All-American AKs on the Horizon from DDI

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Destructive Devices Industries has been teasing friends and fans for months with photos of their all-American AKs in the works. Destructive Devices Industries — DDI for sort — currently makes AKs, but these will be a little different. These rifles will be built on military-grade or better components including U.S.-made hammer-forged bolts, bolt carriers, and trunnions.

These first guns will be built on stamped receivers but DDI has plans to transition to milled hammer-forged receivers in the future. The company plans to launch with three models this September, one with a fixed stock and two side-folders. Buyers will have the choice of standard or triangle folding stocks.

DDI isn’t the first company that can claim to make American-made AK-pattern firearms. But it’s common practice for some of these builders to make guns using military surplus components and other mix-and-match parts — even DDI has used imported parts for some of their firearms. Like a lot of practices, some companies are better at this than others.

ddi american aks

Cooled hammer-forged bolt carriers on the way to being machined and MPI tested. (Photo: DDI/Facebook)

Another practice floating around the AK world is the use of cast components. Metal casting and metal-injection molding are used a fair bit in firearms manufacturing but not so much with AKs. If it’s done right it can be problem-free but a lot of people have reported issues with AK-pattern guns built using cast parts.

The use of surplus parts, parts kits and cast components in AK construction doubles as a cost-cutting measure. Like any other cost-cutting solutions, they run the risk of running into problems down the line. While there are plenty of people with budget AKs that have never had any trouble with their guns, it’s not hard to find examples of these guns failing, hard.

The use of used or surplus components and cast parts has become customary in AK manufacturing in order to compete with foreign manufacturers. Russia, in particular, was able to export Saiga-branded AKs to the U.S. where they sold for a fraction of the price a domestic manufacturer could compete with.

Thanks to recent sanctions against the Russian arms industry these inexpensive yet well-made guns have become scarce in the U.S. American AK prices are creeping up so there’s still pressure to deliver low-cost options to the AK market, even as many buyers have sworn off these cheaper options.

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DDI’s gearing up to build AKs that look just as good on the inside as they look on the outside. (Photo: DDI/Facebook)

See Also: 100-Percent American Made AKs: Meet the RAS-47

DDI is doing something different by starting with premium components. In addition to being hammer-forged these parts will undergo magnetic particle testing to check for flaws or deformities in the parts. The 4150 steel barrels are made by Green Mountain, a very well-respected barrel manufacturer.

The barrels will sport a nitride finish and the guns will be treated with KG Gun Kote Protective Finish. DDI’s fixed stock AKs are expected to have an $999 MSRP. The models with folding stocks will run $100 more, but real-world prices are expected to be less across the board.

DDI’s goal is lofty — to create the best-made AKs in the world — but not out of reach. By combining American engineering, materials, and quality control DDI is hoping to set a new standard in the AK world.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • John August 13, 2016, 8:54 am

    Acquire your tools, learn to use them well,have plenty of food for them, keep your mind clear, your eyes and ears open. We are approaching critical mass. Think about your what if factor and have a strong prayer in your heart. God Bless America.

    • ejharb September 19, 2016, 4:22 pm

      Train the mind make the body fit.keep your loved ones close.last but not least rely on God’s providence

  • Erick August 12, 2016, 2:55 pm

    I dislike comparing the AR-15 to the AK-47….in a way, I think they are apples to oranges when looking at each design approach. The AR is clearly more accurate, but that was one of it’s primary intentions when design began. With the AK, more thought went into making it rugged, durable, low-maintenance and less prone to breakdowns in combat – after all, in communist USSR, many things were hard to come by, including weapon parts.
    That’s the trade-off between an AR and AK. Yes, an AR is more accurate/precise, but even very good brands of AR’s need to be maintained to at least a moderate degree or they start to malfunction; versus an AK (good AK’s, not cheap knock-offs), these things can be thrown in the mud, snow, etc. and operate consistently, but, you wont be hitting targets consistently at 200+ yards (or with good groupings).
    I believe the AK was designed with higher tolerances, which allows the gun to function well even if it’s very dirty. The AR is built with lower tolerances (more precise, tight-fitting parts), so grit and grime really hurt the functions, BUT, it’s very accurate/precise.
    It’s a matter of choosing the correct rifle for the correct situation. Combat situations where you have access to clean your rifle (and spare parts), as in having a base camp with supplies, then the AR is perfect. A combat situation where you have limited to no-access to this (behind enemy lines, guerrilla warfare, etc.), then an AK is good. But there are more factors as well….do you need precise firing at longer distances (AR) or do you need that bigger round for more firepower and penetration (AK)?
    Personally, I like BOTH rifles!

