Draco NAK9 Review: 9mm AK Pistol

by Jason Mosher

January 5, 2023

0 comments

4.3
(7)

Century Arms has been importing a variety of Ak-style guns for a while. I have been tossing around the idea of an AK-style PCC, specifically one that accepts Glock mags, for some time. Recently I decided it was time to pull the trigger (as always, gun pun intended). CAI’s 9mm AK appeared to be the perfect match. But was it worth it? Read our Draco NAK9 review and see.

Draco 9mm Specs

  • Caliber 9mm
  • Trigger RAK-1 Enhanced
  • Barrel Length 11.14″
  • Sights Front/Rear adjustable (AK style)
  • Overall length 19.1″
  • Weight 6.38 lbs.
  • Receiver Stamped

Draco NAK9: A Little Background

Century Arms has been importing weapons for the Cugir Arms Factory in Romania for some time. They produce a lot of AK-style rifles and have moved into the PCC market in recent years. Century Arms also imports the AP5 series of guns (MP5 clone) and the BP-12 (Bullpup Shotgun), both from Turkey.

Cugir has an interesting history, with the original metal factory starting in 1799. Cugir was the first Romanian company to produce a 9mm sub-machine gun. With the DAK9, AK fans can now own a rifle that shoots a pistol caliber and accepts one of the world’s most common and easy-to-find mags.

The DRACO NAK9 is an interesting AK-Pistol chambered in the extremely common 9mm and accepts Glock mags.

A Draco NAK9 review by Jason Mosher

The fact that it uses Glock-compatible mags is one reason I was drawn to the NAK9 in the first place.

CAI Draco NAK9 9mm PCC

The NAK9 leaves plenty of room for customization ranging from a traditional AK look to a modern tactical approach.

Draco NAK9 Review: 9mm AK Features

Features of the NAK9 from Century Arms
1 Pic rail

A rail on the hinged dust cover allows an optic to be mounted if desired

2 Rear sling swivel mount

Comes standard with the NAK9 but can be replaced with a rear-rail mount for a pistol brace attachment.

3 Threaded barrel

Perfect for upgrading the muzzle break or adding a suppressor.

4 Premium wood handguards

The wood handguards are nice but can easily be swapped out for an aluminum M-Lok handguard.

Draco 9 mm AK Variations:

There are more than a few models and configurations of the Draco 9mm AK pistol, including some that aren’t 9mm at all (they’re a more traditional 7.62×39 AK).

Draco 9 mm Review – Our Take

The NAK9 is what I would call a budget-friendly gun but still unique in that it is chambered in 9mm and accepts Glock mags.

Jason Mosher reviews the Draco NAK9

It retails for less than $600 for the basic model. The DRACO gives you the reliability of an AK but in pistol caliber and a compact design. The first time I held one, my thought was “this has the feel of an AK-47.”

I am a big AR-15 fan, but I also love the AK rifle, its reliability, and the history that comes with it.

The NAK9 is a great PCC for those AK lovers. It features a hinged dust cover for easy access to the spring & guide rod, and the bolt carrier group. Its simple design makes it nearly dummy proof when it comes to basic care. From a simple field strip, I could tell this would be a very easy gun to clean and maintain. It uses a stamped receiver just like traditional AK47s/AKMs and has the same cling sound everyone loves when you rack the bolt.

While the NAK9 has the classic AK look out of the box, it leaves plenty of room for upgrades. This model has been transitioned to a tactical look. There are plenty of aftermarket parts for pistol braces, grips, and hand guards. The Picatinny rail on the dust cover is a nice addition to come standard on the NAK9, making it ready to add your favorite optic.

The rail on top of CAI's AK-style PCC allows for a variety of optics or accessories.

Glock mags were easy to get in and out of the mag well. I tried a few different brands as some guns can be picky on which mags they will accept. Glock branded, ETS, KCI, and P-Mag Drums all were easy to lock in. The ETS mags did not fall freely from the mag well as the rest but were not hard to pull out either.

The mag release button is on the left side of the mag well, requiring the shooter to grab the mag with their left hand and push the release button as they pull on the mag. This is not a huge deal, but it would have been nice to see some type of release on the right side for faster mag changes.

The Draco 9mm feeds off Glock magazines.

On range day I started out with some Blazer FMJ 115 grain ammo to see how it cycled and to get a feel for the trigger. I noticed right away there was very little recoil because of the weight of the NAK9. Compared to my other PCCs, the NAK9 is by far the heaviest. I do have an aftermarket flash suppressor and a flashlight attached to it, but this gun is on the heavy side.

I fired the first 50 rounds without any issue and then loaded up some Sig 115 grain V-Crown jacketed hollow point ammo. In the past, I have had a few different PCCs have trouble cycling hollow point ammo. Because of the cost of the Sig ammo, I only fired 20 rounds through it, but it cycled without any issue as well.

CAI 9mm Draco PCC (Pistol Caliber Carbine)
CAI’s Draco: this is a sweet little AK pistol caliber carbine.

I used a few different types of FMJ in 124 grain and 147. The NAK9 handled both just fine. I was able to hit a few metal gongs at 100 yards with the iron sights but focused most of the ammo between 50 and 75 yards. I did not shoot as well as I do with my other PCCs, but I will admit I’m not the best shot with the AK-style sights. Once I started using my red dot, I could hit my targets easily.

It was a smooth shooting gun (for an AK) and handled well. I liked the 124 grain the best for shooting out to 75 yards. It does not have a last-round bolt hold open, which I am used to, so it was a little harder to identify when it was time for a mag change during drills.

Draco NAK9 one range during AK PCC review process.

The trigger pull was heavy and a little on the long side for me, but it did feel somewhat smooth as I took up the slack during the trigger pull.  

