AKOU Completes 5,000 Round Test on Century RAS-47… Rifle is NOT Fine!

For the prospective civilian AK buyer, there’s nothing quite as helpful as the experience of others. Most reviews (including most of the ones I have done) cover the experiences the reviewer has over tens or hundreds of rounds, as higher round-count reviews are typically too expensive to conduct regularly, for most. Rob Ski of the AK Operator’s Union has, however, undertaken since the beginning of this year a series of 5,000 round reviews, the latest of which – a follow-up on the Century RAS-47 using a brand new rifle (see previous test here) – he has just completed:

The RAS-47 unfortunately did not do well in the test, as it became clear that the gun’s components were not hard enough, with many contact surfaces deforming over the test. Headspace also opened up to an unusual degree, as the rifle’s bolt closed on a No-Go gauge after the conclusion of the test. While a rifle should only be considered unsafe if it closes on a Field gauge, it is unusual for a rifle with only 5,000 rounds to close on a No-Go. This indicates that the RAS-47’s trunnion and/or bolt may be stretching too fast, which is not a good thing.

The entire RAS-47 review, including videos and excellent high-res photos taken at regular intervals, can be found here: PART 1 – 500 Rds, Part 2 – 1000 Rds, Part 3 – 1500 Rds, Part 4 – 2500 Rds, Part 5 – 3500 Rds, Part 6 – 5000 Rds.

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.


  • Bear The Grizzly

    If there is one thing I love, it’s watching people backup the sh@t they talk.

  • USMC03Vet

    Cast pot metal components.

    Century, you should be ashamed.

    • n0truscotsman

      They still haven’t learned a single thing after over a decade of known problems with their AKs. Maybe theyll finally get it right in the near future (of course, I said the same thing after the disastrous past with the infamous WASRs).

      Like I said before, and Ill say it again: if you are going to manufacture AKs, *the only thing you have to do is copy the damn Russian/Warsaw Pact design!* Thats it! No use in reinventing the wheel or trying to do your own thing unless you’re damn sure its measurably superior.

      This applies to components like magazines as well.

      • supergun

        People who keep buying this junk have the same mentality as those who keep voting for cuckoo liberals in office.

    • TheMaskedMan

      I owned a RAS-47. Until I went to the range with it. Couldn’t get the damn thing to cycle.

    • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Pretty sure they are without shame ?

    • SirOliverHumperdink

      Not pot metal. Pot metal is zinc where I come from. Trunion is an investment cast trunion, and it is magnetic. Probably same as I.O.

      • Kivaari

        The wrong steel used in molded parts is just as bad. Forging parts is a better technique, as long as the alloy is correct. Ruger uses lost wax cast parts, and they are usually quite durable, even though they are crude guns when you actually look closely. It isn’t just the gun makers that choose to cheapen their products. Now 30 years or so back I was talking with the factory representative about the brown discoloration found in Weaver scopes of the era. Weaver’s people had asked the sand supplier about hat could be done to make the scopes as bright as the cheap Japanese scopes. The sand supplier told them, it costs 5 cents more per pound to get a finer grade of glass. 5 cents per pound is actually a big price, that paid for itself by increased sales once they started using it. Sometimes all it takes is a self examination, and asking the right question.

  • Mike

    Think AKOU is full of SH@T more tacti cool AK who abuse there AKs more than Arab terrorist in Iraq did. Strange had a friend who had a SAR 1 for years no issue with it know people who had notorious WSARs no issue shot fine. Think you FOOLs who over pay a grand for a $300 AK WHINE TOO MUCH

    • Kelly Jackson

      Did you even read the article?

      This is about a very specific gun produced by Century Arms, a company with a long history of poor metallurgy going back to when they tried to build G3s by expoxying steel trunnions onto aluminum receivers.

      Absolutely nothing to do with WASRs or SAR1s produced by completely different

      • SirOliverHumperdink

        Wasn’t that Federal Ordnance with the goofy G3 aluminum receivers?

        • Kelly Jackson

          Actually it was Springfield the more I think about it because their replacement program was to give you a discount on one of their M14 clones.

