Lancaster AK-74 issue


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Babarsac
December 14, 2009, 07:59 AM
I took my brand new Lancaster Bulgarian AK-74 to the NRA range this weekend to test it out. On the first magazine I put through it the bolt carrier jammed while extracting a casing and I could not get it back until I took it home and had to whack it with a rubber mallet. I also noticed the 9/10 times the bolt will lock back no matter if there is no magazine inserted into the rifle, or a loaded magazine inserted. My guess is that the bolt is rotating incorrectly or grinding with the bolt carrier. Any other ideas as to what could be causing this or should I just contact Atlantic Firearms to help me facilitate some warranty work with Lancaster?

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Norinco982lover
December 14, 2009, 08:33 AM
Did you take the bolt carrier off, remove the bolt, and check to see if it is in the bolt carrier correctly? I would just see where it is catching with the dust cover off...pictures might help.

~Norinco

Babarsac
December 14, 2009, 08:36 AM
Everything seems to line up correctly, and I've never had a similar problem with either my Saiga or SAR-1. I'll snap some pics this evening.

Sam1911
December 14, 2009, 08:39 AM
The bolt "locking back***" can be a function of the hammer putting a lot of upward pressure on the carrier and holding it up against the rails hard enough to stop it from moving easily. Depending on where the bolt assembly cuts are in the rails, it may actually pop the carrier up out of the rails slightly -- enough to lock it back.

If the carrier "locks back" when you operate it by hand, that can be fairly common, especially with a new rifle, and is usually not a real problem. The hammer in the semi-auto fire control group sits a little higher than the original full-auto version, and puts a little more upward pressure on the carrier. However, when firing, the carrier won't hang up as its velocity is high enough to bump it past the tight spots. And, the more you shoot it the smoother it gets.

As far as the extraction issue, there can be a couple of reasons, mostly ammo-related. Make sure your chamber is scrubbed out. Even might want to put a bore brush the fits the chamber tightly in a cordless drill and really ream it out. Some of the surplus ammo has coatings on the case that can melt slightly when the gun is hot, leaving residue behind that can really stick a case, and sometimes even cause headspace issues.

Possibly not an issue, especially if your rifle was assembled with a new, US-made barrel, but some kits are assembled with surplus barrels and those could have fouled chambers.

As far as the bolt rotating incorrectly or "grinding with the bolt carrier," that's pretty unlikely. AKs are built off of "parts kits" that were once fully functional rifles but which have been cut apart to sell here as "replacement" parts. Your carrier, bolt, and front trunion were all once assembled as part of a functional AK-74, so they work together fine. The issue, to whatever extent it is a real problem, is in the assembly of those parts into a new receiver.

If you clear the chamber and test fire it and the gun will not cycle reliably, then Atlantic and Lancaster will definitely help you.

-Sam

*** (There is no bolt hold-open mechanism on an AK, any time the bolt locks open, it's either a malfunction, or at least a friction issue.)

Norinco982lover
December 14, 2009, 08:50 AM
My Saiga was really really stiff when I first got it converted and the bolt did occasionally get stuck halfway back. I attribute this to it being in the break in stage and It does not happen at all if I make sure to pull it all the way back and let it go sharply.

Sam: do you think it might have something to do with his trigger spring being too strong? Is that what you are referring to when you say the hammer is exerting too much pressure?

Sam1911
December 14, 2009, 09:12 AM
Sam: do you think it might have something to do with his trigger spring being too strong? Is that what you are referring to when you say the hammer is exerting too much pressure?


Well, it is a function of the pressure that the mainspring (that twisted one that operates the hammer) exerts on the hammer, which then tries to lift the carrier.

It isn't that the spring is too strong, and there's really nothing you could do about that anyway, but that the hammer is oriented slightly differently in semi-auto trigger groups than in the original design. It gets a bit more leverage to push up the carrier. On an awful lot of AK builds, especially new ones, if you cycle the bolt by hand, fairly slowly, you'll feel "tight" spots, and possibly even feel the carrier tilt up slightly at the very rear of its travel.

If you baby it, you can often get the bolt to hold open at the rear, just from that pressure. If you yank-and-let-fly, emulating actual live fire, it should cycle fine. And, when the action is being cycled by a fired round, it won't hang up at all.

Sounds like the OP's gun worked for a few shots and then had an extraction issue. I didn't quite understand if he's having problems when the gun is being fired, or just when operating by hand. If the gun "locks back" when he's live firing, the manufacturer should fix it.

-Sam

Babarsac
December 14, 2009, 09:24 AM
During extraction phase the bolt didn't actually latch on to the casing like it's supposed to. The bolt got stuck as it was rotating in the bolt carrier. The only way to get to move was to hit it with a rubber mallet then remove the casing by hand. Sort of strange for an AK.

Norinco982lover
December 14, 2009, 09:53 AM
It sounds like a bolt issue and not the hammer exerting force issue to me.

I would think this might be something that would need resolved by the manufacturer.

Have you completely removed the bolt and bolt carrier and seen how they are fitting together? I'm not sure if they can be assembled "wrong" I would think there would only be one way they could go together... at least on my Saiga no matter how many times I took it apart it always went back together the right way.

Sam: You are right on about the gun catching a little if you baby it--how many rounds do you think it will take before my gun will cycle smoothly?

~Norinco

nathan
December 14, 2009, 09:55 AM
Shoot it more. Put a little grease on the hammer face, not too much . See how it will help.

Sam1911
December 14, 2009, 09:56 AM
The bolt got stuck as it was rotating in the bolt carrier. The only way to get to move was to hit it with a rubber mallet then remove the casing by hand. Sort of strange for an AK.

That is strange for an AK. I'd have the manufacturer deal with it.

Good luck!

-Sam

Sam1911
December 14, 2009, 09:58 AM
how many rounds do you think it will take before my gun will cycle smoothly?

When cycled by hand? Hard to say. It might never be completely without a slight hitch.

When fired? It should just plain run, always.

-Sam

nathan
December 14, 2009, 09:59 AM
Yeah , i would call the manufacturer , have them pay the shipping back and get you a new one. Period. U paid good money and it should work from the get go. The bad thing is , they have to send it to the FFL dealer again and u have to pay the second time for transfer fees.

Babarsac
December 14, 2009, 10:02 AM
I'll drop Atlantic Firearms a line and then work out something with Lancaster.

Atlantic Firearms
December 14, 2009, 11:08 AM
Yes please contact us about the issue and we will get you in touch with the right person @ Lancaster to get this taken care of .

Babarsac
December 14, 2009, 01:26 PM
Problem solved. My rifle will be swapped for a new one and I won'r have to pay a penny. Not bad for a morning :)

Norinco982lover
December 14, 2009, 01:58 PM
Good for you! I'm glad their customer service took care of you:D Just curious--did you go thru atlantic arms or the manufacturer themselves?

Babarsac
December 14, 2009, 02:38 PM
I contacted Atlantic first and they had Lancaster call me directly within an hour or so.

SSN Vet
December 14, 2009, 03:03 PM
It isn't that the spring is too strong, and there's really nothing you could do about that anyway, but that the hammer is oriented slightly differently in semi-auto trigger groups than in the original design. It gets a bit more leverage to push up the carrier. On an awful lot of AK builds, especially new ones, if you cycle the bolt by hand, fairly slowly, you'll feel "tight" spots, and possibly even feel the carrier tilt up slightly at the very rear of its travel.

If you baby it, you can often get the bolt to hold open at the rear, just from that pressure. If you yank-and-let-fly, emulating actual live fire, it should cycle fine. And, when the action is being cycled by a fired round, it won't hang up at all.

