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Old 02-16-2017, 10:24 PM   #1
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Default Average mans review, RAK-47 (Riley Defense)

I picked up a Rak-47 from Atlantic for a modest discount in exchange for a review.
Because I spent my hard earned money on this, it will not be a torture test; just another data point that people can reference if they're curious about this rifle. My funds are limited, but I will shoot this rifle as much as I can so long as it continues to shoot.

I apologize for the length but I like to be thorough when taking on projects. I've labeled everything for quick reference for those just looking for a particular bit of information. I will add to this as the review develops.

If any of you have any questions or want me to cover something just let me know.

Current Round Count: 960

Current Content of Review:
Immediate Agenda
Info about the Reviewer
Initial Impressions
Initial Worries
Slideshow of Initial Inspection
Bolt Photos
1st Range Report
First Cleaning/ Post Range Inspection
2nd Range Report
State of the Rifle
3rd Range Report
4th & 5th Range Report
6th & 7th Range Report
1,000 Round Inspection



Immediate Agenda:
1) I picked up the rifle today. Initial impressions, initial worries and pics are further down the page.
2) I have tomorrow off, so I'm most likely going to the range to simply test for initial reliability and iron-sight accuracy. I will probably put around 200rds though it of different kinds of ammo.
3) Post shoot cleaning and pics. (As a former Jarhead my skin begins to crawl when my rifles aren't cleaned after they get dirty.)
4) Put an optic on there to test accuracy again.
5) Put more rounds through it and monitor parts & results.


As a Reviewer:
I'm not a youtuber or someone that normally does this kinda thing so take that for what it is.
I've owned several AK's over the years to include a VEPR 308, MAK-90, NHM-90, Century C39V2 (the only one I don't regret selling), and now this one. I've also trained on random AK's that were handed to me by people who I've helped train in other countries as well as in the US. I don't know what any of them were because frankly I didn't care at the time. Now that I'm on the files I'm kind of curious as to what I've shot.
The point being that I've had at least a bit of experience on AK's over the past 10 years, but I am by no means an expert.

There is an actual Youtube Gun Reviewer that is also doing a review on this rifle if any are looking for other data sources.
http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=298063
This guy on the files also started a review of his RD rifle. (he has good pictures)
http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=299807


Initial Impression:
As I picked it up, the rifle looked decent.
(This is a $500 rifle, so I'm thinking of it as such. I have no plans to go to war with it. However I don't keep rifles if I can't trust them to do their job.)
Rivets looked better than I expected.
Dust cover fits snug and doesn't rattle.
Nothing was noticeably canted.
The laminate stock is nice.
Finish looks decent (Black Oxide). It seems like it would be easy to scratch the finish off the receiver, but I'm not basing that off much yet.
Pistol grip looks like a surplus grip. Classic look but I don't like them so I'm replacing that with another that I have laying around.
Safety selector is a different color than the gun, but I don't really care about that. What I do care about is that the safety selector seems to have been (pre-bent out). The selector easily moves down past the fire notch only to stop against the side of the mag release. (I'll bent it back) On top of this, it seems to have a weird fit up against the dust cover when in the safe position. I'm not a fan of bolt hold open safety selectors anyway, so I will probably replace it pretty soon with a standard selector.
Bolt and optic rail are all milled and look good.
Has a Tapco G2 Trigger.


Initial Worries:
Because the fit of the safety selector seems a little off, it makes me wonder if it's the selector that's weird or something else like where the hole is drilled or the shape of the dust cover.
Also the sights don't look 100% strait when you set the rifle down on a table and really eye it. I'll comment more on this after I shoot. It will be a worry if it's pretty off. I don't have a front sight tool yet so that purchase is on the "to do list".
I ran a dummy round through the rifle and the head-space seemed a bit tight, but it fed and ejected manually. Tomorrow this may be a non-issue.
The front trunnion is CAST. This is the biggest worry but it looks solid. We'll see.

I have high hopes for this rifle. However, I'm also a realist, and my hope doesn't outweigh my general expectations for a $500 American made AK. We'll see where this goes.
-Cheers



Bolt photos:
fo photo 01blthd_zpsrnhcbm3k.jpg
fo photo 01btl_zpsrttrvat1.jpg
fo photo 01bolt_zpsmulyhdtf.jpg
fo photo 01blt_zpssfpcebqe.jpg

Range Report:
02/17/17

Ammo Used:
160rds of Golden Tiger FMJ,
30rds of Fiocchi Brass FMJ,
10rds of Herters Brass SP,
and 5rds of Hornady SST.

