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Sounds hard, but Matthews demonstrates how it can be done with patience, careful measuring, persistence and common hand tools you already have.
By Steven Matthews
With a little patience and common hand tools, you can save hundreds by assembling your own AK-47. Here’s how.
f you look through the pages of SGN, you have probably noticed that there are an abundance of ads for AK-47 parts kits, accessories and receivers. You may be surprised to know that these ads are not entirely directed towards manufacturers that build AK series semi-auto rifles. In fact the main target of these ads is the hobby gunsmith or do-it-yourself gunbuilder. There are large numbers of people who enjoy building their own firearms. If done according to BATFE regulations, which allow individuals to make guns for their own use, it is completely legal. There are dozens of model variations of the AK series, and depending on the model chosen, the cost savings can be substantial. You don’t have to be a real mechanical wizard to make one of these guns. If you are reasonably competent with tools,
can read and follow instructions and have a basic understanding of how firearms operate, it is “doable” for the average gun hobbyist. I have been occasionally building guns from kits for more than 20 years and have a fair amount of skill, so I decided it was about time for me to build an AK rifle (or pistol!). I have built several AR-15s, an FN-FAL, single-shot .50 BMG rifle, semiauto Browning 1919A4, NFA M16, NFA MAC-10, NFA Browning 1919A4, NFA suppressed Ruger MK1, and too many others to mention. Based on my past experiences, if an AR-15 build would rate a 1 on a 1-10 scale and a Browning 1919A4 a 10, I would rate an AK-47 build about a 5. I will say that gunbuilding is one of those things that is not all that hard, but you have to pay attention to
what you are doing and have the knowledge required to build a project safely. You don’t want to just slap together some parts when you don’t really understand what they do, then expect things to work, especially when you are discharging a cartridge developing 40,000+ psi just inches from your face. The first job is to decide what model variation of the AK series you want to build. The AK-47 series of guns is well known to anyone even vaguely familiar with military firearms. If you’ve ever watched the network news, you’ve seen one! Designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov and adopted by the Soviet military in 1947, it was the official battle rifle of the communist world for more than a half-century. Early AK-47s featured a machined steel receiver that was time-consuming and expensive
Just to make things more interesting. disconnector). and tapes that take you through the building process step by step. If you are using a “virgin” receiver. Things got a little more complicated as of July 13. I decided to build an AK-74 rifle. when BATFE issued a letter to importers stating it would no longer issue import permits for frames. First off it does have to be semiauto only! Full-auto guns are highly regulated and require prior BATFE approval and are beyond the scope of this article.S. Because they’re easy to make. steel backing blocks. it is not mandatory to use a U. you may use no more than 10 specified parts out of a list of 20 (see box). I decide I wanted to build two AKs. Since I am going to be making a rifle and a pistol for this article. .62x39mm AK-47. SGN. made. the rest have to be U. The AKM series was designed in the 1950s to use a sheet metal receiver reduced raw materials requirements and machine time.gov/firearms/faq/ index. It is a discussion forum that is frequented by multitude of experienced AK builders with first-hand knowledge that can be especially useful to the novice builder. If you aren’t into computers. it’s important to address just what the technical difference is between a rifle and pistol. There are still lots of imported barrels on hand.-made parts may be identical to the imported parts. At this point its identity as a rifle or pistol is set. so the handguard was modified.htm The internet is a wealth of information on building AK rifles or pistols. but those are the rules. springs and hardware are not on the list. While it is completely legal for an individual to build a semi-auto AK type rifle (or pistol).treas. they are inexpensive. and you have a very cost-effective project.S. which is best accomplished with a sturdy steel bench plate. A complete step-by-step tutorial would be too large for this article. Thanks to this regulatory quirk. As far as receivers go. is in your hands right now. In addition to the length requirements. DVDs. there’s an important exception. part in the 10 parts rule. I should address the legal issues involved in building an AK-47 style semi-auto rifle or pistol. When you buy it.5-inch barrel is just the thing for pistol building. According to the rules. You cannot legally change it once it is papered. This sheet-metal receiver is what really makes this build project so desirable. It’s kinda dumb to replace good foreign parts with the same U. Small parts such as pins. and this ruling will spur U.made parts and is what most people use for an AK rifle build. One of the best internet sources for AK building is the “Gunsmithing and Build It Yourself ” section of the akfiles. so I will just cover some of the more important aspects of building. this means barrels. have it listed on the BATFE form 4473 as one or the other and also have a receipt that specifies which it is.