Best AK47

Best AK-47: A Complete Guide for 2022

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One of the favorite firearms that I use at the range is the AK-47. I enjoy shooting it, especially when doing tactical drills. I also bet this is a favorite with many other enthusiasts. The AK-47’s reliability in harsh conditions, simple operations, combined with its outrageous power, has made itself a legacy. In addition, the AK-47 is an iconic Russian firearm that’s famous in history books and popular culture. Not many first-person shooting games are without one. In short, the AK-47 has worldwide popularity and a reputation for versatility, durability, and reliability.

Best AK-47 AK-47 Rifle
The AK-47, sourced from Outdoor Life

Here’s a summary of the best AK-47 that we’ll discuss in this article:

  • Century Arms WASR-10 AK-47: A Romanian-made rifle that features the AK-47’s iconic design
  • Arsenal SAM7SF-84E: A reliable, top-quality AK-47 best-suited for hardcore and experienced shooters
  • PSAK-47 GF3 “MOEKov”: A United States.-made, budget firearm that has light furnishings and a reasonable price
  • Zastava Arms N-PAP M70 AK-47: A high-quality AK-47 that offers smooth operation
  • Century Arms Draco AK-47 Pistol: A Krikov design that brings heavy firepower at a small package
  • Arsenal SAM7K-44 Genesis Pistol: A powerful AK-47 pistol with brilliant features
  • PSAK AK-P GF3 Pistol: A lightweight, affordable AK-47 pistol that best-suited for plinking and close range shooting
  • IWI Galil ACE GAP39SB Pistol: An AK-47 pattern pistol that’s highly reliable and has a soft recoil

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Quick History

The AK-47 stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947. It’s a gun designed by Russian, Mikhail Kalashnikov in the Soviet Union. It’s a rifle that’s easy to maintain and operate. In addition, the AK-47 was also the primary assault rifle of the Eastern Bloc countries during the Cold War era.

Best AK-47 AK-47 Parts
Parts of the AK-47, rifle taken from the 21st Century Asian Arms Race

Primarily, the AK-47 is built with the principles of being easy to produce, maintain, and use. Kalashnikov did not fail in achieving these. The AK-47 is so easy to use that even a kid can use it. Moreover, it uses a large 7.62 x 9mm caliber that packs quite a punch. It’s also much easier to train compared to the AK-15.

It is heavily influenced by the German Sturmgewehr 44. The firearm had a concept of combining the features of the American M1 and the German StG 44. The weapon was so successful that even the prototype outperformed its other rivals.

Best AK-47 Mikhail Kalashnikov
A photo of Mikhail Kalashnikov, taken from NDTV

The AK-47 Today

In 1959, was the birth of the AKM. The AKM has a lighter stamp metal that replaced the heavy-milled receiver of the AK-47. It also featured a muzzle brake to improve accuracy. Additionally, it became the most ubiquitous model of the AK lineup during that time.

Best AK-47 AKM Rifle
A photo of the AKM, sourced from Military Today

Both the AK-47 and AKM’s success is unparalleled spawning many variants. Some countries adopted the design and produced foreign AK-pattern rifles. For instance, the Chinese Type 56, the Hungarian AMD 65, and the Finnish RK62.

The development of the AK-47 did not stop there. Another design, called AK-74 was also introduced in 1974. It offers immense damage with slight recoil due to its smaller 5.45mm caliber. Smaller versions of the AK have also been introduced, called AK pistols.

Now, even after several decades, the AK-47 remains the most famous, reliable, and widely used rifle worldwide.

Evolution of the AK-47 ― YouTube:

The Caliber

The powerful AK-47 uses the legacy 7.62 x 39mm caliber. It’s a dependable round highly regarded by sport shooters, enthusiasts, and professionals. In addition, it’s an excellent round for a medium game. It’s also a caliber that offers short to medium range. Moreover, it has immense power at close distances.

