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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking about buying a H&K clone in 5.56. If I'm correct, I believe that these would be H&K 93, 33, or 53 variants. I don't have an issue with a pistol version as I am considering making it a sbr, but if all things were equal I would prefer a rifle. I've been researching my different options, but I'm having trouble figuring out which clones are better, especially since the quality of the manufacturer seems to depend on when the gun was made.

I've done some searches to try and avoid asking a question that I am sure has been discussed many, many times. However, alot of the threads that were turned up dealt with issues that people are having with their clones. I will say though that most of the issues with the clones appear to be Vector and some MKE build issues, so Zenith may be good to go.

From what I have been able to determine, it seems that Zenith makes the most well regarded clones at this time. Vector seems to have been hit and miss with alot of their clones. When I was reading feedback on this site, it appears that there are a fair number of people that have had issues. Century does not seem to have that great of a reputation.

There is someone relatively local that is selling a new Vector V93 for $1,200 and Century C93 for $800, but as I said above, those companies seem to be hit and miss.

What is the clone "pecking order," so to speak, at the moment?

Also, in looking through some of the threads, someone says to check with Kelly Enterprises regarding their availability of a Zenith (I believe). I have looked at their site and there are several intriguing options with the guns they make, and I sent them an e-mail to check on availability. Are there any other merchants out there with a good reputation that sell clones that already have the required 922r parts?

I'm not against the idea of trying to buy a parts kit and having a clone built, but I believe that will be out of my price range. I'm trying to stay in the $2000 range. If it can be done for that, does anyone know where I can get a good price on a parts kit and some reputable builders? I know that Dakota Tactical has a good reputation but what I have seen in regard to people discussing their prices leads me to believe that it would push the cost outside of my price range.

Thanks for all the help.
 

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You asked a lot of different questions, each of them could have a a thread to themselves. So I'll do my best to answer some of your questions and give you my opinion and impression of the clones I have.

1. You are correct, those are your options. I have several 93's and 53's. The 53 is my favorite, it's an amazing gun in a small package.
2. MKE and Zeinth are the same thing. Zeinth is the importer of the MKE guns.
3. It's my understand the the Kelley interprise guns are build by Vector.
4. 800 is high for a C93, you can pick them up on gun broker for $500-600. $1200 sounds high for a V93, I've seen them sell in the $1000 range.

Now to best answer your "which is the best clone" question.

Sadly there is no right answer. Quality actually varries gun to gun with all most all clone builders. I paid $500 for each of my c93's and they have run great, not a single issue, the same can be said for my c93 pistol (53 wannabe). But plenty of other members have had real issues with Century guns, but I didn't. Also for the price most of the demons can we fixed and you'll still have spent way less than some of the other options on the market.

I have two vector gun a 53 and 51(.308 version). The 53 has been a Swiss watch and is is one of my favorite guns. 51 has been nothing but a pain my my ass, I've sent it back to vector twice, they say it's fine, yet I've never been able to get it to run reliably. I also haven't really tried and I'm sure I could if I sat down and really messed with it.

I don't own a MKE but most people say they are great and they seem to be at the top of the list as far as mass build clones for as quality.

The best clones on the market are built by several of the supporting vendors of this site. If I were you I'd call Jeff (ghilliebear on this site) at PCS, his stuff is a work of art and more affordable than some of the other builders.
 

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The Librarian
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3. It's my understand the the Kelly Enterprises guns are build by Vector.
Vector filed for bankruptcy 2/13/2015. Chuck from KE get's his current inventory from Omega, which is a Wade Bailey business.


BTW, excellent write up on 93 options!
 

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I understand what you mean about it being a loaded post and being multiple questions in one. I know there is alot there but I did not want to clog up the board with multiple threads.

Thank you for the clarification regarding MKE and Zenith. I thought that they were different manufacturers like POF and MKE. In regard to Vector going bankrupt, is there anyone who is performing warranty work for them now or would you have to pay a gunsmith to fix any problems?
 

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The Librarian
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Bankrupt, but maybe not out of business. Colt filed for bankruptcy in 2015 too and they are still cranking out guns. I just know they haven't made firearms since 2012. Not sure if anyone else can chime in with an answer on that.
 

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That Brethren offering has my interest peaked...

One other option to think of if SBR is in your future. A 33k, by far my favorite 93/33 clone I own. Just as quiet with my can as a 16", yet considerably more handy. Mine is a vector, and it's been flawless after break in.
 

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Well, at $900, that's a really good price point for that Brethren. Is that a new product of theirs?
Must be recent. Kyle said OOS, but they have parts to make a few more.

