Site Notices
8/19/2014 4:57:02 PM
Author
Message
StephenNW
Member
Offline
Posts: 3246
Feedback: 100% (9)
Posted: 11/25/2011 1:24:24 AM
[Last Edit: 11/25/2011 1:35:42 AM by StephenNW]
Last Friday (November 18), I broke down and purchased one of the Waffen Werks 74's. I have a number of other 5.45 rifles, all of them "nice" guns, and wanted more of a "beater" 74 that - like my WASR - I could use and abuse without losing any sleep over it. I purchased this rifle from RRC Firearms (more on them below) for $600 plus a 3% credit card fee. So, $618 out-the-door. They are local for me, so I didn't have to pay for shipping.

Many months ago I had contemplated buying one of the $400 Century 74's for this purpose, but the reports of spotty barrel quality, and Century's claim that 5.45 is supposed to keyhole, disavowed me of that idea. I also considered the Interarms 74's, which are just a tad cheaper than the WW rifle, but decided that for $60 more the Waffen Werks rifle was the better deal. From reading many reviews, I also concluded that quality on the Waffen Werks builds was a little more consistent than on the Interarms builds.

First impression - Upon breaking down and examining the rifle, I saw no obvious faults. Rivets looked good, and overall build quality appeared solid. As advertised, it's built with a NoDak receiver (still marked TGI), excellent condition and matching number Bulgarian kit, Tapco G2 trigger, U.S. chrome-lined barrel (I have no idea who made it), surplus Bulgarian wood in good condition (with knicks and scratches that you'd expect on surplus wood), and a nicely done KG Gun Kote finish. The rifle is straight, with no site cant. I may put a Hogue grip on this rifle, but other than that I'll keep it as-is.

I knew the rifle wouldn’t come with a now-hard-to-find surplus magazine, and expected it to come with a Promag. Instead, it came with the Tapco Intrafuse mag in the pictures, which I was actually happy about because I had been wanting to buy and try one anyway. 100 rounds were fired through the Tapco magazine with no problems. Yeah, surplus mags are always preferable, but from this limited experience I wouldn’t have any problem recommending the Tapco magazine for recreational shooting.








Function - Last Sunday, I went into the Mt. Hood National Forest with some friends to test this gun (among others). We put 200 rounds of 7N6 and about 300 rounds of Golden Tiger 59gr. through the rifle. No malfunctions occurred, and I only had to adjust the rear site one notch, and slightly adjust the front site to the left to dial it in. Other than that, it’s an AK...you all know how they work.

So, overall I'm very pleased with this rifle. It represents a solid value at $600. I've seen some people ask if they should get this, or spend $180-$200 more for a SGL-31. My answer to that would be, "It depends on what's important to you, and why you're buying the rifle." If you just want a nice shooter that will be less "iffy" than a Century rifle, I would see no reason to buy an Arsenal over the Waffen Werks. The WW is a solidly-built rifle that should give you years of shooting pleasure. Not to mention that the finish on the WW rifle is more durable than the squid ink on the Arsenal. However, if you want the Russian heritage of the Arsenal with its Russian receiver and proven cold hammer-forged barrel, a factory-built gun and likely better resale value, you might very well decide that the $180-$200 premium for the SGL-31 is worth it. In terms of function, I couldn't tell any difference between the WW rifle and my SGL-31.

The only question with the WW rifle is the barrel. As we all know, U.S. made 5.45 barrels came out of the gate with spotty performance. While I've only seen barrel complaints on Century rifles (their cheap Bulgarian 74 and their Tantals) and Lancaster rifles, I haven't seen any long-term reports on other manufacturers' U.S.-made 5.45 barrels. As such, for now we sort of have to rely on the reputation of the gun manufacturers themselves in assessing these barrels. In that regard, I have confidence in Waffen Werks. With specific regard to their barrels, time will tell I suppose. I haven't seen any barrel problems reported to-date on these WW rifles, so that's encouraging.