-made parts. This counts as three U.com. you can use it. made semi-auto fire control group (hammer. there are many advertisers in SGN that offer books.S. If you aren’t. check out the BATFE website at www. not to manufacture for resale.S. it is very inexpensive to make an AK pistol. The BATFE requirements for a rifle state that it must have a minimum barrel length of 16 inches and a minimum overall length of 26 inches. The U. A Hungarian AMD-65 parts kit from Clearview Investments got Matthews started on his AK pistol project. trigger. this classification can be specified at the time of purchase. If you are knowledgeable on how guns work. as long as they are in semi-auto configuration. but prices may go up for a while. The 12. you can research on the internet or buy one of the instructional videos or books. After researching this project.S. you can fill in the gaps. This 10-part rule is commonly referred to as the Section 922r ruling. to manufacture. It is almost identical to the older 7. I recommend you use a U. Before we go any further.Building the AK receiver requires precise riveting.S. production of AK barrels. if it’s not on the list. since it only requires a kit and a U.S. The second biggest issue in building these guns is the fact that you will be using a lot of imported parts to make an AK and the BATFE has a limit on just how many imported parts can be used in the construction of a semi-auto rifle. the pistol has to have a receiver that is classified as a pistol receiver and the rifle has to have one classified as a rifle receiver. Once you have the info on how to build you need the parts and the best source of parts.S. In the case of AKs. it does have to be done according to the rules.-made receiver. receivers and barrels. but it is recommended since they are the type readily available and they do count as a U. so they can be used without restriction. You have to do it that way to be legal! Only the parts on the list are regulated. A pistol may have a barrel of any length but must not have a buttstock or forward pistol grip or the means to attach either.62 gun other than caliber. You can use any combination as long as it is not more than 10 imported parts.S.45x39mm version of the older 7. ball-peen hammers and punches.-made receiver. a pistol can’t have a front pistol grip or place to mount one. which is the 5.atf. The 10 parts rule only applies to semi-auto rifles. not pistols! A pistol version of the AK can have as many imported parts as you care to use. Knowing rules and regulations is vital when building your own. For more info on the legal issues of home gun building. usually in the $50-$80 range. Combine one with a surplus parts kit for $100-300. since full-auto receivers were unimportable anyway. You are allowed to build these guns for your own personal use. For example.
62x39mm.-made parts for legality. They were made for functionality. This will be enough to form a head on the inside or the receiver. so it’s a good place to start assembly. Use a dial caliper to measure hole positions and transfer to the receiver. . punches. I obtained one from a gun show vendor for about $85. but I traded ease of build for reduced cost. Locating and installing these trunnions (and also the barrel) is the most difficult part of AK building. You can buy the correct metric rivets at a rather high cost($10-15 for a dozen or so rivets) or do as I did and replace them with standard size rivets that are available at hardware stores for a few cents each. either.” I contacted OOW about this and was told that ITM is their manufacturing source. Both of these kits were also advertised as “all matching numbers. Ohio. hammers. Screw builds don’t require barrel removal. screwdrivers. This kit was advertised as in excellent condition and was priced at $199. but in my opinion. The trunnions have to be located and drilled by the builder. parts count and to ensure you aren’t using any full-auto fire control parts. it was in the stated condition. as this location is set by the receiver manufacturer and this location also determines where the front trunnion will locate. These included include a small die grinder or Dremel Moto-Tool. Now that I had the parts. and since I was only building two guns.