woodsghost wrote:Frankly, I"m going to push back on the "CAI rifles are shit" idea.
Of the 4 AKs I've owned, 3 WASRs and 1 M74, 3 were perfect out of the box and 1 needed 30 minuets with a drill press and a wrench. That one with the canted sight still went 1200 rounds with 1 issue which was magazine related. Cheap mag. It shot great before I fixed the sight, it shot great after I fixed the sight.
I've handled and checked a great many more CAI rifles, AK and otherwise. Almost everything I've handled was fine, and I think it is wise to handle a gun personally before buying. Both the guns I bought off Gunbroker were great. The sellers said "straight gas block and front sight" and indeed, they were. All the rivets on all the rifles I have owned were good.
Also, I have read about plenty of issues with Arsenals. Definitive Arms was not working on Arsenal 106's for a while due to QC issues (or so says the Internet claiming personal correspondence w/ the owner). Atlantic Arms has alluded to QC issues with Arsenals and other big name on AKfiles, and that was part of their rational for picking up the IO inc line. AK Operator's Union has referenced QC issues with Arsenals on multiple occasions. So I hear people say "CAI sucks and Arsenal rules." Well, in the warranty dept, yes, I believe this is correct. And for some that quality service really matters. For me, I"ve DIYed my way through most of the gun issues I've ever experienced. My Colt Commando revolver did not go well, but that is a common experience. All the rest have been great. YMMV, caveat emptor, and all that.
And while I like Arsenals, I just don't like them enough to pay the extra money. All my CAI AKs have been great, accurate enough (typically 3-4 moa w/ cheapest commie ammo), reliable, and robust. I really don't have a complaint and while I understand people have had issues, I simply have not seen enough problems on enough CAI guns, AK and otherwise, to turn me off of them. The issues I *have* had were very quick fixes. Mag wobble, if it bothers you, can be fixed in 5 minuets with JB Weld. The $600-$800 difference in price between what I paid for any of my WASRs and an Arsenal SLR-108 is not enough to make me feel frustrated with my 5 minuets of JB Welding. Or my 30 minuets with a drill press and wrench. I spent more time writing this post than I spent fixing my guns.
Now, where I would get upset with CAI is in the metallurgy of some of their personal line of AKs. But the Romanian guns seem to be in pretty good shape and those which need attention can be, in my case, DIYed with minimal effort and cost.
Just where I"m at.
And I can't keep my mouth shut anymore about WASR's vs Arsenals either. lol.
"Atlantic Arms has alluded to QC issues with Arsenals and other big name on AKfiles, and that was part of their rational for picking up the IO inc line."
Woodghost I love you. But stating anything good about IO is HIGHLY suspect. IO is the maker of nothing but hand grenades. Period. Ask anyone in the AK community. As you know I own Legion Arms. An AK builder and retailer for over a decade. IO should not be in business. Do any search on IO Inc and problems and you'll see a huge amount of pics and stories. I'm not even going to go any further on IO.
"The $600-$800 difference in price between what I paid for any of my WASRs and an Arsenal SLR-108 is not enough to make me feel frustrated with my 5 minuets of JB Welding. Or my 30 minuets with a drill press and wrench. I spent more time writing this post than I spent fixing my guns. "
An Arsenal 107 goes for $899 right now on Kvar. WASR's are in the $600-$700 range now. So I don't know why you're comparing the WASR to the 108. There is literally only a $200-$300 price difference. Between the twos basic AK. WASR/Arsenal 107.
Second, if your fixing your rifle with JB Weld you shouldn't be. If I even built anything myself that required JB Weld ( or any other fix for that matter) I would tear it down and start over. Why would you buy anything that requires ANY type of repair - NEW? That's a terrible argument for buying a WASR.
Third, if you sent that rifle back to Century you'd get the same monkeys doing the repairs that build their crappy rifles in the first place. (I know the WASR is built in Romania. But CAI puts in the mods that make them sellable in the US. Magwell etc.) Whereas, Arsenal would actually fix your problem or simply replace the rifle. They are just such vastly different companies you can't compare them. Arsenal Bulgaria is a main line to some of the best AK's built in the world. Bulgarian AK's have always been top notch.
Century does do some stuff well. They import things. Wonderful milsurps. And other stuff you can't find anyplace else. But just about anything they've ever built themselves has sucked. It's common knowledge.
I'm not saying you can't find a good WASR. You most certainly can. And I know there are a lot of WASR fanboys in recent years. And I agree with Romanian metallurgy being top notch. I use their parts in most of my own builds. But really for $700 should you be having to do repairs to a NEW rifle?! Or looking out for sight cant or bad magwells? Or replacing their crappy furniture? Historically these have been - if not terrible guns - ones with such a suspect reputation that it will at the very least effect resale value. I will never understand someone that would go to such lengths - with a NEW firearm no less - to save a few hundred or even a couple hundred dollars. By repairing a new firearm. This isn't even a "buy once, cry once" argument. It's a few hundred dollars. And a Bulgarian Arsenal does not even compare to a WASR. For a couple hundred more.
Personally I think the going price for new WASR's right now is insane. I just can't see spending $700 on something that needs fixed. (Cough cough. Choke choke. Except the Arsenal 106fr I posted above. But it's an over thousand dollar rifle I got for a little over 700 bucks. And all it needs is a bullet guide. Not because of a manufacturer defect. But owner error.)
The only complaint I've read recently about Arsenals is the paint. But it's paint over park. (Another point not mentioned. WASR's aren't parked. They're painted only.) But only if you use brake cleaner on them.
If I could buy a WASR like the old days for $400. I'd be convinced to gamble on a new rifle needing repairs. But for within a few hundred of one of the top notch AK's in the world? No deal. You'll never convince me that a WASR is better than or as good as an Arsenal. And the price difference is not $600-$800. More like $200-$300.
EDIT - I wrote this last night. It was late. And I fear I came off to aggressive. I did come off to aggressive. My apologies woodsghost.
I'll keep it lighter next time.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin