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Thread: Norinco Hunter 7.62 x 39; To Convert or Not to Convert; Why Only a Fool Would Convert

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    Junior Member Hammerstrike44's Avatar

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    Norinco Hunter 7.62 x 39; To Convert or Not to Convert; Why Only a Fool Would Convert

    This question comes up a lot. Someone sees a Norinco Hunter Series I, II, or III, and immediatley thinks, "that looks a lot like the Saiga, Valmet, etc...name your own reference, I think I'll convert it to an AKM or Galil." Before I make anyone mad, I bought my first Norinco Hunter 7.62 x 39, Type II with just that in mind. I am now buying any and all Norinco Hunters variants I can get my hands on and paying anywhere from ($350) to ($700), depending on the variant and condition. First, the only thing this rifle has in common with any AKM (we are "trained" by the industry, media and our own misunderstanding to call any semi-auto AK type rifle, an AK-47, 74, when technically, unless it has a three position selector lever which actually works, it is an AKM) is the gas tube and piston/bolt assembly to eject the spend case and load another round while placing the pin in the bolt into a firing position. There the similarity ends. This rifle is not an AK-47 Hunter/Sporter as some call it. If you insist, it is an AKM Hunter chambered in the AKM 7.62 x 39 round.

    These are semantics and not all that important. I thought I should explain why I will use some terms. Now I am going to tell you why you should not covert this rifle to an AKM or Galil variant. As someone who has made a nice income off of reading trends in firearms, this rifle will be worth ($1500-$2000) within 5 years. 1) This rifle will NEVER, EVER be imported into the U.S. again......EVER. There is a ban on the importation of barrels and any rifle from the Chinese. Norinco was in business to sell AK clones of its military spec rifles and they were good rifles. Just take a look at what a good Polytech or Norinco AKM brings on the auction sites. This rifle was manufactured to get around the Ban in place at the time the majority of these firearms were imported. So this rifle will become rare....very rare. Some knowledgeable firearms owners still do not know what they are. Unless you are dealing with a friend, remember "caveat emptor" cuts both ways. I bought a new in the box, Norinco Hunter, Type II, with the famous "circle 386" stamp on the reciever, nice blond wood and finish, sling, oil can, and a ten round magazine, for ($460). I acted the reluctant buyer and the salesman at my local gun store threw in 2 30 round magazines. (These Hunters will take any AK magazine or drum) Still in the box! Which brings us to number 2) These rifles are accurate. I don't mean accurate for an AKM, I mean accurate as any semi-auto loader I have ever fired. When I bought my first one, I took it out to the farm to "run the gun". That means about 100 rounds of cheap Russian ammunition. First, I check to see if the front sight is canted. If not, I take the rifle 100 yards from the target and put it in a sighting vice and aim at the red zero for 100 yards. I fired three rounds. When I saw the target after my first three rounds, I loaded some good Federal 124 grain soft point ammunition in the rifle and fired another three rounds from the vice. My suspicions were confirmed. The first three rounds were right at the top of the red zero and were in 11/2 inch grouping. The second three rounds of good hunting grade ammunition, which my son uses in his deer rifle, were in 1/2 inch grouping about 1/2 inch higher. The Norico Hunter has a flip up rear reciever mounted slide on sight and when lying flat is a 100 yard open sight, and when flipped up is a 300 yard sight. I moved my target to 200 yards and using the 300 yard sight and the hunting grade ammunition, I got a nice 1" grouping. I bought a Chinese manufactured reciever slide rail and mounted an Nikon 4x16x40 scope on the rifle. (The same one used for the Remington R-15 and R-25 AR platform hunting rifles) Now this rifle has become my number 1 hog killer. I now own 7 of these rifles and counting. Finally number 3) This rifle has a milled reciever, great chromed barrel and good wooden furniture. It does not look like a "dogged out" AK, with rails and optics and lights and sirens. But I have always thought if I wanted my AKM to look like the AR-15, I should just shoot my AR-15. There is something vulgar about the AKM when "tacted out". I'll give two good examples of why you should not convert this rifle. When the GIs returned from the second world war, they brought the 98k Mauser and that great action home with them for hunting. They "sporterized" the most famous combat bolt action rifle in history, to make it practical for big game hunting in the U.S. Now these "sporterized" versions can be bought for less than ($200) and that is with the old Reidfield scopes still on them. The real 98k Wehrmacht Mauser, in good collector grade condition is worth up to 10 times that depending on the arsenal, year, markings, numbers, etc.... The second example is the Russian SKS. In 2004, you could buy them all day for ($200) or less. Same thing. Tapco accessories made these rifles "tactical" as advertized, and worthless to any collector today. Try and buy a Tula arsenal-ed, 1949-1954, mint condition, Russian SKS for that today. Take your ($200) and add another ($400) and you can buy one of mine. Some collectors get
    ($800) for the early 1949 "blond" artic birch SKS. I have several and would not sell them for that. Like the Norinco Hunter, they are never going to be imported again. Take the ($500) you are going to spend on a "good deal" when you see a Norinco Hunter, and instead, buy a Saiga, and either convert it yourself, or have someone like me, who has been doing the conversions since the rifle was being imported and there were no Tapco, ATI, Tromix, Vlator, or Krebs Custom parts. Then you have the real Kalishnikov AKM and that valuable Norinco Hunter will be left in a condition that makes its purchase a great investment.

