will be greatly appreciated.

Mike

You should ask Xenophobe:chris:
hehehehe...

SFFRONTMAN
07-20-2007, 10:48 AM
Im in utter shock of the speedy responses on the forum, usually being one of the few Californians on other forums like shotgun world and glock talk make me feel left out. So it seems like some people think the WASR is a fine quality rifle, and for about 260$ less than the azek, im just curious from people who might own both, what is the better deal/ quality? Thanks again

Mike

grammaton76
07-20-2007, 10:55 AM
You should ask Xenophobe:chris:
hehehehe...

*grin* He never did respond when I asked him if he'd ever built an AK himself.

I have yet to see anyone on Calguns who's built more than one or two AK's, impressed with anything about an Azex other than its finish.

ghost
07-20-2007, 4:20 PM
Im in utter shock of the speedy responses on the forum, usually being one of the few Californians on other forums like shotgun world and glock talk make me feel left out. So it seems like some people think the WASR is a fine quality rifle, and for about 260$ less than the azek, im just curious from people who might own both, what is the better deal/ quality? Thanks again

Mike


the wasr10 is a descent rifle for the money.just buy one,refinish the wood yourself and put a tapco trigger:D then figure out which way you want to go-fixed mag,detachable,or bullet-button.

Stevil
07-20-2007, 9:27 PM
I just got a WASR 10, I was a tad nervous because I'd heard the odd bad comment but overall I was impressed, fine AK... sure it could be prettier but then again it's an AK. It does exactly what it was supposed to do everytime AND what suprised me the most is I can get a 3" 20 round group at 50 yards with iron sights and ailing vision (although it does shoot 1" to the left of point-of-aim). :D

http://allcocked.com/img/ak/01.jpg

ghost
07-20-2007, 9:38 PM
I just got a WASR 10, I was a tad nervous because I'd heard the odd bad comment but overall I was impressed, fine AK... sure it could be prettier but then again it's an AK. It does exactly what it was supposed to do everytime AND what suprised me the most is I can get a 3" 20 round group at 50 yards with iron sights and ailing vision (although it does shoot 1" to the left of point-of-aim). :D

http://allcocked.com/img/ak/01.jpg

pistol grip/detachable mag=:eek:

M. Sage
07-20-2007, 9:41 PM
Romanian parts kits are still pretty cheap, so are NDS 3 receivers. I would just build up one of those, if you were considering a WASR 10. It probably won't compare to an AZEX build unless you spend a little more $$ for finish and a good kit.

I got a Romy kit with Tapco trigger for $145 shipped. NDS-3 receivers go for $55 shipped (plus DROS and transfer.)

SFFRONTMAN, PM headed your way. :D

Hoop
07-20-2007, 9:42 PM
pistol grip/detachable mag=:eek:

Yeah, I was wondering about that.

hoozaru
07-20-2007, 9:48 PM
http://allcocked.com/img/ak/01.jpg

:kest: the pic was probably taken in Nevada or Arizona

ghost
07-20-2007, 9:51 PM
:kest: the pic was probably taken in Nevada or Arizona


lets hope so,since his location says sacramento.you dont want iggy and his band of stooges knocking at his door;)

oaklander
07-20-2007, 10:01 PM
Don't forget the AES10-B group buy!

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=63049

23 sold so far!

:D

Addax
07-20-2007, 10:26 PM
For your first AK a WASR is just fine.

Heck these rifles are made to shoot and maybe a few of them have gotten a bad knock due to their cosmetic issues, but overall, it is a true blue AK rifle.

So buy one and enjoy :)


So now the lurking time is over, and its decision making time. Thanks to Blk4alb, I will hopefully have my AR build up and running soon. My question here is for you AK experts out there. I was on cold war shooters (where I am ordering my AR parts) and saw the AK's that they have in stock. My question is that with all the fuss ive heard about the WASR 10 quality (i.e loose mag fit, trigger slap, bent sights, and finish), is it worth it to spend the extra dough to purchase a AZEX AK? I am quite ignorant in this situation, and the black rifle bug isint helping me out right now. All your inputs and opinions will be greatly appreciated.

Mike

grammaton76
07-21-2007, 3:43 PM
I just got a WASR 10, I was a tad nervous because I'd heard the odd bad comment but overall I was impressed, fine AK... sure it could be prettier but then again it's an AK. It does exactly what it was supposed to do everytime AND what suprised me the most is I can get a 3" 20 round group at 50 yards with iron sights and ailing vision (although it does shoot 1" to the left of point-of-aim). :D

A thumbhole stock is just as prohibited as a pistol grip, buddy.

