The Soviet-designed AK-47 remains the most ubiquitous firearm in world history. It hasn't just been Soviet Army soldiers and insurgents around the world who have come to appreciate the rugged reliability of the AK platform; the Kalashnikov rifle has found favor with many civilian shooters who appreciate its ease of use, simple maintenance and consistency.
While perhaps not as accurate as the AR platform, the AK-47 in its various civilian friendly semi-automatic configurations remains popular today as a home defense and range firearm.
The only problem is that due to an import ban, it is now difficult to obtain a true Russian-made AK-47 from the Kalashnikov Concern. While Kalashnikov USA offers the Russian-designed, American-made models that won favor with shooters, the company faces increased competition from Century Arms, which has also produced its own line of AK-based firearms.
"This is an exciting launch for Century Arms," said Adam Ruonala, national marketing director at Century Arms, in a press release. "For many years we have been the leader in AK sales in the U.S., we have taken that experience as well as the feedback from our millions of customers around the world and developed a rifle that we are confident will deliver in even the toughest of circumstances!"
The Century Arms BFT47 is an American-made firearm positioned as the company's new flagship rifle. It pays respect to the foundation of the original design while offering features expected by contemporary shooters. The civilian-friendly semi-automatic rifle was designed with the purpose of being a reliable, durable, and accurate AK at a price point the "blue collar" American can afford.
It features a Bulged and Forged 4140 steel front trunnion, a carburized 4140 steel bolt, 1.5 mm heat treated stamped 4130 steel receiver, manganese phosphate finish, and 16-inch 1:10 chrome-moly 4150 steel barrel. The BFT47 was further designed to operate under stress with nearly all commercially available ammo on the market.
The first of the new BFT47 rifles to hit to market will be the "Core" version, and it will feature American hardwood furniture and come in at an MSRP of $829.99.
According to Century Arms, additional models will be available in a higher price point line known as the "Essential" – while a high end version that will include optics and other accessories will arrive on the market as the "Enhanced." Yet, regardless of the model, all of the BFT47 rifles will be still backed by Century Arms' limited lifetime warranty.
The BFT rifles are now available at select retailers across the country.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.
Image: Century Arms.