Category Archives: Poland

October 2018 Tour of the Polish Fabryka Broni “ŁUCZNIK” Radom Arsenal Production Facility

This amazing video has four parts. First is a private tour of the FB “Łucznik” Radom factory and you will note the extensive automation, cleanliness and attention to detail. The second part is a media group touring the facility and the third is a montage of military groups shooting Beryls and different weapons.

You get to see a variety of weapons including the Mod.96 Beryl, Mod.96 Mini-Beryl, PM-06 and PM-98 submachine guns, the MSBS GROT and more.

Here’s the Video


Please note that all images are extracts from the video and remain the property of their respective owner(s),


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Polish Armed Forces – How Strong Are They?

Being interested in AK weapons also leads me to an interest in the militaries that used them.  AKs are in military use in 106 countries and the USSR licensed production to 30 countries including East Germany, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Poland, and Yugoslavia just to name a few.  Interestingly enough, there have been some licensing issues but that is a topic for another day.

One of the high quality producers of small arms is Poland.  In my opinion, their AKs and other small arms are very well made.  When I started to research about their Beryl series, I was surprised to find out that Poland has been very pragmatic with their weapons and are leveraging designs from Eastern and Western countries.

A Polish soldier with a kbs wz. 1996C Beryl.
Polish soldiers with kbs wz. 1996A Beryls.  I’m pretty sure these are A-series rifles because with the B, they introduced a fixed front grip that is integral with the lower handguard.
Another soldier with a kbs wz.1996C series Beryl. 
The Poles use the Russian Hind-D gunship and plans to modernize them.  This is one of my favorite helicopters so I had to include the photo.

A young man assembled the below video about the Armed Fores of the Republic of Poland as part of his Facts Without Borders broadcast series and found it very interesting.  He has assembled some excellent footage and commentary about the Polish military including aspects you may not have considered.  You ought to consider subscribing to his channel on Youtube also.

Here’s the video


Please note that all photos were extracted from the photo and remain the property of their respective owner(s).


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.


Original Surplus Polish Military Radom P64 / P 64 Pistol Holster - Brown

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ORIGINAL POLISH MILITARY 2 PIECE MILITARY MESS KIT CAMPING SURVIVAL MESS KITS

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Original Surplus Polish Military Radom P64 / P 64 Pistol Holster - Brown Leather

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Poland: A History (Kindle Edition)

As Adam Zamoyski set out to update The Polish Way, his bestselling first history of Poland, he realized the task required not so much re-writing as re-thinking the known facts well as the assumptions of the past. The events of the last twenty years and the growth of the independent Polish state allowed him to look at Poland’s past with a fresh eye. Tracing Poland’s complex development from the Middle Ages to
present day, Zamoyski examines the country’s political, economic, and military struggles, as well as its culture, art, and richly varied society through the ages, bringing the major events and characters in Poland’s history to life.

By (author):  Adam Zamoyski
List Price: Price Not Listed
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
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Very cool Military Motivational Video – The Devil Inside You

I like military tribute videos.  This video has a catchy song and the real neat thing is that it is in high-definition (HD) video.  It has footage of men and women from a lot of different militaries and branches including:  Austria, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden – probably more that I didn’t catch.

You’ll also get a chance to see quite a collection of ships, helicopters, uniforms, small arms, bases and what not – all in high def.  Very cool.  Here are some examples of the many cool videos they assembled:

Seriously, this is a cool video and a chance for a lot of folks to see other men and women serving their countries.  At 1:41, I got a kick out of the Russian operator wearing an “Infidel Strong” morale patch.

Here’s the 2017 video:


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Orca Tactical Military Molle Backpack Small Army SALISH 34L 1 or 2 Day Survival Bug Out Bag Rucksack Pack … (Black) (Misc.)

DIMENSIONS/CAPACITY
Overall Backpack Size: 11″ X 18″ X 12″
Capacity: 34L
Best Use: 1 – 2 day backpack

DESCRIPTION
The Orca Tactical SALISH 34L MOLLE Military Style Backpack is our medium sized tactical style Assault Backpack. Made from durable 600D polyester material, our backpacks have a special Water Resistant and Scratch Proof coating to give it extra durability to withstand any harsh environment. High quality dual zippers with nylon pulls on each compartment, keep contents secure and tight. Whether you use this pack as a survival Bug Out Bag, hiking Rucksack, School Backpack, or Assault Pack to carry into the field, the size, flexibility, and comfort built in makes this pack a top choice for most any outdoor need.

