AK-47 FAQ

Image of Right Side of AK-47

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1) What is the difference between a milled and a stamped receiver?
A: A milled receiver is machined from a solid block of steel. This type is considered by many to be stronger and more desirable. A stamped receiver is sheet metal bent into shape and riveted together to form the receiver. This type is the most commonly found because it is the cheapest to produce.

2) Will all AKs accept standard 30 round magazines?
A: Not all. There are some models that are California legal and will only accept single stack 10 round magazines. These guns have been converted to accept standard AK magazines but it isn’t recommended that you try this at home. For the rest of the AK variants, they should accept all standard AK-47 magazines. There will be tolerance variations that may cause issues in some guns.

3) I have a Saiga. Can I replace the furniture on it with standard AK-47 furniture?
A: No. The Saiga will not accept standard AK-47 furniture. The Saiga was designed to incorporate the design reliability of the AK-47 into a more “sporting” firearm that would be less military looking. There are companies like Tapco that manufacture replacement furniture for the Saiga.

4) What are the thread dimensions for a standard AK-47 flash suppressor?
A: Standard thread dimensions are 14mm x 1mm left hand thread.

5) I have a MAK-90. Can I replace the thumbhole stock with standard replacement AK-47 furniture?
A: Yes, the MAK-90 will accept standard AK-47 furniture.

6) Will replacement furniture for a stamped receiver fit my milled receiver?
A: No. The milled receiver is thicker and furniture designed for stamped receivers will not fit.

7) What are my options for scope mounting on my AK-47?
A: There are really two options. The first is to replace the top receiver cover with one that has a built in rail system or rings on it. The second is the receiver side mount. Some AKs come with the side mount plate already installed. If yours doesn’t have the plate, a qualified gunsmith can install one. The side mount is probably the better of the two systems but can cost more when gunsmith fees are factored in. The top cover systems usually don’t require any gunsmithing.

8) What calibers are commonly found in the AK-47?
A: The most common caliber is 7.62×39. There are some AKs chambered in 5.56 NATO and 5.45×39. There are also some .22LR training rifles available.

9) Is it true that I never need to clean my AK-47?
A: While the AK-47 does have a reputation for reliability in the harshest environments and conditions, it should still be cleaned on a regular basis. This will not only insure proper function and accuracy, but will also lengthen the service life of the rifle.

10) What does 922 compliant mean?
A: There are certain firearms that are banned from importation into the U.S. These are typically military semi-auto rifles such as the AK-47, FN FAL etc. Parts kits can, however, be imported into the U.S. as long as the receivers are missing or de-milled (cut to be made inoperable). These parts kits can then be assembled in the U.S. using U.S. made receivers. The 922R compliance law requires that a certain number of other U.S. made parts also be used. The number of parts will vary from model to model. This law also regulates modification of certain existing rifles such as the SKS. If parts are to be replaced on these rifles, a certain number of them must be U.S. made.

11) How many variations of the AK-47 are there?
A: There are literally hundreds of variations from countries around the world. The AK-47 is the most massed produced “assault rifle” in the world.

12) Where did the AK-47 get its name?
A: A = Automatic – the type of action. K = Kalashnikov – the name of the designer, Mikhail Kalashnikov. 47 = 1947 – The year the rifle was introduced into service in the Red Army.

13) What is the difference between an AK-47 and an AK-74?
A: The only difference between the AK-47 and the AK-74 is the caliber. The AK-47 fires the original 7.62×39 round and the AK-74 fires the 5.45×39 round, the current caliber used by the states of the former Soviet Union. Because of the caliber difference, the magazines for the two rifles are different and not interchangeable.