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Discussion Starter #1
A while ago I purchased a Tantal, knowing little to nothing about it. And I bought it grossly overpriced. It was customized with a tapco stock, tapco grip, and some weird rail on the front. Knowing nothing about AK's, I thought it looked cool, and felt the need to have an AK.
I can't change the past. But, I'm pleased to say I am much more educated when it comes to AK's now.
I haven't shot it yet, several months later, and I'm not sure I intend to. I did a barrel test or whatever you call it, and the barrel swallowed the bullet up to the case neck. I even tested a 556 round because of the keyholing issue. Swallowed that one too, up to the case neck. I bought it on GunBroker... and the seller never posted any info on whether it keyholed or not from the previous owner.

My questions at this point are... Will it keyhole? And if so do I keep the gun and have my local smith replace the barrel?
Or, do I simply sell it to my local gun shop to get it off of my hands? (Yes I am aware it probably wouldn't sell for much)

I'd be happy to supply any more info if you guys have questions.
 

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Only way to find out is to shoot it. I have two Tantals from Century (I'm assuming yours is the same) and while others might quote serial numbers, the best way to find out is to go ahead and shoot a few magazines through it. Mine started out innocently enough and began to keyhole shortly thereafter so it's paramount that you shoot four or five magazines worth in my opinion. My friends keyholed out of the box and due to the fact that he had bought it from a supplier, it was well past its warranty period. With that being said, I replaced the barrel on my own keyholing wonder with a US CL tantal barrel from AKBuilder. It shoots a pretty consistent 2-3 MOA now, which I was hoping for a little more with the added barrel length but I digress.

Shoot it and then figure out options; You can always dump it but the Tantals are pretty dried up now and they are an interesting niche in AK-74 history IMO. Being partly Pole, it would pain me to give up my pair of Tantals but YMMV. Also, refinish that ugly park in some epoxy black appliance paint and they look fabulous. Necessary picture added.



Good luck!
 
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Welcome to the world of Firearms, full of people who will sell you ice in the arctic or sand in the desert for a fortune and not feel one way or the other about it. Smile in your face knowing full well they're ripping you off. Don't feel too bad. Happened to me too. Trust no sellers as their goal is to get your money. Paid $830 locally for a saiga 12 when they went for $400 online. I just didn't know any better. Read up as much on any topic you are interested in before buying. Google is your friend. Forums can be informative too.

Key holing is when the bullet impacts the target sideways. Google it, plenty of videos on it. 5.45 round tends to want to tumble regardless. Thread on this video about the bullet tumbling right out of the barrel. Look it up.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xCgmfbAbP-Q
 

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As stated by others.... just shoot it. Check your targets. Round holes - good to go. Triangle shapes - sad face.

As for over paying...... that does indeed suck. But if you hold onto the rifle it WILL eventually be worth whatever you paid. There were only a limited number of Tantals built by Poland to begin with. I really doubt this country will see anymore kits come in. Give it 5 or 10 years and Tantals will be as expensive as any rare and interesting 5.45 AK variant.

There is NOTHING wrong with the TAPCO stuff. If it makes the weapon easier or more fun to shoot, and you like it, than rock on with it.

Or, slowly get the furniture to return it to original state.

Hope things work out for you.

Tantals are awesome -

 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your advice! I really appreciate it. I will find some time to take her to the range and see if it keyholes for sure. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.


As stated by others.... just shoot it. Check your targets. Round holes - good to go. Triangle shapes - sad face.

As for over paying...... that does indeed suck. But if you hold onto the rifle it WILL eventually be worth whatever you paid. There were only a limited number of Tantals built by Poland to begin with. I really doubt this country will see anymore kits come in. Give it 5 or 10 years and Tantals will be as expensive as any rare and interesting 5.45 AK variant.
Inspired by you, I did some research, and it appears they are slowly appreciating in value. I have decided I won't be selling it. Thank you for the help!
 

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Cool. Let us know how it goes.
 

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Worst case you have two options. Sell it as basically a parts kit with receiver or use it as a parts kit and re-barrel. If you have to re-barrel, make sure the person you get to do the work has AK experience. Many gunsmiths do not. They're used to screwing things together, so they just screw up AK's.
 

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Are you sure the bullet drops all the way to the case neck? The 5.45 bullet profile tapers almost all the way to the case mouth, and if the crown is set deep enough on the barrel it can seem as if the bullet is swallowed all the way when the barrel is just right.
 

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Are you sure the bullet drops all the way to the case neck? The 5.45 bullet profile tapers almost all the way to the case mouth, and if the crown is set deep enough on the barrel it can seem as if the bullet is swallowed all the way when the barrel is just right.
Well it's about halfway between the neck and case mouth. So it's probably the crown that swallows any part of the casing. But still, the actual bullet falls completely into the barrel.
Either way, the only way for me figure out if it keyholes for sure it to shoot it.
 

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Might be a stupid question but, are you taking the muzzle device off and checking the barrel or are you checking the muzzle device? Just asking because you seem rather new to AK's.
 

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Are you sure the bullet drops all the way to the case neck? The 5.45 bullet profile tapers almost all the way to the case mouth, and if the crown is set deep enough on the barrel it can seem as if the bullet is swallowed all the way when the barrel is just right.
Well it's about halfway between the neck and case mouth. So it's probably the crown that swallows any part of the casing. But still, the actual bullet falls completely into the barrel.
Either way, the only way for me figure out if it keyholes for sure it to shoot it.
AZAK is correct. The 5.45 and ak74 crowns are differant animals than the 7.62 and 47 crowns. You can't really "bullet test" a ak74 and expect the same results that a 47 would have. On a fairly new 74 barrel and 7n6 ammo, the barrel will swallow the bullet up to the red sealer.

When you shoot and test for keyholing, keep in mind that a wore barrel and close target will more than likely keyhole. The same gun but the target farther out would more than likely not keyhole. The 5.45 round needs room to stabilize.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Might be a stupid question but, are you taking the muzzle device off and checking the barrel or are you checking the muzzle device? Just asking because you seem rather new to AK's.
Yes, I took the muzzle brake off... lol
 

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+1 (or more) for just shoot it...

And if it helps, my Century Tantal is a TTL-C00XXXX series rifle. No issue, a really nice shooter.

Boomah
 

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Refinished a rebarrel today. Love those tantals.

 
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