milled vs stamped receiver


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Sgt.Murtaugh
February 8, 2012, 01:55 PM
Can someone explain?

A) What do these terms mean?
B) which is better and why?

I am in the market for an AK-47 and see this frequently.

thanks in advance

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briansmithwins
February 8, 2012, 01:59 PM
Milled are hogged out of a steel forging. Stamped are folded sheet metal with the barrel extension and stock socket riveted on.

Milled are heavier, both are pretty much equally durable.

BSW

Creature
February 8, 2012, 02:00 PM
Simply put, milled means the receiver is cut from a solid block of metal. Stamped means that a receiver is fold/formed from a sheet of metal. Which is better is debatable, but the prevailing thought is that milled is stronger.

JustinJ
February 8, 2012, 02:02 PM
As already stated milled means the receiver is machines from a solid piece of steel while stamped is made from a flat peice of metal bent into shape. Theoretically the milled varieties are more accurate though i know of no head to head comparisons. Milled is also about a lb heavier which to me does not justify slightly better accuracy for a gun really only intended to reach out to 300 yards.

valnar
February 8, 2012, 02:06 PM
For AK47 ranges and accuracy, it probably doesn't matter. I have yet to see someone argue that it wouldn't matter on a sub-moa accurate bolt-action rifle, if such a stamped animal even exists. If it doesn't...there's your answer.

Girodin
February 8, 2012, 04:29 PM
People will tell you that the milled is stronger. It might even be true. It, however, is a non issue. When was the last time you heard of an AK receiver failing? Furthermore, given the price of milled receiver guns one could likely have a whole spare stamped gun.

Some people claim that a milled gun is more accurate. I have yet to see anything be offered that actually substantiates that claim. I've personally seen stamped guns shoot as well as any milled guns I've seen. Ultimately my personal belief is that milled vs stamped is way down the list of factors affecting accuracy on an AK, so much so that it is not an issue. If you are going to shoot steel case or surplus ammo, use open sights, and shoot from field positions you are going to run into a number of limiting factors before you reach the mechanical accuracy of most guns.

The biggest difference and the only one that is meaningful to me is the weight difference. A milled gun is heavier and that extra weight is a negative for most things an AK is built to do. If they were equal money I'd rather have a good stamped gun than a milled. Given that milled are often notably more expensive I'd really rather have a good stamped gun.

Sam1911
February 8, 2012, 04:37 PM
Just as further explanation:

The original AK-47 design, developed by the collective design team of which Mikhail Kalasnikov was a part, was for a thin sheet metal shell riveted to a pair of cast blocks (trunnions) and the fire control group.

When put into production, the rifle proved to be difficult to get just right coming off the Soviet assembly lines. Too many rejects. A modified design was fielded instead which called for a big chunk of metal to be carved away in a series of milling steps, into a part which incorporated the function of the two trunnions, the bolt group rails, and the receiver shell into one piece. That was used until 1959 when they took another whack at the stamped-and-riveted idea and that became the AKM which is what most of us know and love.

DoubleTapDrew
February 8, 2012, 04:47 PM
For AK47 ranges and accuracy, it probably doesn't matter. I have yet to see someone argue that it wouldn't matter on a sub-moa accurate bolt-action rifle, if such a stamped animal even exists. If it doesn't...there's your answer.
Probably why you don't see many stamped AR-15s either :p

jrdolall
February 8, 2012, 04:57 PM
My AK is stamped and I have never had any problems with it. It is not terribly accurate at 100 yards but that is most likely "user error" since I shoot it with iron sights.

Sgt.Murtaugh
February 8, 2012, 06:49 PM
SO are there any AK Manufacturers I should stay away from? I'm looking into Arsenal and Century but I really have no clue as it is difficult to find credible reviews on this type of gun.

