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Posted: 6/11/2009 7:06:14 PM EST
Buddy of mine bought one of the Bulgarian 74s making their way around the shops these days. Nice gun with the exception of the welds on the muzzle brake: tacked in such a way as to prevent the cleaning rod from coming out. He and I thought it odd and probably a mistake. Well, as I called around to other vendors I asked them to look and sure enough, every gun they examined (across all the stores) had the same weld in the same place - all stopping the cleaning rod from coming out. The rod itself rests in its channel and moves freely...just won't come out. Is this done on purpose to comply with some regulation or just bad craftsmanship? I suppose a dremel would fix it, but you shouldn't have to fix such an obvious oversight.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 2:53:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By KY1911:
Is this done on purpose to comply with some regulation or just bad craftsmanship?

There is no federal regulation that prohibits anyone from making, selling or possessong a rifle with a removable cleaning rod.
The brake was welded on to reduce the number of US parts required by one.

Link Posted: 6/12/2009 4:59:23 AM EST
They place the weld between the ears of the sight base to largely conceal it. You can Dremel it to some extent - it doesn't have to be that big. They make it big so the Imperial inspectors can't miss seeing that it's welded. I'm not familiar with this particular model, but most of the time the barrel threads are intact, so if it's not an issue of barrel length, you can remove the weld entirely and replace the muzzle attachment if you wish or just make the indexing plunger functional. You just have to understand and comply with 922. If you mess around with any 922 gun, I suggest you use the 922 calculator and keep a print of the results with the gun at all times or at least in your gun records.
I don't keep the original cleaning rods in my AKs anyway - they're useless to me and are just extra weight. My FEG SA85M came with a rod but has the flat base on the sight, so it won't stay put anyway. My TGI 'AMD-65' also has a rod, but of course with the permanent barrel extension it's also useless, so it's stored away too.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 6:31:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By 1saxman:
They place the weld between the ears of the sight base to largely conceal it. You can Dremel it to some extent - it doesn't have to be that big. They make it big so the Imperial inspectors can't miss seeing that it's welded. I'm not familiar with this particular model, but most of the time the barrel threads are intact, so if it's not an issue of barrel length, you can remove the weld entirely and replace the muzzle attachment if you wish or just make the indexing plunger functional. You just have to understand and comply with 922. If you mess around with any 922 gun, I suggest you use the 922 calculator and keep a print of the results with the gun at all times or at least in your gun records.
I don't keep the original cleaning rods in my AKs anyway - they're useless to me and are just extra weight. My FEG SA85M came with a rod but has the flat base on the sight, so it won't stay put anyway. My TGI 'AMD-65' also has a rod, but of course with the permanent barrel extension it's also useless, so it's stored away too.


Why not replace the FSB on your SA85?
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 9:34:44 AM EST
A friend just bought a Bulgarian 74 from Atlantic Firearms and his was the same, it had a tig weld holding the brake onto the threads. I don't see it being for 922(r) compliance because a muzzle brake can be removable and still be in compliance and I seriously doubt the muzzle brakes you're seeing were made here anyway. The reason they're welded is because not all states allow threaded barrels on rifles, or any guns. There are a few states that would allow that rifle to be sold and/or owned but wouldn't if the brake was removed, thus showing the threads. That's why you've seen other rifles in the past with threaded barrels that have barrel nuts welded onto them.

Fortunately, we live in Florida where you can pretty much buy a bazooka from a convenient store so we went to work the weekend it came in. I locked the brake into my vice on my work bench and spent about 10 minutes with a chisel and mallet. That took most all of it off. I did a slight bit of hand filing using various files I found around my garage but it was honestly no problem at all. It came right off and, thus, so did the cleaning rod. You obviously realized there's no way in hell that rod's coming off with taking the brake off first. And since this is my friend's first rifle (I know, I can't believe it either) he doesn't have a regular cleaning kit so he actually WANTS to use the cleaning rod and kit. Plus, I like cleaning the brake and threads on mine. I could clean it with the brake still on but I certainly like being able to take mine off to get as detailed of a scrub as possible.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 1:32:58 PM EST
'I don't see it being for 922(r) compliance because a muzzle brake can be removable and still be in compliance'

It could be for compliance if the brake were imported. Welding it makes it part of the barrel and not countable. I didn't think of the involvement of various states' laws, which is a good point.

