Honestly, the real appeal of AKs is their reliability and ruggedness. A .22 built to look like one loses everything the AK has going for it IMO, plus a cheap AK isn't all that much more. I would get a Ruger 10/22 or a GSG-5 first, but thats just me.
I have the GSG AK 47 22 cal rifle and love it......It is very much like the 7.62x39 rifles in feel and it is hard to tell the difference from ten feet......I can get 1 inch groups at 50 yards with the iron sights and I have poor vision.....With the red dot scope it is a great plinking rifle which my grand sons love to shoot.....................I got rid of my two 7.62x39 AKs because of ammo costs and my grand kids didn't like the recoil and loud noise..........The 22 cal version is more fun to shoot and a lot cheaper.
I bought my rifle with the black polymer furniture, but switched to the wood because it is more authentic looking..........I paid $399 for mine and got an extra 25 round mag with it.
Below are pics with the wood and polymer furniture.
My friend picked up one at a gunshow and it is complete junk. I would say not to pick one up. You can grab one for like just around as much as a regular ak if not the same price. I mean the shooting aspect is cheaper but if you wanted to do that just pick up something much more reliable for .22 shooting. The thing fails to eject a lot even though we have ran plenty of different kinds of ammo through it. It was also in-accurate. I have only shot one and hated it. I cannot speak for all of them but the one I did shot I hated it.
I would definitely not gone along those lines though. I dislike how junk it feels. It doesn't feel like a real gun. It feels like a toy in my hands and it feels like a kid made it. Right out of the box, there was already a crack where the sling clips in the front so that was useless. I would rather go with the S&W M&P 15-22. For that extra 100$ you would have something that is along the lines of what you want, very reliable, sturdy, and everything else of that nature. To each his own though.
As you can tell, I am very attached to my GSG Ak 22..........I have read the reviews and there are more good experiences with this rifle than bad.......But, I respect the views of others if they have in fact owned and fired the rifle.....There are always a few bad items produced and reach the market, but should not reflect on the over all quality until a large number are found faulty.
Re: criticism of GSG AK 47 22 cal....I have now put about 5000 rounds through the rifle and it will print out 1" groups at 25 yards and 4 " groups at 100 yards using a red dot scope..... Federal or Winchester ammo.......The rifle is still solid and looks great.............I am still looking for other 22 caliber military look a likes and hope that any that I buy are as high quality and as reliable as the ones that I have.