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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 06-07-2012, 4:02 PM
armadill0 armadill0 is offline
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Default AK Buyer's Guide: Need Some Tips

I am nearing the point where I feel like I've done enough research to buy my first AK rifle. I've shot several rifles of various types I haven't owned, but have yet to purchase one. Therefore, I'm light on the technical know-how to spot a good one from a bad one. My inclination is to buy an Arsenal SGL build because going the DIY route with a Saiga isn't something I feel prepared for, nor is it something I have the time for right now. Right now, I need less brand cheerleading (everyone has a different opinion and there are thousands of pages of them for me to read) and more universal knowledge on what to watch for in going over an AK in person before purchase. Can you guys help add anything to the below list that I should check for when I go shopping?

1. Charge the charging handle back multiple times and make sure it doesn't stick, or lock back.
2. Look at the sights and check to see if they are canted (crooked, or adjusted to extreme left or right to counteract them being crooked).
3. Avoid Arsenal's proprietary mag lock either by ordering one without it without some other "evil" feature(s) (I've read that this is possible but have not confirmed it for myself) and then installing a new bullet button and feature(s) or by simply replacing it with another bullet button.

Anything else?

If I somehow end up changing my mind and decide to buy and convert a Saiga, is there any accuracy lost or technical issues caused by moving the trigger forward?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 06-07-2012, 11:04 PM
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Riddler Riddler is offline
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58uSl...feature=relmfu
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  #3  
Old 06-07-2012, 11:13 PM
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zfields zfields is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armadill0 View Post
I am nearing the point where I feel like I've done enough research to buy my first AK rifle. I've shot several rifles of various types I haven't owned, but have yet to purchase one. Therefore, I'm light on the technical know-how to spot a good one from a bad one. My inclination is to buy an Arsenal SGL build because going the DIY route with a Saiga isn't something I feel prepared for, nor is it something I have the time for right now. Right now, I need less brand cheerleading (everyone has a different opinion and there are thousands of pages of them for me to read) and more universal knowledge on what to watch for in going over an AK in person before purchase. Can you guys help add anything to the below list that I should check for when I go shopping?

1. Charge the charging handle back multiple times and make sure it doesn't stick, or lock back.
2. Look at the sights and check to see if they are canted (crooked, or adjusted to extreme left or right to counteract them being crooked).
3. Avoid Arsenal's proprietary mag lock either by ordering one without it without some other "evil" feature(s) (I've read that this is possible but have not confirmed it for myself) and then installing a new bullet button and feature(s) or by simply replacing it with another bullet button.

Anything else?

If I somehow end up changing my mind and decide to buy and convert a Saiga, is there any accuracy lost or technical issues caused by moving the trigger forward?

Thanks in advance.
Converting is very simple.

Moving the trigger has NOTHING to do with decreasing mechanical accuracy of the gun. If anything, it will improve your shooting since the trigger pull will be much shorter, and have a cleaner break.


As for Arsenal, Screw them. Very Anti CA company.
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  #4  
Old 06-08-2012, 8:23 AM
Munny$hot Munny$hot is offline
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Bolt stick is very common with the US made Tapco G2 FCG. If your bolt sticks when pulling it slowly to the rear doesn't mean it will stick open when firing. One of the problem that causes your bolt to lock open is the receiver to bolt guide fit is too tight which a little bit of light sanding will cure. Removing the FCG and running the bolt through it cycle will verify if there is enough clearance. Slightly canted sights can also be cured by re-aligning them. Don't let very minor problems discourage you from buying an AK, but instead use them as a bargaining chip to get a better deal. The things I would mainly look for is:
(1) the rivets being flush
(2) the receiver being square
(3) the bolt closes fully on a go gauge/live round
(4) examine the mag well to make sure it wasn't poorly grindded open
(5) excessive mag wobble.
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  #5  
Old 06-08-2012, 9:23 AM
Mamluke Mamluke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munny$hot View Post
Bolt stick is very common with the US made Tapco G2 FCG. If your bolt sticks when pulling it slowly to the rear doesn't mean it will stick open when firing. One of the problem that causes your bolt to lock open is the receiver to bolt guide fit is too tight which a little bit of light sanding will cure. Removing the FCG and running the bolt through it cycle will verify if there is enough clearance. Slightly canted sights can also be cured by re-aligning them. Don't let very minor problems discourage you from buying an AK, but instead use them as a bargaining chip to get a better deal. The things I would mainly look for is:
(1) the rivets being flush
(2) the receiver being square
(3) the bolt closes fully on a go gauge/live round
(4) examine the mag well to make sure it wasn't poorly grindded open
(5) excessive mag wobble.
^^^ this ...