Honestly, if I was going to buy only one 74, I'd buy the Arsenal. There's nothing wrong with the Waffen Werks rifle, but if I was only going to buy one I would "buy once, cry once" and get the Arsenal. But like I said, everyone buys rifles for different reasons. If you're just going to shoot the thing and don't care much about what the Arsenal brings to the table, you can buy and shoot the Waffen Werks rifle with confidence. In true Arfcom fashion of course, I bought both.

Oh, and if you're comparing the WW rifle to the $400 Century rifle, I'd definitely pay the $200 premium for the WW. The WW rifle has a chrome-lined barrel, matching numbered parts, much nicer furniture, and the Gun Kote finish; all things that, to me, easily justify the extra $200. Not to mention that the one year warranty on the WW rifle starts the day you buy it...not the day the rifle was made, as is the case with Century.

Finally, a word about RRC Firearms. They are a relatively new "Mom and Pop" Internet retailer, which just so happens to be located close to me in the heart of Oregon wine country. I ordered this rifle online on Friday (the 18th), and RRC's owner Richard graciously allowed me to stop by on Saturday morning (the 19th) to pick it up. RRC is a family-run business with low overhead and thus low prices, and from speaking with Richard I could tell that when it comes to customer service, he "gets it". I would do business with them again.







Church
Offline
Posts: 866
Feedback: 100% (14)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 1:51:33 AM
Very nice. Can you tell us what 922r parts they used? And is the break surplus or new?
StephenNW
Member
Offline
Posts: 3247
Feedback: 100% (9)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 2:10:17 AM
Originally Posted By Church:
Very nice. Can you tell us what 922r parts they used? And is the break surplus or new?


Thanks.

U.S. parts are the barrel, trigger group, receiver and pistol grip. The Tapco mag also adds three U.S. parts.

The muzzle brake is surplus Bulgarian.
ATLANTIC-FIREARMS
Member
Offline
Posts: 2349
Feedback: 100% (26)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 7:20:57 AM
Great review on the Waffen we agree they are very solid rifles and we have sold tons of them the only real difference we saw between the SGL & Waffen was the possible collectability of the SGL in the future due to the Russian markings .They are made from all new matching AK74 parts and the KG finish is silky smooth. We have had only one issue crop up from a customer that had problems with the gun cycling Silver Bear ammo otherwise the feedback has been very solid. We just sent out a few of these rifles to have the Tele Dyne barrel jacket system installed these should increase the accuracy to 1 MOA or better and will post a review . Below is a picture of the Waffen with Plum poly furniture but I think your wood looks old school style sweet !!!


Atlantic Firearms.com
www.atlanticfirearms.com
sales@atlanticfirearms.com
jerry223
Offline
Posts: 2
Feedback: 0% (0)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 8:27:59 AM
I have one and I refinished the wood on it, I am very happy with it.
Sinatra
Offline
Posts: 851
Feedback: 100% (41)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 8:51:01 AM
Nice rifle!
FAC
Sturmgewehre
Offline
Posts: 1886
Feedback: 100% (7)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 10:10:08 AM
[Last Edit: 11/25/2011 10:11:02 AM by FAC]

Originally Posted By ATLANTIC-FIREARMS:
We have had only one issue crop up from a customer that had problems with the gun cycling Silver Bear ammo otherwise the feedback has been very solid.

I have had issues with Silver Bear in all of my 5.45x39 AK's. It's not reliable ammo in my experience. This includes Saiga rifles, IAC rifles, even a Rifle Dynamics built Bulgarian AKS-74U. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. So I would say the issue your customer had wasn't a problem with the rifle, he was having a problem with Silver Bear.