COMPARTMENTS
This tactical backpack features 2 padded larger compartments and 2 smaller compartments on the front. The padded main compartment contains a mesh pouch and a separate zipper pouch for extra storage. It also includes an elastic band to secure clothing or other larger items. The 2nd compartment contains 2 mesh pouches and a 3rd larger pouch for holding smaller accessories.

The 2 front pouches contain internal pockets perfect for holding small accessories, tactical gear, or personal items.

MOLLE COMPATIBLE
This Assault Backpack is MIL-SPEC MOLLE compatible. MOLLE webbing is located 1 inch apart on the front and sides, except on the top front accessory pocket. This is perfect for attaching MOLLE pouches or any other type of MOLLE compatible tactical gear. The pack includes Velcro MOLLE webbing so you can attach your favorite Morale patch

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* Breathable, Mesh Padded, Contoured Shoulder Harnesses
* Hydration Bladder compartment. Holds up to a 2.5L water bladder (not included) or 13″ laptop
* Opening for a Water Bladder Hose
* Comfortable Waist and Chest Straps
* INCLUDES: Orca Tactical Logo Morale Patch

Features: 
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WBP Rogów Videos How They Demil a Circle 11 Underfolder AK — Pretty cool but sad too

Wytwornia Broni Jacek Popinski (WBP) is a privately owned firearm manufacturer located in Rogów, Poland.  Some folks assume it is the old government Radom armory with a different name but it is not.

In the US, we know about WBP because of the efforts of Arms of America (AoA) to import high quality Polish AK kits and, recently, firearms.  I ordered my first kit from AoA a tad over a year ago and ordered a number of other things from them including a demilled Radom kit that I want to build this Winter.

In usual form, I was surfing around and found this video that WBP had posted showing them demilling a Circle 11 underfolder.  Part of me is always sad to see one of these fine guns being cut up just to enable importation into the US but another part of me is also happy because at least this way we get to enjoy them.

This is a brief video and I was pretty intrigued towards the end watching how they remove the blocks from the barrel and drilled out the rivets.  Having demilled a lot of kits in the past, I’ve always found the rivets to be tedious.

Here’s the brief video that’s just under 10 minutes and I hope you enjoy it:


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.


Please note that all images were extracted from the video and remain the property of their respective owner(s).


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The AK-47 and AK74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations (Perfect Paperback)

The AK-47 and AK-74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations provides a detailed, profusely illustrated examination on a part-by-part basis of the famed AK-47/AKM rifles, the AK-74/AK-74M series and the new Century series of rifles, the AK-101 through AK-108.

It is another in North Cape Publications, Inc., Shooter’s and Collector’s Guide series.

Every AK/AKM-type rifle manufactured in the Warsaw Pact countries plus the People’s Republic of China, Finland, Iraq, North Korea and Yugoslavia are described in detail, with a short history on the reason for, and the process of their development and use.

This new, 4th edition is expanded to include he latest developments in the AK47/AK74 platform including the Century series and the AK12. Also included is new information regarding the scope and use the Kalashnikov series of rifles plus information gleaned from the use of the AK-47 in Iraq and Afghanistan by insurgents.

Mikhail Kalashnikov is one of the foremost small arms designer’s in the world. His Kalashnikov action has been widely imitated. This book also includes detailed descriptions of rifles based on his design such as the Belgian FNC, the Israeli Galil, the Indonesian SS1 series, the Indian INAS, the Swedish Ak-5, the Swiss SG-550 series, Singapore’s SAR series and many others.

The book also includes separate chapters that describe the accessaries issued to each soldier, the entire range of Kalashnikov bayonets, telescopic sights (both military and commercial, the sniper rifle variants and their telescopic sights produced by the old Soviet Union as well as other nations. An exploded view, serial numbers and markings, an assembly/disassembly guide with photos, instructions on cleaning, maintenance and repair, and shooting the Kalashnikov rifles and a guide to legislation affecting these rifles and finally, sources for accessories and parts complete the book.


Features:  This book contains the most complete and up-to-date examination of the famed Kalashnikov rifle yet t
By (author):  Joe Poyer

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Very Cool AK Assembly Video From WBP Rogów – Tons of Tooling Shown

This past Spring I built a Polish Beryl inspired rifle from a WBP kit imported by Arms of America and was very impressed by the quality.  I was surfing around on Youtube and ran into this really cool video posted by WBP Rogow showing how they build an AK.  I found all the specialized tooling fascinating and was also a bit surprised by the amount of hand fitting – they are putting some craftsmanship into those rifles.

