Advice on buying a 5.45

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DJLaunchCodes
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:51 pm

Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by DJLaunchCodes »

Looking for some advice on my AK dilemma.

Recently I’ve been buying up a lot of 5.45 ammo and magazines in anticipation of PSA’s 74 release. Now I’m bugging out because I’ve been researching how sketchy some of their first runs of AK’s have been; maybe it’s just paranoia, but I’ve been finding more and more about how subpar their first gen AKM’s and AKV’s were, as well as QC issues on the GF3’s.
I’m working off a broke college student budget and have about $1000 saved for a rifle and $500 saved for an optic. We’re not only in an election year but also in the middle of some of the worst panic buying I’ve seen in my lifetime. I don’t shoot a lot and I wanted a 74-pattern rifle for historical reasons, which is why I was initially leaning towards the PSA. In my mind I have six options:


1.) sell all my 5.45 stuff and try to get a 7.62 AK. Selection on these looks really limited right now and I’m not very interested in a 7.62.


2.) buy the PSA on release day and potentially risk paying close to $1k for a lemon.


3.) wait to see how the PSA’s turn out. By the time I find out whether or not they’re actually built correctly, they will be difficult to find in stock, we’ll have another covid peak, and/or we’ll be in the midst of the election and panic buying will surge again.


4.) buy an import, like an Arsenal. Give up on buying a soviet optic and add it towards my rifle budget. There isn’t a single 5.45 AK within a 60 mile radius of me (I called every. Single. Gun/pawn store.) and nothing on local armslist/gun trader, so I would have to buy from someone online, and I’m really trying to not get scammed or pay for something way overpriced on gunjoker. I understand that the market right now is a seller’s market though.


5.) double my budget and do a kit build. This is almost out of the question since colleges are charging full tuition for online classes.


6.) wait until 2021 to do anything, with all the uncertainty that brings with it.


I know I pretty much screwed myself by trying to get into 5.45 this year of all years. Any advice is appreciated, as well as any criticisms of the assumptions I’m making. I know a lot of you have way more experience in the AK world than me.

mlt2833
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:22 am

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by mlt2833 »

Buy a clean Sar 2 for 1k (at current prices) & forget about the PSA

Boxer4u
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:30 am

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by Boxer4u »

I’d steer clear of any US made AK.
Maybe the PSA will be better than the other US made AKs but that will take time and more than likely multiple revisions to get it right.

Gotta pay to play and if your heart desires a 545, you might as well do get the best you can afford.

Just think if you saved up all this money, time and research and ended up with a dump of a rifle. This is just me, but I’d pay double the price to have a quality rifle that will last many years with a proven name and have no regrets.

Do it right the first time Brother

DJLaunchCodes
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:51 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by DJLaunchCodes »

Boxer4u wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:42 am
I’d steer clear of any US made AK.
Maybe the PSA will be better than the other US made AKs but that will take time and more than likely multiple revisions to get it right.

Gotta pay to play and if your heart desires a 545, you might as well do get the best you can afford.

Just think if you saved up all this money, time and research and ended up with a dump of a rifle. This is just me, but I’d pay double the price to have a quality rifle that will last many years with a proven name and have no regrets.

Do it right the first time Brother
That’s what I’m thinking. I don’t necessarily need a war-ready rifle, but the disparities in quality between PSA and imports is too great. I’d rather pay more for a rifle that’ll perform well than save money and purchase a 74-shaped headache. Only problem now is actually finding one for sale at a decent price. Once the official files are back online I’ll post a WTB and go from there.

deadduck357
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:22 am

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by deadduck357 »

1) PSA has warranty.
2) Part with the 5.45 ammo and mags, make us a good deal.

1biggun
Posts: 227
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:57 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by 1biggun »

You got to pay to play .

If you want cheap get a AR.

I would not buy a 5.45 PSA until there well proven and then only if the price is significantly less than a real AK74 that will have more collector value retention.

Today when buying any combloc 5.45 your paying a collector /cool trend premium because guys are scrambeling to have one because they fear there wont be any .