-made equivalents.A pistol can’t have a buttstock or mounting point for one. I also decided to build an AK pistol in the original 7. disconnector) from TAPCO for $50. Slide the front trunnion into the receiver and use a magazine to set the proper location. selector stop plate and receiver. Screw builds are a proven method of home building AKs. If you want your AK to look original. Use a couple blocks of steel under the round heads to back up the rivets. I chose to use basic tools even though there are specialty tools available for AK building.S. I bought a U.S. and since they were only about an hour or so away from where I live I drove down to buy one. I traded off ease of building for cost savings. screws make the gun look cheap and amateurish. I also bought a U. so I looked for a better price on line. made and are generally considered to be one of the better receivers on the market.S. This was and is the fast and easy way to assemble them in a factory setting. It also was as advertised. trigger. Riveting tools and an arbor press are somewhat expensive. The trigger guard holes are sized just about right for common 5/32"x 1/2" round head steel rivets. For more about riveting. files. sold them for $65.S. the rivet method is the way to go.S. a large strong vise. Most shops don’t carry anything for home builders and it was nice to find a place that catered to my hobby interest. but are marked as being made by “ITM. I also bought several $8 military surplus(new) magazines for both guns. They will need to be shortened so that only about 1/8" extends through the trigger guard/mag release assembly. but do require drilling and tapping several holes and using screws and some nuts instead of rivets. The first part to be installed on the new receiver is the trigger guard/ mag release assembly. I ordered a Bulgarian AK-74 kit from Akron Armory. For the rifle. To install the trigger guard on a rivet build.-made gas piston and fire contol group (hammer. The trigger guard/mag release assembly location is already drilled and located on the OOW receivers. The OOW receivers are U. One downside of rivet builds is that it also requires the barrel to be removed from the trunnion to install the new rivets. For the home builder with nothing but basic hand tools. One thing I might mention about the condition of these kits is that they were in excellent condition for Com-Block military guns. see the sidebar. Assemble the parts (be sure you get the selector stop on the correct side!) and insert the rivets with the round heads on the outside and the unformed shanks extending into the receiver. this riveting method is doable but rather slow and somewhat difficult. Installing parts in a U. I found that Ohio Rapidfire in Troy. clamps. not good looks! I chose Ohio Ordnance Works AK-74 and AK-47 receivers. I was surprised when I got to Ohio Rapidfire to find they carry many parts and accessories for the AK builder. Also support the receiver so that it doesn’t fall over when you are working on it. Trigger parts are best replaced with U. what about tools? I built both kits with basic hand tools that you would find in any well-equipped home workshop. dial calipers. An interesting side note on these receivers is that they are known as Ohio Ordnance Works receivers. Don’t expect them to have the fit and finish of an American made commercial gun. To keep costs down. it was nice to get one that was as advertised! For the pistol build I ordered a Hungarian AMD-65 kit from Clearview Investments that was advertised as in unissued condition and was priced at $129.made pistol grip($10) and U. I started one of these guns as a screw build but soon abandoned it when it became apparent to me that a screw build was not that much easier than a rivet build. In a business where conditions are generally over-hyped.S. marking fluid or black marker. both to build the U.S. which I thought was a bit high. you obviously need rivets. so the Hungarian rear trunnion had to be welded to prevent future installation of a buttstock.-made parts count up to the legal requirement. It also has a wire stock that is easy to delete for the pistol legal requirement. The truninons and trigger guard assemblies are riveted in place on factory-built AK-47s and AK 74s. which is just right for this type of pistol. etc. You need to choose at this point whether to use rivets or screws. there are slight differences between the two. This is to accommodate the multitude of AK kits that may come from several manufacturers and countries.-made receiver boils down to riveting in the front and rear trunnions and a trigger guard/mag release assembly. The shallow depth of some of the holes can make tapping difficult.S.5-inch barrel. This makes the building a lot easier and less costly. These parts brought the U. What makes the AMD-65 kit so desirable for a pistol build is that it comes with a 12. Steel backing blocks support the rivet heads as the trigger guard assembly is riveted in place.” which indicates that the bolts are already properly headspaced to the trunnions. When received. The pistol version is just a short-barreled AK-47 without a buttstock or forward pistol grip. receivers and info on how to build. muzzle brake($25) at local gun shows. blocks of steel for backing up rivets.S. This is not a random choice. Since the rifle required several U. Holes are pre-drilled here.
