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Old 02-18-2013, 08:19   #1
Pier23
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AK / AR price, quality differences

Gentlefolk,

I touched on this in another area, and it was suggested I start another thread with my questions, and this area seemed the most appropriate.

Now, the reason I am asking...

At the start of The Craziness I bought one of the last converted Saiga AKs the store had. Nice rifle, goes bang, very happy.

Now folks are discussing Colt ARs at $2K, or somwhere more than three times what my Saiga ran.

Now, I know a lot of that is going to be a Craziness Tax, but my main question is, what makes the AR platform attractive enough that people are willing to pay these prices?

My main area of interest is handguns, so I know why I prefer my Sigs over my Glocks, though they perform the same function equally well. And one is hit with the same price hit...a Sig will yield close to twice what a Glock does.

But I don't have enough background with the AR .... OR the AK platform, to be able to understand the differences for those two examples.

Not trying to start a war, just interested in information from those in the rifle waters deeper than I have been.

Thx!
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:24   #2
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That $2,000+ Colt was selling for $1097 at Wal Mart just over 2 months ago, and for under $1,000 if you shopped around online. There's no reason (other than people playing Chicken Little) for a Colt 6920 to be selling for over $2,000, much less at some of the prices I saw them for in late December ($3,500+).
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:27   #3
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Originally Posted by WoodenPlank View Post
That $2,000+ Colt was selling for $1097 at Wal Mart just over 2 months ago, and for under $1,000 if you shopped around online. There's no reason (other than people playing Chicken Little) for a Colt 6920 to be selling for over $2,000, much less at some of the prices I saw them for in late December ($3,500+).
+1

...and also to add that once the market does stabilize, do your research before making a purchase. I think you've probably got about 2-3 months on your hands.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:39   #4
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Historically the available AK supply has been inexpensive, military surplus type production with much lower overhead costs and inferior fit and finish compared to a modern production AR. The exception being the modern AK build examples (Arsenal, etc.), prices for which approach that of an AR.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:45   #5
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Historically the available AK supply has been inexpensive, military surplus type production with much lower overhead costs and inferior fit and finish compared to a modern production AR. The exception being the modern AK build examples (Arsenal, etc.), prices for which approach that of an AR.
It's definitely cheaper to produce a receiver from a stamped piece of sheet metal with a few extra bits riveted and welded in place than it is a machined aluminum or steel lower. Same goes for most of the small parts (safety, etc) being made from stamped parts or basic machined ones.

As you pointed out, a quality AK will cost about the same as a quality AR now, with bargain barrel ARs not being that far off from the bargain barrel AKs in price, either.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:16   #6
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AR's a far more accurate then the AK. It's inherent in the design and somewhat because of the orginal chamberings. The AR is also modular making customizing the weapon far easier to do. The AR is also easier to shoot for the majority of shooters, recoil is mild, trajectory relatively flat and again usually more accurate.

I find both rifles reliable. Yes the AR takes more work to keep clean and maitenance cannot be ignored, like you can with an AK, but still in general very reliable.

You can get pretty accurate with an AK if you find a good shooter and maybe put an optic on it. I have a great shooting Yugo that can hold it's own to 200M but at 300 it's more luck then skill to hit a pie plate. At 300M my AR can perforate that plate all day and it can hit relaibly much further.

That's why I have paid more for AR's in the past. To be honest I enjoy shooting both.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:46   #7
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You can order a Larue PredatAR today for $1600. A Larue is twice the rifle a Colt ever thought about being. Better trigger, better rail, better BCG, better gas system, etc. Only downside is you are probably looking at a year wait. With the way ammo prices are now that's not a big deal. You won't be able to afford to shoot it at today's prices anyhow.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:11   #8
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The whole 'AK is always reliable and requires no maintenance' and the whole 'ARs need lots of cleaning and maintenance' is stupid mantra that keeps getting perpetuated on the internet and gun stores.

Spend some time training with both and the AK becomes a POS real quick.

