Category Archives: AK & Related Rifles

Used to discuss AK-47, AK-74, and related rifles

CNC Warrior’s M92 PAP Picatinny Rail Mount is Excellent!

A M92 is screaming for an optic of some type.  My preference is a red dot and I run a Primary Arms M4 clone on my first rifle and will use a Vortex Sparc on this new rifle.

As some of you may know, I have a Stormwerkz rail on my first M92 that I custom built and it has served me well.  The only draw back with the design is that you install the button head screws from inside the dustcover.  Because of this, you will notice the bolt carrier does hit screws.  I have shot a ton of ammo – well over a thousand rounds – from this rifle and the bolt carrier shows no harm but you do see the scuffed screws.

When I heard that CNC Warrior had a mount, I had to take a closer look and sure enough, they had a different approach.  Their screws go through the rail and screw into the thick steel portion of the dust cover that runs to the hinge.

I talked to Denny, the owner of CNC Warrior, about my plans and he recently switched over to a four hole model that will give a person more options when installing the rail to work around the very hard spot welds — basically you just need two screws so with four holes, you pick the two you like that enable you to miss the welds.

If you look closely at the next photo, you will notice small circular indents in the steel – those are the spot welds that are harder than the surrounding steel and can be an absolute bear to drill through.  Thus, with CNC Warrior’s new four hole rail, you can slide it back and forth until you get two holes that clear these welds.
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Please note that Denny sent me one of each – the old two hole rail and the new four hole rail – so I could show you folks the difference and he did not have time to have it finished so it is bare metal in the photos.  I used Molyresin to finish it flat black but that is not something you will need to worry about.  Going forward, when you order his mount you’ll get the four hole rail section already finished black.

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Included with the picatinny rail is their installation kit and instructions that makes installing it a breeze.  In a future blog post I’ll show you just how easy installation is and how you can do it with a hand drill and some cutting oil.

The rail is on their website at:  http://www.cncwarrior.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=26454

CNC Warrior Folding Arm Brace for Zastava M92 PAP

One of the parts I knew I wanted was the folding arm brace from CNC Warrior.  This essentially gives you additional support to either fire the pistol with one hand or to even shoulder the weapon comfortably if so desired.

Now the ATF has reviewed and approved the arm brace as not being a shoulder stock.  Each arm brace that CNC Warrior ships includes a copy of the ATF letter that says it is not a stock and that attaching it will not make a pistol a SBR.

This stock is a joint design effort between Chris Bonesteel, of Bonesteel Arms and CNC Warrior and is very nicely made.  It has a very strong hinge mechanism and is a breeze to install.

When I took the assembly out of the box I immediately noticed how well made it was.  I recalled a talk I had several years back with Chris where he worried about some folders being weak and this design reflects that both he and Denny at CNC Warrior wanted to make a strong one.  The attention to detail and fitment are very apparent.  Hands down, this is my favorite set up that I have seen for the M92.

The following are photos of the brace for people who like to see details:

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The following photos shows how nice brace marries up to the back of the receiver plus the quick release sling hole but it has not been attached yet.

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It comes with the mounting screw you will need and easy to follow instructions:

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I highly recommend you buy their installation kit.  It comes with the drill bit and mounting jig to make this a breeze:

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In a later blog post, I’ll show you just how easy the installation was. I kid you not, if you have a hand drill and their installation kit, you can do this!!

 


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AK-47: The Grim Reaper (Hardcover)

It’s back…but this time with more pages, more information and more photographs. The most definitive study on Kalashnikov pattern rifles to date boasts over 1,100 printed pages covering the AK rifle, as well as its variants manufactured in over 19 countries.

By (author):  Frank Iannamico

List Price: $69.95 USD
New From: $69.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $69.95 USD In Stock
buy now

New Zastava M92 PAP Pistol Arrived – Of Course It Needs to be Modified!!

