Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

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AK-47 Case Hardened Guide
By -Dutch-
This is a guide meant to help the average CS GO player understand the value of case hardened AK-47s.
The Case Hardened AK-47 was released in the very first weapon skins collection called The Arms Deal Collection on August 14, 2013. The weapon skins come in a number of different patterns, making them very unique.

I made this guide because despite how long the skin has been out, no one has yet to explain the various patterns that are available. This guide will attempt to do just that!
This is not a price guide. Prices vary as much as the patterns, so it's best to do some research and see what similar AKs are selling for.

How the patterns work
The AK patterns are made in a "cookie cutter" type fashion from a premade color palette. For this reason, there are patterns of these AKs that are exactly the same. There is no one-of-a-kind AK case hardened pattern. The cookie cutter design allows for duplicates, which means that any of these patterns can come in Stattrak. Also, quality (ex. field tested) does not play any part in the pattern of the gun.

For more info, check out this video:

The color pallette:

So, what's the best pattern?
The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. People like all different kinds of patterns. That being said, the majority of players prefer a blue pattern over other colors. The more blue, the more rare (and more valuable) the case hardened weapon tends to be.

This guide breaks down the colors into 4 basic groups:
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Purple
  • Blue

The Colors
Silver is usually considered the least desirable color when it comes to case hardened AKs. Some people don't mind silver when it covers most of the gun.

Gold is commonly found on case hardened AKs, and some people find these patterns very desirable when the entire gun looks gold.

Purple is usually seen on the edges of the blue coloring and it follows the same trend that if the pattern covers a large amount of the gun, then the value goes up. In some cases, this color may appear pink on small amounts of the gun. Purple usually has the most colors mixed into the pattern, making for a very unique looking AK while in game

Blue is considered to be the rarest color on the case hardened AKs. This color can raise the price of an AK above the standard market price. Full Blue AKs are worth the most, and values fluctuate due to the limited amount of patterns and what the buyer is willing to pay. Despite common word usage, there is no such thing as a 100% blue top AK. Many of the blue tops come close, but none are actually full blue. Despite this, sellers on {LINK REMOVED} will sometimes use the term "100% blue top" because it attracts buyers and raises the price of their item at the same time.

Unique Partially Blue Patterns
These are a few (not all) examples of partially blue AKs:

Full Blue Magazine AK

- It has a full blue magazine!
-The pattern is usually mirrored on both sides of the mag

- Most of the blue can only be seen when inspecting the gun

The Blue Bottom AK

Blue throughout most of the bottom half of the gun.

The 50/50

The 50/50 has a 50% blue top and a 50% blue bottom. There are multiple variations of this pattern.

The "Galaxy" Pattern
The galaxy pattern is an AK with bloches of purple over the top and side of the gun. A very interesting AK, as the pattern is also reminiscent of oil on water.

The "Blaze" pattern
The blaze pattern is used to describe a jagged color which resembles flickering flames. Blaze is more of a loose term that's just describing what a person sees in the pattern (kind of like constellations in the night sky). Some people use this term interchangeably with the galaxy pattern.

The Blue Barrel Pattern
Well, this one's pretty self-explanatory.

The Rarest Blue AKs
There are a variety of CH AKs out there, so this section will only cover some of the top blue patterns. As said before, all of these patterns are available in Stattrak. Each AK has its benefits and drawbacks which should be considered before buying. These benefits and drawbacks may sway the preferences of what a person is looking for.

The Scar (Version #1)
This version has a small line cutting through the front of its blue pattern. The pattern trades coverage of the back sight and magazine for complete coverage of the back of the AK's top.

The Main Selling Point
- The only full blue top to have a consistent blue back.

CSGO Community Notes
- Usually referred to as pattern #1 by traders

Pattern Index

- completely blue back
- A sticker can cover up the line
- there is blue on the barrel

- The line rises to the top of the AK, so even a large sticker will not fully cover it
- Rear sight only half blue
- Magazine not very blue

The Scar (Version #2)
This version pushes the blue pattern much farther back so that the line is moved to the corner of the back of the AK.

The Main Selling Point
- It has a significant amount of blue in all major sections (top, barrel, mag, rear part of the top, and rear sight).

CSGO Community Notes
- Usually referred to as pattern #2 by traders

Pattern Index

- Complete coverage on rear sight
- Lots of blue on magazine
- Decent amount of blue on barrel

- Does not have an all blue back
- A sticker cannot hide the line
- a small portion of the top (in back of the rear sight) is not blue

The Scar (Version #3)
This version has a small line cutting through the back of its blue pattern. The pattern trades coverage of the back top for coverage of the rear sight as well as the magazine. Unlike version 1, this version's line is smaller, allowing it to be fully covered up with a sticker if the user so desires. Although there are AKs out there with more blue on their tops than this, what version 3 does is compensate for this by having more blue on the overall gun.

The Main Selling Point
- The blemish of the line can be covered up, giving a sense of an even more consistent pattern.

CSGO Community Notes
- There is some debate among whether this is considered pattern #3 by traders, with some saying that the blue color should only be counted for the upper receiver of the AK, where others say that the blue color should be considered for the overall gun.

Pattern Index

- Lots of blue on rear sight
- Lots of blue on magazine
- Sticker can fully cover up the line on the gun

- Does not have an all blue back
- Barrel is not very blue

The Blue Side AK
This AK's pattern is unique in that the blue pattern extends past the receiver cover (the top) of the AK, down onto the side of the gun. There are 2 variations of the blue side ak, which look very similar to each other. The one shown in the picture is the version with slightly less blue.

