AK failure modes?


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Fu-man Shoe
March 26, 2008, 10:00 PM
I'm not talking about rounds getting hung up, or jams in general,
I mean what about some of these pretty shaky looking AK builds that
are popping up all over the gunboards?

I've seen guys put together AK's using aluminum pop-rivets,
zinc machine screws, epoxy, and a host of other methods that are
wildly out of specification, to say the least.

So I have to wonder. What happens when an AK build goes south,
and rapidly disassembles itself? What are the typical failure modes?

Fu-man Shoe

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jrfoxx
March 27, 2008, 03:16 AM
depending on what happened, I'd guess almost anything COULD happen, but the most common (and in fact ONLY type I've ever even personally heard of) involves the receiver cover getting blown off and likel;y bent beyond repair, and thats pretyy much it.Looks like that cover is the weakes link by far, and comes off pretty quick and easy, and thus relives the pressure from a malfunction pretty quick and limits the damage.That and maybe the mag getting blown out are all that seems very likely, unless you load your ammo with C-4, and put the whole gun together with Elmer's glue.....
That said, one never knows, and theres nothing saying that reciever cover cat blow off right into your face and do some serious, possibly fatal (cutting a neck artery or some such) damage.IMHO, I wouldnt fire ANY gun that looked like shoddy workmanship and/or was held together with weak/improvised materials.Just not worth it, I mean, whats a few steel screws cost, $1? Not worth it.

SSN Vet
March 27, 2008, 10:08 AM
There's an anecdote posted on the re-loading board under the "why reload 7.62x39" thread.

The poster says a dangerously overcharged Wolf round blew the firing pin out the tail end of the receiver and almost hit his nephew.

Hoppy590
March 27, 2008, 10:43 AM
I've seen guys put together AK's using aluminum pop-rivets,
zinc machine screws, epoxy, and a host of other methods that are
wildly out of specification, to say the least.
see. when its an AK its "improper build" when its an Tacticool gun its "lightweight composites" :neener:

So I have to wonder. What happens when an AK build goes south,
and rapidly disassembles itself? What are the typical failure modes?
dust cover blows off is most common.
from my understanding rear trunnion woult take the next hit.
if the rear trunnion breaks, that leaves the insides relatively free to exit the reciever, and plant firmly in your face.

i imagine.

rbernie
March 27, 2008, 11:15 AM
if the rear trunnion breaks, that leaves the insides relatively free to exit the reciever, and plant firmly in your face.
<looks at the size and shape of rear trunnion>

Dang.

If you blow something badly enough to cause the trunion to deflagrate in some fashion or break the rivets holding it in place, you really have some SERIOUS problems to worry about.

Coronach
March 27, 2008, 11:49 AM
I doubt the rear trunnion would go anywhere, seeing as how it is rather solid and it directly attached to a rather firm piece of wood (or composite). The sides of the receiver or the dust cover, however, are different stories.

Actually, the dust cover design may very well save a shooter's face. It pops off easily enough, it probably is strong enough to contain any flying bits (especially in conjunction with it's rapid detach "feature"), and will not cause serious injury when it bounces off of your face.

Maybe.

Mike

Hoppy590
March 27, 2008, 12:45 PM
im using the OP's idea of sub par construction

I've seen guys put together AK's using aluminum pop-rivets,
if they make aluminum pop rivets long enough, i can see the rear trunnion being the most high wear part on Al pop rivets.
a hollow rivet could be sheered between the steel trunnion and steel reciever.

Hoppy590
March 27, 2008, 02:02 PM
hmmm. over on the AK files. this post caught my eye

I believe it was 7.62x39 who did a trial build, assembling trunnion to receiver with toothpicks.

IIRC, it lasted 2-3 rounds, and did not fail catastrophically.

Total anecdotal "evidence" but does give a clue how much shear stress is being delivered to the fasteners.

im currently looking for a primary source.

Fu-man Shoe
March 27, 2008, 02:38 PM
dust cover blows off is most common.
from my understanding rear trunnion woult take the next hit.
if the rear trunnion breaks, that leaves the insides relatively free to exit the reciever, and plant firmly in your face.

i imagine.

That's pretty much what I was thinking. Thanks for the well thought out responses, gentlemen.

I'm trying to find some more factual information myself, but there's just not a lot out there.

Maybe because those who have built a shoddy AK that blew up dont really want to talk about it on the forums...

fu-man shoe

Fu-man Shoe
March 27, 2008, 02:39 PM
I'd also like to add that having an AK blow up and implant a bolt carrier firmly into your eye is a sure way to ruin your good looks...

rbernie
March 27, 2008, 02:59 PM
I've seen guys put together AK's using aluminum pop-rivets,I've never heard of ro seen such a thing. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but I've never encountered it. As an aside - I dont even know where you'd find aluminum pop rivets of a size sufficient for use in holding the rear trunnion to the receiver.

If you're looking for 'AK failure modes', I would suspect that pop-riveted builds is probably not high on the list. Bad screw builds or bad riveting is far more likely.

nalioth
March 27, 2008, 03:24 PM
Do a search or "u-drives" or "drive screws" on the bigger kalashnikov boards.

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