AK47 Reviews, Pictures, Information and
Kalashnikova Model 1947 (AK47)
to Build an AK-47
Part Four of our series on US AK47
Overview - Building
your own AK47 from two points of view
is not intended to be a how to guide, it is an
interesting comparison of two methods of home
building the AK style rifle. This
article / overview was taken from a discussion
between two members of AKfourm.net, My-Rifle
were both answering the question
I going to be better off buying an underfolder
or am I
better off buying a parts kit?
I just want
the underfolder to shoot, not collect"
an AK costs about twice as much as buying
one pre-built. The pre-built one will also
be of higher quality (probably) than the
first rifle you build from a parts kit. The
reason the home-build costs so much more
is that you have to accumulate about $500
worth of tools and jigs to shape and assemble
the parts into a functioning gun. See GunsGutsAndGod.com
and Surplusrifle.com for the best tutorials
on building the receiver.
no you don't. Ever hear of 100% receivers?
You can make your own rivet jigs/tools pretty
Here's some tools that I made and bought that didn't get me anywhere near the
$500 you quoted...
We put these two points of view and building methods
head to head for comparison
the old parts kit.
need a drill press ($75
delivered from HarborFreight)
worth of titanium or cobalt bits
as punches ($10)
hand files ($30)
a bench grinder ($50 delivered from Homier).
Four hours of work with this stuff will get
the old receiver parts off the recyclable
parts. You'll be grinding off the heads of
rivets and punching them out with your punches.
You will also need (I made do without, and
it was tough) about $50 worth of jigs to
hold the parts in place while you grind and
punch them. The jigs will prevent you from
damaging the parts as you apply tremendous
force to small delicate parts. You're also
going to have to remove the barrel. This
will allow you to work with the front trunnion.
You're going to have to get to the inside
of the trunnion to rivet in the new receiver,
and to do that you have to remove the barrel.
First remove the barrel retaining pin. the
punch and a small hammer should get it out.
Next I used a 3-pound maul, a 1/2" steel
rod and a roll of pennies against the inside
face of the trunnion to beat the barrel
out of the trunnion.
To remove barrel,
use a $20 automotive pulley puller...
Bending the flat.
need a 12-ton shop press ($120 delivered
bending jig around which you will bend
the receiver flat, and some steel plate
to help shape the upper receiver rails.
of 100% receivers?
need a $40 MAPP torch
and about $20 worth
of gas. This is probably the easiest step
in the process.
when you buy a 100% receiver
will use your hand files
Dremel Tool kit ($50) to do this.
will screw in place the front and rear trunnions
(for fit) and use the dremel tool to cut
out part of the rails, so the trunnions fit
flush against the sides of the receiver.
The trunnions, you see have grooves for the
receiver rails, but they aren't deep enough
to accept the full 1/8" rail,
so you have to cut out about 1/2 the
rail, so the groove is filled, but there
is no excess space between the side of the
trunnion and the inner side of the receiver.
Next you cut out the notches for the bolt
carrier and bolt to fit into the very rear
of the receiver just in front of the rear
trunnion. These notches should be exactly
big enough to accept the carrier but no bigger.
Any bigger, and the carrier will pop out
after each shot. Once this is done, and the
carrier fits into the receiver you will have
to trim down and polish the rails, so the
carrier travels freely.
when you buy a 100% receiver
the lower rails.
with the flat were two rails that you will
have to weld inside the receiver.
You will have to buy a ($120) spot welder
from Homier to do this.
Read about placing the rails, then weld them in
place. Sounds easy? It's not, and don't screw up. Ever tried to undo a
when you buy a 100% receiver
yes. The rivets.
Buy a 24" pair
of bolt cutters ($20).
Use the bench grinder
to shape the jaws as shown on the GunsGutAndGod
as well as SurplusRifle.com sites. This tool
will get the rivets into the inside of your
front trunnion. The back trunnion will require
a bucking bar and a bucking plate (which
you will make) to get the rivets in place.
Your 3 pound maul and various pieces of scrap
steel as well as your trusty drill press
will serve you well in this step. This step
may be the least expensive one as your tools
are already in hand.
the front trunnion rivets use a modified
bolt cutter and a divot plate (Total
cost was about $10)... .
the trigger guard rivets make a jig
yourself outta some 1/4" steel plate
(total cost was only a few bucks)..
in the barrel.
back in step one we took off the barrel?
Well now comes the hard part - getting it
back in - straight.
You can use your new
$120 Homier press to generate the force required
to jam the barrel in.
I froze the barrel
in the freezer for two hours, then I heated
the trunnion and slid the barrel in. I have
since discovered that this was a bad idea,
as excessive heat damages the trunnion. Other
solutions are a) polish the barrel with emery
cloth, use grease, and beat the hell out
of the end of the trunnion with the muzzle
pressed into a block of wood. b) use a long
threaded piece of steel run through the bore
and capped at the muzzle end with a soft
washer and nut, and inside the trunnion (Leave
the bolt-carrier in place at the face of
the trunnion and run the rod through it too.)
use another washer and a nut, then tighten
the nuts until the barrel draws into the
modified plate to fit inside the
receiver behind the bolt carrier
for the allthread tool.
reinstall the barrel, make yourself
an all thread device. It cost me
less than $5 to make one..
the lower rails.
the rails that you just welded in are designed
for .223 ammo, they are too big for 7.62
mm ammo, and you'll have to trim them down
with your dremel tool until the bolt rides
on them without difficulty and they actually
eject rounds as they are supposed to do.
this point you can buy all your US-compliance
parts (about $60 - $80 worth)
and put your rifle together. You can test the bolt's headspace using
your $70 go/no-go gauges, and if you're
lucky the headspace will be safe to fire
and you can go to the range and fire the
gun. Since you will have some adjustments
to make (and you will know which ones they
are, as you will be an AKM expert by then),
you will have another few hours of work
to do, and you will be finished.
you can cough up the $400 for a bought-made
AK. By the way, do you like to work with
tools and build things? Do you like to
tinker with cars and such? If you don't
love it then buy the gun. On the other
hand, once you accumulate the tools, you
can crank out AKM's for about $200, and
they are yours, all yours!
best thing you can do is find someone in
your area that can assist you with your first
build. Once someone shows you the ropes on
building your first one, you can take it
from there for build 2,3,4,5,....
you can see these guys build differently, but
both end up with a quality rifle. Building the
AK47 is a hobby, and you can see with their common
answer to the question. It is a matter of working
with tools more than assembiling a rifle. Building
is no small task, but is you are up to it and
you like it, it can be an affordable way to collect
again to these guys from AKfourm.net, My-Rifle
and Tapeo1. We posted this article with their
permission, real good information and pictures
guys. Feel free to leave comments and and
ask questions. If you have something to add
let us know we are always looking for more
information to post.
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