Saturday, July 19, 2014

Russian Siaga and VEPR AK style Rifles Banned by EO

An executive order was signed banning importation of certain weapons from Kalashnikov Concern including Siaga rifles as well as shotguns and VEPR rifles. All of these are basically AK's. Tam's take on it that she is ambivalent about that stuff but concerned about ammo manufacturers being added to the list is in line with my thinking. Personally I have zero desire to get a Siaga shotgun since A) they rarely function well with a wide variety of ammo and B) Anything a Siaga can do an actual AK pattern rifle can do better.

I doubt this ban will be dropped. Heck NORICO stuff is still banned here for absolutely no good reason. As to whether the companies and or weapons involved can be rebranded and get permission to import is an open ended question. Maybe the Siaga could become the Tiaga or something.

My concern is about ammo. Folks running com bloc rifles that shoot stuff like Wolf/ Silverbear/ Tula in 7.62x39 or 5.45 depend on ammo that comes from Eastern Europe to make those rifles economically viable. Additionally the economic viability of the Mosin Nagant depends on readily available low priced 7.62x54R ammo. It is worth noting that much of this stuff is made in other countries such as the Ukraine, Poland and Romania but it is not unthinkable that, due to overlapping company holdings and or political power the ban list could grow.

Personally I am going to take a look at my own situation. I was fine on AK mags and am now definitely good thanks to the help of a buddy. Way above my 20 (per rifle) happy zone. So that is good. As to ammo, you can always use more. If you rely on an AK pattern rifle for defensive use it would be prudent to look at your ammo situation. Hoss USMC's idea to get about 3 years of normal use purchased NOW is a sound one. For me assessing on the heavy side a case of 7.62x39 Wolf ammo would cover it.

Now I urge you to take a deep breath and not panic buy. There are a lot of maybe's here and most stuff banned has competitors from other countries/ brands that can fill the same role. Think about your needs and come to a reasonable decision. If you can use a case of ammo by all means get one but don't blow your life savings trying to make a mountain with cases of Wolf 7.62x39.

Last minute edit to include:
I dug out my inventory to actually see where things stand. Mags, 200% of my stockage goal of 20 per gun on AK mags. Do want to pick up some of the new AK PMAGs just to try em out. If nothing else they are light and not covered in cosmoline, attributes my eastern European surplus mags do not have.

Begin tangent. Personally when it comes to numbers of mags I like 10 per fighting pistol and 20 per fighting rifle. These nice round numbers roughly align (it would be 9 and 21) with 3 full fighting loads per official US Army whatever. These are the numbers where I am comfortable. For a sporting or otherwise not explicitly tactical weapon I would be comfortable with less, say 5 ish.

Do note this is PER GUN. So if you have 4 Glocks it would be 40 mags, 5 AR's would be 100mags.

Honestly these numbers really are not based on anything concrete. A long time ago I thought about it for awhile and these are what I came up with. I figured a combat load of mags, a full replacement load in case the original ones are lost/ damaged/ worn out and some spares for barter or charity.These numbers are where I am comfortable and reasonable people may differ on that topic.If somebody said they were comfortable with 6 pistol mags and 14 rifle mags I wouldn't argue with them. Then again if someone wanted 20 pistol mags and 50 rifle mags I would not argue with them either.

Wouldn't say I have necessarily changed from my thinking on mag numbers over the years. Would however say that I have been trying to front load magazine purchases for guns I plan to buy down the road. This has been an easy decision since I generally stick to AR, AK, Ruger 10/22 and Glock 9mm platforms.  Also the idea of a few mags set away here or there appeals to me a lot. In any case I seem to be vastly over my numbers on most mags. End tangent.

As to ammo I am right about at my stockage goal of 3,000 rounds (per rifle) but decided to order another case of Wolf 7.62x39 JHP for $230 from Lucky Gunner anyway. I had the cash to do it and now, in line with Hoss's idea, I have some 7.62x39 ammo set aside for training.  Interestingly in the time it took to do this post they sold 4 cases of the stuff in a half hour on Saturday afternoon. Folks might be getting worried.

As to spare parts I have a full set (minus receiver) per rifle. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get a few more of the prone to breaking stuff, extractor, ejector, firing pin, springs, etc. Will add that to the list. 

So that is the news and what I think you may want to do about it. What do you think?


Harry Flashman said...

I'm good. I bought beau coupe ammo back when William the Bastard and his evil Queen Hillary seized power. I figured that "Butch" Reno and her Sturmtruppen would be kicking down doors in '94. So I spent heavily on ammo and magazines before The Hag of California got her ten year ban passed thanks to the cowardice and treachery of a handful of last minute turncoats in the Congress. I even have four cases of Norinco 7.62x39 stashed away.