Yes. AKs suck.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:22   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodenPlank View Post
That $2,000+ Colt was selling for $1097 at Wal Mart just over 2 months ago, and for under $1,000 if you shopped around online. There's no reason (other than people playing Chicken Little) for a Colt 6920 to be selling for over $2,000, much less at some of the prices I saw them for in late December ($3,500+).
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodenPlank View Post
It's definitely cheaper to produce a receiver from a stamped piece of sheet metal with a few extra bits riveted and welded in place than it is a machined aluminum or steel lower. Same goes for most of the small parts (safety, etc) being made from stamped parts or basic machined ones.

As you pointed out, a quality AK will cost about the same as a quality AR now, with bargain barrel ARs not being that far off from the bargain barrel AKs in price, either.
+1 on the above.

Look into the price of a top shelf AK like one from Rifle Dynamics. They are probably the best thing going in the AK world.

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You can order a Larue PredatAR today for $1600. A Larue is twice the rifle a Colt ever thought about being. Better trigger, better rail, better BCG, better gas system, etc. Only downside is you are probably looking at a year wait. With the way ammo prices are now that's not a big deal. You won't be able to afford to shoot it at today's prices anyhow.
I see the PredatAR and 6920 as being in two different classes as well. Larue approaches the task w/ an entirely different end goal. The $600+ price premium is warranted IMO. For some the Larue is needed some the 6920. Different classes of firearms.

As far as ammunition, I have been able to get ammunition anytime I want and at cheaper than normal (before craziness) prices and I know a lot of others who can as well. This "downside" is an invention of the mind.

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The whole 'AK is always reliable and requires no maintenance' and the whole 'ARs need lots of cleaning and maintenance' is stupid mantra that keeps getting perpetuated on the internet and gun stores.

Spend some time training with both and the AK becomes a POS real quick.

Yes. AKs suck.
I agree w/ everything except that AKs suck. Internet BS like this is the downfall of internet forums.

Last edited by mjkeat; 02-18-2013 at 11:25..
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:39   #10
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I agree w/ everything except that AKs suck. Internet BS like this is the downfall of internet forums.
I'm not a big fan of AK's. For me, the ergonomics definitely suck. That doesn't mean the entire platform sucks, just that it sucks for ME.

Doesn't change the fact that I REALLY want an SBR clone of the AKs-74u...

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Old 02-18-2013, 12:58   #11
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True, fortunately there are products available that help make the ergo thing less of an issue.
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Old 02-18-2013, 13:02   #12
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True, fortunately there are products available that help make the ergo thing less of an issue.

By the time I change everything on an AK I would wan tto change, I might as well have just bought an AR, though.

The biggest reason I love the AKs-74u (other than it does look pretty badass in the original configuration) is it's a lot of nasty in a small package. I could easily stick a folded -74u, several 30 round magazines, an IFAK and a hydration bladder into a messenger bag. I can't do that with my 10.5" SBR'd AR, even if I break down the upper and lower first.
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Old 02-18-2013, 13:08   #13
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Again, true. It is fun to have one around though.

I like your idea. Very handy.
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Old 02-18-2013, 13:19   #14
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Again, true. It is fun to have one around though.

I like your idea. Very handy.
Yeah, I have been wanting to get an MP5k-PDW clone or a -74u clone built for that exact reason for a long time. Neither one is a slap-together project, but I think the -74 will be easier. A shame nobody is making an AK pistol in 5.45 (yet) that I could easily convert to an SBR after getting a stamp.
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Old 02-18-2013, 14:01   #15
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The AK isn't as reliable, inaccurate or durable as legend has it and the AR isn't the ultra accurate jam-omatic, complicated gun common wisdom claims it is. Both systems have their warts and advantages. I've seen more broken AK's on the battlefield than I ever saw broken AR's.
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Old 02-18-2013, 14:46   #16
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I agree w/ everything except that AKs suck. Internet BS like this is the downfall of internet forums.
That's not an internet opinion. There is no good reason for anyone with a choice to run an AK unless they wanna be 'different' or 'special'.

I've seen many Aks go down or not run reliably. A higher percentage than ARs, but then again the total sample size I've seen has been smaller and people of average intelligence don't usually try to take a class or shoot a match with an AK.

