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Old October 6, 2006, 06:12 AM   #1
FS2K
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Join Date: September 9, 2006
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So, you want to build an AK....

Building an AK47 can be a fun, educating experience. It can also become a costly nightmare that you would never want to repeat again. The key to a successful build hinges on one basic rule: The ultimate result of your build can only be as good as the things you put into it, and that includes time.

An AK "Kit" can be stipped down and reassembled on a day easy, as long as you have all of the needed tools handy and a good game plan, but the normal build takes around 2-3 days to do at a comfortable pace.

NO SHORT CUTS.

The best way to start a build is with a fresh, clean parts set. You will need to clean and strip away all remnants of the original reciever and the rivets that were holding the old parts together yourself. This means drilling out all of the old rivets. Drilling out the rivets from the rear trunion is pretty straight forward but drilling out the last 2 rivets next to the barrel in the front trunion is a little more difficult. You could always try drilling them out with the barrel in place, but that is a hassle and you are better off pressing out the barrel from the front trunion completely so you can drill out these rivets without worrying about drilling into the barrel.

Speaking of short cuts, some people rebuild their AK's using screws instead of rivets. Both trunions holes are tapped for machine screws which are used to hold all the pieces together. This method isn't at all bad since unlike with rivets the gun can be totally disassembled after completion, but screws tend to loosen and move under stress causing the mounting holes to get elongated over time. Another short cut would be welding the trunions directly to the reciever, "Plug welding" the trunions on using the rivet holes. This by far is the quickest and probably the strongest means of putting an AK together, but it is still considered cheating by the hardcore AK guys and generally frowned upon as a practice.

TO BUILD A RIFLE, YOU NEED US MADE PARTS.

At least 10 of them.

DON'T PAY EXTRA FOR KIT'S THAT CLAIM TO BE "FULL-AUTO'S"

All of the kits I know about are de-milled service rifles, so unless the distributor replaced the FCG, sear, hammer, seletor etc. ALL kits are basically full-auto kits...no matter, you can't use them anyway. Now, the Auto Sear/Pin/spring could have been removed from your kit, but if you are that desperate to go to Federal Prison these parts can easily be obtained for cheap. **Here's the thing Gang, if you are getting an AK kit with the intentions of making it into a Full-Auto select fire weapon...DON'T. It's not worth 10 years of your life and having all of your guns taken away from you. A select fire AK is alot easier to spot than a select fire AR15, or MP5 due to its large auto sear pin that can be easily spotted on the outside of the gun.

So please, don't try to make a full-auto AK.

RECIEVERS

The one missing part in your kit will be the reciever. You will see literally dozens of "reciever kits" or reciever "Flats" for the AK being sold today and it might look like an attractive option to you to get one of these kits for say, $20.00 instead of spending 3 times that on a complete reciever. But there is a reason why these kits are so cheap: they are very difficult to get right. Without the proper tools and a jig set up to bend this "Flat" you just bought is nearly impossible to bend precisely. A sheet metal brake cannot bend the metal sharp enough in the corners and will most times cause rippling on the sides of the reciever.

You will need:

A Reciever Jig (top & bottom) to clamp the flat in to keep it immobile while bending.

A "Dolly" or flat 'punch'.

A Dremel type cutting tool w/ carbide bits and grinding stone.

A drill press

A spot welder

An Oxy/Acetlyne torch

Preferrably a heavy Body work or finishing hammer

Set of steel punches

As well as your average tools, masking tape, tape measure etc.

Not only will the flat need to be bent & drilled correctly, it will need to be tempered and refinished as well, and the rails will need to be welded on. So unless you already have all these tools and a lot of patience you are WAY better of getting yourself a complete finished reciever for your build.

It isn't my intention to scare anyone away from trying to build their own AK. If you loved building things as a kid, you are gonna have a BLAST creating your very own AK from scratch. But it does take a certain amount of skill and a investment into some specialized tools if you plan on building more from scratch. It isn't like putting a AR15 together. There are so many varients to the AK that it's almost as though there are no standard measurements to go by, as they can be very different from one gun to the next, year after year.

Building an AK47 is a rewarding experience, one that if you get past the first you will want to repeat again and again. It isn't brain surgery gang, and I know you can do it. So if you've been meaning to give it a try, do it. Do it before the law takes the ability for you to. It'll be fun, and you will be proud of the gun you end up with.
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Old October 6, 2006, 07:15 AM   #2
Trapp
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Join Date: December 5, 2004
Location: KTN
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Quote:
You could always try drilling them out with the barrel in place, but that is a hassle and you are better off pressing out the barrel from the front trunion completely so you can drill out these rivets without worrying about drilling into the barrel.
A twelve dollar puller from auto zone and a few pennies work well.......

Quote:
some people rebuild their AK's using screws instead of rivets.
I do!!

Quote:
but screws tend to loosen and move under stress causing the mounting holes to get elongated over time.
Not mine! I use red locktite, they stay in place firmly.

Quote:
Without the proper tools and a jig set up to bend this "Flat" you just bought is nearly impossible to bend precisely
HERE! HERE! (hear hear?)

Quote:
you are gonna have a BLAST creating your very own AK from scratch.


Quote:
Building an AK47 is a rewarding experience, one that if you get past the first you will want to repeat again and again.
8 times and counting for me!
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Time to catch up.....like mayonnaise
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Old October 6, 2006, 05:36 PM   #3
FS2K
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Join Date: September 9, 2006
Posts: 1,853
Hey Trapp, thanks for the reply....

Good to hear that your screw builds are doing good. I myself have never built a screw AK, and have always riveted my guns, but like I said, with screws you can break the gun back down to bare reciever where as with rivets or welding there's no way. That's a good thing. LOL!

My latest build I am doing will ne #5 for me! Ad not the last.
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