I will assume, for the moment, that you've got one of the first-generation morepoop4u mag locks installed (which wouldn't be visible in the pic) and are loading the magazine by pulling off the dust cover and loading from the top. Alternatively, you may have disabled the gas system (which we also wouldn't be able to tell from the picture). Or, as others have noted, the pics may have been taken out of state, and the rifle is not currently assembled in that state in California. However, if none of the preceding assumptions apply, you absolutely MUST take the stock off of that rifle ***NOW***, because it is currently an assault weapon, and you're looking at felony charges if an LEO sees it in this state!

If you want a thumbhole stock, you have to either disable the gas system (rendering it bolt/pump action) or lock the magazine in place. I recommend JJperl's bullet button, which you can buy through CWS.

thedrickel
07-21-2007, 6:28 PM
Yeah let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume it's a morepoop4u fixed mag.

RudyN
07-21-2007, 8:24 PM
I have a Romanian G parts kit with the Tapco trigger and will be picking up my NDS3 receiver next week. Then it will be time to have a local builder take care of it for me. I think it will be fun to shoot.

morepoop4u
07-21-2007, 8:37 PM
I have yet to see anyone on Calguns who's built more than one or two AK's.

Just look in the 7.62 thread haha you'll see plenty.

Yeah let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume it's a morepoop4u fixed mag.

Thanks for the plug haha.:gunsmilie:

Redchevyman
07-21-2007, 8:42 PM
A thumbhole stock is just as prohibited as a pistol grip, buddy.

I will assume, for the moment, that you've got one of the first-generation morepoop4u mag locks installed (which wouldn't be visible in the pic) and are loading the magazine by pulling off the dust cover and loading from the top. Alternatively, you may have disabled the gas system (which we also wouldn't be able to tell from the picture). Or, as others have noted, the pics may have been taken out of state, and the rifle is not currently assembled in that state in California. However, if none of the preceding assumptions apply, you absolutely MUST take the stock off of that rifle ***NOW***, because it is currently an assault weapon, and you're looking at felony charges if an LEO sees it in this state!

If you want a thumbhole stock, you have to either disable the gas system (rendering it bolt/pump action) or lock the magazine in place. I recommend JJperl's bullet button, which you can buy through CWS.
Or maybe he bought it before Dec 31st 1999 and registered it with the CA DOJ. Lets not forget that there are tens of thousands of legally owned and registered so called assault rifles in California. We need to assume any we see are pre ban and not fall into a "thats got to be illegal" frame of mind like the gun grabbers.:o

M. Sage
07-21-2007, 9:52 PM
It says in his post he "just got" it. "Just got" doesn't imply 8 years ago.

It's probably not a pic of his.. it's probably a pic of someone else's to show us what he's talking about. Or it's got a disabled gas system.. can't tell that from a photo.

IH8CALAWS
07-22-2007, 7:28 PM
where do i get a bullet button for my romanian kit build i just started.

tom_92673
07-22-2007, 7:31 PM
Cold War Shooters has them, at least at the shows I think they usually have them.

MudCamper
07-23-2007, 10:21 AM
Background:

A buddy of mine, who has no understanding of CA firearms law, has a Norinco MAK 90. After I informed him that it is a listed, and therefore illegal firearm, he asked me if there was a way for him to make it legal.

Questions:

Is the MAK 90 just an AK 47? Could he buy any off-list AK receiver and use all his MAK 90 parts and build a legal configuration? If yes, what receiver should he get?

grammaton76
07-23-2007, 12:44 PM
Just look in the 7.62 thread haha you'll see plenty.

*grin* There's plenty of folks around here who've built more than one or two AK's. I was saying I have yet to see anyone in that category actually be impressed by something on an Azex other than the finish.

jumbopanda
07-23-2007, 12:49 PM
Yeah let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume it's a morepoop4u fixed mag.

+1
Seriously, let's not throw people under the bus. If you want to know, ask the person about their setup, don't just assume the worst.

grammaton76
07-23-2007, 12:59 PM
Background:

A buddy of mine, who has no understanding of CA firearms law, has a Norinco MAK 90. After I informed him that it is a listed, and therefore illegal firearm, he asked me if there was a way for him to make it legal.

Questions:

Is the MAK 90 just an AK 47? Could he buy any off-list AK receiver and use all his MAK 90 parts and build a legal configuration? If yes, what receiver should he get?

I run into at least four folks per gun show with that exact same issue, with the exact same gun.

Yep, he can cut up that MAK-90 receiver and rebuild it legally. Then, it's just the same as any parts kit - he can rebuild it himself in a CA-compliant fashion on an NDS-3, or ship it off to James Maddux or somebody else.

MudCamper
07-23-2007, 1:57 PM
Yep, he can cut up that MAK-90 receiver and rebuild it legally. Then, it's just the same as any parts kit - he can rebuild it himself in a CA-compliant fashion on an NDS-3, or ship it off to James Maddux or somebody else.

