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Old 12-03-2009, 03:42 AM
Yournamehere Yournamehere is offline
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Default AK-47s, Milled or Stamped?

I'd like to know what you guys think with regard to AK-47 receivers. Which do you feel is better, the Stamped AKM receivers, or the Milled receivers seen on older AK-47 models and newer copies. Most people will argue that an AK is an AK and all of them are reliable, but I've also heard that the Milled versions are tougher and even more reliable than the Stamped AKMs. The think is, the Milled ones are about two pounds heavier, and usually cost over a grand, next to a Stamped AKM's 500-600 dollar price range. Is the money worth the additional weight and "better reliability" or would one be better off spending half the money on a stamped version? Thoughts?
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:37 PM
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Milled are more durable, yes, but it's kind of ridiculous to care, because even if it's true, stamped AK receivers will still last longer than any of us. Most of the AKs ever produced are stamped - when you look at pictures of wars today, you're seeing the combatants carrying Soviet-era AKMs and Type 56s with stamped receivers, right? Most of those guns are probably decades old and look beat to hell, but how many of them look like they have serious receiver issues, even after endless abuse by illiterate peasant conscripts?

The weight difference is probably the thing you should care about most, even though you won't have to worry about carrying your AK for long periods of time, and for that reason, I say stamped. I own a stamped receiver Poly Tech AK that's almost as old as I am (the date code is for 1987), and it's still in beautiful condition and shoots flawlessly.

Of course, I'm also of the opinion that nobody in their right mind should buy any of the crappy Romanian or Bulgarian AKs, stamped or milled, that are sold in the U.S. today. If you're gonna buy an AK, save your money and buy a good stamped receiver Egyptian, Chinese, or Hungarian-made AK imported before 1989. I don't think any of the AK clones made in the U.S. today are as good as those.
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:14 PM
Markost Markost is offline
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I like the milled (I spent 6 years in a technical school, and we always used the Miller, and yes, a milled object or surface is more durable), but its heavier. For an assault rifle the weight is important, so the stamped receiver is better due to its weight.
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Old 12-04-2009, 01:38 AM
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One thing I will say: If you ever find a pre-1989 Poly Tech Legend at a good price (which is pretty hard nowadays), buy it. The Legend is pretty much the only milled receiver AK I would buy.
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:12 AM
Yournamehere Yournamehere is offline
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I don't think any particular country's AK kits or parts are much better than any others really, sheerly because it's the AK design, and it's hard to fuck it up. I'm not personally a fan of Romanians, but I know guys who have and love them (for me it's Century's quality control). That being said, I asked originally because I was looking at a Vector Arms AKMS Underfolder for a really good price (which I lost due to a dating conflict) and a Bulgarian SLR100 down the street. The latter is still available, and I've checked the gun and it looks pretty solid. These particular Bulgarians are buot with Hungarian parts kits and internals, so it's an AK you'd approve of wrapped in the receiver of one you wouldn't. Most if not all AKs are parts guns and when it comes down to it, they are all just as tough as the next one, or that's the way I feel. My concern was originally if the weight was justifiable by the added reliability, and the answer is no, but not because the gun is heavy, but because they are all reliable ass AKs. Long story short, I think I'm gonna save for this Bulgarian.
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yournamehere View Post
it's the AK design, and it's hard to fuck it up.
You'd be surprised. I once read a message board post by a former Iranian militiaman who was issued a North Korean-made AKM (which they called the Type 68) during the Iran-Iraq War. According to him, it was total shit. Apparently, after Iran received the first shipment of Type 68 AKMs that they bought from the DPRK, they actually refused further shipments in the future due to the terrible quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yournamehere View Post
Long story short, I think I'm gonna save for this Bulgarian.
I'm really not a fan of the Bulgarians, though at least they're not as crappy as some other stuff out there (contrary to what you've said, I've had bad experiences with just about everything Century Arms makes, though maybe their QC has improved since I last shot one of their AKs).

But I still think your best bet is to find a pre-89 Chinese AK with a stamped receiver. In my opinion, they were the very best AKs (besides the Maadis and SA-85Ms) that anyone ever sold in the United States.
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:24 AM
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BTW, my Dad's planning to start building his own AK at some point in the future. It'll be a Hungarian SA-85M/AK-63 parts kit on a stainless steel receiver that he'll build himself.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT2008 View Post
(contrary to what you've said, I've had bad experiences with just about everything Century Arms makes, though maybe their QC has improved since I last shot one of their AKs).
Actually that was badly phrased, you're right to question Century Arms. I was trying to imply that their QC is fairly poor as they let some of their WASRs slip through with canted sights and bent gas blocks, making them impossible to sight in. They still work though.

I hear a lot of good things about Chinese AKs, and you're right to recommend a pre-89 (or anything preban really), but I guess my desire for a Commie Bloc AK kicks in. I hear good things about the Bulgs too, and it's what's immediately available to me (in a sea of WASRs *cringes*), so it's probably what I'll go with.

Also, real interesting about the North Korean AKs. They must have busted their asses in their sweatshops to make pieces of crap out of the design.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:34 AM
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Speaking of Century Arms, today, I just picked up a Century Arms clone of a HK91. It only had the push button to release the magazine instead of the lever release.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:40 AM
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Yeah they had one down at a store nearby for 700. I got my friend into the HK91 style rifles, but the one by Cntury looked questionable. It had very crude weld marks and a mediocre finish. It also had an FAL style muzzle brake instead of an actual G3 style one. I'm glad to say it retained one of the most important parts on the HK91s, the rotary sights. He didn't care for the stock but I didn't mind it.

I don't mean to hate on your rifle, I'm just not a fan of Century Arms products, and G3 clones are really hit or miss short of actual HK91s. If it works well though, then it's well worth it.
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