SAM1911 understands how the semi-auto AKM works quite well.... don't think that this is a bolt hold open though.... and go poking your fingers around in there... you'll not like the way it feels when the bolt carrier slips off of the hammer and slams shut on your wittle pinkies.

Problem solved. My rifle will be swapped for a new one and I won'r have to pay a penny.

I have yet to buy anything from Atlantic... but I pay attention every time I hear them mentioned and it certainly appears that they are really doing their best to satisfy their customers. Good for them!

Ingsoc75
December 15, 2009, 06:26 PM
What kind did you get? I just got the $599 Lancaster version and have yet to shoot it. :uhoh:

gotmine
December 15, 2009, 10:27 PM
Yeah , i would call the manufacturer , have them pay the shipping back and get you a new one. Period. U paid good money and it should work from the get go. The bad thing is , they have to send it to the FFL dealer again and u have to pay the second time for transfer fees.
You ship to the manufacturer for repairs and they ship directly back to you. No FFL needed in this transaction.

Babarsac
December 16, 2009, 08:18 AM
Ingsoc75: I did buy the $599 Lancaster from Atlantic and the fit and finish was really nice.

Having this problem with an AK is just bizarre for me. Needless to say the FedEx guy came by my office yesterday and it's on the way back to Lancaster for a replacement. If I get a 2nd lemon then I'll probably talk to Atlantic about getting a different brand of rifle. Seeing how they've got to best customer service of any distributor I'd want to stay their customer.

Ingsoc75
December 21, 2009, 02:32 PM
Just went to the range and had the EXACT same thing happen!

Babarsac
December 21, 2009, 02:47 PM
Ingsoc75: What retailer did you buy yours from?

Ingsoc75
December 21, 2009, 02:52 PM
Ingsoc75: What retailer did you buy yours from?

I bought the $599 Lancaster version through Atlantic.

Babarsac
December 21, 2009, 03:10 PM
Email Atlantic as soon as your can (you can even PM them here at THR) and they will help you get your rifle exchanged. After I contacted Atlantic they had Lancaster send the FedEx guys next day to pick up my rifle. Lancaster doesn't have the best customer service since they're not geared towards individual sales but Atlantic has been great to me.

Atlantic Firearms
December 21, 2009, 08:48 PM
Ingsoc , email our office direct and let us know a brief description of the problem and your contact info a rep will call you and get the problem dealt with.

sales@atlanticfirearms.com

Ingsoc75
December 22, 2009, 09:35 AM
Ingsoc , email our office direct and let us know a brief description of the problem and your contact info a rep will call you and get the problem dealt with.

Done. Thanks.

bikerdoc
December 22, 2009, 10:55 AM
Kudos to Atlantic Firearms

Who else reads our forum and responds so quickly?

Headless
January 5, 2010, 10:31 AM
Did you guys get your replacement rifles?

Babarsac
January 5, 2010, 02:44 PM
Still waiting....

Ingsoc75
January 5, 2010, 05:35 PM
Did you guys get your replacement rifles?

I talked to Lancaster about an hour ago. The lady said that all warranty work is going to be done this and to check in on Thursday for a tracking number.

41magsnub
January 6, 2010, 02:45 PM
I picked mine up yesterday. Haven't had a chance to do more than fondle it yet but fit and finish seem fine. The bolt does not seem stick at all.

Headless
January 6, 2010, 03:03 PM
Good to hear progress, ingsoc, and to hear that your AK-74 is OK, 41magsnub. I'm waiting on a shipment notification on a roughrider from atlantic, card's already been charged, so am curious to hear about any problems. I think a lot of people are nervous about the AK74's with US made barrels after the century tantal barrel fiasco ;) The RR looks to be a nice rifle. I'm excited :) Will be my first modern semiauto hi-cap rifle.

Babarsac
January 6, 2010, 03:10 PM
My old rifle got dropped off at Lancaster on 12/18 and they were just gonna drop a replacement in the mail. I'm surprised it's taken this long.

Headless
January 6, 2010, 04:16 PM
Did they give you a tracking #, barbarsac? After reading this thread:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=4&f=64&t=124188

I would be very nervous if I had to go directly to lancaster for help. In fact, I ordered directly from atlantic arms to avoid having to deal with Lancaster, after getting the impression from various forum posts that Atlantic would be handling issues for customers so that they did not have to deal with lancaster's renowned retail customer service... - but it sounds like you had to deal with lancaster directly even though you ordered through atlantic, is that true?

Ingsoc75
January 6, 2010, 09:21 PM
I've been trying to be proactive with Lancaster on getting my rifle fixed/replaced.

Headless
January 7, 2010, 03:32 PM
Welp, just got an e-mail saying my rough rider 74 has been shipped - here's hoping it doesn't have any of the issues you guys have seen... I'm excited. Let us know what happens with your rifles!

Ingsoc75
January 7, 2010, 07:17 PM
I just called Lancaster this afternoon and talked to Heather. She said the warranty work rifles are still being worked on. :rolleyes:

Welp, just got an e-mail saying my rough rider 74 has been shipped - here's hoping it doesn't have any of the issues you guys have seen... I'm excited. Let us know what happens with your rifles!

I don't think the rough rider AK74s are having the issues that the ones we have are.

Ingsoc75
January 8, 2010, 01:56 PM
Just got a call from Heather at Lancaster and she told me two things:

1. They are replacing my AK74 with a new one
2. They are shipping it out today via Fed Ex and she gave me a tracking number

Now I will track that closely and see how it goes.

Babarsac
January 8, 2010, 02:21 PM
They just called and gave me a tracking number to. Crossing my fingers....

Atlantic Firearms
January 8, 2010, 04:58 PM
ingsoc, we called them this morning to discuss the issue with the rifle and expressed to them that we would like the rifle replaced for you asap . We also asked they they forward the tracking info to our office for verification.

Headless
January 12, 2010, 10:28 PM
My roughrider arrived today! Looks good. Maybe range this weekend...

Atlantic Firearms
January 13, 2010, 08:06 AM
headless , let us know how the rifle works out at the range.

Babarsac
January 15, 2010, 01:33 PM
Schweet! Fed-Ex website says my rifle has been delivered to my house. Which means my roommate is holding it for a ransom of a bottle of Johnny Walker. Should get to try it out this weekend.

41magsnub
January 16, 2010, 03:48 PM
I took my RR out and shot it the first time today. Flawless shooting, dead at 25 yards on without adjusting the sights.

Atlantic Firearms
January 16, 2010, 07:58 PM
jOHNNY wALker and the smell of spent gun powder that should be a new fragrance for Men's Cologne !!

pastprime
January 16, 2010, 08:41 PM
Both of you were very wise to go through Atlantic with your problem with the Lancasters.....Dealing with Chet directly is nearly impossible..

Heather does a great job when she is allowed to..

Nice rifles; one on one customer service is a nightmare (for the customer), my personal experience...

Good shooting to you ......:)

Ingsoc75
January 18, 2010, 12:58 PM
Just picked up mine from the local Fed Ex office. I was away on business and requested them to hold it there until I got back.

The replacement has a red wood pistol grip which is nice. The magazine appears to be a Russian Izhmash make as well. :)

I didn't get a plastic case like the first one. Not a big deal as the important thing is that it works right. Only one way to tell and that is to test it at the range.

Headless
January 21, 2010, 03:17 PM
Well, I was going to take mine out to the range today, got my BP02 mount in and my red dot holographic sight...but alas, the BP02 does not mount correctly to my AK74 :( The mount is not only 2-3mm past (to the right of) the boreline when mounted, but also skewed to the right by 3-5 degrees! Since I don't have any other side mounts around to test with, I can't really tell if it's the BP02 mount or the mount on the receiver, but I am inclined to suspect the BP02... anyone have any experience with BP02 issues?

