Initial impressions of the KR-103 SFS by Kalashnikov USA are very promising for a production line, American made AK. First off, the rifle is a clone of the Russian AK-103 and, given all considerable factors, it does a very good job of this. The only small missing feature I could find was the push button style dust cover retainer featured on Russian rifles. It is an impressive looking clone made in the US.
Let’s dive into the quality up close.
Finish is a black matte paint, with a few spots of running paint on the receiver and rear sight base. The running paint is an insignificant detail, however, we are addressing initial impressions. Furthermore, the perfect finish for this clone would have been with intlmilco.com's Russian paint formula.
Rivets all look properly done with the correct head form in all rivet locations including the cam rivet. The stock mechanism is easy to depress and locks up tight in both the open & folded position. The bolt carrier actuation feels as expected; it does not hang up on the factory hammer. The KR-103 trigger has a straighter profile than typical AK triggers and was surprisingly great out the box. Trigger pull measured at ~ 4lbs (Wheeler gauge). The trigger can easily be upgraded, typically I run an ALG AKT (after reprofiling the hammer face with a Dremel), but in this case I'll continue to run the stock trigger to see how it performs. Other FCG offerings include the KUSA AK 2.0 ELITE TRIGGER ($190) made by CMC triggers, which I have yet to try. The dust cover is the proper thickness and installs / removes off the rifle easily.
According to KUSA, the trunnion and carrier are both forged on these rifles, while the bolt is machined. All these components have decent looking machining. The KR-103 has a chrome-lined cold hammer forged barrel, a desirable feature for longevity and not common in many American made AKs. The magazine included with the rifle is a POS Korean mag, but it comes with a voucher to receive the KUSA 103 mag at a later date. I look forward to receiving & assessing the 103 mag.
We fired 300 rounds through the rifle on the initial outing, using a variety of 7.62x39mm ammunition brands, and everything worked as expected with absolutely zero signs of premature wear on critical components. The only internal flaw I could find was that the bullet guide has a very small amount of play and is riveted loosely into the trunnion. However, I don’t expect this to be an issue. Longevity will be the ultimate question as is with any American made AK, but initial impressions are promising and hopefully indicative of a better future in USA AK rifles.
The KR-103 was purchased by BRD with no influence or monetary compensation from KUSA. We love shooting AKs (and ARs, any firearm really) and wanted to do a write-up on it.
Multiple threads have appeared over the past few months on Reddit & gun forums regarding QC issues at KUSA. It's always disheartening to see such glaring issues on rifles that should have never been shipped out to a customer. Ultimately, we would love to see companies like PSA and KUSA thrive, but they quickly lose all credibility within the community when such obvious QC problems are ignored. And this is where companies like Meridian Defense, Krebs, Sellrain AK, Definitive Arms and a few others separate themselves from the rest in the American AK market; every firearm they make is customized and no details are overlooked. They take pride in their work.
AK Operators Union video on the KR-103
Mishaco's Review on the KUSA KR-103SF
- Liberty Nexus / Assistant Janitor