The AK-47 is a fully automatic rifle. So im assuming you meant to ask about an AK-47 Varient rifle which would be a semi auto version. We dont need anymore people in the media going “Survivalist/ Prepper looking to aquire heavy machine guns”lol
I own 2 AK-47 Variants, a RomanianWSAR 10 and a USA made AT-47 American Tactical. The AT47 has a milled receiver which make it alittle heavier but more durable but adds on about $50+. It also comes with a better then avarage trigger group. The WSAR 10 you are going to want to pick up a cheap($25) Tapco G2 trigger groups to get rid of the Trigger slap which makes it very uncomfortable to fire. Other then that they are both very reliable.
You might consider getting a rifle that has synthetic furniture it will lighten the heavy rifle.
As far as all other AK-47 Variants are concerned the lower end rifles are of the same quality. Some people will disagree with that im sure but in my experiance you really cant go wrong with any of them.
I don’t yet, but I saw Polish-made, bent 80% AKM receiver blanks for a good price and ordered one. I’m mechanically inclined, so I’m not too worried about the build. My plans are to get a Polish AKMS parts kit and build a fully-correct (even if not fully automatic) Polish AKMS (S=folding stock).
A better, but still cheap-ish and Eastern bloc, rifle is the Czechoslovakian VZ.58. They did things their own way and designed their own rifles instead of the SKS and AK. The 58 is the AK counterpart. Internally, it’s closer to an enhanced SKS, cosmetically, it resembles the AK to most people, operationally, it’s an easier shooter than the AK since it doesn’t buck from the piston recoiling and lacks trigger slap. The biggest downside to this rifle is the popularity of AK pattern rifles; the VZ is rare in comparison, and the only interchangeable parts are the rounds. So parts and magazines in normal life are harder to find and cost more. If the S were to HTF, you probably couldn’t get parts for this rifle. I love my VZ, but because of this, I consider it a recreational rifle, even with my growing spare parts collection.
Raptor medic: You’re right about AK-47s technically not being AK-47s, but I think many people don’t care to keep track of all the military variants (AK-47 and derivatives, AKM and derivatives, AK-74 and derivatives, etc.) let alone all the neutered versions. I generally refer to them all as AK type rifles or similar when talking with the uninitiated. And since we’re being such sticklers for details, twice you said WSAR. It’s WASR. 😉
I have the pleasure of owning a Russian Mfg. 1951 SKS. Most people are not aware that Russia & China had a deal for Russia to train the Chinese how to make the SKS and a a result there were a limited run of Russian made on Russian machines SKS which are closer to the AK than the SKS.
I got mine from a warrant officer that flew copters in Nam and this was one of his prizes. He (like so many of us) has hit on some hard times and offered it to me. It is a numbers matching (I’ve never seen so many #’s on a weapon!) Gun in Excellent Shape, like New. The hold back is the 10 rd. Mag but it shoots sweet and I will keep it as a collector piece since it has the history.
Great Article… Keep em coming and Stay Frosty !
I have a couple of the AK variants in the DRACO variety which is actually considered a “pistol” with 10 inch barrels but takes the same double stack magazines and the 7.62 x 39 round, I have upgraded them with tapco furniture and lasers and optics and they shoot like a dream and are very reliable. What is more since I have a Concealed Pistol Permit I can legally keep one in my trunk if the SHTF while I keep a smaller .45 ACP pistol in the glovebox for use in order to get to the DRACO, if need be. I also have other WASR Romanian AK’s that are very reliable and totally worth the money. They are easy to work on and there are many mods you can do to them. In my opinion you cannot beat them for value and reliability. As a Marine I am totally comfortable with AR-15s and I have a couple of those too, but the AK variants are what I shoot as it is cheaper to practice shooting and I don’t have to worry about scratching it like I would my $1500 Colts!
I really don’t trust anyone that ask what someone has to start off with but I can say I would love to have a AK-47 Varient rifle . I don’t see me being able to buy one anytime in the near future because of personal obligations ( my mistake ) . They are great guns & as Raptor Medic stated synthetic furniture is nice but I’ve always been a wood guy myself .