Headless
January 23, 2010, 12:47 AM
Welp, went ahead and took the rifle out today. The truglo holographic red dot was a let-down; after only 15 rounds downrange the reticle started to flicker in/out as if the battery was making inconsistent contact :rolleyes:. Well, at least it maintained it's zero, right? It did provide enough adjustment to line up correctly even with the BP02 mount skewed by a couple of degrees.

The rifle performed well; no issues at all with functionality in about 250 rounds fired. The iron sights were off about 4 feet high at 20 yards, so it took some adjustment to bring it on target, but windage is dead on.

The only negative that I found was the receiver cover gets pushed back, out of the groove above the chamber when the rifle is fired. After 200 rounds, the receiver cover had actually popped out of the groove and jammed against the bottom of the iron sights. When I attach the cover, I can push it forward all the way into the groove, but just by pulling the bolt handle all the way back to charge the weapon, the cover is pushed back to almost the point where it pops out of the groove.

I'll take it out again this weekend and see if it's a chronic problem; has anyone else seen anything like this happen before? It's like the slide cover is 2-3mm too short or something.

Headless
January 31, 2010, 11:18 PM
headless , let us know how the rifle works out at the range.

Well, I got to take the rifle out again and it exhibited the same problem; only 1 or 2 rounds fired before the cover popped out of the groove entirely. It looks like the cover is simply too short to fit the rifle; the only way to make the cover fit into the groove above the barrel is to push forward on the takedown button on the back to 'spring load' the entire thing...and of course, once you rack the slide or fire, it pops right out.

Pics attached. I wonder if I can just order a replacement cover part for this rifle? I really hate the idea of shipping it back :( Any input is welcome.

http://headless.shackspace.com/AK74/103_0035.JPG
http://headless.shackspace.com/AK74/103_0036.JPG
http://headless.shackspace.com/AK74/103_0037.JPG
http://headless.shackspace.com/AK74/103_0038.JPG

Sam1911
February 1, 2010, 06:57 AM
Back when I built a few Kalashnikovs we always used the length of the dust cover to help determine the final position of the rear trunion so that wouldn't happen. When the dust cover fit correctly and would just snap down into the slot on top of the trunion, we'd mark where to drill the receiver shell for the rivets.

Whether or not a surplus cover from a different rifle would be longer is hard to say. Yours could be cut too short (twice?) but there's really no reason to cut one. (Unless the donor rifle had been built shorter than normal and the assemblers ground the dust cover to fit. Never seen it, but it could happen.)

If I was guessing, I'd say the rear trunion is positioned about 1/8" too far back.

-Sam

Atlantic Firearms
February 1, 2010, 07:46 AM
Make sure the dust cover is properly seated .

Babarsac
February 1, 2010, 08:25 AM
I got my replacement Lancaster a little bit ago. I should be able to make it down to the NRA range this coming weekend to test it out.

Headless
February 1, 2010, 09:51 AM
Make sure the dust cover is properly seated .

I've checked and triple checked - the dust cover can't be properly seated in both the front and rear at the same time; it's just not long enough. The dust cover snaps securely into place in the rear, around the takedown button, but when it is, it isn't long enough to lock into the groove above the barrel, unless I line it up carefully and push the dust cover forward against the resistance of the takedown button. Then, I can make the dust cover slide into the groove that is designed to hold it, but as soon as the rifle is fired or I rack the slide, the dust cover is pushed back and pops out of the groove.

Upon closer inspection, it looks like pushing the dust cover forward to make it slide into the groove actually results in the takedown button (and thus entire rear recoil spring assembly) being pushed forward and 'spring loaded'. As soon as any pressure is put on the recoil spring, the resistance of the spring increases and the cover just pops back as the rear takedown button assembly slides fully into the it's rail/notch at the rear of the rifle.

The pictures I posted are the result of this procedure - attach the dust cover, pushing it forward into the slot...the rifle looks correct at that moment, with the cover correctly locked into the groove above the barrel - then I racked the slide once, and it popped right out..

Headless
February 1, 2010, 09:56 AM
Sam, thanks for the insight; I suppose that it would be more likely that the rear trunion is misplaced than the cover is the wrong length, wouldn't it? I'm fairly unfamiliar with AK anatomy as this is my first AK based rifle. It sounds like the rear trunion is riveted in place.

Does this make my rifle un-fixable by conventional means, or can you just remove some rivets and move the trunion back, then re-drill/rivet? I was under the impression rivets are permanent. I don't know if I like the idea of my brand new rifle being double drilled like that so close together in either case; how dissapointing :( Well, I guess this is why I ordered from atlantic and not directly from lancaster... ;)

Sam1911
February 1, 2010, 10:28 AM
Headless, first, as A.F. said, make sure you're latching the cover correctly: Tilt it down in the front, insert the front edge of the cover into the slot under the rear sight, lower the back down until it rests on the recoil spring retainer "button" and then press/slap it down until it clicks in. The button will retract and then pop out through the hole in the cover. The bottom rear lip of the dust cover should drop down into the cross-ways slot in the top of the rear trunion. If you assemble the cover that way, and it still pops free -- you have a problem!

On to your questions:

There are a couple variations in how different builders go about the process of assembling a stamped AK, but you've got the gist of it.

The receiver is a stamped sheet metal shell. The heavy steel chunks at the front and the back are the trunions, and the receiver simply holds them in their correct relationship and provides rails to guide the bolt as it moves back and forth between them. It also, of course, holds the trigger group parts in the right orientation and holds the trigger guard and mag-catch in their correct locations.

In the best, most careful build, you start with a receiver that has no trunion rivet holes drilled in it. The trigger guard and mag-catch are installed first. Then the front trunion is slipped into position and ajusted fore-and-aft until the magazines lock securely and smoothly. When the mags work right, the position of the front trunion is marked, it is removed, and the holes drilled for the rivets. Once the front trunion is riveted in permanently, you slip the rear trunion into place and set the dust cover in position. Then adjust the rear trunion fore-and-aft until the slot on the top of the rear trunion will just let the rear of the dust cover drop in.

If the rear trunion is positioned correctly, when the recoil spring retainer is inserted into its groove and the recoil spring's pressure seats the retainer to the rear, the tang (or button) on the retainer will protrude back through the hole in the dust cover, locking it securely down.

If the rear trunion is too far back, the retainer will settle back far enough to pull the dust cover back too far and the front edge of the cover will pop free from the retaining channel up below the rear sight. Which is what sounds like is happening with your rifle.

So, as I said, if you want to be MOST certain that your AK build will work, you start with a receiver shell that doesn't have the rivet holes drilled and you measure and drill those holes only once you have determined the correct trunion positions. These days the receiver manufacturers (especially Nodak Spud) are very good at getting those holes drilled in the right place -- for MOST parts sets. And larger commercial manufacturers are probably (I'm guessing here) assembling their rifles on pre-drilled receivers because it's much faster and USUALLY works fine.

But not every parts set is identical, and every one has a history. Remember that each "parts kit" was assembled as a rifle once before and who knows exactly what happened to it along the way. If the parts set was a little "odd" or the receiver was a tad short the first time this rifle was assembled, things could have been altered to the point that they don't work well enough on a new, pre-drilled recevier of the "standard" dimensions. (Consider that, as long as the rifle funcions correctly -- mags work properly and the dust cover stays on -- the actual receiver length really doesn't matter much. If when the rifle was first assembled it worked just fine but the dust cover was too long, trimming it back just a hair would have been perfectly acceptable.)

You could (or the manufacturer could) drill out the rivets and start again. But, those holes will be "egged out" to get the trunion to sit in the right spot -- and could shift over time. The best bet would be to weld the holes up, grind the areas flat, and drill again. But that's a lot of work just to reuse a $80 shell. Might as well start with a new, undrilled receiver shell and get it perfect from the get-go.

