I am not going to buy an AK tomorrow, but the idea is definitely in my head. I have some other guns to bring up to speed, and some to accessories to buy for other guns, and money to save before I can buy an AK. I just want to start looking at, and researching AKs. I am thinking about spending around$300-$500 on one. I am looking for a nice shooter, with a decent finish. I am not looking to play gunsmith to get it working, or mess around with canted(I believe is the term) sights, or not be able to find parts. I am looking for a gun to go to the range with, maybe hunt, and protection for the classic SHTF scenario--high cap mags. Is there any ones I should stay away from. A friend of mine just bought a black synthetic(I prefer wood)AK by Izmash(??), and that is a pretty decent rifle. I have looked at a few Romanian ones at gun shows, but those seem kind of low quality. Any recomendations or ideas would be helpful. This might be a whole other story, but what is the difference between an AK-47 and an AK-74. An AK-47 is the basic 7.62x39, "16 barrel rifle...Right? An RPK was a heavy duty/machine gun version of an AK with a "24 barrel, bi-pod, and a "beefy" action..Correct? Is an AK-74 just a different caliber?? This just needs a quick explanation, not a novel...Just fill me in. Thanks.