    • Robert August 13, 2016, 6:41 am

      The AR was simply a design of a light weight small caliber rifle that would put out a large volume of fire due to being a small light round. The times back then were of the threat of the communists from eastern Europe and the soviets invading Europe. There was the need to be able to slow down huge numbers of enemy forces. The AK is a weapon designed for the assault. Each soldier being able to keep heavy fire while advancing……AR’s are not that good at being one hit and down. It takes several hits to bring a target down. The 5.45×39 round is just an answer to the 5.56 round….But with a bullet that should be called inhumane…..Causes terrible wounds…….Defense is the main concern and the 5.56 is not that good of a round for this. 6.8 ammunition is used in special operations…..It’s a problem to think about…..A bullet big enough to put down a target with one hit, yet be light enough to carry a large amount of rounds…….the 5.45…….Is one……..

  • Ralph August 12, 2016, 11:58 am

    Nice, but it won’t matter should Hillary get elected in November.

    • Ed August 12, 2016, 1:08 pm

      My thoughts exactly!

  • JHR August 12, 2016, 11:44 am

    Seems everyone wants to build an “American AK” and I think that’s great, but no one is addressing accuracy issues. What difference does it make where it is made if an engineer doesn’t scratch his head and think “how can I make this a more accurate rifle?”
    I once owned a Saiga that was worked over by Roberson Arms that would consistently shoot one inch groups, scoped, at 100 yards using Sellior and Beloit brass cased ammo. It became trading fodder, which I still regret, but that’s another story.
    I’m not a ballistics expert but I don’t believe the 7.62×39 round is inherently inaccurate but the rifle firing it can be.
    I have a hard time buying the mantra of “2-3 inches at 100 yards is the best you can hope for.”
    If spray and pray is what one is after you can spend half the money and buy a (insert cheap import here, I won’t bash any company) but I like to think most shooters want reasonable precision and I hope DDI takes that into consideration in their builds. If not it will just be another AK clone that fades into obsecutity.

    • JOHN R. KLUGE August 12, 2016, 12:20 pm


    • KBSacto August 12, 2016, 12:25 pm

      I have a Romanian WASR 10 that I picked up several years ago. I removed the wood furniture and put on a synthetic aftermarket adjustable stock, forend, etc. just to make it look better. With open sights, I get 5 inch groups at 100 yards consistently with the $5.50 TulAmmo I buy at Walmart.

    • Jacob Kalmbach August 12, 2016, 12:41 pm

      Watch Travis Haley on aks.

    • m August 12, 2016, 9:31 pm

      2-3 MOA is perfectly acceptable for a so-called assault rifle. We’re not sniping with the damn things. Get off the bench rest and start training with your rifles. Run around and fight with them – that’s what they’re for.

    • Coffeesnob73. August 12, 2016, 9:51 pm

      I love all these 1″ moa paper shooters that dog the ak for inaccurate . When if they used it or the ar15 for what theyou were designed for they be lucky to hit the broad side of a barn without shi@&ing their pants in a real firefight. Rob Ski at ak opunion and nutemfancey and Mac don’t seem to have a problem with them. All former millarty by the way.

  • Tommy Barrios August 12, 2016, 11:42 am

    Still regretting I sold my AKS 🙁
    Sweet gun and deadly accurate 😉

  • Hulon August 12, 2016, 10:57 am

    Due to the recent State Supreme Court ruling that ammunition for the AK is now illegal because it is “armor piercing” , will the new AK’s be chambered for 7.62 NATO instead of the 7.62X39 AK ammo??? If it will be impossible to get ammunition for it there will be no reason to buy them.

    • Z August 12, 2016, 11:47 am×39-ammunition
      ATF’s determination applies only to the Russian-made 7N6 ammunition analyzed, not to all 5.45×39 ammunition. Ammunition of that caliber using projectiles without a steel core would have to be independently examined to determine their importability.

