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A better AK? -the VSKA

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Century Arms announces new ‘heavy duty’ VSKA AK rifle

VSKA.jpg

VSKA= Vermont Stamped Kalashnikov (Photos: Century)

Incorporating machined S7 tool steel for key components, Century’s new Vermont-stamped Kalashnikov stems from a Pentagon program that sparked efforts to refine production of American-made AK variants.

Debuted at last week’s Red Oktober Kalashnikov Championships in Hurricane, Utah, Century’s new VSKA is billed as a “heavy duty AK rifle” by the company. Although a semi-auto pitched to the U.S. commercial market, Jason Karvois, Century’s director of sales, says they have been developing the gun for years and it was based on Century’s response to an initiative by the U.S. Special Operations Command to identify domestic sources of “non-standard weapons” like the iconic AK-47.

“We have been working on this project for some time now and the conclusive feedback we received from the U.S. government was clear evidence that our efforts had paid off,” said Karvois. “Now it’s time for civilian consumers to reap the benefits of this project.”

The 7.62x39mm VSKA uses a new bolt carrier, front trunnion, and feed ramp machined from S7 tool steel and features both a nitro-carburized 4140 steel bolt and a chrome-moly 4150 barrel. Surfaces have a magnesium-phosphate finish while the furniture is of American Maple in a nod to Century’s New England roots. The rifle uses the company’s RAK-1 enhanced trigger group.

In the past several months, Century has moved to make several of their AK variants wholly in the U.S., including the Draco AK pistol, which was formerly constructed by Cugir in Romania.

Price on the VSKA, which ships with one 30-round polymer magazine, is $735.95, suggested.

Vska-left.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, SJG said:

 

The 7.62x39mm VSKA uses a new bolt carrier, front trunnion, and feed ramp machined from S7 tool steel and features both a nitro-carburized 4140 steel bolt and a chrome-moly 4150 barrel. Surfaces have a magnesium-phosphate finish while the furniture is of American Maple in a nod to Century’s New England roots. The rifle uses the company’s RAK-1 enhanced trigger group.

Sounds proprietary...

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I find the notion that somehow this rifle is "heavy duty" version of the AK...laughable? 

I had a Saiga that broke the screw and spit out it's bullet guide. I had been taking it to the range and didn't even know it amputated the part until I went to show someone the bullet guide and it wasn't there! LOL. Had to have been thousands of rounds ago.

We don't need a "better" AK at a $750 price point, we need an inexpensive, mass produced AK variant to compete with the $400 AR-15s out there.

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Dream On.  You get what you pay for. Yeah, you may find one at that price point but it would be junk and will not hold up--lots of cast parts. Manufacturers cannot build quality AK's at that price point and make any profit

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8 minutes ago, carl_g said:

I wouldn’t buy Century anything but I also wouldn’t mind paying alittle more for an AK vs some cheap AR. It’s a way better platform IMO.

I'm not a fan of Century, but I do believe it is possible to build a decent AK cheaper than an comparable AR. Machining for some small internals, outsource a barrel/blank from a reputable manufacturer, and make sure your stamped receiver is in spec. How costly can that be when they already had a supply chain in place for their imports to be made compliant?

I think if Century gets their QC together, their AK will be a good deal from an American company.

As for the AK being a better platform, that is subjective and depends on your purpose for the firearm.

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I believe most of the QC issues with Century are their domestic built AKs. WASRs are imports by Century, which is completely different. Always best to do your research before making a purchase whether it's an AK, AR15, or any firearm in general. For those really interested in a particular firearm would want to do their research on a dedicated forum like https://www.theakforum.net/index.php.

Regards,

TokenEntry

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8 hours ago, SJG said:

Dream On.  You get what you pay for. Yeah, you may find one at that price point but it would be junk and will not hold up--lots of cast parts. Manufacturers cannot build quality AR's at that price point and make any profit

Remember back in like 2007 when people were saying this? The AR-15 was a $2,000 delicate toy, and the $350 AK imports we're being called cheap junk.

As the panic buying ended and economies of scale ramped up, new companies making AR-15 parts and rifles, the guys who had bought in at the two grand price point jealously thumbed their noses as the prices hit $1500, $1200, under 1k, when S&W and Ruger got in the market too and things started to dip under $800, and now here we are with $400 specials. And many of the same guys are still trashing those builds despite them being more than plenty for a day at the range or home defense. 