Thanks for the info!

xenophobe
07-23-2007, 2:32 PM
*grin* He never did respond when I asked him if he'd ever built an AK himself.

Yes, I did.... you NEVER responded to what I posted:

lol. OK. By your accounts I shouldn't be able to tell the difference between a Lexus or a Ford Pinto because I never built one before. Freaking brilliant. :rolleyes:

I think everything that I have owned in the past and my current crop gives me great insight into the various factory rifles built by EVERY MAJOR EXPORTER. EVERY SINGLE AK MANUFACTURER that has ever sent in a commercial firearm to the US. I could care less about bubba-build garage AKs. My frame of reference is from REAL AK's built buy REAL factories...

What is your basis of reference?



And...

I've personally owned a Norinco AK-47, 2 Hungarian SA-85s, Galil .308 AR... I still own a Valmet M76, Arsenal receiver with Polish wz.1970, Romanian PSL, Norinco NDM-86... I've shot Polytech Legends, National Matches, Galil 308 ARMs, Valmet M78's, Yugo M76...

So PLEASE telll me how much experience you have with a wide variety of AKs?

My first freaking AK was the Norinco when I was fourteen years old.

So here's my list...


1) The Galil and Valmet are without a doubt the finest AKs ever produced. Quality is identical to their military counterparts.

2) The Yugoslavian Mitchell imports are the next step down. Kassnar Hungarian SA-85's and early KBI imports fit into this category as well. Quality is identical to their military counterparts.

3) High End milled Poly-Tech National Match AKs are definitely sweet and the next step down. Later post ban Hungarians fit into this quality range as well, still nice, but not quite as nice as the earlier ones. Chinese quality surpasses Chinese military, Hungarians are still comparable to military counterparts. I would put the best milled receiver Armory USA parts guns into this quality level.

4) Romanian PSLs and ROMAK guns are nice. Not cheap, but not impressive either... almost on par with their military counterparts. It's even been noted that commercial PSLs are not as nice as the military counterparts. I would say that Poly Tech stamped AK-47s are waver between this and the next step down. Azex arms fits into this category.

5) Norinco AK-47s and the first MAK-90s were generally the lowest common denominator, but reflective of identical rifles built for the Chinese military... These rifles might actually be comparable to the level above, though later MAK-90s are not as nice as the early ones. All of these rifles function fine, with very few problems until...

6) Egypitan MAADI, a faithful visual copy of the Soviet AKM, but lacking the finish quality and manufacturing QC, some problems... I'd also put the single stack Romanian rifles in this lot. Lots of problems, quality not comparable to military counterparts built in the same factories. I would put the Century build parts guns into this category. Some are truly nicer, some have problems. Hit or miss.

7) Romanian budget WASR. Fit and machining problems. Not at all comparable to military rifles buit at the same factories... compare military parts kits and commercial WASR rifles if you don't believe it. More problems consistently than any previously imported factory AKs. Most of the problems are minor and can be fixed.


TELL ME WHERE I AM WRONG!
Be careful, or I'll start posting your 'mall ninja' pictures. :p

Romanians have front sights that are very often bent.

The actions are usually ROUGH.

The finish is crap.

I can bring my Valmet, my Yugoslavian M70AB2, my Arsenal/Polish wz.1970, my Romanian PSL and my Norinco NDM-86 to the range ANY TIME and you can compare them yourself and see which has the best build quality, the best finish and the smoothest action.

And you can bring any unreworked Romanian WASR and AZEX and compare them too. And I can have my friend bring over the Hungarian SA-85 or Maadi AKM's I sold him to compare. :p :p :p

Hmm.... I'm wondering if you've ever seen any number of factory rifles at the same place and the same time.

I'm willing to bet you haven't. :p

xenophobe
07-23-2007, 2:39 PM
*grin* He never did respond when I asked him if he'd ever built an AK himself.

I responded to you a month ago today... you never came back after "calling me out"

You never responded. :rolleyes:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=60474

grammaton76
07-23-2007, 2:47 PM
I responded to you a month ago today... you never came back after "calling me out"

You never responded. :rolleyes:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=60474

Actually, I looked for a response earlier and never had been able to find it. My apologies. I'll take this back to the other thread, then.

xenophobe
07-23-2007, 3:12 PM
Just respond here. More people will see it, and this is a current thread.

grammaton76
07-23-2007, 3:17 PM
Just respond here. More people will see it, and this is a current thread.

Nah, already have a response to your first post in the other thread.

grammaton76
07-23-2007, 3:31 PM
Grr, double post... can't delete

xenophobe
07-23-2007, 3:37 PM
Okay, make my job more difficult...