          • SirOliverHumperdink

            Federal arms

          • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            That’s ok. Century has had a boat load of issues.

        • Dan

          Federal Arms had one. Super gun, just super. Nothing more fun that watching your friend pack a mallet to beat the charging handle back after every 40rounds because the bolt/case is stuck.

      • n0truscotsman

        The authentic Cugir Romanian AKs are awesome, and they command higher prices as a result.

    • Bear The Grizzly

      1. This rifle sells for $650
      2. He regularly recommends Wasr’s
      3. It’s common practice for militaries to conduct thousands of consecutive round tests to prove dependability.

      • Cmex

        Isn’t this a design meant 100% for civilians?

    • Renegade

      This is a troll. Down vote him and pay him no mind.

      • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        I was thinking that myself. Either that or he works for Century Hahaha Hahaha
        Oh wait, he probably does

    • n0truscotsman

      5,000 rounds is not abuse. LOL.

      I have a couple AKs, one of which with a new barrel pressed in, that have had tens of thousands through them. Variable numbers too, from easy range days to carbine courses with high round counts.

      Some of the true AKs I’ve seen (Russian, Polish, East German, Romanian) have probably had more rounds through them, and generally dont have functionality or headspace issues.

      And people called me ‘elitist” for buying arsenals or K-var AKs. Folks, they pay for themselves. I have a definitive arms as well that im eagerly awaiting to put some rounds through.

      • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Thanks for the advice. I started shooting again after a long hiatus. I was dead but I am better now. I have an AK or two on my list.

      • Any opinion on DDI’s AK’s?

        • n0truscotsman

          None yet. I dont have any experience with them. Ill keep my eyes peeled though.

    • Cmex

      Obvious troll is obvious.

  • Tyler McCommon

    I smell class action lawsuit abrewing.

    • Raven

      Doubtful. Nobody’s been harmed by the crappy metal quality (that we know of), and a class action for a product being garbage doesn’t have much of a chance.

      • Bear The Grizzly

        I was under the impression this was a FireClean reference, but I’m usually wrong.

      • Jwedel1231

        True. Most people who put 5000 rounds through an AK (or any gun for that matter) generally put down a lot of money.

  • john huscio

    Stick with wasrs

  • guest

    Good thing the year is not 1947, Stalin would have solved these kinds of quality issues… permanently.
    Also kinda brings to mind the quote by Lavrenty Pavlovich Beriya who was Stalin’s “fixer” for many problems, once he managed to solve a production problem by calling a chief of a research division and said ONLY the following, before hanging up: “C**ksucker, traitor, enemy of the state!” *click*

    • Cmex

      Nah, the Soviets could be pushy with military technology, but they didn’t take struggling designers out back and shoot them; they just got shoved in camps where they had literally nothing to do all day but design.

      • guest

        They were heavy-handed some times, but if someone had to receive a verbal/physical kick in the rear end and that was the reason why something got solved, then it was probably the right thing to do. Good leadership in demanding situations wher the results are critical often requite leadership that knows *exactly* what buttons to push or how to help/agitate/inspire people.

        • Kivaari

          Is that why one-third of his officers were shot right before WW2?

  • marine6680

    Did he check headspace before the test?

    It’s possible the headspace was not good from the start… Which just opens up a different can of worms than the one currently open.

    • John

      He has been checking headspace on an interval, and it was fine until the end

      • marine6680

        Then that tels the story… I wonder if the fault was in the reunion or bolt… Or a bit of both.

    • Kelly Jackson

      I was wondering that too, half the problem with Century guns is they weren’t built right at the factory

  • Andrew Dubya

    RIP in peace, Rob Ski. I sincerely hope he starts pulling the trigger on that thing with a string.

  • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I learned years ago about buying from Century. Not something I will repeat. My thanks to Rob for doing this.

    • twr

      I have a really good rifle from century (milled AK63D)… they can build a good rifle, and choose not too for the sake of turning buck (which makes it worse).

  • Kivaari

    Wow! I was looking at a Century Arms AK this afternoon. I knew I wouldn’t buy one, since I have had my fill of them. But I was admiring the much higher quality appearance over what they did 10+ years ago.