    In the end, its your rifle and your money. I made a killing on cheap Century Arms Romanian WASR-10 "Sporting" rifles when I went out and bought 200 of them right before John McCain was defeated by Barak Obama. Yes, I was one of the hoarders. I also collect the Mauser, Russian SKSs, AKMs, ARs, and various hunting rifles and shotguns. So do what you want with the rifle. I'm just one voice. However, I have done my homework and advise anyone who asks "leave the rifle alone."

  2. #2
    I would bet you $10 that in 5 years the average selling price for one of these will not be $2000 . They are a pretty crappy variant and spending $700 on one today is seriously overpaying.

  3. #3
    Team GunsNet Bronze 07/2012 videodon's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by mriddick View Post
    I would bet you $10 that in 5 years the average selling price for one of these will not be $2000 . They are a pretty crappy variant and spending $700 on one today is seriously overpaying.
    +1
    видеодон

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    Junior Member Hammerstrike44's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by mriddick View Post
    I would bet you $10 that in 5 years the average selling price for one of these will not be $2000 . They are a pretty crappy variant and spending $700 on one today is seriously overpaying.
    Your money, your opinion. You're entitled to it. I have been able to make a good living off my read of trends. Remember the crappy WASR-10. Before Obama ($260), after Obama ($400) and almost everyone has one now. Somebody sold it to them. I have 1 left. It's not the 10/63 or 10/75s I sold. It was the canted, trigger slapping, cheap wood and loose magazined WASR-10 Romanian Sporter Rifle everyone incorrectly calls an AK-47. The ones I paid ($700) for are the Type I, with the bell shaped fore-grips. Try and find one for less than ($700). I know you can't because they discontinued that variant of the Type I almost immediately. IF and I mean IF you can find one with the bulging fore-grip, you are looking at a very rare Norinco Hunter Type I. Takes a little homework. Have you fired one? I don't like Chinese rifles, but I can't pass up a good investment. My money, my opinion. There endeth the lesson.

  5. #5
    Actually, it would have to be a stamped receiver AK chambered in 7.62x39 produced in the U.S.S.R. between 1959 and 1974 to be an "AKM".

    Kalashnikov homework fail.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerstrike44 View Post
    Your money, your opinion. You're entitled to it. I have been able to make a good living off my read of trends. Remember the crappy WASR-10. Before Obama ($260), after Obama ($400) and almost everyone has one now. Somebody sold it to them. I have 1 left. It's not the 10/63 or 10/75s I sold. It was the canted, trigger slapping, cheap wood and loose magazined WASR-10 Romanian Sporter Rifle everyone incorrectly calls an AK-47. The ones I paid ($700) for are the Type I, with the bell shaped fore-grips. Try and find one for less than ($700). I know you can't because they discontinued that variant of the Type I almost immediately. IF and I mean IF you can find one with the bulging fore-grip, you are looking at a very rare Norinco Hunter Type I. Takes a little homework. Have you fired one? I don't like Chinese rifles, but I can't pass up a good investment. My money, my opinion. There endeth the lesson.
    I've owned 11 of them. There are actually 7 variants of the model if I remember right.

  7. #7
    Would you please be no specific about the "Chinese manufactured reciever slide rail " you used for mounting a scope? How do you attach it to the rifle?

    Thanks for the information.
    Neal

  8. #8
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    FYI, this thread is over tow years old...dunno if you will get a response to your question.

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    Hello everyone. Yep, it's a dead thread but I'm debating what to do with my new in the box Norinco Hunter. I don't know what version it is or much about it.

    Any help or info would be great.

    Thanks!


  10. #10
    Guns Network Contributor 04/2013 El Laton Caliente's Avatar

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    I kicked around converting mine, but it is nice having a rifle that looks like an inconspicuous hunting rifle until you stick a 30 or 40 round mag into it. They also make great deer and pig rifles in the heavy woods around here...
    Last edited by El Laton Caliente; 02-06-2013 at 09:31 AM.