Magazines Used:
30rd & 40rd ((10)) waffle mags,
20rd & 30rd South Korean mags,
30rd Tapco mags,
30rd Tula Bakilite mag,
and 5rd Chinese mag.

Impressions:

It ran 100% with all mags and ammo. So there's that.

I do not expect this to be a very accurate AK after the limited "rested" shooting I did. This may change after I put an optic on it, but at this point my expectations are below average for standard AK accuracy.

The trigger is just like any other G2.

This AK was noticeably rougher shooting then my NHM I was shooting side by side to it. The RAK 47 is also noticeably lighter than my NHM, however I feel like it was beating my shoulder more than any other AK I've ever shot. Maybe a heavier spring is in order?

At one point I went to change out the muzzle device on the RAK 47 and the new device didn't want to screw on. It's almost like the thread pitch was different. The same muzzle device screwed on fine to the NHM right after. I will test a few different muzzle devices on it later and see if I can figure out what the problem is without stripping the threads.
[EDIT] All my muzzle devices fit. Some are just a little tight. At the range I felt like I might stripe the treads but this was not the case.

The action feels a little rough going over the hammer. I should probably profile the hammer or replace it, but I'll wait another few hundred rounds to see how the rifle acts in this configuration.

I really dislike the safety selector. It feels very cheap to me, and does not have a positive lockup.

Sights were on at 25yrds with FSP centered even though something is slightly crooked. (more on that later)

So far I'm pleased with the overall rifle. However, there are plenty of small things I'll be keeping an eye on and possibly changing out.

Accuracy:
This is not intended to be the ultimate accuracy report. This was done resting on a bundled up towel with iron-sights. More conclusive accuracy tests will come after I put an optic on the rifle.
I shot one 5rd group with each type of ammo at 25yrds.
For comparison purposes I was sighting in an AR during the same range session. I will provide my first 10 shot group with the AR so you can see my limitations.

GT


Fiocchi


Hornady


AR-15, 10 shot group, IMI 62gr



First Cleaning/ Post Range Inspection:
Below is a slideshow and notes documenting my findings during the post range cleaning.

-The tail of the carrier is slightly deformed. This was expected because the hammer is harder and the hammer profile is not the smoothest. Because there is not a lot of deformation, I will just keep an eye on this. It may just be breaking in and stop deforming after a certain number of rounds.
-The front trunnion still looks good. The finish is worn off in several places but no noticeable deformation of metal with one exception. This exception is a small notch that the bolt head is creating in the right side of the trunnion next to the receiver. The bolt is apparently hitting that area as it locks into its lugs when forward. You can see the small notch in the pictures. This is not ringing any alarms yet, but again, something to note.
-The bolt looks good with no deformation. Only finish wear.
-The hammer has no wear on it outside of the finish coming off. I don't expect it to wear either.
-The gas lever is now loose. This is frustrating to say the least. It now needs to be pushed down as far as you see in the picture in order to stay locked.
-I've replaced the grip with a US Palm grip, and the muzzle device with a Wolfpack Amory Mini Brake as shown in the picture as well.
-Last there is a small weak area that I've noticed stretching out from the pin where the piston is attached to the carrier. It appears that this was there before but will be something I'll be monitoring closely from here on.




I've ordered a No Go Gauge so that I can continue this review safely and keep the rifle honest.

2nd Range Report
On 02/24/17 I put anther 240rds through the rifle. All Golden Tiger.

I had one failure to feed during a rapid fire session. This was with GT ammo and a refurbished South Korean 20rd mag. It's the first failure I've had out of this lot of ammo, and the first failure I've had with this mag out of a guesstimated 140rds through the mag. Could be any of the above factors or the gun.


State of the Rifle
02/26/17
I recently had a pleasant conversation with one of the owners of RD over the phone. I told him my gripes about my rifle and things that I'm concerned about. He legitimately seemed like he cared and took note of the things that I mentioned. After that he offered to send me a standard fire control selector (because I was going to change that out anyway), and a heavier recoil spring (because I said that the rifle feels a bit over-gassed or something like that). Says it should ship out Monday. Looking forward to seeing if these small things make the rifle a more pleasant gun to deal with for me.