Also, should I be looking at WASR-10? is there any difference between that and an AK? I can't find consistent info anywhere and everything I have seen suggests they are the same thing

AKElroy
February 8, 2012, 06:59 PM
Girodin is our AK expert, but I will weigh in on the WASR 10 question. Unless converted, these are single stack mags & wells, limited to 10 round single stack mags. They can be converted to accept 30 round double stack mags, and most WASR's are the converted variety. These are the most common AK's on the market, typically Romanian, usually converted / imported by Century to wildly varying degrees of quality. Poor quality conversions may have mags that wobble due to over-aggressive relief of the original single stack well, and front sights on Century conversions are notorious for being canted out of alignment with the rear trunion. For this reason, buying an AK online is risky unless you have the ability to inspect and return if it is badly out of whack.

DoubleTapDrew
February 8, 2012, 07:32 PM
I'm looking into Arsenal and Century

Arsenal: Very Good
Century: Bad

AKElroy
February 8, 2012, 07:57 PM
Arsenal: Very Good
Century: Bad

That should liven things up a bit. As a general rule, your statement is more true than not, but if the OP looks around a bit he should be able to find a clean straight Century for a lot less jack than the Arsenal. Or, he can simply do what Arsenal does and buy a Saiga and convert it himself, or pay a competant smith to do it for him. Even the latter would likely still be a savings when compared to the Arsenal, and he would be able to get exactly what he wants in the way of parts.

lobo9er
February 8, 2012, 08:09 PM
I like my milled poly tech. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwH4kwl06-g heres a high speed video of a stamped reciever probably a better one than this. it was 1st one that came up on youtube.

MachIVshooter
February 8, 2012, 08:35 PM
Probably why you don't see many stamped AR-15s either

Well, and the AR Really couldn't be done with stamped sheetmetal. Forged, milled billet, MIM'd or casted, but not stamped.

On the original subject, a forged receiver is stronger, probably more durable (dependent on metallurgy). Does it matter? Not for the AK or most other guns that were designed to be made from sheet metal stampings.

I find the stamped receivers less aesthetically pleasing. But then, I don't really like the AK in general, so it's kind of a moot point.

Ian
February 8, 2012, 09:12 PM
Probably why you don't see many stamped AR-15s either

Sure, they are called AR-18s. Better gas system than the AR-15, too.

MachIVshooter
February 8, 2012, 11:06 PM
Sure, they are called AR-18s. Better gas system than the AR-15, too.

The only thing the 18/180 have in common with the 15 is caliber and magazine. It's a completely different rifle.

http://world.guns.ru/userfiles/images/assault/as36/ar180b.jpg

DoubleTapDrew
February 8, 2012, 11:10 PM
That should liven things up a bit. As a general rule, your statement is more true than not, but if the OP looks around a bit he should be able to find a clean straight Century for a lot less jack than the Arsenal. Or, he can simply do what Arsenal does and buy a Saiga and convert it himself, or pay a competant smith to do it for him. Even the latter would likely still be a savings when compared to the Arsenal, and he would be able to get exactly what he wants in the way of parts.
I know, I know. Some people aren't interested in converting a Saiga (which I've done twice, and it's very easy) and wanted to buy a completed rifle. Usually Arsenals are done well and the price reflects that. Centurys are very hit or miss depending on which particular drunk monkey assembled your AK :D

AKElroy
February 8, 2012, 11:35 PM
Centurys are very hit or miss depending on which particular drunk monkey assembled your AK

True enough. I have a milled polish 1960, green mountain barrel, century build. Even with all American parts, the rear tang is still way off center. How they managed to screw up a milled build is beyond me. Funny thing is, I am a lefty, and the bent stock has my eye and cheek falling to a perfect weld when mounted. I have an Aimpoint 9000 on an Ultimak rail, and this rig shoots MO of tennis ball all day at 100 yrds. That's the thing with AK's. They work even when they are twisted up crap.

briansmithwins
February 9, 2012, 02:00 AM
The only thing the 18/180 have in common with the 15 is caliber and magazine. It's a completely different rifle.

What's the bolt and FCG look like out of one?

I don't have access to any manuals right now.

