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Posted: 9/1/2010 2:30:58 PM EDT
This Lancaster AK74 was NOT a part of their recall.  This happened on Tuesday, August 31st on Day 2 of  Tactical Response's Fighting Rifle Mobile in Racine WI. Student was unhurt and handled the failure perfectly - dropped AK, got out his secondary and stayed in the fight.  The rifle had not been shot much during the class - student had been using a 7.62x39 AK for most of the class - can't remember the make / model.  Student was unhurt.

Apologies for the cell phone pics...


Bang.
Bang.
Bang.
Bang.
Top cover pops off...
Trigger Pressed
Bang.
and this happens....




You can see one of the rivet heads on the ground to the right of the rear trunion:

Link Posted: 9/1/2010 2:40:05 PM EDT
[#1]
Either the guy was incredibly stupid or took the class extremely serious.  I don't know anyone that would continue shooting an AK if the receiver cover popped off.  Generally, when I shoot my AK's, I put my face right up to the cover.  Similar to "nose to charging handle" style.  Not sure how he was holding the AK but still.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 2:47:17 PM EDT
[#2]
Oh shit... I don't even think I could see that happening to a Century Arms AK.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 2:47:39 PM EDT
[#3]
I would lean towards "Took the class extremely serious."

eta: Student was former Army with at least 1 Iraq tour under his belt.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 3:00:08 PM EDT
[#4]


Thanks for sharing
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 3:00:09 PM EDT
[#5]
Extremely stupid is more like it if any part falls off a gun its time to investigate not shoot targets, I would not want to be next to some one shooting a gun that is falling apart either, next thing you know kaboom.

Snowman357
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 4:41:03 PM EDT
[#6]
I'm glad the shooter is ok, top cover coming off and shooting again, vs. inspecting aside, the rifle is dangerous.



Link Posted: 9/1/2010 4:47:44 PM EDT
[#7]
Wow all mine did was keyhole. Thank God he was OK. These pics should be posted as a sticky for anyone still interested in buying a Lancrapster. On a side note I know this won't be a popular opinion but this garbage should be brought to the attention of the BATF.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 4:49:47 PM EDT
[#8]
Quoted:
Wow all mine did was keyhole. Thank God he was OK. These pics should be posted as a sticky for anyone still interested in buying a Lancrapster. On a side note I know this won't be a popular opinion but this garbage should be brought to the attention of the BATF.


Nice post count.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 5:07:33 PM EDT
[#9]
Quoted:
Quoted:
Wow all mine did was keyhole. Thank God he was OK. These pics should be posted as a sticky for anyone still interested in buying a Lancrapster. On a side note I know this won't be a popular opinion but this garbage should be brought to the attention of the BATF.


Nice post count.


Wow just noticed that. Sadly it was associated with a Lancrapster product.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 5:15:19 PM EDT
[#10]
What caused the fail, the rivet or the riveter?

Scary stuff. AK top covers just don't pop off if installed properly, it has to be a damn good reason.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 5:36:41 PM EDT
[#11]
Quoted:
What caused the fail, the rivet or the riveter?

Scary stuff. AK top covers just don't pop off if installed properly, it has to be a damn good reason.


This has been a problem with the Lancaster 74's.  Lancaster, how do you stay in business?
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 5:40:23 PM EDT
[#12]
Quoted:
Extremely stupid is more like it if any part falls off a gun its time to investigate not shoot targets, I would not want to be next to some one shooting a gun that is falling apart either, next thing you know kaboom.

Snowman357


+1

top cover pops off and you keep shooting?  That's just a dumb dumb dumb move.

Shoulda checked things out.

Glad your ok though.  Regardless , everything aside, this should of never happened.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 5:43:03 PM EDT
[#13]
Quoted:
What caused the fail, the rivet or the riveter?

Scary stuff. AK top covers just don't pop off if installed properly, it has to be a damn good reason.


