AK project advice


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why.kyle
December 24, 2011, 03:37 PM
So i got a century arms ak74 that wasnt really a good buy, its in rough shape (as far as rust) Ive decied it cant get the money out of selling it with the condition its in so Im going to fix it up a little and get some use out of it. The MOST I would ever do with it is experiment with 3 gun (till I get an AR) or take a carbine class for fun. the least is a rifle I can take with me when wherever I need to out to 100 yards, ala truck gun, and general plinking fun and tacticool look.

It has a a dragnov/thumb hole style stock on it that is not fitting me well.. the grip is way to thick, and I have normal sized hands. So im looking a putting a new stock/hand guards on it.

I like the idea of a folding stock for storage though am not sold one way or the other. Tapco is cheap.. but its cheap for a reason.

Im going to be putting some kind of modified safety that has the extended finger tab and bolt hold open slot.

Im not a huge fan of the AK sight system, so Ive been looking at red dots. Ive heard about primary arms here on THR and been looking into their stuff.
They have a sale on their MI hand guard mount with a PA mico dot
https://www.primaryarms.com/Primary_Arms_Micro_Dot_Midwest_Industries_Han_p/md06_mibundle.htm
Or im looking at the mount that replaces the rear sight
https://www.primaryarms.com/PA_Micro_Dot_Midwest_Industries_MDM_Bundle_p/md06-fslash-mdmbundle.htm
From what I read the hand guard mount is more secure stable. but its farther forward which having no experience with red dots I dont know what the difference of having it closer or farther makes.

So the questions I have:
What would you recommend for a folding stock?
Is the Primary Arms the best deal on a inexpensive, but durable red dot? (Eotech/aimpoint are out of the budget)
MI hand guard for mounting or use the mount that replaces the rear sight.
Your favorite AK-74 mags?
Your favorite aftermarket safety lever with the BHO slot and finger tab?
Your favorite grip for the 74?

What mods do you think make the AK a better, more controllable/ergonomic rifle?
So THR, spend my money for me.

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Strykervet
December 24, 2011, 04:20 PM
Funny, I got a Century, pretty sure it was a Century import or whatever, Romanian AK74 back in the late '90's for $250. It worked pretty well, and I brought it up here recently to illustrate the point that Century Arms is like flipping a coin. Had you bought the one next to it, you might have gotten a phenomenal rifle.

I'm not an AK guy, but I liked 'em way back when. The E. German side folding stock was pretty nice, it was solid and well built. Nicest AK folder I've used. I got mine for $20 ten or so years ago, now I think they go for more. I used Russian bakelite mags I think. They were slick and tough, I think they were better built than many of the modern plastic mags you get today. I had an oak grip on it that was longer than the regular AK grips made for 13 year old child soldiers. For the price, it is hard to beat the military optics that fit the side mounts. They made an open collimator sight for it, but I haven't seen one in a long time. FWIW, some of the RPG sights fit too and some have a "useful" reticle on a rifle, kind of like inverted chevron if I can recall right.

If this rifle is a beater, I wouldn't put too much into it. I just sold a HUGE box of AK74 stuff, everything you needed and more, for around $300 recently. Be patient and watch local forums in the for sale sections and you'll find most of this stuff for a lot less than you will online and at gunshows.

AK's are real popular with younger folks and newbies. As such, that market tends to sell more high price low quality junk, and good stuff is hard to find (and some of these folks wouldn't know if a quality AK bit them in the neck --I had folks go to the mat on here saying a stamped AK is superior to a milled SLR95. Whatever.). Young folks and newbies are ripe pickings for greedy dirtbags hellbent on the buck. One of the reasons I don't mess with them anymore; ever try to have an open minded discussion with AK afficionados online? Or find parts not marked up nearly 1000%?