Or, they could just send you a new rifle that hangs onto it's dust cover!

-Sam

Headless
February 1, 2010, 11:23 AM
Headless, first, as A.F. said, make sure you're latching the cover correctly: Tilt it down in the front, insert the front edge of the cover into the slot under the rear sight, lower the back down until it rests on the recoil spring retainer "button" and then press/slap it down until it clicks in. The button will retract and then pop out through the hole in the cover. The bottom rear lip of the dust cover should drop down into the cross-ways slot in the top of the rear trunion. If you assemble the cover that way, and it still pops free -- you have a problem!

Thanks for the clarification, and for the description on the building process, that is very enlightening. What you described is exactly what is happening. It's also quite difficult to get the takedown button to pop through the hole when the cover is pushed fully forward into that slot under the rear sight, because the hole seems to be too far back. Getting that rear piece into the slot on top of the rear trunion basically requires that the dust cover get pulled back far enough that it is BARELY holding on to that slot under the rear sight; overlap is less than 1/16th of an inch, and it's nowhere near 'seated' into the slot. The first time the rifle is fired or the slide racked, it pops right out as the charging handle is pulled rearward.

This is a rifle that is built on a brand new NDS-2 receiver from what I understand, which, from your description, makes it a rarer case to see this than on a rebuilt rifle - and is actually why I bought this rifle instead of building my own :( Your idea of the dust cover having been trimmed previously might be correct - that was what I was hoping would be the issue, as it would allow me to simply buy a replacement dust cover to fix the problem. It sounds like i'm going to have to send this rifle back. I'll get a video of the rifle uploaded later today so you can see what's up.

Sam1911
February 1, 2010, 11:57 AM
This is a rifle that is built on a brand new NDS-2 receiver from what I understand, which, from your description, makes it a rarer case to see this than on a rebuilt rifle - and is actually why I bought this rifle instead of building my own.

Ah, but you're making a false assumption. That is NOT a "brand new rifle." No one is making all US-made AKs. Lancaster is building parts kits, which are just foreign-made rifles which have had their receivers and barrels cut into unusable chunks, and assembling a "new" rifle on a brand new receiver shell.

They are following exactly the same basic steps as you would if you were building it yourself from a parts kit. In fact, Lancaster will even sell you U.S.-made barrels if you are doing a parts kit build, yourself. (This is necessary since the BATFE started requiring that barrels with parts kits had to be cut up before importation, several years ago.)
That's how all of the AK builders work, as far as I know, except for some outfits like Century with their odd duck single-stack WASRs.

Having a brand new receiver just means that the sheet metal shell is manufactured here (in this case by Nodak Spud, which is very good). All the other parts (except the barrel and other 922(r) compliance parts) still come from a donor rifle made overseas. Assembling the parts correctly into that shell is where things can go awry.

-Sam

Headless
February 1, 2010, 02:28 PM
I wasn't too clear in my wording - I do understand the the entire rifle is not brand new, just the receiver itself - and the barrel, in this case. And maybe some more parts that are included for 922(r) compliance. I understand the entire 922(r) compliance issue, and from what I know, my ak74 was built using a bulgarian parts kit - with the exception of the new receiver/barrel and any other 922(r) compliance parts. I suppose my confusion came in thinking that using a brand new receiver would be less likely to have fitting problems than using an imported receiver; can you even do that anymore? I always worried about matching receiver with barrel and other parts if the receiver had been used before and 'custom fit' or some such, and thought a new receiver could be 'custom fit' to the parts - which is how you described that it should have been during building.

Thanks again for the information :) I think we're on the same page. Video coming later today!

Sam1911
February 1, 2010, 02:48 PM
Oh! Well, sorry for having misunderstood you. None of this stuff is really easy to communicate in text, and very little of it (legally) makes sense anyway! LOL!

There is every chance that your Nodak Spud receiver is actually of higher quality than the original Bulgarian receiver, FWIW. But, if Lancaster is using a pre-drilled receiver and not adjusting to compensate for differences in the original parts kits, there still can be problems. The kit may be great and the receiver my be awesome, but they may just not work correctly together, which is what it sounds like we have here.

Can you import a receiver? Well, the issue would be that these are generally standard military issue AKMs and AK-74s that are being cut up. So they are machine guns and cannot be imported for any civilian uses. (Going back at least to the 1986 Hughes Amendment, possibly earlier, I don't remember.) If the gun is built as a semi-auto only, it CAN be imported as long as it meets the "sporting" definition of Section 925(d)(3) of the UCC.

Several ways to do this. Century imports the WASR single stack AKs and then modifies them here to 922(r) compliance but with all the features of a normal AKM. That gets you a Romanian receiver and barrel, some compliance parts, and a gun that Century has worked on.

Another way 'round is to do the Saiga thing. Saigas are just AKMs, built by the actual Russian factory that still makes all their military rifles, but with a "sporting" buttstock tacked on and the trigger group changed, and they have to take oddball magazines. All those are just bolt-ons to get around the import restrictions. Once here in the country, you play the 922(r) game and make them "back" into a standard AKM, if you are so inclined.

The other way I can think of is to completely avoid 925(d)3 and 922(r) by not importing a rifle at all. Import a Draco "pistol" which is just a 12" barreled Romainan sub-machine gun version of an AKM but built semi-auto only and without a butt-stock. It is imported and sold as a pistol. Then, you pay your $200 to the ATF and build a "Title II" Short Barreled Rifle out of it. Neither pistols nor Title II weapons have to comply with 922(r).

Cool, eh?

-Sam

Headless
February 1, 2010, 03:22 PM
Fascinating information. The laws governing this type of thing are nicely complex and difficult to get a 'big picture' of.

This gave me an excuse to try out my new video camera! I went ahead and recorded some footage of the problem. It's youtube'd, so if the quality is suffering too badly to be able to make out what's happening, let me know, and I can post the original .mov file too. Excuse the goofy halfassed commentary ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7B8GsXG6f0

mshootnit
February 1, 2010, 07:32 PM
yep that receiver is too long or the cover is too short. I've never seen an AK put together like that for sure.

Sam1911
February 1, 2010, 07:42 PM
I'm only 36 seconds into the vid (slooooow d/l) and I can already see the problem. While the front edge of the dust cover isn't quite bottoming in the retainer groove, it's lower rear edge is nearly touching the FRONT of the groove in the rear trunion. The recoil spring retainer should be pressing it pretty firmly against the REAR of that horizontal groove, not the front. That give it about twice as much room as it needs to pop out on you.

You either need a longer dust cover (which may be impossible to get) or a new (or at least re-worked) receiver shell.

Sorry for the rotten luck, but maybe Atlantic can get this taken care of without any more delay. (How 'bout it guys?)


[Edit: Up to 1:30 now...arrgh -- like watching a train wreck about to happen! :D I just KNOW it's coming out! :what:]

[Edit again: Aaaaand....thereitgoes! Yup. That's a problem. I'm sure the good folks at Atlantic will once again help you get squared away. This stuff happens sometimes. It sucks that it happened twice to you, but third time's a charm, right?]
-Sam

M1key
February 1, 2010, 07:48 PM
Send it back for a refund, then go buy yourself an Arsenal '74.

Headless
February 1, 2010, 10:19 PM
M1key, I don't think I want to get an arsenal '74 if it's possible to get this 74 replaced without spending $$$ on it. I've seen an arsenal AK or 2 with problems before, and lancaster has previously been viewed in a positive light by many members on the forums i've been reading...so maybe i'll give it another chance in this case and see how it works out. The funny thing is, my wife shot this rifle better than I did - just picked it up and nailed a tennis ball 5 times in a row @ 35-45 yards - and now she wants one for her birthday! Just gotta figure out which to get. Maybe i'll give arsenal a try, maybe another lancaster. Every company has it's occasional problems, so i'm not all vitriol against lancaster suddenly.

