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Posted: 1/7/2006 2:52:28 PM EDT
OK here goes - I have 2 AK type rifles, an SAR-1 that had horrible trigger slap; a grinder & Dremel just wasn't enough to fix. Also have a Polish underfolder (that also came with a Century trigger group, only a slight slap but gritty & with lots of creep). Last week I ordered one Red Star group ($89.99 shipped) and decided to try it first in the SAR-1 since it was so bad. Machining of the parts is first class, definitely has a quality look to it. Removed the old componenets, and installed the Red Star, it went in easily. the old crook shank took only about 5 minutes. (easier for sure the second time around). Here is where the SHTF - the safety selector COULD NOT be installed in the weapon! No how, it just would not go in as it hits the rear portion of the trigger and even the spring. After cursing and a 20 point increase in blood pressure, I sat it down and took a break. Went back about an hour later, decided to remove the trigger pin and try to get it under the trigger and reassemble. Well after some more disgruntled cursing I got it back together finally, and this time it was much tougher to get the crook shank in for some reason.
Here is the deal now - the safety cannot be removed from the gun without first removing the trigger!
Previously the safety would just pop right out, as it does on my Polish rifle. Has anyone else encountered this problem?
I have not had a chance to function test it yet but the release is definitely smooth with no creep. I tried to make a small adjustment in the takeup but I could not get the set scew to turn, I was afraid I would strip out the socket head. Many here may disagree but I don't think that locktite on the threads from the factory was a good idea. I'm sure with a little heat or solvent I could get it loose, but I think I'll just leave it as is for now.

I would also like to say that I have seen it posted on the net how great the instructions are with the Red Star, but I would thoroughly disagree as there is only one simpleton line drawing & no actual photographs in the instructions. Also it states when installing the safety that it could be rotated upward all the way back around to install but this too is impossible at least with the safety that came in my SAR-1. While there are instructions on fitting the safety for proper function (after it's installation), the amount of steel that would have to be removed to allow the safety to be installed as it is supposed to is quite a bit, way too much for my taste as I don't'want to grind away on a $90 component I just got. A piece of emory cloth just wouldn't cut it here with as much material that would need to be removed.

After function testing hopefully tomorrow I now am charged with making a decision as to go with another Red Star or with the Tapco G2 for my Polish gun. I know that the Red Star is adjustable and has a good pull, but if the Tapco would allow the safey to work like it is supposed to and has a decent release with no slap I would just as soon have it. The cost is really not a factor, I just want what will work best as advertised - "Drop In".
What are you experiences with the Tapco - does it normally work in European guns "drop-in" as advertised or am I asking too much here.

Link Posted: 1/7/2006 3:02:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 4:16:27 PM EDT
I dont think you will get the safety to work without grinding down the tab on your safety lever. Replacement levers are probably about $20 so its not too expensive to replace if you need too. Do not grind on the FCG parts.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 2:39:24 PM EDT
This is a very common problem - has nothing to do with Red Star. Has everything to do with replacement trigger groups :)

Unload you rifle. Remove the topcover. Remove the recoil spring. Put in your new TG with the safety lever OUT of the gun. Now, insert the safety & slowly rotate it DOWN as you look at the Disconnector. Does it hit the head of the disconnector? It probably does - I have ZERO out of 12+ builds where it has not :)

This is easy to fix... requires the universal gunsmith tool - the Dremmel. Mark the tab on your safety, then use one of the grinder or cutoff wheel to notch the "tab" to clear the disconnector as it is rotated downward. Takes about 3 minutes :)
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