First, Some AK-47 History…
Mikhail Kalishnikov’s original AK-47 design called for a stamped-steel receiver, where a flat piece of metal is stamped, cut, folded and welded to manufacture the receiver. The advantages to a stamped receiver include cheaper, easier, and faster manufacturing.
However, due to production issues, the design was altered to use a milled receiver instead. Here, a solid block of steel is machined to form the receiver. This resolved the problems with the manufacturing of the receiver, but also increased production time, cost and overall weight.
Eventually production problems with the stamped-receiver AKs were resolved, and the AK-47 became the AKM. (The “M” stands for “Modernized,” while the “AK” stands for “Avtomat Kalashnikov,” or Kalashnikov’s automatic rifle.)
The AKM was first adopted for use in 1959 and largely replaced the AK-47 in the Soviet Union and its satellite states. The overall dimensions remained the same. The dust cover on the AKM is thinner and lighter than on the AK-47, so designers added ribs to increase rigidity.
Milled- receiver AKs are easy to identify, mostly by the rectangular lightening cuts on either side of the receiver that are meant to reduce weight. Some folks view the milled-receiver guns as superior becasue of their heavier and stronger construction, as well as the greater attention to detail in the milling process.
Conversely, stamped-receiver AKs are lighter, cheaper, and quicker to produce. In practice, there are no functional differences between these receivers.
Enter the AK Pistol
Like other facets of the gun world, the debate between stamped- and milled-receiver AKs has been raging for years. Every shooter has a preference.
Well, Century Arms has made life a little easier for all of us by offering both. While RAS47 Pistol has a stamped receiver, the C39v2 Pistol has a milled receiver. Both are very similar in every other respect.
They’re both 100-percent American-made, and they both feature 10.6-inch barrels, AK-style sights, Magpul MOE grips and forends as well as Century’s RAK-1 enhanced trigger groups and side-mounted scope rails. They are both compatible with pistol stabilizing braces and come with 30-round magazines.
However, the C39v2 Pistol’s thicker receiver is fitted with QD sling attachment points on both sides. The C39v2 Pistol is also slightly more expensive-$880 versus $750-due to the receiver differences.
Which pistol is right for you? It all depends on what you prefer. In the end, both are sure to provide years of good service, and Century Arms offers complete rifles with milled and stamped receivers as well.
Here’s a video of us with the C39v2 Pistol out on the range: