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Posted: 1/22/2012 8:50:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2012 6:13:13 AM EDT by dirtbikesandguns]
I've done a little looking around.......why do I get the impression no one cares for screw kit builds ? Do they really suck that bad?
If they are done by a person who knows how to correctly use a tap............. and maybe red locktite to keep them from loosening....whats the problem?
Link Posted: 1/22/2012 8:58:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2012 9:00:30 PM EDT by Usurpation]
The overall consensus is that Mr. Kalashnikov didn't design it that way so it's a NO-GO. The taper head rivets are the standard to meet. Screws can back out, adhesives can fail, and the threads on a screw could "cut" the receiver holes (not sure about this one as factory receivers are very very hard). Biggest thing is that properly set rivets expand in the channel and more or less force the two matted items to be close together. AK's don't have much shearing force as one has been built to demonstrate this out of toothpicks if memory serves. Also, screw builds are typically done without removing the barrel; which means that the screws don't have much "meat" to bite on.

Happy hunting
Usurpation (AKA Mortis)
Link Posted: 1/23/2012 5:10:06 AM EDT
Yeah, what he said.
Link Posted: 1/23/2012 7:06:50 AM EDT
My first one was a Screw build and I shot over 500 rounds from it before I learned to do Rivets, It operated fine until I wanted to make it a traditional wood build and just took out the screws and riveted together... Other than the trigger guard which stayed with a Akbuilder screw plate.. Till yesterday and since I got my trigger jig now its 100 percent rivet build.... Don't get me wrong It operated just fine the other way I just wanted to learn something new and decided to change the one I already built rather than buy another kit... I already have to many AK-s so rather than build a new I just opted to rebuild a old...
Link Posted: 1/23/2012 7:12:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2012 7:12:55 AM EDT by uscombatdiver]
Originally Posted By jdoming728:
"change the one I already built rather than buy another kit..."


You should be ashamed of yourself. No self-respecting builder would do such a thing. I'm sure you have some odd AK part sitting around waiting to be built into a functioning rifle. Even with 6 full kits I have a pistol grip, muzzle brake, bayonet or cleaning rod that needs to be built into a rifle. Heck, that's reason to buy four more kits.
Link Posted: 1/23/2012 9:29:14 AM EDT
Yep your right I do have parts but no more room in my safe.... I guess I could build another one and hang it on my wall......Im getting my friends to build theirs that away I can still build and helplllll Get it Help......I think I need help....
Link Posted: 1/23/2012 9:50:00 AM EDT
They work fine if done correctly. I've done some w a mix of hex screws, rivets and u drives even! These function fine also. I kind of want to get a press though and do some now w all rivets.
Link Posted: 1/23/2012 10:33:53 AM EDT


I've been waiting on a reason to use this...

I personally have no experience building a kit, but I have no doubt that with the correct fasteners, torqued correctly, that a screw build would be every bit as reliable as a rivet build. From a manufacturing stand point, rivets are cheap and quick, machine screws aren't. I would be very willing to say that the cost is the primary reason that rivets are used on stamped receivers, and that it has nothing to do with whether or not machine screws would fail.
Link Posted: 1/23/2012 10:58:46 AM EDT
I doubt that we are looking at a catastrophic material failure here. Mostly from a standpoint of a fastener that will not require maintenance over the long haul. One must understand that the simple inexpensive rivet is also rather foolproof. It doesn't need to be fiddled with. Also, if one were to have the fastener loosen while in fire (or fire fight) one may not have the time or even know that this is happening. If the front trunion becomes loose and the rifle MUST be fired; bad bad things could happen. Range weapon with the builder using it, may not be as big an issue. Conscript in the dessert, circumstance changes a bit.
Link Posted: 1/23/2012 12:51:56 PM EDT
Mark (gunplumber) should be along shortly to unload/explain why screw builds are not a good thing.
Link Posted: 1/23/2012 5:27:49 PM EDT
As I said in the past,, I did a rivet build since I was unsure of my talents but now 12 rifles later and all but lone rivet builds I'm sure....back then if I made a mistake I could have corrected it easily with a screw build, now it's nothing but rivets and spot welder...I have even riveted all my trigger guards on my own builds.I don't oppose a screw build for ones first but when your done learning rivet it...
Link Posted: 1/23/2012 8:28:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jdoming728:
Yep your right I do have parts but no more room in my safe.... I guess I could build another one and hang it on my wall......Im getting my friends to build theirs that away I can still build and helplllll Get it Help......I think I need help....


That's the spirit. Don't let space be your excuse, rise above the rest. Why have a gun cabinet when you can have a gun room? Keep up the good work, every AK you buy and build is one less that stays on the market and heaven forbid never make it to this country and end up in Kyber pass and ultimately a terrorist (that's what keeps me building, making the world safer one AK at a time).
Link Posted: 1/23/2012 10:32:44 PM EDT
if done right, they will work. but with kit prices being so expensive now, why bother with screws, just get it done with rivets
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 7:34:10 PM EDT
Yes screws will work if done right, but if you have the smarts to do screws right you should know how permanent rivets are.
So why not do it right the first time.
Link Posted: 1/26/2012 8:12:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2012 8:13:49 PM EDT by Gunplumber]
(sigh)

Look - "screw builds. . . if done right".

Define "right"? How do you drive drunk correctly?

How can you properly use the improper fastener? It's an oxymoron. Screws and rivets are completely different fasteners for completely different purposes. That there are some specific circumstances where the necessity to disassemble the item outweighs the inferiority of the screw as a fastener, I don't dispute. That's why gun designers for a hundred years have come up with all kinds of gadgets to work around the EXPECTED failure of the screw.

Those who advocate screws as an equally viable alternative, don't know what they don't know and are happy in their ignorance. I grow weary of trying to educate them.

No AK - even prototypes, were ever screwed together. There are no screws on the AK.* There is a reason for this. If one is so ignorant of fastener technology as to not grasp why, then it pays to educate oneself rather than loudly crowing on a subject one knows nothing about.


*someone is going to pipe in "hey, the pistol grip is a screw". More ignorance. No, it is a threaded rivet. Once the end is flared (that is why it is hollow) it ceases to be a screw (bolt, actually), and becomes a rivet in function. Most hobby guys don't like to make it permanent, as, like with barbie dolls, there is a drive to change the outfit every so often.


Link Posted: 1/26/2012 9:28:53 PM EDT
Its kinda weird.....In my world (the motorcycle racing world) we hate rivets. They are always snapping or rattling loose. We either weld it or replace it with a screw / bolt or something. There is varying grades of loctite for the screws....from a "little" hold, to "snap the head of the screw off trying to get it out" hold ! So, from my world, a screw kit seems viable.

Shear strength of a screw kit doesn't seem to matter if some Joe can make an AK run with toothpicks or wooded dowels ??
The right grade of heat resistant loctite will prevent them from loosening.....
I have the tools and taps to do it.....

I dont have all the fancy little jigs for the trigger guard and trunnions ($$$)
I do have a 20 ton press though....and a rivet gun.....just dont have the riveting set-up for the press

So, the decision??

Spend a couple hundred more dollars for the jiggies and rivet away.....or,

Totally go against Kalashnikov, God and Gunplumber and just screw it !.......... lol
Link Posted: 1/27/2012 5:21:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dirtbikesandguns:
Its kinda weird.....In my world (the motorcycle racing world) we hate rivets. They are always snapping or rattling loose. We either weld it or replace it with a screw / bolt or something. There is varying grades of loctite for the screws....from a "little" hold, to "snap the head of the screw off trying to get it out" hold ! So, from my world, a screw kit seems viable.

Shear strength of a screw kit doesn't seem to matter if some Joe can make an AK run with toothpicks or wooded dowels ??
The right grade of heat resistant loctite will prevent them from loosening.....
I have the tools and taps to do it.....

I dont have all the fancy little jigs for the trigger guard and trunnions ($$$)
I do have a 20 ton press though....and a rivet gun.....just dont have the riveting set-up for the press

So, the decision??

