Monday, April 25, 2016

Century Arms C39V2 Magpul ZHUKOV AK-47 Rifle Review

Century Arms C39V2 Magpul ZHUKOV AK-47 Rifle Review

I reviewed the first Century Arms American made C39 Centurion rifle when first introduced and I loved it. That first C39 has been the base for many upgrades and reviews and along the way has been a perfectly reliable AK47. That first “V1” C39 was well made, however it still did not "look" like a high-end pretty AK47. Century Arms remedied that with their newer V2 models which offered the look, fit, feel and finish of a high-and AK47. That lineup has expanded to includes a number of models ranging from pistols, and traditional to the newest Magpul equipped versions.  Century Arms now is delivering their latest C39V2 model complete with top end Magpul Zhukov furniture. Like the C39 predecessors, the rifle delivers a 100% US made AK47 with all the nice little touches you would expect from a gentleman's AK47.

Most people think of the AK47 as a thug and warlord gun, however with the C39V2, I think Century has added a little class back into the AK along with really nice fit and finish. If you think of the original C39 as field grade then the C39v2 would be a Grade 1 gun with dressed up finish and furniture and features. The Magpul equipped version adds additional flexibility and utility.

At the heart of the C39V2, Century has carried over the 4140 ordnance grade steel receiver used on the C39 models but styled it subtly different with more rounded edges. The receiver is insanely strong and milled from an 11lb block of ordnance grade steel. Of note, the C39V2 does not feature the second lower stock tang. Century originally included the extra lower tang and short reinforced stock hole on the C39V1 originally to add overall strength to the design, however in doing so they also made it almost impossible to change stocks. The C39V2 now features the same tang and stock specs of a stamped receiver so pretty much any stamped receiver stock will fit on the C39V2 including the rather awesome adjustable folding Magpul ZHUKOV stock. A big thank you to Century for this.


The folding ZHUKOV stock delivers a more easily stowable rifle but still allows for quick deployable. The comfort of the ZHUKOV stock is excellent and if needed extending the pull for taller folks all while still maintaining the AK feel. My tall long armed FFL dealer immediately noted that it was the first AK-47 which he felt comfortable behind. It is important to note that Magpul did not design the ZHUKOV stock to mimic the AR platform. Instead the ergonomics still retain the original feel of the AK without attempting to make the AK into a AR.  The stock is also fully compatible with the optional Magpul cheek rest extensions. If you do add a red dot or scope the folding stock can accommodate the needed cheek rise with just a snap on Magpul cheek riser.


Up front, Century included the roomy ZHUKOV handguard which includes an integral aluminum chassis to disperse heat paired with a familiar Magpul handguard design ready for any M-LOK compatible accessory. The handguard mechanically clamps on to the barrel for absolute rigidity.  For those that want to add optics, the UltiMAK Mount compatible which delivers a co-witness height red dot mounting rail.

The C39V2 not only has a chrome lined barrel, but has been nitride treated as well for significantly improved corrosion resistance. The nitriding also delivers the look of a higher end barrel finish. Other new features are the T-paddle extended magazine release, two included Magpul AK Mags, bolt hold open safety, enhanced dust cover, and lightened bolt carrier assembly for improved performance. Century is also now including their new "enhanced trigger" which is the closest thing to a match trigger for AK47 on the market. The trigger is worlds better than the triggers typically found on AK's.


The remaining internals and sights on the rifle remain unchanged. The removable Century chevron compensator remains as do the standard adjustable AK front sight pin and rear sight are fully windage and elevation adjustable up to 800 yards.


ACCURACY
When it comes to high end ammo, Hornady has a pretty nice selection. Like the C39, my best groups were from the Hornady Zombie Max ammo which is very close to Hornady’s top grade 7.62x39 steel cased ammo.  With the regular $6 a box Herters/Tula/Wolf ammo I saw around 4” groups at 100 yards off the rest with iron sights. However with the Hornady rounds my best group was in the 2” range at 100 yards. My original AK, now has a variable 2-7 scout rifle scope and can easily dip into the 1-1.25” range at 100-yards with decent ammo.

Although Century Arms includes a 30-round Magpul AK PMAG, I also tried out some of Magpul’s newest Gen 3 AK PMAGs ($26.95), MagLink Coupler ($17.95), and AK PMAG Ranger Plates ($19.95) with the new Magpul C39V2 setup.  The new Magpul Gen 3 AK PMAGs have added a stainless steel rear locking lug and reinforced front lug and spine for increased durability over the Gen 2 version. 

Like all Magpul products this newer generation mag are just a bit more durable than they were before based on Magpul’s testing and research, but I found that they performed and handled identically to the Gen 2 versions. Magpul now also offering Ranger Plates for the AK PMAGS which do give the shooter a bit more control during magazine changes. The MagLink is the only AK accessory I question a bit simply due to the weight of 60-rounds. This accessory works, but I think most people will find the weight to feel a bit awkward and heavy on an already front heavy gun.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Just as Century International Arms did with the C39 and later the C39V2 with very nice wood furniture, on this version they delivered an extremely well made 100% US AK-47 Magpul Zhukov equipped model. Century has added a lot of really nice little touches on this AK actually make you think of refined quality firearm versus tactical thug. People will hate the comparison, however I will say it anyway - it feels like a well made AR15 instead of a sheet metal gun. Consider that the 7.62x39 has just a bit more umph than the time proven 30-30 whitetail and hog round and you can easily consider slipping in a 5-round magazine for hunting.

Where the first C39V2 wooden stocked version was a beauty to behold, the Magpul furniture does deliver more comfort and adjustability all with the stoable convenience of a folding stock that delivers more comfort for taller folks. I am loving the concept of having plenty of extra room up front even after a tactical light is added.  Looks like Century Arms definitely has another top seller on its hands.

SPECS
- Product ID: RI2361-N
- Red Army Standard C39v2 Semi-Auto Rifle w/ Magpul Zhukov-S Furniture, Cal. 7.62x39mm
- 100% American made
- Barrel 1:10 twist, concentric LH 14x1 metric thread and ready for a variety of muzzle attachments
- Chrome moly 4150 nitride treated barrel
- Milled 4140 ordnance quality steel receiver
- RAK-1 Enhanced Trigger Group
- Larger T shaped magazine catch
- Compatibility with AKM furniture
- Standard AKM sights
- Bolt hold-open notch on the safety selector
- Proprietary Chevron muzzle brake
- Bolt carrier tail heat treated to ensure maximum performance and life
- Accepts all standard AK mags.
- Comes with one 30 rd. mag., Zhukov-S stock, MOE AK pistol grip and Zhukov handguard
- Barrel: 16.5" with a 1:10 twist, Overall: 26" folded, 35.5" collapsed, 38" extended
- Weight: 8.65 lbs.
- Street Price:  $899
SOURCES
Century Arms - www.centuryarms.com

Magpul - www.magpul.com

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