Mini Draco vs. Micro Draco: Battle of the AK Pistols

by Kat Ainsworth-Stevens

October 12, 2023

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If you’re a fan of the AK-47 platform, you’re probably familiar with the Draco line. The Draco family of guns includes a variety of AK-47 pistols of varying sizes. Think of it like the AK version of the AR pistol. The Micro Draco and Mini Draco are two popular models, and at first they might sound like the same gun. However, they’re not identical. We’re going to cover the Micro Draco vs. Mini Draco differences and help you decipher which might be ideal for you.

Spec Comparison

CAI Mini Draco 7.62x39mm AK Pistol

Century Arms Mini Draco

  • MSRP : $1,045.99
Country of Origin Romania
Caliber 7.62x39mm
Action Semi-automatic blowback
Capacity 30 +1
Barrel Length 7.75 in
Overall Length 17.50 in
Weight 5.65 lbs
Front Sight Adjustable
Rear Sight Distance adjustable
Receiver Stamped
Handguard Material Hardwood
Check Price
Century Arms CAI "Micro Draco"

Century Arms Micro Draco

  • MSRP : $1,059.99
Country of Origin Romania
Caliber 7.62x39mm
Action Semi-automatic blowback
Capacity 30 +1
Barrel Length 6.25 in
Overall Length 14.50 in
Weight 4.85 lbs
Front Sight Adjustable
Rear Sight Distance adjustable
Receiver Stamped
Handguard Material Hardwood
Check Price

The History Behind the Guns

Most gun owners are at least passingly familiar with Mikhail Kalashnikov and the AK-47. Kalashnikov designed the AK-47 platform in the early 1940s and it entered production around 1948. The gun is traditionally chambered in 7.62x39mm and is a gas-operated weapon with a rotating bolt. Although it’s often viewed as direct competition to the AR, the AK truly is a different gun. 

As for the Draco itself, it’s a pistol sized AK-47 that’s imported from Romania by Century Arms. They manufacture Dracos in the factory where Romania produces rifles for its military, and they’re known for being reliable performers. You might think the Draco would suffer enormously for velocity thanks to its shorter barrel, but the 7.62x39mm continues to do just fine out of the pistol length barrels. Different variants of the Draco have varying barrel lengths but all have the highly recognizable controls and curved magazine of the AK-47.

Micro Draco vs. Mini Draco

Micro Draco vs. Mini Draco 3

The first and perhaps most obvious difference between the Micro Draco and the Mini Draco is barrel length. Whereas the Micro Draco has a 6.25 inch barrel, the Mini Draco has a 7.75 inch barrel. Now, that’s only a difference of 1.50 inches, but there are many instances in which that amount matters. A good example has to do with ballistics and the fact that the extra 1.50 inches can help shooters get that much more performance out of 7.62x39mm ammo. 

As you might have guessed, the Mini model is larger than the Micro. This makes sense considering the fact that the term “mini” means a miniature version of something bigger—in the English language—and “micro” refers to something extremely small. So while the Mini Draco might not be hugely larger than the Micro Draco, it is a bit larger.

In addition, when it comes to weight for this Mini Draco vs. Micro Draco comparison, the Mini model weighs more. In fact, it weighs almost a full pound more, and that can make a real difference in felt recoil and muzzle rise. And since we know that extra pound of weight isn’t focused in the extra 1.50 inches of barrel, it’s logical to assume there’s more weight in the rearward portion of the firearm. If you’ve spent time firing AK pistols, you know that extra weight can be a major help. Of course, it also means the gun is heavier and might not be as easy for some to handle offhand for longer periods of time.

Micro Draco vs. Mini Draco Use

Might there be different applications for the two compact Dracos? Yes, there could be. Having a highly maneuverable gun is a big plus if you’re concerned with home defense or other close quarters work. That means there are times the additional length of the Mini Draco could be a hindrance. After all, it’s not just 1.50 inches of barrel, it’s an overall difference in length of three inches. The Micro Draco has an overall length of 14.50 inches and the Mini Draco has an overall length of 17.50 inches. That’s a more significant difference than you might realize when you’re maneuvering a gun in close quarters.

Because of the three-inch gap in overall length, it’s entirely possible the Micro Draco could be preferable for close quarters battle and home defense scenarios while the Mini Draco is better suited to larger spaces. It might also mean the Micro Draco is best for use as a truck gun because it’ll fit in smaller spaces for storage and also be easier to use in a vehicle.

The Mini Draco might be perfect for defensive situations in larger areas such as a much larger home or a home with land around it. In cases where a longer shots is likely to be taken, that extra barrel length is useful.

