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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Never been much interested in either the AK or AR platform rifles, have been more into M1 carbines and Garands in military type rifles. But recently have started getting a bit of a bug. Been doing some reading and am wondering what the concensus is on a good place to start dipping ones toes into the AK pool? Would like it to be a mid range defend the homestead type. Would like ot keep it fairly reasonable until/when I figure out if I catch the bug.

Caliber pros and cons also if possible.

Any help is appreciated.
 

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I would start with a Romanian WASR 10 made at the Cugir factory which is a value AKM clone in 7.62x39. Its cheap at around $360-400(last I checked) but ammo is still expensive at $200-240 per 1k of commercial. x39 Hits hard and is said to have better penetration but lacks in total accuracy. Expect 2-5 inch groups at 100 depending on the rifle,ammo,conditions and how you shoot.

I started with a wasr10 and went all the way to AK47s.

Another option would be the AK74, also stamped, shoots the 5.45x39. Will likely get better accuracy, faster bullet but IMO atleast a lack of penetration you would get from the 7.62, it of course has less recoil and ammo is a little cheaper. Look at spending $400 or more.
http://www.jgsales.com/index.php/rifles/ak-47-and-rpk-rifles/cPath/209_214

Both would be good starting points.

Be sure to check for cant of the sight and gas block(meaning its not lined up correctly/at a odd angle as this can cause issues. usually sight cant is purely cosmetic.
 

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WASR with the earliest date you can find on the trunnion. Everytime I see a WASR I look at the date & every single one I have seen from the early 1980s up has had at least slight cant on the front sight base. Where as every one I have seen from the mid-1970s back has been almost perfect or perfect in regards to cant.
 

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I would spend a little more and stay away from the Romanian WASR's. I personally have had no problem with mine but I have seen a number of them at our local range that have "issues". This past Sunday the underfolder purchased at a local Fleet Farm had problems with the bolt assembly not aligning properly with the gas system. It had a Tapco trigger assembly so the trigger slap was not present like on some Romanians but the alignment of the bolt assembly was causing some real problems with feeding. Of course, YMMV...
 

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Those GP75s seem to be a good deal, and they have dimples.

My first AK was (still is) a Romanian WASR from the ban-era. No cant, very nice non-laminated blonde wood, bayo lug is ground but still works. No threads (but that can be fixed if I want) and of course no dimples. I got it for $300 a few years ago before AKs went crazy. Its a great, 100% reliable shooter.

Keith
 

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IO is making US made AKMs now. They have Green Mountain (so does GP75s) or Mossberg barrels and are very accurate (sub 2 MOA). IO come with Tapco furniture, but I replaced it with a $25 set of Bulgarian wood from APEX.
 

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I recently bought a GP WASR-10/63 from Classic Arms (http://www.classicarms.us). It cost $299 + $16 shipping, for a total of $315 delivered. Add to that the 450 rounds of Lapua ammo I bought from Southern Ohio Gun (http://www.southernohiogun.com) and I've got just around $400 into my new acquisition, including enough ammo to last more than a summer's worth of shooting!

As I said, mine is a GP WASR-10/63 with the triangle-with-an-arrow-in-it arsenal mark (rifle built from military parts; mine is all-matching, except for the cover) and a receiver date of 1971. Regardless of what you may have heard or read, mine - which was bought off the Internet, sight-unseen - is all straight (no canted sights/gas block/etc.) and shoots very well. It has a chromed barrel and came with a Tapco G2 trigger installed, which is a very nice, smooth trigger, as well as the requisite number of parts for 922r compliance. Also, mine is the 10-round lo-cap version, because I live in NJ and that's all that's legal here. However, the mags (it came with five!) fit tightly and there is no sign of wobble, which you also may have read about.

The wood on mine is as you'd expect and what you see on most WASR's: Laminated, more-or-less unfinished, but overall not bad looking. The metal had a couple of scratches in it when the rifle arrived, but hey, it's an AK -- It's not going to win any beauty contests, anyway!

I can recommend the WASR quite comfortably. I like mine, having put 90 rounds downrange so far without a single hiccup and with pretty good accuracy (once I figured out the sight picture) of around 4" at 100 yards.

For just over $300, it's very hard to beat a WASR as an introductory rifle to the AK platform. It will take all the aftermarket parts you want to slap on it and it's a heck of a lot of fun to shoot. I'd say go for one and then just enjoy going to the range -- Like I said, it's an AK. It's made to shoot, not stand in the safe looking pretty!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for the information so far. Are there pictures of properly assembled bolt and gas blocks compared to inproperly assembled ones for one to look at and study so they know what they are looking for? If so, where might they be located please?
 

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Hi SL! You just have to eyeball them. Hold the rifle out in front of you and look down the centerline to see if the front sight base or gas block is canted.

I would echo what others have said about the Romanians being a good starter. Is there a Dunham's Sports near you? They usually have some in stock that you can eyeball.

Also check out the gun shows, pawn shops too. You never know what you might find.
 

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A lot of people seem to like the Yugos (majority of which are underfolders from Century). They seem to have had far fewer reported issues that I've ever seen than most other Century marketed stuff (I recall seeing someone a while back mention that they work at the subcontractor that assembles these for Century in the US).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi SL! You just have to eyeball them. Hold the rifle out in front of you and look down the centerline to see if the front sight base or gas block is canted.

I would echo what others have said about the Romanians being a good starter. Is there a Dunham's Sports near you? They usually have some in stock that you can eyeball.

Also check out the gun shows, pawn shops too. You never know what you might find.

Dunhams? Yeah I there is one in a nearby city, thanks will check them out. Never been in it because it is in a mall.
 

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I'll second the yugo's. The yugo is the red-headed step child of the ak world. A great rifle, sturdier and in my opinion better then most ak's. A folder of full stock will cost you less then 500. Ammo is coming down. Right now you can get yugo surplus 7.62x39 for about 200 for 1200 rds. THIS is the combo i would recommend.

Second would be a tantal or centerfire bulgarian AK-74. The ammo for them is a lot cheaper, at 1080 for 130.


But check a yugo out. Thicker stamped reciever, just stronger. Just for some reason they are not talked of as much or given the credit others are....


And WHY buy a wasr when for less then 100 bucks more you can get a dimpled reciever ak? Or, when for LESS money you can get a centerfire systems bulgy......
 
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