For a brethren receiver, rail, cerakoted....it's a screaming deal.

Please buy him out before I convince myself.
 

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That Brethren offering has my interest peaked...

One other option to think of if SBR is in your future. A 33k, by far my favorite 93/33 clone I own. Just as quiet with my can as a 16", yet considerably more handy. Mine is a vector, and it's been flawless after break in.
+1 for 33k
 

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Must be recent. Kyle said OOS, but they have parts to make a few more.

For a brethren receiver, rail, cerakoted....it's a screaming deal.

Please buy him out before I convince myself.
I don't know if I can justify another HK33 to my collection... at least one that doesn't take AR mags (that might push me over). Though honestly, when it comes to range day, the Hk53 clone (a C93P SBR) tends to be the one I take to the range over the more bulky C93. Maybe I really need a HK33K instead.
 

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The Librarian
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33K "pistol" that takes AR mags!
 

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The Librarian
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Seems Vector is making new V93s... 4th sentence in Gunbroker auction descriptions: Up for auction is a factory new, unfired, Vector Arms V93 Rifle. The V93 is chambered for the very popular 5.56mm NATO (.223 Rem) round and is a semi-auto version of the famous German HK33 assault rifle. It is built from a complete parts kit, with original barrel so the V93 has all of the features of the HK33 (except for full- auto). This one is brand new and built in 2017.

http://www.gunbroker.com/item/612101857
 

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33K "pistol" that takes AR mags!
You should have bought the SW93 AR receivers when Todd was making them. I had Jeff build me 53Ks, 53s, and 33Ks with either SW53 AR or SW93 AR receivers that I bought from Todd. So all my 5.56X45 roller locks use AR mags except my one C93. Sadly it has diminishing bolt gap. Doesn't Brethren Armament have an AR mag conversion? I have a 16" RCM CHF Nitrided barrel. I was thinking of having my C93 rebarreled, paddle mag release install, top rail added with the AR mag conversion done. Between the diminishing bolt gap and having to use HK mags, I never shoot it anymore. Since all the rest of my 5.56 roller locks have barrels less than 16" I had Jeff build them as barreled receivers. Being I'm fortunate enough to own a Fleming sear I only shoot them with the sear installed anyway.

To the OP, I get that you are on a budget. My C93 within a couple hundred rounds, the bolt gap started going away. But I bought it new for $500. Parts sets that included a barrel, at the time were $400 and receivers were $150, plus $500 for the cost of a builder. I did buy a couple of parts sets. By the time the SW93 AR receivers ($225 each) came out parts sets were $500 without a barrel. When I bought my C93, I thought of it as a parts set I could shoot.

Most of the problems I have seen with C93 comes from Century specing out barrels for their builds with too small an area of the diameter to be pressed into the trunnion. HK used a bigger diameter area of the barrel to be pressed into the trunnion to have more friction between the trunnion and the barrel. It is my understanding that Century speced their barrels smaller for ease of manufacture. Some guns have diminishing bolt gap, others don't. $800 is high. I just checked GB. There is one http://www.gunbroker.com/item/612744749 for $680 + $30 shipping. There is another http://www.gunbroker.com/item/612952116 for $630 + $32 shipping. Maybe you get lucky? Even if you don't, a new Rim Country Machine barrel, paddle mag install, and refinish with a $700 rifle will get you a rifle under your budget. And best of all you can shoot it right away while you are saving for the upgrades (if you need or want them). Good luck with your search.

Scott
 

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The Librarian
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You should have bought the SW93 AR receivers when Todd was making them. I had Jeff build me 53Ks, 53s, and 33Ks with either SW53 AR or SW93 AR receivers that I bought from Todd. So all my 5.56X45 roller locks use AR mags except my one C93. Sadly it has diminishing bolt gap. Doesn't Brethren Armament have an AR mag conversion? I have a 16" RCM CHF Nitrided barrel. I was thinking of having my C93 rebarreled, paddle mag release install, top rail added with the AR mag conversion done. Between the diminishing bolt gap and having to use HK mags, I never shoot it anymore. Since all the rest of my 5.56 roller locks have barrels less than 16" I had Jeff build them as barreled receivers. Being I'm fortunate enough to own a Fleming sear I only shoot them with the sear installed anyway.
Yeah, I missed out to Todd's SW93 with AR15 mags. I've also missed out on the HK33 parts kits that Apex has back in 2012 and 2014. I've been thinking about building my own since the 33K pistol with AR mags seems to be somewhat rare in product offering (unless you have one built). Good info on the C93s!
 
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