Could be the rivets and builder that riveted it, but more than likely over sized gas port.  Those rivet holes look quite big, but its hard to tell.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 5:43:32 PM EDT
[#14]
I'm pretty sure it's a combination of the rear trunnion holes not being dimpled and an overdrilled gas port. Weak rivets could also be part of the cause, but who could ever figure that one out?

BC is thrown back too hard, hits rear trunnion. No dimples on the receiver puts all the stress on the rivet. (in shear) Rivet fails after minimum amout of rounds. Rear trunnion falls off.

Someone had this same thing happen on a PSL over on theakforum. For those of you who don't know, it's impossible to dimple the rear trunnion holes on a PSL (which is probably a major contributor to the idea that it's dangerous to shoot heavy ball ammunition through a PSL, by I digress)
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 7:33:36 PM EDT
[#15]
When my top cover popped off I didn't notice as I was shooting at the time. It didn't "fly off" in my case.

I finished a mag and when I laid the rifle on the bench, it just fell off the gun.

could be the case here.
Link Posted: 9/1/2010 9:52:55 PM EDT
[#16]
Yeah - the student was shooting and moving during a team drill and told me he noticed the top cover was loose / off or out of alignment after 1 shot and the next shot - the gun falls apart.  He was shooting pretty rapidly.  I was keeping an eye on his shooting partner during the drill and only noticed an issue because I saw he had transitioned to his pistol.  

To be 100% honest, I don't recall if he told me the top cover popped off or if he just noticed it was loose, etc.

I hadn't been in the market for a new AK for awhile so I was unaware of the Lancaster recall or any issues with them until seeing this.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 6:37:28 AM EDT
[#17]
May I suggest that you don't even bother dealing with Lancaster on this.   Assuming you have the money, pick up all of those parts and send them to Troy Sellars.    IF he still has any 5.45 Bulgarian barrels left for sale, buy one from him and have him rebuild those pieces into a reliable, SAFE ak-74 clone.  

I made the mistake of buying a Lancaster Rough Rider ak-74, as I have previously posted, from Atlantic Arms and I only had to shoot one box of 20 rounds of ammo to know that something was just not right.    Sure enough, my serial number came out a bit later on Lancaster's "recall list."

Now, fortunately for me, I stopped shooting before the rifle started battering the rear trunnion to pieces and at that time Troy DID have some new Bulgarian ak-74 barrels left over from his previous krink project.   He installed the new PROPERLY GAS PORTED Bulgarian chromed barrel, headspaced it and refinished the entire rifle for me for around $300.00   For me, it was money well spent that I could afford.  Now I know what I have.

By the way, I am not pimping for Troy Sellars here.   I wouldn't know Troy if I walked by him on the street.   I am just saying that he made lemonade out of lemons for me concerning my Lancaster Rough Rider.   Yes, it was a ROUGH rider all right.   Good name for that model.

Lancaster will be lucky if someone does not end up blinded or disfigured when one of these things come apart on them one of these days.  There are some owners who will probably keep shooting them until they do literally blow apart.

What a SAD chapter in our ar15.com community this whole affair has been.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 7:18:41 AM EDT
[#18]



Quoted:


Wow all mine did was keyhole. Thank God he was OK. These pics should be posted as a sticky for anyone still interested in buying a Lancrapster. On a side note I know this won't be a popular opinion but this garbage should be brought to the attention of the BATF.


Yes genius, get the ATF involved. Set the presedent of having the ATF determining the safety of firearms. That is just brilliant.



 
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 7:29:00 AM EDT
[#19]
Quoted:

Quoted:
Wow all mine did was keyhole. Thank God he was OK. These pics should be posted as a sticky for anyone still interested in buying a Lancrapster. On a side note I know this won't be a popular opinion but this garbage should be brought to the attention of the BATF.

Yes genius, get the ATF involved. Set the presedent of having the ATF determining the safety of firearms. That is just brilliant.
 


