New Acquisition For The Arsenal!!!
Yes, I have acquired a new firearm for my collection which now numbers precisely two
Yes, it’s just the semi-auto, normal civilian, off the shelf version that only fires once per trigger pull
It all started with the thought that maybe I should get a new .17 HMR (.17 caliber Hornady Magnum Rimfire) bolt gun to go and have some fun with. Hey, for about $250 I could get something fun! Well, I started looking around and while at Bass Pro Shops’ fine gun room, I found a Turkish 8mm Mauser. From this inspiration I began looking at other old military rifles. After looking at the price of ammo, I decided I didn’t want an 8mm just yet.
I started thinking about getting something semi-auto after discovering pull-through cleaning systems which make cleaning from the breech much easier! Part of my reason for looking into a bolt action rifle was that I found my .22 semi-auto a pain to clean.
I briefly considered a new handgun, but the price of pistol ammo in .45 ACP and .40 S&W kept me away from anything but a .22 pistol. Then there’s the price of the handgun – .22s start at $350 for the model I was looking at and the .45s and .40s all started at about $400. And that’s before the ammo. 9mm for example at Bass Pro Shops is $50 for 250 rounds and .40 (my preferred round) is $81 for 250 rounds.
Back to rifles. I wanted something really fun to shoot. Full auto was out due to not having nearly enough $$$ and an automatic weapons ban enacted by my roommate. I’m not about to start a fight over that because I can’t afford one anyway. So now it’s been narrowed to semi-auto rifles with military heritage somewhere in the back of my mind. Research showed that AR-15s and their variants all start at $800 and go up from there (usually to $1,200 or more) and according to Dad, they need premium ammo to work right. Premium ammunition means paying the premium and I didn’t want to break the bank on an afternoon of putting holes in targets.
Dad got himself a Yugoslavian AK-47 under-folder (M70-AB2) when he moved back to Arizona from California. His reasons were the reasonable price (about $500), reasonable ammo prices, and it will feed just about any ammo you can buy. AK-47s are not generally known for their accuracy, but they are known for their reliability. I decided I wanted the full wood stock for the looks, added weight (less recoil), and usually a lower price. After reading quit a bit online, I decided I didn’t want a WASR-10 (cheap construction) and that a Yugoslavian model (M70-A1) was the one for me.
Knowing that Wal-Mart and Bass Pro Shops don’t carry anything remotely military in nature, I wandered on into The Gun Store on Tropicana. I wasn’t disappointed! There on the wall was my rifle – the Century Arms Yugoslavian AK-47 (model M70-A1). I thought about it for two nights and finally decided to go ahead and “pull the trigger” (so to speak)
It was just about two weeks ago that I took home my own Yugoslavian AK-47 from Century Arms. The Gun Store (link) earned my business by being the most patient, understanding, knowledgeable, and helpful guys in a place that carried what I was looking for. My AK cost around $500 and it was worth every penny.
So, how does it shoot? Great !!! I’ve taken it out in the desert with a friend twice now and it’s a hoot and a half – just what I was looking for! The recoil isn’t bad, but there’s quite a bit of power where it counts. I’ll probably buy a few more magazines (it came with two 30 round magazines) just so I don’t have to stop as often to reload the magazines. My favorite targets so far have got to be (ridiculously cheap store brand) full cans of soda. Set a few up and there’s no doubt if you’ve hit them or not Dead center hits pretty much result in an instantly empty can with a mist of soda hanging in the air for a few seconds. End-on shots are pretty spectacular, too. My friend James managed to graze one of them on the top and even though it didn’t fall over, there was a shower of spray from the holes – at least until I took it out with a shot from my .22
I can’t help but wonder just why this is legal in Nevada, but not in California. Setting aside California’s 10 round magazine limit, my rifle’s 7.62x39mm round is chambered in other rifles and is not all that powerful – just go ask any gunsmith or look at the ammo itself at Wal-Mart. Other semi-auto rifles are legal. For some reason, California has decided that semi-auto rifles with detachable magazines and pistol grips must be kept away from civilians. While I fail to see any reason for this, it’s another reason I’m glad to live in Nevada where they trust their citizens !
Sorry, no video yet, but it should be coming soon
One of my reasons for choosing the Yugoslavian AK is that the receiver may still be stamped, but it’s 1.5mm thick metal instead of 1mm. You see, the Yugoslavs had it in their minds that they should be able to fire rifle grenades from their AKs, so they overbuilt them just a bit and added an interesting feature – a gas block cutoff valve. Launching a rifle grenade with my rifle would be possible if I had a rifle grenade (or inert unit), a rifle grenade launcher which is just a specialized metal tube that goes on the muzzle, and a blank cartridge.
I don’t intend to do launch any rifle grenades, but it’s interesting to note the modifications that were made to the basic AK to allow for this. Pushing a heavy rifle grenade off of its launching tube generates quite a bit of pressure on the barrel and stresses the firearm in some other ways as well. This is why the receiver is made from 1.5mm thick metal. It’s also the reason there’s a button on the side of the receiver that must be pressed to allow the recoil spring guide to be pressed inside of the receiver cover to start field stripping.
One other unique feature that was added for rifle grenade duty was the gas block cutoff valve. You can see the lever (which doubles as a rifle grenade sight) raised to the cutoff position in the picture of my rifle below. The AK-47 uses a small hole in the barrel to vent some of the gas to the gas tube above the barrel so that the force of that gas can push the piston back which is attached to the bolt. As the bolt travels back, it ejects the spent casing. The recoil spring then pushes the bolt forward and in the process loads and chambers a fresh round from the magazine. There’s a couple of bad things about this process when it comes to launching rifle grenades. First, the increased pressure might do bad things to the action, even as tough as it is. Second, you don’t want any of that gas going anywhere but out the barrel to launch the grenade.
I like the overbuilt aspects of these innovations as I think they’ll give me a tougher rifle. The gas block cutoff valve is interesting, but I don’t think I’ll ever use it.
At least you’ll know what you’re looking at in the pic, right ?
2 comments to New Acquisition For The Arsenal!!!
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