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5.56 AK from a 74 kit?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Jon_L, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Jon_L

    Jon_L Well-Known Member

    Who's done this? I've been reading up this for the past few hours and I'm convinced I'd like to do this but I don't know whether to get a 5.45 or 5.56 receiver. I'm leaning toward the 5.45 receiver.

    Anyway, here's the parts list I believe I'll need:

    74 Kit
    5.56 barrel
    And of course a NoDak receiver and some 5.56 mags.

    I hear the 5.45 bolt will work on the 5.56 cartridge with some work on the extractor so that's all right. What am I missing?

    ETA: I figured I would mention I'm invested in the 5.56 caliber so I don't get any "why not 5.45" replies.
  2. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    Can you do this cheaper than modifying a 5.56 saiga? Would the results be better?
  3. Jon_L

    Jon_L Well-Known Member

    It would be around the same price as a converted Saiga, so I was exploring the two options.
  4. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    Will a 5.45 receiver take the 5.56 mags? Its my understanding that they wont.

    Why not just buy a 5.56 bolt?
  5. Jon_L

    Jon_L Well-Known Member

    That hadn't crossed my mind. A 5.56 receiver should be used.

    That is plan B.
  6. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    Out of curiosity i just checked around for bolt prices. They're a bit pricier than i remember. I've never tried it but i'd have concerns about using a 5.45 bolt for a 5.56.

    Anyways, good luck. I've been wanting to do an Arsenal 5.56 conversion with an AR mag adapter. I've heard though that they tear up the followers.
  7. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Well-Known Member

    I guess it can be done but a saiga would take care of any weaknesses or shortfalls you might come up with in your current plan.
  8. highpower

    highpower Well-Known Member

    I just tried 5.56 NATO rounds in a AK74 magazine and they will go in, but the point of the bullet was hanging up on the front of the magazine. The head of the case is different also, so it would need a bolt and magazines along the new barrel. With there being a distinct possibility that the 5.56 mags won't fit a 5.45 receiver, my guess is that it would be such a complicated project it will easier to convert a 5.56 Saiga.
  9. carbine85

    carbine85 Well-Known Member

    I'm in the process of building 2 AK74s. I looked at the 5.56 but considering the 5.45 ammo is cheaper than 5.56 and the chrome lined barrel is cheaper I stayed with the 5.45. I think I paid $99 for chrome lined barrels with the gas ports drilled. At this point I'm almost able to shoot any ammo I can find.
  10. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Well-Known Member

    Years ago folks sold 556 followers to help convert 545 magazines.

    Do yourself a huge favor and simply buy a 556 rifle. I think you will be happier in the long run.

    ETA: I just found maybe 3 of these followers in my junk box. I just put them back in the junk box, but I have no use for them if you should want some.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  11. Jon_L

    Jon_L Well-Known Member

    Well, a few gunsmiths quoted me in the $300 range, so I'm guessing that it will be closer to $500. That's $950 and thinking about it I could just buy an Arsenal/Converted Saiga with a boatload of ammo for all that.
  12. Jon_L

    Jon_L Well-Known Member

    Got the parts kit in yesterday. Looks as though all the parts are present. I ordered a receiver the 28th, but most orders take over 2 weeks to ship so it's coming up. This guy sold me a barrel for $100 when I panicked about K-Var shutting down.

    Coming along nicely, I just wish I could find a Bulgarian Fold Stock mech to put on this thing.
  13. caribou

    caribou Well-Known Member

    No matter what follower you use in a 5.45 mag, youll only get 10-12 to work, as the geometry of the magizine wont allow any more than that to rise and feed.

    There quite a few Bulgarian kits being sold with 5.56 barrels, so its doable, just gotta research a bit more.

    Fixxing up a Saiga is a mucho easier task, with easily available parts.
  14. Jon_L

    Jon_L Well-Known Member

    I'm getting the AR magazine adapter instead of fooling around with AK mag availability and prices. I'm already invested in 5.56 ammo and AR mags, so the choice is obvious for me.

    I was just going to save up for an Arsenal or Saiga, but when I had the cash there weren't any to be found for a reasonable price. So this was the option I chose.

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