Now the bare trunnion needs to be fitted to the new receiver. I did one rivet at a time. After I drilled the correct metric-sized holes and verified that they were right. You will probably have to trim the round rivet head to allow you to slide the assembly onto the back up piece. If they are exactly where they are supposed to be. so you may have to cool the barrel and heat the trunnion. you want your hammering force to be transferred to the rivets. You may really have to bang on it. so if you have to take yours to a machine shop you should only have to pay about $15-20 (shop rates in my area are about $50-60/hour) For the rifle build. The idea here is to allow the barrel to slide through the vise jaws but have the trunnion stopped by the jaws. carefully. An alternative method I saw on the Internet was to use an automotive-style gear puller to press out the barrel. be sure to check that . Measure both sides. The rear trunnion is installed in much the same way. Clamp a piece of steel just a little smaller than the hole in the trunnion in your vise to back up the rivet heads and slide the trunnion receiver assembly on to it. use some emery cloth to polish up the barrel shank. Once you’ve located and drilled your holes. be sure it’s “gun friendly” and even then don’t even mention the words AK- 47. I installed the four front rivets with the round heads on the inside of the trunnion and also trimmed them to conform to its inside radius. By tapping the edges with a small hammer. This is the toughest part of the job. Try several magazines to make sure they fit correctly. you may have to move the holes by filing on one side or the other to correct it. using dial calipers. you can form a head that is adequate for the inside where it won’t show. I clamped the two pieces together and re-drilled them to accept the next size larger standard rivets. make sure that the parts are staying tightly together while riveting. Remove your trunnion and. crosspin hole and the trunnion hole to remove any burrs that will make reinstallation difficult. You locate the trunnion in the receiver with a magazine. You slide the trunnion in until you get a good fit of the magazine. Once the barrel is out. If you have a hydraulic arbor press. using the same technique. not deforming your trunnion or receiver. 3/16". you must remove the barrel from the trunnion since the old rivets are under the barrel and the new ones will go in their place. Once the pin is out. On the pistol build that I did first I pressed the barrel out with a hydraulic arbor press at my workplace. use a c-clamp to clamp the trunnion in place and then trim the edges of the receiver flush with the trunnion. Once you have the rivet head supported. Continue forming the head till you are sure it is tight. Use a large hammer and punch to flatten the ends of the rivets. It’s a tight fit. since the front magazine catch is machined into the rear of the trunnion. as there may be some difference between the two. If you take it to a machine shop. it is hard to reposition any parts that may have moved while you were hammer-forming the previous rivet. The two forward rivets are hard to reach. Total time to set it up and press it out was only about 15 minutes. begin hammering the shank that extends through the receiver. but don’t fully tighten the rivets till all are in place. I used the “big hammer” method which worked well and didn’t cost anything other than effort. Measure to the edge of the holes and add 1/2 a rivet diameter to get the center point for your hole location. this may also require a lot of force. Mine came out fine with the hammer method. but if you angle in your punch. Transfer these dimensions to the receiver and center punch them before drilling. Slide it into the receiver with the upper receiver edges sliding into the groove in the trunnion. Now comes what most builders consider to be the most difficult part of AK building. With the trunnion riveted in position. You may want to do one rivet at a time to make it easier. You don’t need to form round heads. If you have made a mistake. go ahead and drill them full size. measure how far back from the front and how far down from the top your new holes need to be drilled. These are only a few thousandths larger and a lot easier to find. it works a lot easier for barrel removal than the hammer method. These pins are sometimes very hard to remove. Once a good location is found. After your rivets are set. I hammered them flat about halfway. It’s up to you to decide if you can handle it yourself or you want to hire it done. Some hand fitting may be required to get the parts to fit properly. Some receivers will not require trimming. Remember you want all your hammering force going into forming the rivet. so make sure you have everything clamped securely. locating and installing the front trunnion. transfer them to the receiver. you can remove the barrel from the trunnion. you will bend your parts! Also. The two lower rivets will need to be installed next. Make sure you have the rivets backed up solidly. the barrel and its crosspin can be installed. it’s time to install the rivets. If you don’t have the rivets supported well. Having this trimmed up evenly will aid you in locating the holes you’ll need to drill for the front trunnion rivets. then began to hammer around the edges of the rivet to form a round head. They extended about 3/16" past the outside of the receiver to leave enough material to form a round head. The magazines need to be held securely but not so tight as to make removal difficult. so be careful you are not bending anything when trying to remove it. Before you can install the front trunnion. center punch and then drill. but the general public only believes what the media tells them about those “evil AK47s!” Some barrels may be so hard to remove that you may have no choice but to take it somewhere and have it pressed out for a few bucks. The method I used was to wrap the barrel in a rag and lightly clamp it in the vise and butt the trunnion up against the side of the vise jaws. Drill the holes several sizes undersize and slide the receiver and trunnion together to verify they are where they are supposed to be. supporting it and the receiver as the rivets are flattened. Once the rivets are tight. so be sure your backing bar is supporting the rivet head. Place your trunnion assembly securely in a vise and use a large hammer and appropriate-sized punch to drive out the barrelretaining crosspin. since this is on the inside where it is not visible. We know this build is completely legal. Measure the rivet locations. crosspin. Place a couple of soft copper coins or soft washers against the rear of the barrel and use a punch slightly smaller than the barrel shank to drive out the barrel. you can get a pretty decent looking rivet head without the need to buy rivet-forming punches. not the parts. I didn’t try it but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. then proceed to the next rivet and repeat the process.A steel backing bar takes the place of the barrel in the trunnion.
