A Century Worth Checking Out: the Modern C39 AK Pistol

Century’s run afoul of a good many shooters out there who were lured in by their incredibly low prices on remanufactured AK-platform rifles.  They became synonymous with canted sights and other annoying bugs associated with fast builds and… intermittent quality-control.  Their worst scandal was with their Polish Tantals.

A sexy beast to begin with, they had no problems selling multiple runs of the 5.45x39mm rifles, but whole batches had a serious problem: keyholing.  The cause was thought to be improper rifling, or incorrect barrel boring (5.56 NATO); there are many theories.  Century managed to contain the issue and address the bad rifles only after attempting to convince their customers that the bullets were supposed to tumble wildly out of control.

Still, this didn’t completely destroy people’s desires to purchase Century rifles.  Because, man, they’re just soooo cheeaap.  Who cares if you get a bad one, send it back until you get a good one!  But a funny thing happened circa 2010.  Not only was there a huge drop in complaints (canted sights show up at times, maybe it’s back-stock) but their guns started, well, pleasing people.  Greatly, as is the case with this Century C93.

Then they started making their own rifle, the C39 Sporter. Made entirely in the U.S., this carbine with its milled receiver and fancy polymer furniture, improved sights and Tapco 2-stage trigger.  Its accuracy and quality, not its price, ($8-900) set it apart from other AKs, and Century started washing off their bad rep.

And they’re back with another: the C39 Pistol.  Also made in the U.S.A, it’s more-or-less a cut-down C39 Sporter (C for Centurion) without a stock.  It’s got the same milled receiver and ergonomic grip, the same trigger and wide, adjustable rear sight, the same forearm, and a surprisingly elegant front sight block.  The A2-style flash hider we could take it or leave it, but all-in-all, well-played, Century.

They’re certainly going to cost more than Century’s Dracos, which can be had for well under $400.  All that said, if Century pulls this off, they’re going to look a whole lot better, and more so than most, they need all the good press they can get.  Plus, we can’t wait to see pictures of these once people start tricking them out…

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