I had never intended to write an AK-47 buyer’s guide. Plans, however, are always subject to change. As I shopped around for an AK, I became acutely aware of how different an animal it was from other rifles. Finding good advice on this iconic weapon was hard to come by, which made the task of choosing the right one downright confusing.
Whether I was inspecting rifles at a neighborhood dealer or an online auction site, it occurred to me that choosing an AK is a bit like walking through a house of mirrors. Regardless of price, to the untrained eye, they all looked the same.
What I came to discover was that trying to assess the merchandise superficially was an exercise in futility. I found out that you need to know what’s under the hood. Unless you’re intimately familiar with the individual manufacturer and the provenance of the parts, you don’t know what you’re getting.
Even Amazon.com didn’t help my research at all. There were some books on AKs listed, but they were either highly technical or devoted to the history of the rifle. There was no real AK-47 buyer’s guide out there. The forums were too esoteric and while there were a few websites with good data, they were few and far between.
A comprehensive AK buyer’s guide simply didn’t exist, so I figured I’d write one.
As a discerning buyer, I needed to understand some basics. These are critical for an AK-47 buyer’s guide:
- The differences between a $600, $1200 and a $2000 rifle.
- Which AK manufacturers offer the best bang for the buck.
- Whether to buy online or from a local dealer.
- Whether to buy new or used.
- What type of optic to buy and how to mount it.
The purpose of this little book is to provide buyers with answers to these queries and much more. In short, my objective is to de-mystify the process of purchasing an AK.
In addition to the basic questions that revolve around choosing the right gun, How to Buy an AK-47 also offers ideas on customizing your AK with aftermarket parts such as stocks, folders, grips, rails, etc. Some of these suggestions come from my own product reviews but most advice is garnered from professional gunsmiths and trainers—people who design, build and operate Kalashnikov-style rifles for a living.
I sincerely hope that my efforts help you find the rifle you want and that you spend many safe hours at the range or in the field, enjoying it.
Feel free to email any comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org