And I still contend, exactly the same thing I've been saying ALL along... is that out of all the factory produced commercial guns, (defined: a factory that either was or currently is building AKs for military use), that the WASR is not up to standard Romanian spec, and is the WORST factory AK ever build, bar-none. Even worse consistently and functionally than the late import MAADIs. Bottom of the bucket.

Arsenal USA guns, IMO, are akin to factory guns, as their parts selections have always been top-notch, and their builds, very high quality. Isn't Arsenal USA owned by Arsenal Bulgaria? I have never heard of the quality or functionality of an Arsenal USA come into play. EVER.

Garage builds/Century Parts Rifles/Homebuilt: I cannot attest to any consistency or quality issues. Everyone builds them differently, none of them build to spec, and none of them are tested or QC'd. They have no military counterparts to compare to. However, a home-built, with the proper selection of parts, receiver, and time and care in assembling, are more likely to be nicer than WASRs are from the factory.


lol. OK. By your accounts I shouldn't be able to tell the difference between a Lexus or a Ford Pinto because I never built one before. Freaking brilliant.:rolleyes:
Nope. I'm saying that if you've never done more than change the oil (tweak the FCG), you aren't qualfied to assess the standard of the welds on that car, but are free to be VERY impressed by the paint job. I, on the other hand, have seen SAFETY ISSUES with some of the US-made guns you are enamored of (again, not the Azex in this case).

I don't need to build a sports car to examine a Lamborghini and a Porsche to know which one is nicer. Just like I don't need to be a 5 star chef to know that Ruth's Chris makes better steaks than Sizzler...

Arsenal USA. No problems that I'm aware of. Definitely never had any consistency issues. These sell for $800+ used.

Azex Arms, ok, you've seen USA built AKs have all these problems, well "not the Azex in this case"....

Which other USA AK's rate higher than WASRs that I've ever mentioned? I haven't. The ONLY US builds that I've ever advocated are Azex and Arsenal USA builds. Please show me otherwise.



I've personally owned a Norinco AK-47, 2 Hungarian SA-85s, Galil .308 AR... I still own a Valmet M76, Arsenal receiver with Polish wz.1970, Romanian PSL, Norinco NDM-86... I've shot Polytech Legends, National Matches, Galil 308 ARMs, Valmet M78's, Yugo M76...

So PLEASE telll me how much experience you have with a wide variety of AKs?

That's nice. I can account for 15 Romanian builds not counting my own (i.e. that's how many I was able to list off the top of my head in 20 minutes one evening), each done with rivets (admittedly, the first couple were done with less than ideal tooling). I've helped on about 5 others. I've also got four Yugoslavians at varying stages of completion, and one Romanian RPK.

I will admit that my first three builds looked as bad as what I have seen out of Azex, which you so erroneously listed at the apex of perfection in one of your previous lists (believe it was an abbreviated version of the one you posted here).

Okay, parts guns. How can anyone attest to the overall build quality in any general terms of a highly inconsistent and unregulated production? Some of those builds were probably pretty nice, some of them were probably pretty lousy.

Garage-builds? I have not commented on them once in my comparisons of the WASR. I will at least say the WASR is a factory rifle... with a relatively consistent amount of problems. Earlier ROMAK-1/3 builds have generally far less problems than WASR builds.

EDIT: I will admit that with a little experience, most people could probably put an AK together nicer than any typical WASR with a DC Industries receiver, a quality parts kit, and the proper tools.




1) The Galil and Valmet are without a doubt the finest AKs ever produced. Quality is identical to their military counterparts.

2) The Yugoslavian Mitchell imports are the next step down. Kassnar Hungarian SA-85's and early KBI imports fit into this category as well. Quality is identical to their military counterparts.

Having handled and stripped down / reassembled (but not owned) a Mitchell and a Galil, I'd concur with this.

Okay, we agree on that much.





3) High End milled Poly-Tech National Match AKs are definitely sweet and the next step down. Later post ban Hungarians fit into this quality range as well, still nice, but not quite as nice as the earlier ones. Chinese quality surpasses Chinese military, Hungarians are still comparable to military counterparts. I would put the best milled receiver Armory USA parts guns into this quality level.

These, I don't have experience with so I'm not disputing.

Okay, no disagreement there either.





4) Romanian PSLs and ROMAK guns are nice. Not cheap, but not impressive either... almost on par with their military counterparts. It's even been noted that commercial PSLs are not as nice as the military counterparts. I would say that Poly Tech stamped AK-47s waver between this and the next step down. Azex arms fits into this category.


I absolutely dispute that Azex gets to inhabit a higher category than a factory-built Romanian. Although the finish work is excellent, the metal work is not up to par. You don't find halos or shifted rivets on Romanian factory-built ones, and you certainly don't see the Romanians trying to distract folks with a "Ooo, look, shiny!" finish.

