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Thread: Entry Level AK purchase advice.

  1. #11
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    I would recommend a wasr first but the PSA is a decent option despite some detractors.

    You can get them as low as $550 on sale. Not my first pick but #2 for a budget ak

  2. #12
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    Why get an entry level import AK or worse, a US made AK- when you can get a nice higher end import for not much more? To me, the be all end all of an AK in 7.62x39 would be an SLR 107FR. They aren't being imported anymore but they do come in once in a while and can be found on the secondary market.


    RR77
    Last edited by RetroRevolver77; 11-01-19 at 12:28.

  3. #13
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    Whatever you decide on, test fire it before giving it to your son. Both AKs I've owner were foreign made and I had problems with a Bulgarian and Romanian AK not working out of the box.

    Once someone in the US gets AK making figured out, I'd rather have a US AK for practical use. People like Faxon make AK barrels that are both accurate AND don't shift point of impact as the barrel heats up. You won't see that with Cold Hammer Forging and former soviet manufacturing methods.
    Last edited by Aries144; 11-02-19 at 06:48.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aries144 View Post
    People like Faxon make AK barrels that are both accurate AND don't shift point of impact as the barrel heats up. You won't see that with Cold Hammer Forging and former soviet manufacturing methods.

    LOL. What does the barrel making process have to do with the diameter of the barrel? AK barrels are relatively thin for weight reduction so they tend to heat up fast which is what causes the stringing in the first place. The only fix is to create a heavier profile barrel. Same thing the US military did with the M4 Socom barrels. You can't make a better military grade barrel than you can with a million dollar rotary hammer forge and then chrome line the thing. That's what Steyr and FN use on their military barrels that is the same exact process AK manufacturers use on theirs. The older AK 47 pattern rifles had a heavier barrel, tended to be more accurate but obviously with milled receivers and heavy barrels- weigh considerably more.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetroRevolver77 View Post
    LOL. What does the barrel making process have to do with the diameter of the barrel? AK barrels are relatively thin for weight reduction so they tend to heat up fast which is what causes the stringing in the first place. The only fix is to create a heavier profile barrel. Same thing the US military did with the M4 Socom barrels. You can't make a better military grade barrel than you can with a million dollar rotary hammer forge and then chrome line the thing. That's what Steyr and FN use on their military barrels that is the same exact process AK manufacturers use on theirs. The older AK 47 pattern rifles had a heavier barrel, tended to be more accurate but obviously with milled receivers and heavy barrels- weigh considerably more.
    LOL. That's almost correct. You're confusing increased dispersion caused by heat expansion, with shifting point of impact due to uneven expansion. Two different problems. If you stress relieve the barrel, you can prevent POI from walking as a barrel heats. CHF barrels can never be fully stress relieved, so you have to have very good base material and very controlled production processes to get similar POI shift resistance to a barrel from another process that's been stress relieved prior to drilling the bore and rifling.

    I could see FN having that kind of control and spending that kind of money on quality material. No way does Romania or Bulgaria. Russia might, but I'd be willing to bet that's only for production after the start of Putin restructuring.

    Cold Hammer forging in the US is a fad. I can't find any evidence that it offers any benefit to the end user over a barrel made any other way, all else being equal.
    Last edited by Aries144; 11-02-19 at 12:59.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aries144 View Post
    LOL. That's almost correct. You're confusing increased dispersion caused by heat expansion, with shifting point of impact due to uneven expansion. Two different problems. If you stress relieve the barrel, you can prevent POI from walking as a barrel heats. CHF barrels can never be fully stress relieved, so you have to have very good base material and very controlled production processes to get similar POI shift resistance to a barrel from another process that's been stress relieved prior to drilling the bore and rifling.

    I could see FN having that kind of control and spending that kind of money on quality material. No way does Romania or Bulgaria. Russia might, but I'd be willing to bet that's only for production after the start of Putin restructuring.

    Cold Hammer forging in the US is a fad. I can't find any evidence that it offers any benefit to the end user over a barrel made any other way, all else being equal.

    The state factories in Poland, Bulgaria, Russia, and Romania all have rotary hammer forges just like FN, Steyr, or HK.

    Here's a factory floor video of Radom Poland.

    Start at the 1:00 minute mark, they finish out barrel blanks then feed the blanks into the automated rotary forge.

    Bonus footage of their new MSBS rifle at 14:25.

    Last edited by RetroRevolver77; 11-02-19 at 17:19.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetroRevolver77 View Post
    The state factories in Poland, Bulgaria, Russia, and Romania all have rotary hammer forges just like FN, Steyr, or HK.
    Just because they use the same method of manufacture as FN and Steyr doesn't mean you get the same quality product. The quality of the material chosen and the attention to QC make huge differences. It's why you don't see barrels with diagonal/non concentric bores from Steyr, but you do see them from Romania.

    I'm going to reiterate that all stresses can't be removed from a barrel made by CHF. What this means is that the alloy used had better be nearly perfectly uniform in it's distribution of alloying elements and impurities, and also had better have been worked perfectly evenly by a mandrel and hammers in good condition and proper calibration, else you're going to have slight variations in the way the barrel expands along its length as it heats during firing. Variations in expansion mean the barrel Bends slightly as it heats, meaning your POI will walk.

    The difference with button rifled barrels is that it's much easier and cheaper, via stress relief through the manufacturing process, to eliminate POI shift from a button rifled barrel.

    Retro, I have some videos with solid info that I think you'll really like. Most of the pertinent info is in the first few minutes of each video, though you may want to skim through the barrel stress relief comparison video from one result to the next.

    Here's an example of a couple of Faxon rifle barrels with modern stress relief vs a Colt SP1 barrel that doesn't have it:

    Last edited by Aries144; 11-03-19 at 05:24.

  8. #18
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    Here's an engineer talking about stress relieving barrels:
    (I tried to link the vid at the appropriate time, but it won't take. Skip to 20:46.)

    Last edited by Aries144; 11-03-19 at 05:23.

  9. #19
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    Here's an engineer talking about different methods of barrel manufacture and some of the challenges each pose:
    (I tried to link the vid at the appropriate time, but it won't take. Skip to 27:10.)


  10. #20
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    Here's a great site for learning about barrel manufacturing.

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