Best AK-47 7.62x39mm Caliber
A photo of the 7.62 x 39mm caliber, taken from Wikipedia

The 7.62 x 39mm is reliable. Outfit it with a light and a red dot, and it’s one brilliant home defense weapon. It’s effective when firing through walls and other barriers, even through body armor.

The firearms industry developed a design to chamber the AK-47 in different calibers, such as the follow-up 5.45 x 39mm, 5.56 NATO, and even the ubiquitous 9mm. You can use such calibers, especially if you want less recoil and shooting at longer ranges. Modern AKs now have a variety of rifles that can chamber the 5.45 and 5.56 calibers. However, you will need a longer barrel to maximize your rifle’s performance.

Now for the 9mm AK, most folks use it for convenience. It’s effective but best-suited for shooting at short distances. In addition, it is great as a complement sidearm. However, when firing a 9mm it may be challenging to penetrate barriers and body armor. Hence, it’s not ideal for home defense or tactical purposes. On the upside, at least pre COVID, there was an abundance of affordable 9mm ammunition.

Milled vs Stamped Receiver

Best AK-47 Milled vs Stamped Receiver
Photo courtesy from TAPCO

The AK-47 comes in two types: the milled and stamped receiver.

Let’s start with the milled receiver. The milled receiver is a solid piece of metal that holds everything in place. Since it uses a solid block of steel, it’s more expensive. Its parts and internals, such as the bolt carrier stop and latch surfaces, are cut into the same steel.

Best AK-47 Milled Receiver
Milled receiver, side profile, taken from UltiMAK

Older AK-47 designs have milled receivers that are usually heavier. In addition, almost all parts are machined into the receiver. Milled receivers can retain heat and, because of their weight, there is less recoil felt. Also, only stocks made for milled guns can fit such firearms.

AK-47s sporting a milled receiver aren’t common anymore. Thus, they’re more valuable.

Best AK-47 Stamped Receiver
Stamped receiver, side profile, taken from UltiMAK

Meanwhile, the stamped receiver is a 1mm thick piece of steel. It uses a metal sheet that’s bent to shape, using rivets to add its other parts. It’s a better option instead of wasting metal through the milling process. In addition, you can spot a stamped receiver immediately once you see the head of the rivets. Another distinct feature is the rounded dimple above the magazine. Furthermore, stamped receivers are easier to produce and help save weight.

All AKM rifles also have stamped receivers, and most have interchangeable parts. Its advantage is that it dissipates heat and it’s more abundant and more affordable.

The Best AK-47 Complete Buying Guide

Before buying an AK-47, here are the things you should consider:


A trunnion is an essential part of the AK-47 that holds the barrel to the receiver. It’s riveted in place and houses the locking lugs. In addition, it contains the explosive part of the cartridge.

Best AK-47 Trunnion
An image of the AK-47’s trunnions, taken from 21st Century Asian Arms Race

There are also what we call rear trunnions. However, the most important thing to check is the front one. Rear trunnions are for taking recoil and aren’t usually involved with the ammunition.

Now, in checking the trunnions, make sure it’s made of high quality. The trunnion is where the lock-out happens. It’s when the pressure between bolt and trunnion increases when bullets fly out the barrel. Getting high-quality trunnions that are cast or forged is an excellent option. It should be durable enough to hold the pressure of a 7.62 x 39mm ammo. Once your AK’s trunnions tick all these checkboxes, you can guarantee the integrity of your firearm and your safety.


Best AK-47 Rivets
An image of rivets, taken from

You can commonly find rivets in stamped receivers. They’re the small beads you can see on the sides of the modern AK-47. Rivets hold the components of the gun together securely.

Best AK-47 Rivets
Rivets on an AK-47 rifle, taken from AK Operators Union Local 4774

Now, what you should look for in the rivets are the gaps. In other words, the rivets on your AK-47, especially flat ones, should have no air gaps between them and the gun part. Check for air gaps or spaces. Moreover, you should check if the rivets are cockeyed or slanted. Spaces and slanted rivets mean that the build of your rifle is wobbly, decreasing your firearm’s integrity.