Theother Ryan said...

Harry, Of all the people I worry about running out of mags n ammo you are about last on the list. The preventative part of this was more aimed at folks who might have an AK with 3-5 mags and a couple hundred rounds of ammo or a Mosin with half a spam can.

riverrider said...

better safe than sorry, and it ain't getting any cheaper so its still a good investment. i added another case thursday a.m. and went back for another that afternoon they were sold out. it was a big dealer too. all he has left is pmc, expensive.

Theother Ryan said...

RR, I noticed supplies are a bit lower than normal also and that another factor in my purchase.

Agree with 'better safe than sorry' so long as one makes a reasonable decision. In the last 2 months I have purchased spare parts, 20 mags and a case of ammo. Do want to get some of those new AK PMAGs to try them out but that's just for fun.

Aesop said...

Some PhotoSphere GoogleAdSpam is blocking the m-----f-----verify box??

Aesop said...

Nothing like trying everything until it works.

Back to topic:
This is going to undercut the whole "let's buy ComBloc weapons because they're so much cheaper and easier to obtain" meme.

Personally, unless they're all of what you've got, or you're totally in love with them, wait for scarcity to drive prices up, cash in and sell, and turn that into more stuff that continues to be available, being made 5000 miles closer to you.

If you have crates of 7.62x39 and barrels of $100 SKS's to arm your entire partisan battalion when the Zompacalypse hits, rock on with your bad self.

Otherwise do some horse trading, and use the profits to go far deeper on domestic production items.

Theother Ryan said...

Aesop, The AK vs AR discussion is the Ford vs Chevy of the gun world. I could write forever about it and maybe some day I will but this is not the time for that.

Both are serviceable combat proven weapons.

Historically speaking one of the advantages of the AK platform was cost. For a long time those guns were dirt cheap and dealers almost gave away cases of ammo. Even in the early 2000 era you could get a rock solid AK for under five hundred bucks, mags for $6-7 and ammo at under $200 a case.

Now dealer price for a bottom end AK is mid $500' so once you figure shipping and the local FFL making a few bucks it's probably in the mid six bill range. That being said a lot of folks are trying to keep to Firearmagedon prices where a WASR with TAPCO plastic furniture is worth a grand. MILSURP mags are running from the mid $13 range to 20+ depending on exact make and condition. Ammo is .23-25 cents a shot.

Suffice to say the AK's advantage in terms of cost has been largely stripped away. AR prices are way down. You can build an AR for around $500 by shopping carefully. AR mags are cheaper. Ammo is partially a wash. AK ammo is cheaper presuming you rock steel cased stuff. AK's eat it all day long. As to steel cased ammo and AR's; while they seem to have improved the coatings on casings to address feeding issues I think it is still iffy. Probably fine for range meat I guess but generally speaking I'll stick with brass cased. So 5.56 is running $350ish at the bottom end right now.

I can see reasons people might choose to use an AK as their primary defensive long arm. The round is good for realistic ranges and the guns are hell for stout.

Personally I own an AK for a few reasons.
1) Simply because I can.
2) While most of the stuff is not produced in America there are a whole lot of AK's and a ridiculous amount of 7.62x39 floating around the US.
3) At past and even current prices the AK is a gun that normal people can, with a bit of planning, realistically afford to put back plenty of ammo for.
4) Sort of along with #3 it is a gun that I can actually afford to go put a fair amount of rounds downrange with.

Theother Ryan said...

Aesop, I should note that at the bottom end of the budget I think AK's are better guns. I would take a $500-600 AK over similarly priced pieced together Franken AR or Bubbas Basement Armory AR hands down.

Pineslayer said...

I concur RR, is there a better investment. Google stock a dozen years ago would have been very good, from just a greedy standpoint. This story line will not go away, ugh.

Chris said...

I think your mag numbers are well thought out and use basically the same system myself. 21 mags/rifle = excellent.

Except I measure my AR mags by the gallon, now. :-P

Aesop said...

I'm not saying they're bad weapons. I wasn't about to open another can of beatdown on that poor old deceased equine.

I'm saying if you don't have them now, the prices on them, and magazines, is likely going nowhere but up, as the supply shrinks.

Which was the intent behind the move.

Theother Ryan said...

Chris, A lot of my mags live in a big tote, roughly a 30 gallon size. Today I put my most recently acquired AK mags in there and realized it is full and I have to get a new tote to store any future acquisitions.

Over the years from 08 to Firearmagedon I have gone deep on mags. Don't regret it at all.