Meanwhile with the AK, we saw sanctions on Russia stop the cheap Saiga $319 blank slates (oh how I miss those days) and then the VEPR. The import restrictions and lack of US tooling and mfgr let the AK somehow become the expensive toy.

The AK platform is all about reliability and durability at an inexpensive cost. This was a firearm designed in the Soviet Union for mass productions. I've changed the gas and sight blocks on AKs with a sledge hammer and a block of wood. I can convert a Saiga in my sleep. I do these things not because I'm some expert, it's because it really is that easy. 

All it would take is a little supply and demand to make it worth it, and a company could certainly make money on a $400 AK. You can fold the receivers on a harbor freight press, it's not some special CNC mill. Just need some quality US barrel and trunions forged is the main obstacle. 

If companies are making money on $400 ARs, which have more parts and require far more intricate tooling among much tighter tolerances, it can certainly be done with the much simpler AK.

 

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58 minutes ago, mossburger said:

Remember back in like 2007 when people were saying this? The AR-15 was a $2,000 delicate toy, and the $350 AK imports we're being called cheap junk.

As the panic buying ended and economies of scale ramped up, new companies making AR-15 parts and rifles, the guys who had bought in at the two grand price point jealously thumbed their noses as the prices hit $1500, $1200, under 1k, when S&W and Ruger got in the market too and things started to dip under $800, and now here we are with $400 specials. And many of the same guys are still trashing those builds despite them being more than plenty for a day at the range or home defense. 

Meanwhile with the AK, we saw sanctions on Russia stop the cheap Saiga $319 blank slates (oh how I miss those days) and then the VEPR. The import restrictions and lack of US tooling and mfgr let the AK somehow become the expensive toy.

The AK platform is all about reliability and durability at an inexpensive cost. This was a firearm designed in the Soviet Union for mass productions. I've changed the gas and sight blocks on AKs with a sledge hammer and a block of wood. I can convert a Saiga in my sleep. I do these things not because I'm some expert, it's because it really is that easy. 

All it would take is a little supply and demand to make it worth it, and a company could certainly make money on a $400 AK. You can fold the receivers on a harbor freight press, it's not some special CNC mill. Just need some quality US barrel and trunions forged is the main obstacle. 

If companies are making money on $400 ARs, which have more parts and require far more intricate tooling among much tighter tolerances, it can certainly be done with the much simpler AK.

 

This.

Make one so i can buy one. Ive been eyeing an AK but im clueless. The tacticooled ones are tacticool. I want 1.

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59 minutes ago, mossburger said:

Remember back in like 2007 when people were saying this? The AR-15 was a $2,000 delicate toy, and the $350 AK imports we're being called cheap junk.

As the panic buying ended and economies of scale ramped up, new companies making AR-15 parts and rifles, the guys who had bought in at the two grand price point jealously thumbed their noses as the prices hit $1500, $1200, under 1k, when S&W and Ruger got in the market too and things started to dip under $800, and now here we are with $400 specials. And many of the same guys are still trashing those builds despite them being more than plenty for a day at the range or home defense. 

Meanwhile with the AK, we saw sanctions on Russia stop the cheap Saiga $319 blank slates (oh how I miss those days) and then the VEPR. The import restrictions and lack of US tooling and mfgr let the AK somehow become the expensive toy.

The AK platform is all about reliability and durability at an inexpensive cost. This was a firearm designed in the Soviet Union for mass productions. I've changed the gas and sight blocks on AKs with a sledge hammer and a block of wood. I can convert a Saiga in my sleep. I do these things not because I'm some expert, it's because it really is that easy. 

All it would take is a little supply and demand to make it worth it, and a company could certainly make money on a $400 AK. You can fold the receivers on a harbor freight press, it's not some special CNC mill. Just need some quality US barrel and trunions forged is the main obstacle. 

If companies are making money on $400 ARs, which have more parts and require far more intricate tooling among much tighter tolerances, it can certainly be done with the much simpler AK.

You're not going to find a quality AK that is new for around 500.00 in today's market. Most of the quality AKs in the past were mfg'd in communist countries were sold cheap as it has a lot to do with their conscripted labor force. Before the fall of the Soviet Union, they were selling their AKs for cheap or giving them away for free in order to spread communism to other countries from what I've read. Spend some time on "theAKforum.net" and you'll come to see why the cost of an AK commands a higher price point and why it's justified. Some topics of interest to look for is DDI and Palmetto State Armory. Also, stay away from I.O. Inc.

