For many years, I have been a huge fan of the AK rifle. This one has turned out to be my favorite AK style rifle. Right off the bat I noticed the added weight that this rifle had in comparison to the many others I was looking at. I found out this is because of several factors. This particular AK is very beefy and from first inspection, it is not built crudely like the others I considered for purchase. The salesperson that sold me the rifle told me the stocks were made out of Maple, I found out later that they are in fact Teak. There is one sling point on the barrel but not on the stock. This means I will have a project in the near future. Yes, get a sling. This rifle may not seem to heavy at just over 8 pounds loaded, but carry the thing around for a few hours and see just how much weight you are carrying. The barrel and trunnions seem to also be heavier in this rifle as well.
The magazine that came with the rifle was not very good. I am guessing it was a Romanian made magazine. It didn’t fit well and flopped around like a bad banana. Upon first firing, I had major malfunctions, which included double feed and jamming. While I was purchasing the rifle, I made the conscious decision to buy a separate magazine. Most of them I looked at where in, lets say not that great of condition. I ended up going with a Korean made 30 round magazine as a spare. To my great surprise I had no malfunctions with this mag and it fit tightly in the mag well of the rifle. I had read some bad reviews on these magazines that had said they were horrible with sharp edges and they would not fit the full thirty rounds in to them. Mine on the other hand had sharp edges but held all thirty rounds. For me, having mag issues is not the end of the world. I can usually fix just about anything that needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, the Romanian mag could not be repaired. Upon further research, I decided to purchase three TAPCO magazines as well. These fit tightly in the mag well and I had no feeding issues at all. They seemed to run the rifle just fine, yet I am still on the fence about a fully polymer mag. I would like to see the stress points reinforced with steel, but I know that would drive the cost of the magazine through the roof. For plinking, I see no issues using these magazines in this rifle.
Firing the N-PAP is a very nice experience, it is very comfortable and you can tell it is a very robust rifle. The barrel however is not chrome lined, this means clean that sucker out thoroughly if you plant to fire corrosive ammo. The bolt in my M70 is chromed which seems to make for very easy cleaning and in my rifle the gas piston is pinned in place. I have read several reviews that said it was screwed in; I am finding this is not the case with all of these types of AK’s. There has been a very nice upgrade since gen 1, which is the bolt, is now made for the double stack magazine instead of the single. I am also glad to be rid of the rail on top of the dust cover. I am one that likes to keep my rifles simple and not add a bunch of useless crap to it. For this reason, I find this rifle is perfect for me. At right you can see Jazmin holding the rifle. Even she really enjoyed firing this AK.
The receiver for this rifle is stamped, I have read that it is imported with a single stack mag well. At Century Arms the mag well is machined out to accept the standard double stack AK magazines. When looking at the mag well of this rifle they did an amazing job. I have in the past seen this done to other rifles and it was fairly shoddy. On this AK, there is nothing shoddy. In fact I am finding it put together better than my Norincos I had in the past. Two other features I am very impressed with on this rifle are the bolt lock on the safety lever and the button for the recoil spring. This makes putting the dust cover back on after field stripping a breeze. This completely eliminates the need to fight with the spring and the dust cover all together.
So what is the bad news on this rifle? For me not really anything, for others I think the lack of accessories that can be added to the N-PAP. You can add an SVD style scope mount to the receiver but for me I am going to leave that alone. I for one like open sights on my AK style rifles. I do not try for long distance with this type of rifle. I see this being amazing for the brush, dust, and debris that the desert can throw at me while in the field. This is one of the reasons I prefer this type of platform, the reliability of the weapon when cleaning is not really an option. If I end up having to fire through brush, the 7.62 x 39 is less likely to be affected by deflection in my opinion.
Using this firearm as a home defense weapon for me is out of the question. The round coming out of the muzzle will not only go through the intended target, but through my walls and into the neighbor’s house. This is one reason that this particular rifle can be so dangerous for those that do not fully under it. The last thing someone would want is to defend his or her family then end up with a dead neighbor as a result. I got this rifle for defense while in the desert and for plinking on the weekends. For me this rifle will do that perfectly.
Me firing a Yugoslavian M70. I find that this rifle is another one of my favorite AK variants. This particular Rifle belongs to a friend of mine. It is the predecessor to the Zastava N-PAP M70.