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american made ak 47 reviews

Coffee or Die Magazine

By Karen Hunter | September 17, 2019

From the sun-baked deserts of North Africa to the tropics of Central America, the venerable AK47 rifle has been used in international conflicts around the world for decades. Few firearms share the name recognition of the AK47, and Mikhail Kalashnikov’s creation has developed a hardcore following since it was adopted by the Soviet Army in 1949.

While the AK can be found in the hands of freedom fighters and terrorists alike, it also has a massive fan base in the civilian world. The challenge for civilians is finding a quality rifle with true AK DNA that enjoys the benefits of modern manufacturing. Century Arms thrives in this niche market. The company has been a go-to resource since they opened in 1961, offering a variety of AK models.

However, one of their most interesting guns was announced earlier this year. The Century Arms VSKA is an AKM-pattern rifle that is entirely made in America.

Century Arms VSKA AK. Photo courtesy of Century Arms Facebook page.

The VSKA (pronounced vis-kuh ) is a new, heavy-duty AK rifle that has been re-engineered from the ground up. Critical components, such as the bolt carrier, front trunnion, and feed ramp, are made using S7 tool steel — that’s the same steel used in jackhammer tips and excavator teeth. S7 tool steel has maximum shock resistance and high compression strength, while retaining toughness.

The team at Century worked hard to ensure that items such as the front trunnion and the machined-from-billet bolt exceeded the durability goals for the project. The VSKA features a carburized, case-hardened bolt. The process results in a lower coefficient of friction in the carburized surface, which reduces the potential for galling and plastic deformation. The VSKA has a very nice chrome-moly 4150 barrel and sports the RAK-1 Enhanced Trigger group for a better-than-expected trigger press. Wrapped up with a manganese-phosphate finish and an eye-catching American Maple wood buttstock and forend, the VSKA looks as good as it runs.

Range time with the VSKA offered a stellar performance — in the world of AKs, this gun is a solid choice. Chambered in the traditional 7.62x39mm, the fit and feel of the gun said Eastern Bloc fighter, but the tolerances and finish elevate the VSKA to a higher level. Following a quick function check, I ran the gun hard. My first impression was that it was true AK but with serious manufacturing effort behind it.

The author found the Century Arms VSKA to be an accurate and rattle-free AK-pattern rifle. Photo by Karen Hunter/Coffee or Die.

Unlike most of the AKs I’ve seen come through my classes, the VSKA has very little play or slop in the action. It was made to meet a serious set of standards — as evidenced by Century becoming an ISO 9001:2015 certified manufacturer in July 2018. While most AKs have a distinct rattle to them when they fire, it’s completely absent in the VSKA. The rifle cycled well and ran anything I fed it, which was predominantly steel-cased stock ammo.

Century includes a 30-round Magpul AK magazine with the VSKA, which lightens the gun and adds another layer of reliability, which is something Century prides themselves on. The company claims to have fired 12,000 rounds through several test guns while maintaining SAAMI headspace specifications and experiencing not a single trunnion failure. While part of the AK’s legacy is the notion that they are indestructible, like any other mechanical device, they will have a breaking point. But 12,000 rounds is a lot to fire through a gun and experience no failures.

“The VSKA is the true definition of American ingenuity and technology meeting Soviet bloc dependability and history,” said Adam Ruonala, Century Arms’ national marketing director.

Graphic by Erik Campbell/Coffee or Die. Photo courtesy of Century Arms.

While the VSKA does have the benefits of modern manufacturing, it is still a traditional AK with the standard flash hider, which looks as if someone cut a piece out of the barrel and angled it to the right. AKs have a tendency to rise toward the right, so the simple answer was to cut the end of the barrel to direct the opposing gas force against the rise. It’s a crude yet effective muzzle-control design feature.

Another aspect of AK legend is that they suffer in regards to accuracy. While ARs can be sub-MOA (minute of angle), AKs are known to be “minute of man.” While this may be true for some AK47 models, it is not the case with the VSKA. In my range time, I managed to obtain 1½-inch groups utilizing less expensive steel-cased ammo — more than enough to get the job done.

The one area where I felt Century had an opportunity to make a solid ergonomic improvement was the safety. They incorporate an old-school safety complete with sharp edges that encourage glove use, even for more rough or masculine hands. While not a major demerit, I personally found it too abrasive.

Overall, the VSKA was a lot of fun. There’s just something badass about stepping onto the range with an AK47 and running it hard, just because you can. And the VSKA’s reliability made it that much sweeter. The VSKA is an affordable, solid performing AK that is truly the best of both worlds.

S7 tool steel, no "AK rattle," American maple furniture, made in the U.S. — Century Arms' VSKA is the AK47 we've been waiting for.

Top 6 Best AK-47 You Must Buy 2020 Reviews & Buying Guide

The AK 47 rifle has been long renowned for its incredible reliability and durability. It’s been the choice for many tactical shooters throughout the world and continues to this day to be a top choice.

As you are probably aware, many gun manufacturers produce AK 47 style rifles at the moment. And it can be difficult to know which one will suit your needs best. Therefore, in this article, we will run through our 6 best choice AK 47 rifles on the market today. We’ll also let you know the Pros and Cons so you can make your own mind up and find out which is the best AK 47 for you?

