AK Build Curiosity

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AK Build Curiosity

Postby WVUBeta1904 » Tue, 12 Jan 2016 13:15:58

Over the past few months, I have garnered an interest in putting together an AK, either from a bundled build kit or from purchasing specific parts to fit the bill.

It's apparent that the AR build community is strong; what about AK's? Does anybody have any knowledge or experience with putting one together? Specific kits to stay away from? Best way to go about it?

Jay - it seems you've compiled quite a collection; were they all bought as completed rifles?


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Re: AK Build Curiosity

Postby OakRidgeStars » Tue, 12 Jan 2016 15:05:21

I bought all my rifles complete, although some have needed minor repair and tweaks to function 100%. My IO AK was converted from low cap to high cap by Ray Charles. No kidding, the magwell clearance work was so bad that the dealer filed down a steel mag (included with the gun) instead of fixing it. A couple hours with the dremel (I work slow ;) )and one rivet replaced got her right.

My Yugo M70 ate two gas pistons before I realized that it had the wrong bolt carrier installed. Century sent me the correct parts and I just replaced them myself. It seems that owning AK's is a lot like owning old cars. You have to learn how to work on them or pay a crapload of cash to someone else who can.

But any way, I enjoy learning how to fix and mod them. So that's a good thing.


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Re: AK Build Curiosity

Postby Reverenddel » Tue, 12 Jan 2016 15:28:27

AK has a new factory in the USA... and it's licensed, so you don't have to worry about 922r parts for it.

Look to see if they have one for "kit" play.


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Re: AK Build Curiosity

Postby OakRidgeStars » Tue, 12 Jan 2016 15:45:32

The days of being able to build an AK from a parts kit for less money are gone. Price kits are priced through the roof now because of all the labor that goes into recovering parts from what was de-milled to meet import restrictions.

I wish I had been into that scene back when it was cheap to build your own rifle.


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Re: AK Build Curiosity

Postby WVUBeta1904 » Tue, 12 Jan 2016 17:36:06

Reverenddel wrote:AK has a new factory in the USA... and it's licensed, so you don't have to worry about 922r parts for it.


A blessing in the AK community, for sure. From the horror stories I've heard the past few years, some decent QC is something that's been needed for a while.

OakRidgeStars wrote:The days of being able to build an AK from a parts kit for less money are gone.


It happens to everything eventually, I suppose. It would be more from the standpoint of wanting a new project, over saving some dough (though that's always an added perk!).

I've seen Century, Arsenals, & Saiga's start anywhere from $800-900 and go up from there; it's well known that they are quality firearms, so that's to be expected. I hear the I.O.'s are getting slightly better, but I would likely stay away from that manufacturer, as I've seen some grisly stuff come out of those factories.

Sometimes it's more enjoyable to build from the ground up, although maybe that's not as feasible as it sounds within the AK world.
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Re: AK Build Curiosity

Postby WVUBeta1904 » Tue, 12 Jan 2016 18:00:34

Reverenddel wrote:AK has a new factory in the USA... and it's licensed, so you don't have to worry about 922r parts for it.


It was 10 parts or less, right?
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Re: AK Build Curiosity

Postby FiremanBob » Tue, 12 Jan 2016 18:40:21

Look at Palmetto State Armory. The parts kits are easily available, the problem is getting a barreled receiver.
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Re: AK Build Curiosity

Postby OakRidgeStars » Tue, 12 Jan 2016 20:10:21

There is an enormous amount of support out there for AK builders, if you want to go all in and buy tools and jigs. But with decent built rifles available for around $600, I'm just not into it right now.

However, I do want to learn how to replace barrels since the cheap steel ammo is not very kind to them. So it looks like I'll be browsing over at akbuilder.com for tools and such.


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Re: AK Build Curiosity

Postby WVUBeta1904 » Wed, 13 Jan 2016 10:42:39

FiremanBob wrote:Look at Palmetto State Armory. The parts kits are easily available, the problem is getting a barreled receiver.


Thanks Bob; unfortunately they always seem to be out of stock when I check.


OakRidgeStars wrote:So it looks like I'll be browsing over at akbuilder.com for tools and such.


Thanks for the site info, Jay.
I'll check it out.


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Re: AK Build Curiosity

Postby Reverenddel » Wed, 13 Jan 2016 15:35:56

Correct! 922r required 10 Parts minimum I think.

All i remember, "The more American parts, the less chance of jackwagons coming after me."


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Re: AK Build Curiosity

Postby AtomicPunk » Mon, 18 Jan 2016 22:10:47

There's a lot more to it than building an AR. Honestly, I think you assemble an AR but build an AK.

safaridave held a build party in 2013. There were only 3 of us and we bought kits that were already headspaced to make things easier. He had all the tools and we bent the flats, riveted in the front and rear trunnions, welded in the rails, heat treated the receivers, pressed and pinned the barrel back in, sandblasted and parked everything in one day. I learned a ton and my AK came out great but it's really not cost effective. You can buy a complete weapon for what the parts and materials alone cost. That said, my front sight block is straighter on the one we built than 2 of my factory rifles.

I owe Dave big because its one of my favorite guns but cost-wise, you are definitely better off buying a complete barreled receiver from PSA and getting the rest of the parts and furniture you want and assembling it.

If you really want to learn to build, you could take the class offered by Rifle Dynamics. That's DEFINITELY not cost effective but you'll be learning from one of the better known builders in the country--Jim Fuller.


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