Don’t Buy Junk AKs!

Dressed nicely “Piece of Shit AK”

Look at this rifle in picture on the left, looks like a decent Bulgarian AK74 clone, right? WRONG!!! It is complete piece of shit! But let me start from the begging, some time ago I have received that AK74 clone made by one of “mass makers” – it supposed to be our “Union Duty” AK, but right off the bat something was not right with it. Rifle was keyholing and it didn’t feel right. So immediately that AK was taken away from “line of duty” and I have used it mainly for pictures. Finally time has come and Iย could get back to that AK and make him useful again. One of my good friends volunteered to help me with this project. “Bulgarian 74” was taken apart and look what we have found inside…
Basically, the barrel journal was undersized and the barrel was “knurled” to make it fit along with an extremely over sized pin which was almost cut into the chamber, you can see in the pics that the barrel pin hole was drilled to almost .320. Now please remember that .305 is the maximum allowable for it to be in spec….


Due to the over drilling of the barrel pin hole the front trunnion needs to be replaced as it is not safe to weld up and re-drill. So the trunnion was pulled out and we found that not only were the wrong sized and type rivets used but they were not even dimpled for structural strength…All this is simple invisible to the eye, unless you pull the gun apart…I understand that not everyone can afford high quality AK, but I’m speechless with stuff like this.



I’m not going to drop any names here, because I don’t want to hurt people who were acting in the good faith, but I want to bring this to the light to put some things into the perspective. I know that some of you would like to have AK and don’t want to spend serious money on it, but please understand, that when you are buying these mass produced “AKs”, most of the makers will cut corners. They will “make parts fit” no matter what, they don’t care about specs, correct rivets and etc…I know that it is hard to fight the “urge” of owing new AK (right?). But please, as you can see, some of these atrocities aren’t event visible without completely disassembling the rifle, which is impossible when you are going to buy it…think about it before purchasing that new “budget” AK…So please,ย Don’t Buy Junk AKs!
– Rob Ski

52 responses to “Don’t Buy Junk AKs!”

  1. Angel Garcia Avatar
    Angel Garcia

    Rob Ski if you could email me the company of this firearm I would appreciate it. I’m looking into buying a ak 74 and don’t want to end up with a POS. Thanks

  2. AR Avatar

    I can only guess at Interarms. Trunnions were so out of spec both a Russian and Bulgarian dust cover would blow off the rifle on the first shot, and the lands and grooves were cut short. Ugh.

  3. Graham Baates Avatar

    Thank you for a great post. What can we look for without taking one fully apart? Of my AKs two were from companies with bad wraps but turned out great (CAI and WW) while one of my three VEPRS turned out to be terrible.

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Really, with problems described in this post, there is no way to know it, without taking a gun completely apart…that’s the tragedy of this situation…

      1. Erik Espinoza Avatar
        Erik Espinoza

        What do you think about the Arsenal SLR series?

        1. Rob Ski Avatar
          Rob Ski

          They are usually good to go right out of the box!

          1. Erik Espinoza Avatar
            Erik Espinoza

            Ok thanks, im in the market to buy one soon and I was leaning towards the SLR 107 but do you got any recommendations? ?

          2. Rob Ski Avatar
            Rob Ski

            SLR 107 are really good and proven. You will be happy with it.

          3. Erik Espinoza Avatar
            Erik Espinoza

            Appreciate it brother Semper Fidelis!!

          4. Revan Siggers Avatar
            Revan Siggers

            Got me an SLR-107F and it’s an absolute workhorse. What do you think about the Zastava NPAP and OPAP Rob? I know they’re not chromed but they seem to possess a lot of attention to detail.

          5. Rob Ski Avatar
            Rob Ski

            Zastavas are good, but they are not the same quality as these made for Serbian market. They do cut some corners on quality checks, still this is nice option on US market. Barrel is not chromed, but they do have original, cold hammer forged barrels, which many like better than chromed ones.