Draco NAK9 Pros and Cons

  • AK Reliability – It’ll take some effort to get a malfunction
  • All that potential – Many aftermarket accessories available
  • Low recoil – Very handy when shooting with sling retention
  • Glock magophile – Who doesn’t have Glock mags?
  • No bolt lock-back – In true AK style; still a Bad Thing
  • Resistance – Heavy trigger pull

Report Card

Shootability

Easy to handle but has a long trigger pull.

C+
Reliability

Combination of Glock mags and AK design make this a reliable weapon.

B+
Ergonomics

No last round bolt hold open and the mag release button is very small.

B-
Accuracy

Ok out to 75 yards but started being more inconsistent at 100 yards.

B
Value

Can be found for under $600, but it’s a pot metal AK gun.

C+
Draco NAK9 review scorecard

Our Grade

B-

Reviewed by Jason Mosher

Reader’s Grade

A-

Based on 2 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

As you can see, they did a great job with this AK 47. However, it does have some limitations. With this in mind though, it did make our list of top ak47s – however, it did not get our #1 pick.

Gun Deals

Searching the internet to find your favorite firearm can be a big task. However, we put together a list to make things simple. Check out the links below to figure out where you can get yourself a NAK9.

Best Ammo for Your Firearm

My preferred range ammo is CCI Blazer 115gr target ammunition; for self-defense I typicaly go to Winchester’s USA Ready 9mm +P 124gr Hex-Vent hollow-points.

A couple of other options include:

Range/Target Shooting

Winchester 115gr FMJ

Marketplace
Cost
Gun.Deals $varies
Optics Planet $.40

Range/Training Ammo

Rainier Arms remanufactured 9mm ammunition

Rainier Munitions Remanufactured

Marketplace
Cost
Rainier Arms $.39

Range Rounds

MagTech-9mm-Ammo

MagTech 9mm 115 GR FMJ Ammo

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Natchez Shooter’s Supply $0.24
Palmetto State Armory $0.34

Self Defense Ammunition

Box of Hornady 9mm pistol ammunition

Hornady Critical Defense 115 GR

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Cabela’s $1.24
Midway USA $1.24

Upgrades and Accessories

Below are a few suggestions for things you might find helpful (or enjoyable) when you’re shooting your WASR-10.

The first half of
  • Proper eye protection is critical and should always be worn
  • Ballistic rated, not just sunglasses
Compare top eyepro
The second half of
  • Ear protection is also critical. Protect your hearing!
  • Many styles (some stackable) are available
Compare best earpro
Appropriate cleaning kit
  • For cleaning, care, and maintenance
  • Not all kits are created equal
Compare top kits
WOLVERINE! Pattern Camo Sling

Everything COMBLOC goes better with Red Dawn movie Russian camo.

 

 

Check price
Vickers AK Sling

The classic Blue Force Gear AK47 sling from LAV.

Check price
Aimpoint CompM5b
  • Quickly adjust the reticle in accordance with projectile ballistics and distance to target
  • Wind compensation adjustment in 3 levels
  • Compatible with the Aimpoint 3X & 6XMag-1 magnifiers
Check price
Surefire M600U Scout Light
  • Virtually indestructible ultra-high-output LED
  • Rugged and reliable; built for conflict
  • Mil-Spec Hard Anodized finish, and O-ring sealed to keep out the elements.
On Amazon
Leather AK Chest Rig
  • The most bespoke of possible load-bearing gear
  • Not the most practical but boy it looks GOOD
  • Available for a variety of loadouts
Check price
Dark Angel D.A.R.K. Trauma Kit
  • You should always have medical gear when shooting (any gun)
  • External Tourniquet for easy access
  • Pull handle for rapid deployment
  • Vacuumed sealed insert to keep your contents protected
  • Kit content scalability
Check price
ETS Cam SpeedloaderCheck price
Muzzle end of the 9mm Draco NAK9 from Century Arms.
Muzzle end of the 9mm Draco NAK9 from Century Arms.

Keep something in mind when choosing your accessories, upgrades, and furniture: apart from the basic necessities (e.g. a sling, a light, and possibly an optic), you should always budget time, resources, and money for training. All the “Gucci kit” in the world won’t help if you cannot run the gun effectively.

Loose Rounds

The Draco isn’t the first vodka blaster chambered in 9mm. ComBloc weapons can be found in a couple kinds of 9mm: both the 9×18 Makarov and 9×19 Parabellum. 

Igor Stechkin with an APS select-fire pistol.

This is Igor Yakovlevich Stechkin. Stechkin isn’t as well-known a surname as Kalashnikov, but his designs are still seeing service in the Russian Federation. The weapon in this image is a Stechkin APS select-fire pistol (Avtomaticheskiy Pistolet Stechkina). It is reportedly being used in the Russo-Ukrainian War – including, as you can see below, some that are equipped with current accessories.

A Stechkin APS in the Russo-Ukrainian War

 

How to Care for Your Firearm

Whether you’re new to the AK platform or you just want to brush up on your fundamentals, check out this video by our own Graham Baates about breaking the Kalash down.

Important Links and Manuals

Need more info on this firearm? Don’t worry. There’s plenty out there. We recommend you get started with the following resources:

Folding stock NAK9; shoot it using sling tension without a brace or stock.

Rate

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.3 / 5. Vote count: 7

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

About Jason Mosher

Jason has been serving as a County Sheriff in Missouri since 2013 and worked as a Police Chief prior to that. He is a Tactical Firearms Instructor, Armorer and Generalist Law Enforcement Instructor. Jason is a writer in the firearms industry and likes to study the history of guns and their inventors.

Recent Posts