What wears out on an AK?


January 29, 2007, 07:59 AM
I have been contemplating purchasing a parts kit for my AK. Hopefully I will be able to repair my rifle after the AWBII goes into effect as parts become more scarce. The question is: Do I need a kit that has a stock, barrel,etc., or are there a few specific parts that should be kept on hand because they have more of a propensity to fail?

Just trying to save money if possible to put it into more mags!
Thanks THR's

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January 29, 2007, 08:11 AM
you spend much more than the cost of your rifle on ammo and shoot it all. Then, maybe.
For the cost of repair parts for your AK, it would be better to buy another AK, and shoot the fire out of both of them. You will never be without a working rifle that way, and IF one of them goes down, you can still shoot the other while you get changes/repairs on it.
If cost is your concern, which I totally understand, you should spend what you can on ammo. You don't need more than ten magazines, unless you have two AKs, then you need 20.

January 29, 2007, 09:04 AM
Here is the thing about an AKM type rifle.
They really don't need replacement parts.
The rifle is designed to discomboobalate after about 20,000 rounds, they just literally shake themselves apart.
You pitch it, or turn it in, and get another rifle.

AK magazines are another thing.
There are plenty of fifty year old AK magazines floating around the world that are still being used on a day to day basis.

Best thing to do if you wish to keep an AK around for your lifetime is to buy two rifles and maybe ten magazines minimum.
Keep one boxed up in grease.
When the first one dies get the other one cleaned up and just keep using the magazines you bought.

January 29, 2007, 10:23 AM
I wore out the trigger on mine by "milking" it too much (it actually became a release trigger). I replaced the worn out trigger with a US made one when I converted to a pistol grip.

January 29, 2007, 10:45 AM
I am currently assembling 30 1964 Romanian military AK, these are prior to the vertical foregrip, they have had who knows how many full auto rounds fired through them all 30 kits are total all stamped matching parts, there is zero finish on exposed surfaces, the hardwood stocks all have "cheek" indentations were they have been used so much the wood is scrubbed into an indent, the lower HGs are finger grooved from wear, but all components are still within spec and If I were to assemble them as original (ie; full autos in order to use original fire control group parts) they would go right back to working fine.... 3 of them need new recoil springs as noted by bolt carrier marks on rear trunion (very faint but is an indicator the springs were getting weak) A semi auto AK properly assembled on a fully heat treated in spec reciever like a NODAK Spuds $55 econo will outlast you if properly cared for, these 30 rifles never got oiled or taken care of but the chrome bores are all still looking like new and the FCG parts while worn are still within spec....

I'm stamping the recievers for these particular rifles myself so as to maintain the originality as an Original reciever does not have the serial number on the reciever, I do fully heat treat them and the finish will be "antiqued" or worn to match the original reciever stubs etc... I bought these kits with this intention in mind..

I have one AK built on an Arsenal 1.6 mm reciever with a bulgarian parts kit that lives in my sand rail, is always out in the weather as It never leaves the rail (There is a lock welded to the vertical roll cage bar between the seats just for it to be secured, it can only be removed by destroying it) its been there for 4 years with an 6x42 POSP scop attached, the rifle originally was Sand blasted, then Grey parkerized then painted with O.D Green durakoat, there is maybe 30% finish still remaining on the metal, the scope has pretty much no finish left on it except whats protected by the butler creek lens covers, that rifle is always full of sand and has to be shaken out every now and then, it gets cleaned every 6 months or so in the form of a boresnake being pulled through it, the bolt rails get a coat of Remington dry lube... it will still shoot 2" groups at 100 yards and flips Coyotes or jack rabits anytime ya want...

An AK is so much tougher than any AR or G3 or even an L1A1 (metric fals don't have sand cuts so do me no good) that I don't think you will ever be able to wear one out.... not a Semi auto version anyway..

