Build an AK?


March 9, 2006, 02:46 PM
Anyone here build an AK from a bare receiver? It sounds like fun, but (of course) there are questions to be asked first...

Pros? Cons? Best sources of supply? Things/people to avoid?

If you enjoyed reading about "Build an AK?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 9, 2006, 03:01 PM
Buy a kit, buy a receiver, then search the internet while holding the parts in your lap, so you can compare what you've got with what you are reading.

Worst case is you decide you can't do it yourself despite your new and significant knowledge and you send it off to have it professionally done.

March 9, 2006, 03:26 PM
Interesting...I have always wanted an AK for some reason and have been recently considering this myself....

LIke you, I have no clue where to start...

March 9, 2006, 03:55 PM
I've searched around on Auction Arms to see who's selling what. Seems that Ohio Ordnance ( is a popular receiver stamping there but I have no clue as to their quality. MGS sells the OO receiver, if you want to look at one locally....

I've been to the Global Trades/Armory USA ( web site to see what they offer, but once again I have no idea if it's worth the asking price or not.

I've heard of Ewbank kits (JoeKen?), but I can't find any direct references to them anywhere.

I've run across a bunch of references to Vector Arms (; their web site is in disrepair and I can't tell if they're actively in business.

I've found a bunch of places that sell flat stampings or other 80% receiver kits, but I really would prefer to at least get the basic receiver 100% complete and build from there.

And that's what I know so far....

March 9, 2006, 04:04 PM
start with these five articles the first is here does a pretty good job of explaining the process.

the bigest problem I have is access to all the tools.

You will need a spot welder (or access to one) this is to connect the lower rails to the receiver.

A flat bending jig

taps if doing a screw build, riveting gear if using rivets

a press would make things easier though not absolutely essential (nearly absolutely essential)

a dremel tool

a drill press.....pretty much gotta have this to take off all the old receiver parts and get your kit ready.

Ive been able to beg borrow and buy everything but the spot welder....gotta get it soon my building is dead in the water till I get a hold of one.

I held a WASR ( Ithink ) in the gunstore and finish on it was no where near as nice as on mine, just by taking my time.

Once you have all the tools you can turn out a nice Romanian for less than $200 for everything....and in my opinion mine are better than $400 plus commercial built guns.

If you dont mind the transfer fees you can buy a global trades or eubanks receiver , de-mil a kit, and add compliance costs and get by with not much more than hand tools.

Give it a try...I've learned a lot about Ak's and general firearm construction from doing and researching I have all these cool new tools.

be carefull though its Addictive !!!!


March 9, 2006, 04:21 PM

I'm seeing $49 to $89 for an OO or GT receiver; even adding in transfer fees, it just doesn't sound like a lot more money than to buy a 80% receiver and go thru the bending and welding and such.

I'm not looking to be paperless; I just don't want to pay $350 for a WASR and then spend another $150 making it into what I want if I can feasibly build one comparable or better for less than $500.

March 9, 2006, 09:54 PM
My advice to you on your first build is to get a 100% receiver so you don't have to get into alot of trimming, fitting, heat treating, welding, etc. Global receivers are great for a first build but, unfortunatley, there is a 2-3 month wait. I built the first (3) kits on Globals and they worked out just fine. Ewbanks is another one that is supposed to be good. I have one on order right now for my next build. Expect to pay approx. $50-$75 for your receiver.

Take your time, try to absorb alot of information from the boards and ask alot of questions before proceeding. I really didn't know squat about an AK but found that most forum members are always there to help you with anything that may arise.

As mkh100 stated above, you can get by with a drill, dremel, puller and rivet squeezers. Outside of the cost of the kit, you'll need to install some US parts to make the rifle legal. (total of 6) The easiest parts to replace are listed below:

Kit $100
Receiver 75 (Counts as 1)
FCG 35 (Counts as 3)
US Slant Brake 15 (Counts as 1)
US Pistol Grip 15 (Counts as 1)
Rivets 10

For about $250 total, you can build yourself a really nice rifle that you can be proud of. Later on, if you're not happy with the look of the wood furniture, you can always replace it with a nice Black, Tan or Plum set. I originally went into this with the idea of building myself a nice rifle. Well, now, I'm up to building my 4th kit and still haven't got enough. It's like a sickness but in a good way.

Go for it!!!!!! Everyone will be happy to help you with it.

March 10, 2006, 04:16 AM
I built a Bulgarian AK74 on a "bent blank" 80% receiver. It was a fair amount of work to get the rails and mag well trimmed up, but just used handtools and a dremil really.

Then I started running into problems heat treating, I was trying to use a propane torch and Kasenit, I couldn't get the ejector rail nor the fire control group holes to heat treat properly. I ended up buying a pre-heat treated ejector rail from that he had extra (doesn't normally sell them I don't think). That worked for the ejector, no deforming now but the fire control group holes have become slightly elongated, just makes the gun seem sloppy somehow.

