Top 5 Best-Selling AK-47s

The AK-47 platform has been around for quite some time. It was in the 1940s when Mikhail Kalashnikov designed it and in 1949 when it became the official duty rifle of what was then known as the Soviet Union. Since then, the AK-47 has reached global popularity among sport shooters, but it’s also seen use in combat around the world. There’s no denying the AK-47 is a reliable gun that’s fun to shoot, and if you don’t have one, pick one up! But, where do you start?

Well, sit back and relax. We’ve done the leg work and compiled a list of the top 5 best-selling AK-47s currently on the market. Check it out.

arsenal ak47
The Arsenal SAM7SF-H4E is an incredibly well-made rifle. (Photo credit: Arsenal)

Arsenal SAM7SF-H4E

Although we’re going to focus on this specific model, the entire Arsenal SAM series of rifles is well worth a look. Arsenal’s rifles are imported into the States from Bulgaria and the SAM guns are their top-of-the-shelf AK-47s. The Arsenal SAM7SF-84E features a right-side folding stock and a milled receiver, so it’s more ruggedly built than the stamped receiver design.

The Arsenal SAM7SF-84E is, of course, chambered in 7.62x39mm. Arsenal states that there aren’t any voids or deformations in the receiver thanks to the 5-ton hammer forging process they use. Receivers take more than five hours to mill before moving on to assembly, so suffice it to say that there’s a serious amount of work that goes into these guns. This rifle also includes an enhanced FCG (fire control group), chrome lined hammer forged barrel, bayonet and accessory lugs, and 24×1.5mm right-hand muzzle threads. It has a 16.33-inch barrel, a total length of 38.2 inches, and a folded length of just 28.35 inches.

century arms rifle
The Century Arms RAS47 Red Army Standard has a stamped receiver. (Photo credit: Century Arms)

Century Arms RAS47 Red Army Standard

The Century Arms RAS47 (the RAS stands for Red Army Standard) is a stamped receiver AK-47, so it’s lighter than a milled receiver option. The RAS47 is 100% American-made and offers compatibility with standard AKM furniture. It has a 16.5-inch barrel, an overall length of 37.25 inches, and an empty weight of 7.55 pounds. The chrome-moly 4150 barrel is nitride-treated and has a 1:10 twist. This is a well-made, reliable AK-47 with walnut furniture that gives it an aesthetic similar to that of the original wooden furniture rifles.

Features of the Century Arms RAS47 include an oversized T-shaped magazine release, an RAK-1 enhanced trigger group, and a slant muzzle brake. It has standard AK iron sights and ships with a 30-round Magpul magazine. If you want a more entry-level AK-47, the RAS47 might be perfect for you. It’s reliable and durable but affordably priced. Century Arms produces good quality rifles, and the RAS47 is among them.

Zastava Arms ZPAP M70 AK-47
The Zastava Arms ZPAP M70 AK-47 is a ruggedly built gun. (Photo credit: Zastava Arms)

Zastava Arms ZPAP M70 AK-47

This is a gun made for serious durability—admittedly, most AK-47s are—that’s been reinforced to make it happen. The Zastava Arms ZPAP M70 has a bulged trunnion receiver for superior strength and resistance to use-related wear. Most components are made in Serbia and imported, but Zastava Arms has a factory here in the United States where assembly and some manufacturing take place for 922(r) compliance.

The rifle features a 16-inch, cold hammer forged, and chrome-lined barrel, and is chambered in 7.62x39mm. It’s worth noting that, while the classic AK-47 chambering is 7.62x39mm, there are AK-47 style models out there in other calibers.

The ZPAP M70 comes equipped with adjustable iron sights. Other features include a double-stack bolt, a bolt hold-open notch on the safety, and dark walnut furniture. This is a Yugo-pattern AK, so it’s not going to be compatible with AKM furniture. It ships with a 30-round magazine. The rifle has a nice, classic appearance and has proven itself reliable. And if you’d rather not have wood furniture, Zastava has other options available as well.

Palmetto State Armory PSAK-47 GF3
The Palmetto State Armory PSAK-47 GF3 is a well-made gun that’s a great option for getting into AKs. (Photo credit: Palmetto State Armory)

Palmetto State Armory PSAK-47 GF3

You might be surprised to find a Palmetto State Armory (PSA) rifle on the list, but the reality is that PSA does manufacture good, basic AKs. They might not satisfy the AK purists, but that doesn’t mean they’re not well-made guns. In fact, they’ve come out with a few that have well out-performed their price point. The PSAK-47 GF3 has a standard AK-47 design but with modern touches. PSA even says they ran 10,000 rounds through it before releasing it to the market.

The PSAK-47 GF3 has a hammer-forged bolt, carrier, and front trunnion, and a stamped steel receiver. The gas nitride 4150 barrel has a 1:9.5 twist. The furniture is nutmeg wood. Features include a 45-degree gas block, side mount optic rail, traditional sling mount, and a side-folding triangle stock. PSA recommends Midwest or RS Regulate for the optic rail. The gun has standard AK iron sights including an 800-yard rear sight leaf. It ships with one 30-round magazine. PSA put significant research and work into the design of this rifle and the results are shown on paper.

Kalashnikov KR-103FT
The Kalashnikov KR-103FT is made according to the original technical data for the AKM. (Photo credit: Kalashnikov USA)

Kalashnikov KR-103FT

You simply cannot make an AK-47 list without mentioning Kalashnikov USA. The great thing about the Kalashnikov KR-103FT is that it’s manufactured according to original Russian specifications, which isn’t something other manufacturers can necessarily do. That’s because Kalashnikov USA can utilize the actual AKM specifications from the Kalashnikov Concern, making this a highly accurate AKM. This gives you access to a more affordable and correctly made AK than you might otherwise get.

The KR-103FT is the civilian, semi-automatic version of the AK-103. Kalashnikov USA states they’ve taken many steps to ensure this rifle is designed according to the original technical data and that it’s resulted in this being an incredibly durable, reliable rifle. This rifle has a 16.33-inch chrome-lined barrel and features a forged bolt carrier and front trunnion. Other features include a fixed stock, side optic mount, and sling attachment points. This rifle has a cam/bump rivet, double receiver trigger humps, a bullet guide, a 5.5mm rear block/trunnion, and a dimpled recoil spring base. There’s more, but you get the idea: there’s just not another rifle like it on the market.

Should you get an AK-47?

Most shooters have at least one AK in their collection, so why shouldn’t you? The AK-47 platform is a stellar addition to your gun collection. They’re tough, reliable, and accurate. You can use them for all the same things you’d use an AR platform rifle for, and they’re typically less ammo-picky and more durable overall. If you’re not used to the controls it can take some getting used to, but that’s nothing some range time can’t fix. The AK-47 is great and can be used for everything from hunting to self-defense. Maybe it’s time you considered getting one for yourself!

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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