Century Arms has expanded its line of AK pistols with the new C39v2 Blade pistol, so-named because it combines the C39v2 with a Shockwave Blade stabilizing brace.
The Shockwave Blade brace boasts a high-strength glass-reinforced polymer construction. It mounts to the C39v2 pistol using a buffer tube mounting adapter. The adapter, made by Century, mounts directly to the rear of the receiver. It’ll be available as a separate accessory in the second quarter of 2018.
“The addition of the Shockwave Blade offers a very handy and accurate pistol with the reliability and durability you would expect from an AK,” Jason Karvois, Century’s Director of Sales, said in a press release.
Chambered in 7.62x39mm, the C39v2 Blade features a 10.6-inch chrome moly 4150 nitride-treated barrel. The barrel has a 1:10 twist and is threaded for attachments. In addition, this model includes a milled receiver; Century’s RAK-1 enhanced trigger group; T-shaped mag catch; ambidextrous QD attachment points for attaching a sling; Magpul’s MOE AK pistol grip and handguard; and standard AKM sights. Furthermore, the pistol has an overall length of 28.75 inches collapsed and 31.25 inches extended.
“The C39v2 Blade Pistol is the perfect combination for a truck gun, the modern prepper, or anyone looking for a compact package that delivers power and reliability,” the presser says.
Century Arms C39v2 Blade Torture Test
Most of us have drunk the Kool-Aid. The prevailing wisdom holds that the AK is an indestructible tire iron, while the AR is a finicky sewing machine. Many online chairborne commandos claims that the M4 is an expensive paperweight while simultaneously asserting that the AK could be abandoned in the core of the sun for a year with no ill effects. Reality is not quite so clear-cut.
I’ve been at this for decades, and I have indeed had lots of failures with AR rifles. I’ve broken a bolt carrier key, dislodged a front sight base and lit up the countryside after a case failed spectacularly and spilled fiery detritus out of the ejection port. However, I also once burned 10,000 rounds over the course of eight hours through a Battle Rifle Company BR4 Spartan rifle with but three easily cleared stovepipes. The modern M4 Carbine is a mature and reliable combat tool.
During that same time, believe it or not, I’ve also had a few AK stoppages. They’re seldom exciting and are typically easily rectified, but the Kalashnikov is not indestructible. Run the thing long enough without any love and it will eventually choke. Determining just how much abuse an AK will endure was the goal of today’s exercise.
Make no mistake: This was hardly science. The experimental parameters weren’t adequately controlled, the results weren’t peer-reviewed and the entire exercise wasn’t exposed to even the most rudimentary scientific rigor. I undertook this experiment because I was curious and because Nino and Linas at Athlon let me write about it.
Everything has a failure point. Subject a big rock to enough stress and it will become little rocks. What we wanted to do was get a feel for just how far you must push an AK before it will quit. Run the gun clean and lightly lubricated and it will go pretty much forever. Pack the entrails with Quikrete and it becomes a doorstop. I wanted to see specifically where the demarcation between those two extremes might fall.
Our research project involved taking a pristine Kalashnikov and cramming stuff inside it until it choked. Cleaning the thing afterward was an unimaginable chore. However, the results, though messy, were quite insightful. At the end of our little experiment, I had a greater appreciation for just how durable Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov’s classic Combloc chopper really was.
The Victim: Century Arms C39v2 Blade
Our experimental subject was a spanking-new Century Arms C39v2 Blade pistol equipped with a pistol stabilizing brace (PSB). Built around an essentially indestructible milled receiver with premium components, Magpul furniture and a Shockwave Blade brace, this compact, fire-breathing monster would’ve been unimaginable a generation ago. The Century C39v2 Blade represents the top of the AK heap from the country’s most prolific domestic producer of Kalashnikov weapons.
The C39v2 Blade transfers as an otherwise unremarkable pistol. In its raw handgun guise, the weapon is huge, heavy and awkward. You can run the gun on the end of a tail-mounted sling and bring some serious pain. However, to really maximize the gun’s utility requires a PSB.
The pistol stabilizing brace is the greatest human achievement since Thomas Crapper perfected the flush toilet (and that’s the guy’s real name—Google it). They come in dozens of different flavors these days, but they all first spawned from the fertile mind of Navy veteran Alex Bosco. Alex crafted that pioneering PSB to help a disabled veteran buddy run a gun one-handed. The BATF has been a bit bipolar when it comes to the legality of these things, but, in the final analysis, they appear to be here to stay.
The Shockwave Blade PSB affixes rigidly and securely to the back of the receiver of the C39v2. The brace component is held in place with a heavy-duty Allen screw that fits into a series of dimples in the brace extension tube. Set the brace to the length that best suits your anatomy, tighten it down snug, and it won’t budge. The result represents an unprecedented combination of firepower, portability and ruggedness all wrapped up in a controllable package. For defensive use in the home or truck, little hits harder.
Don’t Torture Test an AK at Home
Our exercise wasn’t particularly dangerous, but we did make a simply epic mess. I had a single overriding rule: I could do anything I wanted to the mechanics of the gun, but I took pains not to corrupt the bore. I had no interest in transforming my C39v2 Blade into a bomb.
I started by pouring a gallon of water through the receiver. This made a steamy mess when fired, but the gun did not seem to mind at all. So long as the bore is clear, I don’t think the AK really cares if it gets wet. I was incidentally awestruck by the fireball the gun produced when discharged at dusk.
Our next offending material was enriched bleached flour. Some of the world’s more pitiable locales sport a profuse powdery dust that seems to get into absolutely everything. It gets underneath your fingernails and into every bodily crevice. I haven’t worn the uniform in more than 20 years, yet I still find this pesky stuff in boxes of my old Army junk.
