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Discussion Starter #1
I recently picked up a Century built Tantal, serial number 45XX. I knew about the problems people were having but pulled the trigger anyway. Well today I went out with various types of ammo and a hopeful attitude. Unfortunately it didn't take long to smash my high / wishful hopes. After getting a magazine down range I started seeing the key holes. Didn't matter what type of ammo. Now I'm in a quandry. I have an e-mail into Century to see what they will do. But I hate to roll the dice with a replacement. Other than the barrel problem this gun is beautiful. The trigger is the nicest I've ever shot on an AK. The gun runs 100% reliable. The finish is nice.

Has anyone else sent their Century guns back? How about rebarreling? Anyone done that? Any options, thoughts or advice appreciated.

Thanks,
Wedge



Here's a link to the latest and last update on my saga.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=4&f=95&t=110609

Wedge
 

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I had been debating as to get 1 or not, checked all over the net and it seems they did not get their barrel problems taken care of! I did find out from other reports that key-hole issue is not covered by their warranty, since they will and have told others only to shoot the 50ish grain ammo which according to them solves the issue, also the bulgarian ammo seems to have had some bad batches as well as some of the russian ammo! the best thing you can do is get a barrel from a kit and have it swapped out, am sorry about your problems, please keep us updated!
 

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Just wondering, what was the date on the inventory control tag that was loop through the trigger guard?

Hootbro
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I screwed up the serial number. It's actually TTL0033X. I read the wrong number. There was no inventory tag on the gun. I'm thinking a new barrel is in my future.

Wedge
 

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wedgehead30 said:
I screwed up the serial number. It's actually TTL0033X. I read the wrong number. There was no inventory tag on the gun. I'm thinking a new barrel is in my future.

Wedge
Yeah, that is a early one. Can you have the dealer take it back?
 

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Wedge,

Sorry yours turned out to be a problem child. I had nearly the same experience as you. Great looking CAI rifle, well built, awful barrel that keyholed consistently.

Because I'd read so many warnings about the century Tantal's, I bought mine through Classic Arms as I knew that Ben would take care of me with any problems. And he did! I promptly returned the rifle and ordered an Interarms build through Rguns.

Funny enough, the CAI built Tantal was slightly nicer in terms of finish than the Interarms I have now. The CAI was not a completely matching kit though.

I seen several posts on other boards, of guys sending tantals directly back to Century and either getting a refund or a replacement rifle (rolling the dice, IMO). I haven't seen any reports of rebarrelling by CAI.

Hoot, my "looped" tag read March of 2008.

T
 

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Alamocity said:
...................

Hoot, my "looped" tag read March of 2008.

T
What was the S/N range?

I am trying to figure out some rhyme or reason to the Century Tantals and the keyholing issue. Some say anything over 4000 should be good to go and that does not seem to be 100%.

I recently bought a Century Tantal with a April 08 tag but the S/N is in the 00400 range and I am quite certain it is a returned rebarrel. I still have not gotten to the range with it to get a accurate data point with my assumptions.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I finally got someone who knew what they were doing at Century. They want me to ship the gun back for repair and/or replacement. So it goes out Monday and I'll keep my fingers crossed. I'm curious to see what they do.

Wedge
 

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Wedge, who did you call at Century? I need to return mine too. Thanks.



wedgehead30 said:
Well, I finally got someone who knew what they were doing at Century. They want me to ship the gun back for repair and/or replacement. So it goes out Monday and I'll keep my fingers crossed. I'm curious to see what they do.

Wedge
 

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Discussion Starter #10
stoyan79 said:
Wedge, who did you call at Century? I need to return mine too. Thanks.


I contacted customer service at 1-800-527-1252. I don't remember the nice young lady's name, sorry. But once I explained the problem and that I had already tried out the "approved" ammo, she didn't hesitate to give me a RA#.

Good luck,
Wedge
 

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As an additional data point, I picked up a CIA Tantal this week. It is serial number 00281X. I shot it yesterday using Wolf 70 gr ammunition. No indications of key-holing from any of the rounds fired. Next time I get a chance to shoot, I'll try some MilSurp that I've had laying around for a few years.