To locate your rear trunnion. Use the same methods that you used to locate the front trunnion to locate the rear. you want to apply the force precisely where it needs to be applied and not to the surrounding parts. It’s fast and can be done by semiskilled assemblers. First lightly oil both the trunnion hole and barrel shank. The receiver and riveted in components are there to allow the internal parts to reciprocate in the receiver for functioning and to provide a place to hang the magazine. Let’s look at some extremely basic hand riveting methods. Matthews suggests ditching the “shepherd’s crook” spring and retaining parts with easily available and installable steel clips. nothing could be further than the truth. short. An alternative to guessing on the temperature would be to place your trunnion and receiver in your kitchen oven set to the proper temperature for about 30 minutes. Screws. You can choose from a multitude of riveting tools and methods that range from basic rivet forming punches to hand held forming tools to hydraulically operated setting tools. Just make sure they understand how precisely the parts have to be assembled and make sure they don’t damage anything during reassembly. I did my rivet setting by hand with nothing more than a hammer. Now that your trigger guard/mag release assembly. All forces of firing are contained within these parts. front trunnion. rivets were the most common fastener in applications like as shipbuilding. The rivets in an AK are not under a great deal of stress. and backup blocks. the receiver and other parts are held in alignment by precision fixtures and fastened using pneumatic rivet squeezers. Place a piece of soft material over the muzzle so that you don’t mar the end of the barrel. These guns have a design life rated in the hundreds of thousands of rounds. don’t piddle around. you just don’t beat things together with large hammer blows. If you aren’t confident reinstalling your barrel yourself I recommend taking it to the machine shop that removed it for you and having them reinstall it. Expanding the hole and shrinking the shank will make the two slide together a lot easier. only heat it to 200-300°. drill and rivet in place. I might add at this point that even though you are hammering things together. Cont. and long enough to extend through the parts to be assembled. gently heat the trunnion to expand the trunnion hole. Even into the mid 20th century. flat. most notably the Browning 1919 MG and the more recent FN-MAG (M240). With a propane torch. If they are too high. Before that. I recommend small taps when you get close to lining up the crosspin so you don’t go too far. Some even question how a firearm can be safely built using those crude-looking old-fashioned rivets. Some think that this is difficult and requires some great skill. Have a large wrench at hand so that if the barrel needs to be rotated to align the crosspin hole. All that remains is to install the rest of your parts. Rivets are one of the oldest and well-proven methods of fastening items together. front trunnion and bolt are the parts under stress at the time of firing. countersunk.Install the fire control group. made early in the last century. permanent fastener and choose rivets! Although rivets are made from soft steel because they need to be malleable.. you use the top cover to find a location that allows it to fit properly. Hammer on the trunnion only as the receiver is too thin to hammer on. modify the one you got in your rifle parts kit so that it cannot accept a buttstock. The barrel requires an interference fit. Rivets also hold together some of the worlds most durable machine guns. so I recommend the following procedure to make it easier to install. etc. punches. The barrel. The crosspin hole needs to be lined up almost perfectly. In a factory setting. the hardest part is done. I should mention one of the legal issues on building an AK pistol. Too long means a lot of grinding. Once you start sliding the hot trunnion and cold barrel together. clamp the trunnion in your vise and reinstall the barrel crosspin. tall. This may require cutting off the stock tang on some models or filling in any stock recesses in the trunnion on other models. They only serve to hold the receiver and components together and in alignment. Then insert the barrel into the trunnion and tap into place. Although a hydraulic press is the easiest way of reinstalling the barrel. The other method is kind of a reverse of the first. Once the crosspin hole is lined up perfectly. Locate holes. When the AK-47 was redesigned in the 1950s to use the sheet metal receiver the manufacturers wanted a strong. I also recommend that you use some wood blocks between the vise jaws and the receiver to prevent marring the receiver. a vital consideration in wartime when labor is scarce. I welded in the recesses for the folding stock hardware on my AMD-65 kit and ground it