Century Bulgarian AK 74 rivets backing out...


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dark.zero.x
May 8, 2012, 04:05 PM
So I noticed today that my AK's top cover was not securing properly, then I saw that the rivets on the stock mount were backing out and bending.:banghead: The gun is over a year old, and only has 5xx rounds of use. I don't think century will warranty the gun, but I can send it in any way.

Full stock on to show how out of spec it is.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b355/sarkardarkstar/2012-05-08133657.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b355/sarkardarkstar/2012-05-08133743.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b355/sarkardarkstar/2012-05-08133759.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b355/sarkardarkstar/2012-05-08133830.jpg
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b355/sarkardarkstar/2012-05-08134056.jpg

UPDATE: I got a hold of century, no word on warranty work but I am starting the return process. (waiver DL ect.)

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Sam1911
May 8, 2012, 04:11 PM
That's one long rivet that goes through the entire rear block. Surprising that it is being deformed. Almost looks like the stock would have had to take a hard whack to the side to twist the block in the receiver shell like that.

If they won't fix it for free, that's the easiest rivet on the whole gun to re-set yourself.

dark.zero.x
May 8, 2012, 04:33 PM
Sam, that is not the stock I had in the gun I had romy a side folder in there before and removed it once I saw this. I've never dropped or even run this gun hard, just some trips to the range. I think that either the rivets suck, this gun was over gassed, or that the stock screws may have been doing something weird. But I am no expert.

Sam1911
May 8, 2012, 06:59 PM
I'll go out on a limb here and say you couldn't over-gas a 5.45 AK enough to hurt it.

Rivets could suck, but by their nature rivets are pretty soft steel -- they work by deforming so a hardened rivet would never take up to begin with.

If it was mine, I'd re-set them and see if they loosened up again. But I've built several and have the punches to do it.

Could be that folding and unfolding the side-folder was a little hard on it, but it SHOULDN'T be. :(

M1key
May 9, 2012, 12:55 AM
Let us know what CAI says...

Good luck

M

41magsnub
May 9, 2012, 01:04 AM
Remember the debacle with the Lancaster Arms and the bad barrels? I had one and the oversized gas ports in the barrel caused the same problem you are seeing.

Sam1911
May 9, 2012, 09:06 AM
Hmmm... His rivet seems to be pulling in the opposite direction I'd expect if the rifle was pounding itself apart.

Adam123
May 9, 2012, 10:39 AM
Well, it appears that the bolt hitting the rear trunnion is starting to take it's toll on your rivets. They must be awfully bad rivets for the tame recoil of 5.45x39 to have done that. I am assuming that your only option is to get it re-rivited. Once you do that, get a recoil buffer for $6.00. They really help relieve some of the stress that is put on the rear trunnion and rivets.

WardenWolf
May 9, 2012, 10:48 AM
You might consider replacing your recoil spring with a new one. Your spring may simply not be strong enough if it's allowing those kinds of strikes. You can get an extra power spring from Wolff, or a complete assembly from various sources for around $15. I recommend just buying the whole assembly.

CnRnut
May 9, 2012, 06:45 PM
Might also make sure the receiver is dimpled for the rear trunnion rivets.
That might be the cause if it's not.

85sr5
May 11, 2012, 02:00 PM
This happened to my 74 last fall I'm now in the process of find whether our not century will fix it except mine is every river on the side of the gun

dark.zero.x
July 7, 2012, 05:31 AM
Well Century wanted me to pay for the work. Nope, not happening. I have a local AK buddy that will help me replace that rivet. I also ordered a new recoil spring as mine was SUPER worn out compared to other 5.45 AKs.

OARNGESI
July 7, 2012, 05:59 AM
Do you have to pay for return shipping?

Sam1911
July 7, 2012, 09:42 AM
Well Century wanted me to pay for the work.

Based on what? What was their reason?

I think you're making the right choice.

briansmithwins
July 7, 2012, 12:53 PM
Quote: Well Century wanted me to pay for the work.

Based on what? What was their reason?

Em, at a guess I'm thinking 'Because they are cheap scumbags.'

CAI has sold their last product to me. Failure to stand behind the your work is a no go and they have crossed the line.