  11. #11
    Guns Network Contributor 04/2013 El Laton Caliente's Avatar

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    These have been the poor man's Valmet Hunter or Galil Hadar. With asking prices on WASR's at $1500 that $2000 price tag isn't terribly unbelievable...

    I just wish the had come with the scope rail.

  12. #12
    Guns Network Contributor 04/2013 El Laton Caliente's Avatar

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    These have been the poor man's Valmet Hunter or Galil Hadar. With asking prices on WASR's at $1500 that $2000 price tag isn't terribly unbelievable...

    I just wish the had come with the scope rail.

  13. #13
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    Yep. Mine didn't come with the scope mount either.

  14. #14

    Thanks for the info.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerstrike44 View Post
    This question comes up a lot. Someone sees a Norinco Hunter Series I, II, or III, and immediatley thinks, "that looks a lot like the Saiga, Valmet, etc...name your own reference, I think I'll convert it to an AKM or Galil." Before I make anyone mad, I bought my first Norinco Hunter 7.62 x 39, Type II with just that in mind. I am now buying any and all Norinco Hunters variants I can get my hands on and paying anywhere from ($350) to ($700), depending on the variant and condition. First, the only thing this rifle has in common with any AKM (we are "trained" by the industry, media and our own misunderstanding to call any semi-auto AK type rifle, an AK-47, 74, when technically, unless it has a three position selector lever which actually works, it is an AKM) is the gas tube and piston/bolt assembly to eject the spend case and load another round while placing the pin in the bolt into a firing position. There the similarity ends. This rifle is not an AK-47 Hunter/Sporter as some call it. If you insist, it is an AKM Hunter chambered in the AKM 7.62 x 39 round.

    These are semantics and not all that important. I thought I should explain why I will use some terms. Now I am going to tell you why you should not covert this rifle to an AKM or Galil variant. As someone who has made a nice income off of reading trends in firearms, this rifle will be worth ($1500-$2000) within 5 years. 1) This rifle will NEVER, EVER be imported into the U.S. again......EVER. There is a ban on the importation of barrels and any rifle from the Chinese. Norinco was in business to sell AK clones of its military spec rifles and they were good rifles. Just take a look at what a good Polytech or Norinco AKM brings on the auction sites. This rifle was manufactured to get around the Ban in place at the time the majority of these firearms were imported. So this rifle will become rare....very rare. Some knowledgeable firearms owners still do not know what they are. Unless you are dealing with a friend, remember "caveat emptor" cuts both ways. I bought a new in the box, Norinco Hunter, Type II, with the famous "circle 386" stamp on the reciever, nice blond wood and finish, sling, oil can, and a ten round magazine, for ($460). I acted the reluctant buyer and the salesman at my local gun store threw in 2 30 round magazines. (These Hunters will take any AK magazine or drum) Still in the box! Which brings us to number 2) These rifles are accurate. I don't mean accurate for an AKM, I mean accurate as any semi-auto loader I have ever fired. When I bought my first one, I took it out to the farm to "run the gun". That means about 100 rounds of cheap Russian ammunition. First, I check to see if the front sight is canted. If not, I take the rifle 100 yards from the target and put it in a sighting vice and aim at the red zero for 100 yards. I fired three rounds. When I saw the target after my first three rounds, I loaded some good Federal 124 grain soft point ammunition in the rifle and fired another three rounds from the vice. My suspicions were confirmed. The first three rounds were right at the top of the red zero and were in 11/2 inch grouping. The second three rounds of good hunting grade ammunition, which my son uses in his deer rifle, were in 1/2 inch grouping about 1/2 inch higher. The Norico Hunter has a flip up rear reciever mounted slide on sight and when lying flat is a 100 yard open sight, and when flipped up is a 300 yard sight. I moved my target to 200 yards and using the 300 yard sight and the hunting grade ammunition, I got a nice 1" grouping. I bought a Chinese manufactured reciever slide rail and mounted an Nikon 4x16x40 scope on the rifle. (The same one used for the Remington R-15 and R-25 AR platform hunting rifles) Now this rifle has become my number 1 hog killer. I now own 7 of these rifles and counting. Finally number 3) This rifle has a milled reciever, great chromed barrel and good wooden furniture. It does not look like a "dogged out" AK, with rails and optics and lights and sirens. But I have always thought if I wanted my AKM to look like the AR-15, I should just shoot my AR-15. There is something vulgar about the AKM when "tacted out". I'll give two good examples of why you should not convert this rifle. When the GIs returned from the second world war, they brought the 98k Mauser and that great action home with them for hunting. They "sporterized" the most famous combat bolt action rifle in history, to make it practical for big game hunting in the U.S. Now these "sporterized" versions can be bought for less than ($200) and that is with the old Reidfield scopes still on them. The real 98k Wehrmacht Mauser, in good collector grade condition is worth up to 10 times that depending on the arsenal, year, markings, numbers, etc.... The second example is the Russian SKS. In 2004, you could buy them all day for ($200) or less. Same thing. Tapco accessories made these rifles "tactical" as advertized, and worthless to any collector today. Try and buy a Tula arsenal-ed, 1949-1954, mint condition, Russian SKS for that today. Take your ($200) and add another ($400) and you can buy one of mine. Some collectors get
    ($800) for the early 1949 "blond" artic birch SKS. I have several and would not sell them for that. Like the Norinco Hunter, they are never going to be imported again. Take the ($500) you are going to spend on a "good deal" when you see a Norinco Hunter, and instead, buy a Saiga, and either convert it yourself, or have someone like me, who has been doing the conversions since the rifle was being imported and there were no Tapco, ATI, Tromix, Vlator, or Krebs Custom parts. Then you have the real Kalishnikov AKM and that valuable Norinco Hunter will be left in a condition that makes its purchase a great investment.