I've never seen one that was particularly accurate.

I've never seen one with a safety that was in a decent location.

I've never seen one that was quick and easy to reload.

I've never seen one with a decent method of mounting an optic, a light, a sling and buis.

I've never seen one with the charging handle on the correct side.

I've never seen one with good ergonomics.
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Old 02-18-2013, 15:52   #17
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I am not an expert by any means when it comes to ARs and AKs. I can say this though, I was in Eastern Europe a few years back and a friend of mine had a Yugo underfolder. There was some festival going on and everyone was shooting in the air...somewhat frightening to be honest.

Anyway, they had a couple crates of ammo and the 10 of us blew through a couple thousand rounds in a few hours time. It was so cute to watch the women load up the mags and drums for the guys to play with.

Having said that, the weapon did not malfunction one single time. It was thrown around and used like the village bicycle....everyone had fun with it. It went BANG every time that trigger was pulled. As far as accuracy is concerned, not the best....and I'm willing to wager that almost any AR will out shoot it at 100yrds. I don't know about these newer and better made AKs like Arsenal, but they sure are fun....and always go bang.

I now have a Yugo underfolder with a dozen + mags that keep the bolt open on the last spent round. Loads up real quick, and it's fun to shoot up to maybe 200yrds....IMHO. Hides real nice under a long coat...and mine has all black furniture. Looks mean!



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Old 02-18-2013, 16:01   #18
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That's not an internet opinion. There is no good reason for anyone with a choice to run an AK unless they wanna be 'different' or 'special'.

I've seen many Aks go down or not run reliably. A higher percentage than ARs, but then again the total sample size I've seen has been smaller and people of average intelligence don't usually try to take a class or shoot a match with an AK.

I've never seen one that was particularly accurate.

I've never seen one with a safety that was in a decent location.

I've never seen one that was quick and easy to reload.

I've never seen one with a decent method of mounting an optic, a light, a sling and buis.

I've never seen one with the charging handle on the correct side.

I've never seen one with good ergonomics.
Though this may sound like one it is not an insult.

Don't let your particular inabilities convince you these things are anything but internet opinion.

I have been in classes w/ individuals who ran an AK. Did I mention he was a physician? Well, he was.

Everything you mentioned has been remedied through product development, T&E, and training. You know that horrible thing called training.

I prefer the AR but in no way should your misconceptions turn anyone away from running one if they so choose.
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Old 02-18-2013, 16:21   #19
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I've never seen one that was particularly accurate.
Silver Bear "Match Effect" was great ammo when it was available. Coupled with a well mounted, zeroed optic, results were impressive. (... and even "amazing" with an SKS + Tech Sights)

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I've never seen one with a safety that was in a decent location.
They're all in a pretty "decent" location.

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I've never seen one that was quick and easy to reload.
Really???

It's a detachable box.

Quote:
I've never seen one with a decent method of mounting an optic, a light, a sling and buis.
There are plenty of "decent" mounts. A light is too easy (easier, in fact, than an M16 or HK). Sling? Too easy!!!

BUIS??? Have you ever handled an AK? They have sights.

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I've never seen one with the charging handle on the correct side.
LOLOLOL



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I've never seen one with good ergonomics.
Sounds like there's a lot you aint seen...

Big Bird said it best- neither platform is perfect and neither platform is as terrible as the fan boys of the other say.

The shortcomings of the AK are wobbly tangent sights, poor quality ammunition, and unskilled operators (Be it Boris, Hadji, or Joe-Bob). All of these are easily overcome with training and you can pick up any AK in the world and rock **** down.
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Old 02-18-2013, 20:42   #20
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Though this may sound like one it is not an insult.

Don't let your particular inabilities convince you these things are anything but internet opinion.

Don't flatter yourself. I've trained on the AK a little. Ran one through a two day carbine course (Tigerswan) and been familiarized on 'em several times. Never saw any advantage. Not one.

I done trying to pontificate the high points of a stamped sheet metal POS.

Ya'll have fun..
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