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Old 12-19-2009, 13:15   #1
Tcormier106
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First AK Advice

I am in the market for my first AK, have 2 SKS's and 2 AR's. Finally time to make the plunge. I live in CT and am not able to own an AK action in 7.62x39 so my question is what would u recomend?

I would live to either stay with the 5.56 or 5.45. It is going to be just a shooter, but at the same time I want something that is going to be reliable and fairly accurate, out to 100 yards.

Like I said I'm new to AK's and really know nothing about them....

what would you all recomend?

Thanks for the advice everyone
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Old 12-19-2009, 13:31   #2
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Originally Posted by Tcormier106 View Post
I am in the market for my first AK, have 2 SKS's and 2 AR's. Finally time to make the plunge. I live in CT and am not able to own an AK action in 7.62x39 so my question is what would u recomend?

I would live to either stay with the 5.56 or 5.45. It is going to be just a shooter, but at the same time I want something that is going to be reliable and fairly accurate, out to 100 yards.

Like I said I'm new to AK's and really know nothing about them....

what would you all recomend?

Thanks for the advice everyone
Saigas are commonly available in either caliber.
The 5.45 surplus mags are easy to find. 5.56 higher capacity steel surplus mags are harder to easily find, but overall I would say 5.56 is an easier caliber route. More available ammo and reloading components.
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Old 12-19-2009, 14:08   #3
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I have looked at the Saigas but I am not a fan of the stock style, I am looking for something with a pistol grip.

I have seen a lot of companies that offer 5.45 and 5.56 variants but I have heard there are some companies that one should stay away from because of QC problems etc.
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Old 12-19-2009, 14:22   #4
hogarth
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Originally Posted by Tcormier106 View Post
I have looked at the Saigas but I am not a fan of the stock style, I am looking for something with a pistol grip.

I have seen a lot of companies that offer 5.45 and 5.56 variants but I have heard there are some companies that one should stay away from because of QC problems etc.

Go to the Kvar website and check out some of the Arsenal Saiga 5.45's. They are not of the 'sporter' style, but look like any other AK. I just got one in 7.62. I thought MD laws suck! What sense does it make in CT to be able to get an AK in 5.45 or 5.56, but NOT 7.62. Whatever.
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Old 12-19-2009, 14:23   #5
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http://www.lancasterarms.com/STAMPED...%20RIFLES.html

I have never really heard anything about the, so what does everyone think of their 5.45x39 Rough Rider series AK-74?
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Old 12-19-2009, 14:25   #6
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[URL]http://www.k-var.com/shop/home.php?cat=354[/URL]

[URL]http://www.k-var.com/shop/home.php?cat=356[/URL]

Here you go
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Old 12-19-2009, 14:45   #7
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Originally Posted by Tcormier106 View Post
I have looked at the Saigas but I am not a fan of the stock style, I am looking for something with a pistol grip.

I have seen a lot of companies that offer 5.45 and 5.56 variants but I have heard there are some companies that one should stay away from because of QC problems etc.
Yeah, I know what you mean.
Lancaster has some cool .223 AK style rifles.
.223 Cal
Red w/wood Pistol Grip 1114 CR $899.00

Look sort of like this but are in .223 caliber.
http://www.lancasterarms.com/NEW%20SAIGA%20RIFLES.html
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Old 12-19-2009, 16:21   #8
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http://www.jgsales.com/product_info....oducts_id/3751


http://www.jgsales.com/product_info....oducts_id/1080

these two are basically what I was looking for, any reason why I should keep myself away from these rifles?

Last edited by Tcormier106; 12-19-2009 at 16:35..
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Old 12-21-2009, 21:44   #9
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http://www.jgsales.com/product_info....oducts_id/3751


http://www.jgsales.com/product_info....oducts_id/1080

these two are basically what I was looking for, any reason why I should keep myself away from these rifles?
They were built by CAI and need to be inspected carefully before purchase.
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Old 12-21-2009, 22:50   #10
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I would go with 5.45 over 5.56 for an AK platform. 5.56 just seems like more of an AR caliber to me, if that makes sense. 7.62X39 and 5.45x39 are Russian designed calibers for Russian designed guns.
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Old 12-21-2009, 23:40   #11
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I have looked at the Saigas but I am not a fan of the stock style, I am looking for something with a pistol grip.

I have seen a lot of companies that offer 5.45 and 5.56 variants but I have heard there are some companies that one should stay away from because of QC problems etc.
Don't dismiss the Saiga so quickly. You buy either the .223 or 5.45 Saiga for $339, spend around $100-$125 (more if you go crazy) on conversion parts, plus a couple of hours for the conversion process and you end up with a brand new weapon returned to the proper AK config. Not some demilled trainer that has had 20K rounds put through it by Eastern European peasants.

Here's a price breakdown for a basic conversion.

New Saiga (.223 or 5.45) - $339
Tapco AK Stock (Warsaw or Nato Length) - $32
AK Pistol Grip and Nut - $20
G-2 Fire Control Group - $28
Bullet Guide Kit (allows use of high cap mags) - $26
Shepherds Crook - $3
Nylon Plugs for Rivet Holes (if you don't get holes welded up) - $2

Conversion Total - $450 (excludes tax, shipping, any transfer fees and any misc. other little costs like high temp paint for the bottom of the receiver)

Of course, you can spend much more if you go for different options, but this is the cost for a basic solid conversion back to the correct AK configuration. While the total cost is more than a cheap WASR, you'll end up with much more in the end.