From what i've seen, atlantic takes care if it's customers, and i'm going to be talking with them tommorrow to see what to do from here to get a replacement rifle. On a side note, when I mounted a BP02 mount to this '74 it was skewed to the right by 3-6 degrees - maybe that's related to this issue; that by itself wasn't going to motivate me to send the rifle back as it could be an issue with the bp02 (i only have one...) but it looks like this other problem with the dust cover will result in getting an answer about the bp02 as well since i'll be able to mount it to the new rifle.

I've never mailed a rifle before; hope it's not a big PITA legally. I assume that the replacement will also have to be returned to me through my FFL? If so, i wonder if that'll cost me another transfer fee... ugh. Mebbe i should've stuck with C&R's ;)

Sam1911
February 1, 2010, 11:01 PM
I've never mailed a rifle before; hope it's not a big PITA legally. I assume that the replacement will also have to be returned to me through my FFL? If so, i wonder if that'll cost me another transfer fee... ugh. Mebbe i should've stuck with C&R's

No, no, and no. You may mail your rifle directly to the Manufacturer. They may mail it directly back to you. However, I would take it right back to Atlantic and have them handle the whole matter (especially considering Lancaster's rep for customer ... (dis)service). Considering the problem is a faulty build of the gun, I'd be very unhappy indeed, to have to pay another dime to have it fixed. But that's just me. Unless they're sending you a brand new gun (with a new serial number) there would be no reason to have to go through the transfer process again.

-Sam

Headless
February 1, 2010, 11:14 PM
Well, the problem is, it sounds like fixing this would require drilling + new rivets? I don't want a new rifle that's been hacked up... if the fix isn't simple (like, replace the dust cover maybe?) a new rifle will be exactly what i'll be looking at... and that sounds like it would be a new serial # thus a new transfer? That would really suck; I didn't do anything to justify paying more $$ for the rifle. Anyway, not going to jump to any conclusions until I talk with atlantic tommorrow. It might be worth paying the transfer fee over again to get a new rifle from atlantic in a timely manner rather than worry about shipping to/from lancaster (yes, i heard about their legendary customer support directly also, which is why i went with atlantic when i got the rifle. Good thing, too, as it turns out...)

Atlantic Firearms
February 2, 2010, 07:29 AM
You will not have to spend a dime shipping or otherwise to get the situation taken care if the rifle is defective . We tried calling you yesterday & left a voice mail message hopefully we will be able to make contact today.

stchman
February 2, 2010, 07:39 AM
Did you clean the rifle thoroughly before you fired it?

A lot of rifles come packed in a grease that will make the firearm not work properly.

When I bought my WASR 10/63 I was surprised at how dirty it was. I went through quite a bit of Hoppe's and brake cleaner before flushing out all the cr@p.

After that a good spray down with RemOil, re-assembly and it worked well.

Sam1911
February 2, 2010, 09:32 AM
You will not have to spend a dime shipping or otherwise to get the situation taken care if the rifle is defective . We tried calling you yesterday & left a voice mail message hopefully we will be able to make contact today.

Exactly as I suspected! A.F. is a stand up bunch and will take care of you! Kudos!

-Sam

Sam1911
February 2, 2010, 09:34 AM
Did you clean the rifle thoroughly before you fired it?
Have you had a rifle fall apart because it wasn't clean? How much grease would have to be packed into an AK-74 before it would make the dust cover too short?

:rolleyes:

-Sam

Atlantic Firearms
February 2, 2010, 07:45 PM
We spoke with both the customer & Lancaster today about the rifle.

Headless
February 2, 2010, 08:42 PM
I spoke with Blaine earlier today - I must say, it is very reassuring and refreshing to deal with somebody who really believes in taking care of the problem. Although i'm still not sold on Lancaster's direct support (details of my interaction with lancaster below), Blaine has made it clear that whatever happens, he will make sure that i'm taken care of. With this knowledge in hand, and instructions from Blaine on how to proceed, I called Lancaster directly.

Penny answered, and I mentioned my name, that I was calling for Chet at the advice of Blaine @ Atlantic Firearms.

Penny asked if I had previously spoke with Chet. I said no, but that I was instructed to call and ask for Chet by Blaine @ Atlantic.
I remained on hold for over 15 minutes, then the phone was answered by Shane.

After explaining the problem, Shane indicated that he thought the dust cover was simply not fit properly to the rifle, but that it was the correct length and the problem could be fixed without sending the rifle back. I eagerly inquired what should be done;

Shane suggested that I take the dust cover off. Beat on it with a ball peen hammer until it bows outwards... Replace dust cover. Ta-da!

OK, maybe that'll work, but I was not optimistic; there is a pretty large gap... the cover would have to be bent quite a bit to be long enough. At the same time, if that is the solution, i'd as soon do the bending as deal with shipping back+forth to get the same rifle back with a bent outwards dust cover... ;)

So, I called Blaine back - he wanted me to talk with Chet directly because he had spoken with Chet about the problem and Chet wanted to talk to me directly to verify the details of the problem.

Chet called me back, asked about how much distance was between the cover and end of the rear groove when it was fully locked into the groove above the barrel. I indicated over 1/8th of an inch, at which point Chet said that the cover would be too short to bend outwards as described by Shane, and said that Penny would be with me to get information on a call tag for pickup. I was transferred back to Penny, who took down my address for a call tag. So far, So good :)

Tommorrow, the rifle gets picked up, and lancaster can ship it directly back to me once they decide how to proceed with replacement or repairs. Judging from others experiences, I suspect I'll know what's up in about a week.

Thanks again for your help, Blaine.

Sam1911
February 2, 2010, 08:51 PM
Glad to see that both Atlantic (no surprise) and Lancaster (hooray!) are taking care of you. The ball-pien hammer deal is kind of sketchy, but we've had the benefit of seeing the pics and video and Shane hadn't, so can't really cast stones.

Sounds like they understand now and will deal with it accordingly.

Let us know how it goes!

-Sam

Headless
February 2, 2010, 08:55 PM
My thoughts exactly, Sam. :)

Headless
March 1, 2010, 12:37 AM
Well, just an update; blaine helped me get a replacement rifle from lancaster - blaine has been an amazingly good guy to deal with - but unfortunately lancaster didn't do their part; the replacement has the same problem, as evidenced by this new video of my replacement rifle after 500-800 rounds...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fL2izajYoM

I've really lost faith in lancaster, as it turns out the issue is a known problem with a batch of barrels they got - the gas ports have been drilled out too large, which causes the bolt carrier to be sent back with too much force...thus the bent rivets and rear trunion problems. What bugs me is that they knew this was the problem, yet i still got another rifle with the same problem.

I am going to try and work with blaine tommorrow to get a different brand rifle to replace this one; I want no part of Lancaster Arms rifles anymore.

nathan
March 1, 2010, 01:18 AM
Wow, it took alot of money on your part to find this problem out like the cost of ammo . THey owe you a good quality rifle . pls mentioned to Blaine , they ought to give you the best in their inventory as of now.

Sam1911
March 1, 2010, 09:23 AM
Wait. The bolt is hammering the rear trunion backwards out of the receiver? Bent rivets?

I obviously am no expert. Maybe the "too big gas port" story is correct.

But I have another theory.

We have a receiver that we've built into a rifle using a parts kit. The assembled rifle turns out to have been put together with the trunion holes too far back, so it won't hold the dust cover in. We drill out those rear rivets, egg out the holes in the receiver so we can reassemble the rear trunion 1/8" forward, and rivet it back together. A little spray finish and voila!