I'm going to just buy a finished receiver here locally and rebuild the gun onto that.

The actual process of "building" the kit on the receiver was cake, if you buy a finished receiver there really isn't much to do it the way I did. I did a "screw build" so no fancy tools. My kit had the barrel trunion pressed on already as well so there was no tools needed for this part other than a drill press, and a thread tapping kit and regular hand tools.

Here's a pic on the finished bent blank, but like I said I'm going to strip it back down and rebuild it on a finished receiver, supposedly a local shop has some in stock, need to check that out this weekend.

Here was the kit as I received it:

I'll probably pick up more than receiver and do another build, it's fun and really pretty simple if you do a screw build. If you want do a more authentic rivet build it gets more complex w/ pressing the barrel in/out of the trunion, need a rivet hig and a press or a jury-rigged way of doing it (some slightly modified bolt cutters work well apparently from reading what others have done). And of course if you want to finish a bent blank receiver or bend up a flat that requires more work...

If you just want to get started for cheap Romanian kits (in "excellent condition" supposedly) are available for cheap still for like $100, ( advertises those and a bunch of other kits). I think I paid $189 for that Bulgy 74 kit way back when, I think they're going for at least $50 higher than that now, but damn are they nice kits (I think they cut up a brand new unfired gun for mine, I mean it was mint...)

March 10, 2006, 04:41 AM
Globals are the best right now, but demand has them back ordered. Ewbanks are ok, as are OOW. OOW used to have an issue with the hole for the selector being too low, making a slight gap at the top, but I believe they have fixed that. They also are slightly too long, so you need to use the top cover to check length when building. If you leave it too long the cover may not stay on when firing. They also arent fully heat treated. Whether or not this causes durability problems remains to be seen, but what is known is with a lot of finishes they have two discolored circles around the axis pin holes. May matter to you or it may not. I'm not sure of any issues with the ewbanks or global, but I'm sure theres something (I seem to remember something about rails being slightly off on globals for example).

Basically whatever reciever you go with check it out for specific things that need to be done for that receiver.

Other then that I dont know crap about building one. I've thought about it for awhile, and I actually have like 5 parts kits laying around, but then I start thingking about the tools, and having to refinish it..its a bit overwhelming.

March 10, 2006, 08:06 AM
I've found that this was the most useful site when I decided to build an AK:

A lot of knowlageable people there.

March 10, 2006, 10:31 AM
Makowner, really nice looking Rifle. Where is that bayonet from never seen one quite like it.

March 10, 2006, 01:32 PM
OK - I'm pretty set on a 100% OOW receiver (since it's immediately available). The parts kit, on the other hand, is still a question.

I think that I know what I want to build; 7.62x39, it has to have a folder and a slim forearm, and I'd want to find/use a dustcover-mounted rear aperture sight. I'm not keen on most any muzzle device; I prefer things simple and unadorned. The question is which kit to start with to get to this point...

Centerfire Arms has a bunch of nice looking kits; of their offerings, I'm leaning most towards the Polish folder. On the other hand, I can get a basic Romanian kit and put on my own furniture (Ace folder, maybe?) or I can get the TAPCO Romanian kit with their folder.

Has anyone used either the TAPCO Romanian or the Centerfire Polish kits? Anyoen care to comment on the solidity/durability of the TAPCO folding buttstock?

March 10, 2006, 01:43 PM

We are in this one together. I am good with that receiver also.

I am also most interested in an underfolder. Now, same thing with the kits, not sure what I want and what is better.

March 10, 2006, 03:01 PM
Anyoen care to comment on the solidity/durability of the TAPCO folding buttstock?
They're pretty much junk. Some have used them for a long time, some have had them get loose after a couple mags, some have had them flat out break. I'd suggest a romanian, german, or polish wire folding stock over the tapco.

March 10, 2006, 03:21 PM
Thanks for the feedback.

If I want to use screws instead of rivets for the build - do I need a special receiver blank for that?

March 10, 2006, 03:55 PM
Nope, the reciever is the same with both kinds of builds.

April 7, 2006, 03:53 PM
I just spoke with someone at Global. They're 6 weeks backordered. The Type 2 receivers are $75, Type 3 are $110. Shipping is $12. The lady was not the most...personable individual, but she wasn't exactly rude.

April 7, 2006, 06:06 PM
I built an AK from a Romanian kit last year, it was something of an adventure, much more involved than building an AR. There are some specialized tools needed, if you can get together with several other people that is the best way to do it. I started with a flat and a kit, built it from there, it was a pain, and a lot more expensive than I originally estimated due to all the extra stuff needed to build the kit.

I am proud that I built this AK, it is an accomplishment to start with so little and end up with a working firearm.

Would I do it again, no thanks, I can buy a brand new AK cheaper than building a used one.

If you enjoyed reading about "Build an AK?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!