      Steel core ammo is considered armor piercing. The same can not be said of hollow point, soft point, or FMJ. If you visit any ammunition retailer you can find Wolf and Tula. Obviously your assertion that 7.62×39 is somehow banned is incorrect.

  • Dave Williams August 12, 2016, 10:40 am

    Will the Gun Kote be over parkerizing, or over bare metal? A rattle can finish is a rattle can finish, unless it’s over a real finish for an additional layer of protection,

    • lonesome Wolf August 12, 2016, 11:19 am

      Only the Armor Piercing ammo is armor piercing, the rest isn’t. Just like the 308, 30-06 and other armor piercing ammo.

  • Wake_Up_America August 12, 2016, 10:40 am

    I will stick with my proven AR’s. AK’s are known to not be too too accurate among other things, but hey, if you want to blow your $$, well go for it boss b.

    • Chris August 12, 2016, 11:10 am

      Who says you can only have one or the other?

    • Capt. Planet August 12, 2016, 11:23 am

      I will agree that i lean towards my AR’s when I want a DMR. However for durability, reliability, and long jevity it is damn hard to beat an AK unless you’re using a piston AR like an LWRC for example. On top of that anyone who says AK’s aren’t very accurate obviously are not well informed. When I go to my range we use clay pigeons at various distances for targets. I can easily hit clays out to 250 yards with my AK with simple aimpoint pro/ or iron sights. If you can’t at least do that then the error lies with you.

      • Tommy Barrios August 12, 2016, 12:20 pm

        “On top of that anyone who says AK’s aren’t very accurate obviously are not well informed.”
        Damn skippy Capt!
        I am sick of hearing from DOLTS and IDIOTS that think they “know” firearms but are actually dumber than a box of rocks!
        My son at 17 with no previous firearms experience was hitting 12 inch steel out at 250 yards with my AKS using open sights!
        Don’t even try to tell me the AK is not accurate, try telling that everyone who shot was with one at 200 yards and greater!

  • GaryGary August 12, 2016, 9:49 am

    Hmmm more over priced AK’s flooding the market. Yet AR prices are in the basement so I’ll pass on these high $$$ AK’s . For years the AR has been Americas rifle of choice and now with prices under $600. the pricing has been reversed. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out indeed . Just my 2 cents.

  • Asian guy August 12, 2016, 6:02 am

    Com’on, an American make AK is not a AK just like a China made type 56 was just a clone. In fact, the only real AK is the raw steel made with wooden furniture in its original shape, please don’t stick a M4 stock or a picatinny rail to make them looks modern 🙁

    • m August 12, 2016, 7:52 am

      Legitimate AK variants are made in many countries, so why not here in the US? Should we be forced to call the US-made rifles something else… or attache the word “clone” to every marketing pitch? DDI is producing AK’s… quality AK’s for a fair price. Get used to it.

      • RAW Customs August 12, 2016, 11:12 am

        DDI IS calling their AK-47 CLONE something else, it is called the RAS-47. As I would not consider a $999 MSRP fair for the AK clone market, and as to other countries making AK-47 clones, they do so for cheap and reliable firearms just as we make a ton of Colt AR-15 clones here in the US for the same reason. No one will ever get used to a $1000 AK-47 CLONE, ever!

        • Z August 12, 2016, 12:03 pm

          The RAS-47 is a product of Century Arms. I own two AK rifles, a C39-V2 and an Arsenal. Both rifles have mills receivers. The American made C39-V2 produces approximately two inch groups at 100 yards. The Arsenal produces three to four inch groups. The barrel twist rate is 1:10 on the C39-V2 and 1:9.44 on the Arsenal. The Arsenal may do better with a heavier bullet, I haven’t tried it yet. Both guns cost around one thousand dollars. I’d be happy to trade in the Arsenal for an American made DDI.
          I think your generalization that nobody will get used to 1000$ AK clones is spurious at best. If American manufacturers keep making more accurate and equally reliable AK’s, they’ll easily acquire a share of the market. Who can say, perhaps American made will become the new standard.

      • lonesome Wolf August 12, 2016, 11:23 am

        Will the magazines interchange with those from other countries?

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