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Century Arms WASR 10: an AK-47 for the streets…

The Kalashnikov

century Arms WASR 10
On the range with American Eagle ammunition

Few firearms are more recognizable than the Kalashnikov family; in this article will be looking at a descendant of that family, the WASR 10. It is a Romanian-made AK-47 imported by Century Arms for the American market.
The formidable AK-47 design is the blueprint for the WASR 10; Century Arms manufactures them from Romanian parts kits. The post-Warsaw Pact production of rifles in Romania created a vast number of highly sought-after imports that are still coming into the US distribution circuit.

The WASR 10

Much like its Kalashnikov cousin, the WASR 10 uses an extremely simple and robust construction. The receiver is made from stamped steel, folded neatly into the proper shape, and fitted with the barrel and trunnion. The bolt carrier and piston assembly ride on two rails fit into the receiver, with a captured operating spring assembly fit into the rear of the bolt carrier and secured into a blind slot at the rear of the receiver. The gas tube is secured between the gas block and the trunnion with a cam pin.

century arms WASR 10
straight outta Moscow

The barrel is chambered in the 7.62×39 Soviet cartridge, the hitherto low cost and proliferate supply of this ammunition is also an attractive aspect of the rifle.
Wooden furniture is used in both the foregrip area and buttstock, though the pistol grip is a polymer blend. To be honest, the whole thing gives the feeling of an infantry weapon in post cold war Soviet states, which makes a lot of sense…

The finish is almost non-existent, particularly on the wood, and you can tell that the original manufacture of these guns wasn’t exactly focused on luxurious looks. I’ve seen a great many of these types of rifles, and there is quite a variation in the grading of quality, at least from an aesthetic perspective.

What makes them special?

All that aside, these AK rifles and their extended family are famous for being incredibly reliable, like a lead pump that knows no defeat. All over the world, they can be found in terrible conditions and disrepair yet still functioning.

The availability, low cost, and that incredibly seasoned service record make these rifles very popular and favorable to American gun owners. For all the pitiful parlance I’ve mentioned regarding the WASR 10 so far, this is the part I love the most about gun reviews. The WASR 10 is exactly what I expected it to be, a lightweight, fast-moving mag siphon.

And just like every other similar AK variant I have shot, this one is an absolute blast to shoot. Low recoil, easily aimed, and way too easy to use up all your ammunition.

Shooting the Century Arms WASR 10

century arms wasr 10 suppressed ak-47
Ready to make slightly less noise

The 16.5-inch barrel makes the overall length of the gun quite short and easy to maneuver. The iron sights are straight out of Moscow with no frills, just the traditional adjustable ramp sight hilariously incremented out to a thousand meters. That said, while I have always found it relatively easy to get hits on target with these sights, I really wish I had an optics mount to try using a small scope on the rifle.

Reloads are not as simple as AR-type rifles; perhaps the only flaw in Mikhail’s design was the lack of a lock-back mag catch. This requires you to remove the magazine and insert the new one, followed by drawing back the bolt to chamber the first round of the new magazine. It’s not a huge deal to me, and if you look on Instagram you can see a whole bunch of tier-zero dudes running the drill faster than I can spill my coffee.

The magazines themselves are another great part of the design. Seated properly in the rifle, they feel almost like a solid piece of the receiver; you can hold the gun by the mag and shake it violently with no concern for failures of any kind. The WASR 10 now comes with polymer magazines, nothing wrong with that, but I do prefer the old steel stamped ones that I used to be able to buy for $7.00 each back in the 90s. Continue Reading Here…

WASR-10 Pros And Cons

  • Reliability – Unbeatable reliability with zero malfunctions.
  • Compatibility – Aftermarket accessories fit without issue.
  • Fun – I mean, c’mon, it’s an AK.
  • Maneuverable – Lightweight and easily manipulated.
  • Inaccurate – Not a particularly accurate platform.
  • No bolt lock-back – This in my view is a design failure.
  • Wood finish- Roll the dice, see what you get.
  • Controls- Could use some modernization.

Either way, you probably ought to get a bunch of ammo if you purchase one of these rifles, as they are just too fun to shoot. For the most part, I run the lacquered steel case ammo through my rifle. Some say it’s not optimal, but…you do you.

Ammunition Selection

Both the 122-grain FMJ and the 122 hollow point ammunition I fired through the gun functioned flawlessly. And the accuracy of both loads was very comparable. The platform isn’t known for its accuracy, so I wasn’t surprised to see groups averaging in the 2-3 MOA. I am quite confident I could shoot it much better with a good scope adequately mounted. But I would be surprised if it shot much better than 2 MOA. Additionally I  shot some American Eagle 124-grain FMJ ammunition with great results.

After another afternoon of shooting, I was just as happy as ever with this rifle. It is comfortable and a joy to shoot; its lightweight and easy handling make it a walk in the park. You can definitely feel the Soviet roots from this rifle. This is not a Gucci AR.

Close-up of the WASR-10. But it still feels like a fantastic shooting tool, despite not having many of the newer style controls we have become so used to. Some nostalgia perhaps influences my feelings for the gun. The slow cyclic motion of the bolt feels like something from an old ’80s action film.

Happily, I happened to have a thread adaptor from 14X1 LH to a standard ⅝-24 which allows the use of muzzle devices with a more common thread pitch. That made it possible to install my Yankee Hill Machine R9 suppressor and a Lantac Dragon muzzle brake. Both worked great on the rifle using that adaptor.

Without an adjustable gas system, the AK family can be slightly finicky with suppressors. But this configuration worked out pretty well.

Conclusion

The AK design is a very hard one to beat, and the WASR 10 variant seems like a perfectly useful version of the venerable design. Its reliable, and fairly inexpensive compared to some other options. And it still brings that famous AK-47 looks with it as well.  Get yourself a WASR 10, its an AK for the streets.

-CBM