Bulgarian AK 74
I have all of the parts now and I am ready to go. I have a coulpe of questions about finish. My kit parts look like they had a black oxide finish, is that correct? Should everything be finished, piece by piece and then put together? My barrel is in the "white". Once it is all together could it then be touched up or redone?
The best way to finish is to assemble the whole thing and then parkerize it. This way you will have a nice even finish. If you want to be correct, you should add a semi gloss paint over the parkerizing. This is how the russians finished there guns, but I'm not sure if the bulgarians did it the same.
The Bulgarian de-milled rifle kits have a thick flat black oxide finish.
It's a durable finish that wears very well.
The usual blue job will tend to be more a black-blue and you have to be clear that you want a dull black finish.
There are two ways to go at this.
One is to have the barrel finished, then assemble the rear sight block, gas block, and front sight. The only possible problem here is if you scrape the finish while pressing the parts on. There is no effective touch up for bluing or oxide other than the ineffective cold blue products which are not at all durable and rust easily.
AK barrel parts fit over expanded "rings" on the barrel and those don't have any finish on them. If you finish the barrel first you'll need to polish the finish off the rings, which has to be done carefully so these aren't undersized.
If you're careful, the parts will slip over the barrel and won't scrape or scratch the finish.
The other way to do it is to assemble the parts on the barrel then have the entire thing refinished with an oxide finish. Everything would then match, and there'd be no chance of undersizing a ring while removing the finish.
This is how the Bulgarians do it.
When choosing a re-finisher, you need to be clear that you want a dull flat black heavy finish, not a nice sporting gun quality job. It looks like the Bulgarians did little to no metal prep like bead blasting, and simply finished the parts as-is.
What has worked out very well for me is to Park the receiver and parts first then on top I use Dura Cote... I have noticed you don't see the line from the safety if you do it this way.. I have only Duracoted two guns and they wear like iron but you do see the scrape on the safety levers on those two....Im a better Painter than Chemist so maybe thats why I partial...