+1

thats an incredibly dumb idea

NEVER invite the man into your life, more than needed.  And this is NOT needed.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 9:35:46 AM EDT
[#20]
NOT my gun - I was just at the training class helping out.

Jim Fuller had the following comment on  Get Off The X.com

My guess without seeing the gun is substandard rivets. Real AK rivets need the proper mixture of lead and steel so they are not too brittle. The AK was designed to flex as it runs so the rivets have to flex as well. When they are too brittle they snap clean (as in the pic). If this was caused by battering of the trunion the holes and the rivets would be streached and it would have been noticable long before it came apart.

Jim Fuller
Rifle Dynamics 07FFL/SOT
www.rifledynamics.com

Link Posted: 9/2/2010 10:18:08 AM EDT
[#21]
I almost got one of those rifles too...really glad I didn't. Luckily my In-range TGI gun turned out awesome. I am still considering buying an Arsenal soon just to have.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 10:28:48 AM EDT
[#22]
Quoted:
I almost got one of those rifles too...really glad I didn't. Luckily my In-range TGI gun turned out awesome. I am still considering buying an Arsenal soon just to have.


+1 on Arsenal
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 10:45:12 AM EDT
[#23]
Quoted:
Quoted:
What caused the fail, the rivet or the riveter?

Scary stuff. AK top covers just don't pop off if installed properly, it has to be a damn good reason.


Could be the rivets and builder that riveted it, but more than likely over sized gas port.  Those rivet holes look quite big, but its hard to tell.


I am going to go with this also.  If it had US barrel, most likely, it was drilled at Lancaster.
I have seen other home builds with over sized gas port doing this.  10 rounds, the rear rivets sheared off.

Those rivets are very soft.

Link Posted: 9/2/2010 11:04:55 AM EDT
[#24]
Quoted:

Quoted:
Wow all mine did was keyhole. Thank God he was OK. These pics should be posted as a sticky for anyone still interested in buying a Lancrapster. On a side note I know this won't be a popular opinion but this garbage should be brought to the attention of the BATF.

Yes genius, get the ATF involved. Set the presedent of having the ATF determining the safety of firearms. That is just brilliant.
 


I partially disagree...even though you're correct.

If this was just a one-time event, I might be more inclined to agree with you that the .gov should keep its nose out of this.  But the company in question (Lancaster) now has a history of putting out sub-standard firearms.  Thus, this becomes a legitimate issue of public safety.

However, like I said, you're right.  The ATF has no legal authority when it come to matters of defective firearms.  In fact, as best as I can tell, no .gov organization has such authority.  One could argue (although it would be a stretch) that the Consumer Product Safety Commission might have such authority.  But I'm not aware of them ever taking any actions against makers of firearms.

So, we have to hope the marketplace exercises some authority here.  Even if I knew nothing of Lancaster, and didn't know the company was run by a scumbag, I wouldn't buy one after seeing that picture.  

Link Posted: 9/2/2010 11:09:32 AM EDT
[#25]
That doesn't look normal.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 11:21:19 AM EDT
[#26]
It's likely that the dust cover didn't *pop* off.  If the rivet was slowly giving way the dust cover would have only slid out of the front tab and been *loose*.  

One more shot and out comes the rear trunnion
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 11:31:47 AM EDT
[#27]
Didn't someone shoot an AK and post about it before after holding it together with toothpicks and it fired 10 rounds without falling apart?  My guess would be Lancaster's oversized gas port and improper rivets.

One more reason Lancaster should go out of business if another reason was needed.
Link Posted: 9/2/2010 12:02:38 PM EDT
[#28]
Lancaster Arms... where it's truly an adventure every time you pull the trigger!