At the range, the Mini Draco maintains an edge thanks to its weight and barrel, making it a bit more accurate and somewhat easier to control. Conversely, if a shooter has less arm strength, supporting the Micro Draco is likely to be easier on them.

Century Arms Micro Draco Features

Century Arms Micro Draco Features
1 Sights

Rear sight is moved to the dust cover vs the standard sight location.

2 Magazine

30 round US Palm magazine.

3 Barrel

A very short 6.25 inch barrel is one of the defining features of the Micro Draco.

4 Threaded Barrel

The threaded barrel allows you to attach your muzzle device of choice, but it comes with an A2 style muzzle device.

Century Arms Micro Draco Gun Deals

7.62x39mm Ballistics: Does barrel length really matter?

Of course, if we’re going to compare the Micro Draco and Mini Draco, we need to consider whether that barrel length truly matters. Here’s a simple barrel length comparison created by our friends over at Rifle Shooter for a rifle chambered in 7.62x39mm. Ammunition used was Russian Brown Bear 7.62x39mm 123 grain HP, and they took all measurements at the muzzle using a Magnetospeed V3 chronograph.

Barrel Length (inches)Muzzle Velocity (fps)Standard Deviation
24239836.8
23245435.1
22240425.4
21237743.8
20236132.9
19231936.5
18230821.8
17230440.5
16.5230128.6
7.62x39mm Ballistics

Unfortunately, this particular chart only goes down to a 16.5 inch barrel, but it does give us an idea how the ballistics of the 7.62x39mm change with barrel length. Even at 16.5 inches, there isn’t that much velocity lost from 24 inches. Meaning even if you did lose a couple hundred more feet per second with a pistol length barrel, it won’t be the end of the world. The Draco will still produce significant velocity and the 7.62x39mm will continue to get the job done. This also suggests that the ballistic difference between the two AK pistol lengths is negligible.

Not sold? There are other ballistic charts reporting a 7.5 inch barrel can move 7.62x39mm 123 grain HP down range with a muzzle velocity of 2066 fps. That is still plenty of speed for your average Mini or Micro Draco use.

Century Arms Mini Draco Features

Century Arms Mini Draco Features
1 Magazine

30 round US Palm magazine.

2 Sights

Standard AK rear sight system.

3 Barrel

A short 7.75 inch barrel is one of the biggest features of the Mini Draco.

4 Threaded Barrel

The threaded barrel allows you to attach your muzzle device of choice, but it comes with an A2 style muzzle device.

Century Arms Mini Draco Gun Deals

Micro Draco vs. Mini Draco: Our Take

Both the Micro Draco and Mini Draco are excellent AK pistols. They’re well made, reliable, and maintain the features you’d expect from an AK-47 platform gun. The difference in velocity between the two barrel lengths isn’t going to be much. The one pound weight gap will only matter to certain shooters in specific applications. What it’s going to come down to is which gun feels better in your hand and best suits the use. After all, there are times an extra compact AK pistol will be easier to stash in your truck or home, just like there are times you might want the additional size of the Mini Draco.

Personally, we prefer the Mini Draco. It delivers everything you could want in a compact AK-47 and is a little bulkier—just enough to feel balanced in the hand. And if we need to use it for predators, be they two or four legged, we’re confident the 7.62x39mm will perform on target.

Century Arms Mini Draco

Mini Draco vs Micro Draco

Winner

The AK platform is not as customizable as the AR platform. You should stock up on magazine for your rifle or pistol and think about upgrading the pistol grip from the standard AK setup to improve ergonomics. Here are some US Palm and Magpul options for you.

Upgrades and Accessories for Draco

US Palm 30 Round Magazine 7.62x39
  • Stainless steel latch cage
  • Polymer body
  • Made in USA
Check Price
Magpul PMAG 30 AK/AKM MOE
  • 30 round capacity
  • Anti-tilt follower
  • Polymer
Check Price
US Palm AK Pistol Grip
  • More ergonomic than standard AK pistol grip
  • Made in USA
Check Price
Magpul MOE AK Grip AK47/AK74
  • Fits milled and stamped receivers
  • One-piece reinforced polymer
Check Price

If AK rifles are more of your thing, check out Gun University’s best AK-47 Rifles. Below are some helpful links to Century Arms website for the Dracos and manuals.

Here is a video how to care for you AK style rifle or pistol.

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About Kat Ainsworth-Stevens

Kat is a respected author and dedicated student of the gun. To date, she has published three books and written thousands of articles on firearms and self-defense in print and online.

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