BSW

nathan
July 7, 2012, 05:38 PM
My Lancaster AK 74 with Bulgarian part s kit was one of those that had the rivets deforming. I was lucky to had mine fixed by them with their lifetime warranty. They paid for the shipping to and back. Took a month to get it bck in my hands. Good thing was, they replaced the rivets with stronger material and changed the US stainless barrel with original Bulgy chromed. After 700 rds after that no signs of backing out.

dark.zero.x
July 7, 2012, 06:11 PM
I filled out the paperwork and sent it in, talked with someone and they said I would have to pay for the work and the shipping, so I never sent it. out of warranty they said. That's fine with me, the messed it up the first time so I wouldn't trust them to fix it right.

nathan
July 7, 2012, 06:16 PM
My Lancaster AK 74 shoots very well , 3 inch groups at 100 yds on sandbag rest with Russian surplus. The US stainless barrel even was more accurate .

gatorjames85
July 7, 2012, 11:59 PM
get a recoil buffer for $6.00. They really help relieve some of the stress that is put on the rear trunnion and rivets.

Not necessary on properly assembled AK's. Plenty of AK's have been run on full-auto for thousands of rounds and are still going without a buffer.

briansmithwins
July 8, 2012, 01:36 AM
Quote:
get a recoil buffer for $6.00. They really help relieve some of the stress that is put on the rear trunnion and rivets.

Not necessary on properly assembled AK's. Plenty of AK's have been run on full-auto for thousands of rounds and are still going without a buffer.

I totally agree. But this is a CAI we are talking about.

The buffer is a band aid when you need surgery. But the band aid is cheap and easy to do.

BSW

gatorjames85
July 8, 2012, 01:49 AM
Quote:
Quote:
get a recoil buffer for $6.00. They really help relieve some of the stress that is put on the rear trunnion and rivets.

Not necessary on properly assembled AK's. Plenty of AK's have been run on full-auto for thousands of rounds and are still going without a buffer.
I totally agree. But this is a CAI we are talking about.

The buffer is a band aid when you need surgery. But the band aid is cheap and easy to do.

BSW

True. Sometimes their stuff looks so tempting at the price points they offer it at, but then I am brought back to reality by all of the ground bolt heads and abominable weld jobs.

Quiet
July 8, 2012, 04:22 AM
I filled out the paperwork and sent it in, talked with someone and they said I would have to pay for the work and the shipping, so I never sent it. out of warranty they said. That's fine with me, the messed it up the first time so I wouldn't trust them to fix it right.

The Century Arms International warranty is good for one year and the time starts once it leaves Century Arms International, not once a customer buys it (all that time the firearm sits in a distributor's warehouse and on a dealer's shelf accounts toward the one year).

meanmrmustard
July 8, 2012, 07:29 AM
I totally agree. But this is a CAI we are talking about.

The buffer is a band aid when you need surgery. But the band aid is cheap and easy to do.

BSW
To stay in time with your metaphor , a bandaid is a cheap but temporary fix. There may be something to this rivet problem that either won't be remedied, or only for a short time till something else may fail.

Adam123
July 8, 2012, 03:15 PM
Not necessary on properly assembled AK's. Plenty of AK's have been run on full-auto for thousands of rounds and are still going without a buffer.
Just because there are AKs that have shot thousands of rounds without a recoil buffer, it does not mean that an AK won't benefit from a recoil buffer. I am sure thousands of men have slept on a floor, but that does not guarantee that a bed would fail to give me a more comfortable night's sleep.

BSW, I never said that a recoil buffer would solve the OP's current problem. However, I did say that a buffer would help once he repaired his rifle.

TurtlePhish
July 8, 2012, 07:36 PM
Just because there are AKs that have shot thousands of rounds without a recoil buffer, it does not mean that an AK won't benefit from a recoil buffer. I am sure thousands of men have slept on a floor, but that does not guarantee that a bed would fail to give me a more comfortable night's sleep.

BSW, I never said that a recoil buffer would solve the OP's current problem. However, I did say that a buffer would help once he repaired his rifle.


If the AK needed a recoil buffer, Mr. K would have designed one into in. On most AKs, the bolt carrier doesn't even contact the rear trunion while firing. Adding a buffer to one of those AKs causes the bolt carrier to impact the buffer where it was before impacting nothing but air, and the force is then transferred to the trunion where it'll do more damage than if the buffer had never been there ("damage" used relatively, of course).