Cecil Sharps
December 24, 2011, 06:54 PM
where are you having rust develop?

why.kyle
December 24, 2011, 08:43 PM
where are you having rust develop?
I bought it used and didnt know what I was looking for, thats what I get for impulse buying, there is a little in the chamber and barrel, gas tube seems to be fine but I need to clean it better, and a little in the gas block and the flash hider/muzzle brake is currently rusted on. Its going to be a joy trying to get it so it wont be any worse. Though all the rust is internal.

bejay
December 24, 2011, 09:15 PM
do you have a rail on the receiver if you do might just buy the mount for it.

Sam1911
December 24, 2011, 09:15 PM
The rust is almost certainly due to not washing it out after using corrosive ammo. Once you get it scrubbed out, don't make that mistake again. Shoot all the corrosive ammo you want, but wash the thing out with a quick splash of hot water before you clean it to make sure you've removed the corrosive salts.

So the questions I have:
What would you recommend for a folding stock?Anything that isn't Tapco, and isn't the Tantal or East German style wire folder. If you're buying it primarily to store it somewhere, they work well. If you want to shoot it, they aren't so good. (Bad cheek weld. Uncomfortable for prolonged shooting.)

The triangle side-folder as came on the AKS-74 is really quite nice -- proper elevation, and pretty comfortable against your cheek, especially with a simple cord wrap. And they're light and compact.

There are some kits available to add an AKS-74 style folder (triangle, left-side folder) stock to a standard AKM stamped gun. Here is one: http://www.k-var.com/shop/product.php?productid=16737&cat=251&page=1

(If you want to do it "right," here is the stock w/ rear trunion and all the bits and pieces. http://ak-builder.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=30258 That is quite a bit of work to modify the reciever to fit it, though, especially adding the catch to secure it folded next to the forward trunion.)

Your favorite AK-74 mags?Any surplus mags. Doesn't matter who's.

Your favorite aftermarket safety lever with the BHO slot and finger tab?There's nothing to this. Not sure why I'd pick one over the other. You can make your own BHO cut with a hacksaw and file, if you really want one. The finger tab versions are interesting. Some find them useful, some don't.

Your favorite grip for the 74?Anything US made that duplicates the original profile. I don't care for the hollow plastic Tapco "SAW" grip, though it isn't uncomfortable. Just cheap feeling.

What mods do you think make the AK a better, more controllable/ergonomic rifle?Really, with no irony or snark, PRACTICE. They won't ever reach the pinnacle of ergonomics that an AR can with all the lego parts you can snap on ARs, collapsible stocks, etc. But they also aren't nearly as poor to use as folks sometimes think. Practice your tac-reloads (use the incoming mag to trip the release lever) and spend some time really running the gun. You'll surprise yourself!

So THR, spend my money for me.Here you go! http://tinyurl.com/366qjm5

Girodin
December 25, 2011, 05:37 AM
So the questions I have:
What would you recommend for a folding stock?

I would avoid the tapco folding stock. I really like the polymer 100 series side folders but they are both expensive and relatively difficult to install. The same is true for the triangle folders. I would get an ace internal block and either an ace or stormworkz hinge. There are a number of stocks that can be used with them. The ace stocks are commonly used. Also one can get an hinge that takes an AR buffer tube and use an AR stock of one's choice. These options will cost more than a tapco but are IMHO much much better.

Is the Primary Arms the best deal on a inexpensive, but durable red dot?

I personally believe that cheap RDS are just not worth it. I would either save up for something better or simply forgo a RDS. For $70 or so the PA dots are probably as good as any in that price range but I think there are better options in the intermediate price range of about $200. I'd tather add something like a tech sight than a cheap RDS.

MI hand guard for mounting or use the mount that replaces the rear sight.

Probably a better choice than an Ultimak for a cheap optic because they tun a little bit cooler from what I have seen. I prefer the ultimak otherwise. I have no experience with the MI mini dot mount so I cannot comment.

Your favorite AK-74 mags?

Surplus mags

Your favorite aftermarket safety lever with the BHO slot and finger tab?

One I have modified. The price on commercial ones are steep considering what as been done to them, a small notch cut and a small tab added

Your favorite grip for the 74?

Unlike the poster above I actually do like the tapco saw grip. I have also used a number of others, hogue, ergo grip, etc, that work just fine for me. Things like this really are personal preference. Some people really like the US palm battle grip. I personally don't like the factor style grips and find most of the replacement grips to be an improvement. I don't think there is one grip that is per se better than all others.

What mods do you think make the AK a better, more controllable/ergonomic rifle?

This depends somewhat on how one is going to use it. Personally I like longer hand guards than the traditional AK style ones. I think that the modded safety levers are a nice addition. A modern flash hider or brake is typically an improvement IMHO. Depending on how else the rifle is set up and how I am going to use it I like adding a telescoping/folding AR stock. I think one of the best additions is to put a quality optic on with a good mount. I think there is a balance between appreciating the AKM for what it is and learning to run it like and AK and yet taking advantage of genuine improvements that can be made. The following is my next planned AK project. It gives an idea of things that I think are useful. I'll not the point of this gun is not just to be a plinker.

Draco SBR:

Stock: Stormworkz AR hinge, AR buffer tube, Magpul ASAP, Magpul CTR
Grip: Tapco SAW grip
Trigger: G2
Hand guards: either Ultimak/Ultimak gas tube or MI X hand guard with optic mount top hand guard
Muzzle device: Either a vortex flash hider or a bulgy 4 piece (but I'm not wild about how much weight that adds). I may also go with a brake/suppressor mount.
Safety: I will probably notch and tab the stock safety but I have been considering an R&R target AR safety.
Sights: Aimpoint likely an H1 I might get an aimpoint PRO though.
Other: Surefire flash light, cut the sight hood so it is just wings not a full hood. Rail covers.


So THR, spend my money for me.




I had folks go to the mat on here saying a stamped AK is superior to a milled SLR95. Whatever.

I don't know that a stamped is superior but I am yet to hear anyone establish any true practical advantage to a milled receiver that justifies is weight and cost penalties, but we digress.

Sam1911
December 25, 2011, 08:11 PM
A modern flash hider or brake is typically an improvement IMHOYou feel there is something better than the original AK-74 muzzle device? (Not US copies, of course, but the original?)

gunnutery
December 25, 2011, 09:11 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=586385&highlight=update+on+mak+90

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=140120&d=1302336058

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=140121&d=1302336070

The above is the mods I did to my thumbholed MAK90. It was fun to do, espescially on a budget. I still don't have anything atop the rail, but I will eventually, the irons work for now.

highpower
December 25, 2011, 11:51 PM
Unless you need the folding stock because you need the ability to store it in a smaller space, I would stick with a fixed stock. An AK is a fairly short rifle any way and really take up very little room.

I have no real opinion on optical sights as I don't use them, but I would think that, as with all things, you will generally get what you pay for. No sight will work if the mounting system allows it to move around.

I recently changed a Zastava (Yugo M70) from the stock configuration to something that I like much better. Good luck with your project

Zastava as delivered:
http://highpower.smugmug.com/Other/AK/i-Sj9MLPJ/0/L/PAP1-L.jpg

After working on it a bit:

http://highpower.smugmug.com/Other/AK/i-TNWBg72/0/L/IMG0718-L.jpg

northark147
December 26, 2011, 01:16 AM
Highpower, the after version makes me want an AK and I'm not an AK guy... lol As for a decent Red Dot without the Aimpoint Price, I vote for the Lucid HD7 http://www.mylucidgear.com/reddot.php

If you shop around they are sold for less than 200 some places. I actually prefer mine to my Aimpoint.

Girodin
December 26, 2011, 07:35 PM
You feel there is something better than the original AK-74 muzzle device? (Not US copies, of course, but the original?

Let's break that down further.

Something better in terms of flash suppression? Yes without any doubt. The 74 brake produces a lot of flash.

Something better in terms of recoil/muzzle rise reduction? Yes I believe there are better brakes that can be put on.

Something better in terms of balancing reduced muzzle flash with reduced muzzle rise? Yes I believe there are better options. An FSC for example.

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