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Old March 28th, 2012, 03:16 PM   #1
raff696
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AKMS from century international arms, a good buy?

The gun comes with some tapco and utg parts it other wise looks good. What are your opinions?
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Old March 28th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #2
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Century? - I'd give that 50/50
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Old March 28th, 2012, 03:34 PM   #3
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i've been wondering the same??? i don't think the US should get into the AK market just stay with accessories. there are plenty of combloc made/parts out there


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Old March 28th, 2012, 03:38 PM   #4
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i've been wondering the same??? i don't think the US should get into the AK market just stay with accessories. there are plenty of combloc made/parts out there
That's why I said 'I give it 50/50..'
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Old March 28th, 2012, 05:13 PM   #5
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My biggest beef is with the barrel.

The barrels Century uses are Green Mountain barrels, a company that is known for making barrels for BLACK POWDER FIREARMS. That is like I.O. using Mossberg, a shotgun company, to make their barrels WHICH THEY DO! Their barrels are not known for durability which goes against the whole point of the AK's existence which is over-built durability. The barrels are not hammer forged or chrome lined, they are no better than a steel pipe with threading in it. Why may you ask hammer forging and chrome lining are desirable?

Hammer forging gives strength to the barrel making it more resistant to heat and won't damage barrel rifling over long-term use. Chrome lining adds to it even more by increasing heat resistance, makes cleaning easier, rust-resistant (not rust-proof), and is better at extracting steel cased ammo than non chrome barrels.

With this rifle and the fact it is century-built, it would be only good as a range plinker if that is what you are looking for. SHTF purposes I'd look somewhere else.

If you are looking for a good underfolding AK on a budget go with a WASR underfolder. These were made in Romania at an arsenal that has been building AKs for the Romanian military for decades with factory hammer forged chrome-lined barrels. Best part about them is century doesn't build them so you don't have to worry about their QC issues.

And BTW, UTG is airsoft grade junk and the only thing tapco makes well are its trigger components.

Last edited by Scott7891; March 28th, 2012 at 11:36 PM.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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i've been wondering the same??? i don't think the US should get into the AK market just stay with accessories. there are plenty of combloc made/parts out there
Well you can thank presidential executive orders and ATF "interpretations" that have made many quality AK parts (like barrels) no longer possible to get driving up price, demand, and freezing the supply.

Because AK's are a terrorist gun
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Old March 28th, 2012, 09:15 PM   #7
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the only thing tapco makes well are its trigger components
I'd have to disagree with that. I've got numerous Tapco magazines, and they are decent quality. I've never had any issue with any of them. Now they are not quite up to milsurp quality, but for their price point; they return a good value IMO. They cerainly aren't the "junk" some people make them out to be.


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Old March 29th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #8
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I've got to agree with Scott. I was looking high and low for a WASR underfolder and every shop I visited kept showing me the Century AKMS. I turned it down based on the barrel.

I've got a Century Yugo M70 and the barrel is my main concern with that rifle seeing how it's not original mil-spec.


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Old March 29th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #9
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My experiences with Century have been really, really bad. A few weeks ago I looked at a C93 (Hk93) they assembled and it looked like it was manufactured on a Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend by a group of untrained Reese's monkeys.

I personally would pass.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 01:00 PM   #10
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My biggest beef is with the barrel.

The barrels Century uses are Green Mountain barrels, a company that is known for making barrels for BLACK POWDER FIREARMS. That is like I.O. using Mossberg, a shotgun company, to make their barrels WHICH THEY DO! Their barrels are not known for durability which goes against the whole point of the AK's existence which is over-built durability. The barrels are not hammer forged or chrome lined, they are no better than a steel pipe with threading in it. Why may you ask hammer forging and chrome lining are desirable?

Hammer forging gives strength to the barrel making it more resistant to heat and won't damage barrel rifling over long-term use. Chrome lining adds to it even more by increasing heat resistance, makes cleaning easier, rust-resistant (not rust-proof), and is better at extracting steel cased ammo than non chrome barrels.

With this rifle and the fact it is century-built, it would be only good as a range plinker if that is what you are looking for. SHTF purposes I'd look somewhere else.

If you are looking for a good underfolding AK on a budget go with a WASR underfolder. These were made in Romania at an arsenal that has been building AKs for the Romanian military for decades with factory hammer forged chrome-lined barrels. Best part about them is century doesn't build them so you don't have to worry about their QC issues.