My last range session I used a Wolfpack Mini Brake on the rifle. It made a noticeable difference in recoil and the [cheek slap feel] that I got the first range session went away with it on.

Internals look the same as the last photos I took. I'll take some more photos after the 800rd mark unless I notice something.

I got my No-Go Gauge in. The Rifle does not close on it.

03/01/17
RD sent me the heavier spring and standard safety selector they promised.
These small items make a noticeable difference just handling the rifle dry.
Looking forward to shooting it again.

3rd Range Report
03/11/17
I put 100rds of GT through the rifle.
Also shot two 5rd groups with a Holosun red dot. Both were about 2inch at 50yds.
No photos today. I'll do a better accuracy test next time. I was in a bit of a rush this morning.

4th & 5th Range Report
03/24/17 & 03/31/17
Another 100 and 110 rounds of GT through the rifle respectively.
Most of these 210 rounds were rapidly fired. A few mags worth were even strait up mag dumped. The rifle was smoking pretty good.
One malfunction: Adequately dented primer with no ignition.
[I forgot to take a picture of the primer but I held it side by side to other spent casings and it was dented the same. I'll chalk this one up to the ammo.]
I started to do an accuracy test with the Holosun red dot but stopped after a few groups. At 50yds I wasn't getting better than 3" 5 shot groups. I'm going to check the mount to make sure that nothing is loose and go back for definitive accuracy testing. All of this was just after I got finished shooting .5"-1.25" groups at 100yds with my SR-25 type rifle so I'm pretty sure the bad accuracy with the Riley wasn't me.

6th & 7th Range Report
04/22/17 & 04/25/17
215 more rounds through the rifle.
80rds and 135rds of GT and Wolf during the range sessions.
No malfunctions.
I was trying to test for accuracy the best I could with the red dot and with iron sights. The best I got was 6MOA at 50yds with the iron sights and maybe 7MOA with the red dot.
For reference purposes I also shot my AR using a KAC rear sight and A2 front sight during the 6th range session, and I was hitting 2MOA at 200yds. That was with a gritty milspec trigger too.
I think it's safe to say that my RAK47 needs magnified optics for me to shoot better than what I have been, if it's even capable of shooting better. I'm concluding that my specimen is not a very accurate rifle.

1,000 Round Inspection
05/03/17

There are a few things to note at this point. The place where there is a mark on the trunnion [where the bolt has been over-traveling and hitting] has a matching wear area on the bolt. Though it's not visible, I can feel the very beginnings of metal peening on that part of the lug. The new Riley's should not have this as the owner has addressed this over travel issue.
Because of the low placement of the rails, the front lug of the trunnion on both side is smoothed around the corner. This doesn't seem to have gotten worse since the initial 200rd break-in period.
The tail of the bolt carrier is taking a bit of a beating because the hammer is harder than it is. It's not peening over, but there is visible deformation.
The heavier recoil spring that Riley gave me, makes a noticeable difference in my shooting experience with the rifle. If Riley doesn't change this, then it is something to note for shooters who think that recoil impulse is more than it needs to be.
No other parts have anything that I've noticed worth noting.
The rifle will not close on a No Go gauge.
If you see something that I don't then please let me know.
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:33 PM   #2
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:36 PM   #3
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Looking forward to your report. BTW what parts are cast on this rifle?
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Old 02-16-2017, 10:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Looking forward to your report. BTW what parts are cast on this rifle?
Front trunnion is cast. Bolt and is milled. Just added that. Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:07 PM   #5
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:10 PM   #6
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Lol
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:13 PM   #7
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:13 PM   #8
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Get them pics up
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:31 PM   #9
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You guys are funny........dicks, but still funny.
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:34 PM   #10
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Get them pics up
Done!
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:39 PM   #11
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:53 AM   #12
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OP that rifle looks great. I'd also change that selector, don't like BHO notch either. Eagerly awaiting more info. Hope it does well. Again, looks great.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:24 AM   #13
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The rifle looks great for $500 . The pictures are helpful

Thanks for taking the time and effort to let us know how the rifle works and your opinion on it. Since you will be one of the few testing this rifle your contribution is appreciated.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:02 AM   #14
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Everything looks cast. For 500 id take a well used WASR over a new cast ak.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:15 AM   #15
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i will admit it looks very nice and i was expecting to see a de-banned front sight\gas block
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:37 AM   #16
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Can you post some more detail photos of the bolt in non slide show form?

That bolt and definitely the extractor looks cast fo sho.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:32 AM   #17
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Good luck Bakwa, hopefully it serves you well.....but be careful and wear PPE.

I think you are the first person I've seen use the Photobucket scrolling album feature. Very nicely done.

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Old 02-17-2017, 08:43 AM   #18
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Great write up. I am like you, can't stand a dirty gun. Pictures are good too.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genxgixxer View Post
Everything looks cast. For 500 id take a well used WASR over a new cast ak.
I was actually waiting for WASR prices to fall a bit more and pick one up before I got this. No doubt I would have more confidence in a WASR. But this will be a fun project. And if it works out... We'll see. The bolt is milled, but you are right about everything else being cast. If this fails, then we'll call this a lesson learned.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:57 AM   #20
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Great write up. I am like you, can't stand a dirty gun. Pictures are good too.
Hell boys we're talking about Kalashnikovs here, where caked on carbon from thousands of maintenance free rounds is a badge of honor.

Broke my heart when I had to thoroughly clean my N-PAP DF due to mismarked corrosive ammo.



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Old 02-17-2017, 09:59 AM   #21
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Jeez how long it take you to clean that? ^

I just clean mine when I get back home.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:10 AM   #22
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Can you post some more detail photos of the bolt in non slide show form?

That bolt and definitely the extractor looks cast fo sho.
Detailed photos posted. Bolt is definitely milled. Extractor looks cast.
Good eye.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:12 AM   #23
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Atlantic is offering discounts for reviews? Whenever I see this disclaimer I automatically think the review is bias. I've never seen a bad review come from an honest reviewer who gets discounted or free shit.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:50 AM   #24
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Atlantic is offering discounts for reviews? Whenever I see this disclaimer I automatically think the review is bias. I've never seen a bad review come from an honest reviewer who gets discounted or free shit.
I'm not sure what kind of response you want from me.
After shipping, background check at the FFL, and everything this was $500 out of my pocket. If something bad happens I will let you know. If things seem to hold up, I will also let you know. My goal is to help others make an informed decision when looking for a budget rifle. This one is untested, so if it craps out on the first run, it will be documented for everyone to reference. I'm not sure that I can be any more transparent than I have been thus far.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:51 AM   #25
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Headed to the range now. There should be an update sometime this afternoon.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:33 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Bakwa View Post
I'm not sure what kind of response you want from me.
After shipping, background check at the FFL, and everything this was $500 out of my pocket. If something bad happens I will let you know. If things seem to hold up, I will also let you know. My goal is to help others make an informed decision when looking for a budget rifle. This one is untested, so if it craps out on the first run, it will be documented for everyone to reference. I'm not sure that I can be any more transparent than I have been thus far.
Don't get sidetracked by fake posts, stay the course.

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Headed to the range now. There should be an update sometime this afternoon.
Great! Looking forward to how it turns out.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:08 PM   #27
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OP do you have headspace gauges?
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:18 PM   #28
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Anything cast I'll avoid like the plague.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:33 PM   #29
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Good luck Bakwa, hopefully it serves you well.....but be careful and wear PPE.

I think you are the first person I've seen use the Photobucket scrolling album feature. Very nicely done.



I damn near spit my coffee out laughing. That was a good one.


I know man, first reply too!

Another one.
I honestly have to say that I didn't come up with this one.
Stole this from a member in Dumping Brass.
Hope he'll be okay with it

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Old 02-17-2017, 04:22 PM   #30
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Range report up!
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:25 PM   #31
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OP do you have headspace gauges?
Unfortunately I do not. I'd like some, but they are not on my priority list of things to get currently.
Maybe they should be on my list with this cast trunnion though...
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:36 PM   #32
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Range report up!
You do know these are the same as I.O right?
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:00 PM   #33
Bakwa
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You do know these are the same as I.O right?
Source?
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:01 PM   #34
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CNN told him
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:05 PM   #35
Sn1p3r_1
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This is the cousin of the I.O owner in the same place in NC.
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