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So the Century M92 PAP pistol arrived from via my friend and FFL, Scott Igert, of Modern Antique Firearms.  The cool thing about this pistol is that it is actually made in the Zastava factory and is imported here.  Zastava originally designed the M92 to be a 7.62x39mm short barreled rifle (SBR) based on the proven Kalashnikov design that could pack a lot of firepower in a small package.  To do this, they gave it a short barrel and an underfolder stock.

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To make it legal for importation, Zastava opted to go the pistol designation route with the ATF and thus did not install the underfolder plus they spot welded a muzzle nut over the large 26×1.5mm threaded muzzle.  Because the muzzle nut was spot welded, they didn’t bother installing the detent pin either.

After getting mine out of the box, I have to tell you that I am very impressed by the quality.  This is my second Zastava AK – my first was a Yugo M77 – and both are very well made.

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This pistol has received a lot of good attention over the last few years because of its reliability and heritage but it also got negative marks for its weight and being unweildy.  Really?  I always found those comments funny because of course you are trying to hold a  stripped down SBR that weighs about 5.7 pounds empty with one hand!

Now the fun part.  The whole reason I am writing this blog post is because these pistols are still available at a reasonable price and there is a very active aftermarket including the grips, handguards and dust cover pin that we make.  We’ll have a series of blog posts to step you through how to install the various parts we selected including some wicked parts from CNC Warrior.

Time permitting you will see a few blog posts each week that step you through what I bought, tools and installation.

How to Make a Simple and Effective AK Barrel Back Out Tool

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AK rifles use press-fit barrels wherein the barrel is pressed into either the forged trunnion (if it is a sheet metal receiver) or the receiver and then held in place by the 7mm barrel pin.  As part of this, the barrel must be headspaced to the bolt to help ensure the cartridge is properly seated.  A challenge that commonly happens is that a builder inserts the barrel using whatever method ranging from a big hammer to a hydraulic press but when they try to use their headspace gauges, they find they have gone too far.  Alternatively, folks trying to insert a barrel back in that was already headspaced notice that they overshot the barrel pin groove when looking through the holes across the groove in the barrel.  Regardless of how the mistake is identified, the question becomes “what do I do now?”

There is a relatively quick and easy solution – use a long shaft to drive the barrel back out.  These tools are generically called “barrel back out tools” and you can make one many ways.  They can all be summarized as having a long shaft to reach through the receiver to the chamber end of the barrel and then either a copper or brass fitting to protect the chamber from being damaged by the rod.   I have seen everything from guys using socket extensions, to pieces of round steel, to custom purpose built tools.

One time, I pressed in a Yugo M72 barrel too far and had to press it back out so I came up with a quick and easy tool that I kept in my tool box and even sold for a while until I stopped because the profit margin just wasn’t sufficient.  With that said though, it’s worth sharing with folks just in case they wind up in a jam.

Here is what you need:

  • One 1/2″ grade one or two bolt that is about 12″ long (or however long you want to make it)
  • One 1/2″ grade one or two steel nut
  • One 1/2″ brass nut

For my first tool, that I still have, I just went to my local Ace Hardware store and bought the parts.

Basically, the long bolt allows you to reach into the receiver to the chamber end of the barrel to apply pressure.  I used a really long bolt because a Yugo’s rear trunnion is solid and you have to go down at a long shallow angle to press the barrel back out.  With AKMs or other AKs with open rear trunnions, you can simply go straight from the back to the front.  Note that you need to clear the ejector without damaging it.  I purposefully used a low grade bolt as I did not want it brittle from hardening.

The steel nut needs to be ground down enough so that the combination of it and the brass nut can fit in the area where the bolt normally locks up.  You want as much brass as possible to be in front of it and the brass nut should protrude from the bolt.  You don’t need a great deal of the brass nut threaded on the bolt as the steel nut is backing it up to provide much needed support.  I would grind and test repeatedly until the timing was such that the two nuts matched up just right when I tightened them down.

