I have been meaning to pick up an AR for a long time. You need to drop some coin if you want to get a good one. You could always build one but I’m without a garage right now and it would suck to try to cobble it together on my living room table. Not to say it couldn’t be done, I just don’t know how thrilled the wife would be.
Anyways, I’m explaining this dilemma to one of my buddies and he asks if I ever thought about an AK. My response was yes but I’m not a huge fan of the 7.62×39 round. He then proceeded to tell me three things that I thought were very worthwhile.
One, the Russians currently use the AK-74 which is extremely similar to the AK-47 but uses a smaller round, the 5.45x39mm. The 5.45 is very similar to our 223 or 5.56 NATO round so it’s smaller and lighter and also shares some of the ballistic efficiencies of the 5.56.
Second, you can get into an AR at about $700, get a solid one for 1k, and then the skies the limit. For an AK, you start at about $350, can get a solid one for $600, and can get a very nice arsenal for around 1k. My ears perked up here.
His third point was ammo; the 5.45×39 is dirt cheap right now. Like $130 for 1080 (Spring 2012 prices) dirt cheap. At this point I was all ears. I believe a couple things when it comes to firearms, you need to know all the nuances of your weapon and you’re not going to know those unless you shoot, a lot. And if we ever get into a SHTF scenario, you will have what you have. There is not going to be any restocking of the Walmart shelves. What you got is what you got. So $130 for 1080 rounds definitely allows you to stock up on the cheap.
So I take all this info and start my journey, do tons of research, like weeks’ worth. The one thing I will say about AKs is that it’s not as easy as ARs to get info. There is a lot going one with different models, different years, country of origin, US compliance laws, what attachments and stocks fit what guns, and there is not really a great one stop resource for all this. If anyone knows of one please let me know in the comments.
So I’m in, I want to get a middle of the road AK-74, preferable a folder so it’s easy to transport, and I have decided I don’t want to build one – same reasoning above so now where do you go and what will you get.
[Update] We have added a AK Resource page to the site to help with research. It will grow over time.
There are a couple of great places to buy AKs:
And there are a host of others I’m missing. If you poke around you will very quickly find out that Atlantic Firearms has a reputation of great customer service. That’s where we pick up on in part two.
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