Spend a couple hundred more dollars for the jiggies and rivet away.....or,

Totally go against Kalashnikov, God and Gunplumber and just screw it !.......... lol


While I agree, screws may work despite the fact they were never used on original AKs (probably because the AK was designed for the most uneducated person and was to work for the longest time without any true gunsmith involvement) I wouldn't do a screw build simply because I think the rivet jigs are expensive jigs. We have gone full circle from trying to do without the jigs, to buying the expensive jigs to making simple yet very effective jigs. You don't need a bolt cutter 'rivet tool'. A nice rocking rivet tool works even better. Any piece of hardened scrap steel easily is modified for this. It will do all your rivets if you take the time. You don't need a 20 ton press and a barrel jig, the screw/thread method works great and the threaded rod and nuts don't cost that much. You don't need an expensive trigger guard jig, look at it and use that welder you say you have and make one. My brother who is a welder and never saw our temporarily missing trigger guard jig made one that was better so that when we found the lost one we use it only if the one my brother made is being used by some one else. My point is, don't pretend that you can't do rivets when in fact they are less technical than tapping something and ideal for the job. Sure, there is industrial strength Lock tite I have some from my industrial mechanic days but unless you are really bent on going with screws most who have built with them ultimately revert to rivets (and most simply because of the fact that rivets are peace of mind, not because of any major malfunction).
Link Posted: 1/27/2012 5:31:17 AM EDT
And there is that . . . when I went through the list of what was required for screws versus rivets, I saw no savings in time or money to use screws, nor a lower skill level that would suffice.
Add to that, you destroy any resale value on the kit by using screws, as the holes will then be oversize for the "correct" rivets.

I think people are just afraid. Most everyone can visualize how the tap works and has probably threaded a few holes here and there. Most people have not riveted. Chainmail armor was riveted 2000 years ago. . We're not dealing with complicated technology. But it is new to some people and they have a resistance to what they are unfamiliar with.

It takes me about 20 minutes to install all the rivets in an AK receiver. Now I'm using some expensive hydraulic tooling rather than manual, but the point is, it take me longer to demil the parts kit and locate and drill the holes than to actually install them.

Link Posted: 1/28/2012 6:42:54 AM EDT
Build in the manner that makes it possible for you to enjoy the build and have a functional AK. This forum 6 or 7 years ago was FILLED by folks using screws and it was the norm and totally accepted by all. I would venture to say thousands of screwed aks were put together by board members with no reports I can remember of them disintegrating in their hands.
I don't disagree that from a production environment rivets are used and that screws will lpeer your resale value. Anyways whatever way you accomplish it be proud of your build.
Link Posted: 1/28/2012 7:09:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By gfunk:
Anyways whatever way you accomplish it be proud of your build.


I guess that's the new norm. No matter how crappy one's work be, be "proud" of it.

Link Posted: 1/28/2012 9:03:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Gunplumber:
Originally Posted By gfunk:
Anyways whatever way you accomplish it be proud of your build.


I guess that's the new norm. No matter how crappy one's work be, be "proud" of it.



"They" were right about you, Gunplumber....lol

They said you'd be in here.....all anti-screw and stuff, .......heh heh. But you got me thinkin' on how to make my own rivet-setting press jigs etc. Believe ti or not, I'm pretty handy at fabricating metal and working on a lathe (custom bike parts )

Maybe I'll just do both....screw build and a rivet build. But, the more people say a screw build shouldnt be done, the more I want to do it....it's in my nature? Ecspecially since there seems to be no catastrophic reasons not to. Its funny, I'm always the test subject on the dirtbike too!

So, Gunplumber.......will you let me slide if I promise to do a rivet build too ??
Link Posted: 1/28/2012 9:51:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/28/2012 9:52:05 AM EDT by Gunplumber]
If you want to weld your AK Into a floor lamp, it doesn't have any real affect on me.

It is more an emotional response, like seeing whales beach themselves. There is nothing I can do about it, and I don't understand it, but the senselessness of it saddens me nonetheless.
Link Posted: 1/28/2012 3:58:11 PM EDT


I was sitting back waiting for GP to chime in.

He's got some strong opinions that come from years of experience.

When the most experienced guys in the industry say something is a bad idea, its usually a bad idea.

I don't have nearly the experience of some of the other members on here, but I can tell you that I have no regrets buying and building the tools to do the job right.

I don't think anyone has ever riveted together an AK and thought, "dang I wish I had half-assed this with screws."