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Note, I used to grind the brass nut to match the extractor notch in the barrel but have stopped doing so as the brass simply deformed anyways.  The following photo shows how the brass simply bends and conforms to the extractor notch plus you can see that the brass nut extends well forward of the steel bolt.

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In the next photo, you can see the shallow angle I used to press the Yugo barrel back out.  Again, you would not need the same if you could go straight through the receiver:

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Here is a close up of the chamber and bolt area:

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Historically I did all my barrel work with my 20 ton press but now I mainly use air tools except for really stubborn parts.   When I originally did this post in 2014, I used my press.

With the M72, I was able to very simply move the barrel back out a bit, turn things around and then press the barrel in until the proper headspace was achieved.  The tool worked so well that I have it in my tool box still and have used it a few more times plus I did make a dozen or so and sold them to guys who had good luck as well.

As a caution, make sure the trunnion is well supported – you can see I have it resting on the press plates in the photo above.  Make sure everything is set up, stable and that you are clearing everything else before you apply pressure with the press.  If you apply pressure and nothing happens, stop and carefully inspect what is going on – the tool may be sitting on something other than the barrel.  More force may damage parts and you do not want that.

Lastly, be safe – take your time and play it smart.  A press can develop massive pressure.  Wear safety glasses and do not dream of having your hands anywhere in, on or around the parts being pressed.  All things considered, backing a barrel out should take very little force but you do not want an accident to happen.  If you are tired and frustrated, stop and wait until the next day or when you have relaxed and calmed down.  Most of my personal accidents have happened when I was in a rush, tired or angry – don’t be me 🙂

In closing, I hope this helps you in your building efforts!


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon.  With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Build Your Own AK (Vol. I): Headspacing & Virgin Barrel Population (Kindle Edition)

Got an AK Parts Kit? This ebook shows you how to build it right!

The AK-47 and its variants are world-renowned for being simple, rugged and nearly indestructible. But if you wanted to build your own Kalashnikov rifle there was no good single source of construction information—until now.

This new ebook series dives deep into proven techniques of home-built AKs. Profusely illustrated with numerous photos and diagrams, these manuals will show you exactly how to assemble your AK parts kit step-by-step. Your build will go easy using our techniques, recommended tools, and veteran builder tips/tricks…all with a critical focus on both safety & quality.

Volume I covers both headspacing procedures and the population of the barrel components in a non-original barrel or virgin barrel AK parts kit. Both AK-47 and Ak-74 build procedures are described in the first book.
Topics include:
– Measuring the barrel journals
– Cut extractor relief on chamber end of the barrel
– Cut the clocking notches for the lower hand guard retainer
– Strip bolt, in preparation for headspace check
– Align, and press front trunnion onto chamber end of barrel
– Headspacing
– End mill/ream barrel pin notch, and set barrel pin
– Install, and drill/pin Rear Sight Base
– Locate, and cut lower handguard retaining notch
– Gas Port location
– Install Lower Handguard Retainer
– Install, and align the gas block
– Drill and pin the gas block
– Install, and align the Front Sight Base
If you have been waiting for the ‘definitive AK assembly guide’ before building your AK, wait no more.
Volume II (coming this Fall) will continue the journey, showing every step to complete your Matching or Newly populated AK parts kit into a complete rifle.


By (author):  Guy Montag, Nicoroshi

List Price: Price Not Listed
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
buy now

Clarifying What Happened With US Dept of Treasury and KALASHNIKOV

Rumors can generate some real stress so I want to recap what just happened factually.  Yesterday, the US Department of Treasury added certain Russian Firms to the “Specially Designated Nationals” list, which means US firms and individuals are prohibited from doing business with the named people or entities (such as corporations).  Here is the list of military industrial-related corporations they added:

  • Bazalt
  • Sozvezdie
  • NPO Mashinostroyenia
  • Almaz-Antey
  • Kalashnikov
  • KBP Instrument Design Bureau
  • Uralvagonzavod

