For someone looking for a quality Kalashnikov rifle I highly recommend Marc Krebs of Krebs Custom, Inc. Nationally known for building superb M1911 IPSC pistols, Marc's work has done nothing but impress me. A graduate of Lassen College in northern California, he studied there under Master Gunsmith Bob Dunlap. Led by his interest in the design and function of military small arms, Marc produced a 9mm carbine while in school. Using only a barrel and a few screws he designed and fabricated a reliable carbine from scratch, even winding his own springs. From this first school project he has built an impressive career as a gunsmith.
Shortly after graduating in 1984, Marc began building and customizing the venerable M1911 .45 for carry and competition. His pistols became well known nationally due to the quality of his work. Also known for innovation, he developed the attractive yet functional "Snakeskin" front strap on M1911's. No less a company than Smith&Wesson has copied this on their own their own Custom Shop Performance pistols.
Yet while a noted and gifted pistolsmith, as of late Marc Krebs has returned to his original interest, military small arms. Venturing where few tread, he exhaustively studied and researched the designs of the famous Russian weapons designer Mikhail Kalashnikov. While studying the design of the AK series of assault rifles, Marc became duly impressed by its rugged simplicity and legendary reliability. However, like most, what he desired was an actual Russian AK, and not a foreign knockoff. With none available he set out to produce a rifle that met current Russian military specifications, yet would be legal to own in the United States.
Using Russian Saiga hunting rifles as the foundation he produces a model identical to the current Russian AK-103 7.62x39mm assault rifle. The Saiga is basically an AK100 series rifle with sporter modifications to start with. Marc makes the required alterations, using brand new parts that meet or exceed the quality of the Russian originals, to conform to the letter of American law. His rifles feature an exact copy of the current issue Russian muzzle brake CNC machined from 4130 bar stock, the correct cleaning rod brackets, the latest issue synthetic furniture with heat shields in the forearm, and a scope rail on the side of the receiver. His workmanship combined with the high quality of the Russian Izhmash Arsenal result in a Kalashnikov rifle without peer. After using two of his rifles extensively and training with them at the prestigious SIGARMS Academy, I came away very impressed with his product. Fit and finish is excellent, accuracy from the chrome lined hammer forged barrels is among the best I have ever seen from a member of the Kalashnikov family. Reliability through thousands of rounds of FMJ, SP, and HPBT ammunition was flawless despite the weapons never being cleaned and being exposed to sand and mud. I have been asked on a number of occasions what sets these rifles part from other Kalashnikov rifles on the market. It is a simple matter of quality and attention to details. As attractive as they are rugged, they allow the American collector and shooter a chance to finally own a high quality Russian AK built at the Izhmash Arsenal in Izhevsk, Russia.
In addition to the standard full length AK-103, Marc also produces a shorty version called the AK-103K. Featuring the quality of a full size rifle in a more compact package, it is a light, handy rifle in the hard hitting 7.62x39mm caliber. Easy to stow and carry, yet extremely controllable on rapid fire due to the superb muzzle brake, it as impressive little rifle. After having him build me a machined receiver gun, literally from the ground up to my specifications, I can say I'm quite impressed by the quality of his work. A true professional, I highly recommend Marc Krebs of Krebs Custom, Inc.