Regards,

TokenEntry

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23 hours ago, mossburger said:

Remember back in like 2007 when people were saying this? The AR-15 was a $2,000 delicate toy, and the $350 AK imports we're being called cheap junk.

As the panic buying ended and economies of scale ramped up, new companies making AR-15 parts and rifles, the guys who had bought in at the two grand price point jealously thumbed their noses as the prices hit $1500, $1200, under 1k, when S&W and Ruger got in the market too and things started to dip under $800, and now here we are with $400 specials. And many of the same guys are still trashing those builds despite them being more than plenty for a day at the range or home defense. 

Meanwhile with the AK, we saw sanctions on Russia stop the cheap Saiga $319 blank slates (oh how I miss those days) and then the VEPR. The import restrictions and lack of US tooling and mfgr let the AK somehow become the expensive toy.

The AK platform is all about reliability and durability at an inexpensive cost. This was a firearm designed in the Soviet Union for mass productions. I've changed the gas and sight blocks on AKs with a sledge hammer and a block of wood. I can convert a Saiga in my sleep. I do these things not because I'm some expert, it's because it really is that easy. 

All it would take is a little supply and demand to make it worth it, and a company could certainly make money on a $400 AK. You can fold the receivers on a harbor freight press, it's not some special CNC mill. Just need some quality US barrel and trunions forged is the main obstacle. 

If companies are making money on $400 ARs, which have more parts and require far more intricate tooling among much tighter tolerances, it can certainly be done with the much simpler AK.

 

Some good points but you lose it towards the end. 10 years ago when Romanian parts kits were $80, you could build an AK for $400 but considering part kit imports have substantially depleted due to numerous reasons, they are increasing in value every year. Plus most AK enthusiasts want imported AK's (hammer forged barrels, original receivers, etc). A good parts kit is $400 nowadays plus a barrel if not included, then labor on top of that...licensed builders have a hard time building and selling one under a grand. A diy builder on the other hand can produce one at a much lower price point considering labor is "free."

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1 hour ago, RecessedFilter said:

Some good points but you lose it towards the end. 10 years ago when Romanian parts kits were $80, you could build an AK for $400 but considering part kit imports have substantially depleted due to numerous reasons, they are increasing in value every year. Plus most AK enthusiasts want imported AK's (hammer forged barrels, original receivers, etc). A good parts kit is $400 nowadays plus a barrel if not included, then labor on top of that...licensed builders have a hard time building and selling one under a grand. A diy builder on the other hand can produce one at a much lower price point considering labor is "free."

Well there again is the issue. A company building their own AK wouldn't be dependent on a market price for parts kits or the like. My question is, how much does it cost (assuming one, like Century, has the machinery) to stamp a reciever? Beyond that the assembly line takes care of the rest. I'm not seeing why it would cost any more to put an AK together than an AR. At least from the perspective of a company with proper tools.

Also, as I stated previously, they can source a barrel from anywhere, hammer forged, or w.e. type they would like. Saying something new cannot be as good or better than something manufactured in a com-bloc country is just being an AK snob. That is definitely not representative of most of ANY market for firearms.

I concede that the "better AK" thing is probably just marketing, but a "good 'nuff" AK at a fair price point is all people really want. That was pretty much my original point.

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An outdated design that has been surpassed by most other countries military rifles.  

Wood furniture, handgun sights, right hand only function, total shit shovel.  

 

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3 minutes ago, vladtepes said:

when ARs were $1000.. and AKs were $400.. I understood why people went with AKs.. 

And now the tides have changed. You can buy an AR for 400 bucks and most decent AK's are close to a grand or more.

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1 minute ago, RecessedFilter said:

And now the tides have changed. You can buy an AR for 400 bucks and most decent AK's are close to a grand or more.

I am not nocking the AK platform.. I still have that 9mm AK pistol.. and my Saiga 12.. but for the average carbine buyer.. I don't understand how there is even an AK market anymore.. I am not interested in turning this into an AR VS AK debate.. but one of the big draws of the platform was cost..  I know my first carbine ever was an AK.. because I was turned off by the AR pricing.. 

