how much does it cost to build an ak?


November 8, 2010, 10:12 PM
I already have a wasr10 and converted saiga 308 but I always thought it would be fun to build one from parts. Assuming I'd buy the parts online for average prices and a pretty standard build about how much an investment am I talking?

What special tools would I need?

How hard is it to do? I'm a reasonably good DIYer but I'm no machinist.

I do understand that it would end up more than just buying another wasr10 off the rack but it seems it would be a cool project.

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November 9, 2010, 03:36 AM
You've missed the boat on the "cheap AK builds", I'm afraid.

Today, you'll be looking at around $300 for a Romy kit with factory barrel.
Compliance parts can run from $75 to astronomical, if you are one that has to have "name brand" parts used by "special operators" on it.

Tools? You really only need a hammer. The Afghans routinely rebuild AKs from parts in mud huts with homemade tools.

If you are going to buy the specialized tools, you're looking at another $300 to $500 worth.

November 9, 2010, 06:50 AM
The big issue to determine cost is whether you are going to make a receiver from an 80% flat or buy a complete receiver. If you buy the receiver, all you need to do is press rivets, which is simple and fairly cheap. Making the receiver requires some specialized tooling and a press, welder, and torch for heat treating.

November 9, 2010, 09:14 AM
As others have said its the tooling that kills you on the build price. I figure I have $400 or so in tools needed to build AK's (12 ton press, drill press, barrel pin tool, long and short rivet tools, barrel install/remove tool, TG rivet tools, etc...) I love building AK's, but I knew off the bat I would probably never break even on costs versus just buying a built one outright.

For one build you would be better off just sending it to a builder who has the tools and will do it for $150-ish. Or just buying one already built for $400 or so. Right now you can get a Wasr, AMD-65, Tantal, or AK-74 for $400, or a Yugo AK for $450. Its almost impossible to beat those prices building your own. You would have to build at least 3-4 or more kits to make the tools cost efficient.

November 9, 2010, 10:23 AM
If you want to build your own AK, do it to enjoy it because you aren't likely to save money on it. Its not that hard if you study what needs to be done and how to do it. Also, take your time on each step until you are confident you will do it right the first time. The most critical part is head spacing the barrel.

You could save on tools if you have the resources and skills to make them. I made all my AK tools out of materials I had laying around including my press but I also already have a welder, saws, air tools, drill press, grinder, and torch to make my own tools.

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