Review: Century Arms Centurion 39 (AK 47 Clone)

By Blaise Uriarte

The Basics:

AK-47 style rifles have been made by a multitude of different nations in the last 60 or so years, and it is only recently that the good ol’ US of A has entered into this market. The century Arms Centurion is one of the newest iterations of Kalashnikov’s rifle to hit the market. This rifle is 100% made in America. It maintains the classic look and feel of the AK-47 rifle with a few nice additions, and of course the American flag proudly displayed on the left side of the receiver.

The Centurion Model 39 is built on a milled receiver, and has a chrome lined bore. It features an attractive parkerized finish and grey laminated wood stock. Among the added features of this rifle are; a redesigned muzzle-break, extended mag release, ported gas tube, Tap-Co G2 trigger, and a rear sight adjustable for elevation and windage. Included in the box are two Tap-Co 30 round mags, which is a nice bonus. The angle of the butt-stock is slightly altered from the original Kalashnikov design. It is pitched slightly downwards with a longer length of pull. To the shooter, this allows you to align your sights without having to crane your neck and makes the rifle more comfortable to shoot and point more naturally.

The Ammo

This rifle fires the 7.62x39mm Russian cartridge. These round fires projectiles from 100 grains up to about 155 grains with velocities ranging from 1700 feet-per-second up to around 3000 feet-per-second, depending on bullet weight and load of course. The test Ammo was Wolf Brand “Military Classic” steel cased, steel core 124 grain FMJ rounds; and Wolf Black box 122 grain FMJ rounds. Wolf is not as clean burning as other ammo, but it is non-corrosive.. Wolf ammo is cheap in bulk, making both training and stocking up for a fight against the undead more affordable.

The Range Test

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Now, it is well advised that one clean a new firearm before firing it, otherwise you may have malfunctions or loose accuracy with the packing grease in the firearm. I took this rifle directly from my dealer to the range, and right out of the box it performed beautifully. No malfunctions of any kind were exhibited in the course of 200 rounds.

The trigger was very crisp for a stock rifle. With no modifications made to the gun, it was a relatively light and very clean trigger pull. The action was smooth, reloads are quick with the extended mag-release, and I really appreciated how the altered stock made the gun point. However I did not care for the factory installed pistol grip. It felt to thin and uncomfortable in my hand. The muzzle-break did very little to adjust recoil, but I never found these rifles to recoil much anyway

Accuracy was decent. It took me about the first magazine to figure where the sights were to be set at 25 yards. The rifle seemed to group to the left, and I saw about 8 inch + groups at 25 yards. This was from a standing position with rapid fire.

centurian3

All and all, for firing off-hand quite quickly a head shot is most definitely achievable. With the rear sight able to be adjusted with an Allen key, it is no problem too adjust the point of impact to the right or the left. Traditional AK designs require the front sight post to be drifted either right or left depending on where you want to adjust too.

I found shooting this rifle a pure pleasure. This is by no means a precision weapon, but one most suited for the job of self-defense.

The Pluses

This rifle is simple powerful, reliable and durable. This is a very utilitarian design, with some very functional additions. Reloads are positive and quick, and controlling it in rapid fire is easy. I find it to also have a very attractive yet durable finish and furniture. The alteration made to the angle of the stock is a small change, that adds up to a lot of difference. Ammo is cheap, and so are magazines and accessories. The milled receiver and chrome lined bore make this an exceptionally durable rifle. I would expect a very long life of service from this firearm.

The Minuses

Accuracy is not as good as it could be. I would say it is acceptable, but would prefer better groups. Perhaps with some sight adjustment and different shooting style better accuracy can be achieved, but in this test I would have liked to see better groups. The fore-stock is attractive, but under continuous fire the expansion from the heat makes it move around within its mounts. This will also negatively affect your point of impact. Plus you get the heat transferred to your hand. This is more or less a common occurrence with this platform. The design is slightly less apt for accessory attachment than AR platforms, and it also weighs more.

Conclusion

Overall this is a fine addition to any arsenal. It makes a good personal defense weapon, is powerful enough for game, and is accurate enough for plinking. This could be a very effective choice as a weapon against the undead, as long as one has the proper training and knowledge to go with it. AK style rifles require a little bit more effort on the part of the shooter than ARs in a “tactical” scenario; you have a little bit more to do. I would not hesitate to grab one of these if the undead came knocking. As always, stay vigilant and be prepared.

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