Link Posted: 1/28/2012 5:00:28 PM EDT
The whole point of this thread was fo find out why screws are "half assed"???
Other than "they could come loose" which can be easily resolved, and the "rivet purist".......I see no problem??
I'll end up doing one with rivets sooner or later...........until then, I'll screw one up real nice like
Link Posted: 1/28/2012 5:19:03 PM EDT
The whole point of this thread was fo find out why screws are "half assed"???

(You are asking for hours of information in a few paragraphs)

Because a screw is a completely different fastener type. It is nothing more than an inclined plane (lever) in spiral rotation. It gets its holding power by the threads stretching under a given torque.

While the material of the screw can be very "strong" (a misleading term in metallurgy), its very hardness can cause failure. So using a "stronger" grade 5 screw can actually cause more rapid failure than a softer screw.

A screw cannot fill the hole in which it is placed.

A rivet by design expands to fill the hole in which it is placed. This minimizes movement of the fastener,

The V neck rivet draws the receiver into the trunion, transferring the shear force from the receiver to the heavier trunion. By filling the hole through expansion, it moves with the incredible torque, yaw, and flex of a firing receiver. A screw is attempting to "clamp" while resisting this significant force.

There is more, but I've written it a dozen times, and am weary.

Here's a few hours of reading.

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36144


As a wedge, the slightest movement removes all tension. Therefore, a screw moving 1/4 turn has completely and totally failed.

Link Posted: 1/29/2012 5:32:45 AM EDT
I think the take home message wasn't a bait Gunplumber only to bash him as it seems was the point of this thread, but the fact is while a screw build may work (emphasis on 'may') a rivet build isn't so impossible or complicated that you should do a screw build instead of a rivet build. If this was really about avoiding some sort of cost then welding would be the logical alternative. Sure the roads are full of idiots who without any distractions like cell phones or inhibitions like alcohol do a pretty good job making it unsafe for the rest of us but just because they haven't killed anyone yet doesn't mean it's a great idea. Just because many have trusted screw builds and possibly started out with them only to later revert back to a rivet build (and like Gunplumber pointed out, the opening up of the whole decreases the effectiveness of the rivet) doesn't some how mean it's a great idea. Fast forward the clock to the next generation and I can guaranty that those scew builds will start to show signs of trouble while the rivet and weld builds almost certainly will not. Most don't look at history and learn from it and this argument is a perfect example of that. There's a reason why skyscrapers were riveted and not screwed together. Before you disregard this point, compare the immediate forces on the things being fastened together. Once compared you will see it is the same type of fastener need and yet no screws were used and you can go back and read why they weren't even considered and you'll find some of Gunplumber's argument. If you are working on your spy art and these are to be disposable AKs then sure a screw could work in a pinch and for a limited amount of time but if you care to pass these on to any of your loved ones do it for them if you won't do it for yourself (it's more likely a catastrophic failure will happen with them than with you and that's purely because of the genius design of the AK). Having purchased taps and dies I can honestly say they cost more than any rivet tool I have made out of scrap metal and do the job far better than any screw could possibly ever do. The two reasons people do screw builds is one to prove it can be done (like a toothpick build) and two because you want to cut corners (ie not remove the barrel to fasten the front trunion to the receiver). That's the two things that come to mind when some one does a screw build or I see one. I'll have to add a third, just plain stupidity. Like those drivers who are a hazard to themselves and everyone else on the road, people will choose to do a screw build just to say 'screw you' to all the rest and for no other reason. Do what you like, it's your decision but don't pretend you are saving money, time or anyone else by doing it.
Link Posted: 1/29/2012 12:01:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Gunplumber:
If you want to weld your AK Into a floor lamp, it doesn't have any real affect on me.

It is more an emotional response, like seeing whales beach themselves. There is nothing I can do about it, and I don't understand it, but the senselessness of it saddens me nonetheless.


LMAO!!!! Whales, beaching!!!! I'm still laughing!!! Thank you Gunplumber
Link Posted: 2/4/2012 6:42:13 PM EDT
All right, you guys win.................no screws



I did have to make all my own jigs, rivetsets, and bucking bars. Took about 6 hours. Now that I have all the stuff.....could probably do one in an hour +/-.

