Should I build a semi RPD?


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Ian
November 19, 2008, 01:06 PM
I got to shoot a full auto RPD last weekend, and really fell in love with it. There are semiauto receivers and compliance parts out there, as well as excellent condition parts kits...and I'm contemplating building one. I do kinda wonder how much less fun they are in semi, though.

Overall, it's a light and really slim gun for a LMG (2 pounds lighter than the M249), and I can afford the 7.62x39 ammo more easily than any other beltfed. The lack of a quick-change barrel would be less of an issue in a semi, and the belt feed would make it a nicer support-type weapon than an RPK...

Any thoughts?

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bryanZ06
November 19, 2008, 02:30 PM
Go for it.

MGshaggy
November 19, 2008, 03:21 PM
Ian, I fell in love with the RPD when I first fired one too. But its got its limitations (mainly no QC barrel), and after doing a lot of thinking I returned to the RPK. The RPK was developed as the successor to the RPD, and shares some parts commonalities with standard AKs. Considering the potential for a shutdown of imported parts over the next 4-8 years, I'd want something with more parts availability. The beltfeed is cool, but an RPK with a 75rd or 100rd drum can hold its own just as well.

Ian
November 20, 2008, 10:19 AM
Hmm...I hadn't even thought about drums in an RPK (duh). The would be the cheaper, easier, and more practical way to go...just not the belt-fed way to go. :p

I think I'll probably just wait and see what turns up at the big show here in a couple weeks. Maybe I can find a good deal on a kit for one or the other.

briansmithwins
November 20, 2008, 10:28 AM
+1 on the semi RPK. I like mine as it's different from the run of the mill AK. I prefer 40 round mags instead of drums, but to each his own.

I had a RPK bipod installed on my AES-10B. It's also been parkerized and the wood's been refinished with tung oil. BSW

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y3/briansmithwins/IMG_1280.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y3/briansmithwins/IMG_1289.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y3/briansmithwins/IMG_1281.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y3/briansmithwins/IMG_1286.jpg

MGshaggy
November 20, 2008, 11:16 AM
Hmm...I hadn't even thought about drums in an RPK (duh). The would be the cheaper, easier, and more practical way to go...just not the belt-fed way to go.

Keep in mind though that with drums, you don't have metal belts to worry about. I can't tell you how many DM-1 belts I've damaged by accidentally stepping on (and crushing) a few links in the belt or getting part of a belt wet from dropping on the ground, only to realize it later after a bit of rust had set in.

Ian
November 20, 2008, 12:22 PM
Arg! Stop talking me into the sensible choice and away from the super neat-o spiffy one!

I do already have a big set of spare parts for AKs, and mags for them, and I have a couple extra Romy kits that could become RPKs with just heavy barrel assemblies (and I could probably make at least two of them for the cost of a single RPD).

I guess I should just put off the belt-fed plans until I get around to building my own MG47. :evil:

SimpleIsGood229
November 20, 2008, 12:52 PM
Go for the RPD!!! I have the feeling you've already decided, but you came here just get our responses. If so, quit teasing us and build the thing already! :D

By the way, aren't you the guy who builds those weird, yet completely amazing, bastard AKs? Like the .45 ACP one?

Ian
November 20, 2008, 04:03 PM
I really hadn't made up my mind before posting...the RPD was really cool, but I recognized that it would fade a bit - and the coolness was at least in part form having a fullauto one to play with. What I really need is to try fullauto RPKs and RPDs side by side. :)

I do also have to consider cost...it would take about $1100 to make an RPD ($400 kit, $500 receiver, $200 semi/compliance parts) versus something like $200 for an PRK (only need a flat or receiver and a barrel assembly).

By the way, aren't you the guy who builds those weird, yet completely amazing, bastard AKs?

Not yet, but I have big plans and a big pile of parts to work with... :evil:

RyanM
November 20, 2008, 04:20 PM
How about a PKM? That was the "other" replacement of the RPD. RPK as a magazine fed squad automatic, PKM as a belt fed light machine gun.

I have no idea if PKM semi-auto receivers and stuff are available, though.

Oh, and don't forget furniture too, if you make an RPK. They're supposed to use different furniture than standard AKs (though the Yugoslavians don't bother).

MGshaggy
November 20, 2008, 05:17 PM
Ryan -

PKM's are one of my favorite beltguns, but the big problem with them is cost. Dave Bane at MarColMar is making Hungarian and Bulgarian PMKs from VLTOR receivers but they start at about $5000. A PKM parts kit can run about $2000 or more. And there's the inevitable issue of ammo. Is there a good supply of 762x54R in the US or made in the US? Remember it would only take one stroke of a pen for the 'glorious leader-elect' to cut off imported ammo, and with the political tension with Russia lately, I wouldn't bet too much against it.

Ian
November 21, 2008, 12:53 AM
Yeah, MGshaggy nailed it. A PK or PKM would just be cost prohibitive. If I were to step up to a full-power cartridge, the best gun, IMO, would be an MG42. The kits and semi bits are much cheaper and more available, and they're great guns. But for now, I'd rather stick to something lighter and smaller, and not crew-served.

MGshaggy
November 21, 2008, 10:13 AM
Ian,

Just a thought, but a semi-auto '42 might be an interesting project. They're a little on the heavy side, but with a strap and bipod can easily be fired from the hip (even in full auto). An added bonus is that you can easily swap between 8mm and 308, depending on what ammo you find cheap. I think a workable 762x39 conversion could even be made with a new barrel (in an old barrel extension), a new extractor, and a slightly modified recoil spring, booster, and feed tray. I'm not sure, but I think standard DM-1 belts work fine. The ability to switch between 2-3 calibers could be a big bonus for a beltgun when ammo is pricey.

Ian
November 21, 2008, 11:47 AM
A semi MG42 would be a cool project, but certainly not a simple one (especially not with a 7.62x39 conversion). Too many projects on the list! :)

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