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ak-47 build rivet vs screw vs drive screws

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by megadeth22885, May 13, 2007.

  1. megadeth22885

    megadeth22885 Member

    ive read all the forums ive found a lot of information, im building an AK soon using a nodakspud receiver, romanian AK-M parts kit, probably an adjustable US trigger group, new synthetic furniture, and im thinking maybe aftermarket sights... anyway, the decision im having trouble deciding on is whether to use rivets, screws, or drive screws. i read about people having damage and injuries caused by drive screws popping out, but ive read a forum where a guy built an AK by grinding the rivets flush with the tunnion, and then tapping the drive screws into place to hold tight and not malfunction.. i havent heard any issues about regular screw builds yet besides being "unnatural" on an AK.. and the only issue i have with rivets is the tooling... im sure i can clamp the trunnion into a clamp, protect the barrel with pennies, and tap it out slowly with a hammer, and then using a threaded rod through an aluminum sleeve throught the barrel and trunnion, then topped off on both sides with brash washers and a nut.. tighten the nuts to pull the barrel and trunnion together.. which doesnt sound too hard.. more authentic and thats the route im thinking of going.. but i was wondering what other people think about the said methods.. and if going with rivets ill probably make a rivet tool by taking a dremel to bolt cutters or buying a pre-made bolt cutter tool.. when that tool is made, the sharp edges of the bolt cutter are also grinded down, right?.. anyway, what do yall think is the best path to go?
  2. ID_shooting

    ID_shooting Well-Known Member

    I went screws on mine. I didn't have the press needed to do rivets plus I really enjoy the ability to detail strip it once in a while.

    I too used a Romanian "G" kit. The only trouble I ran into was breaking a tap off in the barel trunion. Go slow and use plenty of cutting oil.
  3. megadeth22885

    megadeth22885 Member

    can you actually take an allen wrench to the screws, and actually remove the trunnions that way?
  4. ID_shooting

    ID_shooting Well-Known Member

    Yes, I use blue locktite to secure them and once, maybe twice a year I take it all apart and REALLY clean it.
  5. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Well-Known Member

    Can anybody link to a detailed description of a screw build? That sounds like something I'd like to try!
  6. megadeth22885

    megadeth22885 Member

    i was wondering.. do these screw into the trunnion by way of alternate holes.. through the tapped rivet holes in the trunnion? or do you drill and tap into the remainder of the rivet itself?... and if the rivet is to be completely removed.. what aobut the swelled part inside the trunnion? that cant be removed without removing the barrel, can it?
  7. ID_shooting

    ID_shooting Well-Known Member

    They are not fun, but yet, the back half of the rivet can be removed. It comes out in the space between the barrel and the slots for the bolt lugs. Probably not the correct way, but I bought a press block, blocked the trunion up and drilled the rivets out. I then tapped the trunion. I used some rounded allen head screws I bought at Ace Hardware for 5 cents each and trimmed them down so they would clear. My screws are slightly larger than the ones that come in the kits, but 2200 or so rounds later, none of the screws have backed out and none of the holes in the receiver have hogged out and it seems to work. :D

    Here is a vid of me shooting it and my Glock:

  8. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Well-Known Member


    I've done a few screw builds and a few rivet builds. I think I actually prefer screws--I can't seem to make a pretty rivet to save my life. I have an assortment of tools to break them all the way down, jigs to make rivet removal quick, easy, accurate. Press, barrel puller/press, rivet jigs, etc.

    I have no experience with drive screws, to be honest, the description of that scares me a bit (especially since I have the ability to do it with rivets or screws)

    I'd strongly recommend pulling the barrel--you've got to get that old rivet out (unless you go the drive screw route, that's the advantage with that technique). I did a screw build with the barrel in--its a pita. Plus, if you're not careful, you'll drill into the barrel...then you are good and screwed (punny, I know).

    You can get a screw, drillbit, and taps for the screw round over on gunco. 'bout $20.

    A few sites of use to an AK builder.


    The bolt cutter rivet tools have one jaw ground flat (its basically a flat square) and the other is similar, but concaved out for the head of the rivet. This tool is really only useful on the front trunnion--not enough clearance for the rear.

    Oh, I'd not immediately assume the barrel (or even the barrel pin) will come right out. I've had trouble with Romy's and AMDs, so much that I've made up entirely new curse words. (FanaaGAH! for example) Even with a 12 ton press going, the pin takes the force then pops like a .22--and moves about a 1/16 of an inch. Once they start going, it pop pop popped all the way out. (I've got a tool for that, a sleeve that holds the press pin--read about a guy that just used a bold and the pressure and slot of the press shot it out to the side and drilled him in his testicle. He said it knocked him clean out and he thought it killed him...)

    If you're building just one, I don't know that its worth it. Maybe see if you can find a local "build party". But, no one just builds one--you're going to want a Tantal after this and maybe one of those slick Yugo M95s. AMDs, Polish underfolders, maybe you'll get a bigger bonus than expected and then you're building a Krink and maybe even a Romak PSL. And every builder has to do at least one RPK... :evil:

    Final bit of advice, familiarize yourself with the law (US made parts count).
  9. Tokugawa

    Tokugawa Well-Known Member

    One guy on the web has some basic instructions for low tooled rivet builds. Drive out the barrel with a hammer, drift and a few coins to pad the breech face. Reinstall with a frozen barrel and hammer. Just pad everything with a piece of brass and pretend you are in Darra. A boltcutter mod works great on rivets. This was hard for me, I am an anal tool freak- but you can put together a perfect job using simple tools. Use some Kriol on pins and barrel before driving them apart. It's fun!
    Screws might be OK. I would not touch a drive rivet job , no how, no way.

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