There’s nothing quite like the anticipation when you’re about to take a new gun to the range. You may have had your eye on a particular firearm for a long time, or put one on special order. Then comes the moment when you load the magazine and prepare for those first shots. That’s what I experienced when putting together this story. I had purchased this Century Arms N-PAP M70-type AK in response to the recent instability in political climate, and had wondered if my hasty online purchase would be something I would enjoy, or regret. I was about to find out!
As you can see in the video, I’m quite pleased with this AK! It has functioned 100% in a variety of operating conditions, with both “conventional” cheap steel-cased ammo as well as brass-cased factory ammo. It’s a “proper” AK with a stamped receiver which is what I was looking for to compare precision with my milled-receiver SKS. These two rifles should be a great test bed for my 7.62x39mm reloading stories! I’m really looking forward to some fun loading, shooting, ballistics analysis, and some “special features” I have up my sleeve.
Here you can see what this “N-PAP and Mags” deal came with:
Here’s what’s in the box:
- Century Arms N-PAP M70 AK rifle
- 3 steel 30-round AK magazines
- 1 Magpul PMAG 30 round AK magazine
- Owner’s manual
And here’s the rifle specs from the Century Arms Webpage:
- Product ID: RI2087-N (rifle, package deal was an Atlantic Firearms promotion)
- Cold hammer forged barrel
- Barrel 1:10 twist, 14×1 LH thread
- Stamped receiver
- Side scope mount
- Bolt and bolt carrier are made from hard nickel-moly steel for corrosion resistance
- Bolt hold-open notch on the safety selector
- Barrel: 16.25″, Overall: 36.25″, Weight: 7.7 lbs.
I have seen this rifle referred to as an “AK-47” (Atlantic N-PAP product page), but the proper designation would seem to be “Zastava M70 B1” since this rifle features a fixed stock and stamped receiver.
Why did I choose the N-PAP? The price was right (~$650 for the rifle and four magazines), and I had read good reviews about “recent” copies of this rifle which is manufactured in Serbia. I didn’t do a whole lot of research, but I’m really happy with the rifle. It looks really nice, and has been a good performer so far. My minor nit would be the default sight alignment (shot low at “zero” out of the box) as saw in the video. The AK is fun because it’s very different from the AR-15 rifles I’ve been shooting more frequently as of late. It’s got different proportions, different balance, different recoil, and has different user interface features. To me the AR-15 feels more like a scalpel, and this AK feels more like a hatchet.
You can see how I had to “adjust” to the AK in this picture:
Group A was one of the first groups I shot (mix of slow fire and medium rate of fire), and Group B followed later- and you can see what a little “familiarity” and concentration can do for groups! That’s the fun of shooting- trying new things and practicing to improve your skills. The AK is not a platform for precision (as originally conceived) – it’s a close-quarters combat rifle. But that doesn’t mean I won’t shoot 100 yard groups- I’m looking forward to seeing how well I can get my two 7.62x39mm rifles to shoot, and to experiment with loads, bullet types, etc.
Somehow it feels appropriate to shoot this AK in the cold and snow- call it “Siberian Style”:
The Century Arms N-PAP AK has been a lot of fun so far, and there’s lots more fun to come! I’m just about to start loading for the 7.62x39mm, so if you have favorite recipes or insights/tips to share, please leave a comment!