And, just so everyone knows........It was the "what about the future owner" (daughter, grandkid, etc) that got me thinking.......they might not check for loose screws??
Link Posted: 2/4/2012 7:58:08 PM EDT
NICE!
Link Posted: 2/5/2012 5:53:20 AM EDT
Now that I have all the stuff.....could probably do one in an hour +/-.

Good job.

I've got about $10k in dedicated AK tooling, not counting the mill & lathe, and it takes me about 15 minutes to do do all the rivets.

3 minutes for the front trunion. 3 minutes for the trigger guard, and 7 minutes for the rear trunion. double the time if I mess up and have to redo even one.

So there is a definite relationship between what one spends in time and money to make the tooling, and the ease of the build. The most critical tool in my opinion from a time standpoint is the pneumatic rivet squeeze. Beat the pants off bolt cutters, but at $700+ for a used/rebuilt one, you've gotta be serious about results to justify it.

Also use it for scope rails and the short rear trunion rivets.

Long rear trunion rivets I'm still stuck with the hydraulic press. I"ve contimplated switching it over to a powered one, but I kindof like having the "feel" on the jack handle of how tight it is.

trigger guard is still the air hammer, but it's so quick I see no point in changing it. It still takes me longer to place the rivet in the hole thna to set it.
Link Posted: 2/5/2012 6:28:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/5/2012 6:29:41 AM EDT by uscombatdiver]
Such a great looking job has me wanting to build some more...eventhough I don't deal in the same volume as Gunplumber I have been building non-stop since I started 6 or 7 years ago and have 6 unfinished kits behind my computer at different stages. Granted, nearly all I have built have been added to my own collection and I have to warn you in addition to possibly needing a new gun cabinet you may want to consider having more kids, nephews/nieces or anyone to pass these on to when you no longer keep them just so no one of them get labeled a gun nut. As we consider a new home I have insisted on a dedicated gun room as a requirement that I will customize and ultimately put a hidden door on as well as other security options (before I got into building AKs and before I went back to school I was a steel worker and finish carpenter). While AKs aren't all I collect I can honestly say they will need their very own wall and possibly more. Again, very nice looking!
Link Posted: 2/5/2012 6:46:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Gunplumber:
Now that I have all the stuff.....could probably do one in an hour +/-.

Good job.

I've got about $10k in dedicated AK tooling, not counting the mill & lathe, and it takes me about 15 minutes to do do all the rivets.

3 minutes for the front trunion. 3 minutes for the trigger guard, and 7 minutes for the rear trunion. double the time if I mess up and have to redo even one.

So there is a definite relationship between what one spends in time and money to make the tooling, and the ease of the build. The most critical tool in my opinion from a time standpoint is the pneumatic rivet squeeze. Beat the pants off bolt cutters, but at $700+ for a used/rebuilt one, you've gotta be serious about results to justify it.

Also use it for scope rails and the short rear trunion rivets.

Long rear trunion rivets I'm still stuck with the hydraulic press. I"ve contimplated switching it over to a powered one, but I kindof like having the "feel" on the jack handle of how tight it is.

trigger guard is still the air hammer, but it's so quick I see no point in changing it. It still takes me longer to place the rivet in the hole thna to set it.


Not fair! I only do 2 complete rifles a year, have a pretty good tooling set up and it still takes me 16 hours to put one together complete, add another 2 days to strip and refinish. But for me it's a hobby and I hold myself to some pretty high standards, if I don't like what it looks like at the moment, I'll stop and re do it. I've gotten pretty good at drilling out rivets I didn't like without botching the receiver.
Link Posted: 2/5/2012 7:39:32 AM EDT
I discovered early on that it takes a lot longer to correct a bad rivet than to do it right the first time, so I made my rivet forming tools in graduations. 2-4 steps for each one. like a soft-serve ice cream. Align, expand as a cylinder (alignment), form half of head, complete head. It is a little slower than forming the rivet in one pneumatic ka'thunk, but if it is starting to tip over or become uncentered, I can correct it before its too late and I have to remove it entirely. Especially important on the rear trunion.