Check out the Saiga 12 forums and you'll find all of the needed info for the conversion process. Don't worry about the difficulty as I possess the mechanical aptitude of a drunk chimp and had no problems with the conversion.
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Old 12-21-2009, 23:48   #12
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Yeah, I know what you mean.
Lancaster has some cool .223 AK style rifles.
.223 Cal
Red w/wood Pistol Grip 1114 CR $899.00

Look sort of like this but are in .223 caliber.
http://www.lancasterarms.com/NEW%20SAIGA%20RIFLES.html
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Is that a really poor photochop? Real Saiga's have 90 gas blocks...

To the OP, what are the laws in CT these days? If you get a pistol grip and standard capacity mags, are you allowed threaded barrels? I assume bayo lugs are no-good?

You could try to find of these:
http://arsenalinc.com/slr105r.htm

But your best bet might be to get one of these and find a dealer to neuter the lugs for you and pin the muzzle break on:
http://arsenalinc.com/slr105r.htm

Regardless, for AKs, 5.45 > 5.56. Cheaper ammo, better mags!
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Old 12-21-2009, 23:54   #13
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Is that a really poor photochop? Real Saiga's have 90 gas blocks...
Lancaster removes the 90 degree blocks and replaces them.
Its a cosmetic thing.
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Old 12-22-2009, 00:00   #14
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Lancaster removes the 90 degree blocks and replaces them.
Its a cosmetic thing.
This is supposed to be a desirable feature for $100 more than Arsenal's Saigas?
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:30   #15
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This is supposed to be a desirable feature for $100 more than Arsenal's Saigas?
I agree 100 %. I personally would rather have a 90 degree gas block.
If I remember correctly, the 45 degree block barrel hole angle has a greater potential to shave off a piece of the bullet and that can potentially clog the gas pathway. The 90 degree block avoids this potential.
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Old 12-24-2009, 21:58   #16
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I agree 100 %. I personally would rather have a 90 degree gas block.
If I remember correctly, the 45 degree block barrel hole angle has a greater potential to shave off a piece of the bullet and that can potentially clog the gas pathway. The 90 degree block avoids this potential.
I have heard or read that too, but I don't see how because the 45 degrees is angled away from the bullet path and really, how many AKs have you ever heard of being clogged from a jacket sliver?
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Old 12-25-2009, 13:12   #17
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I have heard or read that too, but I don't see how because the 45 degrees is angled away from the bullet path and really, how many AKs have you ever heard of being clogged from a jacket sliver?
All I could pull up related to this topic is about the transition from 7.62x39 to 5.45. Tantal's site makes the statement about the 45 degree hole angle shaving the 5.45 because of the extra velocity and therefore the 90 degree system was brought into use for the 74 caliber change. I do agree with you that since the 45 degree hole is angled away it should not in theory shave anything. The bullet steel jacket might have helped to prevent this also, but special low recoil low penetration training ammo bullets that might not be steel jacketed could be in some cases be just soft enough and flexible enough to that the bullet might potentially shave off. The only occurance of such an event in my experience has been with a saiga 12 gauge shotgun. I have had shotcup/wad shavings shave off and end up in the gas system in two different saiga shotguns and these have the 90 degree blocks. I read on saiga12 forum in the past that others have experienced this also. I would be curious to see anyone's experiences using a 45 degree gas hole/block with a 5.56 or 5.45 conversion/build.
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Old 12-25-2009, 14:34   #18
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how many AKs have you ever heard of being clogged from a jacket sliver?
I guess it just made sense for standardization to make all the blocks 90 degrees instead of producing 2 different kinds at the same arsenal. With 7.62x39 I have yet to read of shaving , your right, it does seem like a non-issue as far as with standard jacketed ammo. With 5.56/5.45, I am not sure that I would want a 45 degree block.

I still wonder why the Russians went with a 90 degree block on the faster 5.45, but Romanians used a 45 degree on the SAR2 5.45.
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http://tantal.kalashnikov.guns.ru/pro12.html
Earlier Russian AK-74's had a 45-degree angle gas vent on the barrel and used an AKM-type angled gas block. It was found that the angled gas vent hole on the bore (and therefore longer groove) was causing the bullet to shear off metal as it passed this point in the barrel. This was something never encountered in the slower moving AKM bullet. Going to a 90-degree drilled gas vent, and drilling it in the groove instead of the land. corrected this and also was said to increase accuracy. The Russians designed a new gas block to accompany the new hole, which made cleaning out the vent easier.
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Old 12-26-2009, 21:50   #19
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I guess it just made sense for standardization to make all the blocks 90 degrees instead of producing 2 different kinds at the same arsenal. With 7.62x39 I have yet to read of shaving , your right, it does seem like a non-issue as far as with standard jacketed ammo. With 5.56/5.45, I am not sure that I would want a 45 degree block.

I still wonder why the Russians went with a 90 degree block on the faster 5.45, but Romanians used a 45 degree on the SAR2 5.45.
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http://tantal.kalashnikov.guns.ru/pro12.html
Earlier Russian AK-74's had a 45-degree angle gas vent on the barrel and used an AKM-type angled gas block. It was found that the angled gas vent hole on the bore (and therefore longer groove) was causing the bullet to shear off metal as it passed this point in the barrel. This was something never encountered in the slower moving AKM bullet. Going to a 90-degree drilled gas vent, and drilling it in the groove instead of the land. corrected this and also was said to increase accuracy. The Russians designed a new gas block to accompany the new hole, which made cleaning out the vent easier.
Very interesting.

And did you ever notice the Romanians never went to the 90 degree gas block in their real AK-74s, not just their SARs?

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Old 12-26-2009, 22:09   #20
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Very interesting.

And did you ever notice the Romanians never went to the 90 degree gas block in their real AK-74s, not just their SARs?
So the big question is why the Russians and not the Romanians.
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