I've closely inspected a half dozen Azex builds, including two that were sent off to them. None of them had issues, all of them were built correctly, and I have not heard of any consistency issues whatsoever, unlike the WASR, which if you do a google serch, turns up more than a fair share of problems. Google Azex, and you will see justified, IMO, praise for their work.

EDIT: And I wouldn't doubt that you'd see occasional issues with Azex guns, either, just nowhere on the same level that you see problems with WASRs pop up.




5) Norinco AK-47s and the first MAK-90s were generally the lowest common denominator, but reflective of identical rifles built for the Chinese military... These rifles might actually be comparable to the level above, though later MAK-90s are not as nice as the early ones. All of these rifles function fine, with very few problems until...

6) Egypitan MAADI, a faithful visual copy of the Soviet AKM, but lacking the finish quality and manufacturing QC, some problems... I'd also put the single stack Romanian rifles in this lot. Lots of problems, quality not comparable to military counterparts built in the same factories. I would put the Century build parts guns into this category. Some are truly nicer, some have problems. Hit or miss.

Depending on what you mean by "Century build parts guns", I probably take issue with this.

What do I mean by 'Century builds?' CAI Yugoslavs, G3's, etc... and any other rifles built by high-school kids on their days off out of parts, specifically for resale commercially as complete guns.

How can you deny that Century builds have had bad reviews and inconsistent builds for as long as they've done them?




[/indent]
7) Romanian budget WASR. Fit and machining problems. Not at all comparable to military rifles buit at the same factories... compare military parts kits and commercial WASR rifles if you don't believe it. More problems consistently than any previously imported factory AKs. Most of the problems are minor and can be fixed.

Having sold some PSLs recently, I can say that the quality on them is equivalent to the WASR's I've dealt with (i.e. pretty good). On a side note, I've heard of plenty of problems a few years back with the Romanians, but none of the folks I've heard from have complained about anything on theirs other than loose magwells on former WASR-10's.

Sorry, my PSL is far nicer than any WASR that I've seen. While it may be made in the same factory, the quality and attention to detail is noticably better. Also, the action is smoother, the finish is nicer, and from rifle-to-rifle, the quality is more consistent.




TELL ME WHERE I AM WRONG!
Be careful, or I'll start posting your 'mall ninja' pictures.
Post away, it's a free internet. However, be aware that if you want to pull out the photo albums, I have some of you, and you're no more photogenic than I am. We can either keep it to guns, or you can be petty... it's your choice, I won't be the one to lower the debate.

Well, that was a joke, but feel free to post any pictures of me that you like, I've met a good 100+ people here, they already know how ugly I am. I've also never hidden that fact... nor posed like a ninja! (joke) :p

grammaton76
07-23-2007, 4:28 PM
Okay, make my job more difficult...

Actually, the 15 minute or so connection burp (which caused the multi-posts as well, sorry to say) made it more difficult - I would've moved the stuff over if it wasn't for that.

I don't need to build a sports car to examine a Lamborghini and a Porsche to know which one is nicer. Just like I don't need to be a 5 star chef to know that Ruth's Chris makes better steaks than Sizzler...

Again, I'm saying that in order to assess the rivet work (which is the one thing the end user really can't go in there and fix without a LOT of work), you ought to build a few and THEN assess the two. Azex rivet work isn't that great, and I have yet to see an AK from a major US-side manufacturer without rivet issues. That having been said, I haven't gotten a good look at an Arsenal or Vector.

Arsenal USA. No problems that I'm aware of. Definitely never had any consistency issues. These sell for $800+ used.

Azex Arms, ok, you've seen USA built AKs have all these problems, well "not the Azex in this case"....

The Azex's I've seen have had irritating issues with the rivets or magwell dimensions, but at least Derek didn't let the one that really annoyed me out of his shop. There was one AK with a front trunion hole egged out so far that you could see the trunion THROUGH the receiver. Since I've mostly been discussing Azex, I feel that I owe the Azex's that much of a disclaimer when discussing the single most egregious build issue I've seen on a US-made AK.

On a side note, Azex's will often fail to accomodate a normal double stack magazine. I've seen this issue when building parts kits, but not from factory-built Romanians. I believe this is the reason Derek ships polymer mags with his rifles... they "give" more in tight magwells.

Which other USA AK's rate higher than WASRs that I've ever mentioned? I haven't. The ONLY US builds that I've ever advocated are Azex and Arsenal USA builds. Please show me otherwise.

I've got a pretty clear recollection of a post from you, about 6-12 months ago, listing out Arsenal, Sierra, Azex, and a few others, capped off with a statement that all the above are better than Romanian factory guns. I've been trying to find it on and off today, though.

