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Hello all,

Newbie here. I own quite a few firearms but nothing that could be considered a serious combat long-arm except for a few shotguns. I'm in the market for a decent, well-priced AK-47. But since there are so many variants out there, I don't know where to start. Just looking for some information on what people think is the most reliable and rugged version.

The gun stores in my area carry almost only the Romanian WASR-10 chambered for 7.62 x 39mm and I am looking to spend about $500.

Thanks!!
 

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I'd suggest you consider an SKS as an alternative. Same caliber as the AK 47, less expensive, just as reliable. Normally uses stripper clips instead of the 30 round magazines of the AK but with ten minutes practice you can load ten rounds off a stripper clip in less time than it takes to change mags in an AK. Chinese are common, Russian ones are, in my opinion, the best, and Yugoslavian models are also good. Easy to find, fun to shoot. I also own a WASR and am very happy with it as well. There's a Chinese SKS variant, most commonly the "Sporter" model with a thumbhole stock that takes AK 47 mags with no modification that can be had reasonably as well; very reliable and fun to shoot as well.
Other AK variants, per se, are going to bust your budget in most cases. You'll see folks say "get a Saiga" and convert it, and they're fine, but there are choices that don't require additional work on your part. Just my .02 worth...
 

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The WASR is not a bad AK. There will be differing opinions but in the end its still an AK. Before buying make sure that the sights are not canted to one side or the other. The other guy mentioned that with practice you can load a 10 rd. stripper in a SKS as fast as a mag in an AK. 10 rds. vs. 30. I'll take 30 rds., but thats just me.
 

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Hold out for a good deal on a quality AK. Polish is a good way to go, along with Bulgarian. The Romanian's aren't bad, but the fit and finish isn't quite as good. Yugo's are nice, but they don't have chrome lined barrels, so corrosive ammo could cause problems.

I don't know how mechanically inclined you are, but the other option would be to buy a Saiga, and convert it. With the current election hype and the "2012" craze, prices might push you closer to $550 or 600, but you'll know the workings of your weapon inside and out, along with having the satisfaction and reassurance of knowing you've built it. However, if you're not comfortable doing the conversion, there are several decent AK's floating around that have already been built.

My last bit of advice is to avoid quoting online pricing. $519 from J&G sales for a Polish underfolder seems like a good deal. Until you find out that you have to drive 40 miles to find an FFL dealer who will do a transfer for less than $25. With gas at $4/gallon. And shipping. And tax. Your $519 AK soon turns into $600. Just something to keep in mind while shopping.

Whatever you choose, it'll be an AK. It'll be dead nuts reliable, dead nuts durable, and accuracy is a crapshoot.

No matter which way you go, you're doing right by trying to figure out which variant would work best for you. The best thing you can do is research your options, and find the one with the features that you like the most. The hard part is waiting for the right deal to come along.

I was holding out for an Egyptian Maadi or milled Polish AK for under $500. Got lucky, and about three days into my search, found a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend who sold me a Polytech for $400! :eek:

Deals are out there to be had. I don't know how big of a rush you're in. However, if you're willing to wait and do some diligent searching, good deals are almost guaranteed to be found.

Best of luck!
 

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I have two Norinco Mak 90's.

Chinese manufacture... Used, I paid a hair under $500 each.

They haven't been imported since the mid 90's, but there are copies out there if you shop for one.

Some consider them the best of the budget AK's.

You get a 1.5mm thick stamped receiver and a heavier profile chrome lined barrel, which moves the Norinco to the head of it's class.

Shooting offhand I can stand and hit potatoes at 50 yards all day... I can usually put 5 of 5 in a 9" paper plate at 100... plenty combat accurate, hellfore stout and reliable as the day is long.
 

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I own 14 or so AKs all in 7.62 and my last purchase greatly pleased me. It was a like new MAK 90 $550 shipped to my ffl. I had collected eastern comblock Yugo,Bulgy,Russian,Hungarian. The MAK 90 is robust,well built and very dependable. Also it will increase in value unlike the WASR.
Check out Gunbroker.com do a search on Norinco AK
 

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The Russian ones are a bit better made (Saiga and Saiga conversions) and are a bit more accurate.
But even the cheaper Romanians function flawlessly.
 

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your search has ended...."yugo".solid built gun.best ak for the money(500.00)hands down.
you can either remain and listen to talk of wasr's this and that or buy saiga and convert.
or you can get out ya credit card and type yugo m70ab1(wood-stock)ab2(underfolder)in your search engine .:thumb:
 

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I just bought a VZ 2008 for 425 bucks i havent received it yet in the mail. I bought it because it has a milled receiver and you can load SKS stripper in to it like a SKS rifle.
 
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