Last week we reported on President Obama’s executive order 13662 stating the banning of Russian AK-47s, Saigas and Izhmash firearms and parts. While true on the surface, Texas Law Shield took a look. After a quick conversation, we need to make a couple of corrections and share some good news from the law guys.
First, the executive order was signed months ago not last week. However, it takes time for the bureaucracy to figure out the details. Once the details were released (last week), the sanctions kicked in banning the Russian arms. Withal, Edwin Walker from Texas Law Shield wasn’t finished. In reading the order, specific companies and people were named, not the products. Therefore, it looks as if other companies could still manufacture and export AK-47s to the U.S.! If that were the case, how hard would it be for Kalashnikov Concern to open a new company or move manufacturing to a neighboring country and be right back in business? Like the AR platform, AKs already have multiple manufacturers so getting replacement parts may not be as big an issue as many previously believed. It’s no secret that some ARs command a premium price due to quality and many AK enthusiasts would say the same about Russian guns, but what about the same heart and soul (machines and gunsmiths) being relocated? Wouldn’t the Russian guns under a new name be just good?
I have been in the market for an AK and was set to pull the trigger on an upcoming sale when the news hit. Supply and demand ruled, and the seller had a sudden change of heart—about a 25% change of heart. My first reaction was to pony up and pay the extra; after all would prices go down any time soon or ever? Then I talked with Texas Law Shield and while the legal minds would not prognosticate about market forces and price, they did shed some light that changed my mind.
Why pay $1,000 for a Saiga that sold for $700-750 a couple of weeks ago? If not Russian, what would be the next best AK-47 that you would recommend? Building your own AR is extremely popular and there are plenty of parts and guides to ensure you do not run afoul of the 922(r) compliance laws, so what have your experiences been with building your own AK?
Share your thoughts on the best AKs and building your own in the comment section.