-urban
Link Posted: 9/4/2010 12:11:25 PM EDT
[#29]
It's hard to tell but the dimpling of the receive into the recess around the rear trunnion hole is not very prominent. This means that receiver was applying a lot of force directly against the rivet shaft between receiver and rear trunnion. This shearing force against the rivet is what caused the failure. You can validate it by looking at the broken rivet and see if it was a relatively clean cut, or if it cracked open. The AK rivet is not some magical metal that can stand against force exerted on a small portion of its length. This goes to show that the original rivet pressing was not done properly, it should have been more forcefully pressed for rivet to fully mushroom, and receiver to cave inward against trunnion. A proper rivet job would have the receiver metal pressed inward by rivet head into the recess of rear trunnion, and then the recoil force would then be absorbed between receiver indent and the rear trunnion, and the receiver should hold until its metal ultimately fatigues and rivet holes elongate or crack, but that doesn't happen until tens of thousands of rounds later.

This gun must already be in trouble when rear trunnion moved rearward on the previous shot and causing the cover to be loose, and then the recoil from final shot completely pushed the trunnion backward, and separated it from the receiver.

Link Posted: 9/6/2010 7:44:41 AM EDT
[#30]
I sent a link of this thread to Durda (the owner of Lancaster), informing him that his POS rifles were still blowing themselves apart.  He responded, so Lancaster definitely knows about this problem (and this thread).

And a problem for them it is.  If even non-recall Lancaster rifles are blowing themselves apart, that validates the idea that Lancaster has some serious, widespread quality control problems.  And to think...Durda actually claims he sells these junk rifles to the military!  Why do I get the sense he's probably never sold a single AK to the military?  

Anyway, I sent a couple emails back and forth to Durda.  In his last email to me, he said he should have been "more concerned" about my problems with his company.  I wrote him back and told him his larger problem was his rampant, blatant dishonesty in dealing with me and others.  Needless to say, I didn't hear back from him after that.  Go figure.

Durda, you can post on AR15.com for free.  What do you have to say about this latest example of your company's "excellent fit and finish"?
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 11:07:16 AM EDT
[#31]
Quoted:
I sent a link of this thread to Durda (the owner of Lancaster), informing him that his POS rifles were still blowing themselves apart.  He responded, so Lancaster definitely knows about this problem (and this thread).



Do you think that's going to solve anything? Lancaster doesn't give a shit about this, they already made their money on the sale. Just wait and see; the owner of this gun is either going to get it resolved by having someone else rebuild it or he'll end up waiting six months to a year for Lancaster to fix it.
Link Posted: 9/6/2010 2:38:17 PM EDT
[#32]
Quoted:
Quoted:
I sent a link of this thread to Durda (the owner of Lancaster), informing him that his POS rifles were still blowing themselves apart.  He responded, so Lancaster definitely knows about this problem (and this thread).



Do you think that's going to solve anything? Lancaster doesn't give a shit about this, they already made their money on the sale. Just wait and see; the owner of this gun is either going to get it resolved by having someone else rebuild it or he'll end up waiting six months to a year for Lancaster to fix it.


No, I don't think it's going to solve anything.

It's just that when another Lancaster rifle inevitably does this, I don't want Durda & Co. to "play stupid" like they did the last time they put out defective rifles.

Durda now knows there are potentially other dangerous Lancaster rifles out there that weren't part of the recall.  Should one of these actually injure someone, Durda won't be able to say, "I had no idea we had additional defective rifles in the marketplace."
Link Posted: 9/7/2010 7:30:21 AM EDT
[#33]
Wow - coming up on a year after the rough rider debacle and these are still popping up regularly.  This makes me incredibly happy that I didn't accept a third (the second rifle was fucked up in the same way as my original lancrapster rifle) replacement from lancrapster and instead worked with Atlantic to get an in-range built AK74.  Both of my rough riders along with many others from posts on these forums were headed towards the failure that is shown in this thread; I just got lucky enough to notice the rivets bending outwards before the entire rear trunion came off.