The key is to stick with a Rivet build don't let anyone talk ya into any BS shortcuts like screws or welding or "U" Drives etc.... use a quality reciever, and ya'll be good

Onmilo, where did ya come up with the info that they only last 20,000? I have a Registered full auto Chicom my Father brought back from vietnam in 1971 that I have put over 200,000 rnds through who knows how many the vietnamese owner put through it before my father "collected" it, I have Russian AKs with over 50,000 rnds through em still going strong and 100% in spec. Out of the 287 AKs both milled and stamped in my collection not one rifle has ever had any shaking apart, And 3 of those are NFA registered full autos. Ya must be thinking about an AR cause ya can't wear out a Semi auto AK they were engineered to endure full auto use in the worst conditions with the most minimal maintnence etc...

As far as the mags, I've got over 400 30 and 20 rnd mags never have had any problems except the one that I accidentally ran over while hunting yotes from the rail a couple years ago, if ya bend one then it will stop working. Living here in Arizona guns don't get pampered if they are "working guns" and the AK or an SKS is what ya'll find laying behind the seat or in the bed of most every ranchers truck... they look like hell but they always ALWAYS go bang

January 29, 2007, 11:28 AM
only worn out ak I've ever seen had been run over by a T-72

January 29, 2007, 11:34 AM
What wears out on a AK?

The shooter :D . Honestly unless some freak accident happens not much is going to hurt it.

January 29, 2007, 11:38 AM
20 K?


That's a good one.

Outside of changing springs, the only part I've ever had to replace has been a hammer.

January 29, 2007, 12:08 PM
Correia, any idea when you'll have some VEPR's in stock....?

January 29, 2007, 12:13 PM
Unknown. The Russians raised the prices a bunch. RAAC is still negotiating.

January 29, 2007, 03:00 PM
Thanks to everyone so far, your excellent information and suggestions are invaluable.

January 29, 2007, 04:45 PM
The key is to stick with a Rivet build don't let anyone talk ya into any BS shortcuts like screws Has anyone had a screw kit build come apart on them? I'm curious, because the screw builds look to be easily as solid as the rivet builds but I have no practical experience with 'em...

January 29, 2007, 04:49 PM
Unknown. The Russians raised the prices a bunch. RAAC is still negotiating.

Thank you.

Eleven Mike
January 29, 2007, 05:16 PM
Who wears their AK when they go out? Well, I don't but this guy does. :p


January 29, 2007, 05:29 PM
I think I'd get a sight tool, an extraction tool, firing pin, and recoil spring, and call it a day.

January 29, 2007, 07:31 PM
Has anyone had a screw kit build come apart on them? I'm curious, because the screw builds look to be easily as solid as the rivet builds but I have no practical experience with 'em...Bueller? Bueller?

January 29, 2007, 09:53 PM
OK sort of on topic, who makes a stripped reciever that is decent, and doesn't require drilling, or any machine work?

January 29, 2007, 10:02 PM
I'm partial to the Type 2 100% receivers (fully formed, dimpled, with bolt guide rails and all that jazz welded in, fully heat treated, etc. and ready to be drilled for trunnions of your choice) from ArmoryUSA (http://www.globaltrades.com/ak_receivers.html), in Houston. I can get them in the DFW area for $80/each. The DCI receivers (http://www.dancoonan.com/dci_fal_receivers.html) are also spoken about in kind terms.

Bear in mind that with most 100% AK receivers, you'll still have to do SOME drilling, since the manufacturer of the receiver doesn't likely know who's front/rear trunnions you're going to be using. For example, if you're using a Polish underfolder, your rear trunnion and receiver cutout will be very different than if you're using a standard fixed-stock rear trunnion. In some cases (like Armory) they can supply pre-cut receivers for common trunnion dimensions. But that's the exception rather than the norm.

January 29, 2007, 10:11 PM
I bought a Romanian kit, and a receiver from Military Gun Supply about a year or so ago. The receiver is made by an outfit in Houston (I forget the name of the company, and I am too lazy to go open the safe and look). Thing is, I swear that this kit gun had never been fired. I think the Romanians were taking brand new weapons, cutting the receivers and shipping them over. I had to do some stoning on the receiver rails to get a nice fit, but I essentially have a brand new AK. Shoots like a dream, and I have had very few mis anythings. I built it myself with rivets. That makes it all the more satisfying to shoot, and show off. I am in the process of building an FAL now. Damn shame all this fun is probably going to come to a screeching halt shortly. My goal is to have an AK, an AR, and an FAL. Just need to finish the FAL, and I will have one each of the world's great battle rifles (minus the Garand, and the M-14, and a few others, but my budget has already taken quite a beating this year). Good luck on the AK.