I average 8-10 hours for a complete build & refinish, including demil. add 2 for a virgin barrel. I haven't found a way to reduce the time below the 8-10 hurs, while retaining my attention to detail, I'm just saying that a huge investment in tooling has made the riveting the easiest part of the build for me.


Link Posted: 2/6/2012 5:32:00 PM EDT
Either rivet or weld. The first is best but a good weld job is just as good.
Link Posted: 2/6/2012 6:14:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TUBBY:
Either rivet or weld. The first is best but a good weld job is just as good.


What standard do you use to determine that a weld is "just as good" as a rivet?

I'm sure it is something very scientific. White Labs perhaps? It's gotta be some pretty thorough testing to throw 60 years of production out the window for your "just as good" way.

Link Posted: 2/8/2012 8:48:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2012 8:50:05 AM EDT by TUBBY]
Originally Posted By Gunplumber:
Originally Posted By TUBBY:
Either rivet or weld. The first is best but a good weld job is just as good.


What standard do you use to determine that a weld is "just as good" as a rivet?

I'm sure it is something very scientific. White Labs perhaps? It's gotta be some pretty thorough testing to throw 60 years of production out the window for your "just as good" way.



Personal experience. I put together a couple of welded guns and they have run good.

I have also built with rivets. I prefer the rivets for the look but both have held up well thru several thousand rounds.

You have also never seen the welds I use so please refrain from negative comments on my workmanship, for which you know nothing about.

Link Posted: 2/8/2012 9:03:37 AM EDT
Has nothing to do with your "workmanship". Has everything to do with your claim that it is an equally viable alternative - and lack of any scientific evidence as to the accuracy of that claim.

Bob has driven drunk every weekend and has neither been caught, nor caused an accident. Using your "logic", Drunk driving is an equally viable alternative to sober driving. In fact, Bob's wife was in accident, and she was sober. Therefore, Bob's drunk driving is a SUPERIOR alternative to his wife's sober driving.

Your anecdote is that you welded a gun and it hasn't failed yet. It is not a statistically significant sampling, and the criteria for evaluation is not standardized. Therefore it is not "evidence".

Link Posted: 2/8/2012 9:11:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2012 9:19:26 AM EDT by TUBBY]
Originally Posted By Gunplumber:
Has nothing to do with your "workmanship". Has everything to do with your claim that it is an equally viable alternative - and lack of any scientific evidence as to the accuracy of that claim.

Bob has driven drunk every weekend and has neither been caught, nor caused an accident. Using your "logic", Drunk driving is an equally viable alternative to sober driving. In fact, Bob's wife was in accident, and she was sober. Therefore, Bob's drunk driving is a SUPERIOR alternative to his wife's sober driving.

Your anecdote is that you welded a gun and it hasn't failed yet. It is not a statistically significant sampling, and the criteria for evaluation is not standardized. Therefore it is not "evidence".



I would be happy to weld together an AK for you to test against a rivet build. Supply me with the parts, I will get the reciever assemble and send it to you to check out, and you can run the tests.

That way it is scientific and you can spend your money on the ammo, of which you will go thru thousands of rounds to confirm what I say.

I just ask that it is returned when you are done, or broke from ammo costs.

Thank you.


BTW. Your FAL build video was great. I put several of them together using it. Lots of good into.
Link Posted: 2/8/2012 9:31:41 AM EDT
I am not the one making the claim that your technique is an equally viable alternative to that which has worked on millions of rifles for 50+ years. Therefore it is not my responsibility to provide evidence as to the validity of that claim.

You will note that I have not claimed that a weld is necessarily bad. To the contrary, I have noted that Uzis, HKs, AR-18s, AR-70s and others use welds, and therefore there is precedence. I have noted, however that a deep, penetrating TIG weld is not the same as a MIG or stick weld, and my experience has suggested that there are many so-called welders out there who should limit their work to pool-fences.

So my position is that a quality weld by an experienced, professional welder MAY be sufficient, but as of yet there isn't sufficient evidence to evaluate its long term viability.

From an economic sense, it is "different" than standard and cannot be evaluated other than through extensive or destructive testing. It therefore significantly diminishes the value of such a rifle, as a potential buyer has no means of determining the efficacy of such a procedure.