    2. Brandon Avatar

      What was wrong with your Vepr? I have a ton of them and want to make sure I don’t have any lemons. So far, the ones I have tested have been awesome.

  4. Josh s Avatar
    Josh s

    What price point was this rifle at? Was it down there with the really cheap wasrs and I.o.’s?

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      It was $600…

  5. Christopher Avatar

    NPAPs and the like haven’t made it to the POS list have they? Would you be able to provide a small list of companies/manufactures of AKs, both higher and mid range, that you would consider.
    Thank you Rob

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      NPAPs generally are good. I hate to say this, but from mass produced AKs, the safest bet is to roll with Arsenal…

  6. brian Avatar

    Bought an .88 from CIA, same thing – keyholed @ 40+ yrds. They said to send her back and they’d fix her no prob. Instead I was told she was destroyed and would get a refund. Opinions on those American AKs?

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Brian, in my eyes, buying these AKs is like rolling a dice…who knows what you may “win”…:-)

  7. Nick Avatar

    I hate seeing examples like this, it really hurts those of us in the industry who work very hard to produce AK’s of high quality in this country. I get slammed a lot for charging what I charge to build rifles; so many people want top-notch firearms but expect to pay $500 for it. Well, this is what that gets you. I won’t cut corners or lower our quality to meet a customers budgetary expectations, there are plenty or garage builders to fill that role. Tear down that Polish AKM that we built you and you will not see these issues, I guarantee it. If you need any help with that 74 let me know.

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Nick it is sad, but it generally involves mass produced AKs – i think that most of custom builders is doing a decent job.

    2. Tiler Durden Avatar
      Tiler Durden

      New to AK’s. Bought one from a guy, who obviously tried to handpainted a jamaican flag on it. Got it for $150. Stripped it down, and it’s a Maadi. Numbers match. Any opinion on these?

      1. Rob Ski Avatar
        Rob Ski

        Good catch and for $150 = steal!

  8. mtandrews Avatar

    Saving a few coins will cost you big in the end (most times). Arsenal and my Waffen Works (NoDak Spud!) hasn’t ever let me down.

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      I agree on Arsenal, but trust me, i have seen share of WW rifles completely screw up with incorrect head spacing, twisted rails and etc…

  9. alex Avatar

    being that this is a 74, i would bet money that it’s a waffen works.

  10. Kc Avatar

    Indeed. I would love to know the make of the rifle.
    Sad situation for some of us is that mass produced rifles are our only option.
    Here in Kalifornia SSR many if not most sellers will not ship to us, and those that do stock primarily the large manufacturers like Century.
    I would LOVE to sell off two or three of my cheap rifles (say my PSL, OPAP and WASR) to buy a nice Arsenal or two, but they are all gone, and where they are to be had they wont ship to us.
    Sucks. But if the choice is no AK or mass made Ak I guess Ill buy another Century.

  11. MS Avatar

    I wanna say it’s WW but when he says “mass produced” it could be Century. I do have WW AK74 and it performes like a Swiss clock, already into 2K rounds range and never had issues, no key holing etc pretty accurate. The longest range I took it was 200 yards and my grouping with just a red dot was around 10″ – 15″

  12. William Page Avatar
    William Page

    Well thanks, I went with a wasr as entry level Ak. I did have to work on feed ramp. They did not round lip all the way across and hollow points on left side would not feed properly. Now she purrs like a cat with anything you put through her. Anyone who thinks it is not an accurate gun better check there skill level. The one I got is everybit as accurate as my AR if not better. I love this little poormans rifle she rocks. Oh and I am 55 and have bad eyes. Killed small silhouette steel target at 100 yard standing rapid fire 9 out of ten and the one gun fired a hair soon . First shot from bench at 100 yard in center small red dot on target iron sights . All groups tight. One three shot all touching. Rifle is better than I am. If you are a on budget I say check out the gun you buy personally. But the wasr is great.

