Ruger Forum banner

1 - 20 of 57 Posts

·
Ruger Tinkerer
Joined
·
11,898 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I sometimes make fun of Neon Horse and his many AK projects and threads but to be honest I'm kinda intrigued. And clueless. I gained a much better understanding and appreciation of the AR15 when I bought up parts and put a couple together myself. Terrific experience actually - loved it and I like my ARs. I have a hunch I might feel the same way about an AK.

I've seen some different kits for sale at PSA - is this perhaps a good way to get what I need and start down the path of enlightenment in all things Kalashnikov? Any special tools I need like a pop rivet gun or a sheet metal brake? (Sorry - I can't help myself...)

The truth is I like all kinds of firearms and how they function, go together and work intrigues me. The AK is iconic and if I put one together I think I'll learn a lot.

Any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,662 Posts
Intriguing...I'm sure you'll make it something special!

I'm actually considering building an AR in 7.62x39...they're picky to shoot but it's a nice round for close-in shooting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,282 Posts
I'm with you to an extent. I don't know if I'd want to build an AK, but I've recently gotten a lot more interested in them to the point where it's pretty likely that one will follow me home before too long.

Keep us posted on what you end up doing.
 

·
Spellign Bee Champ
Joined
·
15,551 Posts
Just do it! I don't own one but I know I want one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,260 Posts
If you've got the rubles, go for it.
You might just keep buying them though, unless you know when to say nyet.
 

·
Righteous Dude
Joined
·
21,694 Posts
I think a kit like what PSA offers or a Saiga conversion is a good way to start out.

Even Classic Firearms has kits that need put together. Similar to PSA, they have barreled receivers (the barrel is populated) and you install control groups, covers, grips, etc. I have an AMD from them that I am waiting to build.

Saigas can be a fun way to build and clone an AKM. You can get a sporter Saiga for about $450-$500. A basic conversion Saiga runs about $540-$600. This option has tons of work involved if you want a rifle that is pretty close to the Russian icon. Or, you convert it to your taste. My conversion is more similar to a Russian AK, but I didn't convert it all the way and I put options I wanted on it.

I'm working on a PSA build right now. I like the build specs. Everything is nitrided. I like that. What I don't like is that I found rust on the receiver cover. I'll probably just sand it and hit it with grill paint. More to come on this.

You can also build from a flat, 80% receiver, or completed stripped receiver (ffl required for the latter). This is an ambitious task. You will need to be able to rivet, press, weld, and harden (unless you get a complete receiver, then you won't need to weld or harden (usually; some exceptions apply)). I haven't done this route, but I want to eventually.

Now, you don't have to build using rivets. You can weld a build and have a clean look. You can also do what is called a screw build. Instead of welding or riveting, you use screws to build the AK. This route has many haters. I don't necessarily see the problem.

Or, you can just buy a complete AK, tear it apart, Cerakote it Ruger Raspberry color, and then put it together. That'd also get you familiar. ;)

Just like ARs, AK building is overwhelming with parts, types, and everything else. AKs are also harder to assemble.

If you need receiver material, I can send you my burn barrel. Cuz in Russia, everything turn into gun! (Said in my best Russian accent).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,847 Posts
A Ruger AK would be nice. Maybe someday.
 

·
"The Real Deal"
Joined
·
8,044 Posts
A Ruger AK would be nice. Maybe someday.
Only if its milled, not stamped, has a good upgraded sight setup, and beautiful wood, now that would be impressive.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,356 Posts
Ruger AK = Mini 30:)

I built two AR-15's, it was fun, probably would do it again but back in 2007 it was way cheaper to do so.......

I ordered the parts and bought M16A1 uppers off GunBroker, from the MWR computers in Iraq during my down time, and when I got back I went home to my parents house on one of my leaves and built them. Still have them both. I want to do a 20" M16A2 type AR build, but the cost savings aren't as good anymore vs. just buying an Armalite 20" or some such, and spending an extra $100 to NOT have to mess with it.

As I get older, into my late 30's, I have LESS desire to "tinker" and more desire to just go shooting, so anymore I just want guns that are ready to go.

There are a TON of low priced AK's out there, already done, like the Century "Red Army Standard".........I'm also super tempted by the "Polish Hellpup" it's kind of an AK-pistol, kind of a rifle.........