    In the end, its your rifle and your money. I made a killing on cheap Century Arms Romanian WASR-10 "Sporting" rifles when I went out and bought 200 of them right before John McCain was defeated by Barak Obama. Yes, I was one of the hoarders. I also collect the Mauser, Russian SKSs, AKMs, ARs, and various hunting rifles and shotguns. So do what you want with the rifle. I'm just one voice. However, I have done my homework and advise anyone who asks "leave the rifle alone."
    Sir,

    Thanks for this good info. I confess to being one of those who has used Hunters in the past to build clones (Galils and Valmets), but I am glad I read this before reconfiguring my current rifle.

    I bought this one last year because I hadn't ever seen one exactly like it. I'm not sure if it is a first or second model, but it was the first one I'd seen with the front sight integrated with the gas block (like the Valmet Hunter). I'm not sure how to make the picture any bigger.

    It is difficult for an old Tea-sipper like me to acknowledge the wisdom of an Aggie, but in this case I must tip my hat!

    Gig 'em!

    E. BlakeNorinco hunter 001.jpg

  15. #15
    Forum Admin & **Team Gunsnet Silver 12/2012** Richard Simmons's Avatar

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    Welcome to the forum E.Blake. That's a great looking Norinco. I'm sure one of our members with more experience than I can confirm which type it is. I think the long trigger and triggerguard make it a type I but it may be the rear sight that makes it one model or the other. Can't recall at the moment. Again, welcome to Gunsnet.
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  16. #16
    Thanks very much. It's the first one I've ever found that had the front sight integral to the gas block. I've found them before with the rear sight mounted on the receiver like this, but never one with a front sight like this.

    Once upon a time, I had a Valmet Hunter (in .308) and it had a very similar front sight assembly design--although the parts are not interchangeable.

    I'm sure glad I read the first message in the string about not modifying it!

    Thanks again.

    Here are a couple of pictures of clones I've made previously--one was from the Valmet Hunter and the other from a Norinco Hunter.

    M-76 clone 003.jpg308 Valmet Hunter-to-M-76 transformed.jpg

  17. #17
    Forum Admin & **Team Gunsnet Silver 12/2012** Richard Simmons's Avatar

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    Those are great looking rifles! Always wanted a Valmet, especially the M-78 in 7.62x51
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  18. #18
    Guns Network Contributor 04/2013 El Laton Caliente's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Simmons View Post
    Those are great looking rifles! Always wanted a Valmet, especially the M-78 in 7.62x51
    Grin, Got one... they are sweet...
    We found out what "dealing" with progressive lefties is all about. Our side gives up something, they give up nothing and the progressives come back in a month or a year and want us to give up more... rinse and repeat...

  19. #19
    My Hunter came with a little scope mount on the left-hand side. I'm pretty sure it is the original, because I've never seen one like it. It is square at either end and slightly wider in the front than in the back. Has anyone ever seen the rest of the mount that goes with it?Norinco scope mount.jpg

  20. #20
    I have an Interstate Arms hunter with the blond furniture and not sure how much it's worth. I'm in the process of wanting to trade it off for something different. Some people offer me some decent offers while others offer some real crap. I'm trying to find what the price on one of these types of rifles are worth, so I don't get ripped off. If someone could provide me with a value of my rifle I would appreciate it. Interstate Arms hunter 7.62x 39, blond furniture, milled receiver, 386 on receiver, it's in very good condition, I'm including extra scope reciever, 2 30 rd mags , hellfire switch and 400 rds of ammo.

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