Milled vs Stamped AK47

Milled vs Stamped AK47

If you are an AK operator, then you already know the differences between a milled and a stamped AK47.

But if you are a novice with a keen interest in knowing what they are, here is a detailed break down to help you out.

The Basics

An AK47 is a gas-operated assault rifle that is reliable, cheap, and easy to use.

There are many AK variants, but one key difference is that some have stamped receivers and others have milled receivers. These are the only two types of AK47 receivers. 

And when we talk about milled vs stamped AK47, we are referring to the way the rifle’s receiver is constructed.

Let’s get more into detail about this.

Milled Receiver

A milled receiver is made from a solid block of steel. Usually, it’s steel and not any other material. And the way you can tell that the AK receiver is milled is by the way it is shaped.

A milled receiver has a large rectangular-shaped cavity, which is almost 5 inches long. And the reason these receivers are designed this way is to reduce the weight of the rifle.

Milled AK47
Via: @combloc_customs

Notably, these are the original receivers. They are sturdy and reliable, but they are also heavy.

Another way you can identify a milled receiver is by the rectangular-shaped groove located below the charging handle on the exterior side of the receiver. Both sides of the receiver have this groove.

And they are not there for identification per se, but mainly to reduce the weight of the receiver. Some countries like Yugoslavia don’t have these grooves on their milled AK47s, but most countries do.


  • Sturdy and durable
  • Extremely accurate and reliable
  • The weight of steel reduces felt recoil
  • Can withstand harsh conditions


  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Compatible only with stocks designed for milled rifles

Stamped Receiver

A stamped receiver is made of a thin sheet of metal, usually, steel or aluminum that has been stamped in the form of a receiver. And you can identify a stamped receiver by its long circular indentation, which is one inch long.

The other you can identify a stamped receiver is by the rivets located below the charging handle and behind the safety selector. Most of the modern AK47s have stamped receivers. And some people actually make their own stamped receivers.

We do not recommend you do that if you are not an expert gunsmith because they are not easy to make. Plus if you make it the wrong way and get the dimensions wrong, it is not going to fit your rifle.


  • Lightweight and durable
  • Cheap to make
  • Extremely accurate
  • Readily available
  • Inexpensive


  • None that we know of

The Differences

We have already discussed how milled and stamped receivers are made. So let us at some key differences between the two.

  • Milled receivers are heavier and more rigid
  • Stamped receivers are cheaper and easier to make
  • Stamped receivers are cheaper
  • They have different identification markings


Here are some similarities between milled and stamped receivers.

  • They both are sturdy and durable – although some AK operators say that milled receivers are more durable than stamped receivers. But this is based on personal opinions and not facts.
  • They both can withstand harsh conditions
  • They both are accurate and reliable

Which is better?

Some AK operators will tell you that milled AKs are better than stamped AKs because they are more durable. But this is just a claim.

The truth is, unless you have used both receivers extensively over a long period of time in the same type of conditions, there is no way of really knowing if one is more durable than the other.

When it comes to performance, some AK operators agree that both receivers are reliable and accurate, some disagree. Again, this is based on personal opinion because not everyone has the same shooting style. 

Deciding which is better depends on what you use your rifle for. Most performance shooters prefer milled AKs because they believe that the rigidity of the rifles improves accuracy as well as aid in durability.

Some prefer stamped AKs because they believe they are highly resistant to warping.

Whether this is true or not, the question of which is better can only be answered through personal experience.

If you get the opportunity to test both AK47s, you can gauge which is more accurate than the other. Although, we do believe that they are both equally accurate.

But having said all that, if you want to own an AK47, your decision is determined by your budget and shooting style.

If you just want one for recreational activities like hunting game and shooting targets, consider buying a stamped receiver because they are cheaper and lighter than their milled counterparts.

Should I buy an AK47 in the first place?

If you are a firearm, target shooter, or hunting enthusiast and you don’t own an AK47, you may consider adding it to your collection.

AK47s are extremely reliable rifles. You can shoot thousands of rounds with an AK47 and never clean it and it is still going to perform well. 

Some guns and rifles require regular maintenance to prevent them from jamming or malfunctioning. With an AK47, you don’t need to clean it regularly.

For precision aiming and accuracy, you can mount a scope on an AK47. it’s simple and easy and you don’t even need to modify the rifle.

And lastly, this is a rifle that can give you many years of service. AK47s are extremely durable. And the best part is that they are relatively cheaper than AR15s and other types of rifles.  


Milled AK47s are not as popular as stamped AK47s because they are heavier and more expensive. Ideally, they are best suited for people who collect guns as a hobby or people who love the traditional AK47.

Stamped AKs are ideal for cost-conscious people because they are cheaper and so are their interchangeable parts. They are also more ideal for shooting targets or hunting than their milled counterparts because they are lighter.

Milled vs Stamped AK47

But essentially, they are both great. They perform well in any weather condition, and they are both reliable and durable

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