1biggun
Posts: 227
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:57 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by 1biggun »

deadduck357 wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:23 am
1) PSA has warranty.
2) Part with the 5.45 ammo and mags, make us a good deal.
The best warranty is one you don't need . If your buying because you think the product has a better warranty then your likely buying the wrong product .

busdrvr
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:35 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by busdrvr »

Buy an import and don't look back. You'll be glad you did.

Scroatius Maximus
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:48 am

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by Scroatius Maximus »

Find a Saiga. Unconverted if possible. Gradually buy parts to have it converted. Profit.

DJLaunchCodes
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:51 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by DJLaunchCodes »

Scroatius Maximus wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:02 pm
Find a Saiga. Unconverted if possible. Gradually buy parts to have it converted. Profit.
Of the 40 stores I called in my area, one had a saiga for $2100 that was already converted. You think this is a good price?

Kalashnikovologist
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:54 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by Kalashnikovologist »

DJLaunchCodes wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:37 pm
Scroatius Maximus wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:02 pm
Find a Saiga. Unconverted if possible. Gradually buy parts to have it converted. Profit.
Of the 40 stores I called in my area, one had a saiga for $2100 that was already converted. You think this is a good price?
There's an SGL-31 sitting on GunBroker right now for $2000. A folder just went off earlier today for $3000.

You definitely have to pay to play in today's market with AK74's.

blackemanuelle2
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:53 am

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by blackemanuelle2 »

Id save up your money and buy something good that's not made in merica.

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Ram Rod
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Location: stone's throw from the Buffalo

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by Ram Rod »

Sell your AK74 stuff and get back into 7.62x39 IMO. Now is a great time to sell your 5.45 stuff and GTFO. With all the demand for 5.56 and 9mm in the platform I think the 5.45 has finally topped out. I was in a pretty good ways a couple of years ago and got out. I'm glad I did seeing the prices and lack of ammo now. It was an investment, but not a hefty one. Things may not be as easy for you.
I continue to reinforce my love for the original 7.62x39 and I just recently venerated it by purchasing one of those AC Unity 60rd Zastava mags.

Trvrswsr1234
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:04 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by Trvrswsr1234 »

Ram Rod wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:01 am
Sell your AK74 stuff and get back into 7.62x39 IMO. Now is a great time to sell your 5.45 stuff and GTFO. With all the demand for 5.56 and 9mm in the platform I think the 5.45 has finally topped out. I was in a pretty good ways a couple of years ago and got out. I'm glad I did seeing the prices and lack of ammo now. It was an investment, but not a hefty one. Things may not be as easy for you.
I continue to reinforce my love for the original 7.62x39 and I just recently venerated it by purchasing one of those AC Unity 60rd Zastava mags.
This!

Don’t get me wrong I want a 5.45 myself for its top tier cool factor but that really is the only reason and I’ve accepted that I missed the boat completely

If you got the AK bug go 7.62x39 even throwing availability aside I prefer for its performance, not that it’s better then 5.45 but because it is different from 5.56 to me besides cool factor I have absolutely no reason have and stock 5.56 and 5.45 because they are damn near the same damn thing so I feel more well rounded having 5.56 and 7.62

Plus you’ll still have all the AK fun and spend less $$ mags are less and factory built guns are considerably less

Wayne G
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:13 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by Wayne G »

Vepr (Russian) slant backs can be had for around a thousand bucks. It makes the perfect project to get you in the game. Converting it to accept 30 round mags is a pretty straightforward process. You could do it slowly as funds allow, getting a piece at a time (bullet guide, slant adapter, handguard, brake... I have one and absolutely love it.

ouroboros
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:34 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by ouroboros »

I never did get into AK-74's when prices were better... but in the past couple of months, I got hit with the AK-74 bug hard... and I did recently end up finding a WASR-2 for a very good price locally that wasn't modified and still in its imported condition (2005 production.)

Frankly, after setting it up how I prefer, I am extremely happy with it (basically, it just looks like a traditional AK-74 with an ALG trigger... although bastardized with parts from a number of nations. I added Russian AK-74 wood... and I installed a Bulgarian 24mm FSB and East German AK-74 zig zag brake.)

FYI, the WASR-2 that I have has basically the same barrel profile as my WASR10-UF in 7.62x39 and my Saiga in 7.62x39... so the 24mm FSB fit perfectly. There are some questions floating around online about the barrel profiles on these and SAR-2's (seems that SAR-2 barrel profiles are generally thinner. Owners of those rifles tend to install 22mm fsb's/brakes to make AIMS-clones or thread the muzzle 1/2x28.)

