My first AK was a WASR10-63 in 2005 because it was dirt cheap and a gritty little rifle with a lot of character. While I liked it quite a bit (trigger slap and all) what I really wanted was something that as a teenager I had always been fascinated by...an AKS74. Just a few months after getting familiar with the WASR I decided to take the Arsenal plunge and bought the SLR105A1R from a local store. 5.45x39 really worked for me. I was smitten by the caliber and the SLR105 itself. It seemed that anything the WASR could do the SLR could do too, but better...especially as the range increased.
The following summer I sold the WASR, jumped head into 5.45x39 and never looked back. In retrospect I should have kept that dirty ol WASR, but such is life. The new owner was very happy with it.
A year or so later I had the SLR105 converted to a side folder and realized that I was probably always going to be a folding stock guy. This preference for side folders has been a constant for me and no matter what kind of AK I buy I eventually have to have a folder put on it.
During the period of 2006-2009 I was lucky to add a variety of rifles including my Saiga12 project which took over a year and a half to finish. I've converted a number of 7.62 Saigas for friends and owned a few myself, but I seem to only keep non 5.45 guns for a time and then send them on down the road. The shotguns are here to stay however, and eventually I added one of the Vepr12s as well.
In 2009 my dream come true collector guns arrived...the SGL31s in 5.45x39 manufactured directly in Izhmash Russia. Finally able to own a true AK74M pattern rifle. The bug hit pretty hard after that and I was fortunate to be able to add a few more SLR104s and SGL31s as well as a Tiger and several Veprs. I have been really happy in particular with the SLR104s. It's nice to be able to buy them in folding stock configuration in 2016, which we could not do back in the day.
Nov 2016 Black Rifles pic.
For chest rigs I start with the warbelt concept as
the base of my rig and then add either an SVD chest
rig or an AK74 rig as necessary. My warbelt is an LBE
with two HSGI
Taco mag pouches, a SMERSH butt pack and an SRVV
medical pouch along with dump pouch and two old Army
canteens. IO reload the 74 from the tacos and then
refill as necessary, or reload directly from the UW
chest rig. It's not as fast as the Tacos but works
UW rig with ANA
Digiflora Tacos. 5 total mags in
this configuration as well as +2 pistol mags, or as I
have shown here, a multitool and a G2 light. This
would give 7 or 9 total AK mags with the LBE depending
on using both slots in the double taco pouches
2160 per 5.45x39 crate (1080 per green tin) and
880 per 7.62x54R crate (440 per green tin)
7N1 in the bottom two crates
The collection in summer 2009.
Saiga 7.62 and SLR107UR have been sold since then
Bulgarian SLR107UR before the barrel chop and with the converted 7.62 Saiga