For those of us into Russian firearms, the kicker is the addition of the holding company known as KALASHNIKOV  and here’s the actual SDN entry:

“SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION ASSOCIATION IZHMASH JOINT STOCK COMPANY (a.k.a. CONCERN KALASHNIKOV; a.k.a. IZHEVSKIY MASHINOSTROITEL’NYI ZAVOD OAO; f.k.a. IZHMASH R&D CENTER; f.k.a. JSC NPO
IZHMASH; a.k.a. KALASHNIKOV CONCERN; f.k.a. NPO IZHMASH OAO; a.k.a. OJSC CONCERN KALASHNIKOV; f.k.a. OJSC IZHMASH), 3, Derjabin Pr., Izhevsk , Udmurt Republic 426006, Russia; Registration ID 1111832003018 [UKRAINE2].”  — This is from the Treasury’s SDN update page 90 of the PDF:  http://www.treasury.gov/ofac/downloads/t11sdnew.pdf

Now, some people thought this just meant the Saiga line would be banned but the problem is that KALASHNIKOV is a holding company made up of both the Izhmash (Saiga) and Molot (Vepr).  To prove this, the following report is from Rostec who owns KALASHNIKOV, regarding the companies KALASHNIKOV owns:

  • JSC ‘NPO ‘IZHMASH’, Udmurt Republic
  • JSC ‘Izhevski mashzavod’, Udmurt Republic
  • ‘Koshkin Automatic line design bureau’ JSC, Moscow Region
  • ‘Klimov Special Ammunition Plant’, Moscow Region
  • JSC ‘NITI Progress’, Udmurt Republic
  • JSC ‘Molot’, Udmurt Republic
  • JSC ‘Izhevsky Mekhanichesky Zavod’, Udmurt Republic

The source page is:  http://rostec.ru/en/about/company/165

Given my research, it is clear both Saiga and Molot lines of rifles and shotguns will be blocked but the bad news does not end there.

The actual executive order passed by President Obama is far broader and states:

    Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that 
are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United 
States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or 
control of any United States person (including any foreign 
branch) of the following persons are blocked and may not be 
transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:
          (i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order; 
        and
          (ii) persons determined by the Secretary of the 
        Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:
                  (A) to be an official of the Government of 
                the Russian Federation;
                  (B) to operate in the arms or related 
                materiel sector in the Russian Federation;
                  (C) to be owned or controlled by, or to have 
                acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, 
                directly or indirectly:
                          (1) a senior official of the 
                        Government of the Russian Federation; 
                        or
                          (2) a person whose property and 
                        interests in property are blocked 
                        pursuant to this order; or
                  (D) to have materially assisted, sponsored, 
                or provided financial, material, or 
                technological support for, or goods or services 
                to or in support of:
                          (1) a senior official of the 
                        Government of the Russian Federation; 
                        or
                          (2) a person whose property and 
                        interests in property are blocked 
                        pursuant to this order.
    (b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section 
apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in 
regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued 
pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract 
entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the 
effective date of this order.

Source:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CDOC-113hdoc98/html/CDOC-113hdoc98.htm

It would appear that existing contracts will be/should be honored.  Given the broad wording, this executive order could be used to block *new* contracts for the importation of Russian ammo as well.  In looking around so far this morning (6:30-7am Eastern), there didn’t appear to be price gouging by the big suppliers yet.  For example, SGAmmo still has fair prices for 7.62×39.  I must admit I am a bit nervous only for the reason that Golden Tiger is made in Russia by Vympel, also known as “Federal State Enterprise Production’s Amursk Cartridge Plant Vympel”.  I can only imagine that as word gets out there will be a run on Russian firearms and ammo that will only increase as time goes on until the word is fully spread.  Again, bear in mind that existing contracts should be honored given the above.

In short, Saiga and Vepr are blocked by name due to the KALASHNIKOV reference and the executive order could be used to block any *new* requests to import firearms or ammunition in general from Russia.  Not good news but with that said, there are many other countries with arms and ammunition production capabilities that will clearly exploit this opportunity.  People would be well served to start researching alternatives from Serbia, Romania, Poland and so forth.