At this point, I'm pretty happy with the rifle.

Nearnuf
 

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I thought the official rumour about the Century Tantals is that the barrels are actually USA made 223 bore diameter barrels, not 545 which are like .220 .221..
 

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nearnuf, congrats! If your CAI tantal shot the 70gr commercial stuff w/o keyholing, you ought to be just fine with the 52gr surplus stuff.

Wanna go to Vegas with me for some craps!? ;)

T
 

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I'm on a TDY trip to Salt Lake City for a couple of weeks. It's a 1.5 hour drive to Nevada from here. Maybe I should go hit the border casinos this next weekend!

Nearnuf
 

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s70fan said:
I thought the official rumour about the Century Tantals is that the barrels are actually USA made 223 bore diameter barrels, not 545 which are like .220 .221..
And it could be just that, internet rumor. I dont think anyone has actually slugged there barrels yet to prove this theory.
And nearnuf. Mine shoots surplus and wolf MC just fine. Its the 60 grain stuff that keyholes like crazy. So make sure you buy a few boxes and test with this stuff.
But like others have stated the fit and finish of these rifles are superb. On par even with my bulgarians.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sent the old one back and they received it on 9-15-08. Today, 9-23-08, Fedex showed up with a brown box for me. Century opted to replace my gun with a new, in the box one. The build is just as nice as the old one. Everything is nice and tight and freshly parked. I even got an additional mag out of the swap. The barrel does not appear to be chrome lined. But what I find interesting is that it's a six groove barrel as opposed to the old four groove (?) Possibly a new barrel supplier?

The real test will come this weekend when I get some rounds down the pipe.

The new gun is in the 41XX serial number range.

More to follow.......

Wedge
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well I made it to the range today with the replacement gun, some Russian 5.45 and a positive attitude. I was hopeful that Century had gotten it right with this one. As you can see in the picture below the gun looks pretty good.



So I started off at 25 meters to get it sighted in. A little tweaking with the front sight and I had it dialed in after 10 rounds. I finished off the magazine at a steady pace. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a nice 30 shot group with 30 neat little ROUND holes on my 5.5 inch target. AK, minute of man accuracy. So far, so good.



Now it was time to see if this dog could hunt. I put up a new target and stacked the loaded mags. I burned through three, thirty round mags, rapid fire into the center of the target and the final mag, rapid fire into the head. From my shooting position I could see things didn’t look good. As you can see below once the barrel heats up all bets are off. Welcome to Keyhole Hell!!!!!



As a last ditch I pulled the brake, even though there were no indications of bullet strikes. Two mags, rapid fire at ten yards equals more keyholes.




So, lessons learned.

Do a little better research before buying.

Century’s customer service is great. Unfortunately their products don’t seem to be.

I love the 5.45 AK platform and I can’t wait to get a good one.

Now I have to decide what to do with this rifle.

I won’t sell it without full disclosure to any prospective buyer. So I’ll lose my ass on that option.
or
Century offered to send yet another gun to replace this one. Fool me once……
or
Century will give me a credit at the distributor, Centerfire Systems if I return it. But a perusal of their web site didn’t reveal anything I wanted.
or
Find a real Tantal barrel and have it replaced by the local smith.
or
Part it out, keep the receiver and buy a kit with the Tantal barrel.

Anybody know where I can get a true Polish Tantal Barrel?

Any other ideas ?????????

Decisions, decisions, what to do………..?

Learn from my mistake folks. If you hear Century, RUN AWAY FAST !!!!!!

Wedge
 

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Sorry you've had this bad experience.

I don't know for sure if they are 100% interchangable, but if I were in your shoes I would consider installing a new Bulgarian 5.45x39 barrel from Cope's.

http://www.copesdistributing.net/produc ... cts_id=913

If the Buglarian barrel is too short perhaps the Tantal front sight could be installed further back to expose more barrel for the 14x1 threads to be cut. The great thing about these barrels is they have not been cut for gas block or front sight pins.
 
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