The Draco and Mini-Draco are tempting too, I mean, who DOESN'T need a super short stockless AK:)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,317 Posts
Am I the only one that doesn't speak Kalashnikov?

I'm reasonably conversant on most things gun related but I'm woefully ignorant of the world of AKs. The only thing I understand is stamped vs milled receivers. Everything else is a mystery.

I'm convinced that my lack of interest and general disdain for AKs is driven by my ignorance of them. Contempt prior to investigation is a lousy way to go through life.

Someone educate me please. What are the VERY BASIC things I need to know to start my journey into the world of the Kalashnikov? Can someone explain conversions to me? What are we converting and why? Etc, etc.

Thanks in advance.

Bonk
 

·
Ruger Tinkerer
Joined
·
11,898 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Am I the only one that doesn't speak Kalashnikov?

I'm reasonably conversant on most things gun related but I'm woefully ignorant of the world of AKs. The only thing I understand is stamped vs milled receivers. Everything else is a mystery.

I'm convinced that my lack of interest and general disdain for AKs is driven by my ignorance of them. Contempt prior to investigation is a lousy way to go through life.

Someone educate me please. What are the VERY BASIC things I need to know to start my journey into the world of the Kalashnikov? Can someone explain conversions to me? What are we converting and why? Etc, etc.

Thanks in advance.

Bonk
Thank you Bonk. That was what I was hoping to glean from this thread as well and part of my purpose in starting it to begin with. Not everyone is already up to speed on this platform or segment or whatever you want to call it - I know I'm not.

Anybody want to take a stab at breaking it down for those of us who don't understand? "AK For Dummies" stuff?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,785 Posts
My advice is as follows:

1. AKs are super fun to shoot! You should get one!

2. AKs are NOT super fun to build! They are not like slapping together an AR in an hour. You will need a shop press at the minimum to start. If you think you want one, buy one already built to become familiar with how they operate, and such.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,351 Posts
I too have been wanting an AK and pretty sure my next gun will be one or an AR556. I joined one of the AK forums just to read and learn, probably a good way to start.
 

·
"The Real Deal"
Joined
·
8,044 Posts
Well, here is what I know about the ak platform rifles, although not everything that their is to know by no means.

#1

The ak is worlds different from an ar rifle. The ar has tight tolerances, ak has loose. The ar has many many parts the ak has a smaller amount, the ar is more accurate, has more bullet choices, the ak is combat accurate, in rare cases 1 moa at 100 yards, and has few bullet choices for hunting, shooting accuracy tuning. The ar has many many calibers, the ak is usually 7.62x39, 5.45x39, or 7.62x54r (svd)

#2

Their are 2 ends of the spectrum same as with an ar rifle. You have lower priced value rifles, and you have some top end rifles, I bought my first for $450, I have seen ak's as much as 2 or 3 k depending on manufacturer or rarity. All go bang just as good.

#3 When comparing an ar and ak, an ar would be lets say a sports car, like a mustang gt or ss camaro quick, and agile, but needs intriquet upkeep. The ak would be more like a pickup truck, useful on the farm, or getting the job done in short order no matter how its treated.

#4 Building the ak is not impossible, it does require some shop tools like a press, a flat bender jig, welder, rivet gun etc, more complicated than building an ar, maybe equal if you mill your own ar lower. I would personally purchase the first one, and learn it, then maybe venture into a build, maybe.

#5 The difference between milled and stamped is economics. The russians started out stamped, then switched to milled. Well obviously the milled would cost more due to machining process, and slow production rates, so they went back to stamped, quicker to build, and cheaper. The milled usually goes for higher amounts of money versus stamped because of production costs, but both work equally to the point where you can almost not make them fire. I like both, but I own 3 stamped.

#6 The ak is a very easy rifle to disassemble and cleaning is easy, I have read of foreign soldiers using their boots shoe strings, dipped into grease to clean the barrel as a bore snake would. A little oil goes along way. The ar is more finnicky in that area. A child can maintain an ak, you see it on the news in foreign countries, thats not so with ar.

#7 I started with the century wasr 10/63, I own 3. They are reliable, and always go bang. They are a good value. I had a draco pistol, the sights were off to the point that it could not be sighted in, I sold it. When looking at one check sight alignment. 7.62x39 muzzle threads are 14mmx1mm left hand.