down flat. as the two will immediately begin to equalize their temperatures and again be very hard to slide together. file or grind the heads below the edge of the trunnion hole so that they won’t interfere with re-installing the barrel. and each type will require a different amount of Cont. screws were basically hand-made and too expensive for most applications. too short means a joint that might not hold. Clamp trunnion/receiver assembly in a vise (be careful to clamp down only where the receiver is supported by the trunnion so you don’t crush it). Heads can be round. The first is to clamp the barrel in a vise and slide the trunnion/receiver assembly on to the barrel stub and use a soft piece of material as a punch and tap the trunnion/receiver onto the barrel till the crosspin hole lines up exactly. I did it the old-fashioned way with the trusty big hammer method You ain’t a gunsmith if you dont have a big hammer! There are two hammer methods and either will work. I tried both and got equal results. Rivets have to be soft enough so that the head will form without breaking or cracking. A pistol must not have a buttstock or a means to attach one. Select rivets long enough to provide enough shank material to form an effective head. This Port Huron steam tractor. nuts and bolts were only cheaply and readily available since the mid 1800s when high volume screw-making machinery became available. The only stresses that are involved are the forces from recoil and the spring-driven bolt carrier assembly returning to battery. they are more than adequate for the job. the cold will shrink the diameter slightly. . the heads on the inside of the trunnion hole are below its edge. Then place your barrel in your kitchen freezer. Lubing both the pin and the hole will make installation easier. its time to get the barrel back in place. I used an old muzzle brake that was basically scrap material to protect the muzzle. Now that both the trunnions are installed. skyscraper construction and locomotives. so before installing your rear trunnion. still stands up to high pressure with riveted construction. to page 76 Riveting: ne of the biggest concerns of the novice AK builder is the issue of riveting the gun together. to page 76 ➤➤➤ extra material to form the heads. While on the subject of the rear trunnion. The industrial age was based on rivets! a skill you can master O Rivets have stood the test of time as fasteners. rear trunnion and barrel are installed. it is there where you can get to it quickly. Since hand riveting is so easy and there are only 15 rivets in an AK type firearm I could not justify the cost for the specialty tools.
Model variations with different length barrels sometimes have different length gas pistons. sliding through the hole in the receiver and then rotating it down into place. disconnector. this is the point at which you install the buttstock. It will lock in place by the spring-loaded pin in the front sight base. your gun may not function properly. in case any modifications need to be made. The lower handguard fits into the recess under the front trunnion at the rear. If you use the wrong piston. the 12. A lever on it rotates a cam that allows it to slide forward to allow handguard installation. Although the hammer method will work fine. but not just any fire control group.5-inch barreled AMD-65 doesn’t have the same piston as the 16-inch standard models. Manufacturing tolerances mean some minor hand-fitting of the remaining parts may be required. it’s just flat out difficult to install. Here are a few. To make one. You can find a variety of sources for rivets on the Internet. To get a rounded profile. not heavy hammer blows. attach your pistol grip with the long screw and the angled nut that fits into the inside of the receiver. Since one of the more popular U. it’s not high tech! Whether you use basic hand tools or the expensive rivet setting tools. It will still take many hits to form the head but it does make a nice looking head that requires no finish work. I recommend that you throw them away just to stay legal. As shown in the picture. from page 74 The rifle is complete. After you have properly formed the head. To form the traditional round shape on the rivet head. screw it onto the barrel. Make sure that your rivet is always well supported so that all your hammering force is going into the rivet and not deforming your parts. The fire control group needs to be installed in the receiver. If you are uncertain on using the generic rivets. the semi-auto has a different disconnector. hammer spring. the rivet shanks in your work will expand and be very difficult to remove if you screw up and want to redo them (don’t ask how I know this!). Remember medieval blacksmiths were riveting hundreds of years ago. you don’t want to get your head all formed only to find out that the parts are loosely fitted. but you can modify the bolt carrier in the AK-74 by shortening it to use a standard AK-47 piston. so be sure to use one that is compatible with your parts kit. That part is usually held in place by fitting into the rear of the receiver and by two additional screws. Flat blocks will cause the opposite heads to flatten somewhat when forming the head but since I didn’t want protruding heads. from page 74 Simply flattening the head about halfway is the first step in hand-forming a rivet. If you are doing a rifle build.