And BTW, UTG is airsoft grade junk and the only thing tapco makes well are its trigger components.
I see alot of these newer Ak's with US made chrome lined barrels. Do you know who is making them?
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Old March 29th, 2012, 01:02 PM   #11
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I've got to agree with Scott. I was looking high and low for a WASR underfolder and every shop I visited kept showing me the Century AKMS. I turned it down based on the barrel.

I've got a Century Yugo M70 and the barrel is my main concern with that rifle seeing how it's not original mil-spec.
All of the WASR's have romanian barrels.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 02:16 PM   #12
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The barrels Century uses are Green Mountain barrels, a company that is known for making barrels for BLACK POWDER FIREARMS.
You're a little off base here. GM makes barrels to spec. If CAI requests bargain basement trash with no chrome lining, GM will happily provide that. But if you want a good barrel, GM is perfectly capable of providing that, too. As for the hammer forging, who cares? Most AR-15 barrels aren't HF, yet they somehow manage to survive and live a long life. It's nice to have, but hardly essential.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #13
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IIRC, Green Mountain makes decent target barrels for 10/22s.


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Old March 29th, 2012, 03:02 PM   #14
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I have to agree with erwos. I've always wondered why people decry American barrels as substandard; then proclaim their AR's are sub-MOA. ??? There's no magic involved in manufacturing a barrel. I'm not knowledgeable about specific barrel manufacturers, so I can't speak to Green Mountain. But I wonder how many of those "Sub-MOA" ARs have barrels from the same manufacturers that supply the low-end stuff? I know many of the different AR lowers are made by just a few companies, then go on to get stamped as both high-end, and lower-tier companies (Mega comes to mind). Not an AR guy, so forgive my possible ignorance.


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Old March 29th, 2012, 03:20 PM   #15
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Green Mountain has been making very good rifle barrels for years.
I have been looking for an AK for years, but keep coming to the realization that if you want an AK that is as polished as most of our AR's you have to spend 1K for it, and then when you see $500 AK's they get knocked for various problems. You get what you pay for unless you get lucky.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 09:16 PM   #16
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I see alot of these newer Ak's with US made chrome lined barrels. Do you know who is making them?
Probably Green Mountain as well, either way I don't know cause I avoid U.S. barrels like the plague. The U.S. chrome lined barrels also are not hammer forged which is a major process in making a barrel very durable plus there have been issues of the chrome lining not being applied evenly and chrome flaking. Yea I'll pass....

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You're a little off base here. GM makes barrels to spec. If CAI requests bargain basement trash with no chrome lining, GM will happily provide that. But if you want a good barrel, GM is perfectly capable of providing that, too. As for the hammer forging, who cares? Most AR-15 barrels aren't HF, yet they somehow manage to survive and live a long life. It's nice to have, but hardly essential.
I am not bashing Green Mountain barrels as a whole, I am sure they make wonderful barrels for precision target rifles and other U.S. guns but if I have a choice between a factory barrel and a U.S. clone the answer should be obvious, would you buy an AR barrel made in Russia? I wouldn't think so, so what makes AK barrels different that anyone can build them up to spec in a few years when the Comblocs have been building them since the 50's?? Cause AK's are cheap? Cause they are crude? Cause they are not as super moa accurate as an AR ? Experience goes a long way. Same thing goes if I was in the market for any rifle.

And yes hammer forging goes a long way. There is a reason military forces adopted hammer forging for all the years they have cause they are more durable. I want all my rifles to be on par for SHTF. Am I planning on SHTF or TEOTWAWKI? No, but I and others who want quality AK barrels feel better knowing that their barrels will last them a lifetime if properly maintained.

And AR barrels WILL NOT stand up to the lifetime of a factory AK barrel I am sorry. AR barrels were meant to be serviced over a period of time because that is the way they were designed with a quartermaster corps and ordnance at the ready to constantly replace parts hence why AR barrels are so easy to swap out. AK barrels were pretty much meant to remain a part of the gun. Arsenal has a milled AK at their factory in Bulgaria, a Type III milled, with 80,000 rounds through it and still kicking, would you let an AR barrel go that long?

I would say the barrels are essential if you are looking for SHTF purposes and something you can pass down to your children and grandchildren not worrying about the barrel giving up on you if properly maintained. A member on here did a test comparing the combloc original barrel with a Green Mountain barrel. The factory barrel at 5,000 rounds still looked pristine and ready to go, the Green Mountain was on its last legs. If people think an aftermarket Green Mountain bare-steel barrel is the equivalent of a Combloc original in terms of durability they are delusional .

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IIRC, Green Mountain makes decent target barrels for 10/22s.
Like I said, not saying they are bad at other barrels for other rifles but would you buy a Russian made barrel for your Ruger, a Russian barrel for your AR-15? It is the same thing but reversed.