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2 minutes ago, vladtepes said:

I am not nocking the AK platform.. I still have that 9mm AK pistol.. and my Saiga 12.. but for the average carbine buyer.. I don't understand how there is even an AK market anymore.. I am not interested in turning this into an AR VS AK debate.. but one of the big draws of the platform was cost..  I know my first carbine ever was an AK.. because I was turned off by the AR pricing.. 

Probably because a lot of people are bored with AR's. You build two or three and you have most bases covered. They're newly manufactured with little history while AK's are a bit different. A variety of models from numerous countries with a bit more history behind them. Plus people want "different" and when you're at the range and 7 out of 10 guys are shooting AR's, you may want something different.

With the current prices though, the AK market is hurting IMO. Imports dry up here and there and with anything of that sort, it's all about supply and demand. 

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2 minutes ago, RecessedFilter said:

Probably because a lot of people are bored with AR's. You build two or three and you have most bases covered. They're newly manufactured with little history while AK's are a bit different. A variety of models from numerous countries with a bit more history behind them. Plus people want "different" and when you're at the range and 7 out of 10 guys are shooting AR's, you may want something different.

With the current prices though, the AK market is hurting IMO. Imports dry up here and there and with anything of that sort, it's all about supply and demand. 

I can see that.. I mean that is the only reason I ended up with that 9mm AK.. because it was "different"..

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9 hours ago, vladtepes said:

I can see that.. I mean that is the only reason I ended up with that 9mm AK.. because it was "different"..

There's plenty of other reasons. A lot of us, and I say us because I'm an AK enthusiast, just enjoy them plain and simple. Love the way they look, the way they shoot, reliability, love that there are so many different models, love the history, and there are plenty of modern upgrades now to enhance them if one wants to.

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Im an AK guy (incase you havent noticed) and In a pro/con thing with ars, its my primary go to, prices are not what they were.

why is it always ar vs ak? cant we have both? i mean in an ideal world id say ak sub 300yds and 20" ar 300yds plus, imho thats where performance is best on both platforms, but thats just my .02

that being said century domestics have a poor track record. century imports, like the wasr have a good track record. I honestly wouldnt touch a century domestic ak after the RAS47.

WPB Fox is looking promising, arsenal, wasr, etc are the ways to go without having the saigas coming in. 

 

6kL6KSe.png

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1 hour ago, SW9racer said:

Where can one purchase a 9mm AK?  Are they conversions or built from the ground up?

There's not much out there. Once in a while an AK builder will build a handful of them from Vityaz kits but for the most part, you're left with paying an arm and a leg for one from the only builder that makes them once a year which is Definitive Arms. They're top notch and will perform 100% but they're expensive and difficult to attain. Usually you're left buying one used from a private seller.

Also, Chiappa makes the Pak9 but it's a pistol.

41 minutes ago, SuRrEaLNJ said:

Im an AK guy (incase you havent noticed) and In a pro/con thing with ars, its my primary go to, prices are not what they were.

why is it always ar vs ak? cant we have both? i mean in an ideal world id say ak sub 300yds and 20" ar 300yds plus, imho thats where performance is best on both platforms, but thats just my .02

that being said century domestics have a poor track record. century imports, like the wasr have a good track record. I honestly wouldnt touch a century domestic ak after the RAS47.

WPB Fox is looking promising, arsenal, wasr, etc are the ways to go without having the saigas coming in. 

 

6kL6KSe.png

Yeah their domestics are rough and they don't care about customer input or safety. They just want to sell the most they can to customers who are not very knowledgeable about AK's.

The Fox looks like it can make it but we'll see. At the $1,000 mark though, I and most people would rather cough up a little more for a sam7 or 107F. Or an SLR95 or o-pap even at the $800 mark.

 

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1 hour ago, RecessedFilter said:

The Fox looks like it can make it but we'll see. At the $1,000 mark though, I and most people would rather cough up a little more for a sam7 or 107F. Or an SLR95 or o-pap even at the $800 mark.

 

i agree. for 1k personally id go slr107-11p, but there hasnt been a glut of those lately so im keeping my eye on the fox.

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Glad I saw this thread. I was thinking an AK would be pretty cool and saw the VSKA. But seeing as I don't know anything about AK manufacturers I wouldn't know who to go to or who to stay away from.

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