I sent an email to Ironwood designs about the possibility of them making correct Russian-style AK-74 handguards (no vents, deep finger grooves, squared-off swells that are moved forward) and received this response:
Thank you for your inquiry. I have been asked about many different variants over the years,
it's par for the course.
If you have checked the AK page on my site, you will have seen the current bulged hand guard that we
offer. After taking a look at the images on the Tantal link, it think I may be able to create a pretty close
version of the Russian version from one of our units. It would take a bit of program modifications but I think
it could be done.
I could eliminate the vent slots from the code, no problem. Add some clean up Y axis cuts to make the sides
in front and in back of the bulge flatter. Add a couple of cuts above the bulge for the finger groove, and a couple
of extra passes along side the bulges to flatten them out a bit. Without having an actual example to work from
I would have to estimate a bit, but I am familiar enough with AK stocks to make it close.
If you had a master that I could borrow, I could make it really close, if not no problem. I assume that you don't
have one based on this e-mail.
This is something I could probably do over the next couple of weeks, if you remind me. I am in the middle of some pretty intensive R&D, so I can't get to it right now. I would like to offer this option to my customers, so if
you are willing to be my guinea pig, I will do it. I will have to charge a few extra dollars for the part, not a lot, but maybe an extra $10-15, for the programming time. It will probably take several hours more than I anticipate, so the extra $ barely covers the programming time. I'm just a nice guy when it comes to these things.
Couple of questions:
Are the bulged portions symmetrical or off set?
What is the approx. radius of the curve running from the flat side of the guard to the bulged portion?
Let me know what you think and we'll go from there.
I will be out of town late tomorrow afternoon until Sunday, but I will answer my e-mail tomorrow morning.
I know there are at least a few of you out there who would be interested in just such a product, so I think it would be great if we could all chip in our knowledge on this one. I personally don't have any of these handguards so I need help to answer the above questions.
If he would make a standard warsaw pact length laminated, lightning cut AK-74 buttstock to go along with them, that would be the bee's knees!
regardless.... he said he would be interested in offering these hanguards as a customer option, and if he did, we would no longer have to pay crazy amounts to have Russian laminate 74 furniture shipped from the motherland! So, I think we should jump on his interest in this and push this thing. If someone who has Russian 74 wood would jump in and give some info that would be great. I will be the ginea pig if neccesary, but a more educated approach would be good, considering the possible demand for such an item.
Are the Russian hanguards different than the Bulgarian ones? I assume they are. If they aren't, I would be willing to loan/lend a set of bulgarian furniture to them.
The Russian 74 sets are quite a bit different than the Bulgarian AKM pattern. I don't have a pic but you can probably find a good pic on Tantal's site.
RotDorn, that sucks! He finally offers the laminate with bulged AKM handguards and did away with adding the lightening cuts on the buttstock?
Ironwood is no longer offering the lightening cuts on the milled stock sets, but they do still offer them for the stamped sets.
I recently ordered a milled set from Matt and was very pleased.
Tracker, thanks for clearing that up!