Safety and Trigger

In checking the safety, it must move easily and lock securely into its grooves. For the trigger, check if it offers a clean and smooth break. In addition, you should check if the trigger has a strong reset.


The magazine needs to fit easily in the slot of the AK-47. Presently, most manufacturers design versatile AKs. Most of these modern AKs can accommodate different magazine types.


Best AK-47 Sights
Photo of AK-47 sights, taken from Firearms News

For sights, canted ones are the main problem for AKs. So, my advice is to stay away from rifles that have canted sights. Now, you can correct the sights to some degree using the drum. However, some rifles have sights that are pretty hard to fix. It will give you a hard time, which is not worth it. Additionally, some AKs have sights with weird angles that are uncomfortable to use.

No firearm is perfect, so some have unnoticeable flaws, making them excellent to use. When getting an AK-47, hold the gun, test it, and see if it has canted sights.

Aftermarket Parts

AK rifles are famous for needing a custom fit. If you like a customized firearm, then aftermarket support is one thing you should look for. It’s best to check the stock, handguards, and pistol grip. See if these parts are interchangeable with aftermarket parts..

Moreover, know what kind of AK-47 rifle you are buying ahead of time. Ask or research about the parts of the AK you’re interested in. Now, if you already own an AK-47, play around with parts and see what you like.

Other Parts

Finally, don’t forget to check all the other components as well. They all serve a purpose in the smooth running of your firearm. If there’s a problem, it’s always better to know it in advance to avoid further hassle.

With all this in mind, let’s start looking at the best AK-47s available today.

The Best AK-47 Rifles

We are taking a closer look at:

NameWeightBarrel LengthReceiver TypeCapacityMSRP
Century Arms WASR-10 AK-477.5 pounds16.25 inchesStamped30+1 rounds$999.99
Arsenal SAM 7 SF-84E8.5 pounds16.33 inchesMilled30 rounds$1,999.99
PSAK-47 GF3 MOEKov6.75 pounds16.2 inchesStamped30 + 1 rounds$799
Zastava Arms N-PAP M70 AK-477.7 pounds16.3 inchesStamped30 rounds$950

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Century Arms WASR-10 AK-47


Weight7.5 pounds
Length34.25 inches
Barrel Length16.25 inches
Caliber7.62 x 39 mm
Capacity30 + 1 rounds

Let’s start with one sturdy and reliable AK-47, the WASR-10. The Century Arms WASR-10 Classic is arguably the most readily available AK-47 in the market. It’s Romanian-made with a competent quality at a cheap price. The WASR-10 is a firearm that served in the Middle Eastern wars. It features a rugged design, with interchangeable wooden parts.

It’s almost a recreation of the classic rifle and is an excellent choice for first-time AK-47 users. This rifle shoots remarkably and works with different kinds of magazines. Although, its downside is that some units have a magazine well that rattles. On the upside, it can hold a high capacity of 40 rounds. It’s a carbine and utilizes a pistol grip that’s excellent for non-shoulder fire. This feature enables you to get this big gun into action rapidly.

The Century Arms WASR-10 has a slant-cut compensator with a threaded barrel which is also replaceable. In addition, it includes optic side mounts and Magpul MOE furniture. Furthermore, it has a light trigger that also sports an excellent ergonomic design.

In conclusion, the Century Arms WASR-10 has an admirable reputation for reliability and durability. It’s an excellent option for first-time users and for those who want to have a bit of history in their hands.

  • Highly durable and reliable
  • Customizable parts according to your preferences
  • Has a magazine with a capacity of 40 rounds
  • Has that classic AK-47 design
  • Some units have rattling wells due to manufacturing processes

Arsenal SAM 7 SF-84E


Weight8.5 pounds
Length38.2 inches
Folded Length28.35 inches
Barrel Length16.33 inches
Caliber7.62 x 39 mm
Capacity30 rounds

Now if you’re a hardcore AK-47 shooter, you might like the next one on our list. This one’s a modern savage AK-47 and arguably the best AK-47 in the market today. It’s a 1970’s Special Forces weapon. So, no need to question this rifle’s reliability, durability, and power. It’s compact, reliable, with an added punch. Plus, every round of this gun is lethal.

The Arsenal SAM7SF is primarily built for close-range shooting at around 100 meters or less. It has a rugged design with top-quality parts. For instance, it features a Bulgarian hammer forged receiver, bolt carrier, and bolt. It has a cold hammer-forged barrel built on Steyr manufacturing technology. Furthermore, it has a hard chrome-plated bore and chamber. The overall build of this AK-47 offers outstanding strength and quality. It’s basically a weapon made for war.

One distinct feature of this AK is its folding stock, which is unavailable in previous models. You can also fire it using the folded position as the ejected casings don’t contact its stock. Additionally, it operates flawlessly. Its trigger brake is smooth with a light long pull. It sports an ambidextrous design, and its grip is robust and ergonomic.

The Arsenal SAM 7 SF-84E comes with a scope rail, cleaning rod, one 10-round magazine, sling, and a cleaning kit. It has substantial red dot sights and comes with an excellent range with a series of options. The iron sights are M4-style to old AK-47 style, while its muzzle has a modern design.

Overall, this gun has top-quality and impressive features. To summarize, It’s a reliable AK-47 that’s best suited for more serious and experienced shooters.

  • Made of high quality components
  • Provides a wide choice of models and configurations
  • Highly customizable
  • Proven reliability and durability
  • Most expensive AK-47 available on the market



Weight6.75 pounds
Length35.35 inches
Barrel Length16.2 inches
Caliber7.62 x 39mm
Capacity30 + 1 rounds

The MOEKov means a combination of a MOE front handguard and a Zhukov buttstock. This AK-47 is all United States-made except for its forged trunnion and bolt. In addition, these two parts are from other countries while PSA finished the rest of the components to build this AK.

PSA obtained a reputation for providing affordable AR-15s at around $350. Their firearms function efficiently, although the issues are only on their guns’ aesthetic.

PSA made this AK-47 with forged 4150 melonite steel. It’s a budget firearm with high quality at a reasonable price and also the most popular of all their variants. It has a slanted muzzle brake with a precise and secure ranch-gate safety. In addition, the sights are not canted. It features a classic rear sight while the front sight is adjustable and accurate at several miles.

This AK-47 features Magpul MOE handguards and grips. It sports a Magpul Zhukov folding adjustable stock. It also uses a double-hook trigger, which is pretty smooth. Although some folks have issues with trigger reset, it still functions flawlessly in every trigger pull.

It’s not a precision gun but, still, it’s reliable. It also has a sharp recoil. However, the furnishing of this rifle is lighter than traditional wood-stocked variants. As a result, it’s easier to control. Furthermore, you can use Pro-mag and foreign magazines to load this rifle. The buttstock is also adjustable and folds back conveniently.

Overall, this AK-47 has excellent functions and is also reliable. So, if you prefer an American-made AK-47 without breaking the bank, this one’s a good option for you.

  • Great quality at a reasonable price
  • Hammer-forged bolt, carrier, and trunnion
  • Gas nitride 4150 steel treated barrel
  • Magpul AK furniture and folding stock
  • Not as high-quality as the higher-priced AK-47s in the market

Zastava Arms N-PAP M70 AK-47


Weight7.7 pounds
Length37.5 inches
Barrel Length16.3 inches
Caliber7.62 x 39mm
Capacity30 rounds

The Zastava N-PAP M70 is a versatile AK-47, recommended by AK operators after it passed their torture test. It’s a rifle patterned after the M70’s Estava and comes with a Tapco G2 trigger. This trigger has a slightly rounded hammer-face compared to Kalashnikovs that come with non-U.S.-made fire control groups. It has a rounded hammer which eliminates the trigger slap from straight-hammered AKs.

