tweAK the '47: Modifying the Century Arms C39 Classic

tweAK the '47: Modifying the Century Arms C39 Classic

Given its proven reliability in nearly every environment on Earth, the AK is widely recognized as one of the most dependable firearms in existence. However, in the past few years we've seen a number of innovative ways to modernize AK47s with simple modifications for a custom look and feel.

For everything AK47 from the newest guns to the hot-button issues, pick up a copy of Guns & Ammo Book of the AK47 while supplies last!


The Century Arms C39 Classic is part of an expanding market of AK-variants that are manufactured in the USA. Popularity of the milled-receiver C39 is flourishing with American gun owners, especially as recent sanctions are affecting the importation of Russian firearms.



An admirable rifle right out of the box, the Century Arms C39 requires no modifications to survive just about anything you can throw at it. Nonetheless, those of us with tinkering tendencies and the desire to personalize our firearms might consider pumping more American ingenuity into this 100% USA-made AK. Taking into account its price and availability, turning the C39 into a project gun is a reasonable decision; especially for those who already own a Russian AK and want to keep their import in its standard configuration.

Here's a look at several ways to personalize the Century Arms C39 Classic while keeping it born and raised on this side of the pond:


Before & After

Personalizing the Century Arms C39 is a fun project with a rewarding outcome. This before and after comparison illustrates the author\'s transformation into a rifle with added ergonomics and functionality. The only other modifications you may want to consider are the addition of optics to the Troy top rail and a custom Cerakote paint job.

Krebs Enhanced Safety Selector

Manipulate the safety without removing your hand from the pistol grip with a Krebs Enhanced Safety Selector. These selectors are made in the USA and offer a bolt hold-open notch for keeping the action open when desired.

CAA Stock Adapter & Magpul CTR

Transform the AK\'s traditional fixed stock into a more adaptable system with the Command Arms ACC Stock Adapter. This adapter attaches to the receiver and mimics an AR-15 style buffer tube, allowing for the use of nearly any M4 collapsible stock on the market, such as the commercial-sized Magpul CTR. You may also consider adding a cheek riser to the CTR for better eye alignment with iron sights.

Troy AK47 Top Rail

Mount optics to the C39 with the Troy AK47 Top Rail. This part replaces the factory gas tube with no gunsmithing required.

Muzzle Devices

Since the C39 barrel is threaded, installation of aftermarket muzzle devices takes seconds. The Rifle Dynamics Venom Antidote muzzle brake was chosen for this project for its improved muzzle stabilization, resulting in faster follow-up shots.

U.S. Palm Magazines

While many AK owners shy away from American-made magazines, U.S. Palm 30-round mags offer lightweight durability with a stainless steel cage and feed lips molded into the upper body for added rigidity.

Tapco G2 Trigger

Though this is part of the C39\'s standard configuration, it\'s worth mentioning the Tapco G2 trigger is a component that wasn\'t modified. Its 3-4 pound pull and 4140 steel contraction, make this trigger a function piece of hardware.

Troy AK47 Bottom Rail

Adding form and function, Troy Industries is now making aluminum forend replacements for the standard wood furniture. This rail system enables the attachment of accessories, while adding real estate for more versatile grip placement. Some gunsmithing may be required for installation: in this case, the front sight post was removed and the handguard itself required minor fitting into the C39\'s receiver. This install can be accomplished with little to no gunsmithing experience.

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