We own two AT-47’s and a late 70’s NPA AK-47 (and, yes, there is a difference), more for the novelty than anything. The latter is fun to rock and roll with, but it climbs like a rocket after about 4 rounds. I suppose it is due to the lack of any form of muzzle break.
Underpowered and inaccurate compared to a M-4 or better yet a M1A. The cartridge is similar to a .30-.30 in ballistics and performance. The Soviet style M-43 bullets are not very effective unless you hit something vital. The steel core surrounded by a thin sheath of lead and the copper jacket make the bullet very stable. That’s good if it’s flying through the air, it’s bad if it’s passing through tissue. The bullets don’t yaw very effectively and they simply do not fragment. The newer Yugoslavian style M-67 bullets are less stable and tend to yaw much earlier when transiting tissue. This causes larger wound channels, but they still do not fragment like the standard 5.56×45 NATO rounds. Plan on at least 3 or 4 rounds to take down a fair size pig. You can extrapolate that into self defense conditions.
Another consideration is effective range. 400+/- meters for the AK versus 500-600 for a M-4. If all of your shooting will be inside of 300 meters and you can ensure a suitable ammo supply, the AK is certainly more cost effective.
Want a aka? Buy Saiga. They cost a bit more than
Czech, Polish or Romainian variants but the quality is there.
I have two and a wasr 10 also a Remington 799 in 7.62.
Ak’s look like junk, but you can drag it through the mud and dirt….slam a cat turd in the chamber and it will fire.
If you want reliability and not looks, choose AK.
It will be working when a lot of ARs are choking on a speck of dust.
I own a Romanian WASR-10, it as the previous postings have stated it is semi-auto. The only problem I found with this one, and it may be an isolated case, is that the front sight is not square with the barrel. it is canted to the left as you stand behind the weapon. I had read somewhere I think it was on a forum for AK owners that there was a fix for it at one time, I never got the fix for it, and i learned to adapt to the offset front sight. Like I said, it may be an isolated few that were imported to the US. As far as shooting, it has really posed no problems, and my 5ft2inch wife is pretty good with it.
The design of the AK lends to a variety of acceptble makers of this effective weapon system. If you can find an AK with a milled receiver from Poly-Tech(former Chinese import), Russian or East German, you have found the most durable. But durability with the AK is pretty much guaranteed from most importers and don’t forget the offerings from Arsenal Inc., here in Las Vegas. This is a good U.S. made milled rifle.
The Romanian WASR is probably the most prolific model group out there, and not a bad rifle. If I can be of assistance as an FFL, please contact me.
As a lifelong “intentional peasant” aka homesteader, I do not believe in assault weapons.
HOWEVER, I do have a 10-22, semi auto with several 25 round clips 🙂 .22s are incredibly versatile on the homestead. I own the standard 20 ga. and 12 gauge (pump) shotguns. I also have a .38 revolver (you can police your casings better).
I consider the revolver and the .22 essential on the homestead. In a more rural area than I am right now, we always carried the revolver to the barn to shot varmints we encountered–coon, possum, etc. A long gun is impractical in the barn. I’ve even had to shoot my way INTO the house!
Bought right, I consider guns to be a very good investment. They are always saleable fast. I do miss my stainless .357 and Beretta 9mm, but now I am looking at a Glock 9mm. The Glock is lighter with less recoil, important for a woman as she’s getting older 🙂
@ Bev, It is not my intention to flame you, but anything one person uses to assault another person is by definition an “Assault Weapon” please don’t fall for the media’s made up terminology. No semi-automatic rifle is by definition an “Assault Rifle” either, because an Assault Rifle is select fire meaning that the operator may select either semi-automatic or fully automatic (including 3 round burst) at their election. There are many semi-automatic rifles that LOOK like Assault Rifles, but that’s where the similarities end. Now you know and knowing is 1/2 the battle. 🙂
I have an WASR 10 chambered in 5.56x45mm I purchased used from a gun smith friend of mine. It’s not nearly as accurate as my M-4, but I also paid less than 1/4 for it that I have in the M-4. Were I to purchase and install a quad rail, better pistol grip & butt stock and put an EOTECH on it I’m sure it would help, but it is more than accurate enough to keep the Zombies at bay. The only reason I opted for the 5.56x45mm is because of logistics, I have no problem with the 7.62×39’s capabilities or ballistics.