Only problem is, there's nothing but friction keeping those rivets from moving back to their old locations in the egged out holes. 500 rounds is like hitting the rear trunion (lightly) backwards with a hammer 500 times, and with all the holes elongated, back she comes.

I think you got a "repaired" gun that they hoped would hang together. You put it through its paces and proved that their repair was purely cosmetic.

Or, maybe, it could be that the gas port is too big. Whatever. Don't deal with those clowns any more. I'd ask for my money back and maybe a suggestion of a better choice of assembler.

I pity Atlantic for having to be the public face of that group.

-Sam

nathan
March 1, 2010, 11:04 AM
This is a shame as this is an AMerican company . The commies know much better in making weapons for peasants ,LOL

Headless
March 1, 2010, 01:44 PM
Sam - the rivets really do look like they are being bent outwards by the force of impact; i tried to get a good shot in the second video of it; you can actually see them 'prying away' from the receiver face. I suppose they could be repairing badly assembled rifles, but these rifles are built on US made NDS-2 receivers, which I was under the impression are brand new for this assembly. Given that they are new receivers, they should be able to drill the rivet holes themselves - or they could've been pre-drilled by nodak spud, I suppose.... I checked the rivets VERY carefully on this second rifle, and marked the location of the rear trunion before shooting - I didn't see any egged out areas around the rivets until after I had shot it some.

Oh, also, the rifle started keyholing after 2 or so mags last night. Picture attached.

Really, the part that really bothers me is this: Lancaster KNEW when I called that these barrels were causing this problem; they admitted so when I spoke to them the second time - but Shane STILL told me to 'hammer out the back of my dust cover' when I first called. Secondly, Lancaster KNEW when I called that they did not have a rifle that would not break to send me; Shane was non-commital and said they 'might not have a rifle for me' when I called on the day they told me it'd be shipped to get a tracking #... Then when blaine got in touch with them, they reversed their story.

I believe that they shipped me a rifle that they knew was not good to go.
Last of all, they said they were shipping a replacement, but did not do so. When I called for a tracking #, they gave me a tracking # and indicated the rifle had been shipped - but in reality, the tracking # was on a pre-printed sticker and they really didn't ship out the rifle until the day afterwards. This is what i'd normally consider a small thing, but tied with other things that I believe were shady or dishonest, it all adds up.

Third, They promised me free magazines for the hassle, but none were included with the rifle. As with above, this is what i'd consider a small thing and normally wouldn't even bother to call them and ask about the mags...but with the rest of it, it all adds up and makes me very frustrated. Blaine has been the shining star in this entire ordeal - I believe i'd still not have a replacement rifle from the first time without his help.

The really irritating part is that it cost me almost 2 tins of ammunition just to be sure that I have an AK74 that won't fall apart after 1000 rounds are shot through it. I like shooting at much as the next guy, but that 200$ of ammunition could have bought me a red jacket built AK instead of a rough rider, AND i wouldn't have been without a rifle for 20 days while trying to get a working replacement.

I've entirely given up on lancaster and will be talking with blaine later today about getting this POS out of my life and replacing it with a better build; perhaps one by In Range, or by Red Jacket (I think Red Jacket is winning the race at this time)

Sam1911
March 1, 2010, 02:06 PM
What a crock of poo... The sooner you're rid of it...and them...the better.

Kudos to Atlantic for treating you right. Shame they're associated with these slobs.

Enjoy your Red Jacket Kalashnikov!

-Sam

Headless
March 1, 2010, 03:05 PM
Talked to Blaine - looks like he'll be shipping out an In Range rifle tommorrow and arranging for lancaster to pick up this rifle. And so ends my lancaster debacle. A big thumbs up + kudos to Blaine @ atlantic; it's been nothing but good dealing with him.

M1key
March 2, 2010, 10:43 AM
Arsenal....just saying.

Atlantic Firearms
March 2, 2010, 11:11 AM
The replacment In Range 74 was boxed up this morning & will ship out today via fedex ground , we had the guys add a few extra mags in with the rifle . We will have the factory get in touch with you to retieve the faulty unit.

grilledcheese
March 2, 2010, 11:18 AM
Great. Now I'm getting nervous. I'm gonna run a couple hundred more rounds through mine this weekend. If my rifle shows evidence of the same problems, I will be highly PO'd.
Darn it.



Jeffrey

Atlantic Firearms
March 2, 2010, 02:28 PM
FYI we have shipped over 300 of these rifles and only had approx 3-4 issues so there is not reason to brand every rifle as having the same issue. Yes things like this can arise but often it gets swept up into a mass hysteria via the internet . If any customers have bought a rifle from us and a issue crops up please rest assured we will work with you to get it resolved in as quick and painless manner as possible.

Babarsac
March 2, 2010, 02:47 PM
Unfortunately I haven't gotten out to the range since getting my Lancaster in the mail. Hopefully I'll get out this month.

CA2005
March 3, 2010, 01:34 AM
It's been YEARS since I've purchased from Atlantic Firearms, but based off the great support I've witnessed in this thread I think I might need to make another purchase from them.

grilledcheese
March 6, 2010, 02:08 PM
Oh dear, where to start...
I finally made it to the range this morning to test out my new Lancaster Bulgarian Red Wood AK74. The first magazine of surplus 5.45 fired at an old silhoutte target yielded this:

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o10/noshpatu/keyholeAK74003.jpg

Yep, that's right. Keyholing at twenty-five yards. Headless, I feel your pain.

We then tried a magazine of new production Wolf 5.45 which produced similar results, and even tried a few rounds with the muzzle brake off. Same results.

As per their excellent reputation, Atlantic Firearms is on the case, and I have no doubt that the matter will be resolved.
I'm just a bit bummed that such a beautiful and seeming well assembled rifle would have such issues.

Drats.




Jeffrey

endseeker
March 6, 2010, 06:22 PM
when did you buy yours? i got mine 09/2009, havent got a chance to shoot it yet.

Slvr Surfr
March 6, 2010, 06:59 PM
What is causing the key holing ? I have never seen bullet holes like that without the round striking something first.

fbird
March 6, 2010, 09:01 PM
Oh dear, where to start...
I finally made it to the range this morning to test out my new Lancaster Bulgarian Red Wood AK74. The first magazine of surplus 5.45 fired at an old silhoutte target yielded this:

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o10/noshpatu/keyholeAK74003.jpg

Yep, that's right. Keyholing at twenty-five yards. Headless, I feel your pain.

We then tried a magazine of new production Wolf 5.45 which produced similar results, and even tried a few rounds with the muzzle brake off. Same results.

As per their excellent reputation, Atlantic Firearms is on the case, and I have no doubt that the matter will be resolved.
I'm just a bit bummed that such a beautiful and seeming well assembled rifle would have such issues.

Drats.




Jeffrey
That is crazy!! Is that the rough rider version?? stainless barrel or the chrome lined?

HorseSoldier
March 6, 2010, 11:30 PM
What is causing the key holing ? I have never seen bullet holes like that without the round striking something first.

Most likely improper barrel twist that's not adequate to properly stabilize the round, or maybe just an improperly dimensioned barrel (like Century's use of 5.56mm barrels on some of their Tantal builds).

I have seen one well made 74 from a reputable builder (and using the original barrel, if I recall correctly) that had zero accuracy issues with mil-surp ammo, but keyholed at 25 with 70 grain Wolf ammo -- theory was normal AK-74 barrel twist is just marginal for the heavier bullets. OP says this one is keyholing with standard ammo as well, though, so my guess would be wrong sized barrel.