So, I would highly recommend you watch this video if you are considering buying one of the imported Polish WBP rifles or pistols, one of their kits or you are just interested in how AKs are built in general.

By the way, Arms of America is a great firm to deal with.  I built the following AK from a WBP barreled kit from them with a cold hammer forged Polish barrel.  The reliability and accuracy are excellent.


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.


Please note that all images were extracted from the video and remain the property of their respective owner(s).


Original Surplus Polish Military Radom P64 / P 64 Pistol Holster - Brown

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Sage and Braker Mercantile Gun Cleaning Kits, .30 cal, .303 cal, .308 cal and 7.62mm (Misc.)

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*If ejection port is smaller than 3 inches gun must be disassembled to clean

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Assembling A Beryl-ish AK From A WBP Kit – Part 8 – Installing the Furniture, Muzzle Brake, Red Dot Optic and Test Firing

So here we are at the end.  All that was left was to install the buttstock, handguards, muzzle brake, optic and test fire the rifle.

Beryl Furniture

The Poles evolved the Beryl furniture over the years so I went with a particular handguard from Robert RTG that I liked, buttstock from Arms of America and one of our grips.

The lower handguard is what you would find on a kbs wz. 1996A Beryl.  The upper is one I had in a box and pretty flimsy.  I ordered a genuine Polish upper that I will install after I refinish the rifle.

The upper and lower go on the same as any AKM.  I really like the lower – that lip you see makes for a very natural handstop.

Now the buttstock definitely caught my eye.  The Poles went through some different models.  The first model I see with this collapsing stock is the kbs wz. 1996C Beryl.  What I like is that it connects to the receiver the same as any other AK stock so I can change if I ever want to.  On the con  side, it rattles.  I prefer telescoping stocks that are solid.  It’s not the end of the world and I’ll live with it to have the unique buttstock.

The grip is our second generation Beryl model.  The earlier model Beryls I saw had an AKM-ish looking grip.  The first model I have seen with this type of grip is the kbs wz. 1996C Beryl.

Click here if you would like to order one.

The Muzzle Brake

The Beryls were originally chambered in 5.56 NATO and have a unique brake.  This rifle is in 7.62×39 so I had to take a departure and go with another brake.  Justin McMillion of JMAC Customs makes some very cool effective brakes and ordered his RRD-4C “slim” brake.  It looks and functions great.

Note – the Arms of America kit does not come with a cleaning rod so I ordered a Polish AKM rod from them and that is what you see in the photos.

Vortex Crossfire Optic

To round things out, I went with a Vortex Crossfire red dot.  I had a few reasons for doing this:

  • Vortex optics are solid
  • The red dot is only 2 MOA whereas some are 4 and can obscure a small target
  • It can sit right down on the rail and be closer to the bore than some red dots

I removed the riser, used some blue medium Loc-Tite on the screws to hold low-rise plate in place and installed it on the rifle.

I used a laser boresighter to sight in the Crossfire plus I lubricated everything and took it to the range with by buddy Niko.

Range Results

The rifle ran superbly.  I did find that I need to tune the mag catch a bit to work with steel magazines.  It works just fine with the WBP polymer mags you see in the photos and they have a noticeably thinner tab than my steel mags.

A fellow asked me how well the RRD-4C brake works and this video is of Niko shooting at targets – you can see how little the 7.62×39 Golden Tiger ammo is recoiling.

As it stands right this minute, I think this is both my most accurate AK and reliability has been exceptional.  So, I still need to parkerize it and finish it but that needs to wait as I have a few other projects I want to line up and do them all at once.

Here’s how the rifle looks right now:

 


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.


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Original Surplus Polish Military Radom P64 / P 64 Pistol Holster - Brown

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East German/Polish military paratrooper, fallshirmjager, helmet

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See larger image

Additional Images:Img - B079BY7QMC
Img - B079BY7QMC
Img - B079BY7QMC
Img - B079BY7QMC
Img - B079BY7QMC

Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot Sight – 2 MOA Dot (Sports)

For close-in work and general shooting, it’s tough to beat a quality red dot sight. The super-light, ultra-compact, insanely-fast-on-target, incredibly durable, Crossfire Red Dot is exactly that. The daylight-bright, 2 MOA dot is easy to acquire and promotes rapid acquisition of targets, yet is fine enough to precisely engage targets at distance. 11 intensity levels of brightness let shooters adjust the dot intensity to the situation at hand. Skeletonized mount offers two height options – lending its functionality to rifles, shotguns, and pistols.

