The DAKM-4150 is a highly sought-after AK-pattern rifle from Definitive Arms of St. Petersburg, Florida. I had been hearing lots of buzz about this company and the magic it works on various firearms. Based on how well various forums talked about this company and its rifles, it seemed like a bunch of voodoo and witchcraft. With a price tag of $1,089, and given that these rifles are hard to find, I was willing to take the gamble.
With a little luck, I learned when Atlantic Firearms was putting these mythical rifles up for sale. Atlantic had an exclusive deal with Definitive Arms to bring these rifles to market, and it had been almost a year since the guns were last seen for sale. With much persistence—and despite the fact that the rifles sold out in about 12 minutes—I landed one.
When I received my DAKM-4150 from my local FFL holder, I was happy with what I saw. It was a plain-looking AK-47 with a black Parkerized-type finish and black polymer furniture. But it wasn’t until I looked under the dust cover that I fully appreciated this rifle. The action was buttery smooth from the first time I checked the chamber. But Definitive Arms went above and beyond to make this plain-looking AK run like a well-tuned sports car.
The DAKM-4150 was built using a genuine Polish military-surplus parts kit with an American-made, nitrided, 4150 chrome-moly-vanadium steel barrel—hence the “4150” in the rifle’s name. The rifle also sports an American-made Morrissey receiver.
Definitive Arms polished the chamber, extractor and rails for smooth carrier cycling. The magazine well opening was also beveled for faster reloads, and the company checked the rifle’s functioning with an assortment of standard AK magazines, Magpul magazines, U.S. Palm magazines and Circle 10 magazines.
Customizing The Beast
While the gun exuded quality right out of the box, I have a tendency to customize everything. So my first step was to contact the AK Operators Union (AKOU) and order a set of Zenit upper and lower handguards (models B30 and B31C). These rails were designed and made “from Russia with love.” I must admit, the lower handguard installation included a lot of profanity, some yelling and a couple of cuts—even my dogs went into another room. Then I made a follow-up phone call to Rob Ski at AKOU to get some advice on how to better install this beast. In the end, the “Russian method” worked best for the installation. I used a punch, a hammer and a lot of pent-up negative energy.
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Next, I contacted Justin at All American Armory in Bow, Washington, to work his magic on a different finish. Being a former ground-pounder, I never got over my fetish for OD green. But Justin suggested something different: a mix of OD green and burnt bronze Cerakote for everything but the rails. Those were done in a custom mix of graphite black with some metallic colors added in.
Then I had Justin add a few parts to the rifle, including a Magpul Zhukov-S side-folding stock, an XS Sight Systems front sight post, a Krebs Custom ambidextrous safety and aperture sight, and a Command Arms UPG-47 pistol grip. When he walked out of his armory with my rifle, I was amazed. It almost belongs on display, not with me at the range getting abused like Lt. Gen. Kalashnikov had intended it to be used. All American Armory did an outstanding job customizing my rifle.
I took the gun to the range with a couple of optics—a Primary Arms 1-6x24mm SFP scope with an ACSS reticle and my trusty Aimpoint PRO. To hold the optics, I added an RS Regulate mount to the scope-mounting rail on the left side of the receiver.
And let me just say that the DAKM-4150 was amazing at the range. The action was silky smooth, and the trigger was just right. This is because of all the attention to detail and fine-tuning Chase Sisgold and his staff at Defintive Arms put into their rifles before they leave the shop. You will not find the dreaded gritty action, a canted front sight or a 15-pound trigger with a mile and a half of travel before breaking. The trigger isn’t super crisp, either, but it’s nice enough for a weapon that was designed for combat, not precision shooting. Also, a variety of magazines fit nicely in the magazine well. I tried Hungarian, Polish, Magpul and two types of Yugoslavian magazines, and they all fit just fine without excess play.
The DAKM-4150 is a shining example that breaks the age-old stereotype that AK-47s are not accurate. I found this rifle to be plenty accurate, achieving groups slightly smaller than an inch at 100 yards from a benchrest. But even from unsupported standing and kneeling positions, I easily scored headshots on an IDPA-type silhouette at 100 yards. In rapid fire, I was more than capable of achieving good torso hits at 100 yards.
To measure the rifle’s accuracy, I cranked the Primary Arms scope to 6X magnification and used two types of ammo, measuring the best five-shot groups with each. This should give you a good idea of what this rifle is capable of. Five Golden Tiger 124-grain FMJs yielded a 0.97-inch group at 100 yards, and five TulAmmo 122-grain FMJs produced a 1.49-inch group at the same distance. I shot these strings a number of times and achieved similar results each time.
The rifle was light on recoil, so accurate follow-up shots were easy to accomplish. The XS front sight and Krebs rear sight made a difference when it came to using the iron sights. It was easy to track and shoot my targets with this combination. Adding the Aimpoint PRO to the RS Regulate mount only made the shooting even more enjoyable.
After such a great range trip, I spoke to Chase Sisgold, the owner of Definitive Arms, who explained that every rifle must go through his hands for final inspection before leaving the shop. He explained why the rifles ship in a plain configuration, and it was simple. He said he’s not into aesthetics and doesn’t care if they are “pretty.” His only concern is that they run like a well-oiled machine. He said, “If you can’t take one of my rifles out the door and into a gunfight, then it’s not leaving my shop.”
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His reasoning makes sense to me: Leave the aesthetics—like finish choices and furniture options—to the buyer to keep the starting price down. This gives buyers like me a chance to customize their rifles however they want. Otherwise, this rifle would cost several hundred dollars more. As Sisgold put it, “I want to build the highest-quality tools that I can for the lowest price that I can.”
Sisgold also hinted at some really cool AK-related accessories are in the works at Definitive Arms. “They are gonna be awesome,” he said. Given how nice the DAKM-4150 turned out, I have no doubt that these original Definitive Arms accessories will be of the highest quality. I got the impression that Sisgold is obsessed with perfection. He took quite a bit of time to explain the process of the build. However, given his background in fabrication, machining and metallurgy, he started to lose me, as he talked way above my pay grade. But this just shows that he really knows what he’s talking about. Sisgold is passionate about what he does, and his passion shines through in the products Definitive Arms brings to market. I’d say the company knocked this one out of the park, and I’m looking forward to what the company offers in the future.
If you’re looking for one of the nicest AKM-type rifles to customize to your liking, look no further than the DAKM-4150 from Definitive Arms. At $1,089, plus shipping and handling, it’s a hard deal to beat. Under the hood, you’re getting nearly the same type of attention as some of the more expensive kit builders that charge north of $2,000 for their rifles. With the enormous aftermarket support for the AK-pattern rifle, you should have no trouble finding parts that make you happy. After some customization on my rifle, I have a very accurate shooter that will last for many years, and I would not hesitate a moment before taking this rifle into battle.
Custom Definitive Arms DAKM-4150 Specs
|Barrel: 16 inches|
|OA Length: 36 inches|
|Weight: 7 pounds (empty)|
|Stock: Magpul Zhukov-S|
|Sights: XS front, Krebs Custom rear|
|Action: Piston-operated semi-auto|
Custom Definitive Arms DAKM-4150 Performance
|Golden Tiger 124 FMJ||2.365||0.97|
|TulAmmo 122 FMJ||2,396||1.49|
*Bullet weight measured in grains, velocity in fps by chronograph and accuracy in inches for best five-shot groups at 100 yards.
For more information, visit atlanticfirearms.com.