If I wanted to get into AKs where would I even start. Do they have decent cheapish AKs
Sadly the days of $300-$400 AKs are long gone, and a lot of nice ones aren’t imported anymore (I should have bought 4 AMD-65s when they were $500). There are still good ones to be had but $600-$750 is about the average.
First off, some features/things to look out for when choosing an AK:
- Get one with mag dimples on the receiver.
- Check the front sight and gas block, make sure they are straight and not canted.
- Make sure it has a side rail for the optic. Some sidefolders may not have this though.
- Check all the rivets to make sure they are evenly crushed, AKA no goofy deformed or canted ones.
- Try inserting a few types of mags if you can (Pmag, surplus metal/polymer mag, Crapco brand mag, US Palm, etc.) and check for wobble/fit.
- If you want to install an aftermarket stock (folding/collapsible etc.) check the back of the receiver, AKs like N-PAPs have a slight cant to them so you need an adapter to make sure the stock is one straight, and some VEPRs have a slanted back receiver.
- If a US made or converted one, check the bullet guide to make sure it was installed straight and looks secure.
Brands to avoid: Century (the ones they make, their imports are usually good), IO Inc, Waffen Werks (when they were on NDS receivers they were good, once they started making their own receivers quality tanked). Old WASRs.
Good project AKs: VEPRs and Saigas are both great it’s hard to beat the quality of a Russian receiver, however you’ll usually have to do some conversion work to get them to where you want them to be. Plus the market on Saigas is drying up fast, whereas the VEPRs can still be found some places. If you get a VEPR try to get one with the square back receiver so you don’t need an adapter for the stock. And as always - if you’re converting an AK make sure its 922r compliant.
Good AKs out of the box: DDI - despite being a reformed Waffen Werks I’ve heard nothing but good things about them and might pick one up myself to try out in a few weeks. N-PAPs/O-PAPs. M&M M10s.
Classic Firearms also has a bunch of AMD series AKs built by CII at a good price. Haven’t heard much about them though, but as an AMD fanboy (I never should have sold my FEG one) they might be worth checking out.
Hope that helps, now go find a beautiful Kalash to enjoy!