Century Arms Model 39 Modernizes Classic AK-47
The AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle is the most popular and widespread firearm in the world, showing up in one form or another in virtually every country. The rifle was developed by famed Soviet general and weapons designer Mikhail Kalashnikov after studying a captured sturmgewehr, a high-tech German WWII rifle that used an innovative medium sized cartridge.
Firearm sales skyrocketed in the U.S. during the post-war baby boom years and the AK-47 found an eager market in a country that guaranteed its citizens the right to bear arms.
Unfortunately, many of these guns were of shoddy craftsmanship and tended to be favored by the criminal element.
This led to a 1994 ban on assault weapons containing more than 10 foreign-made critical parts. In an ironic twist of events, the ban resulted in an improved version of the AK-47 emerging in the American market.
Author Scott W. Wagner describes the Hollywood-like chain of events that led to the new and improved assault rifle in his article “Century Arms USA-Made Model 39: The AK-47 Redefined”:
“Companies in the U.S. started making critical components themselves, and the complete AKs that were being imported were stripped of all the parts that made them illegal to sell and replaced with U.S. parts. The end result is that now we have AKS being built with the quality once reserved for AR-15s!” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
As a result, Century Arms has reconfigured several versions of the AK-47, one of which is the top of the line Model 39 Classic. This model is designed along the lines of the classic Kalashnikov, but with a modern flair featuring laminated wood stocks, polymer grip, a machined steel lower receiver, and a chrome-lined barrel. This AK feels combat-ready, weighing in at a sturdy 8.1 pounds.
During range testing, the 39 Classic performed close to perfection. Traditional AK style sights are mounted on the gun, with adjustable rear ones for wind variance and slope. The gun was loaded with Century Arms Red Army Standard Elite 123-grain lead core rounds in a brass case. The trigger pull is fairly light, weighing in around 4 pounds, with slight take-up and light recoil on discharge. The 39 Classic is also outfitted with a flash suppressor/compensator on the muzzle.
The Century Arms Model 39 is no slouch when it comes to accuracy either. At mid-range, the Model 39 holds its own with groupings equal to or better than comparable top-notch AK-47s. The Classic cycled through 30 rounds without a hitch, no jams during firing or ejection, and reload was flawless. Two magazines are shipped with the gun.
The AK-47 was designed as a high-tech front line assault weapon in a time before advances like laser sights and smart bombs revolutionized warfare. It has evolved into a powerful self-defense firearm that is suitable in rural areas, in the wilderness, or simply for training.