First AK build

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Re: First AK build

Postby akuser47 » 05 Oct 2016 16

I see no reason for a butt stock recoil pad on an ak. They are soft shooting, and I agree on the stock options for the cost you are listing you can buy 2 or 3 sets of surplus wood that just needs refinished. I've shot full auto aks and even then the recoil isn't brutal or bad on shoulder, I'd say keeping recoil control (muzzle rise) is hard but that's it. If I ever go polymer on my ak I might do an ak74 in plum as I've always thought that funky purple is sexy. +guns
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Re: First AK build

Postby GasGuzzler » 05 Oct 2016 20

I don't like an AK with no pad. I'm a wuss though rifle wise.
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Re: First AK build

Postby Archer » 14 Feb 2017 14

Getting back to this subject...

A couple comments on the build process for the AK vs. the AR.
The AR has reached the level or refinement that it is close to a LEGGO set in that parts mostly just fit. Receivers are produced and post processed to the point that you generally don't even need to clean anodizing residue out of the pin holes with a drill bit by hand anymore. You want to use some lubricant putting things together but most parts will go together without it. As long as you lube up the action it will still work. It is very close to being a snap together process with minimal tools which are affordable and easy to obtain.

With respect to the AK, I'm no expert, but rolling your own can be more work than with the AR.
1) Parts kits are often incomplete
2) New parts may require modifications, final machining, file work to fit, or may not have holes drilled up to final size.
3) Finish may consist of paint rather than bluing and may increase friction on operating parts requiring final polishing or wearing in.
4) 922r requirements for U.S. produced part count may result in additional fitting of parts.
5) The tooling required to assemble an AK while basic and simple can be more specialized and expensive than the tools you need to assemble an AR.
6) Since the guns have been produced in many countries over the span of many decades with each country potentially adding their own requirements and customization no matter how slight mean that parts from different suppliers are likely to have variations in size/fit/features.

Now I started with good components and friends which gave me several advantages (and a few disadvantages).
A1) My friends had purchased the required tools for their builds a while back so I didn’t have to buy tools.
D1) Those same tools had been used to assemble several AKs so some of them were wearing thin or had some damage from prior use. The Harbor Freight press was functional but positioning and stability could be improved. (Can NOT complain about free access to tooling however)
A2) Since my buds had done this I could and did lean on their knowledge of the assembly requirements and process.
D2) Scheduling a time so that I could have access to the tools, press and knowledge was a bit of a pain.
A3) New parts kit with barrel already head spaced and drilled for the pin. Sights, gas block and front ferrul installed. Every once in a while, your buddies want to ‘just do it’ so you may have to slow them down with ‘dumb questions’ in order to SEE and understand what’s going on.
D3) Rivet holes in the forward trunnion were not full sized.
A4) New furniture set
D4) No trapdoor for the cleaning kit storage and the parts required some fitting and sanding on the stock and the bottom handguard.
A5) Nodak Spuds receiver, already folded cut and drilled for rivets. (i.e. NO TEMPLATES required!, No annealing of the receiver required, no post drilling heat treatment required)
A6) Receiver was finished, no bluing or cerakoting required. WBP parts kit finished.
D6) Scratches to the finish are almost inevitable during assembly and the finish on the moving parts will need to be broken in or polished away for reliable function.

With respect to the ARs there is a wealth of good information on assembly, maintenance and so forth on line already in presentation grade PDFs and slide shows. There are a wealth of YouTube videos many of which are actually full of good info by industry professionals such as Larry Potterfield of Midway and Brownells, MagPul, ACT and other companies’ Employees showing step by step techniques and explaining the reasons behind them. Most AR modification and customization parts come with instructions even when the operations are basic.

With respect to AKs there are a wealth of videos that demonstrate assembly or production but there’s 10 bad ones for every good one and a lot of them are guys fumbling along on their first one cutting out mistakes or not showing the important points. Even videos reporting to show fitting operations often show the parts and then the finished product with all the fitting taking place in a cut or offscreen. I’m sure there’s guides out there but they’re a little harder to find and aren’t typically as polished as the AR equivalents. (Heck I even forgot to take pics as we went along and didn’t even take a pic of the parts kit on my build.)

I’m happy with my build. I still have to polish it up a bit internally and get it running smooth but I anticipate this will just take some time and maybe elbow grease and a round tuit.

I’ll have to post some pics of the finished product.
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