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Posted: 3/31/2006 8:05:36 AM EDT
I've built a few firearms in the past, but I'd really like to tackle building an AK. I have some questions before I get started. Any help would be appreciated.

First, a good parts kit. There seems to be a boat load of different ones on the market, ranging in price from around $100 to over $300. I really would like to do one on the cheap. Make several, but the first one sort of a practice one, and then do at least one as an underfolder. Any suggestions on what to get? I know the 'Yugo' under folders are more expensive and have some non-standard dimensions on some of the parts. Any dealers to recommend? Links to a reputable seller of parts kits? Kits to avoid?

Second, the receiver. Wow, there are a bunch of options. Right now, the easiest seems to be the 100% receiver, then the flats that need to be folded but are already cut, and then the 80% blanks look like they have the most work to do with some custom made tooks needed to finish them off. Any ideas on these? I've done a couple of 80% AR receivers and even an 80% 1911 frame, but dang, this seems really hard to do. The 100% receiver options may be the way to go, but even then pressing rivets etc. seems challenging. Any thoughts on this? Sources for the 100% receivers? Fair cost for one?

What about cost? If I went with a single gun, I think it would just be cheaper to pick up an underfolder at a gun show and skip all the building hassels, but if I wanted to do several, then building them becomes more economical. I understand the need to for the US compliant parts, etc. Is there a good starting point? Gather up the parts kits first, then start hunting down the receivers, or vice-versa?

Thanks for help on this.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:08:26 AM EDT
It's really not that complex. If you want just one, go buy one. It is cheaper. If you want the fun of making one (or more), you can build one for about the same price, cheaper as you buy tools and amortize them over many builds. Get a Romanian kit. Excellent quality and cheap, but starting to get more scarce so do it soon. Get an economy 100% receiver from www.NoDakSpud.com. About $55 plus FFL fees. I've done 100%, 80% laser-cut flats, and 80% bent blank. 100% is the way to go on the first try. Bent blanks are actually pretty easy to do. I did an RPK with one and it functions great. The laser-cut flats are a gimmick. I didn't have much luck. Maybe if you're a good welder...

Tapco has kits bundled with compliance parts at a pretty good price.

It's really pretty easy to do a screw build on a 100% receiver. Very few tools needed and they're what most people have in a basic workshop. There are some good reasons to do a screw build. I have a couple and it's nice to be able to take them apart if needed.

I made a Romanian kit with an underfolder I bought separately. The yugos can be pretty used up. I have a new Romanian front end with a new Bulgarian folder back end. Works great. A mutt, but looks good and functions perfectly. Lots of ways to go.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 11:03:35 AM EDT
Thanks for the tips and the links!

I'll get the 100% receiver for $55. Thats not too bad, and do a screw build for my first one. Any suggestions on a good reliable place to pick up some cheap romanian kits?

Jim
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 9:11:34 PM EDT
we built 2 romie kits that came from copes dist at our build party last week.....both kits were nice and $99

i also bought and built a romie underfolder from them.....they are older kits tho...but still in good shape
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 9:25:13 PM EDT
I would suggest doing a rivet build. It's really not very difficult and riveting tools and jigs can be bought or made for a minimal cost (i.e. cheap bolt cutters and a vise). If you're building more than one, you're going to want to use rivets at some point anyway. Also, when you're done with all your building, you can always sell off most of your building tools.
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