BSW

MachIVshooter
February 9, 2012, 02:15 AM
What's the bolt and FCG look like out of one?


http://www.gunpartscorp.com/images/schematics/Armalite_AR18AR180_schem.jpg

Ian
February 9, 2012, 08:33 AM
The AR15 and AR18 bolts are effectively identical, although not directly interchangeable. The FCGs are the same idea as well.

briansmithwins
February 9, 2012, 08:52 AM
Bolt is 77 (looks exactly like a AR bolt except no gas rings) I think the FCG is 125, 130, and 133. The 126 hammer spring next to it could be mistaken for a AR part too.

The AR18/180 was mostly a Stoner design to get around the patents Armalite sold to Colt.

That the rifle was designed for mass production using stampings was a benefit also.

Too bad the US was giving away AR15s for free to anybody that declared they were anti-communist. I've always thought the AR18/180 design was better executed than the AR15.

BSW

JustinJ
February 9, 2012, 12:12 PM
That should liven things up a bit. As a general rule, your statement is more true than not, but if the OP looks around a bit he should be able to find a clean straight Century for a lot less jack than the Arsenal. Or, he can simply do what Arsenal does and buy a Saiga and convert it himself, or pay a competant smith to do it for him. Even the latter would likely still be a savings when compared to the Arsenal, and he would be able to get exactly what he wants in the way of parts.

I haven't priced centiuries lately, and have no plans to...ever, but new Arsenal AK47s were only $700 at Atlantic the last time i checked. In order to convert a Saiga to the level of an Arsenal one would spend far more than just buying the arsenal to begin with unless they have some very specialized tools laying around.

MachIVshooter
February 9, 2012, 01:26 PM
Bolt is 77 (looks exactly like a AR bolt except no gas rings)

Yes, as does the bolt in several other rifles and the Desert Eagle pistol.

The control positioning is also pretty much the same, but saying these things make the rifle a version of the AR-15 is like saying use of the Browning short recoil design, magazine release and slide release positioning of virtually all modern auto pistols make them a version of the M1911.

4 tires, an internal combustion engine and mass production do not make all automobiles versions of the model T.

The AR18/180 was mostly a Stoner design to get around the patents Armalite sold to Colt.

Yup, and a good rifle it was, especially when they were considerably less expensive than AR-15s many years go. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case. With AR-15s down to < $600 and used 180s going for $1,000+, I don't see one getting into my collection.

Girodin
February 15, 2012, 03:54 PM
new Arsenal AK47s were only $700 at Atlantic the last time i checked. In order to convert a Saiga to the level of an Arsenal one would spend far more than just buying the arsenal to begin with unless they have some very specialized tools laying around.

This of course assumes that one wants to convert it to be exactly like an Arsenal. If I were building a function driven fighting gun I certainly would not. A base saiga is $300. $400 gives a lot of room to add some good functional enhancements. Rather than pay 700 for an arsenal I would build something like the following.

Saiga: $300

G2: $25

retainer plate: $5

Pistol grip: There are a lot of options that are much better than the Popsicle stick grip that comes with the Arsenal. $20

PG nut $5

Stock: the two setups I prefer are either a Vltor tube and a magpul stock (about $120) or an internal block, folding mechanism and a magpull stock ($40, 70, 15, 5, 40 respectively) for about $170

Thread and add a flash hider: prices vary but a A2 style birdcage it maybe $10 and vortex is $70 both are much better on a fighting gun than the 74 style brake IMHO. Local prices may very but around here you can get a barrel threaded for 50. Also lots of people like to mover the sight back, cut the barrel, and pin a muzzle device improving the balance, handling and size of the gun. That might cost a bit more but not much.

There are a whole bunch of options for mounting optics, lights, etc. I think the best choice really depends on exactly what one wants to do with the gun and certain personnel preferences. If I were going to run an ACOG I'd get a TWS top cover rail. Other viable choices depending on intend use run from just using an ultimak gas tube, to the various MI hand guards and top rails, to the new TWS hand guards. There are option form about $90 up to $260 that add serious functional enhancement to an AK.

Depending on the exact options one can come out right around $700 and have a gun that is much more functional than an arsenal built to give you a particular look.

amprecon
February 17, 2012, 02:34 AM
I own a milled receiver Bulgarian-made SLR-95, I will never part with this rifle.

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