Arsenal SGL is overall, a good quality rifle. Although I believe they're a bit over priced.

If you can pick one up from a reputable builder, and there are a handful here on CGN, then personally I'd go that rout.

Welcome to CGN, and keep us posted with your progress.

....


....
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  #6  
Old 06-08-2012, 10:06 AM
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someR1 someR1 is offline
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I think you should make time for the Saiga conversion. Should be fairly simple to do. And more gratifying.
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2012, 1:13 PM
armadill0 armadill0 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riddler View Post
Will watch this later today - thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zfields View Post
Converting is very simple.

Moving the trigger has NOTHING to do with decreasing mechanical accuracy of the gun. If anything, it will improve your shooting since the trigger pull will be much shorter, and have a cleaner break.

As for Arsenal, Screw them. Very Anti CA company.
I rethought that question after posting it and realized that that's how the gun was originally designed anyway, so why would it have much impact if the trigger was moved back to the original placement for the design. Thanks for the additional clarification and point on improved shooting - it definitely adds peace of mind if I opt to go that route.

I've read the background on the forum about Arsenal, but from what I've seen, the quality that they produce is very good and the fit and finish (yes, I know, it's an AK and I shouldn't concern myself much with it) is very good as well. I'm more concerned with the gun itself and less with the company. Ordinarily I don't say that, but it's hard enough to get a good gun here with the AWB in place. If I get one fully built, it will likely be Arsenal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Munny$hot View Post
Bolt stick is very common with the US made Tapco G2 FCG. If your bolt sticks when pulling it slowly to the rear doesn't mean it will stick open when firing. One of the problem that causes your bolt to lock open is the receiver to bolt guide fit is too tight which a little bit of light sanding will cure. Removing the FCG and running the bolt through it cycle will verify if there is enough clearance. Slightly canted sights can also be cured by re-aligning them. Don't let very minor problems discourage you from buying an AK, but instead use them as a bargaining chip to get a better deal. The things I would mainly look for is:
(1) the rivets being flush
(2) the receiver being square
(3) the bolt closes fully on a go gauge/live round
(4) examine the mag well to make sure it wasn't poorly grindded open
(5) excessive mag wobble.
Thanks, all good points, and thanks to everyone else not quoted here as well! Great input.
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  #8  
Old 06-08-2012, 1:43 PM
HPGunner HPGunner is offline
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I was lucky enough to find a used Lancaster AK built on a NoDak Spud receiver and the fit and finish was top quality and has ran great so far shooting Wolf ammo. It's my favorite BLM desert blaster. If I was in the market for a second AK - I'd look for another Lancaster.

The mag wobble varies from magazine to magazine. I've had pretty good luck with the 10/30 magazines I got from Solar Tactical.

The only issue with AK's is that I can't find affordable non-magnetic non-corrosive primed ammo to shoot at local SoCal ranges. Most brass cased non-magnetic and non-corrosive ammo I've seen runs about $0.60 cents or more per round.
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  #9  
Old 06-08-2012, 5:34 PM
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REDdawn6 REDdawn6 is offline
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http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...hlight=M70+PAP
Write-up on great AK and lots of other good info:
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2012, 7:53 PM
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weber_2 weber_2 is offline
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Here's a quick tip. Buy a Saiga convert it. Done.
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  #11  
Old 06-08-2012, 8:16 PM
Kinsel83 Kinsel83 is offline
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Default oh yeah

Quote:
Originally Posted by weber_2 View Post
Here's a quick tip. Buy a Saiga convert it. Done.
Second that.
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  #12  
Old 06-08-2012, 8:07 PM
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Sorry OP I'm gonna thread jack this one. How difficult is it to take a say bulgarian AK or other varient that was not designed for a milled receiver, and convert it from a flat style AK to a milled AK?
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  #13  
Old 06-08-2012, 8:24 PM
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You already know more than most new AK buyers go out and buy a nice one. Then buy a Saiga and convert it. Then buy a parts kit and build it at a Build Party.

Enjoy.
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