'Why not replace the FSB on your SA85?'

It's been messed-with all it's going to be - I just got through making an AMD-63 and it needs to recuperate for some time!
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 3:22:09 PM EST
It is done to reduce the number of foreign parts but still have a brake on the rifle.
Link Posted: 6/12/2009 4:39:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By 1saxman:
'I don't see it being for 922(r) compliance because a muzzle brake can be removable and still be in compliance'

It could be for compliance if the brake were imported. Welding it makes it part of the barrel and not countable. I didn't think of the involvement of various states' laws, which is a good point.

'Why not replace the FSB on your SA85?'

It's been messed-with all it's going to be - I just got through making an AMD-63 and it needs to recuperate for some time!


If your going to put money into it why not do it right. The gas block lug and fsb on your rifle was cut off for importation. It is always going to be half complete and neutered in that form. $30.00 for the parts is all it takes and about an hour of work

Link Posted: 6/13/2009 2:22:27 AM EST
'If your going to put money into it why not do it right. The gas block lug and fsb on your rifle was cut off for importation. It is always going to be half complete and neutered in that form. $30.00 for the parts is all it takes and about an hour of work'

You do yours. Mine is done.

Link Posted: 6/13/2009 3:10:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 3:13:46 AM EST by POLYTHENEPAM]
Originally Posted By FlaDevmeister:
I don't see it being for 922(r) compliance because a muzzle brake can be removable and still be in compliance and I seriously doubt the muzzle brakes you're seeing were made here anyway.


You're half right. The brake was made outside the US.
If the brake was not welded on the rifle would need 6 US made parts. When the brake is welded it's considered to be part of the barrel. That way the rifle needs 5 US made parts.
Or as I put it before, the brake is welded to reduce the number of US made parts needed by one.
Compliance with restrictive state laws is a concern for the dealers in those states. Since the manufacturer is not selling direct to the residents, it's not their problem.

Link Posted: 6/13/2009 8:52:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 8:52:54 AM EST by ATLANTIC-FIREARMS]
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 5:16:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 5:22:57 PM EST by Morning_Wood]
The current batch of kits that are being sold have a spot of weld to keep the brake on and also a spot on the bayo lug to keep someone from using it. Both are easily removed. I have no idea why they do it, but I doubt it's for 922r compliance. More likely some import rule to get them into the country, or some "crime bill/sporting clause" compliance attempt scheme as that would also explain the inop rendering of the bayo lug. I think those kits have been here quite some time. But, who knows for sure?
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 7:02:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2009 7:02:33 AM EST by Gunplumber]
You mean there is a company building guns on these kits and NOT REMOVING THE WELDS?

I don't believe it . . . nobody is that much of a hack. I removed the welds on 50 kits in about 2 hours. There is no excuse to sell a gun that way . .. . How else do you install the cleaning rod?

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 4:09:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 5:13:30 PM EST
Originally Posted By ATLANTIC-FIREARMS:
Our have all had cleaning rods on them , just a small spot weld on the brake and this had to do with some sort of importation deal.

www.atlanticfirearms.com
Any chance you can explain that "importation deal?"

I'm a little dumbfounded about welds on imported kits. I guess I could understand (sort of) the welds on completed rifles, but every Bulgarian 74 kit I've seen has the brake welded on. Was this to satisfy some sort of import requirement I'm unaware of? Is it to satisfy the Bulgarians? What's the deal?

Link Posted: 6/14/2009 5:32:12 PM EST
they were probably imported as complete rifles. "post - 1986 Dealer sample machineguns" chopped here.

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