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I have to agree with erwos. I've always wondered why people decry American barrels as substandard; then proclaim their AR's are sub-MOA. ??? There's no magic involved in manufacturing a barrel. I'm not knowledgeable about specific barrel manufacturers, so I can't speak to Green Mountain. But I wonder how many of those "Sub-MOA" ARs have barrels from the same manufacturers that supply the low-end stuff? I know many of the different AR lowers are made by just a few companies, then go on to get stamped as both high-end, and lower-tier companies (Mega comes to mind). Not an AR guy, so forgive my possible ignorance.
You should know since you are an AK guy that with the AK barrel you are buying it for durability not accuracy. Am I saying the Green Mountain barrel is less accurate? No it is probably exactly the same BUT for long term use and something for SHTF purposes especially if you plan to shoot a lot as well as something you want to pass on to future generations the factory barrels will be a way better option.


All I am saying is, if you want a range plinker, something you don't plan on shooting every weekend, even for basic home defense, then U.S. barrels will be fine. But if you are in a SHTF scenario and is a rifle you don't plan on disposing off in the future (I know I won't with mine), then U.S. barrels are the wrong option. Am I saying that U.S. makers are not capable? I know they could make barrels the same quality as the former Comblocs but they don't. Hammer forging equipment is expensive and not cost effective when you have Saigas and WASR's coming in with them already installed at prices U.S. barrel builders can't compete with.

This guy here at ARFCOM of all places explains it all:

Quote:
American Barrels in Com Bloc Rifles

US manufacturers fill the gap left by import bans



Time was, the American AK buyer could take home Chinese Polytech Legends, Norinco Mak 90‘s and several different country of origin parts kits that all included foreign manufactured chrome lined mil spec barrels. But over the past 40 years the passing of the 1968 Gun Control Act, Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989, and the 1994 Crime Bill have effectively ended the importation of foreign made "assault rifles”. The BATFE, in an open letter to Federally Licensed Firearms Importers dated November 22nd, 2005, directed that the importation of barrels originating from assault weapons or used in the manufacture of assault weapons would no longer be approved. And with that decree, com bloc AK barrels either in standalone format, or as part of a kit, ceased to ship to our shores.

It’s still legal to construct your own AK variant from parts kits as long as you are making the rifle for yourself and not producing for sale purposes. But it is becoming harder and harder to locate original mil spec AK barrels brought here prior to the current barrel ban. The US manufacture of AK type receivers has long since matured to the point where quality is on par with com bloc receivers. And adherence to parts count rules known as 922r, has created a cottage industry of stocks, trigger groups, and various sundry items necessary for easy compliance while giving the end user quality AK type rifles. But the production of barrels is an entirely different animal. Creating a barrel is typically beyond the means of even the most ardent AK home kit builder. A rifle barrel is the proverbial heart and soul of a firearms accuracy and longevity. And most firearm consumers buy their rifles ready to fire with little to no post production beyond the casual customization options such as finish, stock set or optics. So where does this leave the average AK shopper in regards to finished and mass produced AK variant rifles, since com bloc barrels are now a thing of the past?

Imported AK type rifles that enter the US in sporting format and are later remanufactured back to their original AK configuration are made by only a few companies and yet a quick perusal of the internet will garner multiple examples of AK rifles that began life as an AK variant with no in between metamorphosis from sporting to military style carbine. Several US manufacturers currently produce homegrown AK barrels. Some are chrome lined. Some are chromoly steel. Currently Arsenal, Inc., of Las Vegas, Nevada imports Russian Saiga rifles which are simply civilian legal, semi-automatic AK variants imported in what is known as "sporting” format. Upon arriving in the US Arsenal re-configures them back into the standard AK format. Century International Arms, Inc., imports Romanian AK variants in similar fashion. Both companies import products with com-bloc hammer forged chrome lined barrels. Both are able to do this due to the original state of the imported weapon being sporting and by following 922r imported parts count adherence. When studying the manufacture of AK variants available in the US it is helpful to have a basic understanding of the processes behind the manufacture of the components, with the key component being the barrel. AK barrel manufacture follows two basic methods: Button Rifling or Hammer Forging. While the end results garner like outcomes, the production processes to achieve the internal lands and grooves inside a barrel are very dissimilar.

Germany originated the hammer forging method of pounding out barrels during the Second World War, largely in response to their design of machine guns and assault rifles with their abusive cyclic rates, while America set upon perfecting the technique of button rifling.
First, let’s look at button rifling, what the term means and the underlying reasons for its continued adoption as a barrel manufacturing technology. Button rifling is the process of pulling a small dowel called a button, with the reverse shape of the rifling, through the bore to mold the lands and groves. The blank must then be stress relieved and contoured. The final step must be lapping because any residual stress will cause the barrel to open up. This is the opposite of what is desired for accuracy. Button Rifling is in wide use by smaller manufacturers since the technology has matured and the start up costs are much less than competing technologies such as hammer forging. Evolutionary developments in production techniques have pushed this craft near the zenith of maturity and a button rifled barrel by a competent manufacturer has the potential for match grade accuracy.

Now, let’s examine hammer forging. The basic method of hammer forging a barrel is quite different. First the bore of the blank is drilled, being slightly larger to accept the mandrel. Then the barrel blank is pounded uniformly as the mandrel, being one third the length of the barrel, is passed through so that the steel is compressed around the mandrel forming the lands and grooves. Hammer forging as a method of barrel making came about largely due to a need for mass quantities of weapons during World War 2. Manufacturers needed a way to quickly produce large numbers of barrels very quickly. With the wartime adoption of hammer forging it was possible to produce considerable sums of barrels for the wartime effort with acceptable accuracy for battlefield purposes. It couldn’t be said that accuracy was the foremost desire but rather the ability to churn out barrels in bulk.

In talking with Bill Alexander of Alexander Arms I had the very enjoyable opportunity to talk barrel manufacturing and firearms in general with an eye towards what these concepts mean for the AK variant enthusiast. With an entire career in armaments both as a designer of artillery armor and small weapons for the British Army, as well as working on classified projects for the British and US Federal Government, Bill is well versed in the field of arms. In discussing barrel manufacture I’ll admit I was surprised that the first things mentioned weren’t the details of, and the differences in, the techniques involved, but rather the procurement of raw materials and production costs. That these are the first things to consider as a manufacturer seemed rather obvious after they were discussed. When considering the materials involved in making barrels, it would be nave to think that all steel is the same. Metallurgy is quite involved and like any raw material there are many different grades even within like types. Suppliers are always willing to work with manufacturers to provide materials to certain specifications but purchasing power does hold sway. The larger one’s purchasing power is the better one will be able to order according to quality. A smaller manufacturer simply will not be able to buy in sufficient quantity to negotiate for the highest grade materials at affordable bulk prices. This is nothing to say of the metallurgical knowledge one must possess to properly discern the quality of the steel being acquired. Supply and demand and purchasing power in the free market are forces that work across scores of industries and the firearms industry is not immune to this. Button rifling being the preserve of the small manufacturer, a small builder would have to be able to afford high quality clean steel to even think of creating true military spec AK barrels on par with Russian hammer forging. Another roadblock in the way of creating authentic AK specification barrels using button rifling on a small scale is the simple fact that button rifled barrels are softer simply because the steel must be softer to allow the button to be pulled through. This necessitates the need for proper post production heat treating due to the residual stress placed on the steel during production. And so this is where the rubber meets the road as far as manufacturing an AK spec barrel is concerned. If high quality, clean, pollutant free steel is used, and the proper infrastructure is in place for pre-production material selection, production, and post production stress relief via heat treating etc., it’s true that very good button rifled barrels are achievable. All of these things are harder to achieve in a small scale facility. Where the hammer forger has clear advantage is three-fold. First, the capital for setting up a hammer forging facility is likely to be in place just by virtue of the costs involved in buying a forge. Secondly, with the capital to afford a hammer forge, one can use the capabilities inherent in hammer forging to bolster profits, pay for start up costs, and offset material costs by production of end items outside the scope of firearms. Producing parts for the automotive industry for example, is common practice for producers of hammer forged barrels. Using the profits garnered from industry outside the firearms business to pay for infrastructure, employ skilled metallurgists and to enable oneself to afford quality raw materials is just good business sense. An age old phrase to apply here is: "It takes money to make money”. Not to mention the fact that hammer forging barrels in bulk (as in millions) is cheap to do once setup. And thirdly, hammer forgers are able to make better barrels due to the precise machining afforded by a quality forge. The twist rate of rifling must be absolutely precise as minute changes count in large ways and hammer forging produces excellent twist rate by nature. With the use of precision mandrels fantastic twist rate is innate. And hammer forged barrels are naturally harder and require less post stress relief as the steel is compressed and hardened in part by the hammers pounding the steel around the mandrel.