When I started in this fascinating hobby-turned-business, my welding ability wasn't what it is now. I MIG welded my first uzi front trunion. It blew out the front of the gun after a few rounds. It looked good and was dressed pretty, but it wasn't DEEP or PENETRATING. My weld essentially sat on top of the trunion. I am not saying anything about your ability, I'm just illustrating that many people assume their ability is greater than it is, because they lack the experience to know what they don't know.

A rivet is pretty easy to evaluate.
Link Posted: 2/8/2012 9:36:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Gunplumber:
I am not the one making the claim that your technique is an equally viable alternative to that which has worked on millions of rifles for 50+ years. Therefore it is not my responsibility to provide evidence as to the validity of that claim.

You will note that I have not claimed that a weld is necessarily bad. To the contrary, I have noted that Uzis, HKs, AR-18s, AR-70s and others use welds, and therefore there is precedence. I have noted, however that a deep, penetrating TIG weld is not the same as a MIG or stick weld, and my experience has suggested that there are many so-called welders out there who should limit their work to pool-fences.

So my position is that a quality weld by an experienced, professional welder MAY be sufficient, but as of yet there isn't sufficient evidence to evaluate its long term viability.

From an economic sense, it is "different" than standard and cannot be evaluated other than through extensive or destructive testing. It therefore significantly diminishes the value of such a rifle, as a potential buyer has no means of determining the efficacy of such a procedure.

When I started in this fascinating hobby-turned-business, my welding ability wasn't what it is now. I MIG welded my first uzi front trunion. It blew out the front of the gun after a few rounds. It looked good and was dressed pretty, but it wasn't DEEP or PENETRATING. My weld essentially sat on top of the trunion. I am not saying anything about your ability, I'm just illustrating that many people assume their ability is greater than it is, because they lack the experience to know what they don't know.

A rivet is pretty easy to evaluate.


This is correct sir. There are people who have no idea how to do a correct weld and they fail.

I do still prefer rivets for the look alone.

Link Posted: 2/11/2012 1:40:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Gunplumber:
Has nothing to do with your "workmanship". Has everything to do with your claim that it is an equally viable alternative - and lack of any scientific evidence as to the accuracy of that claim.

Bob has driven drunk every weekend and has neither been caught, nor caused an accident. Using your "logic", Drunk driving is an equally viable alternative to sober driving. In fact, Bob's wife was in accident, and she was sober. Therefore, Bob's drunk driving is a SUPERIOR alternative to his wife's sober driving.

Your anecdote is that you welded a gun and it hasn't failed yet. It is not a statistically significant sampling, and the criteria for evaluation is not standardized. Therefore it is not "evidence".




GP you anolgy is not fair, because a women will always cause an accident, sober or otherwise. if you want to be scientific, you must compare males or females, but not both. otherwise it would be like comparing a person to a chimp driving.
Link Posted: 2/11/2012 2:20:13 PM EDT
As much as I dislike the facts, the facts are that women are not as prone to driving accidents as men. Which is why the under 26 male driver pays 2-3x the insurance rates of a female. Having a 16 yo daughter, I've been checking the rates.

I submit however, that the cause of the accidents are different. This is just my gut feeling, as I cannot support it by data. I believe the typical male gets in a MVA due to poor judgment - he thinks he is a better driver than he is, or is capable of a more complex maneuver than he is. The female, in contrast, is more likely to get into a MVA through being oblivious of what is going on around her.

Link Posted: 2/11/2012 5:45:28 PM EDT
at above post......LOL !

Ok, last Saturday, I made jigs / tools and riveted.

Today, I made a device / tool so I could press in the barrel and press on the rear sight piece (not sure of the official name for said piece?). But it took about an hour to cut and weld up the device and a little under 10 minutes to press the barrel in....... (to go / no-go specs). The rear sight took about 3 minutes.

The barrel is new, so Next Saturday I get to drill the head-space pin and the rear sight pin. The 7mm and 4mm end mills, and reamers should be here mid-week. I think that should be the last of, "the hard part of building an AK" ?

As you can see, I'm using a clamp-on gasblock / front sight combo, so no pinning of the original stuff.

Woohoo...almost done!

