Ogre’s new Kalash

I put an AK-47 on Layaway today.  I’m going to need it come Spring Time!  I’ve been looking at buying one for some time now, but hadn’t found one that I really liked.    Well, I found one.

The Kalash

This was built by Cugir in Romania, then rebuilt by M&M LLC. It’s been around the block.  Typical WASR10, with some rails and TAPCO stock and trigger, with a Hogue pistol grip.  It actually feels really good.

Crusader is going to be offering an AK Focus course for 2012.  So pretty much I need this, so it’s a justifiable expense.  A required expenditure.   Also, this gun is going to be the test mule for Crusader’s AK work.  What can we do to the AK that gives any actual, tangible benefit… what is going to be worth spending money on, and what’s not.   I don’t want to sell anyone on something that’s not going to help…  If it’s not, we’re not going to offer it.

Now, I have some planned work for it.

BattleComp.  Lightning Bolt.  Ambi-Safety.  Slipstream ST-2 Treatment.  Serious Dehorning.  Cerakote finish.

My last Kalash I got was a Vector Arms under-folder from FBMG back when they were in their salad days.  It was a great AK… very good stuff.  But there were things I didn’t like about it… Sharp edges, thin finish… it wasn’t perfect, but it was very good for an AK.  At the time, it was the best AK I had ever owned, and I have had several.  It’s a shame that Vector Arms went belly up.  If Crusader does get into the Kalash Building Business…  this means Utah is going to get a good in State AK again.

33 thoughts on “Ogre’s new Kalash”

        1. All in all, it wont be that heavy… and a little weight on a Kalash isn’t a problem. I think my AR weights as much as a SAW.

  1. i have been thimking about buying one of these, but not sure what to get. are the internals pretty much the same between wasr and what else is out there?

    1. Well, the Rep that came out said M&M is making the barrels for them… but other than that, the flash hider, the rails, the TAPCO stocks and trigger, and the Hogue grip, it’s a lot of WASR10. Not like that’s a bad thing. I’ve liked the WASR’s.

  2. Its like putting mag wheels on a Pacer. All the gussy-up in the world won’t make it anything but a fancy AK.

  3. There’s an ACOG out now with a reticle for 7.62×39; it’s supposed to work pretty well with the scope rail from Texas Weapons Systems. I have that rail with a 3×9 on my Saiga .308 and I like it a lot. Probably a waste on a WASR, but there’s no reason at all why something better could not be made. Since people are having to install new US barrels to build the kits that are coming in these days anyway, what the world really needs is a first class AK barrel made from a quality blank. With some of the higher end ammo that is starting to become available in x39, it would make for an interesting combination.

  4. Suppressor capable? I know suppressing a piston-operated weapon can be sketchy, but possible. I’ve got this yearning to get an AK and put a suppressor on it.

    Also, side-folding stock?

  5. I do like the idea of a carbine you can hide in a tennis racket case. Going a cheap route I’ve thought about making a standard stock quick detach instead of folding.
    I don’t know how true but I read Saiga owners have reported 2 inches and less at a 100 yards with 5 rounds of quality ammo, after market or tweaked trigge, a deburr, and a mild fluff an buff of the internals. A set of Wolff Springs seems to be popular also.

  6. I drive Jeeps and pickup trucks, and I find side folding stocks to have a lot of utility… Some guys are indeed getting that sort of accuracy from their Saigas; My .308 hits a wall at between 2 to 2.5 MOA, and I’ve tried a bunch of factory ammo plus handloads. Every once in a while it throws a really nice group, so I keep chasing it. Honestly, I’m not unhappy with the accuracy considering that it was a $300 rifle back when I bought it, but I think it’s capable of a bit more. I haven’t really done much to the rifle but the pistol grip conversion and a Red Star trigger. I think there’s a niche market for a premium barrel for the .308 and 7.62×39 Saigas (5.45s are supposed to do a little better from the factory). Be nice to get Valmet type accuracy from an AK available in the US using decent ammo. It’ll be expensive, but there’s no reason why somebody who’ll spend 2 grand or more on a high end AR shouldn’t be willing to do the same to make an AK what it can be.

  7. What about a SAR-1? Worth upgrading, versus starting over? Works fine now, but I’ve got no clue what will happen as the round count creeps upward.

  8. Get a saiga 7.62×39(300-360) upgrade with a tapco 6 pos stock(60-70), bullet guide(20), tapco gas piston(10) & the ak ratchet charging handle(200) from dublinaksystems for a truly unique looking ak. left handed non recip charging handle where the gas tube is. Kinda strange but a very neat looking idea. total is $590-$660

  9. I just reach under the rifle and operate the bolt with my support hand when shooting right handed. How are you working the bolt without the use of one hand? Are you snagging it on your belt/gear or something?

    I’ve always found it interesting that people who would never consider making such a mod to an M1A (for example) so you can run it more like an AR, want to do it to an AK. Which sounds like a good idea, until you have to pick up and run one of the other 100 million AKs that doesn’t have the mod. Then, all of those hours you’ve spent training with your modified rifle with its left handed charging handle will be working against you.

    I’d honestly rather see efforts spent making the AK into a better AK… That is, one that retains the reliability and simplicity of use, with better accuracy.

    1. You make good points. But why not go ambi when you can. The logic of not doing something just because other guns don’t have something, doesn’t make sense to me. I’m building a better AK… So why not actually make it better? Doesn’t matter how others build theirs. I like ambi guns, because I shoot off both shoulders.

      1. I guess I just don’t see how the lightning bolt makes it better… I have no problem running it off my right shoulder by reaching under, and running it off the left shoulder is even easier, as far as accessing the controls is concerned. Whatever; there’s nothing that says everybody has to set up our rifles the same way, and if it works for you, it works for you.

        1. You are pretty hung up on the lightning bolt. Reaching over or under isn’t that big of a deal and I already do that with numerous other platforms… Including semi auto shotguns. You have not been to any of my classes, so you don’t see how I work… So… You need to.

          1. I wouldn’t say that I’m hung up on it… I’m just not in favor of mods that cost money that could be better spent (better optics, furniture, etc), alter the metallurgy and reciprocating mass of the bolt carrier, reduce the effectiveness of the dust cover, and create operating habits which only work on the modified rifles. Same reason I am opposed to the modified mag catches, AR magwells, or other mods that fundamentally alter how the gun is operated.

            I think that money and effort is better spent on things like better accuracy, better optics, and better furniture that will help make use of those qualities. The basic controls of the rifle aren’t broken and don’t need to be fixed. Dehorned in some instances, and smoothed up, sure. For example, spending 5 to 10 minutes on the existing AK safety lever can make a huge difference and doesn’t fundamentally change the way it operates. Each of my rifles still has the original safety lever, and I don’t have any problem operating it with one finger, from the firing grip. Some people may need an additional tab farther up the lever to reach, but that’s a minor thing. And polishing the internal wearing surfaces is an easy way to make an AK that works the same, yet feels much better than a “standard” AK.

  10. Dude, you need to see “Beyond the Firearm” by Sonny Puzikas ( http://www.gospelofviolence.com ) Sonny is the man when it comes to learning how to use that Evil Soviet implement of destruction. I used to be like you, wanting to add all the stuff to make the AK more ‘Ergonomic’ (i.e. more like an AR) or to eliminate the “Bad” stuff, now I just want a good AK with a good optic and a decent flash-suppressor. I now like the fact it has more sharp edges than a wood-rasp, those are CQB enhancers. I don’t need to be able to reach the safety with my thumb, I can get it off in a heartbeat with my shooting hand still on the grip. I now skip all the TAPCO junk and just run the rifle as it was meant to be run and it works very well. I would like a good folding stock, not some silly M-4 POS, but something like a Bulgarian triangle stock or the AK-100 model, but it is not a requirement for me.
    The “Lighting Bolt” is just silly to me, it would be like welding a charging handle on the bolt of an FN-FAL to make it more like an M-14, WHY? The one on the weapon works fine and it was designed that way, no modifications required. Plus, what happens if you have to run your L-B AK left handed? You are right back where you started, needing to reach under to operate it, I would prefer to save my money for ammo. As for the ‘Ratchet charging handle’ someone suggested, put a G-3 charging handle on an AK? What are you smoking? What next, a forward assist for when the bolt won’t close? You are the weakest link, goodbye. The bolt handle of the AK works just fine, just like the ones on the M-14, M-1 Garand, M-1 Carbine, VZ 58, FN-FNC, Sig 550, AR 70, AR 180, Mini-14 and numerous other designs, I think I can muddle through with it.
    If I really want an “Improved” AK I will wait and buy a Beretta ARX 160, till then I will limp along with the AK more or less as Col. Kalashnikov made it.

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