M1key
March 8, 2010, 12:10 AM
The Bulgarian '74 twist rate is 1:8 and is more than adequate to stabilize the 70gr bullets, and my Arsenal shoots them all very well, thank you.

nathan
March 8, 2010, 12:46 AM
I also got the Lancaster Red Wood 74 (stainless barrel) and had fired 200rds in one session. No keyholing whatsoever and quite accurate at 50 yds . I hope mine doesnt develop this dreaded keyholing phenomenon as i shoot more in the future.

buck00
March 8, 2010, 10:41 AM
FYI we have shipped over 300 of these rifles and only had approx 3-4 issues so there is not reason to brand every rifle as having the same issue. Yes things like this can arise but often it gets swept up into a mass hysteria via the internet . If any customers have bought a rifle from us and a issue crops up please rest assured we will work with you to get it resolved in as quick and painless manner as possible.

Just to chime in. Blaine from Atlantic runs a great business. I had an issue with a Vector RPK years back, and he called me personally and took care of it. Very professional and inspired a lot of confidence.

I also can speak in support of Lancaster (and Chet). I have a Polish AK from them and its really good (no issues). As Blaine pointed out- its the few that needed to be sent back which cause a big stink on the internet.

I'm actually buying my next Lancaster from Blaine and wouldn't think twice about it. :)

Headless
March 8, 2010, 01:47 PM
Absolutely agreed, Buck00. Blaine is a great guy and takes care of his customers. In fact, I think he'd be the only place i'd be willing to try a lancaster from ;)

GrilledCheese - damn, that sucks. I guess you do feel my pain ;)

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=116693&d=1267469619

I actually took a real close look at another one of my targets from the first RR rifle that I took out - it was replaced by the rifle that keyholed badly as shown by my picture in post #81:

There are 2 keyholes in my target from that first rifle too. Not as bad - the second rifle had bullets hitting the target totally sideways - but the target from the first rifle has a couple of keyholes that at first I thought might have been 2 shots close together also.. Both of my lancaster rifles had about 500-650 rounds put through them. Now that I have a chrome lined barrel to observe and compare to, I am confident that neither of my RR's came with the chrome lined barrels, just an FYI. I didn't get a chance to test my second barrel from dead cold after it started keyholing to see if it only did it when hot, or if it started doing it permanently...

grilledcheese
March 10, 2010, 08:55 PM
I wanted to wait until I had newsworthy info to post, so here it is:
First off, Blaine and the folks at Atlantic Firearms have once again upheld their excellent reputation. When I called them on Saturday I was assured that they would contact Lancaster Arms Monday morning and have them contact me same day about pickup and repair or replacement of my rifle, and that's exactly what happened. John from Lancaster called Monday afternoon, and Tuesday morning I was able to make arrangements for pickup of my rifle with Penny. My rifle was then picked up today by FedEx at no charge to me.
According to John at Lancaster the barrel on my rifle will be changed because...

...wait for it...

...an issue concerning a batch of improperly machined U.S. made barrels has been identified, with the gist of it being the bores are a tad over-sized, resulting in key-holing. The defective barrels are being identified and new barrels brought in.

**Sigh*** It would appear that the Boom-Stick gods above are angry with 5.45 caliber US-made barrels...

I will add that the folks at Lancaster have been prompt and pleasant. I'll post again when my rifle returns and I have had a chance to fire it.



Jeffrey

nathan
March 11, 2010, 01:02 AM
WOw, its always the wrong sized barrel . How come US AK makers can t get it right from the get go?? Considering we have the best reputation in gun making , or Im just talking crax here....

grilledcheese
April 17, 2010, 05:24 PM
I received my AK74 back from Lancaster yesterday, and was able to take it out to the farm this morning for a try-out. And the good news is: no more key-holing. I ran four magazines through it with no problems whatsoever, and the fit and finish of the rifle is still fantastic.
That being said, it did take a little over a month to get the rifle fixed, and might have taken longer without the assistance of Blaine over at Atlantic Firearms, who stepped in to help and once again upheld AF's excellent reputation (Thanks again!)

I'm not sure what Lancaster's situation is, but I hope they get things resolved. John Goldin at Lancaster assured me that they will honor their lifetime warranties on their rifles, and I'll keep my finger's crossed that I don't need it again. I also hope that Lancaster stays in business...




Jeffrey

nathan
April 17, 2010, 05:49 PM
YOurs came with the Bulgarian barrel (chrome) ? Glad all is well and good.

41magsnub
April 25, 2010, 10:40 PM
I take back my positive review of my Lancaster RR earlier. Mine has all the same issues as others have described including bent rivets and the dust cover no longer stays locked in front. The gun has exactly 420 rounds of silver bear through it.

Boo! Hiss!

I'm contacting Blaine!

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff299/trebligb/IMG00008-20100425-2036.jpg

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff299/trebligb/IMG00006-20100425-2036.jpg

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff299/trebligb/IMG00007-20100425-2036.jpg

http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff299/trebligb/IMG00009-20100425-2037.jpg

M1key
April 25, 2010, 11:33 PM
Sorry about your problems.


It's getting ugly out there folks.

41magsnub
April 25, 2010, 11:36 PM
Discussed with Blaine and the issue is so random they cannot do a proper recall...

41magsnub
April 26, 2010, 03:23 PM
Atlantic is going to get me store credit for the gun as soon as Lancaster arranges to pick it up. I'm very happy with Atlantic firearms thus far and will be getting something else from the catalog to replace this. Hopefully Lancaster is on the ball as well, still waiting for a call back today.

nathan
April 26, 2010, 07:49 PM
Great to have ATlantic backing you up every step of the way.

41magsnub
April 27, 2010, 02:04 PM
This is getting a bit annoying. Blaine from Atlantic is doing a great job of trying to push this through. Lancaster is dragging their feet. Tried all day yesterday to get hold of somebody, Chet Durda emailed me in the evening stating that he would get somebody to help me today. John Goldin emailed me early this morning stating he would get me their Fed Ex account number so I could ship the rifle as soon as he got into the office. Here it is lunch time and nothing from him yet.

Atlantic Firearms
April 27, 2010, 08:01 PM
Did you get the fedex info that you needed ?

41magsnub
April 27, 2010, 08:09 PM
They did a little bit ago and the package is on the way. Thanks for checking!

TREEWIZARD
April 28, 2010, 03:54 PM
Is there any way to tell if your rifle has these problems without firing a bunch of rounds through it. I bought a Bulgarian Red Wood AK74 by Lancaster through Atlantic Firearms back in December of 09. I have put about 200 rounds through it. Its never given me any problems but the receiver dust cover is a little loose.
TREE

41magsnub
April 29, 2010, 10:54 AM
Treewizard, I'd be a little worried if I were you. Mine was also purchased in that time frame. My dust cover was tight and correct when I first got the rifle, I put just under 300 rounds through it and it seemed like it was getting loose so I headed to the woods and just dumped 6 magazines through it which did what my pictures show.

I would recommend taking pictures of the dust cover in front and the rear trunion and posting them here, making sure to get a nice clear shot of the dust cover gap in front. An AK expert I'm sure would chime in with if it is heading south or not!

If you have an issue and bought it from Atlantic they will make sure you got taken care of. If you bought it direct from Lancaster or via AIM, from what I've read, you will still get taken care of but it might be a bit painfull.

BoltGun
April 29, 2010, 12:22 PM
Is your Serial # in there?

http://www.lancasterarms.com/Recall%20List%20Page.html

41magsnub
April 29, 2010, 12:38 PM
When did that list come out?

Also.. my serial number is not in that list and definately has the problem so don't assume you are ok if it is not in there! Mine was J0053xx

BoltGun
April 29, 2010, 12:54 PM
It should be the most current list they released (updated 10/24/2010). You can go to their recall list from their home page too.

http://www.lancasterarms.com/index.html

Your post confirmed my suspicion. The number of rifles affected probably more than just the ones on the list. We need more serial numbers to get better picture of how wide spread the situation is. Mine is in the same range as yours J0053xx. Crud!