I've since purchased some Tula plum mags, 2 spam cans of 7n6 and a 750rd case of Silver Bear... so... yes... I've dumped some $$ into it but frankly, after shooting it and getting it zeroed... 100% glad that I did. Very accurate, 100% reliable so far and extremely soft shooting.

I did pretty well for today's prices... but when AK74 stuff was cheap, I was younger and too poor and already invested in 7.62x39 at the time and did not have the extra funds to expand to a new caliber.

If I were you and, even if practical reasons might steer you away from 5.45x39, if you are patient, you will find the right deal (I would also say... import only or a nicely done kit build... original barrel preferable) and then, later, if you decide to get out of the caliber, you can still likely make your money back with a profit if you keep an eye on the prices and get out before they drop in price again (I'm guessing current pricing will continue until at least November, so you have some months of experimenting time to get in and possibly back out of the caliber if you want?)

Just search armslist and gunbroker every day and local shops when you can and eventually the right one at the right price will come along.

DJLaunchCodes
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:51 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by DJLaunchCodes »

ouroboros wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:09 am
I never did get into AK-74's when prices were better... but in the past couple of months, I got hit with the AK-74 bug hard... and I did recently end up finding a WASR-2 for a very good price locally that wasn't modified and still in its imported condition (2005 production.)

Frankly, after setting it up how I prefer, I am extremely happy with it (basically, it just looks like a traditional AK-74 with an ALG trigger... although bastardized with parts from a number of nations. I added Russian AK-74 wood... and I installed a Bulgarian 24mm FSB and East German AK-74 zig zag brake.)

FYI, the WASR-2 that I have has basically the same barrel profile as my WASR10-UF in 7.62x39 and my Saiga in 7.62x39... so the 24mm FSB fit perfectly. There are some questions floating around online about the barrel profiles on these and SAR-2's (seems that SAR-2 barrel profiles are generally thinner. Owners of those rifles tend to install 22mm fsb's/brakes to make AIMS-clones or thread the muzzle 1/2x28.)

I've since purchased some Tula plum mags, 2 spam cans of 7n6 and a 750rd case of Silver Bear... so... yes... I've dumped some $$ into it but frankly, after shooting it and getting it zeroed... 100% glad that I did. Very accurate, 100% reliable so far and extremely soft shooting.

I did pretty well for today's prices... but when AK74 stuff was cheap, I was younger and too poor and already invested in 7.62x39 at the time and did not have the extra funds to expand to a new caliber.

If I were you and, even if practical reasons might steer you away from 5.45x39, if you are patient, you will find the right deal (I would also say... import only or a nicely done kit build... original barrel preferable) and then, later, if you decide to get out of the caliber, you can still likely make your money back with a profit if you keep an eye on the prices and get out before they drop in price again (I'm guessing current pricing will continue until at least November, so you have some months of experimenting time to get in and possibly back out of the caliber if you want?)

Just search armslist and gunbroker every day and local shops when you can and eventually the right one at the right price will come along.
How difficult was it to install your FSB? Never been a fan of the 45 degree ones they put on the WASR-2’s.

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nalioth
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Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by nalioth »

DJLaunchCodes wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:13 am
How difficult was it to install your FSB? Never been a fan of the 45 degree ones they put on the WASR-2’s.
FSB = "front sight block"

Not the gas block you're talking about.

DJLaunchCodes
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:51 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by DJLaunchCodes »

nalioth wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:22 am
DJLaunchCodes wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:13 am
How difficult was it to install your FSB? Never been a fan of the 45 degree ones they put on the WASR-2’s.
FSB = "front sight block"

Not the gas block you're talking about.
I just realized that, my bad

ouroboros
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:34 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by ouroboros »

I left the 45 degree gas block installed on the WASR-2.

I did change the 90 degree gas block on a 7.62x39 Saiga to a 45 degree once to make an AKM clone...

I don't have a press and am not a builder (more of a "converter,") so, don't take my word too much, but I have installed 4 different FSB's (and 1 GB) on different AK's successfully with the "big hammer" / bubba method. All of these rifles zero with the front sight post fairly even between the sight ears with no to minimal cant and the parts haven't budged and look clean. The method is basically the same for the FSB or GB (gas block.)