I have one of these rifles here and it's one of the best AK's I've ever seen. It easily rivals the SGL series rifle for less money. As Atlantic Firearms mention, about the only thing you give up on the WW rifle is collectability, assuming there would be much if any down the road on the SGL rifles. As far as a high quality AK, this is it.
MILITARY-ARMS.COM
runner6m
Member
Offline
Posts: 69
Feedback: 100% (9)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 11:21:27 AM
Originally Posted By StephenNW:

I knew the rifle wouldn’t come with a now-hard-to-find surplus magazine, and expected it to come with a Promag. Instead, it came with the Tapco Intrafuse mag in the pictures, which I was actually happy about because I had been wanting to buy and try one anyway. 100 rounds were fired through the Tapco magazine with no problems. Yeah, surplus mags are always preferable, but from this limited experience I wouldn’t have any problem recommending the Tapco magazine for recreational shooting.


I've been enjoying my WW '74 from Atlantic.
The only negative is it came with the Promag instead of the Tapco magazine. No big deal, I have a whole pile of Bulgy surplus mags.
I did compare a Tapco 5.45 to the Promag that came with mine, and yeah, the Tapco is noticeably sturdier.
TX-Zen
Tactical Buddha - 5.45 FTW
Offline
Posts: 3403
Feedback: 100% (34)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 11:32:31 AM
Very nicely written Stephen, thanks for taking the time to share



Z
Снайперская винтовка Драгунова
Dave_Markowitz
A little short for a Storm Trooper
Offline
Posts: 6139
Feedback: 100% (1)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 11:59:30 AM
Excellent review, Stephen. Looks like a nice rifle. Also nice to see feedback on the vendor.
http://blogostuff.blogspot.com/
http://www.theshootersbar.org/ -- Pro-gun attorneys
RKBA = FREEDOM
StephenNW
Member
Offline
Posts: 3248
Feedback: 100% (9)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 12:49:56 PM
Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention that speaks to the build quality of the Waffen product...

My Arsenal SGL rifles are all very tightly built. As in, annoyingly tight. Whenever I attempt to remove the gas tube on one, it takes three people...two people to work on removing the gas tube, and one person to curse while the other two are grunting.

But the Waffen rifle, on the other hand, reminds me of my SLR-105 and ARS 74 in this regard. That is to say, all the parts on the Waffen are put together "just right". Not too tight, and not too loose. Although the AK is a relatively simple machine, it's been my observation that many builders have a hard time achieving this "just right" fit. This is just another thing about the Waffen rifle which speaks to the quality of the build.

––––––––––-

FAC, now that you mention it, it seems as though I have seen a number of complaints about Silver Bear 5.45. I wonder if the design of Silver Bear 5.45 is not to the proper specification? On a number of Youtube videos, I've seen people comment that the Silver Bear 5.45 being used, looks like 5.56. While I know it isn't 5.56, I do wonder if the specs on the Silver Bear are off just enough so that it causes issues.

I swore off Silver Bear anyway a couple years ago after I had a half-case of Silver Bear 9x18 rust on me. It had been properly stored too, so I was puzzled that it would rust like it did. Silver Bear is now the only Russian ammo I simply won't buy.
ATLANTIC-FIREARMS
Member
Offline
Posts: 2351
Feedback: 100% (26)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 12:54:57 PM
Yes both Waffen & Interarms both told us that they had complaints about the rifles working with Silver Bear .
Atlantic Firearms.com
www.atlanticfirearms.com
sales@atlanticfirearms.com
ZEROTHOMAS
Fear is the mind-killer
Military
Offline
Posts: 4719
Feedback: 100% (51)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 1:43:04 PM
Thats strange, ive used nothing but Silver Bear in my WW74 and my Bulgarian Krinkov and never had a problem
confusiussaid
Member
Offline
Posts: 527
Feedback: 100% (1)
Link To This Post
Posted: 11/25/2011 2:10:42 PM
Originally Posted By ZEROTHOMAS:
Thats strange, ive used nothing but Silver Bear in my WW74 and my Bulgarian Krinkov and never had a problem


I have used some and not had any problems. The bullet itself is considerably shorter though, so I can see how this could potentially be an issue on some rifles.