TREEWIZARD
April 29, 2010, 05:03 PM
Crap, my numbers on list. Called today hopefully they will call me back tomorrow.

mordecai
May 11, 2010, 02:36 PM
I was wondering why my dust cover had gotten loose... I just checked the rear-trunnion and I can see gaps on both of the rivets and the holes. Ser# J00053XX....

sarduy
May 11, 2010, 08:51 PM
i got a lancaster! and the first thing i did was call Lancaster and ask them if i had the bulgarian barrels and YES, i have the original barrel "chrome lined" i checked the bore and it look like new. just give them a call and ask.

ETA: i have fired almost 800 rounds without a single problem.

41magsnub
May 12, 2010, 03:03 PM
Atlantic Firearms seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. They have a store credit for me, my credit card info, and what the failed Lancaster is supposed to be replaced with. Left voicemails and emails over the past week with no response.

Blaine.. are you out there?

Atlantic Firearms
May 12, 2010, 09:12 PM
I heard he has been abducted by Aliens from Area 51 !!!

OldHarleyRoadScum
May 13, 2010, 08:57 PM
I am new to THR, so this seemed like the perfect time to join in, say "Hi" and start tracking right here on the THR Forum the "performance" of the new Lancaster Arms AK-74 that I recently ordered from Atlantic Firearms. I just picked the new rifle up at my local gun shop on Tuesday (5/11) and have not had the chance to do any shooting yet. I opted for the "AK74 Classic Rifle Package" that Atlantic is currently running, in which the rifle comes with the "Classic Red wood stock set " and the "16 inch chrome-lined threaded barrel", so hopefully, with that barrel, I won't experience any of the problems being encountered with the stainless barrels........but time-will-tell!!

Everything appears to LOOK OK so far, with the exception of the loose fit of the receiver cover........when seated properly, front and rear, it is tight against the groove in the rear trunion, but has about a 1/16" gap at the front. It is still being held (as it should be) under the lip below the rear sight, but not by much.

There is not any snow (or rain??) in the forecast for early next week, so we will try to get out to the range and do some shooting........so keep your legs crossed!!

More to come....

OHRS :)

OldHarleyRoadScum
May 14, 2010, 01:38 PM
Here are a few photos of both sides of the rifle showing the fit of the receiver cover that I was trying to describe in my previous post....tight at the rear of the cover -- 1/16" gap at the front of the cover. No rounds have been fired through this rifle at this time. This is the finished condition as received from the factory. As I am not familiar with a condition like this on an AK, and my other two AK's (SAIGA Rifle and Arsenal SLR-106FR) do not have any issues like this, I must inquire of someone with more knowledge of these rifles than I have yet attained: Is this a frequent occurance and does it appear to be "safe" to fire this rifle with a gap like this at the front end of the receiver cover?

Thanx in advance for any helpful comments and information!! :)

nathan
May 14, 2010, 01:59 PM
Only way to find out is shoot at least 300 rds in the rifle and find out if the gap widens .

Sam1911
May 14, 2010, 02:12 PM
OHRS,

The dust cover doesn't doo anything terribly important other than keep your fingers and such out of the way of the bolt carrier. Having it pop off during firing isn't likely to present a safety issue. You certainly could fire it without the cover installed at all.

However, you obviously wouldn't desire it to come off. Your rifle looks like it is very close to having the same problem others have had -- with a cover that pops off when the rifle is fired.

You could contact the manufacturer/distributor and tell them your concerns now, or you could go ahead and shoot it until it does pop off. If it doesn't come loose, then it is almost assuredly within acceptable specs. If it doesn't stay put, they should fix it.

OldHarleyRoadScum
May 14, 2010, 02:38 PM
Sam1911....

Thanx so much for your wise words!! I was pretty much thinking along the same lines. My main concern at this point, though, is not doing anything that may jeopardize the warranty on the firearm....just in case something does go to heck and needs to be fixed or replaced. I guess, though, that the reality of the situation is that since they (L-A) sent the rifle "out the door" to be sold to someone, it was considered a finished product that had been built correctly and was ready to shoot. I should worry about the warranty stuff later if it comes apart!!

41magsnub
May 14, 2010, 04:09 PM
I would not worry about warranty issues, all you are doing is firing it.. not abusing it. Yours looks like mine did after about 200 rds and I rather think you are going to have the issue.

OldHarleyRoadScum
May 14, 2010, 08:14 PM
Thanks for the reply, 41magsnub! If the weather (and everything else) cooperates next week, we will try to get some rounds put through that new barrel and see what happens.

Until then....:D

OldHarleyRoadScum
May 20, 2010, 09:38 PM
Finally made it out to the range today to actually see how this little Lancaster AK-74 would hold up. After putting 240 rounds of 60 gr. Silver Bear ammo through it........so far - so good. The gap at the front of the top cover may have grown by a "hair", but if so, it is really too small to tell yet. With that said, the rivets holding the rear trunion, obviously, do not appear to have moved or distorted in any way.

The rifle, at this point, is actually quite a pleasure to shoot. It "runs" very smoothly and cycled all 240 rounds flawlessly through six (6) different magazines. It is also, surprisingly to me, quite accurate! :)

AND NO KEYHOLES!!!! :D

So for now....whenever we get the chance to take it shooting, we'll just keep-a-close-eye on the integrity of the rifle....it may just work-out OK!! I will be sure to let you all know if it DOES NOT. :uhoh:

Sam1911
May 21, 2010, 06:51 AM
Great news!

Also, I'm not surprised that you're surprised (:D) at the accuracy. The '74s really seem to defy the old stereotype of the "minute-of-barn-door" accuracy of a Kalashnikov.

OldHarleyRoadScum
May 21, 2010, 03:55 PM
Very well put!

classcpl
May 21, 2010, 11:04 PM
I got my Lancaster RR AK74 back from them about a week ago. They changed out the barrel, the new one is chrome lined. They also refinished the rifle in a black gunkote or similar product, switched out the shepard's hook with a retaining plate, threw in an extra non-sanitized plum magazine to go with my plum furniture and also included several bags of stripper clips. Oddly enough, they did not refinish my muzzle brake but instead gave me a new one that had been finished in black and still sent me my original. The original brake is "zigzag" type and the new one is the "crescent" type of ak74 brake. The "zig zag" looks to be of a higher quality but both seem to perform the same. The also gave me the polished chrome bolt carrier.

I finally had a chance to take the rifle out on Monday and ran 5 magazines of surplus 7n6 and one magazine of Wolf 60grain HP through it. I checked the dust cover gap with my reloading calipers prior to going out. After all 180 rounds there was no change in the gap between dust cover and receiver. I also noticed a reduction in the felt recoil and that my brass is no longer being ejected 30+yards like before. Heh, they were even nice enough to zero the front sight. ( I was hitting to the right before I sent it off.)

This new barrel seems to be somewhat less accurate than the old one, but that may well have just been me getting familiar with the rifle again. either way I'm still getting around 1.5 inches at 50 yds which is more than sufficient.

Also, it appears that the bolt carrier is still contacting the rear trunion. ( I noticed that there are marks where the paint (gunkote?) has been rubbed off of the rear trunion and on to the rear of the bolt carrier. Its a small area about 1/2" wide. Is this something to be concerned about?

Hopefully everything will turn out fine. It took me approximately 800 rds to start noticing problems with it the first time, so I will not breathe easy until I hit the 1k mark. Blaine at Atlantic Firearms went abv and beyond in helping me out in dealing with Lancaster, and John Goldin at Lancaster Arms was extremely professional and courteous in all of our correspondence.

I do have to say, My RR is now one SWEET looking AK. Hopefully it will walk the walk.

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