I currently own 2 Romanian (an older SAR-3 and a WASR-10) and a Yugo (M70AB2). They are all functional shooters, although the sights on both Romanian guns are canted (as I would say 99% of the Romanian builds from Century are), the Yugo I would describe as a Cadillac, whereas the Romanians are Chevys. The Yugo just has smoother lines and seems to be “of better quality”, for lack of a better term.
I previously owned a Chinese built Norinco MAK-90 and it was a happy day when I finally found a buyer for it. Like most everything else, “Made in China” speaks volumes. Avoid at all costs.
I’ve heard some good reviews on the Polish AKs that have been popping up lately, but not having “pulled the trigger” on one yet, I hesitate to recommend them.
I also own a Romanian WASR-10 with the Bulgarian foldig stock and synthetic forearm with an integeral pistol grip. I intend to install Tapco trigger parts in the near future. As far as the 7.62×39 effeciveness and accuracy, the area I am in would make a 300 yard shot impossible due to dense foliage. The only problem I have encountured is it is magazine sensative so take some dummy rounds to see if they function on your rifle.
I have an Egyptian Maadi and a Hungarian. Both fine weapons. I also have a Rock River AR but I traded my Bushmaster for the Maadi and some other stuff. I am a big AK fan. I keep the RRA because I want something to shoot 5.56 but I gear up for the AKs. I also have 2 Russian SKSs so with 4 weapons to shoot 7.62×39 and cheaper ammo it is a no-brainer. I had a Romainian breifly that I bought from a friend needing money and sold it back to him when he got caught up. Didn’t want to part with it but a friend is more impportant. Also had a MAK-90. Great shooter but too much to convert. Sold it to a group member. I disliked the thumbhole stock as a lefty.
After those two, which will cost $2k+, the best AK for under $1k in my mind is the Yugo m70ab2, which usually sell in your local gun shop within a couple days of showing up. You can still get them for $650-700. A heavily battle tested model, with standard underfolding stock.
Oh yeah: next to the PTR-91KF, the Yugo AK-47 M70ab2 wins my “meanest looking gun on the planet” award.
In my experience an AK is an AK is an AK. The WASR 10s are as good as any other, just check them a bit before you buy. Some do come with a canted front sight or even a canted gas block. Something as simple as a business card can be used to see if they are square to the barrel. The Russians stopped making them with milled receivers many years ago because the stamped receivers were cheaper to make and worked just as well.
I now only own some WASRs, mine are dead stock, I don’t have a problem with trigger slap or canted anything. I put my extra AK cash into more ammo.
IMHO, the AK is superior at ranges less than 300 meters to the AR 15, primarily because I believe that the round is more effective. In an urban or suburban environment, I don’t see a need for more. I have and shoot AR15s and the cost gap is narrowing thanks to the world’s greatest gun salesman and wouldn’t feel that I was inadequately gunned with one, I just prefer the AK.
I never was inclined to own an AK until a friend of mine picked one up and asked me to work it over for him. After finding out how simplistic the rifle is and the ease of working on them, I decided to grab one. I picked up a Romanian WASR for about five hundred bucks and put about another three into it. I replaced the stock with a Tapco synthetic and the pistol grip with a Mako that has storage inside. After a little research, I decided on a Midwest Industries railed front end as it seemed to offer the best quality at a good price. The receiver already had a rail for an optic mount for which I chose a QD version so that it can be taken off and reassembled with a good return to zero. I put a fairly cheap 4 power scope on the mount and also have an Eotech that can be put on the front end depending on any given situation. I have to say that the ease of care and versatility have made my AK the favorite in my small arsenal. For the bang and the buck, I would recommend the AK to any serious prepper who is in the market for a firearm.
I have a Bulgarian Ak 74….74 not 47. Synthetic furniture makes it lighter, chambered at 5.45 x 39 gives it plenty of stopping power in a more streamline design, more like the .223. Uses ak74 parts, tough as nails, easy to clean and ammo is relatively cheap. Has a side rail mount and I put a 1×40 internal red dot scope sighted for 50 yards, good out to around 125 to 150 with slight adjusting. Love my AK.