Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Firearms Advice For Beginners

Worth it to build an AK?

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strangetanks:
So I have to admit I have very little experience with firearms.  But I would like to change that.

I'm seriously contemplating building an AK, most likely from a chopped up parts kit.  Part of it is the expense, hard to justify spending loads of money on something that in all reality won't get used hardly at all.  Second is by building something you become super intimately familiar with how it works and why.  Lastly, I just plain like to tinker.

I am a pretty advanced shop guy, I have a milling machine, metal lathe, mig and tig machines, press and all that stuff.  I don't plan on buying any bending jigs or anything as I can probably make all that.

My real question is first of all, I don't want to blow my face off the first time I use the thing, no clue how common a failure like that is on a home built firearm.  And, I've looked into the prices of parts and such and am not sure if either I'm looking in the wrong places but it seems like I'm potentially doing a lot of work and saving very little money.

I couldn't find any threads on the subject, but advice or links would be appreciated.

Mortblanc:
First, there are whole forums out there dealing with AK builds.

  http://ak-builder.com/

Second, Although some folks prefer to build their own it is not really a cost saving effort when one can buy an AK for a bit over $500 new from several suppliers.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/index.php/cPath/36_756/Century+International+Arms+Inc./

Third, Not using one hardly at all is a choice, not a reality. 

d3nni5:
I have looked into this myself.   Look on youtube.   Some decent videos on how to do this, tips and tricks, etc etc.  Since you got the metal working skills, I bet you would do just fine.  There was a thread floating around here a year or two ago that someone built one out of a shovel.  The beauty of the AK is that it does have loose tolerances.   If you spec it out, and are careful, I bet you can do it without worrying about it blowing up :).   A quick note, I've read that once you do get the flat bent and start assembly, the best way is to weld it together (rather than rivet or screw).

Now as to whether you save any money, I dunno.

The hidden "gotcha" with these kits (from Poland or Hungry let's say) is getting 922r compliant.  You will have to do the research on this for yourself.   Most of those parts kits are everything but the barrel and the receiver.   But once you introduce any U.S. manufactured parts into the build, you have to be 922r compliant.   You  will have to  swap out some of the parts from your "kit" with other U.S. parts.   So, if you live in the U.S. (assuming you do :) ) then by default you have introduced a U.S. made part when you bend your flat into a receiver.   From that point, you won't be able to use all the kit parts.   Some of the items (the stock, forearm, piston, etc) MUST be U.S. made parts, forcing you to purchase duplicate (likely new) parts.   So, there goes some of the saving money.

At least, this is how I understand it.   If I'm wrong, I hope someone can correct me here.   I've read a lot about it though.

Mortblanc:
R22 compliance on an AK is not a problem and the parts required are usually an American upgrade. 

Ready built guns are already made compliant so they can be sold, which is another advantage of buying "ready made".

With the machine tools you have you might want to buy an AK for use and study, then order an 80% receiver to finish out and apply a parts kit to after you have become familiar with the AK.

If the one you build is better than the ready made unit you can always sell the ready made gun, or scrap it for parts on a second build.

d3nni5:

--- Quote from: Mortblanc on December 31, 2014, 08:10:45 AM ---R22 compliance on an AK is not a problem and the parts required are usually an American upgrade. 

Ready built guns are already made compliant so they can be sold, which is another advantage of buying "ready made".

With the machine tools you have you might want to buy an AK for use and study, then order an 80% receiver to finish out and apply a parts kit to after you have become familiar with the AK.

If the one you build is better than the ready made unit you can always sell the ready made gun, or scrap it for parts on a second build.

--- End quote ---

Yes and no.    Most built guns  (at least the budget AK's from Century Arms) are complaint because they are imported and contain all foreign parts.   But, he specifically mentions using a chopped build kit, which is all foreign parts (except the missing receiver and barrel).   Even if you get a foreign barrel, you are manufacturing the receiver yourself (domestic part).   Once that is in the mix, the chopped kit doesn't do you much good, since you have to get at least 5 more domestic parts on the rifle to be legal.   Right?

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