|Image borrowed from Buds Gun Shop|
It's nice to dream about guns I can't afford right now- I suppose. I may or may not change my mind on the gun near the end of the post.
Sadly I can't walk into a gun store in eastern Pennsylvania and spot an AK pistol. You might be able to spot an AK rifle depending on your venue- but not an AK pistol. This is why I nabbed up my Zastava M85 when I did- I didn't know when I would see another. Turns out that Zastava discontinued that product in lieu of military contracts.
Local stores are out- as well as Classic Firearms and Atlantic Firearms. Unfortunately that tells me that right now Century isn't importing them into the country. For those that don't know- a lot of the 'fun' guns we enjoy are imported into the country by Century Arms International. "Century" for short likes to import in batches. The same can be said for other importers. The DRACOs that are in the US right now are the only DRACOs around until a new shipment comes in.
There are things I like about the micro DRACO. If it was the only AK pistol you had access to it would make a good candidate for a short barreled rifle (SBR). It readily accepts standard AK magazines and has a wonderful weight of about 5 lbs and an overall length of about 16 inches. What more could you ask from a little devil of a pistol? a lot actually.
My number one concern is the rear sight. I'm not expecting amazing accuracy out of an AK but there are way too many variances involved with a rear sight mounted to the dust cover. Taking this gun past 100 yards is asking way too much, even for a micro DRACO that has been SBR'd. Hell taking it past 50 yards for most shooters is asking too much. I am saying this as a prospective buyer not as someone who has tested the weapons platform.
The micro DRACO would probably excel as a vehicle gun and very CQB gun. It could probably be used for home defense but it isn't ideal in that role, in my opinion. If I were to own one I would swap out the hand guard for a hogue grip. I would likely switch out the handguard for a Midwest Industries produced one- but remember that will add weight to the firearm. I would feel comfortable running a very small red dot- like the Bushnell TRS or a Vortex SPARC II. I would feel much more comfortable running a laser on this platform because the mini Draco seems like it would be a good hip fire gun. Point and shoot.
But replacing the handguard on a micro Draco warrants a necessary discussion. Anytime you are working with a shorter barrel you need to be mindful of where your controlling hand is. You do NOT want your hand to slip up and under- and heavens forbid in front of- the barrel. A magpul AFG might help- but I don't know if that would be enough to make me feel comfortable. I would need something to keep my hand behind that barrel.
I don't have a lot of experience with muzzle breaks- and I am not sure if the DRACO family has welded detent pins that will have to be broken in order to fit new muzzle devices on. Spartan Defense makes a plate that fits underneath the receiver to attach a sling- but I think similar plate designs for other AK's should work. I don't know if DRACO accessories are compatible with micro DRACO accessories.
Then it comes down to price. What would I pay for a stock DRACO? $400 max. I'm not being a cheapskate here- this a smaller gun with a shorter barrel length and an unreliable rear sight. I don't care if its portable nature makes it a novelty- I don't want to pay out the wazoo for a gun like this. If you want one- the average internet price ranges from $600 to $850 before taxes and fees. To upgrade the pistol to my specifications, not including an arm brace OR SBR paperwork if I wanted to turn it into a rifle- I would be up shit's creek about $1,000 USD on a good day. I will most certainly pass at that price.
It's a cool little gun- I won't argue with that- but the costs and design flaws of the gun (why was the rear cover not hinged?) prohibit me from snatching one up unless someone is looking to get rid of one and it is safe to fire. The mini draco, its slightly bigger cousin is a slight improvement- but that's an article for another day.