Gun of the Week #20: Bulgarian Ak-47

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My Ak-74 on a bench at my gun club.

Every week I feature a gun from my collection. This week it is a Bulgarian Ak-74 that was assembled by Tennessee Guns Incorporated( TGI). I think have changed their name to Waffen Works since I bought this gun.  I bought his gun 18 months ago from Classic Arms for the bargain price of $500 including shipping.  This was before Sandy Hook and the dramatic increases in gun prices..  It is my favorite AK out of the 3 AK’s that I own.   I own a Romanian WASR, and a Bulgarian SAR3( In .223) . The picture above shows it with a Russian Surplus Bakelite 45 round magazine that i got from AimSurplus. With the .545x.39 round this is very little kickback when firing a round. Unlike my AK-47.You can see all the previous gun of the week posts here.

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My AK collection. Top AK-47, Middle Ak-74, Bottom Sar-3

History
The AK-74 (Russian: Автомат Калашникова образца 1974 года or “Kalashnikov automatic rifle model 1974”) is an assault rifle developed in the early 1970s in the Soviet Union as the replacement for the earlier AKM (itself a refined version of the AK-47). It uses a smaller intermediate cartridge, the 5.45×39mm, replacing the 7.62×39mm chambering of earlier Kalashnikov-pattern weapons.

The rifle first saw service with Soviet forces engaged in the 1979 Afghanistan conflict.[Presently, the rifle continues to be used by the majority of countries of the former USSR. Additionally, licensed copies were produced in Bulgaria (AK-74 and AKS-74U), the former East Germany (MPi-AK-74N, MPi-AKS-74N, MPi-AKS-74NK) and Romania (PA md. 86) besides former Soviet republics and eastern European countries, Mongolia, North Korean Special Forces, and Vietnamese People’s Naval infantry use AK-74s.The rifle was originally developed, in 1974, by Russian designer Mikhail Kalashnikov.

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Ak-74 and the now banned russian surplus 5.45

The AK-74 is an adaptation of the 7.62×39mm AKM assault rifle and features several important design improvements.These modifications were primarily the result of converting the rifle to the intermediate-caliber 5.45×39mm cartridge, in fact, some early models are reported to have been converted AKMs, re-barreled to 5.45×39mm.[ The result is a more accurate and reliable rifle than the AKM.The AK-74 and AKM share an approximate 50% parts commonality (interchangeable most often are pins, springs and screws).

 

Gun of the week #5: Romanian SAR-3

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I have been using more historic guns in this weekly series, this week, I picked a more modern guy. This is a strange gun and I got it really cheap because potential buyers were confused by the stock and the caliber.  I bought this a year ago on the night that New Town shootings happened. I was already going to this giant new gun store that had just recently opened to pickup a Ar-15 stripped receiver that I had ordered and I saw this in the racks with the other guns for $399.  It had a FAL like folding stock and it said .5.56/.223 caliber on the side of the gun.

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I had never heard of a AK that used .556/.223caliber before and neither had the salesman, so I did some quick research on it and figured out that $399 was a good price.

The Romanian SAR series of rifles was imported in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Much like the MAK-90, they can take double stack mags, but do not have the threaded muzzle or bayonet lug. Imported by Century, SARs had a US pistol grip, US piston, and US trigger group installed to make them 922r compliant. They come in three calibers, 7.62×39, 5.45×39, and 5.56×45 in the SAR1, SAR2, and SAR3 respectively. These rifles are generally well thought of, and are often good shooters. They say that Fit and finish are often less than perfect as is common with Romanian guns, but this gun looks and shoots fine.

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The main issue with these guns, tends to be the magazines, which are usually modified from some other gun for use with this gun. The magazines are hard to find. You just can’t use a standard AK or AR mag.  I have two Bulgarian Circle 10 plastic mags which work most of the time, and I bought two German Weiger metal magazines, which tend to work 100% of the time.

The stock is aftermarket and just looks strange on the gun. I bought another type of stock but I have never got around to installing it.  The guns shoots really well and confuses people on the range when they ask me if it is  an Ak-47 or AK-74 and I tell them no, it’s a SAR-3.

I usually joke about this gun, telling people it is the most evil rifle out there, because it as a AK that shoot AR caliber bullets.  It’s been a year, and while I do like the gun, I am not sure if I am going to keep it. I waver back and forth about keeping it or selling it to fund a new purchase.