The AK 47 rifle has been long renowned for its incredible reliability and durability. It’s been the choice for many tactical shooters throughout the world and continues to this day to be a top choice.
As you are probably aware, many gun manufacturers produce AK 47 style rifles at the moment. And it can be difficult to know which one will suit your needs best. Therefore, in this article, we will run through our 6 best choice AK 47 rifles on the market today. We’ll also let you know the Pros and Cons so you can make your own mind up and find out which is the best AK 47 for you?
But before we look at the rifles, let’s go a little deeper into the AK 47 history and then find out the Pros and Cons to this iconic rifle…
- 1 Brief AK 47 History
- 2 How Did The AK 47 Style Rifle Become So Well-known & Popular?
- 3 The Real AK 47 Pros & Cons
- 4 Top 6 Best AK-47 For The Money 2023 Reviews
- 5 Best AK 47 Buying Guide
- 6 But What Is The Best AK 47?
Brief AK 47 History
Back when the Soviet Union was in full swing. The Russians wanted to develop a rifle that could function well and be reliable in tough environments and all-weather conditions. Their answer was the world-renowned Avtomat Kalashnikova (translated – Automatic Kalashnikov), or in the abbreviated form – AK 47.
The AK 47 was the brainchild of a Russian inventor called Mikhail Kalashnikov. Who came up with the design after many efforts to make his “perfect weapon” for the Soviet Union. The “47” aspect of the gun’s name came about simply because this was the year that he completed his design. It was then adopted by the Soviet military two years later in 1949.
Although the gun had incredible resilience and reliable functionality, it did have one flaw. The early AK 47 models had a heavy recoil which brought about common complaints from the Russian military in that they couldn’t hit their targets consistently.
Later models tried to address the accuracy issues that were faced when using the AK 47. However, by this time, the AK 47 had gained iconic status. And it is now considered a true classic – with most people knowing something of its existence.
How Did The AK 47 Style Rifle Become So Well-known & Popular?
An incredible amount of AK 47 rifles were produced by the Soviet military. With an estimation of a fifth of the world’s firearms actually being an AK 47. The Russians obviously sold off a huge amount of these rifles to war-torn countries, and many found their way through the black markets into all sorts of hands.
As a result of this gun’s wide exposure, many of these iconic guns have been portrayed in movies and media throughout the years. This is because they have been an integral part of the firearm industry for a very long time – whether you like it or not.
It is important to mention that what most people would regard as a widely distributed AK 47, is actually the AKM rifle – a variant of the AK 47. Since the AKM is a variant, we can, like many others, refer to it with the popular name stamp of AK 47, where its true roots lie.
The Real AK 47 Pros & Cons
For the AK 47 to have remained a strong weapon of choice, especially in tactical and combat situations, it must have a lot of pros going for it. So here they are…
As many of you will know, the AK 47 is built to be incredibly resilient and has been proven to be effective in most weather conditions. You can even search the web now to find an AK 47 rifle being fired completely submerged underwater!
When you think this gun was made in Russia, it’s understandable that they would ensure it would work very well in cold weather too. Plus, it works the other way – even in the hottest desert climates the AK 47 will still function astonishingly well.
Back when the AK 47 was introduced, it revolutionized the process of loading a magazine, removing the safety and firing. Before the AK 47 was introduced, guns made this process a lot more difficult than it needed to be.
With the AK 47 being so intuitively easy to use, it was made accessible to almost anyone that got their hands on one. This means that the proliferation of this gun around the world was easy. As language barriers would not get in the way of training people to use this gun.
There are two sides to the argument with the recoil on the AK 47.
Firstly, the recoil has been dubbed enough for many to complain, in the past and to this day, that your shooting accuracy is affected negatively. This is true, but the AK 47 is by no means renowned for its pinpoint accuracy, but more as a general combat rifle.
The second argument is that for a rifle that fires heavy rounds, the recoil is much less than you would expect for this size of a rifle. So ultimately, you will be able to fire incredibly powerful bullets with a very lightweight and tactical firearm – which does have strong appeal in real combat situations.
One issue that people have had with the AK 47 is that it has a loosely fitted stamped rail on top. This means that it’s very difficult to mount extra hardware on top of the rifle without it moving around. In recent times, however, modifications have been made whereby scopes or other hardware can be mounted firmly onto the AK 47 without any issues.
Finally, when considering the Pros and Cons of the AK 47, you really have to look from differing perspectives.
This firearm was made with looser tolerances so that it could handle dirt and the effects of bad weather. As a result of the loose tolerances, you forego on some of the potential accuracies that this rifle could have. Plus the sights don’t help either!
However, if you want a rifle that will work no matter what type of tough demands you put it through – the AK 47 is a great choice. It just means that you have to put up with a firearm less capable in the accuracy realm.
Top 6 Best AK-47 For The Money 2023 Reviews
1 Century International Arms – WASR-10 16.5 inch 7.62 x 39mm Blue 30+1RD
The first AK 47 style rifle we’re looking at is this Century International Arms WASR-10 model, which comes with a 7.62 x 39mm cartridge and a 30 + 1 round capacity.
