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Why Are AKs So Much More Expensive Than they used to Be?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mordechaianiliewicz, Jun 5, 2013.

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  1. mordechaianiliewicz

    mordechaianiliewicz Member

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    Okay... so it occurs to me that AK-style rifles are much more expensive than they were just a few years ago, and I don't think it's just Sandy Hook....

    They seem to have been creeping up in price for the past few years.... Here and I was thinking about an AK-74.

    Anyone know why?
     
  2. ugaarguy

    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member

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    Just look at your own signature line. Even with 922(r) still on the books most parts to assemble semi-auto AK type rifles are imported. Our currency is worth less and less each day. The dollar is weak.
     
  3. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    In the macro scale, it's that there aren't huge dumps of parts coming from Bulgaria or East Germany any more.

    In the more local one, it's that the buying public is worried about the legality and imported supply. Higher demand, higher price.
     
  4. JHenry

    JHenry Member

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    if fully functioning rifles were able to be imported theyd still be very cheap. but their are so many legal hurdles to jump over that buy the time they're chopped, shipped, rebuilt and so on the price gets up there
     
  5. Risky

    Risky Member

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    If that were the case, then Saigas would still be $250-300. It's all demand on our end.
     
  6. fireside44

    fireside44 Member

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    Because they are worth it.
     
  7. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    I think part of it is the ATF stopped allowing the import of the barrels a few years back. the old parts kits dried up. One more critical part that has to be US that is more difficult to make than just the receiver.
     
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Supply and demand. When the quantity of a commodity available to purchase is lower than the number desired by the consuming public, the cost rises. It has to, that's a natural law of economics.
     
  9. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    The bigger picture is total cost of ownership factoring in ammo cost and availability.
     
  10. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    Something else to keep in mind is that, at least in the last 6 months, 7.62x39mm has been a lot easier to get a hold of than 5.56mm/.223, and prices never went to the stratosphere like typical AR ammo.
     
  11. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    In addition to the points mentioned, I think manufacturers increased prices as the popularity of the rifle increased.
     
  12. RustHunter87

    RustHunter87 Member

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    because people are still buying them
     
  13. JHenry

    JHenry Member

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    in the end saigas were themselves a work around to our laws. Saigas could certainly be $300 again but for whatever reason they are not being shipped in large enough quantities. However it does show that a brand new AK would be pretty darn cheap if legally imported, let alone the old ones that need to be replaced and end up as surplus.

    Some of the price right now is due to the panic, but make no mistake youll pay more for an AK here than elsewhere
     
  14. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    The word is that new shipments of Saigas should arrive again this summer, but expect prices to be closer to $500 for the rifles.
     
  15. wolf695

    wolf695 Member

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    import costs, and regs and alot of new stuff has to meet us rules! most new ones have us made parts to be sold here!
     
  16. Ar180shooter

    Ar180shooter Member

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    To put it in perspective, us Canadians can still get Norinco M14 clones for $400. Same could be said for MAK90 or Type 56 rifles from China, if there wasn't an import ban in the U.S.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  17. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    There is some truth to the "free market" dictating prices, what a willing buyer and a willing seller with no coercion would agree is a fair price.

    However... I'll hear hawkers at a gunshot plying their WASR10s appealing to the dark prospect of a looming ban to jack prices on what is, at best, a rifle of suspect quality.

    I guess if one is willing to pay the price...
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  18. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Member

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    That sums it up. I've been looking for awhile. Everywhere I go racks are full of AR's at non-scare tactic prices (but they dry up fast). But AK's...only a few. Even my favorite store has all their AK's marked at 8 or 900. WASR, converted Saiga, non converted Saiga, M&M or anything else all around 8. Milled receivers are scary high. Even a popular online e-tailer that doesn't seem to inflate prices is charging 800 for century WASRs.

    I finally found one at a decent price but it takes lots of looking. If you just have to have one, I suggest WTB ads on localized forums and weekly, hopeless armslist searching.
     
  19. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

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    this is no free market and has not been one for 100 years that is why we are driving around with the same 100 year old engines running on liquid dinosaur big companies destroy competition. American gun companies could not stand the fact that there were 100-400 dollar semi auto battle rifle sks ak norinco M14 . I say they had the govt ban norinco and then take the AK and put their useless parts on it jacking up the price. then people like arsenal take a perfect fairly accurate AK 74 that was 395 add their overpriced junk to it and presto it is now 1500
     
  20. Ken70

    Ken70 Member

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    I was reading an article this year about WASR rifles. Those used to cost $12 at the factory. Brand new rifle. I'm guessing this was within the last 7 or 8 years. There are some serious markups in the supply chain.
     
  21. JHenry

    JHenry Member

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    I have heard this as well but I wont hold my breath. If the 9mm saigas make it over ill be the first guy in line to buy one though :)
     
  22. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    in two words, Sou-ply, DEEE-man-duh
     
  23. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

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    people are buying milk also I do not see milk going up 300%
     
  24. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Increased demand, and legal reduction of supply.

    Part of the reduction in supply has to do with tighter global arms controls. Gun control is getting bigger and bigger, especially in foreign locations, but it also has increased domestically especially at the import/export level.

    The ATF change on barrel importation made a huge change to the import market, and AKs were one the largest imports hit.

    AKs were so inexpensive globally that you could travel to many third world nations and pick up one (military full auto models) for a few hundred dollars. However pressure from Europe the UN and the US government to crush these sources and supplies of arms has increased dramatically as well.
    So much so that the price has nearly doubled as well.
    While you couldn't just import these to the US, they are tied to the parts kit costs, which ties into the total cost of many American assembled AKs you might purchase.

    For example lets look up Somalia AK prices:
    http://horseedmedia.net/2013/02/12/somalia-illicit-gun-trade-barrels-ahead-in-mogadishu/
    Izhmash was also producing more AKs than the Russians needed, and they would purchase them and send them directly to storage.
    They have millions more AKs than they use if I recall. It was only a matter of time before that stopped. How long would the government keep buying weapons it had that little need for?
    Last year they declared bankruptcy, though they are still around producing.





    Global gun control and demand have combined to increase costs.
    Domestic import restrictions on barrels per the ATF plays a big part in the cost increase at home.
    What remains of those with barrels since the 2005 restriction imposed by the ATF has been drying up in the panics since then.
    The cost of a brand new barrel made in the USA is more than what an entire parts kit with included barrel cost just a few years ago when there was still a lot of them. So the 2005 restriction has finaly been in place long enough to be felt in the AK market.

    Previously AK receivers could be bent into shape, finished to look how the consumer market expects, a parts kit used to complete a rifle, and then be put on the market costing something like $150 in parts. Then the cost of labor, maintaning a business, and profit bringing them up around $250-300 retail.
    Now just a cheap US made AK barrel is over $100, a cost addition that didn't use to exist, and at the lower end is not as good for abuse as the old milsurp chrome lined barrels. Chrome lined accurate barrels of a decent alloy up over $150. So just the barrel costs more than what it used to cost in parts to make the entire gun.
    Add in global gun control pressures reducing supply resulting in what used to be excess being diverted elsewhere with increased demand.
    And increased cost to do business.
    Toss in some panics and increased US demand.

    With that source increasing in price, and less price difference with direct imports or conversions, the demand on other sources like direct imports also increases. So they go up in price across the board.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  25. itsa pain

    itsa pain member

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    sam it is not the natural law of economics when the govt bans certain items and the greedy American gun makers have to put their overpriced junk on the rifles after probably paying the govt to limit supply for the right to triple the price. this is man made by greedy people and it is not natural
     
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