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GUNS Magazine November 2010 - Page 8
RANGING SHOTS • CLINT SMITH • THE KREBS AK A better Kalashnikov. aving a bit of intimate history with mikhail kalashnikov’s Ak-47 H rifle (like besides more than just owning several versions in the last 40 years), I have watched the Ak evolve in the American firearms’ industry; especially in the last decade during the sonamed War On Terror. Businesses have grown to include schools of instruction, manipulation, disassembly, and maintenance, as well as general and specialized construction of the rifle system. Some builders, using the term loosely, have turned a good idea into a worse rig and some have truly stepped up and forward with the AK platform. theSpeedLoadchuteandenhanced selectorleverarehallmarksoftheKrebs AKandtrulysolvewhatisotherwiseanAK weakpoint. Chinese AKs I have owed several Chinese AKs over the years and tried both caliber versions of the Norinco rifles in 7.62x39 and 5.56 models. The original caliber guns worked well, but I never had a 5.56/.223 that lasted or worked very long. Problems with the guns cratering were mostly due to trigger and/or interior mechanical problems. Finding the magazines was also difficult and expensive. The Euro AKs come with the same set of problems the American AR platform has nowadays: With all the aftermarket stuff, much of it made poorly and cheap or both, the AK, like the AR, is often seen struggling to work. The AK, although it works, has many magazine issues because of the varying makers and each makers’ “twist” on the way to build the magazine. Added to this, some recent “plastic” magazines not only did not work, but also wouldn’t even fit in the AK mag well. All in all, it seems to work best if you match the rifle to the magazine and minimize the trading of parts. Russian If through no other salient point than proximity to Mother Russia, these should be good guns. But, they can suffer under the same “parts is parts” problem. It appears as though these are otherwise the best of the breed. This is a gross, and probably not perfect, generalization of the rifle, along with the primary overview of where it is made on the planet. Now we can get to the meat of the AK. We move directly—and “do theVltorretractablestockwassolidgear aswe’vecometoexpectofthefirm’s products. Ashortforwardgrip(left)washelpfulwhile firingtheModel74rifle.Krebsaperture rearsight(right)isavastimprovement overtheusual“issue”sight.Notethedual controlcharginghandlesvisibleaswellas forwardgripandlightholdingplatform. the7.62x39mmKrebsAK-47(bottom),iskingoftheAKs.theAK-74(middle)ischamberedin 5.45x39mmand(top)astandardrifle.Krebs,inClint’sopinion,isthekingoftheAKplatform. 8 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • NOVEMBER 2010