Ultimately, only time will tell but I hope this gives people a better understanding of what was signed into law on July 16th.

How to Bullet Drop Test a Barrel

One of the challenges with older AKs is to figure out what kind of shape the barrel is in.  Yugos especially are famous for shot out bores.  The slang term is “dark bore” meaning the barrel is so corroded that it is no longer shiny and usually they are pretty shot out but not always – it pays to do some testing.

One quick way to check is known as the “bullet drop test”.  Basically, you put the bullet end of a cartridge into the muzzle and if the cartridge stops on the bullet then there is still some life left.   If it drops in such that the case is hitting, the barrel is pretty well worn out. It’s not a perfect test but it is quick and easy.

Pass on a Yugo M72 barrel

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Fail on a Yugo 72 barrel – notice how the bullet can’t be seen at all.  The rim of the case is sitting in the bore.  This isn’t too bad – I have seen some that drop in all the way into the shoulder of the case!

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With that said, I have known tons of builders who went ahead and built battlefield pickup style rifles or just “fun guns” where they could more or less hit a man sized target at 100 yards.  Personally, if I am going to all the effort to do a build, I’d rather have an accurate rifle vs. one with a worn out bore.

Now, there are new “endoscopes” that are 5.5mm and can let you look into the bore of rifles.  I reviewed a $17 GiraffeCam that connected to my Android phone and was pretty amazed and what I could see especially given its low cost.  Click here for the full review.

 


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My Tricked Out Romy G – MI Rails and AK Galil Grip

This is my personal Romy G rifle.  It has a Midwest Industries rail, Magul CTR stock with cheek riser, Ace modular stock adapter and our custom AK Galil grip.  The optic is a Primary Arms red dot.  In the Mil-Spec tube is a C&H mercury recoil suppressor to split the recoil impulse plus it adds weight to the rear shifting the balance point further back.

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The grip’s web page is:

http://shop.roninsgrips.com/Custom-Grip-Converted-Galil-for-AKs-with-Screw-AKGalil.htm

 

 

 

The Best M4/AR Collapsible Stock Review I have Read – Maybe My F93 Isn’t Quite Up To Snuff

As you may well know, I am more of an AK guy than an AR guy but I must admit that I really like collapsible stocks.  A few years back when I built my personal M92, I opted to use a Yugo M72 rear trunnion an Ace modular adapter and their M4 stock adapter so that I could use a collapsible stock.

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I liked the Ergo F93 because I had seen it back when Magpul owned it and bought it on sale.  Now, I have to admit that I bought the stock and really liked the feel.  I never did a drop test and it never occurred to me to do a drop test. I have never done any real stress testing of it in terms of carbine courses, etc. — mainly a lot of range sessions and never a problem … until someone told me about a test done on the F93.

In reading this review, the F39 broke on the first drop – according to the author, even Ergo knows they need to overhaul the design to reinforce the latch mechanism.

I guess I will need to figure out next steps.  Maybe I will move to a Magpul UBR – no telling right now.

So, with no further a do, check out this cool stock review:

http://blogs.militarytimes.com/gearscout/2012/02/01/buttstock-bashfest-gearscout-finds-out-just-how-far-tough-talk-goes/


 

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More Info on IMI Galil Rifles

I’ve always found the IMI Galil rifles one of the more interesting variations of the Kalashnikov AK design.  I thought you might find the following links of  interest if you want to learn more:

IMI Galil Page on Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMI_Galil

IMI Galil Assault Rifle (Israel) – On World Guns
http://world.guns.ru/assault/isr/galil-e.html

IMI Galil ARM / SAR Assault Rifle / Carbine / Submachine Gun / Designated Marksman Rifle
http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=23

 

The following video is very informative.  It shows the rifle being made at IMI, interviews designers and talks about some of the unique features: