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Glockster_221
02-06-2010, 08:04
I'm one of them when it comes to AKs.

There's nothing quite like Rosewood furniture on an AK.

On that note, I would like to purchase a Russian-produced, super high quality AK with dark wood (Rosewood) furniture. I know Arsenal is an excellent importer of AKs, but I don't think they import dark-wooden AKs, only the blond crap, as far as I am aware.

Are there any other good importers out there that import directly from Russia? Also, please give me some price points.

Thanks.

CarlosC
02-06-2010, 08:44
By purist I thought you meant to keep the AK in its original configuration. I assume you mean just put wood on it, right?

Anyway, your inquiry is sincere, but you need to know a few things. Arsenal is the only importer of Russian AKs right now. Those AKs come into the US and are modified - per federal requirement - to comply with 922r, a law that basically says no more than 10 of the 16 parts in the AK can be foreign. As part of 922r, Arsenal installs plastic furniture made in the US on the AKs in any one of several colors. The blonde wood furniture is used strictly on the Bulgarian AKs, not the Russian AKs.
If you want a Russian AK in the configuration you specify, you'll need to buy an Arsenal Russian AK and then put some wood on it yourself. I would suggest Ironwood Designs as they make superior quality AK furniture in a variety of woods.

Glocker08
02-06-2010, 09:28
I'm one of them when it comes to AKs.

There's nothing quite like Rosewood furniture on an AK.

On that note, I would like to purchase a Russian-produced, super high quality AK with dark wood (Rosewood) furniture. I know Arsenal is an excellent importer of AKs, but I don't think they import dark-wooden AKs, only the blond crap, as far as I am aware.

Are there any other good importers out there that import directly from Russia? Also, please give me some price points.

Thanks.

Check out Lancaster Arms. I'm not sure what build of AK they are, but they have some of the most gorgeous "Russian Red" furniture I've ever seen on their rifles.

CarlosC
02-06-2010, 09:59
The Lancasters I have seen and held were Romanian kits, but nicely done. I believe they still have Polish kits for their underfolders.

markieboy
02-06-2010, 12:13
If you want a Russian AK in the configuration you specify, you'll need to buy an Arsenal Russian AK and then put some wood on it yourself. I would suggest Ironwood Designs as they make superior quality AK furniture in a variety of woods.

:agree: They have some really nice work!

CarlosC, what type of wood would you suggest to have that authentic Russian look? I'm leaning towards the laminate birchwood. But I heard it's more difficult to stain that regular birchwood. What are your thoughts?

El_Ron1
02-06-2010, 13:31
Where do they make pallets out of rosewood?

andyffer
02-06-2010, 13:49
bit blurry..

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4064/4334337107_403e1aa471_b.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii173/andyffer/DSC04722.jpg

CarlosC
02-06-2010, 15:02
Andy, very nice gun...I'm curious, what is the origin of the kit used to build your Lancaster??

Glockster_221
02-06-2010, 18:35
By purist I thought you meant to keep the AK in its original configuration. I assume you mean just put wood on it, right?

Anyway, your inquiry is sincere, but you need to know a few things. Arsenal is the only importer of Russian AKs right now. Those AKs come into the US and are modified - per federal requirement - to comply with 922r, a law that basically says no more than 10 of the 16 parts in the AK can be foreign. As part of 922r, Arsenal installs plastic furniture made in the US on the AKs in any one of several colors. The blonde wood furniture is used strictly on the Bulgarian AKs, not the Russian AKs.
If you want a Russian AK in the configuration you specify, you'll need to buy an Arsenal Russian AK and then put some wood on it yourself. I would suggest Ironwood Designs as they make superior quality AK furniture in a variety of woods.

Thanks a lot, I didn't know any of that..:wavey:

Check out Lancaster Arms. I'm not sure what build of AK they are, but they have some of the most gorgeous "Russian Red" furniture I've ever seen on their rifles.

Thanks. :)

bit blurry..

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4064/4334337107_403e1aa471_b.jpg

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii173/andyffer/DSC04722.jpg

:shocked: Umm.. that is just beautiful...

Glockster_221
02-06-2010, 18:41
What's the difference between a stamped receiver and a milled one?

Glockdude1
02-06-2010, 19:41
I'm one of them when it comes to AKs.

There's nothing quite like Rosewood furniture on an AK.

On that note, I would like to purchase a Russian-produced, super high quality AK with dark wood (Rosewood) furniture. I know Arsenal is an excellent importer of AKs, but I don't think they import dark-wooden AKs, only the blond crap, as far as I am aware.

Are there any other good importers out there that import directly from Russia? Also, please give me some price points.

Thanks.

How about a milled Polytech?
http://i47.tinypic.com/2q2qzyh.jpg

At today's prices you should be able to find one like mine, under $1800ish.

No, it is not for sale.

:cool:

Seattle206
02-06-2010, 19:44
How about a milled Polytech?
http://i47.tinypic.com/2q2qzyh.jpg

At today's prices you should be able to find one like mine, under $1800ish.

No, it is not for sale.

:cool:

now thats a beautiful example of an ak47, thick barrel, milled receiver, wider fsb. beautiful!

CarlosC
02-06-2010, 20:21
What's the difference between a stamped receiver and a milled one?

If you think bout it, you pretty much answered your own question...:supergrin:

A stamped receiver is made by stamping, then bending, a sheet of steel into the receiver shape. A milled receiver starts as a chunk of steel which is them machined (milled) into the receiver shape.

The very first AK-47 was actually stamped. The Russians had difficulty with consistent heat treatment, so they had to temporarily switch to milling the receiver. It was easy for them to do this because they had a ton of milling machinery left over from WW-2 and before. Once they worked out the problems with the heat treating, they went back to the stamped receiver and renamed the AK-47 into the AKM.

Here is the first version of the AK-47 with a Type-1 receiver
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/Rifles/AK-47type1receiver.jpg

Here is the second version of the AK-47 with a Type-2 (milled) receiver
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/Rifles/AK-47type2receiver.jpg

Here is the third version of the AK-47 with a Type-3 (milled) receiver
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/Rifles/AK-47type3receiver.jpg

After that, they went to the AKM stamped receiver. There are several versions of the basic AKM stamped receiver, but they're essentially the same. Here is an AKM type 4a receiver
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v440/CarlosC/Guns/Rifles/RomyG1.jpg

Keep in mind that within the receiver types, there are sub-types:
1A - AK-47 fixed stock
1B - AK-47 underfolder
2A - AK-47 fixed stock
2B - AK-47 underfolder
3a - AK-47 fixed stock
3b - AK-47 underfolder
4a - AKM fixed stock
4b - AKM underfolder
4c - AKM fixed stock with an accessory rail
4d - AKM with an accessory rail and a latch for a side-folding stock

CarlosC
02-06-2010, 20:59
Seattle206's AK is a Chinese AK-47 with a type 3a receiver.

As a rule of thumb, AK-47s are easy to spot because of the receiver. Notice in the pictures I posted above how the AK-47 lacks rivets along the side, while the AKM has rivets. The AK-47 also has a milled depression just above the magazine well where the AKM simply has a dimple. AK-47s also have thicker barrels, longer FSBs, and the bayonets attach to the FSB as opposed to the gas block in the AKM. Other subtle differences include a series of holes drilled into the AK-47's gas tube that are nonexistent in the AKM and an 800m sight. Finally, AK-47s use smooth receiver covers while AKMs have ribs.

Disclaimer: the above is a rule of thumb, but there are plenty of exceptions. The Chinese, Bulgarians and the Yugoslavians use thicker AK-47 barrels in their AKMs and the wider FSBs, for example. Some AKMs have sights that don't even go to 800m. Bulgarians use AK-47 receiver covers on some of their AKMs. There are also a mix of AK-47 and AKM parts on different receivers.

adamg01
02-06-2010, 22:34
By purist I thought you meant to keep the AK in its original configuration. I assume you mean just put wood on it, right?

Anyway, your inquiry is sincere, but you need to know a few things. Arsenal is the only importer of Russian AKs right now. Those AKs come into the US and are modified - per federal requirement - to comply with 922r, a law that basically says no more than 10 of the 16 parts in the AK can be foreign. As part of 922r, Arsenal installs plastic furniture made in the US on the AKs in any one of several colors. The blonde wood furniture is used strictly on the Bulgarian AKs, not the Russian AKs.
If you want a Russian AK in the configuration you specify, you'll need to buy an Arsenal Russian AK and then put some wood on it yourself. I would suggest Ironwood Designs as they make superior quality AK furniture in a variety of woods.

I know I might of asked you this all ready Carlos. Is my Mak90 with the thumbhole stock most likely not legal under 922r?

Nicoroshi
02-06-2010, 23:06
adamg01.
922(r) deals specifically with the amount of the rifle that is imported.
As CarlosC points out there are 16 parts to a stamped receiver AK.
The law is 'No more than 10 imported parts'
If your rifle doesn't posses some of the 16 parts then the amount which needs to be US made declines.
Example:
If your rifle doesn't have a muzzle device then it only has 15 parts which would mean you need 5 US made ones to be in compliance with 922(r).
Same goes for a milled receiver build as one of the parts is the receiver, and one is the front trunnion which a milled receiver rifle lacks.
There are many easy parts that can be changed to keep the original look of the rifle, and remain in compliance with 922(r).
Examples would be trigger, hammer, disconnector, gas piston,and muzzle device.
Most all rifles I have seen for sale have a US made receiver. Using US made magazine body, follower, and floor plates would also gain you 3 US made parts.
So really not that difficult to remain in compliance with 922(r), and keep the original furniture if you'd like.

Also +1 on Ironwood designs for US made furniture.
I had some maple made up for one of my builds that not only looks great but fit great as well.
http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/6465/dscn2887t.jpg

CarlosC
02-06-2010, 23:17
I know I might of asked you this all ready Carlos. Is my Mak90 with the thumbhole stock most likely not legal under 922r?

The MAK-90 is legal. It was imported with the thumbhole stock as a sporting rifle.

TheGrimReaper
02-07-2010, 00:03
Count me in I love some good wood or well done laminate on an AK.

ArmoryDoc
02-07-2010, 00:16
I am a purist in most guns. The AK for sure. I have an preban, unaltered, 98% Sile Import Chinese AKM-47S and I can't imagine putting a M4 stock, or a rail on it. Wow. What a travesty.

Glockster_221
02-07-2010, 00:43
now thats a beautiful example of an ak47, thick barrel, milled receiver, wider fsb. beautiful!

I couldn't agree more.

If you think bout it, you pretty much answered your own question...:supergrin:

A stamped receiver is made by stamping, then bending, a sheet of steel into the receiver shape. A milled receiver starts as a chunk of steel which is them machined (milled) into the receiver shape.

The very first AK-47 was actually stamped. The Russians had difficulty with consistent heat treatment, so they had to temporarily switch to milling the receiver. It was easy for them to do this because they had a ton of milling machinery left over from WW-2 and before. Once they worked out the problems with the heat treating, they went back to the stamped receiver and renamed the AK-47 into the AKM.

Here is the first version of the AK-47 with a Type-1 receiver


Here is the second version of the AK-47 with a Type-2 (milled) receiver


Here is the third version of the AK-47 with a Type-3 (milled) receiver


After that, they went to the AKM stamped receiver. There are several versions of the basic AKM stamped receiver, but they're essentially the same. Here is an AKM type 4a receiver


Keep in mind that within the receiver types, there are sub-types:
1A - AK-47 fixed stock
1B - AK-47 underfolder
2A - AK-47 fixed stock
2B - AK-47 underfolder
3a - AK-47 fixed stock
3b - AK-47 underfolder
4a - AKM fixed stock
4b - AKM underfolder
4c - AKM fixed stock with an accessory rail
4d - AKM with an accessory rail and a latch for a side-folding stock

Thanks for the info, you seem very knowledgeable. Now let's talk quality. Which version is the better of the 3? Ak(1) Ak(2) or AKM?

I think what I'm going to do is buy an Arsenal AK and then throw on some Ironwood Designs wood on there. Something in dark wood.

Thanks a LOT for the info. If you have any more to dispense, please do so.

CarlosC
02-07-2010, 10:45
AK quality is a touchy subject and leads to 1000 different opinions. People usually catalog quality based on country of origin as opposed to receiver type. Chinese and Bulgarian milled are practically works of art, especially the Chinese stuff. As much as we look down on products from China, they sure can make a quality AK. Yugo milled are rare, but their workmanship is outstanding too. Among the stamped receivers, the difference between different countries is slight with Russian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, East German, Polish, and Yugoslavian AKs very well made. The East German AKs in particular are very well machined as are the Polish models. The Chinese stamped AKs are very nicely done as well and certainly don't lose anything to their European counterparts. I believe it would be fair to say that next in quality would be the Egyptian AKs and only because they simply don't display the level of finish the others do. As for function, the Egyptian AKs are just as reliable. Keep in mind the Egyptian AKs are built on former Russian equipment...basically the Russians disassembled an AK production line in Russia and shipped it to Egypt while Nasr was in power. Finally, are the Romanians. For some reason, they just never devoted that much effort to making the AK look nice. They still work though. This is just my opinion too and others will disagree.

Among the AK versions you listed (AK1, AK2, and AKM), the real problem will be finding examples of the first two to even look at. They are super rare and if you did find one, you'd better be ready to cough up some serious money to pry it from the owner's hands. More available are the AK-47 type 3 guns and tons of AKMs in different flavors.

As for info, I have lots. I have built a database over the years of AK information and I am always adding to it or correcting it. I also have a pretty good variety in my own AK collection. Just ask and I or several other members on this board should be able to get you the info you desire. I believe it was last year too that I did a couple of tutorials that were grouped together under one sticky. Go check it out, it's number 17:

http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=497434

The question of AK receiver types comes up so often, I may do another "guide" on the different models.

Glockster_221
02-07-2010, 11:10
AK quality is a touchy subject and leads to 1000 different opinions. People usually catalog quality based on country of origin as opposed to receiver type. Chinese and Bulgarian milled are practically works of art, especially the Chinese stuff. As much as we look down on products from China, they sure can make a quality AK. Yugo milled are rare, but their workmanship is outstanding too. Among the stamped receivers, the difference between different countries is slight with Russian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, East German, Polish, and Yugoslavian AKs very well made. The East German AKs in particular are very well machined as are the Polish models. The Chinese stamped AKs are very nicely done as well and certainly don't lose anything to their European counterparts. I believe it would be fair to say that next in quality would be the Egyptian AKs and only because they simply don't display the level of finish the others do. As for function, the Egyptian AKs are just as reliable. Keep in mind the Egyptian AKs are built on former Russian equipment...basically the Russians disassembled an AK production line in Russia and shipped it to Egypt while Nasr was in power. Finally, are the Romanians. For some reason, they just never devoted that much effort to making the AK look nice. They still work though. This is just my opinion too and others will disagree.

Among the AK versions you listed (AK1, AK2, and AKM), the real problem will be finding examples of the first two to even look at. They are super rare and if you did find one, you'd better be ready to cough up some serious money to pry it from the owner's hands. More available are the AK-47 type 3 guns and tons of AKMs in different flavors.

As for info, I have lots. I have built a database over the years of AK information and I am always adding to it or correcting it. I also have a pretty good variety in my own AK collection. Just ask and I or several other members on this board should be able to get you the info you desire. I believe it was last year too that I did a couple of tutorials that were grouped together under one sticky. Go check it out, it's number 17:

http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=497434

The question of AK receiver types comes up so often, I may do another "guide" on the different models.

Wow, thanks a lot for that information. I'm trying to absorb all of this knowledge all at once.

Where could I find a high quality Bulgarian milled, or Chinese milled for a decent price, with dark wood furniture?

Thanks.

98_1LE
02-07-2010, 11:32
I was going for a more traditional look, but it turned out a little more brilliant than planned. However I am very pleased. Wood is Ironwood Designs laminate, fire control group is Red Star milled, base rifle is a Norinco MAK90 (was NIB when I bought). When these pics were waiting I was still waiting on the butt plate and sling parts; they have since been installed.

http://i40.tinypic.com/x5d1jq.jpg
http://i41.tinypic.com/2lxick1.jpg
http://i44.tinypic.com/1zu3i1.jpg
http://i42.tinypic.com/5n2ph2.jpg
http://i40.tinypic.com/ru20k0.jpg

CarlosC
02-07-2010, 11:37
Milled Bulgarian can come from Arsenal or from a private seller, which is more likely. Since no more Chinese AKs are imported, you'd have to resort to a private seller as well for one of those. Look either on GunBroker.com or one of the "For Sale" sections at AR15.com's AK section (which is huge) or over at TheAKForum.net. Private sellers would be best since you can find good deals. GunBroker has a decent selection but the prices are outrageuos for most of the items. There are also guys that have GunBroker bidding down to a science as though they were professional bidders. Above all, you have to know how much something is worth and how much you're willing to pay for it. Recognize a deal and jump on it (don't wait).

