My AK Build: How To
OK folks, I have recently taken on the task of building an AMD-65 from a chopped up parts kit. I have worked on AKs in the past, but mostly in the more common areas of replacing and swapping internal parts and furniture. . . NOTHING like this.
I also figured: "How hard can it be? I've built a dozen ARs." So I bought a parts kit, virgin barrel and 100% receiver.
I began to "strip" the barrel (which there were 2 chunks of) of it's components, beginning with the far end.
Pinns were knocked out and gas block and front sight base were removed by clamping the vise to the barrel and knocking them off with a larger diameter pipe.
Next the rear trunnion was de-milled, by grinding off the rivet heads and drilling out the rivet from both sides of the trunnion. I was able to do this with a hand-drill, but I'd advise a drill-press.
DON'T waste your time protecting these parts from every little scratch! They will all be painted and look good as new in no time!
Now for the painful part, getting the barrel stub out of the front trunnion. These Hungarians are notorious for being tight as hell with absence of lube, so they are extremely difficult to remove.
First is the barrel pin. . . Wow! That sucker was in there! I used a vice with a 1/4" bit balanced into one of the bolt holes in the vice. I cranked/smacked the vise back and forth until it broke free, after that I was able to punch it out. To demonstrate the need for a press here, the 2nd pic is of the damage that occurred from hitting the pin with different punches.
Next was the barrel. Again the preferred method is with a press or puller, (I have a puller to adjust the head-space, now) but this worked, especially since this part was scrap, except for getting rough estimates from. To remove I used a bolt, with nuts on either end and some pennies and nickles as "cushions".
This is what comes out. The large groove is from the barrel pin and the smalller one, from the rear sight block.
De-milling is complete and next I will post up barrel installation, head-spacing and maybe riveting.
Riveting - Rear Trunnion & Trigger Guard
Ok, so the easiest way to rivet is with a press. . . yeah right! I'm building this gun in order to save $$$ and learn the platform. So this style of riveting is not the prettiest, but it'll hold just as good as the rivets done with a hydraulic or pnumatic tool.
Here's What you need:
1. Some 1/4" or so steel plate
2. 1/4"- 3/8" steel punch (2)
4. Solid surface
First off as I illustrated in pic #1`. Map out your rivet head locations for tghe rear trunnion. This can be done with the piece you took off, or the trunnion itself. Cut a piece of scrap 1/4" plate that'll hold the rivet heads. This will be used when you are "peening" the other side. Drill out your holes on plate with a drill bit similar (doesn't have to be exact) to the size of the rivet heads. ONLY DRILL ENOUGH TO MAKE A DIMPLE!
Now you need a shaping tool. Take a punch, throw it in the vise and drill a concave dimple that looks like a void of a rivet head. Again, doesn't need to be perfect, 'cause these can be cleaned up a bit. This will shape your rear trunnion rivets.
Next, slip the trunnion in the receiver and install rivets. Lay the receiver w/ trunnion on your jig w/ the holes drilled out. Make sure they are in there good and clamp the receiver assembly (if possible) to the jig. You should have the flat end of the rivets looking at you. Get ready to do some swinging. A small sledge hammer works great here, but any will do.
Take your dimpled punch and give the flat end a good wack, then another.. . .and another. . . keep your rivet heads in their place in the jig and make sure not to bend the shank over. You should be filling the trunnion as the rivet collapses. Use the punch to keep shaping, when you get them close, flip the receiver over and carefully smack the head of the rivets while the other side is in the jig. The goal is to get both sides matching.
Repeat until no movement is detected and you are happy. Take your time as you can see my 1st one is a little jacked up, but a file and some 320gr sandpaper will fix, plus this baby is gonna be Duracoated eventually.
Trigger Guard: Ref. Pics.
Same concept here. Make a jig. . . you can do one side at a time or all 4 in one jig. I did one side at a time. Here place the jig on an anvil or vise, the with your FLAT punch smack the shank of the rivet. These will need to be flattened. Again, the more you can get clamped together the easier this will go. Even so the rivets will want to walk out a bit, Flip the receiver over and switch to your dimpled punch and drift them back in. . . set up again and SMACK them again.
Note: You will find that a square piece of 1/4" steel with a rivet sized dimple on the corner (or all of them) will serve you well in order to isolate one rivet if the little twerp gives you trouble. Just place the piece on the anvil of your vise, insert rivet head and flatten.
To be continued. . .
