Well, about a month ago I saw Inter-Ord's ad for $139 Romanian AKM underfolder kits...and I'd just been looking at Ohio Ord's $59 recievers...so I decided to pick both up. IO was out so I had to go through a "scalper" on Ebay and paid $190 for my kit second hand. The next day my reciver arrived from OOW and I began casting about for tools.
Following (loosely) Campy's instructions on how to screw togather an AKM I began work with my new found love- a 9" craftsman drill press. Some of the holes didnt tap quite correctly, but all the big screws seated very tightly and are now perminantly affixed via loctite, the red sort. I used a Dremil cutting bit (the long corkscrew one that resembels a drill bit) I milled out the penciled marks in the back of the reciever, using the old AKM reciever bit containing the folder trunion as a template.
After hitting a gunshow over the weekend for a US FCG and a slant compensator, as well as a new trigger guard (the one in the kit was torqued) and some rivits for the guard, and a sling. I had a spare SAR2 stock set that went on the Romo kit, but forgot to get another mainspring, so my SAR2 is currently down until the flying monkeys at K-Var get me a new one.
After spectacularly cracking a fingernail and bleeding all over the thing, I managed to smooth out the action enough so the bolt now reciprocates freely. The magwell is too croweded as a result of my setting the barrel trunnion about 3mm too far back in the action, but a little relief in the mag lip catch area and she feeds smoothly.
The stock still folds, but it takes tools to make it fold. All that will be needed to reverse it is, however, to relocate the pin in the stock spring area, into the locking collar, should the ban actually sunset in '04.
About the only other issue is that I set my rear trunnion back just a tad too, and there is a 1/8" gap beween the front of the dust cover and the rear sight base.
Against everyones better judgement around here I hauled her out this afternoon to a local 25m rifle/pistol range and let fly with about 12 magazines full of JHP Wolf. Amazingly enough she held, fed, and I experienced no jams. Better than the $360 SAR-1 I picked up at the same show on Saturday which jammed twice due to an irregularity on the feed ramp.
All told, not figuring in the cost of the drill press, I've spent $300 and about eight hours on the beast, and she functions and fits at least as well as 2/3rds of the AKs that the Khyber Pass guys sent into Afghanistan in the 80s and 90s...and for a AKMS that "bubba built" thats good enough for me...
Well it isnt pretty, and I'm not still altogather sure it'll continue to survive, but so far, so good. The big stainless steel slot-headed bolts look out of place. Its a true Khyber Special rifle.