Glockster_221
02-07-2010, 12:44
I was going for a more traditional look, but it turned out a little more brilliant than planned. However I am very pleased. Wood is Ironwood Designs laminate, fire control group is Red Star milled, base rifle is a Norinco MAK90 (was NIB when I bought). When these pics were waiting I was still waiting on the butt plate and sling parts; they have since been installed.

http://i40.tinypic.com/x5d1jq.jpg
http://i41.tinypic.com/2lxick1.jpg
http://i44.tinypic.com/1zu3i1.jpg
http://i42.tinypic.com/5n2ph2.jpg
http://i40.tinypic.com/ru20k0.jpg

She's a beaut. The laminate stock on Ironwood Designs' website looked a lot lighter.

Milled Bulgarian can come from Arsenal or from a private seller, which is more likely. Since no more Chinese AKs are imported, you'd have to resort to a private seller as well for one of those. Look either on GunBroker.com or one of the "For Sale" sections at AR15.com's AK section (which is huge) or over at TheAKForum.net. Private sellers would be best since you can find good deals. GunBroker has a decent selection but the prices are outrageuos for most of the items. There are also guys that have GunBroker bidding down to a science as though they were professional bidders. Above all, you have to know how much something is worth and how much you're willing to pay for it. Recognize a deal and jump on it (don't wait).

Thanks. Arsenal milled it is.

98_1LE
02-07-2010, 14:42
I stained and cleared the furniture. They come from IWD "naked", and you have to sand, fit, and finish it.

I had never worked laminate (plywood) before. Sanding it is unique since you really cannot "sand with the grain" all the time.

PlasticGuy
02-08-2010, 09:03
I've had a lot of AK and AKM variants in the last several years, including Russian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Yugo, Polish, Hungarian, and Romanian. I sold some that I was less impressed with, but still have quite a few. The absolute best quality AK variant I have ever owned, and the last rifle of any kind that I would ever sell, is my Bulgarian Arsenal Nevada SA-M7a1r. Every feature was selected and fitted with quality in mind, and it shoots accordingly. If you want the best, start with a milled Arsenal. The Chinese milled recievers, barrels, and trigger groups are as good, but their bolts and carriers are not quite as well respected. I've had good luck with them and would happily buy another milled Chinese if the price was right, but I know a couple guys who have had problems with their bolts. The Arsenals are 100% good to go.

I still have the original synthetic furniture on my milled Arsenal, but I've toyed with the idea of getting some good wood. The problem is that the "correct" Bulgarian wood is blond that I don't like as much. The red looks much better, but isn't technically correct. It is beautiful though, and most people would never know the difference.

Glockster_221
02-08-2010, 13:33
I've had a lot of AK and AKM variants in the last several years, including Russian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Yugo, Polish, Hungarian, and Romanian. I sold some that I was less impressed with, but still have quite a few. The absolute best quality AK variant I have ever owned, and the last rifle of any kind that I would ever sell, is my Bulgarian Arsenal Nevada SA-M7a1r. Every feature was selected and fitted with quality in mind, and it shoots accordingly. If you want the best, start with a milled Arsenal. The Chinese milled recievers, barrels, and trigger groups are as good, but their bolts and carriers are not quite as well respected. I've had good luck with them and would happily buy another milled Chinese if the price was right, but I know a couple guys who have had problems with their bolts. The Arsenals are 100% good to go.

I still have the original synthetic furniture on my milled Arsenal, but I've toyed with the idea of getting some good wood. The problem is that the "correct" Bulgarian wood is blond that I don't like as much. The red looks much better, but isn't technically correct. It is beautiful though, and most people would never know the difference.

That's all I needed to hear. Arsenal it is. :supergrin:

rem2429
02-08-2010, 15:25
That's all I needed to hear. Arsenal it is. :supergrin:

Wait until you see the price on a milled Bulgarian. :whistling:
SGL 20 and some nice wood and call it a day.

CarlosC
02-08-2010, 15:47
Wait until you see the price on a milled Bulgarian. :whistling:
SGL 20 and some nice wood and call it a day.

He's right, a new Bulgarian SA-7M Classic will set you back $1450. You could buy two Russian SGLs for that much.