Head-spacing the Barrel
All new(er) kits cannot have complete imported barrels. Thanks to some regulation slipped into some other trade bill. .. Who knows. Anyways this is a "virgin" barrel and has none of the notches needed for the barred pin, rear sight block, gas block or front sight block. No biggie, this wasn't as difficult as I anticipated.
I used the "all-thread" pull method when inserting my barrel into the trunnion for headspacing. I chose to leave it outside the receiver due to the ease of pulling w/ just the 2 parts. I made a simple jig/plate for the trunnion and tough leather, soft washers, then double nuts on either end. It is especially important to protect the muzzle threads.
Here is a picture of the pull. All that rust colored stuff is anti-sieze.
This is the barrel after I drilled the pin slot and pushed back out. NO EASY TASK!
I used a Euro gauge from Manson reamers. If you want to know more about this process I'll gladly answer, but I won't go into it here as this is a basic outline.
This is the wasted pair of riveters. I used a template. . . later discovered it was for a -74. Oh well $15 wasted, no biggie.
Here is the pair that really produced. A backer plate has to be used on the anvil side (flat side) to protect the head. The milled side really crunches those rivets!
Here is the front trunnion after riveting to the receiver.
NoW it's ready for barrel re-installation.
This is the template I fabed for the re-insertion of the barrel.
It's different this time, 'Cause everything is inside the receiver and more precision is required. I upgraded my pulling rod to 1/4" grade 8 all-thread, double nutted on both sides with several sfter materials in between the grade nuts. The order was as follows from barrel out
muzzle end: leather w/ 1/4" hole, penny 1/4" hole, grade 2 washer x2, grade 8 washer, grade 8 nuts x2
chamber end: (against trunnion) thick leather, 1/4" jig, grade 2 washer, grade 8 washer, grade 8 nuts x2
The idea is to twist from the muzzle end, but I employed both sides. When the going gets tough, smack the muzzle end w/ a small sledge. It'll make the next few turns more efficient. The harder it gets, smack more often. Here it is in place.
Pull in the RSB immediately following pinning of the barrel, which takes TONS of pressure. I'm not gonna show my method, because it's not safe for someone who hasn't done hairy stuff to get something in place and doesn't need to be tried at home. For the RSB use a decent Adj. ARM puller, protect your chamber and pull off of it. Drill w. 7/64, drive your 5/32 pin back in, red loctite if needed.
Lastly the gas block needs to be pressed in to its proper position using the gas tube as a distance tool. Get it dead-nuts square to the rest of the barrel components. Now you can drill the port through the block w/ a 1/8 bit to get it through. This is a PITA as the angle be steeper than 45 deg. Put something in the bore to protect it from the bit busting through. BTW you need like a 6"bit w/ only ~2" of it fluted. . .and get several. . . Once through you can move up in size. The spec is actually .177" for this rifle. EACH VARIANT IS DIFFERENT, some are @ 90 deg, 60 deg and may vary up to 1/16" either way, which is HUGE in this stuff.
My block was loose, so I used set screws and soldering to get a proper seal.
As you can see the front sight needed attention too. 2 plug welds (Brazed) per side and a solder around the diameter fixed it up. BEFORE I did this i made DAMN sure the sight was in PERFECT line with the rest of the rifle
Lastly the trigger group needs to be installed. You gotta have 6 U.S. parts to be 922 compliant. A U.S. trigger gives you 3, or if you can get by, the original trigger can be used in a semi-auto fashion to get the gun going. It has a LOT OF CREEP, THOUGH. Much more than my other AKs w/ U.S. triggers. Here's the gun. A lot of work, but the next one (already being de-milled :)) will go 2x as easy. I discovered some tricks along the way that can only be had by experience.
I plan to complete my next 2 builds and then decide which one will be the truck gun. The others will have custom furniture, adj. triggers, tritium sights and professional paint, but this one shoots. 5 rounds were fired today at the LGS in the pan. Brass ammo was used so I could gauge the empties vs. live vs. empties from other AKs, just to see where I'm at as far as specs go.
Much more difficult than an AR, but WAY more rewarding. GO FOR IT!!
nice that look like fun to build!!
I'd recommend anyone who is seeking to further their gunsmthing to go for it. It made light of many concepts and styles that I see in other rifles.
Plus why not be able to scratch build the most prevalent Military weapon on the face of the planet.
I've done my share of ARs, now AKs, then the FN-Fal and I'll be satisfied.
AMD 65 barrel stub
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