This AK-47 has a Yugoslavian-based furniture style receiver. It’s 1.5mm and stamped, which is thicker than other AK models. Keep this in mind as standard handguards might not fit well with it.

It’s easy to operate, and it has reports of little to no malfunctions. It also has decent accuracy and is great to use for plinking. However, the recoil is solid in a way that it may throw off your iron sights. The magazine release lever is also small and tight. So, if you wear gloves when shooting, then this might be a problem for you.

It has no tang rear. Instead, the stock is held in with a bolt that goes through the rear of the stock. The magazine of this AK is outstanding. It also has minimal wobble, unlike low-quality AKs out there. However, the magazine release lever is also small and tight. If you wear gloves when shooting, then this might be a problem for you.

The front sight is slightly canted, but almost unnoticeable. One of the downside the M70 used to have is that its barrel was not chrome lined. However, they now ship with it as standard. So, beware older models if you plan using corrosive ammo.

The Zastava N-PAP M70 is a high-quality AK-47 with distinct features. It sports a sleek design with brilliantly engineered parts.

  • Reliable and durable
  • Distinct design eliminates trigger slaps
  • Minimal wobble of magazine
  • No corrosion resistance

Best AK-47 Pistols

We are taking a closer look at:

NameWeightBarrel LengthReceiver TypeCapacityMSRP
Century Arms Draco AK-47 Pistol5.5 pounds12.25 inchesStamped30 + 1 rounds$899.99
Arsenal SAM7K-44 Genesis Pistol8 pounds8.5 inchesMilled5-, 10-, 30, 40- rounds$1,899.99
PSA AK-P GF3 PistolN/A10.5 inchesStamped30 rounds$799

I mentioned earlier about the modern AKs developed in this modern age into AK pistols. These are a lighter and more compact series of AK firearms with shorter barrels. Most use them as truck guns. By law, we call them AK pistols because they lack a stock and have a rifled barrel. Here is a look at the best ones available:

Century Arms Draco AK-47 Pistol


Weight5.5 pounds
Length21.5 inches
Barrel Length12.25 inches
Caliber7.62 x 39mm
Capacity30 rounds

Century Arms Draco pistol is a miniature AK-47 that’s one of the most famous AK pistols in the market today. It has a short sight radius, which is very handy at close shooting range. Additionally, it’s lightweight, compact, and equipped with SB tactical brace.

This AK pistol is based on the Krinkov design. Krinkov is a short-barreled variant of an AK-47, specifically the AKS-74U design. It also accepts all AK magazine types. In addition, the Draco has a stamped receiver that is Romanian-made. It’s built with the purpose to deliver immense firepower in a small gun. This AK pistol is a sturdy gun that offers excellent accuracy. However, it takes a lot of practice to get used to. This is not unique to this “pistol”. Unlike standard AK-47 rifles, AK pistols have shorter barrels and no stock. Thus, it’s more difficult to control.

The Draco AK-47 pistol is available in a mini version with a 7.25-inch barrel. It also has a micro version at 6.25-inch barrel length. Now, if you’re a 9mm shooter, Century Arms made a NAK9 version as well. It features a barrel at 11.44 inches and a 33-round magazine.

To summarize, Draco AK-47 is a tacticool gun that’s lightweight and compact. Furthermore, it offers many versions to help you find the AK pistol that suits your needs. It’s ideal for those who want heavy firepower packed in a small bundle.