WASR is short for Wassenaar Arrangement Semiautomatic Rifle, and its design is taken from a semi-automatic Romanian pistol used by their military, produced as far back as 1963.
One of the greatest draws to this pistol is that it’s reasonably priced, yet it’s made to be incredibly strong and durable like an original AK 47 rifle. You also have a good choice of customization choices, so you can really personalize this gun to your taste.
This gun has a blue finish and a beautiful natural wood tone on the stock and foregrip. The entire length of the gun is 37.25 inches, plus the barrel length is 16.5 inches.
The gun also features the traditional removable magazine, which as we mentioned before has a 30 + 1 round capacity.
If you are a collector of AK 47 style guns or want a very original looking and performing AK 47 rifle – Century International Arms have done an incredible job with this WASR-10 model.
- Reasonably priced.
- Classic AK 47 look.
- 7.62 x 39mm cartridge
- 30 + 1 round capacity.
- Strong and durable design.
- Natural wood stock and foregrip.
- Blue finish.
- You may not like the coloring.
- Limited in features.
2 Century International Arms Inc. Red Army Standard
Next on our list is another Century international Arms semi-automatic rifle, and this one is the Red Army Standard model.
Again, this model is also another high-quality yet inexpensive design that should suit any AK 47 enthusiast.
This is a 7.62 x 39mm caliber rifle which has a 16.5-inch barrel and a full length of 37.25 inches. It includes a 30 round magazine and a 1:10-inch twist which makes for very accurate shooting.
There’s also a U-notch tangent sight which should also aid with accurate targeting and acquisitions. Plus, it has a black polymer stock which is ergonomically designed for comfortable use.
It’s also worth mentioning that this gun is 100% made in the USA, so you know the production standards will be up to scratch.
Additionally, with a weight of only 7.8 pounds, this rifle is heavy enough to deal with recoils but light enough for carrying about on long outings.
Overall, this gun is shockingly well built given the price range you can buy it in. It’s certainly a great budget option if you are looking to specifically enjoy an AK 47 type rifle.
- Semi-automatic rifle.
- 7.62 x 39mm caliber.
- Black polymer stock.
- 100% USA made.
- 1:10 inch twist.
- U-notch tangent sight.
- Great budget option.
- Stripped down version of an AK 47.
3 Arsenal SAM7K01 Milled Receiver AK Pistol
Moving on now, we’re taking a look at this Arsenal SAM7K01 Semi-Automatic AK 47 style pistol which comes with a 7.62 x39mm cartridge.
This semi-automatic AK style pistol comes as a high-quality Bulgarian construction. It has a 10.5-inch chrome-lined barrel that’s been hammer forged for amazing strength and resilience.
The stock and grip are made from a solid black polymer, and the gun comes with a 5-round mil-spec AK 47 style Arsenal magazine. You also get a well-designed best AR sling and a full cleaning kit to keep your gun in good shape. Another small but important feature for some is that this gun comes with an ambidextrous safety, which is great for left-handed and tactical users.
One of the biggest draws to this AK style pistol is that it has been forged and milled with a lengthy process, to make the gun super-strong and reliable in various conditions of combat.
If you want the AK 47 experience, but don’t want the full rifle to carry around. This is a great alternative that delivers on quality, and it won’t set you back a small fortune.
- AK 47 style pistol.
- 7.62 x39mm cartridge.
- Chrome-lined barrel
- Hammer forged.
- Sling and cleaning kit included.
- Ambidextrous safety.
- Resilient construction.
- Flash hider could be better – though it can be easily replaced.
4 SA VZ. 58 Bolt Action Tactical
Next on our list is this SA VZ. 58 Bolt Action Tactical semi-automatic rifle, in the true style of an AK 47. This gun has the classic 7.62 x 39mm caliber and comes as a very impressive looking all-black rifle design.
One of the strongest aspects of this firearm is that it is built to be incredibly reliable. And it’s been reported not to malfunction at all for many users. This could be partly due to the large ejection port that this VZ. 58 has, as well as it being piston driven.
The full length of the rifle with stock is 985mm, and the barrel length can be either 390mm or 410mm depending on your choice of spec. You’ll also be able to practical fire at a rate of approximately 20 shots per minute with this gun.
The muzzle is threaded onto this gun, so you can easily make customizations here. Plus, there are a lot of other areas such as the stock, sights, and heat shield where you can make customizations too.
The charging handle is on the left side, which might be a little frustrating for some right-handed shooters. Though on the plus side it’s ideal for any of you left-handed shooters.
The safety is also left-handed, and so you’ll need to use your index finger to move it, rather than the usual thumb action.
Finally, we do really like the Russian style sights on this gun, which are easy to adjust and are quite accurate.
- Slick black rifle design.
- Very reliable.
- Large ejection port.
- Piston driven.
- Easily customized.
- Russian sights.
- Great for left-handed shooters.
- The trigger has a lot of travel.
- Some left-sided operations.
5 Arsenal SAM7R-61 Rifle
This next 7.62 caliber rifle comes in a multitude of configurations, though we will look at the SAM7R-61 in its basic form.