#8 The ban version has a single stack magwell versus the preban which is larger and will use double stacks. Also the ban version may have a thumbhole stock, or welded muzzle nut. The preban has most likely a slant brake, and a bayonet lug under the front of the gas tube where it mounts to the barrel. The postban will have been milled or grinded off.

#9 Their ar many manufacturers, Inter ordnance, century, saiga, arsenal, etc. All shoot just fine, the arsenal is usually alot higher since they make all the parts here in the US, The rest usually ship, in parts kits from overseas, and build the receiver to produce the rifle. The bulgarian, russian, chinese, polish, egyptian, romainian, all are good rifles.

#10 They 99.9% always go bang, they have no issue shooting domestic brass case, or foreign steel case, its like the energizer bunny, it just keeps going and going. Its loose tolerances aide in this, as well as a testament to its reliability under extreme conditions, crammed full of sand, it still works, ar not so much. This may hinder its accuracy a small amount versus the ar, but it has a higher reliability with less upkeep as opposed to the stoner rifle.

Thats it in a nut shell really let me know if you have questions, I may or may not be able to answer. But I will try. I have been messing with them since 2004. Hope that helps.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,317 Posts
Tacky, thanks for taking the time to write a lengthy response.

One question, what is this 'conversion' business all about?
 

·
"The Real Deal"
Joined
·
8,044 Posts
Tacky, thanks for taking the time to write a lengthy response.

One question, what is this 'conversion' business all about?
No problem, I never mind helping out my friends when I can.

Conversion, you mean like the saiga sporting rifle being converted to a true ak variant? It has to do with importation laws, and trade agreements, i think the ak variant cannot be imported as a traditional ak setup, a sporting rilfe can however, Meaning the normal saiga is stocked like a traditional hunting rifle, no pistol grip. So if you want to make it back to the original design, the trigger assembly has to be moved forward to allow the attachment of the original style pistol grip and traditional ak stock setup. I have never done it, but have seen many done that way, mostly the shotgun versions like tromix etc. That what you are speaking of?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,317 Posts
Okay, that makes sense. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,356 Posts
You'd be much better off starting off with an AK that's ready to go out of the box.......

I had a WASR 7.2x39, I didn't care much about it, so I sold it when prices went up and pretty much broke even on it. Getting another AK type rifle has not been a priority.

I might just use my C&R and get the "precursor" to the AK, a decent SKS, maybe a Yugo, just to have something in 7.62x39. Yugo SKS's don't have chrome lined bores, so maybe a Romanian.......they're still pretty cheap since they aren't hi-cap and are hard to convert to mags. They, like the AK, eat anything.

I had a nice refurb Russian SKS but like an idiot I sold it........IMO the SKS is a nice shooting little rifle, it's more "rifle like" than an AK, if that makes any sense, and you don't have to worry about magazines since it's a top feeder.

The Soviet SKS is the last "real Com Bloc" rifle you can own, in it's original untouched form....... unless you're lucky enough to own a bring-back AK47 or a Dragunov.

To further muddy the waters, Czechpoint Arms has some VERY nice looking VZ58 clones, I had a chance to buy one of the "older" models with the Bakelite stocks, 10 years ago......like a fool I passed on it. They're made in the Czech Republic and use a lot of surplus parts, except for the required US compliance parts........ The Czechs were forced to accept Com Bloc weapon calibers but refused to adopt Soviet weapons......so they designed their own. The VZ58 is in no way shape or form in any way similiar to the AK47, except the caliber. Totally different action, it only looks cosmetically similiar. It doesn't even use AK mags. These are said to be superior to the AK type rifles, but the prices of these and the fact that they're hard to find reflect this. My time as an 11B in Iraq kind of soured me on the AK47 type rifles, it's kind of become like owning the "weapon of the enemy" to me, but I would gladly take a VZ58 semi auto clone. They're never in stock and if they are you're looking at $1100 for one.......the Bakelite stock models are long discontinued, since they ran out of original stocks. One plus to them is you can load the mag with stripper clips while it's in the rifle.

Century has them for $500 but these are reportedly no where near as good as the Czechpoint models.
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 57 Posts
Top