View Full Version : AK pre-purchase check
It will be too late to help me and I know I saw some post here somewhere about what to look for and check but I thought it might be nice to re-post under this subject title for others about to buy.
What should we look for when trying to spot the best one out of the group at the show or store?
02-28-2004, 11:40 PM
Ned, the only AKs that are (were) a problem are the pre-2000 (generally) SARs. There were some problems with barrels that were pressed with the barrel not aligned with the receiver (the sight tower and gas block looked as if the barrel had been twisted to one side or the other). I've found the best way to check this is to look from the muzzle, with the front sight straight up, and see if the rest of the rifle looks twisted. Some have been reported to be twisted enough that there is rubbing of the gas piston or bolt carrier extension. Check this by working the action very slowly, feeling for resistance.
Look at the entire rifle for dents, etc.; if someone mishandled the rifle that badly, you don't know what else they did to it, and don't want to know. And it bothers me to see rust on a gun; if they didn't keep it off, they should have removed it. These are mostly for used guns. On the other hand, an AK with a few dings on the stock and the finish worn off in wear spots means that it was probably used heavily, and there isn't much wrong with it. I always ask individuals why they're selling a firearm.
If you're looking at a bunch of AKs, same make, after culling the mechanically-flawed ones, I'd look for the fit of the wood (if they have wood furniture) and the appearance. I've seen several SARs that had pretty nice wood under the crude varnish job. If you feel like refinishing the wood (a good project for several evenings when you know you won't be going to the range for a while) they'll end up as really nice-looking rifles.
I chickened-out on the Romanian SAR1 I went to buy yesterday. I might go back after it. The fit and finish of the wooden stock set was...like the picnic table I built this summer. Some really poor fit and finish..lol. The rear stock looked like it had a 30 degree left cant..good for shooting around corners I suppose. :tongue_sm
02-29-2004, 04:37 PM
I chickened-out on the Romanian SAR1 I went to buy yesterday. I might go back after it. The fit and finish of the wooden stock set was...like the picnic table I built this summer. Some really poor fit and finish..lol. The rear stock looked like it had a 30 degree left cant..good for around corners I suppose. :tongue_sm
cast off to the right is deliberately done in european rifles to put your eye in a natural alignment with the sighting plane. not many american rifles built this way. i have a few bolt guns in which the cast is almost one inch at the buttplate, and the stocks are very slim and gracefully cut. they mount much faster, and you don't have to make an effort to pull the front sight into the vee.
somehow i don't think the boat paddles and plywood i've seen on recent sar1 were shaped with this in mind. they would look nicer with a heavy coat of barn paint. the plum varnished 2000 gun i have has very nice fit and finish, for an ak 47.
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