Remove furniture, top cover, bolt, recoil spring and guide rod and gas tube, protect the rifle from damage/marring/etc, drop some oil atop the FSB pins, punch out the pins with a punch and hammer, drop some oil on the front and back of the FSB where it meets the barrel, place a block of wood against the FSB, beat it with a hammer... once removed, put some anti-sieze on the barrel, slide on new FSB until it is "hand tight," time it to avoid canting, place block of wood against it again, beat it with a hammer until positioned, check for cant again, beat left/right with block of wood against it + hammer to correct any cant, drop some cutting oil on the fsb if you need to drill new pin holes, use hardened steel bits on a slow setting, once pin holes are drilled, clear pin holes of debris, drop more oil in them, hammer in new pins.

9ks2k
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:29 am

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by 9ks2k »

2.) buy the PSA on release day and potentially risk paying close to $1k for a lemon.


- PSA Warranty is quite good, enjoy the unique round. 5.45 Ammo is mostly everywhere ONLINE VS 556/9mm in these times. Take the chance and buy the rifle and enjoy it. I just got back my 2nd AK74 (sold my first one years ago), and I shot it last week. Hitting steel plates at 100 years with Iron sights, felt great and I bought cheap ammo online with no tax.

jugrunner
Posts: 142
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Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by jugrunner »

SLR-105 .. Any other ??

White Fragility
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2020 2:21 am

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by White Fragility »

"I don’t shoot a lot and I wanted a 74-pattern rifle for historical reasons, which is why I was initially leaning towards the PSA. In my mind I have six options:"

When the PSA 74 rifle drops it will literally be the most non historic 74 pattern rifle built to date. Built for the soul purpose of shooting and shooting a lot.

Take your time and be tenacious as hell on the secondary market. Deals do exist even today.
Up4peaceDownw/War

DJLaunchCodes
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:51 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by DJLaunchCodes »

White Fragility wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:38 am
"I don’t shoot a lot and I wanted a 74-pattern rifle for historical reasons, which is why I was initially leaning towards the PSA. In my mind I have six options:"

When the PSA 74 rifle drops it will literally be the most non historic 74 pattern rifle built to date. Built for the soul purpose of shooting and shooting a lot.

Take your time and be tenacious as hell on the secondary market. Deals do exist even today.
Should clarify, I’m not necessarily interested in the historicity of the rifle (although a soviet build would be sweet). I collect militara and am in the process of finishing up a Soviet Afghanistan kit and just wanted a 74 to go with it. With the way the market is I’m worried I won’t find a decent deal before the elections.

DJLaunchCodes
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:51 pm

Re: Advice on buying a 5.45

Post by DJLaunchCodes »

ouroboros wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:00 am
I left the 45 degree gas block installed on the WASR-2.

I did change the 90 degree gas block on a 7.62x39 Saiga to a 45 degree once to make an AKM clone...

I don't have a press and am not a builder (more of a "converter,") so, don't take my word too much, but I have installed 4 different FSB's (and 1 GB) on different AK's successfully with the "big hammer" / bubba method. All of these rifles zero with the front sight post fairly even between the sight ears with no to minimal cant and the parts haven't budged and look clean. The method is basically the same for the FSB or GB (gas block.)

Remove furniture, top cover, bolt, recoil spring and guide rod and gas tube, protect the rifle from damage/marring/etc, drop some oil atop the FSB pins, punch out the pins with a punch and hammer, drop some oil on the front and back of the FSB where it meets the barrel, place a block of wood against the FSB, beat it with a hammer... once removed, put some anti-sieze on the barrel, slide on new FSB until it is "hand tight," time it to avoid canting, place block of wood against it again, beat it with a hammer until positioned, check for cant again, beat left/right with block of wood against it + hammer to correct any cant, drop some cutting oil on the fsb if you need to drill new pin holes, use hardened steel bits on a slow setting, once pin holes are drilled, clear pin holes of debris, drop more oil in them, hammer in new pins.
Thanks for the detailed response, I think that’s definitely something I can manage. Good thing I know a gunsmith who could do this too.

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