Well first, lets read what the K-VAR folks have to say about this:
PUBLIC NOTICE – AK-74 BUTTSTOCK ASSY. (AK-020B)
Last of the Bulgarian AK-74 BUTTSTOCK ASSEMBLIES.
For those of you wanting the complete original issue Bulgarian AK-74 buttstock, be advised that our stock of this item is running low.
When these are gone they will be NO LONGER AVAILABLE, ANYWHERE.
As dramatic as that sounds, that’s just the way it is. Another piece of history bites the dust. The Bulgarian Arsenal no longer has a functional mold to manufacture new units!
So here’s your notice. If you want an authentic unissued Bulgarian AK-74 buttstock assembly, this really is your last chance.
You have been advised.
This situation also affects the Bulgarian
AK-008B BUTTSTOCK ASSY and PISTOL GRIP
AK-001BX Complete Stock Set
AK-001B Complete Stock Set w/ gas tube
Now, what I take from this is that maybe the Bulgarians are not going to produce the 5.45x39 caliber rifles anymore (which seem to be the only AK's the Bulgarians have in their line-up using the stamped receiver).
K-VAR also mentions the fact that the Bulgarians no longer have a functional mold to manufacture them with, which may also mean that the ones they had left were sent to K-VAR (which started producing the standard length AK-74 style stock sets not too long ago). The molds may have been sent here, modified to include the US letters in the mold, and bingo, K-VAR stock sets are born!
Anyway, just some more info for us to chew on :)
"no functional mold? wth? even we dumb americans can make a 'functional mold' in two months...and have! do you think the bulgarians sent us those "nato length" molds, also?"
No Campy, I did not say that the American firms (like K-VAR) "can't" or "did not" make their own molds (like for the longer buttstocks), but it does sound more than possible that the Bulgarians could have sent over their stamped steel receiver polymer buttstock molds (to K-VAR/Arsenal Inc). I mean, if their need for them in Bulgaria is over, why not use them in the USA:)
If you notice something, the American Firm (K-VAR/Arsenal Inc) has had their longer length sets out for quite some time now, but not until later, did they come out and offer their shorter stamped receiver buttstock sets. While this is the case with the shorter stamped steel receiver buttstocks, it is not the case with the milled receiver buttstocks, which K-VAR still only makes in the longer length. Even the milled receivered SA-M7 Carbine uses a short "Bulgarian made" buttstock.
"Could" the molds for the stamped steel stock sets have been sent to America?........sure!
"as far as abandoning the 5.45, that is probably true. the bulgarians, like the rest of the former warsaw pact will adopt .223 as they tool up to join nato and step into the 21st century."
Thats right, and that is one of the biggest reasons why I believe they have dropped, or will soon drop their stamped steel AK-74 type rifles.
On the other AK board, I listed it as one of my main reasons for feeling the way I do on the Bulgarian AK-74, but I had not went in to such detail here on this board.
you also wrote:
"they will use their milled receivers as boat anchors after they pick up an m4 and find out what a modern rifle weighs."
Maybe rabbit,........ maybe not ;)
The Bulgarians have their own firearms designs, as well as other folks designs (as many other NATO countries do). While they "will" standardize to the NATO calibers, nothing guarantees them heading towards the M-4. Look around, not all NATO countries use the M-16 design, in fact, many NATO countries are using their own or other designs, instead of going with the M-16/M-4 series.
This will have to be a wait and see situation, unless someone owns a crystal ball :P
Just wanted to post up what I had written on the other AK website. In this post one will see that I called it speculation, but right or wrong, it's the way I see it. Unless one has an insider with definite facts, thats pretty much all we can do for now. But I do believe the signals are there:)
This is how I had it up over there:
"Well, I believe that Arsenal of Bulgaria's latest move away from making these stocks, means that they will kick the 5.45x39 to the Bulgarian curb. I also really believe the 7.62x39 will closely follow. The fact that there are so many AK's chambered in that caliber, is precisely why their need to manufacture many more is probably not needed.
This is just a guess.........but these guys are NATO now, so some of the memories of the former Soviet Union will need to be phased out.
They will probably completely transition to the current NATO calibers (including the 5.56). Who knows, they may even place their many good, excellent, and unissued condition 7.62x39 caliber AK's on to the surplus market. That alone should keep them busy selling 7.62x39 caliber AK's for a while.
Sure the 5.56 NATO will be replaced sooner or later, but for now, the Bulgarians will follow the NATO standards.
As far as the American AK market, this whole process may be a very good sign for us. If some of their machinery is no longer needed because of discontinued items (like maybe their stamped receiver AK manufacturing), then the possibility opens up for their licensee in America (Arsenal Inc of Nevada) to get some very nice equipment:)
All's well that ends well:)
All just speculation at this point, but the conditions could currently be in place for such things to actually happen.
We will just have to wait and see"
.........End of my quoted post..........
While it "may" be that the folding stocks for the AK-74 type rifles could have completely replaced the need for their fixed stocked versions, I doubt that it's why they are phasing them out completely. I believe they would have kept the fixed stocked gun as an option in their catalogs/websites, but since they probably dropped, or plan to drop, their entire line of 5.45x39 rifles, they may have decided to send some of the unneeded equipment over here (like the buutstock molds for the stamped receiver). All they would need to do here with them, is to have the U.S. letters added to the molds (a lot cheaper than having new shorter molds made here).
The Bulgarians probably have more than enough ready made 5.45x39 rifles on hand for any possible small sales that may come around in the near future. This is a NATO Country now, and if you think that their NATO partners won't mind that Arsenal of Bulgaria is still manufacturing and selling 5.45x39 rifles........well, lets just say that it will not look good to their NATO buddies.
"Your still making and selling 5.45x39 calibered AK's?.......Selling.... to who?.......not NATO Countries, thats for sure!! What, your still selling to your old former Com Bloc buddies?!!"
Nope, I'm sure the Bulgarians will be smarter than that! (avoid too much friction with their new partners).
Now,.... I may be wrong,..... but I have a gut feeling that I may be right (or close to it anyways);)
In this post one will see that I called it speculation, but right or wrong, it's the way I see it.
What? No reading between the lines.
"What? No reading between the lines"
Yep........one can call it that ;)
My questioning sometimes brings out a lot of hmmmmmm. After asking some more questions, I start reading between the lines, and my gut feelings get stronger about certain things.
Anyhows, after a little bit more questioning, I received this response from the very kind ADMIN over on the K-VAR forums:
I talked to Arsenal inc's Factory Manager. He told me they have considered building stamped receivers rifles in 5.45X39.5, 7.62X39 and 5.56X45 calibers.
They do have the dies and tooling necessary to build those rifles.
But when? Nobody knows yet.
I guess my putting out the possibility that Arsenal of Bulgaria may be sending some no longer needed equipment to the States, is not too far a stretch :)