The Main Selling Point
- The extra blue on the side of the gun adds to the look and can be clearly seen while playing.

CSGO Community Notes
- Usually referred to as pattern #4 by traders, but should really be ranked at #5.

Pattern Index
#179 - variation with more blue
#955 - variation with slighty less blue

- Blue on most of the back of the AK’s top
- Good amount of blue on the side of the gun

- Does not have an all blue back
- Barrel is not very blue
- Rear sight not very blue
- On one of the variations there is a small portion in back of the rear sight that is not blue
- Magazine not very blue

The Blue Barrel AK
The red headed stepchild of the blue top AKs, this pattern is unique because it not only has a very good blue top, but a completely blue barrel as well.

The Main Selling Point
- The blue top and barrel combination

CSGO Community Notes
- An underrated case hardened pattern. Should be ranked at #4, but the ranks for these guns were already in place before this guide had even come out.

Pattern Index

- Blue on most of the back of the AK’s top
- Completely blue barrel
- Blue barrel looks great on inspect
- Both the top and barrel have consistent blue patterns

- Blue barrels are not fully seen while in-game unless inspected by the player
- Does not have an all blue back
- The side of the AK top is missing a little blue
- Rear sight does not have any blue
- Magazine not very blue

Using Stickers (optional)
Besides throwing on random stickers all over your gun, stickers can also be used to cover up blemishes on the gun and make patterns more consistent.

A rare blue top AK (Scar Version 3) . Notice that the line is now covered:

Since there are so many patterns that are available, you may need to experiment with different stickers to find which one covers up the correct space on your gun.

One example of a sticker for blue patterns: a Katowice 2014 Titan Holo sticker

One example of a sticker for gold patterns: a Headhunter sticker

How to Measure Case Hardened Patterns
First off, measuring AK patterns can be tricky. Not only is it tricky, but most people don't want to take the time to do it. Although it's meant for case hardened knives, you can still get a rough idea for the percentage of an AK by using a a photo editing software called GIMP. This can be quite helpful when you decide to buy or sell a case hardened skin.

* Note - I did not make the guide for measuring with GIMP! All credit belongs to the original poster, Softenik. Here is an example of his work with case hardened knives:

Here is Softenik's step-by-step guide on how to use GIMP to measure your case hardened patterns:

It should be noted that there are 2 ways of measuring your AK - using pics from an inventory inspect, and using pics from in-game. Both of which have drawbacks because of a major factor: unlike knives, the AK does not have just a single plane that you can measure. This is especially problematic since the top is usually considered one of the most important parts of the AK. Unlike seeing one side of a knife, the AK has many angles while being used in-game. You might want to use an inventory inspect picture if most of the blue on your AK is in the lower portion of the gun. If it's a blue top, then inventory inspect is worthless since you can't see all of the top. In that case you might want a screenshot from in-game. Regardless of which picture you decide to use, when it comes to case hardened AKs it's not a perfect system.

Pricing a Case Hardened AK
This section was added specifically for those people asking the question: what's my ak worth?

Ok, here it is. The big "appraiser" secret:
Most AKs are market price! 90-95% of the time you can find the price of your AK by simply going on steam market, finding the Case Hardened AK with the same exterior (FT, MW, etc) and inspecting the purple or blue patterns similar to your AK. Continue going down the list and checking each gun. With a few exceptions, as the amount of blue increases, so does the price (where you see discrepencies is usually where a person underpriced or overpriced their skin).

Once you have a found a price for an ak that looks similar to yours, this is most likely what your ak is also worth! As a good rule of thumb if there are multiple aks with the same pattern as yours, then go by the cheapest price. You can also convert that amount into keys if you prefer to use that type of currency for trading. The only downside is that inspecting each ak takes a little bit of time, leading players to spam the comments section of this guide asking about the price of their ak -_-

*Most of the prices for the partially blue patterns listed in this guide can be found on market. The patterns that this usually doesn't work on are most of the rare blue AKs and a few of the gold ones which make up a certain niche in the market, but if you're looking for these patterns you probably don't need a lesson on pricing ;)
This should be enough for an average player to have a decent understanding of the wide spectrum that makes up the AK case hardened patterns.

If this guide helped you, please do me a favor and rate/favorite!

* Please don't ask me for price checks or measurements.*

< >
Sexy Gay Alien May 28, 2022 @ 1:46pm 
someone value my ak?
SVGE517 Mar 10, 2022 @ 7:13pm 
I have a t2 case hardened comment for trades
Duo_Mo Dec 21, 2021 @ 8:06pm 
get p2 FT gold ak 538 x2 one listed on the market , if u are interested ,add me
Alexik Dec 9, 2021 @ 3:16pm 
field tested ak-47 321 (scar pattern #2) pattern in my inv, if interested comment on my profile
76561198297700793 Dec 1, 2021 @ 10:16am 
Have Rank 3 ak ST MW, actually on market, add me to offer.
NBA Youngman Aug 17, 2021 @ 7:18pm 
how much is a 982 stattrak
Ta$ty Aug 13, 2021 @ 6:39am 
how much cost the 747 patter ?
𝙈𝙮𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙩 Jul 23, 2021 @ 3:04am 
Have a ft 768 pattern, dm me for offer or send me
gORT May 23, 2021 @ 8:44pm 
(0.193) Field Tested AK-47 Case Hardened with over $380 worth of rare stickers on it message me if Interested.
Bansonnn May 16, 2021 @ 6:18am 
suka blyat