AK Operators Union: Rob Ski Century RAS-47 Follow-Up

Back in February, I wrote an article about Rob Ski’s unboxing video on the Century Arms RAS-47 stamped American-made AK rifle, as an example of the excellent unboxing videos Rob has been producing for the AK Operators Union. Of course, Rob intended to do more than just field-strip the Century rifle, and late last week he posted his review of the RAS-47 as it endured the AKOU “Kalashnikov test”:

The RAS-47 works OK at first, but eventually it succumbs to testing and fails under harsher conditions. What was most odd about the testing was that the rifle began to fail during a simple concrete drop test. When not dropped, the rifle seemed to work just fine, but after being dropped it would not function properly. The reason for this failure is unclear.

This is a good example of how just because something is an AK, does not mean it will be supremely reliable. Sound design is no substitute for quality; any rifle will fail to perform well if not made properly.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • Vhyrus

    “Century Arms RAS-47 stamped American-made AK rifle”

  • Tim U

    Saw this and was disappointed. At least Century got the C39s right. Looking forward to DDI AKs and PSA’s AK

    • FWIW

      Did they though? I hadn’t seen the v2 undergo a AKOU torture test yet, although maybe I missed it. I also think Rob mentioned some of the components are not standard AKM spec, which is disappointing. But yeah, I’m also very much looking forward to the PSA AK as well, if they would ever release the dang thing!! I just hope they can keep the price reasonable.

      • Tim U

        The V2? Not yet. But they beat up a V1 and it pulled through.

    • All the Raindrops

      I look forward to reaching into my safe and picking up one of my 4 saigas.

  • DGR

    Or you know….. just don’t drop your rifle……

    • iksnilol

      If your rifle can’t survive a drop test then you messed up majorly IMO.

  • Cal S.

    But it has ‘AK’ in the name, it’s IMPOSSIBLE for it to fail!!!

  • BrandonAKsALot

    I saw one of these in person for the time last weekend and they are ugly as hell. I don’t know what it is, but they just look off. It’s the most soulless AK I’ve ever seen. I would not buy one of these as almost every piece of steel on them besides the receiver is cast. This includes the carrier. Sure, the Russians cast many parts of the AK eventually, but there are certain parts that were always machined from raw steel because they needed to be strong. Typical Century operation: Keep costs down no matter what to offer a cheap product people will be willing to gamble on.

    • Raoul Duke

      They have to keep costs down because the AK has the stigma of being a “cheap Commie piece of crap”. Because of that stigma and because AK’s in the Third World are cheap everyone then thinks the AK must come at a cheap price too. Of course no one takes into account the high cost of living, high labor costs inherent in American society, the exchange rate of currencies , and supply/demand.

      To have a 100% American AK meet and/or surpass the overseas arsenal standards with excellent quality control you would be paying several G’s which no one in the U.S. wants to pay an AK for.

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    There should be boilerplate templates in Word for gun bloggers. “In our tests, the Century ___________ didn’t hold up as well as…..”

  • Vitsaus

    I don’t see how this is a surprise to anyone. Century might as well change their slogan to “Go on, roll the dice.” If the whole point of the AK is this legendary reliability, what the AK guys hang their hats on, then the most basic requirement to be a passable AK is dropping, dirt, shooting a ton of rounds, etc… Once again Century proves that a cheap price comes with a price.

  • JoeB

    I’m not an AK expert (nor a Century fanboy or hater) but it seems like a big puff of sand comes out of the bottom of the magazine after the first FTF following the initial drop test? Wouldn’t any gun stand a good chance of failing like that if it wasn’t cleaned after having that much sand dumped into it?

    • Squirreltakular

      That’s what I thought. Seems like they did the drop test immediately after the sand test without cleaning it.

      • JoeB

        My point exactly – In fact, you can see a puff of sand come out of the gun as soon as it hits the concrete and more come out when the mag is removed. My guess is that the sand clogged the extractor and caused the FTE. I sincerely doubt that any AK or AR wouldn’t run into some sort of issue under these circumstances

    • USMC03Vet

      It’s a youtube test, so…..

  • Lance

    Just because one AK filed some harsh abuse test doesn’t mean its junk. I know a freind who has a AK-74 by century shoots just fine. I think your all are nit picking too much.

    • janklow

      well, i think this is specifically about the RAS-47

  • Vitsaus

    Actually that was interesting.

  • iksnilol

    Isn’t that the AK they had at SHOT show some years ago? The one that could be split into two parts for easy carry in a backpack? The takedown AK?

    Or am I thinking of the wrong company here?

    • ostiariusalpha

      That was US Palm. The Palmetto State Armory gun is unrelated. Palm this, Palmetto that; it’s not hard to confuse them.

  • Pakalolo commando

    Hell, we already watched Lone Survivor and we know AR rulezz!! Can be dropped from a mountain, and not even the optics are scratched.

  • JoeB

    I’m not sure these tests are 100% similar – For instanace, unless I missed it, I didn’t seem them drop about 1/2 pound of sand into the action and then try to fire the gun without cleaning, followed by dropping the uncleaned gun, with sand still in the gun on concrete, and attempt to fire it

  • Max Glazer

    The ONLY places outside IzhMash to date that got AK production more or less spot-on are Bulgaria and East Germany. By that I mean they got the manufacturing quality to match the original that shoots just as reliably.