Thanks, Ryan

Aesop, My intent was not to get people running out to the local gun shop to buy a Siaga or other AK pattern rifle.

My intent was to spur folks who own an AK or Mosin and are not squared away on ancillary gear and ammo to get it soon.

I'm looking to help spur the guy with an AK, 3 mags and 180 rounds of ammo to buy several more mags and a case of ammo or a Mosin and half a spam can to order 2 more cans to get squared away.

HarvKY said...

The Saiga ban is a big negative for those preferring a authentic CommBloc barrel in their AK. Saiga sporters are pretty easily/quickly restored to a true AK format for reasonable cost. This gives you a true Russian AK (except for the few 922r parts required). Keep in mind that the imported demilled parts kits have the barrels cut up now. Bulgarian will be the best avaiable now - depending on how politics go.


KJ Klump said...

I used to try to stack it deep on ammo and stuff.
Now I've learned that 1000 rounds used in a couple of classes leaves me hell for better than it does sitting in a basement.
I'm not saying don't keep a stash, but I'm not concerned about the guy with 6000 rounds and shoots at 100 yds from a bench.
Now the guy with only 300ish rounds because he gets training regularly and can shoot out to 500 from any position and likely has a friend that can do the same, yeah their scary.

Theother Ryan said...

HarvKY, If an authentic barrel matters to you that is a valid point.

Over time I have watched some of the various Siaga projects and would not call converting it to a non neutered AK a simple process. It is getting close to machinist/gunsmith range in some areasa. Not saying many people have not done it but plenty seem to have problems. Bubba gunsmiths suffer from the same problem shade tree mechanics do; at the end of the day their stuff is at the end of the day not consistently reliable.

For me, aside from that it was slightly outside of my comfort zone to do the work I was already vested in the AK-47 series with ancillary parts n such. While it may very arguably be a better pattern the new one would complicate logistics.

KJ, I absolutely agree with you about training but you are proposing a false dichotomy. Personally I consider the ammo needed for a class as part of the cost of that class. Interestingly though my biggest take away from firearmagedon was to have ammo set away specifically allocated for training.

As to stockage levels it depends a lot on what your concerns are. Say a cop or a shooter was only worried about some sort of riots or a hurricane, in that case having a couple hundred rounds of handgun ammo and a half case of rifle ammo would be plenty. On the other hand if they have darker concerns more ammo would make sense.

As to your original point about the guy with tons of ammo who doesn't really train and the guy with almost no ammo who does. My observation over the years is that the people who really have the discipline and motivation to get out and train also use some of that discipline to make choices that let them put back ammo.

Mike P. said...

It's bullshit, but it's really a non-issue. For me.

Dude I've been rotating about 5k of 7.62 since 06'. That said, 2000 of that is in constant training/practice flux. Leaving 3k for shtf/bans/Johnny-come-lately's morning Wal-Mart hoarding. In the case of a ban or shtf, 3k is still nothing, but I imagine it would either run my MBR for a good while during shtf or leave at least enough ammo for my grandkids under a ban.

I have several AK's. From WASR's to Arsenal's & Rifle Dynamics custom builds. Not one Saiga or any other Russian variant. Hell, the best AK's arent even built in Russia anymore. They're built in Las Vegas.

As for ammo bans. I cant see it. There are a ton of countries manufacturing steel case 7.62. My last 1000 were Serb.

All that being what is, I'm grabbing an AR just in case.

Mike P. said...

Theother Ryan said...

Mike, The rise of the AR in the last several years and the corresponding rise in folks making AR's gives them a serious logistical advantage in the US.

I agree that the general flow of AK's and steel cased ammo is unlikely to be widely affected by this.

HarvKY said...

Mike P
Fuller & crew (vegas) definitely have some of the very best AK's anywhere +1 My problem is affording one ;-(, plus the year + wait its become - a factor of success obviously.
Jim did make his bones just on old demilled Romy G parts kits. Now those barrels are cut up and kits are scarce. Besides Nodak, there are a couple talented folks making very authentic recievers hgere in the US now - same problem of long waits.
Im no gunsmith but there seems to be a bad knock against USA made barrels? The Saiga/Vepr uses the CHF chrome barrel which many prefer. Zastava/Yugo is not chrome lined and with demills now being cut up I guess USA barrels will have tom suffice unless othyer countries start sendiong to us. I wouldnt trust our current govt though to depend on selling to the US


riverrider said...

my last assignment was in logistics, emphasis on disaster response. if you need a shitload of something fast, it better not be 12,000 miles away. that's why i stick w/ ar vs ak. i just got a vz for giggles.

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