-made parts to be replaced is the gas piston. it needs to be a semi-auto fire control group. If you want to retain the round heads on the opposite ends you will have to have a backing block with a head shape machined into the block. safety lever. It also has a lever and cam for removing and locking in place. Matthews suggests this is the time to do your test-firing. You will have to push the disconnector forward to allow it to be put into position. Cont. After your fire control group is installed. If you choose to use “generic” rivets rather than ones already sized for your project like I did you will have to experiment to get the right length for proper head forming. The safety lever is installed by orienting it straight up. disconnector spring. You don’t need them and possession of them can be construed by law enforcement as “intent” to make an unregistered full-auto gun. A lot of small hits work better when hand setting rivets that a few large hits. This punch can be bought or made. the hammer is easier to control and you will make fewer mistakes. smooth it up with a small file or grinder. Install the bolt into the bolt carrier and install it into the receiver followed by the recoil spring assembly. The gas tube/upper handguard is installed between the gas port block and the sight base. all you will do is push your rivet out of your parts! For backing blocks I used flat blocks of steel (except for the backing block in the barrel hole). work your way around the head till you have a nicely rounded head that is tight on your work. If you have a flash suppressor or muzzle brake. This forming is done with many light taps. it’s best to get them Grind a recess into the end of a large punch and you’ve made a rivet head punch. With a hammer (or hammer and punch if you prefer) hammer the solidly supported head down about 1/2 its length. trigger. When forming the heads. Don’t be intimidated by riveting. to page 78 ➤➤➤ Cont. you just start tapping the edges against the workpiece. Slide the front of the top cover into the groove in the rear sight base and the rear in the groove that is machined into the rear trunnion and is held by the square spring loaded lug on the rear of the recoil spring. Just remember to make it large enough to form a head that is large enough not to pull though your work pieces. I need to mention that not all gas pistons are the same.S. If your kit comes with any of the full-auto fire control parts. there are some tips that may make the job easier or give better results.Cont. If it’s not properly supported. It will give a nicely rounded head (r. by all means spend the extra money for the ready-made ones for your own peace of mind. you start with a rivet protruding from your work. For example. Always keep your parts firmly clamped together when riveting. For this AK project I didn’t want a large head protruding from the sides of my receiver and about 3/16” extra was all that was needed for forming my heads. you can also use a rivet head forming punch. While the hammer and triggers are basically the same on the full auto and semi-auto. One thing that has caused a lot of frustration to AK builders is installing the “shepherds hook” spring that holds in the hammer and trigger pins. Also the AK-74 and the AK-47 have slightly different piston lengths. Either use a manufactured semi disconnector or modify the full auto disconnector by grinding off the tail so that it cannot be contacted by the safety/selector. just begin tapping around the edges of the rivet to round it over. The spring end goes into the back of the bolt carrier and the lug on the rear of the spring assembly engages into the groove in the rear trunnion. this was fine with me. As with any project. two pins and a pin retainer spring.) without a lot of grinding and finishing needed. right the first time. and the sites make for interesting reading. This is simply a punch with a recess formed in the end that will allow the rivet shank to form a head as it is struck. The simplest solution to this is to just throw it away and use E-clips or pin retaining clips that are available at hardware stores. The fire control group in a semi AK consist of a hammer. which will allow you to form the head in one operation. you are just squashing a soft piece of metal . but is a motley collection of colors. just grind a depression in the end of a large punch in the shape of a rivet head with a small stone in a Dremel Moto-tool.