Link Posted: 2/15/2012 6:26:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2012 6:55:18 AM EDT by jdoming728]
I got bad news for you already installed the FGB and you didn't do your front handgaurd retainer. Good Job though I be intested in seeing the tools you made, now on the Insurance I have 5 Yes 5 kids all gone but one and yes it true the Male gender has more accidents than the Female gender.. Why usually women are a little less brave so don't take as many chances and that usually changes later in life though....Whoops I didn't see till now you have a clamp on gas block,,,,, Never mind.. I use a lot of Clamp on FGB on AR-15's simple to change out components on the barrel in the future good choice. No lets start another fight.. Since you riveted the gun why did you not go the extra mile and pin your hardware... Dammm Man..
Link Posted: 2/15/2012 6:56:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jdoming728:
I got bad news for you already installed the FGB and you didn't do your front handgaurd retainer. Good Job though I be intested in seeing the tools you made...


Its a damm good thing that gasblock will slide right off........being a clamp-on and all....lol I'd say good eye for catching it though.

I'll probably end up with a MI extended rail system, anyway. So I wont need the retainer.

Current config :



I realize some of the purist are thinking, why would he ruin it by getting rid of the wood parts and using an after market FGB? This kit was always intended to have the rail system, houge grip, gasblock, and some sort of Dura-Coat camo job (yet to be decided)......and probably a few other not-needed goodies

I'll post some pics of the tools later this eve.

And, sorry for bad cell pic.........
Link Posted: 2/16/2012 7:17:31 PM EDT
Looks good, but does it shoot? I think you'll find most here love to see plenty of gun porn and I'm no different. Get it to the range and get us a range report. Get to know it and you won't be disappointed.
Link Posted: 2/17/2012 6:09:03 AM EDT
Man thats turning into a very neat looking stick.. I might have to have one. Where did you get the Clamp style gas block/FSB combo?
Link Posted: 2/17/2012 2:39:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By kells81:
Man thats turning into a very neat looking stick.. I might have to have one. Where did you get the Clamp style gas block/FSB combo?


Thanks, front sight came from Venom Tactical. You will have to google it cuz I'm posting from a phone right now.
Link Posted: 2/18/2012 3:33:21 PM EDT
OK, it's finished, I drilled the headspace pin and the rear sightblock pin. They pressed in just perfect. Headspace is still GTG. But, in my excitement to go shoot it, I almost forgot something.........

New gas vent holes........the original gas block has these......4 holes, but really only 2 complete holes when the gas tube is on. (4 half holes)



new gasblock has none. I could mimic the original set up (drill 4 holes in the new GB the same as the original GB)



Or something different....like whats on my Chinese AK.....



Should I stick to the original design....or is there something that works better than 4 half holes?

My only two AK's ....so far......


As soon as the gas vent holes are drilled, I'll put about 200rds downrange to check function. Then it will get torn down for re-finish (I have some good ideas )



Short story:
The Chinese AK, I've had for 20 years, its the 1st gun I "bought" myself, and 2nd in a line of about 35 others. My very first was a 10/22 from my Dad when I was 12.
Most of the others are AR's I built, pistols and a few other evil black things.
An AR, I could probably assemble blind-folded. This AK has been alot of fun so far......definitely a different animal when building. I might have the "bug", cuz I'm already thinking of what to do next.................Maybe an Under-folder Krink for some SBR fun ??
Link Posted: 3/5/2012 2:26:40 PM EDT
Well, everything works !!

So I tore it apart for finish. Everything but the barrel, front site, gas tube and a few little odds n' ends, got several coats of DuraCoat Tactical OD Green, for a base coat. I'm still waiting for some ACU grey-green and some Tactical Woodland Tan for the pattern.

Everything was lightly sand-blasted prior to painting....thats why the gastube is silver (as you see, I forgot to blast the handguard retainer)....I'll get it later.



I silver soldered this little thumb pad on the safety selector so it would work in the "folded" position



I was gonna use a MI extended AK handguard (and still may get one later) but, this one was free. It's a standard type and I had to modify it towards the back so the stock would fold properly.







I'll post more pics when its all finished

Link Posted: 3/5/2012 2:34:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dirtbikesandguns:
I silver soldered this little thumb pad on the safety selector so it would work in the "folded" position


Nice job!


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