All About AKs with Lee Armory’s Mario Parada
By Jacki Billings
Lee Armory’s Mario Parada has been immersed in AK culture since he was a teen. (Photo: Jacki Billings)
Mario Parada was introduced to the AK-47 platform as a youngster, building the Societ rifles with his uncle in a garage as a teen. His love for the rifle didn’t stop at passion projects, though. Parada has since turned his affection for AKs into a full-fledged career churning out AKs as the Shop Lead for Lee Armory.
Guns.com first met Parada while visiting Lee Armory, immediately struck by his effortless expertise and knowledge of the AK platform. After leaving Lee Armory, there were some lingering questions we had for the AK aficionado, so we phoned Arizona and pumped Parada for more AK answers.
Guns.com:I feel like before we get too far we should address the rivalry between the AR-15 and AK-47 in American gun culture. Give me some thoughts on this. Will the AK ever reach the heights of the AR-15 in America?
Parada: The AR-15 will always be America’s rifle. The AK will never replace the AR as far as being America’s rifle, but the AK has its part in the gun world and in U.S. gun culture.
I think the AK-47 is a rifle