Lancaster FTL; not only do they fuck up drilling the gas ports correctly, but my second rifle (replacement for the first) keyholed horribly after only 100-200 rounds.
Link Posted: 9/19/2010 12:06:48 AM EDT
[#34]
WOw , i havent been in AK forum for a long while and saw this  issue again coming forth. If you guys remember i bought one of  Lancasters Bulgarian Red and had rivets failed after 300 rds. It was returned last Feb  and LA replaced with a original Bullgarian barrel.  So far so good  after another 300 rds post repair, but i havent really fired much since them , Maybe in the next few  weeks  as Fall comes around. i hope to put more rounds to see if it does hold up.

Yeah, Lancaster is a piece of work. To those who have are looking for new AK 74s , go for something else. and save s you the headache. Now going on the OP, i m glad nothing serious happened. But boy it sound s like a big gas port was drilled causing the bolt slamming really hard  and the rivets pop off.
Link Posted: 9/19/2010 9:54:30 AM EDT
[#35]
The things people buy to save money.
Link Posted: 9/20/2010 7:45:20 AM EDT
[#36]
While the root cause is probably the gas port (heavy impacts on the rear trunion), I think the failure is from bad rivets.  That the rivets sheared instead of deformed suggests that they are inappropriate hardness..  Also, as mentioned above, the receiver was not drawn into the trunion, which transfers the shear from the rivet to the trunion.  Unfortunately, the rivets look good - nothing to warn a buyer to stay away (other than the name "Lancaster".)  I'd be interested to learn if it is a US barrel or original, and if original, what is the gas port size.  

How do they stay in business?  Because the typical AK buyer is an idiot who only cares about "which one is cheapest".  Yeah, how rude of me to notice, but that is my observation from this side of the table.  The questions I got asked about my AKs when I had them for sale.

.05% "What receivers and parts kits do you use?"
99.5%  "which one is cheapest?"

If people would educate themselves and  boycott  crooks, the crooks would go out of business.  But NO!  Everyone seems to think they are so fracken special that Chet will cheat and lie to everyone else on the planet - but they will get  a good deal.

Link Posted: 9/20/2010 8:02:22 AM EDT
[#37]
Quoted:
It's hard to tell but the dimpling of the receive into the recess around the rear trunnion hole is not very prominent. This means that receiver was applying a lot of force directly against the rivet shaft between receiver and rear trunnion. This shearing force against the rivet is what caused the failure. You can validate it by looking at the broken rivet and see if it was a relatively clean cut, or if it cracked open. The AK rivet is not some magical metal that can stand against force exerted on a small portion of its length. This goes to show that the original rivet pressing was not done properly, it should have been more forcefully pressed for rivet to fully mushroom, and receiver to cave inward against trunnion. A proper rivet job would have the receiver metal pressed inward by rivet head into the recess of rear trunnion, and then the recoil force would then be absorbed between receiver indent and the rear trunnion, and the receiver should hold until its metal ultimately fatigues and rivet holes elongate or crack, but that doesn't happen until tens of thousands of rounds later.

This gun must already be in trouble when rear trunnion moved rearward on the previous shot and causing the cover to be loose, and then the recoil from final shot completely pushed the trunnion backward, and separated it from the receiver.



I read your post a couple times and think you (and my original assessment) may be incorrect.  What I see on the failure is 3 wedges around the center.  If I had to pick a direction of stress, I'd say in line with the shaft, not perpendicular.  If the failure was cutting (from receiver) the smooth part would be on the leading edge and it would end in a crumbly pattern on the steel.  If it was shear not from cutting action, but because the hardness was wrong, we'd see a "wipe" (way too soft), or a granular pattern on the metal or crystalline  (way over-hard)  The metal looks to me like a failure from drawing.  Not sure of the mechanism, but the metal texture at the failure line seems odd to have been caused by cutting action.

Perhaps it failed in the rivet drawing but didn't shear the final bit until shooting.

Link Posted: 9/20/2010 5:13:01 PM EDT
[#38]
This is why I always used to say I'd take a SAR-1 over some random kit build, no matter how nice the 'finish' and 'russian red' wood was. Years later; vindication!
Link Posted: 9/22/2010 2:13:49 PM EDT
[#39]
When will people stop buying from this crook?
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