    • Shocked_and_Amazed✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      It appears it’s a fatally flawed piece that looks pretty. I shoot more than over the course of a few years
      Wore out the buffer spring on my last 2 ARs which didn’t take as long as you would think. No other problem

  • Kimjungill

    In soviet Russia AK will head space you.

    • Allan

      In Soviet Russia AK’s were made properly almost every single AK problem can be traced to “made in the USA ”

      • Kivaari

        That’s a real problem. The makers look for ways to make them inexpensively, but do so by making them cheap. I had actually been looking at a couple CAI rifles, as the exteriors looked good. Now, I will not consider them at all.

  • VF 1777

    Learned my lesson too many times with guns about buying once, crying once. Too much crap and marketing out there anymore. Learned from a friend’s experience about Century thankfully, and went Arsenal instead. The thing is awe some. A few hundred more and not a worry in the world. Had enough RMA’s to kill a large farm animal. I’m over it. If i want something, i’ll save up, research to hell and back and take my time buying at my time of choosing. i am very thankful for dudes like Ski and blogs like TFB who get us data we could never get on our own without spending the 401k.

  • Kivaari

    That is one of the best reviews I have seen or read. It’s wonderful that on the internet the ability to tell it like it is, is more likely to get told. Print media – gun magazines – rarely have this kind or straight forward commentary. The only AKs I used that much were Valmets and Galils. None of which showed these kinds of wear and tear.

    • Doom

      Gun Magazines and many youtube channels are almost all shills to varying degrees, I just watch them for the porn. Only Gun reviewers I really trust are Nutnfancy, and AKOU. Oh and TFB tv is ok too. I enjoy watching many others, but I dont trust them as implicitly as the other two. Sootch00 seems to be the most bought and paid for, but I still enjoy his videos, they are well put together.

  • Harrison Jones

    I think Century should send them a new rifle and 5k rounds of ammo. If the results are the same then we can assume this isn’t an anomaly.

  • Harrison Jones

    The test are difficult but physically beating the crap out of the rifle shouldn’t change the hardness of the metal.

  • MikeSmith13807

    Wrong. He abused a different rifle. He bought this one new and only shot it for this test. He even monitored the temperature to make sure he wasn’t abusing it by firing too fast.

  • dhdoyle

    There are way, way to many complaints across Century’s product line. Caveat emptor!

  • Andy Leach

    Breaking : Guy who wants Century to do poorly has bad luck with Century gun, Meanwhile thousands and thousands of other samples continue to fire MILLIONS of rounds without incident.
    I’m sure there’s NO bias here…..

    • iDreamOfWeenie

      For a guy who wants Century to fail, he sure recommends WASRs a lot.

      But hey, at least you tried!

    • Where did Rob ever say he wanted Century to do poorly? Or is that something you made up to rationalize the fact that the rifles haven’t done well in his tests?

    • Dracon1201

      Millions? Doubtful. He even states he wants this rifle to do well.

    • Doom

      >wants century to fail
      >enthusiastically recommends WASR rifles imported by Century
      >only complains about a gun that literally shot itself apart in 5000 rounds and was disintegrating long before the 5000 round mark

      k den.

  • YZAS

    I dont know if i can make any blanket statements about Century. I never owned a Raz or a Wasr…. but i did own an NPAP m92 once – and quite frankly, it sucked. Not sure if i just got a bad one. Everyone on the ‘tube seemed to rave about how great they were. Mine had a freakin misaligned trunion so was never gonna be right. Not to mention canted rear sights and it cycled rougher than a spoon in a garbage disposal. No way i was gonna invest all the coin it would have taken to sbr that puppy. I took my loss and got out. So guess you can add me to the ‘bad experience with Century’ list… But cant condemn them based on that alone, so who knows. I think it’s like Ski says, you’re taking your chances….

  • Benjamin Goldstein

    Shame you cant buy Chinese Norico forged receiver AK’s in the USA

    • Mi

      Thanks to Klinton and now his wife wants to come in to finish what he started.