But before we look at the rifles, let’s go a little deeper into the AK 47 history and then find out the Pros and Cons to this iconic rifle…

Brief AK 47 History

Back when the Soviet Union was in full swing. The Russians wanted to develop a rifle that could function well and be reliable in tough environments and all-weather conditions. Their answer was the world-renowned Avtomat Kalashnikova (translated – Automatic Kalashnikov), or in the abbreviated form – AK 47.

The AK 47 was the brainchild of a Russian inventor called Mikhail Kalashnikov. Who came up with the design after many efforts to make his “perfect weapon” for the Soviet Union. The “47” aspect of the gun’s name came about simply because this was the year that he completed his design. It was then adopted by the Soviet military two years later in 1949.

Although the gun had incredible resilience and reliable functionality, it did have one flaw. The early AK 47 models had a heavy recoil which brought about common complaints from the Russian military in that they couldn’t hit their targets consistently.

Later models tried to address the accuracy issues that were faced when using the AK 47. However, by this time, the AK 47 had gained iconic status. And it is now considered a true classic – with most people knowing something of its existence.

How Did The AK 47 Style Rifle Become So Well-known & Popular?

An incredible amount of AK 47 rifles were produced by the Soviet military. With an estimation of a fifth of the world’s firearms actually being an AK 47. The Russians obviously sold off a huge amount of these rifles to war-torn countries, and many found their way through the black markets into all sorts of hands.

As a result of this gun’s wide exposure, many of these iconic guns have been portrayed in movies and media throughout the years. This is because they have been an integral part of the firearm industry for a very long time – whether you like it or not.

It is important to mention that what most people would regard as a widely distributed AK 47, is actually the AKM rifle – a variant of the AK 47. Since the AKM is a variant, we can, like many others, refer to it with the popular name stamp of AK 47, where its true roots lie.

The Real AK 47 Pros & Cons

For the AK 47 to have remained a strong weapon of choice, especially in tactical and combat situations, it must have a lot of pros going for it. So here they are…

As many of you will know, the AK 47 is built to be incredibly resilient and has been proven to be effective in most weather conditions. You can even search the web now to find an AK 47 rifle being fired completely submerged underwater!

When you think this gun was made in Russia, it’s understandable that they would ensure it would work very well in cold weather too. Plus, it works the other way – even in the hottest desert climates the AK 47 will still function astonishingly well.

Back when the AK 47 was introduced, it revolutionized the process of loading a magazine, removing the safety and firing. Before the AK 47 was introduced, guns made this process a lot more difficult than it needed to be.

With the AK 47 being so intuitively easy to use, it was made accessible to almost anyone that got their hands on one. This means that the proliferation of this gun around the world was easy. As language barriers would not get in the way of training people to use this gun.

There are two sides to the argument with the recoil on the AK 47.

Firstly, the recoil has been dubbed enough for many to complain, in the past and to this day, that your shooting accuracy is affected negatively. This is true, but the AK 47 is by no means renowned for its pinpoint accuracy, but more as a general combat rifle.

The second argument is that for a rifle that fires heavy rounds, the recoil is much less than you would expect for this size of a rifle. So ultimately, you will be able to fire incredibly powerful bullets with a very lightweight and tactical firearm – which does have strong appeal in real combat situations.

One issue that people have had with the AK 47 is that it has a loosely fitted stamped rail on top. This means that it’s very difficult to mount extra hardware on top of the rifle without it moving around. In recent times, however, modifications have been made whereby scopes or other hardware can be mounted firmly onto the AK 47 without any issues.

Finally, when considering the Pros and Cons of the AK 47, you really have to look from differing perspectives.

This firearm was made with looser tolerances so that it could handle dirt and the effects of bad weather. As a result of the loose tolerances, you forego on some of the potential accuracies that this rifle could have. Plus the sights don’t help either!

However, if you want a rifle that will work no matter what type of tough demands you put it through – the AK 47 is a great choice. It just means that you have to put up with a firearm less capable in the accuracy realm.

Top 6 Best AK-47 For The Money 2020 Reviews

  1. Century International Arms – WASR-10 16.5 inch 7.62 x 39mm Blue 30+1RD
  2. Century International Arms Inc. Red Army Standard
  3. Arsenal SAM7K01 Milled Receiver AK Pistol
  4. SA VZ. 58 Bolt Action Tactical
  5. Arsenal SAM7R-61 Rifle
  6. SLR-107 Series

1 Century International Arms – WASR-10 16.5 inch 7.62 x 39mm Blue 30+1RD

The first AK 47 style rifle we’re looking at is this Century International Arms WASR-10 model, which comes with a 7.62 x 39mm cartridge and a 30 + 1 round capacity.

WASR is short for Wassenaar Arrangement Semiautomatic Rifle, and its design is taken from a semi-automatic Romanian pistol used by their military, produced as far back as 1963.

One of the greatest draws to this pistol is that it’s reasonably priced, yet it’s made to be incredibly strong and durable like an original AK 47 rifle. You also have a good choice of customization choices, so you can really personalize this gun to your taste.

This gun has a blue finish and a beautiful natural wood tone on the stock and foregrip. The entire length of the gun is 37.25 inches, plus the barrel length is 16.5 inches.

The gun also features the traditional removable magazine, which as we mentioned before has a 30 + 1 round capacity.

If you are a collector of AK 47 style guns or want a very original looking and performing AK 47 rifle – Century International Arms have done an incredible job with this WASR-10 model.

You’re searching for the Best AK-47. We know that and don’t worry we got you completely covered with our updated review on them.