I suppose that adding a buffer to a gun that has bolt carrier-trunion contact would absorb some of the energy, but I'm still a fan of the buffer-less Kalashnikov, and I'm still a member of the "it would have been designed in" camp.

gatorjames85
July 8, 2012, 08:05 PM
Quote:
Just because there are AKs that have shot thousands of rounds without a recoil buffer, it does not mean that an AK won't benefit from a recoil buffer. I am sure thousands of men have slept on a floor, but that does not guarantee that a bed would fail to give me a more comfortable night's sleep.

BSW, I never said that a recoil buffer would solve the OP's current problem. However, I did say that a buffer would help once he repaired his rifle.
If the AK needed a recoil buffer, Mr. K would have designed one into in. On most AKs, the bolt carrier doesn't even contact the rear trunion while firing. Adding a buffer to one of those AKs causes the bolt carrier to impact the buffer where it was before impacting nothing but air, and the force is then transferred to the trunion where it'll do more damage than if the buffer had never been there ("damage" used relatively, of course).

I suppose that adding a buffer to a gun that has bolt carrier-trunion contact would absorb some of the energy, but I'm still a fan of the buffer-less Kalashnikov, and I'm still a member of the "it would have been designed in" camp.

Recoil buffers can cause cycling issues in otherwise functional AK's. I think that if your gun is cycling so hard that you need to put padding between the BC and the trunnion, you have a problem that can't be fixed by an aftermarket part. YMMV

TurtlePhish
July 8, 2012, 08:06 PM
you have a problem that can't be fixed by an aftermarket part.

A replacement recoil spring could help. Lots of surplus out there.

gatorjames85
July 8, 2012, 08:13 PM
A replacement recoil spring could help.

That's true, I didn't think of that. I guess I meant a part that isn't normally part of the rifle.

Hugo Schmeisser
July 16, 2012, 01:06 AM
My Lancaster AK 74 with Bulgarian part s kit was one of those that had the rivets deforming. I was lucky to had mine fixed by them with their lifetime warranty. They paid for the shipping to and back. Took a month to get it bck in my hands. Good thing was, they replaced the rivets with stronger material and changed the US stainless barrel with original Bulgy chromed. After 700 rds after that no signs of backing out.
I was very encouraged to read this post, but still cautious. I have a Lancaster 5.45x39 rifle whose rear trunnion rivets sheared off completely. This happened over a year ago, and I waited after a cursory search about their troubles for the dust to settle. I'm bummed to read horror stories that people send their rifles in for repair and never see them again. I was saddened by this especially because I talked with Chet Durda a few times on the phone before I ordered my rifle and each time, my business questions evolved into long conversations and he seemed like an unusually likeable and insightful man.

When I first researched my specific problem -oversized gas ports- I just felt sorry for them. A huge company can take the loss involved with recalling hundreds (thousands?) of firearms and performing repairs that amount to 75% of the original construction labor and cost, but a small company can't. Another bummer is that this was an honest mistake that could happen to the best of companies. Just comparing Lancaster to Century AKs it's obvious that the Lancaster guys put much more care into producing a quality product. They didn't have sloppy builders and poor quality control, they got the math wrong at one crucial spot. It's happened to NASA more than once.

Anyway, wow long ago did you send yours in Nathan? My hope is that they've caught up with a backlog and are ready to help me out.

Nice to meet you fellas, thanks for reading.

Matt

dark.zero.x
October 6, 2012, 10:07 PM
Awesome update. I finished the work this weekend, works fine now.

There are a few things I noticed when working on the gun that most likely lead to the problem. the rear trunion has beveled holes, and they used flat rivets with no dimples on the receiver causing a space between the rivet, receiver, and trunion. I went ahead and dimpled the receiver and used the correct rivets. I kinda murdered the end of the long rivet, doesn't look pretty, but it gets the job done. I plan on going to use this in a defensive rifle class to see how well it will hold up.

also, the barrel may be the wrong twist rate for surplus ammo. Not positive but it keyholes sometimes at 100.

pics soon

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