In December of 2003, I bought a NIB Romanian SAR-1 for $200. I knew nothing about AKM rifles but had wanted one for awhile and saw the SAR-1 for sale in a mom-and-pop gun store.
The SAR-1 was used by the Romanian military and is the only true military issue of all the AKM rifles imported into this country. All SAR-1s have true AKM receivers with the dimple over the mag well. They were set up from the factory to use standard AK mags. All other AK variants imported into the U.S. are commercial rifles made for the consumer market. On entry into the U.S., Century swapped out the fire control group, the pistol grip, and the gas piston to keep the rifle within the letter of the sporting purpose clause of the 1968 Gun Control Act.
Although this picture is not my original SAR -, mine looked basically the same as the one below.
After keeping the rifle in the original configuration that you see above for about a year, I decided that I wanted to customize my rifle based on some of the other AKM rifles that I had seen and/or read about on various AK sites and many of the members of the sites were kind enough to give me advice on how to proceed. So, I started the modification process and this is what I have ended up with so far:
The folding stock and furniture came from www.dpharms.com
, the bayonet came from www.tickbitesupply.com
, and see below for info on the Kobra red dot sight.
This picture immediately above shows the bayonet mounted over the slant brake. Because I had to thread the barrel to add the slant brake, it changed the 922r requirements for the rifle and I had to use a U.S. made slant brake in order to remain in compliance. Before installing the slant brake, I also installed a detent pin and spring in order to keep the brake in place.
And if you have not seen how the Kobra red dot sight attaches to the side rail of an AK, here it is:
The Kobra is the Russian military EKP-1S-03M upgrade and operates on two AA batteries. (http://tantal.kalashnikov.guns.ru/collimator.html
). The Kobra can be easily mounted and dismounted without disturbing the zero of the sight once it is set.
It addition, the rifle is fully compliant with U.S. parts and thus meets the federally mandated 992r requirements.
The rifle also has modifications that are less noticeable, such as a:
Blackjack notched safety/selector lever, http://www.blackjackbuffers.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=66&products _id=202
. Because some ranges that I go to require that the bolt of the rifle be locked open during cease fires, I installed the Blackjack notched lever. The locking open is done manually so when the last round from a mag is fired, you still hear the "click." If the bolt has to be locked open, then you can use the lever to do so.
Blackjack recoil buffer, http://www.blackjackbuffers.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=180
Blackjack shepherd’s crook replacement lever, http://www.blackjackbuffers.com/index.php?main_page=product_reviews_info&products_ id=238&reviews_id=9
FCG from Red Star Arms, http://www.redstararms.com/
A Fuller enhanced rear sight from One Source Tactical http://www.onesourcetactical.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=564
I carry six mags – either 20 or 30 round mags – five in a Chinese military bag from Cheaper Than Dirt. The sixth mag will be in the rifle.
One of my better acquisitions is the Lula Loader. www.maglula.com
If you go to the site, just click on “Lula” in the upper left corner and then scroll down until you see the loader for the AK. If you don’t have one, you should.
Your thumbs will thank you!
In MHO, the AKM is the Glock of rifles. It’s not pretty but it is rugged, reliable, runs with little or no maintenance, and like the Glock it can be dry-fired ‘til your heart’s content without damaging the firing pin or any other part of the weapon. The AKM is not as accurate as the AR but for the purpose for which the AK was designed and manufactured, it is an excellent weapon.
If you own an AK or if you are thinking about owning an AK, the “must visit” site on the web is Romanian Kalashnikov Rifles
The magic of the site is in its left column and although the site is primarily for Romanian made AKM rifles, the principles that are discussed will apply to any manufacturer of AKM rifles.