Gun Review: AKX-9 Review
Pistol caliber carbines are nothing new within the gun industry. Though, lately, it seems as if every firearms manufacturer has jumped on that band wagon in one form or another. However, reliable blueprinted pistol caliber AK rifles have long been the Moby Dick of the American gun industry.
Many gun enthusiasts have asked, even pleaded with someone to make it happen, but none would spend the money to get past the reliability issue. Sure, some people have made it happen in their home shop by taking various parts from different guns. But nobody has been able to build a reliable 9mm AK for production.
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All of that changed when Atlantic Firearms decided to financially back top AK maker Definitive Arms in the AKX-9 build. Finally, the elusive White Whale had been speared.
Rather than slapping a host of parts together from various sources, as had been done before, Definitive blueprinted a fully functional and totally reliable AK chambered in the popular 9mm cartridge. Did I mention that it was reliable? Yeah, I think I did. But what I'm talking about here is lobbing several hundred rounds down range, sometimes at alarming rates of fire, all while using some of the cheapest steel cased ammo I could find, without a single malfunction to report.
I bet that sounds too good to be true. Well, you get what you pay for, and this rifle ain't exactly cheap. But hey, if money isn't an issue and you just happen to be in the market for a reliable (not to mention very accurate) 9mm AK, you have no need to look any further. The MSRP starts at $1500 for the pistol version, but can cost more depending on the options you choose. The rifle I tested with the folding stock comes with 1 magazine and retails for about $1800.
Speaking of the options, you have the ability to choose which stock you would like and even have the capability to remove the 5 inch barrel extension, should you decide to SBR it down the road. When the extension is removed, it reveals a 1/2X28 threaded barrel, should you desire ultra quiet operation.
One thing that seems to be the butt of some jokes on the internet concerning the AKX-9, is the fact that this rifle uses Colt Stick style 32 round magazines. I get it. I was looking forward to having an authentic looking AK as well, complete with the curved mag that they usually come with.
However, by utilizing the Colt magazines, they increased reliability, reduced cost and even gave shooters what they really wanted: a last round bolt hold open feature not found on many other rifles of this type. Personally, I like being able to just drop my mag, insert a fresh one and send the bolt home rather than having to rack it again.
The overall build quality of this firearm is excellent, and all of the components and controls seem to work well together. Everything is perfectly placed for comfort and ease of use, from the bolt release to the mag release, nothing has to be reached for because they are all comfortably placed on the receiver.
The trigger is smooth without a lot of take up, enabling me to quickly send multiple rounds down range whenever needed. And, as far as accuracy is concerned, I was able to punch out the bulls eye at 30 and 50 yards on a consistent basis.
Of course, it should go without saying that felt recoil comes at a minimum due to the small stature of the projectile being fired, which also helps to aid in accuracy. But, hopefully it goes without saying that 9mm does get the job done, with ballistics similar to the larger self-defense bullets available. And, the fact that the projectile gets to travel through an 11.25” barrel complete with 1 in 10 twist, ensures that it reaches a higher velocity before it hits your target.
After my time at the range was over, I decided to take it all apart to clean. If you've never stripped an AK before, there will likely be a learning curve. However, the simple blow back design makes it easy to take apart and put back together.
The fact that the Definitive Arms AKX-9 is available with so many options makes it an awesome survival tool. As stated above, this firearm can be found as a pistol or a rifle, with fixed stocks, a folding stock or an adjustable stock. Actually, the side-folding stock is a great option to shorten it up from it's overall length of 33.5” to put in a back pack. This way, you get quick access to a shorter rifle that can also have the stability of being placed in your shoulder whenever needed.
And when you take the fact that the 9mm is one of the most abundant cartridges available, the deal is sweetened even more. Bottom line, if you can afford one (and find one), buy it because it is a great gun. Yes, there are plenty of cheap alternatives. But, I can personally attest to the reliability and tack-driving accuracy of this firearm, even with the cheapest steel cased ammo I could run through it.