So first off, this gun has gone through an arduous amount of milling to make the construction incredibly strong and resilient. In fact, a good 5.5 hours’ worth of milling is needed to get all the parts ready to be assembled.
This is another Bulgarian-made rifle. And uses all new parts and Steyr manufacturing technology to finalize the making of this AK 47 style rifle.
The chamber and bore inside this SAM7R-61 rifle are chrome-plated, so you can be sure to get through a massive amount of rounds before experiencing any problems.
The muzzle is threaded on this gun as well, so you can replace it with one of your own choosing. Plus there is a bayonet lug in place if you wanted to add a bayonet to your set-up.
The stock and other aspects of the gun features a strong black polymer which is ergonomically designed so that the gun rests nicely in place when shooting.
Also, the stock is a 10-inch trapdoor intermediate length, and it’s made in the USA.
You also get a cleaning kit which includes a cleaning rod and oil, a scope rail built-in, a 10 round magazine, and sturdy sling when you purchase this firearm package.
- 5.5-hour milled construction.
- Steyr manufacturing technology.
- Chrome-plated bore and chamber.
- Threaded muzzle.
- Bayonet lug.
- Black polymer.
- Intermediate length stock.
- Cleaning kit.
- 10 round magazine.
- You may want a traditional wood finish over the black polymer.
6 SLR-107 Series
Our final rifle is this SR-107 Series, which comes with the standard 7.62 x 39mm caliber. This rifle really looks the part if you’re searching for a great looking AK 47 style rifle.
Like many of the rifles we have looked at, this too is made using Bulgarian Mil-Spec for a lengthy period to ensure maximum strength and durability. The chamber and bore are also hammer forged and are constructed with a chrome lining, making for a barrel that can be used many times with no issues.
This rifle stands out for its accuracy, which could be due to many of its components have been made in the USA. Some of these components include an anti-slap dual-stage trigger group, a Mil-Spec polymer stock set and a Warsaw length polymer made buttstock.
The rifle also comes with a high-quality cleaning kit, a stainless steel heat shield, and an 800m rear sight. Plus, there’s a side rail made for attaching optics or other hardware incorporated into the design.
It comes with only a 5 round magazine, but this rifle is fully customizable, and it should be easy to find a great and inexpensive set-up for your particular needs.
One last thing to mention is that it comes with left-handed muzzle threads, and the muzzle can be easily changed to one of your liking.
- 7.62 x 39mm caliber.
- Bulgarian mil-spec.
- Strong and durable.
- Hammer forged barrel.
- US-made components.
- Cleaning kit.
- Stainless steel heat shield.
- 800m sights.
- Doesn’t have the traditional AK 47 furniture.
- 5-round magazine included.
Best AK 47 Buying Guide
So now we’ve taken a look at all 5 of our favorite AK 47 style rifles available on the market at this time.
We were really impressed by how all of the models we looked at really captured the essence in both the looks and functionality of an original AK 47.
When choosing a modern interpretation of an AK 47 rifle, we think most gun owners will want the ‘AK feel,’ yet possibly some customizable options – so they can really make the rifle their own.
Out of all the rifles we went through, we think the…
…embodies the true nature, look, and style of the original AK 47 design. The natural wood tone on the stock and foregrip should impress most AK 47 enthusiasts.
Plus, we would also like to award the WASR-10 as our best budget AK 47 style rifle. Century International Arms offer a great-looking and functioning firearm for a very minimal price.
If you are looking for an AK 47 type rifle that’s customizable, there are a few strong options on our list to choose from.
However, a stand out rifle that can be modified easily has to be the last in our review list – the…
At its core, this is a well-made rifle, yet it also allows you to bring the AK 47 design into the 21st century. With features like good rail mounting and various other ways, you can modify it with ease.
AK 47 rifles, as you know, are meant to be reliable, and so we want to showcase what we think is the most reliable rifle option on our list.
In our opinion, the…
…is a sure-fire winner when it comes to reliability. Because this gun is well made but is simplistic in its nature – there is not much that can go wrong.
Plus, due to its larger than average ejection port, there is little or no chance of malfunctions and jamming occurring.
One gun stood out among all the others for the fact that is isn’t technically a rifle, but more a pistol in its design – due to it not having a buttstock.
The Arsenal SAM7K01 Milled Receiver AK Pistol Semi-Automatic is a very impressive looking compact weapon choice. It gives you many of the AK 47 traits and benefits. But can be carried with less hassle than what you would get with a full rifle.
But What Is The Best AK 47?
With it being 100% American-made, and an inexpensive option that oozes quality and good design, the…
…is a solid winner for us.
In conclusion, it is quite a challenge as we’ve found out ourselves, to choose a modern AK 47 style rifle. There are so many options to currently choose from, and many offer great features and functionality at shockingly low prices.
We think the AK 47 look is an important characteristic that we aimed to find with all the guns we’ve covered. As well, we wanted to find guns that kept the traditional functionality and processes you would associate with an AK 47 rifle.
Ultimately, we hope you find this article a useful guide to help you find the right rifle model for your needs.