Okay, parts guns. How can anyone attest to the overall build quality in any general terms of a highly inconsistent and unregulated production? Some of those builds were probably pretty nice, some of them were probably pretty lousy.

*grin* One of the builds I worked on with another Calgunner eventually found its way into the safe of a guy who also bought an Arsenal USA AK. I don't remember the exact quote (hopefully he'll chime in later, as he was there and not I), but the buyer felt our build was at minimum AS good. So, I do know quality AK rivet work. This is the standpoint from which I state that I find the rivets on the WASR's to be excellent. More on that later.

Garage-builds? I have not commented on them once in my comparisons of the WASR. I will at least say the WASR is a factory rifle... with a relatively consistent amount of problems. Earlier ROMAK-1/3 builds have generally far less problems than WASR builds.

Comparing Azex's to garage-built NDS-3's is actually pretty reasonable. They're using the same Romanian G kits we are (although I'm told that they secured some unissued ones, so they may be doing some extra fitting), the same receivers (NDS-3's last I checked), and the substantial difference is finishing.

EDIT: I will admit that with a little experience, most people could probably put an AK together nicer than any typical WASR with a DC Industries receiver, a quality parts kit, and the proper tools.

Actually, they'd need a lot of experience. I still don't always get rivets as nicely done as the WASR. As I've said repeatedly, the WASRs are VERY well rivetted, but it's due to the fact that they're done on well calibrated machines... not because the folks pulling the levers or pushing the buttons are necessarily rocket scientists.

I will make the statement that a guy spending plenty of time and being very careful in his garage, can do better than any of the US-made manufacturers I have seen. I know because I've done so personally. But, I've never seen a bad rivet on a Romanian factory job, and I do not expect that I could ever exceed a WASR's job of rivetting. And I'll put one of my builds up against an Azex in the rivet arena any time.

I've closely inspected a half dozen Azex builds, including two that were sent off to them. None of them had issues, all of them were built correctly, and I have not heard of any consistency issues whatsoever, unlike the WASR, which if you do a google serch, turns up more than a fair share of problems. Google Azex, and you will see justified, IMO, praise for their work.

I've probably checked out 10-20 closely (remember, I work practically all of the Socal shows) before I gave up on looking for one I could unreservedly say had rivet work equivalent to that of the WASR's. So far, I haven't been able to find a single one without a halo, rear trigger guard seperation (usually concealed by the pg, which is why Azex doesn't get called on it), or other rivetting defect. That's not to say that I'll stop looking, though. And as for consistency, the Azex's do have a fairly high return rate for magwells too tight (front-to-back) to accomodate normal magazines. I strongly suspect that this is why they ship with polymer magazines to other states... folks wouldn't even notice it if they weren't having to use steel mags.

What do I mean by 'Century builds?' CAI Yugoslavs, G3's, etc... and any other rifles built by high-school kids on their days off out of parts, specifically for resale commercially as complete guns.

How can you deny that Century builds have had bad reviews and inconsistent builds for as long as they've done them?

Ah. I had figured you were lumping the higher-end WASR's in with this category as well. I haven't messed with the CAI Yugos or whatnot, and thus I don't object to this statement.

Sorry, my PSL is far nicer than any WASR that I've seen. While it may be made in the same factory, the quality and attention to detail is noticably better. Also, the action is smoother, the finish is nicer, and from rifle-to-rifle, the quality is more consistent.

I believe the action runs slightly smoother because there's a bigger spring behind it, and because of the thicker receiver. Yes, I know, it shouldn't make a difference - but so far, every AK I've handled on a thicker RPK-dimensioned receiver (like the PSL) has been smoother than its AKM counterpart. Adjusting for the difference between RPK and AKM receivers, I'd place them at the same level as their WASR counterparts.

The one difference in finishing steps that I noticed on the PSLs, was an application of what looked to be orange varnish and a generous marination in oil.

Well, that was a joke, but feel free to post any pictures of me that you like, I've met a good 100+ people here, they already know how ugly I am. I've also never hidden that fact... nor posed like a ninja! (joke) :p

Ah - I didn't realize you were joking. You had me thinking you were trying to turn this into some sort of personal thing.

grammaton76
07-23-2007, 4:38 PM
And I still contend, exactly the same thing I've been saying ALL along... is that out of all the factory produced commercial guns, (defined: a factory that either was or currently is building AKs for military use), that the WASR is not up to standard Romanian spec, and is the WORST factory AK ever build, bar-none. Even worse consistently and functionally than the late import MAADIs. Bottom of the bucket.

