American Rifleman - November 2010 - (Page 88)

TECHNICAL DOPE BAG CENTURY ARMS CENTURION 39 SPORTER RIFLE robably no other 20th-century military arm has been as successful as the AK-47, which was developed by renowned Soviet rearm designer Mikhail Kalashnikov and adopted by the Soviet Union in 1947. Simple to produce and maintain, and extremely rugged and reliable, the selective- re AK (or Avtomat Kalashnikova) was widely supplied to Warsaw Pact and Third World nations (as well as many revolutionary movements) by the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union during the Cold War era. Coincidentally, the ri e so often used against American forces during the past six decades utilizes the same basic operating principles as the M1 Garand. Propellant gas bled from the barrel impinges on a gas piston attached to the bolt carrier, which terminates in an angled cam track that engages a lug on the bolt head. As the bolt carrier moves to the rear, the bolt is cammed counterclockwise, turning its two locking lugs out of engagement with the receiver. With further rearward travel of the carrier and bolt, the case is P extracted and ejected, the hammer is cocked, and the recoil spring is compressed. Finally, propelled by the recoil spring, the bolt and bolt carrier return forward, stripping a fresh round from the magazine, chambering the cartridge and camming the bolt back into lockup. Introduced in January 2010, the Centurion 39 is a new semiautomatic version of the AK-47 design, and it retains all the signature AK features, such as the curved 30-round magazine, 7.62x39 mm chambering, and an oversize, rightside safety lever. Unlike other AKs sold in this country, which are usually assembled using foreign-made parts kits, the Centurion is made completely in the United States. The Centurion 39 conveys an impression of extreme sturdiness, with robust and simple internal components, and a receiver machined from an 11-lb. block of 4140 steel. Century Arms states that the ri e is also made to tighter tolerances than the original. The Centurion, however, incorporates a number of changes to the original design. For example, its 16½" barrel terminates in Century’s proprietary three-port Chevron Compensator. Created expressly for the Centurion, this removable unit more effectively directs propellant gas upward to reduce muzzle jump. Also departing from the original pattern are the Centurion’s sights. On standard AK variants, windage adjustments are performed by moving the front sight. On the Centurion, the square-notch rear sight has been redesigned to allow windage changes by loosening a set screw and moving the rear sight blade laterally. Elevation is adjusted by a slider on the rear tangent sight or by rotating the red-colored front sight post. The Centurion’s most visually distinguishing features are its polymer buttstock and two-piece polymer handguard. The buttstock has a 1" longer length of pull than the original wood stock—better tting American shooters—and 3. 1. The Centurion’s bolt head is simple and robust, with a large claw extractor (1), locking lugs (2) and a guide lug (3) that engages the angled cam track at the end of the bolt carrier. 88 N OVEMBER 2010 WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG 2. http://WWW.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - November 2010

American Rifleman - November 2010
Editor’s Letter
Armed Citizen
Standing Guard
President’s Column
Readers Write
News, Notes and Ephemera
Questions & Answers
Loading Bench
Expanding Bullets: Really Work
Laser On Board: The New Bodyguards
Election 2010: Had Enough? Vote Freedom First!
Political Report
Election 2010: Races To Watch
The Model 94 Rides Again
Spanish Broomhandles
Blaser: The Evolution Of German Hunting Rifles
Arms Of The “Chosin Few”
Walter R. Walsh: An Amazing Life
Dope Bag: Data & Comment
ILA Report
Regional Report/Member Info & Benefits
Programs & Services
I Have This Old Gun

American Rifleman - November 2010