January 29, 2007, 10:56 PM
For a 100% reciever that is totally heat treated ready to go ya can't beat the Nodak spuds econo at $55 shipped they are predrilled for the Romanian trunions, the lower front holes will be back slightly 1/32" its no big deal just size them to fit your trunion holes, I've used these for 78 Romy "G" kits everyone of em is perfect.

As far as screws versus riveting, yes folks have had screw build issues, but actually riveting is easy and faster, go to the site I mentioned above, akfiles.com ya don't need any press etc... in fact I have all the jigs, a 50 ton industrial press etc.. but for most builds I don't use any of it, I used a bolt cutter rivet squisher to do front trunion rivets for the longest time but after stripping down the 30 rifles above I found out that an uncle by marriage who was a Romanian defector in 1988 had told me that before they cheapened up by just smashing the rivets from outside in they used to do em by placing the rivet inside then the lower rivets from the inside the lower rivets would be pneumatically formed on the outside after these rivets were tight the barrel would be installed then the upper rivets would be compressed with the heads formed on the outside.... well For years I thought his memory was failing, weapons engineer or not he is pretty old (83) and so..... figured his memory was off, well these kits arrive an guess what....... the rivet heads are on the INSIDE of the reciever with the rounded head formed on the OUTSIDE! D@AMN so now I've switched..

A regular pneumatic riveter was a lil awkward to use so I took a $10 harbor freight air hammer I had layin in the shop, removed the center punch bit and ground it back till it was at 7/16" then used a ball mill (A dremel with a round diamond burr will work too just takes longer) I made a 5/16" rivet dimple in it and it works perfectly to form beutiful rivet heads EVERYTIME in seconds, For the lower trunion rivets I made a bucking block that was dimpled on each end it fits tight between the two lower trunion rivets I cut this block in half then made a wedge Ya place the two halves between the lower rivet heads inside the trunion then drive the wedge between the two halves to hold em tight. hit one rivet "stem" with the air hammer untill rivet head is formed then form the other side......

Sorry I'm tryin to write this very fast as I gotta take off in a few minutes, but the above is a good starter, I will re-read later and correct my errors and finish with instructions for a painless build gotta go right now....

January 29, 2007, 11:10 PM
So does a standard rivet tool work? If so I think my Step Dad has one.

Also if I get a kit with minimal drilling, is it easy enough to do without screwing it up? Sometimes, I mangle the simplest things, and would hate to ruin a receiver.

January 29, 2007, 11:43 PM
Blackhawk, ya won't need to drill anything on the reciever, to demill the parts kit ya will need to remove the old rivets but this is actually easier if ya use a die grinder to grind away the heads a lil below flush with the old reciever sheet metal then tap them in and out of the trunion with a punch this removes any chance of messin up the trunion holes, the rear trunion is another matter... it can be a bear to remove the old rivets, I may have found an economical solution around this however and will let ya'll know tommorow after I verify something. If your only doing a few kits ya can do it very easy using the nodak reciever (model # is NDS-3) I gotta go but basically the only tools ya'll need are a gas stove, a freezer, a 2lb hammer, a quality 1/4" drift punch and the stuff mentioned above.... the only real power tool needed is an air compressor and a dremel (one of them $10 harbour freight ones will work, a die grinder with deburring bit is a plus but the dremel can do the job just slower.... a can of Kroil oil to soak the barrel pin with will greatly improve removing the pin, actual barrel removal and reinstallation is super simple and foolproof.... so don't let anyone convince ya its a nightmare etc.. its not, this is why screw builds got started in the first place folks were intimidated by removing the barrel..... its so not an issue ya are gonna laugh the next time someone complains bout it :D The only thing that big press of mine gets used for ........... is removing bearing on my over the road trucks and stamping these new recievers for the 1964s and the only reason they aren't being built on Nodak recievers is that I don't want any serial number or manufacture info on the recievers they are to appear original except they will be missing the third pin hole for the auto sear. The only way to accomplish this is to stamp my own recievers..........

January 29, 2007, 11:49 PM
:D The finish and the skin on your trigger finger.

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