Flour seemed a handy substitute with the added benefit of becoming extra gummy when wet. I filled the receiver with flour, upended it to remove the excess, and then ran 10 rounds through the gun without a hitch. The big puff of white powder that belched out of the receiver was adequate to induce the giggles in my long-suffering photographer.
Next came sugar. This is a sort-of sand substitute. I realize sugar is not nearly as abrasive as sand. However, this is my gun and I didn’t want to literally destroy it in the name of science. We used the same protocol, filling the guts with sugar and then pouring out the excess. By now, the entrails of the weapon were liberally coated with ick. We then slapped a Magpul polymer magazine in place and proceeded to light up the countryside.
We obviously had kind of a kitchen vibe going, so next came a raw egg. This was frankly stupid. While we indeed had the basic ingredients to make a birthday cake, shooting a military weapon with an egg inside it makes an all but intractable mess.
I wasn’t really keen on firing the thing close to my face. I had no concerns about a catastrophic failure, but I didn’t want to get covered in raw eggs, either. The subsequent 10 rounds did quite effectively scramble the egg, but the obliterated thing didn’t induce a stoppage. Now it was time to amp everything up a notch.
If That Wasn’t Enough…
All responsible citizens know that you should brush your teeth after eating sweets for good dental hygiene. As such, our next offending material was toothpaste. We squirted about a quarter tube into the action, popped the top cover back on and went to town. By now, the guts of our accommodating Century AK included flour, sugar, a raw egg and a massive dollop of toothpaste. I could tell all that stuff was in there when I charged the gun, but the bolt still miraculously closed of its own accord.
We got three rounds downrange before the magazine dropped out. I suspect all the ancillary crud kept the magazine catch from seating properly. I fished the mag out of the weeds and replaced it. This time, we got two rounds downrange before the gun called it quits for good. I could’ve scooped the sticky bilge out of the action and tried again, but that would’ve defeated the purpose.
I had peanut butter standing by just in case. Peanut butter is a semi-fluid paste formed from dry roasted peanuts, sugar, and a few lesser ingredients. As anyone who has ever gotten a gobbet of this stuff stuck to the roof of his or her mouth can attest, peanut butter can be tenacious indeed. Thank the Lord I didn’t have to try to tease that stuff out of my gun later.
The AK is universally extolled as the most reliable autoloading firearm ever made. However, it turns out that you cannot stuff the guts of a Kalashnikov with the makings of a proper cake, follow it up with a quarter tube of toothpaste, and still expect the gun to render reliable service on the battlefield. Anyone planning on going to war inside a bakery alongside a dentist should take note.
The recovery from our bit of junk science was unspeakably horrible. Most of it took place in the shower. A handheld showerhead in pulse mode is a lifesaver.
Be forewarned that there is no right way to bathe an AK in the guest bathroom. Your bride will not be happy no matter how vigorously you tidy up afterward. Oily toothpaste is also almost supernaturally tenacious. It’s brown and ugly and clings to absolutely everything. Ask me how I know this.
It took a couple of hours using everything from Q-tips to a garden hose to get the last of our experimental material out of my Century C39v2 pistol. I detail-stripped the gun and removed anything I could get loose. There’s a sheet steel heat shield in the Magpul forearm that was already starting to turn orange. A quick wipe down and some Hurley’s Gold gun lubricant saved the day.
There was still quite a lot of toothpaste squirreled within the hammer spring and underneath the pistol grip. A lot of scrubbing with Hurley’s Gold and a toothbrush finally got the last scrap. I’ll give it a sniff next week and let you know if I got all the egg residue. Toothpaste is by nature abrasive. In retrospect, it is likely not the best material to use for gun cleaning chores.
So, what have we learned here today? While the AK rifle is certainly neither indestructible nor immortal, it will indeed run a long, long time in the face of some absolutely egregious abuse. Show the gun just a little love and some trivial lubrication, and it will still be rendering reliable service for your great-grandchildren’s children. However, you cannot mix a cake in the weapon and expect it to keep chugging along. Pack enough wet stuff inside a Kalashnikov and it will indeed eventually choke.
However, like the Energizer bunny, this rugged Century pistol just keeps going and going. The gun made it through the water, flour, sugar and egg and still launched five rounds downrange despite being filled to the gunwales with toothpaste. I bet old Mikhail Timofeyevich never imagined such stuff back in 1947. For more information, visit centuryarms.com.
Shipping out with one 30-round magazine and the Shockwave Blade, the C39v2 Blade has a suggested retail price of $949.99. See a rundown of features below. For more, go to centuryarms.com.
C39v2 Blade Features
- 100% American made
- Barrel 1:10 twist, concentric LH 14×1 metric thread, and ready for a variety of muzzle attachments
- Chrome moly 4150 nitride treated barrel
- Milled 4140 ordnance quality steel receiver
- 1st AK side scope rail mount to offer a return to zero capability also offers four times clamping improvement over traditional side scope rail mounts and improves sight acquisition for follow-up shots
- RAK-1 Enhanced Trigger Group
- Larger T-shaped magazine catch
- Compatibility with AKM furniture
- Standard AKM sights
- Retaining plate
- Bolt hold-open notch on the safety selector
- Front sight gas block and bird cage style flash hider
- Bolt carrier tail heat treated to ensure maximum performance and life
- Accepts all standard AK magazines
- Ambidextrous QD attachment points for attaching a tactical sling
- Comes with one 30 rd. magazine and Shockwave Blade
- MOE AK pistol grip and MOE AK handguard
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