  13. johnski Avatar

    Just scored a Romanian made Ratmil Intrac MK II AK74 in unfired new condition from a reputable online seller. I’ve heard these early ones were well made. Won it with a bid of slightly less than $500. Has a thumb-hole stock that I’ll need to get replaced.

  14. Clay Avatar


    Just a quick question, I am looking to buy an AK and I found a Saiga IZ132L on Classic Firearms. I’m hearing all these warnings about the cast trunnions. Being that I would be buying this rifle on line and there is no way for me to look at it. Do you or anyone here have any thoughts on this. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanx Clay

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Original Izhmash rifles are good to go.

  15. Dean Avatar

    If all you want to spend is 500, whoever’s looking, pick up a Hungarian AMD-65. APPROX 550 after shipping and FFL…

  16. Brian Avatar

    Rob, i have heard that inter-ordinance has made improvements…is this true and are they an acceptable manufacturer?

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Negative. To my best knowledge, they are plugged with the same problems as before…

  17. Terry Avatar

    Rob how do you feel about the rak izhmash red from Atlantic or should I go with arsenal ? I’m only going to buy one ak and I want it to be a workhorse that will outlast me

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      It is very nice rifle, price is little steep. I was using it for one day and it run perfectly. But that’s all i have. Oh, it has some plugs to cover holes after conversion to AK look like, so some people don’t like that.

  18. Joel Avatar

    What do you think of Inter Arms High Standard AKs? Are they good to go in your experience? I’m taking a hard look at a Hungarian under folder on Atlantic Firearms right now. Thanks

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      I have no opinion. I didn’t even touch that rifle yet…

  19. John Avatar

    I had problems with a few american made akms,,really disheartening when you would think something so simple would be made very great here in the usa ,,I solved my problem by buying chinese model 56 sks ,,hammer forged barrel, ,,crome lined,,milled receiver,,made to give to the boys to protect the home land ,,not for wkend warriors to go to the range

  20. nrocks Avatar

    Lancaster. Bought one that has never been fired at a good price. Can’t get anyone to work on the ports or even replace the barrel with taking my first born.

  21. nrocks Avatar

    Lancaster. Bought one that has never been fired at a good price, I thought. Can’t get anyone to work on the ports or even replace the barrel without taking my first born.

  22. John Avatar

    Hey just curious, ,whats wrong with the port and the barrel, ,and what weapon are you talking about ,,thanks

  23. John Avatar

    Just kinda wondering why you would need to work on a new unfired rifle,,,yup all the american made ak s are junk,,quick profit maker for some,really is not a good reliable one made exept arsenal, ,,the rest arent worth the scrap steel they are made from ,

  24. John Avatar

    Hey guys ,,did you here the news,,,since Americans cant make one worth a shit,,,the Canadians are gonna build em,,when you empty it out it says ehh

  25. John Avatar

    It will have a hockey skate blade for a bayonet and comes with not one but 2 thats right 2 maple sugar taps for the stock

  26. Gef Avatar

    Hiya operators union I have been reading some of the posts a learning a lot I have been considering getting an arsenal sam7. What are your thoughts?

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      I think this is rather good rifle. I don’t have one, but feedback from fans is rather positive.

  27. Michael Winegeart Avatar

    I have 2 Sam 7’s one SF and one UF (love them) I also have two Zastava Yugo M70B1 and M70AB2T UF. I have my own shooting range and l’m finding rather Yugo ‘s reliable. Some say Century builds to be crap? I’m considering buying the M92 which is a Century build. What do you think about the M92 ?

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      M92 is popular option for many. When not perfect, general feedback from users is that they are OK to roll with.

  28. Chris Baker Avatar

    Had a WW 74, headache from day one. Sad, really wanted it to work. Nice people just junk guns

  29. Zack Albanese Avatar
    Zack Albanese

    You can always check out pawn shops for norinco aks, FEG hungarian built aks, used arsenals and siagas. All of these are good depending on how used, you may be surprised at what you find….

    1. Rob Ski Avatar
      Rob Ski

      Pawn Shops are best man!

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