  • Comes in a lot of variants
  • Offers heavy firepower
  • Durable and accurate
  • Takes a lot of practice to control

Arsenal SAM7K-44 Genesis Pistol


Weight8 pounds
Length18 inches
Barrel Length8.5 inches
Caliber7.62 x 39mm
Capacity 5-, 10-, 30, 40- rounds

The Arsenal is famous for producing high-quality AK-47 guns in the firearm industry. One of those top-notch guns is the Bulgarian-made SAM7K. It is an AK-47 pistol that sports a hammer-forged milled receiver. It’s solid, heavy, and sturdy. In addition, this AK pistol is ideal for sport shooting, self-defense, and hunting.

It has an ambidextrous design. Even lefties can enjoy the miniature AK-47 experience. Additionally, this AK pistol is powerful. Hence, it has a heavy blow. For its features, it has a Picatinny rail for rear attachments. It also has a threaded front sight block. The Arsenal SAM7K arm brace is quite thin. In addition, you can fold this arm brace to the side. However, I don’t recommend it as folding it gets in the way of the optic.

Lastly, this AK-47 pistol sports a chrome hammer-forged barrel. Its material makes the barrel quite heavy. However, it provides corrosion resistance. Overall, the Arsenal SAM7K-44 Genesis is a superb AK-47 pistol for different purposes like self-defense. It’s also an excellent gun with splendid quality that’s a fantastic addition to your arsenal.

  • Durable and made of high quality materials
  • Has an ambidextrous design
  • Has a Picatinny rail for accessories
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Finished in gas nitride for corrosion resistance
  • Has strong recoil
  • Not great for beginners
  • Some folks say that it’s not accurate

AK-Pattern Guns

NameWeightBarrel LengthCapacityMSRP
IWI Galil ACE GAP39SB Pistol6.5 pounds8.3 inches30 rounds$1,849

Some manufacturers from different countries created their modified versions of the AK-47. They base their rifles on the Soviet AK-47 and then add their modifications. The next one on our list is not an AK-47 rifle, but rather a firearm inspired by them. However, it’s an exceptional gun, which is why we decided to add it to our list.

IWI Galil ACE GAP39SB Pistol


Weight6.5 pounds
Length26.75 inches
Barrel Length8.3 inches
Caliber7.62 x 39mm
Capacity30 rounds

The IWI Galil is an Israeli weapon, primarily famous for its assault rifles. It uses the same piston-based operation of the AK-47 and its rotating bolt system. In addition, it looks like an AK-47. However, its parts are not compatible with typical AK-47 components. In short, the IWI Galil is a combination of Finland’s Valmet M62 and the Soviet’s AK-47.

The IWI Galil ACE GAP39SB is an enhanced version of the previous GAP39II. GAP39SB is a compact AK with the properties of its rifle design. It’s extremely reliable, impressively accurate, and easy to operate. In my opinion, the recoil of this AK is more controllable than any AK pistols out there. Additionally, you can fold its braces, making it a breeze to stow it anywhere.

Its sights are adjustable, featuring Tritium front sights and a two-dot rear aperture. In addition, it features ambidextrous magazine release buttons, which are textured aggressively. One distinct feature is its bolt release that’s hidden in plain sight. It’s a metal button above the magazine on the right side of the pistol. Lastly, the SB stands for its added stabilizing brace. It is made of hard rubber that’s mounted on a round receiver extension.

Overall, IWI Galil ACE GAP39SB has a soft recoil. Plus, it has exceptional accuracy and reliability. So, if you’re looking for a powerful AK in a small package, this is an excellent option for you.

+Lightweight, compact with foldable brace +Accurate and reliable +An ideal option for truck guns -Comes in a relatively high price


The AK-47 is truly a legend in the world of firearms. Its great characteristics almost ticked off all the boxes you’re looking for in an ideal assault rifle. However, you’ll still need some accessories to upgrade your AK gun. For instance, scopes.

Overall, I hope you learned more about the iconic AK-47 today and find the best bang for your buck. Remember always to check the parts, quality, and performance of your AK to maximize your full AK-47 shooting experience.

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