      • thmsmgnm

        I get sick of the bullshit surrounding the Norinco/Chi-Com weapons ban, and the revisionism of the Norinco Nut Lickers. Norinco and others Chi-Com weapons makers got banned because the Chi-Com government thugs got caught trying to bring in full auto weapons and RPGs to sell them to gang members by the shipping container load back in the 1990s.

        • Doom

          I honestly could not care less what weapons gang bangers are using to kill one another with, I dont live in the ghetto and their lives are worth less than nothing to me. He never even said why Clinton banned them, just that he did. And the ban is ridiculous and should be repealed. Will you call people angry over the banning of Saiga/Izmash guns Izmash nut lickers?

    • dltaylor51

      I bought a Norinco AK back in 1988 with the stamped steel receiver and its still running like new with zero sign of wear at the receiver.Paid $259 for it with sling,bayonet and cleaning kit,even has some real nice looking blond wood on it.Nothing wrong with the old pre ban Norinco’s.

  • Mike Lashewitz

    Well I get it, after looking at the comments, Century is on the same level as Rock River.

    Plus weapons are not made to run 5000 rounds in quick succession as most will fail anyway, but damn!

    I am not sure how many thousands of rounds have been through my WASR10 but it is still functioning perfectly. Not bad for $220.00

    I want to build one of those lube free weapons…

    RF85 Parts – Product Categories – Anderson Rifles, The World’s Only NO LUBE AR-15

  • Bill

    I don’t quite get all this. People razz me all the time because I like ARs rather that AKs, but every time I turn around I read another import horror story. If your average AR was well on the way to self destructing after 5,000 rounds we’d never hear the end of it. What is the disconnect here?

    • CountryBoy

      Sorry, the disconnect broke too!

    • Core

      I wonder how many of these are sitting collecting dust, these used to be the only things you could get unless you wanted to drill your own. I always knew they were junk. The sad thing is people think they’re the real deal. I wanted to get a Kalashnikov USA but they haven’t released many of them yet. I’m going to save my pennies for when they do and slap Magpul all over it and call it a day.

    • Cmex

      Well, this isn’t most AK’s. This is frankly pretty bad. Now, if you go looking around for horror stories about any common gun, you’ll find them. Just remember that AK horror stories happen to civvies — AR horror stories happen to soldiers.

      • Bill


      • Mikial

        Really? So . . . you’re saying no soldiers/fighters carry AKs or ever had any problems with them? And I really didn’t see all that many “horror stories” with M4s or M16s in my years in Iraq. Can’t speak about ARs, since that’s not actually what the troops are issued.

    • Doom

      Probably has to do with being a PoS made in the US to subpar US standards to eek every spare penny out of a product while doing the bare minimum to make it, and then lying and saying their components are just as good as those made by European arsenals that have been cranking out the same guns with few large modifications for 70 or so years.

      • Bill

        All true. I’m just tired of seeing these boat anchors in stores and being told that a real man would own one of them instead of a Mattel blaster. Piles of these should be seen in media pictures of steamrollers crushing buybacks in some inner city rather than in glossy ads in the gunzines. Reminds me a bit of all the so-called M-1As that were floating around back in the 80s. Back then, real men shot M-14s-except that they weren’t stamped M-14, weren’t full auto, weren’t made in the USA, weren’t remotely milspec (they had a tendency to stretch during use) and weren’t even Parkerized. This is the same mentality that brought us Continental kits for the VW Beetle, hard rubber lifts for your wingtips, and that awful Ford sedan that was trimmed out to look like a Mercedes. I actually knew a guy who had all three, and the only one he was fooling was himself.

    • Kivaari

      The thing is these are NOT imports. We can’t import such guns. Now they are sold as 100% made in the USA. The Russians have to be laughing about our superior technology NOT being used to make a better product.

  • uisconfruzed

    Russian/3rd world quality

    I still won’t buy a sloppy, built by a file, sickle and hammer AK.

    • Cmex

      You’re thinking of abominations like Khyber Pass copies. State arsenals of European nations, yes, including Russia and Romania and other AK sources, work pretty damn hard at getting a good product. In this case, it’s a design cockup caused by design changes, probably to make a cheap AK to stick to the old Century selling point.

