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Posted: 1/21/2006 8:59:19 PM EDT
I finally did a build today. Most of a build. Ok, I watched a lot and helped a little. I shed blood as a sacrifice to Kalashnikov. This is/was my experience.

I bought a Romanian kit many, many months ago. I finally decided to get off the stick and do the build after months of procrastinating. I had been planning on a Global, but they seemed to be in short supply and the latest generation of Ewbanks has been getting good reviews. So I trotted down to the local black rifle dealer and picked one up. $58.

I put the word out on the hometown forum that I was looking for some guidance by someone who had done a build and DocCheney223 stepped up to the plate. Without him, this wouldn't have happened. He had the tools, the know how and the patience.

I want to stress that tools really make the difference. Doc had a 12-ton shop press, a drill press, an air compressor with a modified valve puller (i.e. barrel puller) and some modified bolt cutters for rivet squashers.

I dremeled the rivets down to the sheet metal and then we started removing them. For those who haven't done this before, the rivets don't just fall out after you cut the heads off and drill them. After pulling the barrel, you still need to do some pounding with a strong punch to get them out.

The Ewbanks receiver worked pretty good. The rivet holes matched up almost exactly and only required a very minor amount of filing to fit the trunnion. The Ewbanks receivers do require some additional fitting. There is a sheet metal ridge inside the receiver to properly index the 5.45 AK74 mags. That will need to be dremeled or you won't get a 7.62 mag inserted far enough. I also had to open up the magwell lips a bit and do some grinding at the back to allow the magazines to lock. I still need to do a little tweaking there.

Here is an area where Doc's past experience really shone. We did a test fit with the bolt carrier and it was a real, tough fit on the receiver. This is where I cut a really nice slice on one finger removing the stuck bolt carrier. We wrapped it, taped it and kept working. A light sanding of the top rail and the carrier fit fine. The ejector also has to be narrowed a little to fit the 7.62 bolt, but that really is just a case of file a little, trial fit, file a little, etc.

There is a surprising (for someone who never did it before) amount of handfitting that is necessary. I'm still shaving down handguards so they'll fit and I can lock them in place. My selector won't rotate into position and I'm going to have to do some filing to fit. I'm going to say the biggest frustration however, is something small. My kit is missing the disconnector spring so even when I get the rest of the stuff done, I'll still need to scrounge up one of those. Oh well. Things still worked pretty good and I have a newfound appreciation for the amount of labor that goes into building one of these. Josh has a PMKMS kit of mine and my admiration of his work now has a foundation.

Again, hearty thanks to Doc and I'll post picks when I'm done.

Oh yeah. Paper towels and tape make a perfectly adequate temporary bandage and superglue takes the place of stitches.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 9:12:57 PM EDT
Good to hear. Hell alot of the build sucks but seeing the finished product and getting to shoot the hell out of it really helps. And at the end you still want to build another.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 10:10:57 PM EDT
Part 2. The selector is stiff, but installed. I don't know how well it will hold up over the long term, but a clipped ball point pen spring will work on the disconnector. Does that qualify for bonus WECSOG points? Handguards installed. My fingers are sore so its time for a frosty mug of my favorite adult beverage.

Mag catch is still sticky. Mags insert and lock, but it is really tough to release them. Am I correct that the solution is to carefully reduce the height of the mag catch?
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 12:44:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dorsai:
This is where I cut a really nice slice on one finger removing the stuck bolt carrier. We wrapped it, taped it and kept working.




Let me tell... that was no little slice either. I thought for sure he was going to need several stitches when he first held up his finger. He washed, wrapped and kept up with the build. Ever since my first AK, I have kept a pair of gloves on when building... I learned the hardway as well

I had a great time and it just gets easier with each one.

thanks,
Ron
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 5:22:45 AM EDT
Before you dremel the top of the mag catch. Just radius the top of it a little. If that dosen't work remove a little at a time.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 8:03:10 AM EDT
Good read by good people...
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