Most AKs your gonna find are imports from century international arms,their QC is apparently sub-standard. My father has a century wasr,shoots great. My uncle also bought one,wasn't so lucky.... apparently he has a lot of trouble with it. Most all century wasr rifles are parts guns and are going to look the part as well,rough finish,canted sights if your not lucky,possible well used parts. But are the cheapest of the AK variants.
The other end of the spectrum are Arsenal Inc. AK's,all around top-quality guns. They start life as saiga sporter rifles that get converted back to the originally intended AK format,saigas are new production rifles from the same factory that the Russian military gets their AK variants from. They assemble these saiga rifles as sporting guns to be able to import them without them being classified as "assault weapons" which would require them to have a certain number of U.S. made parts. This is where Arsenal Inc. Comes in... they buy these saiga rifles and perform conversions using the required number of U.S. parts,they make them to mimic different AK variants such as the Ak-47,Ak-74,and Ak-100 series rifles. Their conversions are EXTREMELY thorough and the work performed is supurb. Now this comes at a price most aren't willing to pay for an AK, around 900 dollars... but you are paying for a top-end brand new AK rifle. These Arsenal rifles are the closest thing you can get to a genuine Russian AK,if you have the money this is probably your best bet.
But you don't have a thousand dollars to fork out for a ugly old AK you say? Well there us another option... you could always buy and convert a saiga rifle yourself,there are plenty of written tutorials and educational videos on this very subject to guide you through the process. Which happens to be simple and striaghtforward as long as you have some handtools and a cordless drill. Just be sure to include the right amount of U.S. made parts in your conversion to meet 922r compliance,most people do this with a tapco g2 fire control group and a new stock. Anybody that has the slightest of mechanical inclination can do it theirselves,I converted my saiga myself and it took me less than two hours of my time. If your interested in going this route I can point You in the right direction. A saiga rifle can be had for about $300 dollars now and they come in a generous choice of calibers,a nice conversion kit will cost less than $200. End result is a very nice AK rifle.
Last edited by Jstrong; 01-07-2012 at 12:37 AM.