Century Int’l Arms, Inc., GP WASR-10
The Century Int’l Arms, Inc., GP WASR-10 is a semi-automatic-only rendition of the famous 7.62x39 mm AKM rifle configured with a fixed laminated stock and a laminated fore-end.
Manufactured in Rumania, the 7.62x39 mm GP WASR-10 is imported as a “single-stack” rifle that accepts single-column 10-round magazines. After arriving in the U.S., the rifles are disassembled, the magazine wells machined out to accept double-stack magazines, and the requisite number of U.S.-made parts are installed for BATFE compliance.
In the case of this particular variant, the U.S.-made parts are as follows: trigger, hammer, disconnector, compensator, gas piston and pistol grip. The trigger, hammer and disconnector are investment cast from 4140 steel for Century by Thompson Investment Castings, while the compensator and stainless steel gas piston are manufactured by a local firm. The synthetic pistol grip is manufactured by Century.
With the sunsetting of the so-called “assault-weapons ban” in September of 2004, semi-automatic rifles are now allowed to have features such as threaded muzzles, folding/collapsing stocks and bayonet lugs. Consequently, this particular GP WASR-10 features a threaded muzzle (with a removable, slant brake) and a bayonet lug. Currently the rifles are imported without these features, requiring Century to thread the muzzles and weld on and machine new bayonet lugs. The rifle came with a batch of accessories, including a canvas double magazine pouch, two 30-round magazines, a cleaning kit designed to fit in the buttstock storage compartment, and an early-style Model 59 bayonet.
Fit and finish clearly reflected the philosophy behind the design—utilitarian and nothing more. The magazine well was evenly cut with no sharp edges, and magazines locked easily into place. The barrel exhibited exterior tool marks, and parts such as the front and rear sight bases and the gas port block had rough shaping marks.The U.S.-made trigger and hammer appeared to be well-made. The compensator, although well-shaped, had very evident machining marks, and the bayonet lug was a bit oversized. Attaching and detaching the bayonet several times seemed to wear it in, with it easily locking into place and releasing after that.
As a side note, actual AKM rifles originally manufactured to accept double-stack magazines have “dimples” on both sides of the lower receiver above the magazine well. The GP WASR-10 rifles are manufactured as single-stacks and, therefore, are devoid of such dimples.
The GP WASR-10 does a good job of mimicking the appearance of a true AKM rifle and all its requisite updates from the original AK-47. Like the AKM rifle, it has a stamped receiver, ribbed top cover and a gas tube void of vent holes. The fixed stock was also reminiscent of an AKM as it was made from laminated wood, and the fore-end matched quite well. The lower fore-end, however, lacked the raised “swells” of the AKM.
Although the fit and finish of the rifle was a bit rough around the edges, it is important to remember that, as the saying goes, handsome is as handsome does.
Handling revealed a compact and handy rifle. Controls were easy to manipulate, but there was a bit of “stickiness” to the operation of the safety lever when in the “on” position. Removing the safety lever and giving it a slight tug outward seemed to solve the problem. As stated earlier, magazines were easily inserted and removed and locked up solidly. The trigger pull was surprisingly good, breaking cleanly at 7 1/4 lbs.
Firing the rifle produced almost monotonous reliability. The rifle simply would not malfunction. We did, however, notice an unpleasant tendency for the trigger to “slap” the shooter’s finger during firing.
For accuracy testing, we fitted a K-Var KV-04 scope mount (www.k-var.com on the side-mount scope rail. Unlike Soviet scopes and mounts, the K-Var unit centers the scope over the bore line—a welcome feature for our southpaw testers. Accuracy was on par with what is common for these rifles, printing average groups in the 3" range.
The GP WASR-10 was easy to shoot and handily sized, although several testers complained that the short length of pull was distracting. The slant brake seemed to be mostly an affectation, albeit a rather interesting one.
The GP WASR-10 represents an exceptional deal to those in the market for a short- to mid-range semi-automatic rifle that is both extremely reliable and highly affordable.