Modern Russian small arms plants rely on Austrian hammer forging technology that is generally considered some of the best hammer forging technology available to date, generating rifles on an industrial scale for the Russian military and also the private sector. The Russians not only hammer forge barrels using advanced forging equipment, the mandrels they use forms the chamber at the same time they form the rifling. And when considering the skill involved in chrome plating the bore of a rifle Bill offered his qualified opinion as a designer of armaments and small arms. The Russians are entirely precise. The adherence is admirable and the density is very impressive. The Russians have raised chrome plating to an art form. We in the west can do the same, but do we? The uncomfortable answer to that question is probably not. The Russian mindset is one of being good enough. And they are very good at good enough.
http://www.ak47.net/forums/t_4_64/140152_.html
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Old March 29th, 2012, 09:21 PM   #17
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Green Mountain has been making very good rifle barrels for years.
I have been looking for an AK for years, but keep coming to the realization that if you want an AK that is as polished as most of our AR's you have to spend 1K for it, and then when you see $500 AK's they get knocked for various problems. You get what you pay for unless you get lucky.
New WASR's/M10's (Romania), Saigas (Russia), and PAP's (Serbia) are in that price range (or less) and have no problems. Seems to be only the U.S. makers with the problems making a cheap, crude POS (as some would view the AK and it is not directed at the gunsmiths who actually care like clandestine, et. al. who build using quality parts but the outfits that mass produce and churn out crap)
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Old March 29th, 2012, 09:46 PM   #18
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Century "built"? Tread carefully
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Old March 30th, 2012, 05:34 AM   #19
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The only guy in this thread who's making SHTF a required use case is you, Scott. OP didn't even mention it. He asked if a CAI AKMS was a good value. (The answer being, if you're willing to keep returning it until you get a good one, sure! If not, not so much!)

I'm still not convinced that HF is a true requirement for a barrel. Real AKs are select-fire, and those introduce different stresses on a gun than an SA version. I do tend to agree with you in that I'd think much more highly of HF as a requirement on an FA gun. But, let's face it: there's an exellent chance the world won't end (ever), and there's also an exellent chance that 99.9% of these AKs will never fire enough rounds to come even close to shooting out their barrels. As I said before, HF is nice to have, but tossing it in the realm of must-have requirement seems extreme. I'd rather have a high-quality AK without an HF barrel than a low-quality one with it.

Anyways, those new WASRs/M10s still have serious issues with QC, and it's not necessarily a problem on the US side. Consider that even the 100%-Romanian PSLs are still rather hit and miss. Hell, SGN had an article this past issue on building one, and the Romanian-built receiver was stated to be way out-of-spec.

And it's funny that you bring up the Zastava PAP, because I don't believe that's HF or chrome-lined.

To summarize: if you have $600 to spend on a rifle, buy an AR. The lower-end of those is way, way better than the lower end of AKs.

Last edited by erwos; March 30th, 2012 at 07:20 AM.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 09:01 AM   #20
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The only guy in this thread who's making SHTF a required use case is you, Scott. OP didn't even mention it. He asked if a CAI AKMS was a good value. (The answer being, if you're willing to keep returning it until you get a good one, sure! If not, not so much!)

I'm still not convinced that HF is a true requirement for a barrel. Real AKs are select-fire, and those introduce different stresses on a gun than an SA version. I do tend to agree with you in that I'd think much more highly of HF as a requirement on an FA gun. But, let's face it: there's an exellent chance the world won't end (ever), and there's also an exellent chance that 99.9% of these AKs will never fire enough rounds to come even close to shooting out their barrels. As I said before, HF is nice to have, but tossing it in the realm of must-have requirement seems extreme. I'd rather have a high-quality AK without an HF barrel than a low-quality one with it.

Anyways, those new WASRs/M10s still have serious issues with QC, and it's not necessarily a problem on the US side. Consider that even the 100%-Romanian PSLs are still rather hit and miss. Hell, SGN had an article this past issue on building one, and the Romanian-built receiver was stated to be way out-of-spec.

And it's funny that you bring up the Zastava PAP, because I don't believe that's HF or chrome-lined.

To summarize: if you have $600 to spend on a rifle, buy an AR. The lower-end of those is way, way better than the lower end of AKs.

BLASPHEMY!

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I'd have to disagree with that. I've got numerous Tapco magazines, and they are decent quality. I've never had any issue with any of them. Now they are not quite up to milsurp quality, but for their price point; they return a good value IMO. They cerainly aren't the "junk" some people make them out to be.
I concur. Never had anything TAPCO fail me on multiple platforms. Internals, magazines, stocks etc.


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