And I shall again bring up that you're conveniently dropping Azex out of the discussion now, which is what started this. I'll bring it back up: WASR > (Azex - finish). If you're going to place Azex on the same scale with the other guns, then you need to hold it to the same standards, which I do. If you're putting Azex up that high in spite of its rivet and magwell isses, then the WASR belongs up there with it. You can put 'em at the same level if you want... after all, the Azex finish has to count for something, and it can account for the rivet issues.

This kicked off when I noted that you're over-critical of the Romanians and under-critical of the Azex's, and wondered if it was because you'd never built one and thus weren't looking at the same things I do.

Since then, it's detoured into a bunch of other AK's as well. My issue has been and remains the WASR-crapping and Azex-praise, when the Azex is at best worthy of being at the same point on the ladder, saved by its finish.

xenophobe
07-23-2007, 6:01 PM
Again, I'm saying that in order to assess the rivet work (which is the one thing the end user really can't go in there and fix without a LOT of work), you ought to build a few and THEN assess the two. Azex rivet work isn't that great, and I have yet to see an AK from a major US-side manufacturer without rivet issues. That having been said, I haven't gotten a good look at an Arsenal or Vector.

I agree that I haven't assessed any rivet issues. All the of the Azex I saw appeared to be well built. As for issues, WASRs also suffer from similar problems, internal rails not parallel to the receiver, welded incorrectly mounted scope rails, etc... None of those are easily correctable either.

All in all, would you say that Azex is better than, equal to, or worse than any budget WASR on a consistent basis?


The Azex's I've seen have had irritating issues with the rivets or magwell dimensions, but at least Derek didn't let the one that really annoyed me out of his shop. There was one AK with a front trunion hole egged out so far that you could see the trunion THROUGH the receiver. Since I've mostly been discussing Azex, I feel that I owe the Azex's that much of a disclaimer when discussing the single most egregious build issue I've seen on a US-made AK.

Okay, I do not doubt that this may be an issue.


On a side note, Azex's will often fail to accomodate a normal double stack magazine. I've seen this issue when building parts kits, but not from factory-built Romanians. I believe this is the reason Derek ships polymer mags with his rifles... they "give" more in tight magwells.

Hmm.... is this an issue with his builds, or something consistent with DC Industries manufacturing?


I've got a pretty clear recollection of a post from you, about 6-12 months ago, listing out Arsenal, Sierra, Azex, and a few others, capped off with a statement that all the above are better than Romanian factory guns. I've been trying to find it on and off today, though.

I've never seen a Sierra. I've seen a Vector once or twice. It appeared to be pretty decent, though I don't think I've ever commented on the Vector. I've never seen a Sierra and have never commented on them.

Still, I bet your chances of getting a better rifle are better with Vector or Azex than with a WASR.


*grin* One of the builds I worked on with another Calgunner eventually found its way into the safe of a guy who also bought an Arsenal USA AK. I don't remember the exact quote (hopefully he'll chime in later, as he was there and not I), but the buyer felt our build was at minimum AS good. So, I do know quality AK rivet work. This is the standpoint from which I state that I find the rivets on the WASR's to be excellent. More on that later.

And just commenting on the rivets alone, sure I have no doubt the WASRs are riveted correctly, for the most part. I have seen bolt rails out of alignment, scope rails out of alignment, front sights out of alignment, parts that were not deburred before they were finished, etc... Perhaps Azex suffers from the same problems, but not with nearly the same frequency. Would you agree with that much?



Comparing Azex's to garage-built NDS-3's is actually pretty reasonable. They're using the same Romanian G kits we are (although I'm told that they secured some unissued ones, so they may be doing some extra fitting), the same receivers (NDS-3's last I checked), and the substantial difference is finishing.

The Romanian G kits are nicer than the WASR parts. You disagree?


I will make the statement that a guy spending plenty of time and being very careful in his garage, can do better than any of the US-made manufacturers I have seen. I know because I've done so personally. But, I've never seen a bad rivet on a Romanian factory job, and I do not expect that I could ever exceed a WASR's job of rivetting. And I'll put one of my builds up against an Azex in the rivet arena any time.

Regardless of not equaling the WASR in rivet quality, a person can select a much nicer parts kit, assemble it, and in many cases have a much nicer rifle. I don't disagree with that.


I've probably checked out 10-20 closely (remember, I work practically all of the Socal shows) before I gave up on looking for one I could unreservedly say had rivet work equivalent to that of the WASR's. So far, I haven't been able to find a single one without a halo, rear trigger guard seperation (usually concealed by the pg, which is why Azex doesn't get called on it), or other rivetting defect. That's not to say that I'll stop looking, though. And as for consistency, the Azex's do have a fairly high return rate for magwells too tight (front-to-back) to accomodate normal magazines. I strongly suspect that this is why they ship with polymer magazines to other states... folks wouldn't even notice it if they weren't having to use steel mags.

