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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ahhh....shit! I forgot,.....I am 'da man'.

But I'm building a 5.45x39 from a new Bulgarian 74 parts kit. And I feel f'ing awesome! There is nothing like making your own receiver and doing it by banging it with a small sledge hammer. That and smashing my thumb to a bloody sausage while doing so. War wounds=stories to tell.

I've got the receiver nearly done. Worked nonstop through 6 beers...I mean 5 hours straight! C'mon folks, when it comes to work and serious business like this I don't fudge around, much. If it hadn't been for the spousal unit nagging me to come home, I'd have been there until 4 a.m. and had it done.

We actually had a mini-build party. The gear heads house I did it at, he is a great tutor for the task. I will say shop skills are ALMOST a must for this sort of thing, but you can get 'er done with hardly any as long as you are with a guy who knows what he/you are supposed to do. Luckily I do have those skills anyways.

And it feels GOOD doing it! Not quite up there with dirty porn like sex, or watching your first son and heir being born "feel good", but it's in the "I built the mother fucker with these God given hands that can also kill you" feel good sort of way.

But to be honest, it's more like an assembly of some serious shitness than an "actual build" like building from scratch sort of thing. But it does top those who boast of "building" an AR. I've put together Erector Sets together that are far more complicated than assembling an AR. And that's not an exsageration when I say that. And It is addictive. I've got 2 other kits waiting to do the same and my 13 y/o son wants to do one of them. That's right bringing him into the fold baby! There is nothing like coming in to manhood like holding a bare metal receiver AK over your head and yelling "Wolverines" all while simultaneously holding an ice pack over a purple and swollen thumb.

And the cool part is if your buddy has one of those lettering punches, you can mark it all crooked, with some letters upsidedown and all, like the way 1st graders and retards write, and mark it "FUK-U-ARMS YUMAA . AZ". The double A is where I got injured and I couldn't find anything that looked like a comma so a nail made the period. The other side is marked "5.45XE9". For the life of me I rehearsed how the 3 should have been punched but still managed to F it up. That and a sock as a glove won't protect shit when a 3 lb sledge hammer comes down. At least JB Weld will cover up the extra "A" before final painting and I guess I will have to live with the "XE9" caliber. It's a very unique round. I heard from my buddy in Delta (as in airlines) that only Greenland Force Commandoes uses it. And he is Bjorks personal assistant's 3rd cousin plumber's neighbor, or along the lines of some sort of crap like that. These sorts of people need no introductions so it must be true.

I know. I know. Some of ya'll will cry foul and say that it didn't happen until I post pics. Well as an unfortunate coincidence, having teens and pre-teens in the house tend to make AA batteries get listed under the Endangered Species Act, and only when you need them the most. So picture in your mind an AK...without a barrel or stock,.....and where the receiver is at imagine it looking like a shiny bare metal rectangular box thingy, that's technical talk for "reh-see-vher". In the meantime this photo of a cute cuddly kitten will represent what my AK build looks like until I can get a the digi-cam shenanigans ironed out and post an actual pic of it on line.
 

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Definitely want to see pics, I have been thinking about doing something like this. Where did you get the kit from?
 

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I did a couple AK's but bought my recievers from NoDak. Rivets and all and it was fun as hell! I did get something misaligned in the shop press and had a barrel pin tool go shooting across the garage like a meteor though....oops.

Pics!!!!
 

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If it works out well, maybe you can talk me into drilling the rivets out of my East German AK - then putting all the parts onto a new receiver.

Who makes AK receivers for 5.56 NATO variants anyway?
 

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I'd ask NoDak, never had a bad word about any of their receivers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well Bravo, don't quote me as the AK building expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I used a TAPCO flat that is for the 7.62 and 5.45. As long as you have the correct barrel I don't think it matters. I think there is about 1/16th to 1/32 of an inch more room in between the mag and the receiver gap. With the trunnion clamped down and magazine fitted it wasn't anything that I would have, actually can't even notice it, and I have yet to look and compare it to the 7.62 AK. The 5.45 and 5.56 should have the same magazine dimensions, and it may even be a CH difference from that of a 7.62 mag. I see that there are flats advertised as 5.45 but so far I haven't seen a real difference.

The guy that is showing me how to build it gets says the high end flats aren't any different than the low end flats except that they may have been heat treated and annealed. We did our own heat treating and annealing process and they look just as good as the ones that come already made. And we dunked our heated parts in used motor oil as opposed to salt water process. I remember heat treating a chisle I forged in HS shop class like that. I did notice that if you do get a pre-made/registered receiver that you may likely have to fit the trunnion to the rails by doing some dremel work in tricky spots. Making your own receiver (rolling your own) you'd fit the rails as to the trunnion off the bat.

I would say that if you do roll your own and want it to look almost as good as a NODAK the tools you would need are a jig for the flats, at min a 12 ton press, a drill press (bench size is enough), map torch, a spot welder, and reamers. Always check the measurements before you bend so a good clipers/machnist ruler will be needed. We drilled the jig holes a bit larger as to accomodate a proper fit otherwise you'll end up with one side higher than the other and all holes will be misaligned.

The Bulgy kit come mostly demilled and the barrel pin and barrel comes out easy. The guy that did the Polish UF with me took a bit more to press the barrel pin out. The Romy G kits barrel pins are a bitch to remove and one practically have to put all their weight on the press (12 ton). Maybe it will not be the case for a larger press so a 20 ton press might be better for that job.

All riveting so far has been done with a claw hammer, a bolt, and backing plates made out of 3/8 steel w/the rivet heads drilled and dremmeled for the button shape. My buddy has the bolt cutter type of riveting tool for the trunnion. Will post as we go along.

I've waited for a while before finding someone that knew had to do it b/c I don't recommend that you do it (flat bending style) unless you do have sufficient shop experience unless you don't mind fudging it up and correcting later. The guy I did it with did it solo first time and he learned from his experience. What does get f'ed up can be fixed. Might have to go back to square one but it can be done. Most importantly don't hurry it.

And another thing that kept me waiting was weighing in buying the tooling to do it. All the above mentioned, plus more, run around $400 up to $600. The cool thing is that you can shop around for the stuff. My buddy saved up a bunch of coupons for Harbor Freight before getting the spot welder. And anything you buy can be sold. If you are the tinkering type you may have already a drill and shop press, or you may want to keep that stuff anyways for other projects. I've continuosly seen Ak build specific tools for sale often, or available to rent out.
 

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I used the bolt cutter tool for my first one then splurged and got one of the AKBuilder rivet jigs. Slicker than snot. Can't remember where I got the T/G jig, but it wasn't more than $20. It sure is fun though! I've got an underfolder to finish one of these days.

Can't wait for the pics!
 
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