Century Arms C39v2, the American AK

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While I was at SHOT Show I stopped by the Century Arms booth and took a look at their new rifle. It’s been five years since Century Arms put their first 100% American made C39 rifle on the market and this year they’re coming out with the C39v2 which they call “the American AK.”

The AK-47 itself has a long history, having been officially accepted into service in 1949 as the end result of work by designer Mikhail Kalishnikov and lengthy military trials. Despite the passage of more than 60 years it remains one of the most commonly used rifles all around the world due to both its affordable pricing and its durability in harsh climates.

The C39v2 is a solid rifle with a good, balanced feel to it. Although I wasn’t able to get any trigger time with it on range day it was nice taking a look at it at the company’s booth. The fact that it’s entirely American made appeals to me quite a bit; it’s nice to see what’s traditionally been a foreign rifle made in the U.S.A., especially considering how popular the original model is.

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From Century Arms:

“We are excited to now offer the newest addition to the C39 line of rifles, the new C39v2, the American AK. It is 100% American made with no imported parts, built on a milled receiver machined from a solid 11 lb. block of 4140 ordnance steel. Enhancements include a T-shaped magazine catch, compatibility with AKM furniture, a bolt hold open safety, an enhanced dust cover and standard AK sights. The C39v2 is coated with black nitrite and uses a new enhanced trigger group. The C39v2 barrel has a concentric left hand 14×1 metric thread and is ready for a variety of muzzle attachments.”

Specs:

Caliber: 7.62x39mm

Barrel: 16.5″ with a 1:10 twist

Barrel thread: 14×1 LH

Overall: 37.25″

Weight: 8.2 lbs.

Receiver: Milled 4140 steel

Mag. Capacity: 30 rounds

Comes with: Two 30 round Magpul mags and a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty

Country of Mfr: USA

Product Code: R12245-N, R12245CA-N (CA Compliant)

MSRP not listed

Interestingly this comes at the same time the announcement was made during SHOT Show that the RWC Group (Russian Weapons Company) is setting up a new company that will be called Kalashnikov USA with the sole purpose of manufacturing AK-47s here in the states. Sanctions put in place in the summer of 2014 have stopped new Russian-made AK-47s from being sold in the states, and by forming a new company and opening a U.S. factory the RWC Group may be able to get those new AK-47s to American buyers after all. RWC is optimistic about their manufacturing chances and said they’re hoping to have new rifles in production by the second quarter of this year.



katie.ainsworth

Katie is an avid shooter, hunter, military journalist, and Southern girl. Firearms are her passion whether at the range or on a spot-and-stalk after a big buck. She’s a staff writer at The Firearm Blog and writes about guns, hunting, and the military for various publications both online and in print such as Outdoor Life, Handguns, and Shooting Illustrated. Shoot her a message at ainsworth.kat@usa.com


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  • Don Ward

    Judging by previous comments, I think the TFB readership has ceased to care about Century Arms or some pasty white guy holding one at SHOT Show. The readership wants Century Arms babes!

    • superflex

      But the pasty guy has tacticool scruff.

  • Plumbiphilious

    Did…did Century just put effort into building a gun…that may be good across the board?

    What magic is this? Or is this hopeful wishes that shall be dashed upon the rocks upon full production?

  • Dan

    Oh my I must hurry and make popcorn before the comments section heats up

  • it looks very magpulized, I wonder if they are using the new AK gear that magpul announced

    • Stompy

      Yes that’s the new magpul Zhukov folding stock and handguard.

      • iksnilol

        I am curious about the handguard since I can’t see the handguard retainer on it.

        • Squirreltakular

          According to Magpul, you have to remove the retainer in order to install the long handguard. Seems worth it to me.

          • iksnilol

            One less pressure point, that is a good thing! Now I am interested in the handguard, in spite of not liking “modern” stuff on my guns.

  • Steve Truffer

    Now, make a stamped version. The original c39 was a snowflake that, based on my brief handling, was a milled receiver sporting stamped furniture.
    Stamped receivers offer reduced cost and weight, and would make this a serious contender for a low-midrange AK.

    • Smackarooz

      They have, it’s the RAS-47 and it just came out with the C-39V2, it’s on sale at AtlanticFirearms, has a 4150 steel barrel compared to the 4140 steel barreled C-39V2

      • Steve Truffer

        My wallet, it grows thin.

  • Bill L.

    I like my father-in-law’s C39 a great deal. Purchased in mid-2014, it has the wood stock and forend. His has the chromed barrel. Apparently some did not. (I’m not sure that remains the case.) Regardless, a well-made rifle. It’s certainly as good as my Arsenal SLR-106F in terms of parts fit and even finish. It’s also the most accurate AK I’ve ever shot or seen in a video or magazine review. WPA HP loads will almost touch 5 of 5 shots at 50 yards using the iron sights. I’ve strongly encouraged my FIL to mount a red dot or low power optic to see just what this rifle is capable of but he’s of the opinion that the proven accuracy is more than adequate for defensive needs on his ~ 50 acres. I’m so impressed by the C39 that I plan to buy my own once the tax refund arrives. If it’s anything like my FIL’s rifle, the SLR-106 is going bye-bye as a SHTF companion.

    • Scott P

      I would not get rid of the SLR-106 over a Century rifle. One of the dumbest decisions you could ever do.

      • Bill L

        Who said anything about getting rid of it? I said it may no longer be my go-to rifle if people decide to get uncivilized. I’ve shot them side by side and the Arsenal is not superior in any way. Have you? Or are you judging by what you’ve read online?

        • Scott P

          Only someone who does not know anything about AK’s would claim that they are the “same”.

          Here is some schooling for you at least for your intended SHTF purposes.