That very well could be. I still have not seen one that was horribly unacceptable, and overall they appear to have smoother actions, nicer parts and acceptable build quality.



Ah. I had figured you were lumping the higher-end WASR's in with this category as well. I haven't messed with the CAI Yugos or whatnot, and thus I don't object to this statement.

I believe the action runs slightly smoother because there's a bigger spring behind it, and because of the thicker receiver. Yes, I know, it shouldn't make a difference - but so far, every AK I've handled on a thicker RPK-dimensioned receiver (like the PSL) has been smoother than its AKM counterpart. Adjusting for the difference between RPK and AKM receivers, I'd place them at the same level as their WASR counterparts.

The higher end Romanians, if you would notice, go in a much higher category than the Century or buget WASR. I did put the ROMAKs into a category of their own, and the Romanian G rifles (if they were ever imported as fully built rifles would fit here too).

And smoothness of action? I'm talking with mainsprings removed. Some WASRs grind like crap. Some of them are acceptable. The nicer mil-spec Romanian rifles are smooth. I have noticed that some of the later PSLs aren't as nice as the first batches of original import rifles.


The one difference in finishing steps that I noticed on the PSLs, was an application of what looked to be orange varnish and a generous marination in oil.[quote]

And they're deburred and much less rough than the WASRs. The finish is more consistent, and the QC is tighter. I have yet to see any PSLs with scope rails that were off, bolt rails that were attached wrong, or front sights that were obviously canted.

Of course, the PSL in it's current form is still an issue rifle, and is still sold abroad (away from Romania for use by other military forces). It is a legitimate military spec weapon that is no different than it's counterpart issued to middle eastern troops... I would imagine the manufacture of these are held to tighter tolerances.


[quote]Ah - I didn't realize you were joking. You had me thinking you were trying to turn this into some sort of personal thing.

Nah, I was just kidding. Even when I'm arguing, I'm good for a joke. lol

xenophobe
07-23-2007, 6:08 PM
And I shall again bring up that you're conveniently dropping Azex out of the discussion now, which is what started this. I'll bring it back up: WASR > (Azex - finish). If you're going to place Azex on the same scale with the other guns, then you need to hold it to the same standards, which I do. If you're putting Azex up that high in spite of its rivet and magwell isses, then the WASR belongs up there with it. You can put 'em at the same level if you want... after all, the Azex finish has to count for something, and it can account for the rivet issues.

And in that statement of mine, neither your builds, Vector, Sierra or Azex are even applicable. THEY ARE NOT FACTORY RIFLES. They are parts-kit guns.


This kicked off when I noted that you're over-critical of the Romanians and under-critical of the Azex's, and wondered if it was because you'd never built one and thus weren't looking at the same things I do.

And perhaps I am a bit under-critical of Azex, but not from what I've seen or looked at. Yes, I did look over the rivets, the mating of parts, the quality of parts used, the smoothness of the action, whether the front sights were aligned properly, and the finish.

As for being over-critical of the WASR? Hardly. In the grand scheme of factory AKs, they're the worst. Hands down. Only the late model MAADI would come close, and until Romanians were being imported, they were the bottom of the barrel, however they were also the most accurate reproduction of the Russian AKM.


Since then, it's detoured into a bunch of other AK's as well. My issue has been and remains the WASR-crapping and Azex-praise, when the Azex is at best worthy of being at the same point on the ladder, saved by its finish.

And that's where I completely disagree. Of the Azex that I've seen, the rivets may have not been picture perfect, and it's not something I particularly minded. If the rivet is fastened correctly, I don't care if it's egged, flattened, or oblong.


I still say that out of every commercial, foreign built factory AK that has ever been manufactured and imported to the US, the WASR is bottom of the barrel and does not compare to any other manufacturer, save the MAADI, which actually suffered many of the same problems that the WASRs do, which the ROMAKS also did, but not nearly on the same level of consistency.

And as for you, or Maddux, or anyone else, you can't really be compared to any on the list, because as far as you guys aren't in the hundreds or thousands. I'm not saying Azex is either, and you guys probably do build nicer guns, but so far, they're the only commercial entity producing them in any numbers that can be stock/inventory guns for me to judge.

xenophobe
07-23-2007, 6:18 PM
Oh, and even MAK 90's don't suffer the same problems that the WASR and MAADI are known for. I will say the nicest Romanian rifles are equal to or are nicer than the early MAADIs.

Galil > WASR
Valmet > WASR
Yugo > WASR
Hungarian > WASR
Chinese > WASR
ROMAK > WASR

Out of factory rifles, that doesn't leave much room for the WASR to be better than.

Bulgarian or Polish military parts are better than WASR parts too.