Both of these firearms are Kalashnikov style pistols available from Century Arms. The M85 PAP is imported from Serbia and the C39 is made in the USA.
After the original article was published we changed out the stock pistol grip for a new one from MagPul. The MagPul AK grip is hard plastic and has a small accessory or storage area inside of grip much just like their AR-15 grips.
I was a bit disappointed that the hardware shipped with the MagPul grip did not include a lock washer as most do and the screw seemed to be the cheapest version they could find.
The most notable change on the C39 was the addition of the DuraCoat Coyote Brown finish. The DuraCoat was applied using their new aerosol “can in can” technology.
One final addition was the new MagPul AK P-Mag. We have only been using them for a short time but thus far we are pleased.
As for the “Best of Both Worlds” review, the M85 PAP in 5.56mm continues to impress. Being true Americans we felt the need to make a few adjustments.
The addition of a new Ergo Grip AK pistol grip was a welcome change. This hand-filling extension improves the overall feel and control of the gun.
Though not necessary for function, a DuraCoat UZI Green finish was applied to the entire package. Again the DuraCoat aerosol can was used at our home shop.
While the M85 was completely stripped down for refinishing we took the opportunity to replace the stock trigger and hammer with a set from K-VAR.
The initial range session showed that the factory trigger was rough, a bit rougher than we would have liked. We coincidentally had a new-in-the-box K-VAR AK trigger set on hand.
Swapping out AK triggers requires only the appropriately sized punch and a bit of know how. YouTube is an excellent source for “How to Change an AK Trigger” tutorial videos. Believe it or now, they are not all terrible. We also took the time to install an AK Trigger/Hammer pin retaining plate to replace the factory spring. This feature is a nice aftermarket option that is simple to install.
There you have it folks, two excellent AK style pistols with some practical and cosmetic upgrades. If you want one get it before they are gone.
Paul G. Markel Copyright 2014