  • Mi

    The bottom line is that most stamped AK’s are junk. I was just watching some ISIS bloopers and one of those basturds had an AK receiver split in half while he was shooting it. I also saw a review online from a Vegas gun range who rents out numerous AK’s. I will not be investing any money into them.


    i remember when all the crap talk about AKs was aimed at the WASR10 models. I can say that every new AK that has come out over the years, both foriegn and all american have been heaps of crap. My WASR continues to kick ass without fail and has done so for the 5 years ive owned it.

  • Mikial

    I’m glad these sorts of tests get published. The AK craze has resulted in almost as many AK manufacturers and AR, and they’re not all building safe, reliable rifles. New buyers, and especially those who don’t have a lot of money to spend will get sucked in and end up sorely disappointed.

    I guess I also have to say that i have a WASR that worked great. It cycles, shoots well and hasn’t had a problem since I’ve owned it.

  • Doom

    There are guns in africa and the middle east with tens and tens of thousands of rounds of surplus ammo through them, I am pretty sure all russian ammo is made in steel cases. This gun fell apart because it was made with subpar components where the steel was WAAAAAYYY to soft, not only did the bolt head peen, so did the trunion, the bolt body, the gas piston,etc etc. the Front and rear sights also both cracked and broke and the sling loop smashed in from a few drops from like 1.3 meters high onto concrete. pretty pathetic.

  • sometrend

    I`ve looked at a few century offerings..the CTME is one of the biggest pieces of trash I think I`ve ever seen! They look like they were built by an 8th grade shop class. I thought I`d get one to toss in the truck but after seeing it…I wouldn`t even use it for a disposable

    • Kivaari

      When I still had a gun store ordered in a “G3” and the trigger housing had been cut free-hand and had a misplaced pin to hold it together. Like many guns, it was the last one I ever bought for the store. CAI has no shame, and no pride in making good gear. There is nothing hard about making the parts correctly. Having TAPCO USA on a part doesn’t make it good. The same issues existed with Olympic arms over 30 years ago. All of these companies CAN make good parts, but choose to not do so. It isn’t just a few companies. Look at the junk sold by Colt, S&W, Remington, Marlin, Winchester, NEF, H&R etc. All of these companies pump out junk. It’s as if no one cares. Like the Weatherby we received at the store decades ago. The rifle had no chamber in it, but it had a “test target” included that certified the accuracy. When we showed it to the factory representative he told us that the same .300 rifle is used to shoot stacks of 100 targets each, then fill in the serial number or each rifle. That saves a great deal of money. Instead of 300 rounds of each caliber, they can get by with 3 shots. There is quite a bit of fraud in the gun business, even by the big guys.
      Even though I mentioned this before, the Navy Arms Golden Boy 66 in .38 Special had no chamber, but it had all the proper Italian proof marks. All it takes is a little money across the palm to save even more money.
      One store I worked in during my college years had a pile of guns from an assortment of failed companies. You take your chances with start ups. Watching the big name companies turn to junk making is sad. But, it isn’t new. Look at the .22 rifles from the turn of the century to today. If you actually study the methods used, even the real collectable rifles are cheaply made. But when a days pay was $5 a $12 rifle was big money. The difference is those $12 rifles are for the most part till working. If the parts failed and they are out of production Gunsmith LeRoy Wisner (his son Jim) sells an excellent resource for the dimensions of the most common parts to break. His book is available from Brownell’s and last I saw they were making many of those parts now. I talked to LeRoy 40 years ago and he showed me the hand drawn diagrams that he thought would some day make a good guide of fellow gunsmiths. He was right.

  • Bill

    The reason people keep buying these is because they’ve swallowed the Kool-Aid in a single gulp. After all, didn’t Tony Stark build the first AK in a cave from a pile of scraps? I’ve even heard it’s the same location that the legendary proto human lived in who first demonstrated its ease of use and thereby coined the phrase “so easy a caveman can do it”. I’ve also been told that there are pictographs on the walls showing AK-wielding figures killing mammoths and saber tooth tigers simply by showing them their guns and frightening the poor animals to death!