          Century uses button-rifled barrels with bare steel. American AK barrels use a high concentration of iron, a weak, brittle type of metal to begin with meaning for a SHTF rifle a bad idea since the barrel will fail much faster than the established factory barrel. This is from those who shot the snot out of them who routinely had the barrels fail at 5000 rounds using Century’s barrels. Do you trust that for SHTF when correct, factory barrels go well beyond that? The Arsenal’s hammer forged chrome lined barrel is not only stronger and uses better quality steel but the chrome-lining will also allow a wider array for ammo to be used, rust resistant, less wear on the extractor/extractor spring, and much easier/faster to clean when in a SHTF scenario time is a precious resource you can’t afford to waste.

          Not only that 5.56 is a more prevalent round in this country and since the Arsenal uses a 1/7 twist it can shoot any ammo you happen to stumble upon. It can also be adapted to use AR mags with an adaptor so now you can use, again, the most prevalent magazine in the country.

          Why do I have to own one to be able make judgement? That is the biggest cop-out. The evidence is out there on a wide spectrum even going beyond AK’s that Century builds crappy rifles.That is like saying I have to experience the crappy product to make judgement when others have already tested/the evidence is overwhelming so why be a glutton for punishment to satisfy you? That is also like saying I have to own a ProMag (which I have if that satisfies you) to make judgement that they make the worst mags in the world so bad I would rather buy magazines made in those caves by the Khyber Pass in Pakistan.

          You can defend your purchase all you want but just because they are both AK’s it does mean they are the same.

          • Buckeye33

            I love my C39v2. Look up James Yeager’s C39 1000 round torture test, and you’ll find that Century has stepped up their game. Even if you don’t agree you have to give credit to Century for having the balls to put their rife to the test. I have yet to see a similar test with an Arsenal, and I don’t want to hear any crap about them having already proved themselves.

        • Scott P

          I would also like to add Arsenal builds rifles for war, Century builds them for the range. So which company do you think would be the better product for a SHTF situation? Someone who has been building rifles for the Bulgarian military since 1960 seeing combat all around the world up to the present day OR a company that not only has a track record of putting out substandard products that are outright dangerous to the point of them blowing up in people’s faces but when Century themselves only expect you to ever use them on a range? That does not sound very SHTF to me to trust the latter company for that purpose.

  • Matt Shermer

    So wait, does this mean that the Magpul Zukhov stocks are compatible with ALL milled AKs or just Century’s milled AKs?

  • Martin Grønsdal

    But when you design your ‘own’ AK47, why not also fix the obvious flaws, like the safety that is too difficult to engage without moving the hand away from the grip?

    • iksnilol

      A good deal of people like the safety. Just because you don’t know how to how to use it doesn’t make it a bad design. Though I agree that the Yugo and Bulgarian(?) safety with the notch and side protrusion is better.

      • Martin Grønsdal

        Don’t know how to use it? It is too far away from your fingers to operate. It’s not your mp5 safety, in terms of ergometrics, is it?

        • iksnilol

          It is not rocket surgery, okay? I am not a high-speed-low-drag operator or something and even I know this. What you do is you simply snag on the “shelf” that extends to the side with your trigger finger.

          Krebs makes some, those should be available to people in the US. Otherwise they are found on Yugo AKs and some others.

          Then you push it either up or down. Using the left hand you use your thumb instead of trigger finger.

          Lets go over it again:
          -snag “shelf” with trigger finger (or thumb if left-handed).
          -move safety up or down

          two steps, simple as that. Sometimes I feel like people are just looking for excuses to complain.

          • Martin Grønsdal

            The problem is that I have small hands, and can’t do it with my trigger finger. However, I can manipulate the mp5 safety without any problem.

            As you point out there are aftermarket kits to improve the existing safety, and if there is marked to improve something, it’s not perfect.

            You know, it is like the old rottefella, the newer ones are stronger and easier to use, but the old ones are OK too. This firm made a new ak47, why not make the few improvements with the new gun??

          • iksnilol

            The majority of people don’t have small hands, ergo things are more likely to be designed with that in mind. Especially older things. Bad luck of the draw I guess. I didn’t say it was perfect, but perfectly workable/OK and not such a big deal as people try to make out of it.

          • Martin Grønsdal

            look, you are trying hard.

            Mp5, g3, fals and other old weapons are not problematic for small handed users. Do you think that average female soldiers should have troubles operating a weapon? this is not about the “hand” I was dealt, but logics.

            I think it would be better of century arms to fix this flaw, you don’t. I think you should have the right to think that, and CA to produce what they want.

  • kingghidorah

    I had a Century Arms shirt just like the guy in the picture. The buttons fell off and it shrunk in the dryer. Just kidding. My 4 or so Century guns have been jems.

    • Did Century build them, or just import them?

  • superflex

    But will it blow up in my hand when I shoot it?
    That’s the question Century owners should be asking themselves.

    • Scott P

      +1

      It just might based on their track record. Never heard of imported rifles blowing up but then again they build them the correct way the first time using the correct materials.

  • petru sova

    I bet a dollar to a donut the gun is made with junk MIM cast parts as if you think you are getting mill spec parts form Century if it is made in American your living in a fantasy world. Original Chinese mill spec Poly Tech guns had double heat treated hammers and sears just to show you the difference in a well built AK and a junk model AK.

  • Josh

    It’s funny how people forget certain things. Yes century has had problems in the past. Doesn’t mean they can’t revamp and make good products. By some of your logic Glocks suck because when they first came out there was problems. Get over it move on.

  • CavScout

    No one should care about the Kalash Concern that’s coming to the US. Not allowed to even speak to the real Russian company, let alone buy their machines when they tool up.

    Name only.