What is the best ak-47 for the money? I know that the Romanian aks are the cheapest, but are the good quality? I have heard of them having "canted" sights and gas tubes what does that mean? Are they fixable? What other aks are available and how much? I would like to spend no more than 450 and it has to be 7.62 cal. Thanks for the help!
Get a chinese mak 90 with a milled receiver. You can't go wrong with it. The only drawback is that it will not take ordinary milled AK receivers, so you will need to cough up some cash to get one from ironwood. Also, it does not have a threaded barrel, so to make it first class you will need to have this done or get a pin on muzzle brake, which really such and rarely fit the thicker barrel. For the cost, these are not bad at all.
But for the money you have and want to spend, you're probably looking at a Romanian WASR10.
Just buy one in person and inspect it for gas tube and or front sight canting. Also make sure it takes 30rd. mags.
Some say they're junk but like your typical AK, they run great. You just have to watch out for poor workmanship. I mean, that's the only way I could explain the gas tube and or front sight not being put on straight. Other then those minors issues, which you can look for and see and then avoid, you can find a good Romanian and it will work and shoot just as good as the rest.
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The EAA Zastava PAP can be had new for around $350 and has a warranty. The single stack magwell can be easily opened up for double-stack mags. (There's a thread on doing that somewhere on this site.) Steel single-stack mags can be gotten to replace the stock plastic ones if you'd rather go that route. It's available with either wood or black polymer stock and forend.
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Saiga most definitely. You're gonna get a good many people saying Mak 90, but the truth is, they aren't a bit better than a Saiga and cost 2-3 times more. If you want to spend the money, Arsenal is the best brand in the US right now. I had a Romanian and it served me well, but when compared to a Saiga or Arsenal, it doesn't come close. I'm not sure about Zastava. I've heard they're no better than Romanians, but I haven't seen one to verify that. Also, if you go with a milled receiver AK, you will have more trouble finding parts and accessories for it. When you do find them, they'll cost more. When I can afford it, I'm buying a Saiga.
How can you tell if the front sigt and gas tube are canted??
Personally I place the stock against my shoulder low enough that I can look over the receiver cover, which I use as a reference point, and eyeball the front sight ears. If the sight leans to the side it's fairly easy to see. Of course this is by no means the best way but it works ok for a quick check.
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The best 7.62 AKMs for my money have all been pre-ban Chinese Norinco and Poly Tech.
I prefer the lighter stamped receiver over the heavier milled receiver, but you can't go wrong with either.
Norinco and Poly Tech MAK90s are great if you are on a tight budget.
I will be picking one up that I put on lay-a-way soon so I will be itching to see how it performs compared to my Saiga - I was pretty impressed by the fit and finish and am looking forward to putting some good furniture on it. I am thinking wood from Ironwood - not sure though.
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The Yugo M70 is an excellent rifle. I love mine. I had a WASR-10 and I sold it and got the Yugo and never looked back. I don't know how much they run now, but when I got mine it was going for $450 or so, I think.
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