62 sidefolder I have had for about 15 years and the AK-74 shot considerably better. forgings or stampings 2 Barrels 3 Barrel extensions 4 Mounting blocks(trunnions). Dept. Dept. There are a multitude of finish options ranging from simple spray paint to traditional or high tech finishes. 44024 www. www. gas pistons.C. 3305 Westwood Industrial Drive. made parts were about $85 and the KG GunKote was about $25 for a total of $375.Tapco. Handguards 18 Magazine bodies 19 Magazine followers 20 Magazine floorplates 100-yard accuracy.com email:AkronArmory@aol. 537 N. Ohio.. This rifle shoots 3-4" groups.akronarmory. acessories and receivers Tapco.ohiorapidfire. 5015 W.com . Dept. Kennesaw. 1 Frames. Most AKs in 7. You may find some minor fitting problems that need correction before you apply the finish.ohioordnance. 30144 www. N. Another popular finish is Lauer Custom Weaponry’s DuraCoat. Napa. SGN. magazine bodies. hot tank bluing for the pistol. Monroe.akfiles.. Any combination of these parts can be used as long as no more than 10 imported parts are used.K-VAR. I can’t help but wonder how well it would do with a scope. which is about $200 under the wholesale price of a factory-built AK pistol. For the AMD-65 pistol build I went with a traditional hot tank bluing job that I did myself. pistol grips.com Parts. disconnectors... stocks. Suite 504. followers and floorplates. receiver castings. 89146-3407 www. however certain parts are more commonly used by builders. $85 in the receiver and about $20 in finishing cost for a total of $235. The kit cost $200. Sahara Ave.S. I guess I got lucky because both of mine worked extremely well. Box 687.com American Gunsmithing Institute. parts to use are hammers.S. This is also about $200 under wholesale price for factory-built AK-74 rifles.. P. SGN. even with the crude AK sights. 94559. Dept. Cuyahoga Falls.S. At 100 yards I could shoot the AK pistol somewhat better than my S&W 629 44 Mag. These guns aren’t going to have a shiny commercial look. Matthews chose KG GunKote finish for the rifle. Although it was very heavy by pistol standards. Troy.Cont.com Akron Armory.americangunsmith. receivers. Ky. receivers. receivers and trunnions may be counted as one part if in one piece 5 Muzzle attachments 6 Bolts 7 Bolt carriers 8 Operating rods 9 Gas pistons 10 Trigger housings 11 Triggers 12 Hammers 13 Sears 14 Disconnectors 15 Buttstocks 16 Pistol grips 17 Forearms. SGN.. Elm St. muzzle brakes). SGN. I compared this AK-74 to a Polytech AK -47 7. 44221 www. handgun yet the ballistic tables would indicate similar muzzle energies. 45373 www.com Inter Ordnance. Dept. SGN.com Clearview Investments Inc. Note: Not all rifles have all the parts on the list. The AK-47 pistol was something of a surprise also but not for Semi-auto AK-47(74) Resource List Information on building http://www.62x39mm will generally only shoot 6-inch groups at 100 yards. Nev. from page 76 One of the big incentives of building yourself is the cost savings. the U.O. I found that from a sandbag rest (with small magazines) I could shoot it as well as any long barrel pistol. This was a huge cost savings and well worth the work involved. The large cost savings plus the satisfaction of knowing that you built it yourself make this a very attractive project. Chardon. SGN. Dept. If you are willing to put in some work and study the project this may be one for you. I suppose the final test of how well you built your guns is how well they work. Suite 300.clearviewinvest. The need for U. but can stand on their own. 102 Fieldview Dr. 1325 Imola Ave. Calif. 2419 Front St. Dept. For the AK-74 rifle build I went with KG GunKote in charcoal gray that I also applied in my workshop. W.. Ohio.-made parts and the higher kit price meant the AK-74 rifle cost more. with 83⁄8-inch barrel. The most popular U. muzzle attachments (flash suppressors. It was a bit like a big semi-auto T-C Contender. Box 2408. P. which has also been covered in a previous article. Versailles. Recoil was nowhere near as heavy as a 44 Mag.O. I was skeptical about how a pistol this large would handle. Las Vegas.. For the AMD-65 pistol build I had $130 in the parts. Ohio.intreordnance. No more than 10 of these parts can be imported and used to construct a semi-auto rifle. I recommend you do a final check of all your parts and how they function and then test fire before you proceed to final finishing. Add on dealer mark up and the cost savings are even greater. Ga. KG GunKote is a sprayed-on phenolic resin finish that is baked on to form a hard and durable finish and is an excellent finish for military firearms. 28110 www. SGN. 40383 www. Dept. the receiver cost me $65.com K-VAR. Both functioned fine and the AK-74 was especially surprising in how accurately it shot. I enjoyed the project and saved money so it doesn’t get much better for me! These are the 20 parts that are regulated by the BATFE for the construction of semi-auto rifles. SGN. #125 PMB-136.com Ohio Ordnance Works. These two finishing methods have been covered in previous articles that I have written for SGN if you are interested in the process of applying them.com Ohio Rapidfire. Once all your parts are installed. triggers.