Features: 

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Assembling A Beryl-ish AK From A WBP Kit – Part 7 – Installing the Fire Control Group and the Optics Rail

With the 7.62×39 Polish Beryl inspired rifle otherwise complete, it was time to install the fire control group, optics rail and the furniture.  This post will focus on these elements.

The Fire Control Group (FCG)

For some time now I have heard how good the ALG triggers are.  I have grown very accustomed to Tapco G2 triggers over the years and know how to tune them but reports were coming in about their not being in accordance with Russian design specifications so this prompted me to try the ALG AK Trigger with Lightning Bow (AKT-EL).

The trigger comes with a spring booster if you want a heavier pull but I wanted the lighter pull.  Wow – this trigger blew me away.  It installed the same as any other AK trigger.

I would recommend something to them and to you though – make a quick slave pin or capture pin that you can use to assemble the trigger assembly outside of the rifle, lower it in and then press it out of the way when you install the actual pin.  In my opinion, ALG should supply one with their trigger but you can make one from an old trigger pin, an old drill shank, whatever.

I didn’t even polish the FCG and just inserted it as-is.  Seriously, I will never go back to Tapco.  These ALGs are wickedly good.

I do not like the original shepherd hook wire for securing the FCG pins and instead now use our American made properly dimensioned AK fire control retainer plate.  Click here for the page in our store.

In the next photos you can see the giant over-sized selector lever.  It drives me nuts and will either get ground down or replace by a standard AKM lever.  It’s totally up to you but I will not buy the extended mag release and selector lever again – they just are not my preference.

Our New Second Generation Polish Beryl Grip

At this point I installed one of our new Polish Beryl grips as well. They Beryl uses the typical grip nut that uses a 6mm diameter 1.0mm pitch grip screw.

Click here if you want to order one of our grips.

The Optics Rail

The Beryl was the first AK-platform that I know of that had an integral optics rail that ran from the rear sight block (RSB) to the rear trunnion.  It did not need the traditional AKM side mount optics rail.

Now the WBP kit I bought had a Weaver rail and they have since moved to the Picatinny standard – just FYI.  I believe my rail is known as the POPC III.

 

I really did not know what to expect when I ordered the kit and was blown away by how the Poles did this.  The rail is solid steel and built like a tank.  It attaches to the RSB via two small grooves that are machined into the back just below the rear sight leaf.

It then locks onto a cylindrical protrusion on the rear trunnion.

This did take some minor fitting.  I sanded off a bit from the front edge of the rail and rounded the cylinder just a tiny bit to help the above pictured hole slide into place.  I went slow and test fit over and over.  This thing locks up incredibly solid – literally zero play.

All that is left now is the furniture and the test firing.


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.


Russian Bayonet Fits modern Russian military rifle (of the variaty not permited

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East German Bayonet 7.62x39 5.45x39 With Scabbard

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Polish Military Sling

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Original Surplus Polish Military Radom P64 / P 64 Pistol Holster - Brown

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Ingersoll-Rand 117K 2,000 Blows-Per-Minute Standard Duty Pnuematic Hammer with 5 Chisel Set (Tools & Home Improvement)

An economical air hammer with a longerpiston stroke, this tool is designed forexhaust work, bolt cutting, and front-endwork. The trigger control and a built-in powerregulator give you full control of the speed and power. Longer stroke piston. Alloyed steel barrel and heat-treated piston for longer life. Up to 2, 000 blows per minute.

Features: 
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Assembling A Beryl-ish AK From A WBP Kit – Part 6 – Reinstalling the Barrel and Pin with IR Air Hammer

At this point we are getting into the home stretch. Once the barrelled kits dried up, virgin barrels required a fair amount of work to install the blocks. Personally, I never really enjoyed doing the blocks so now that completed barrel assemblies are available again, I’ll happily leave that work to someone else.

One quick comment on the WBP kit – I really like the crest on the rear sight block (RSB).  I didn’t expect it and it is so cool.

There are many methods to install a barrel – I have used two – my 20 ton press with an AK-Builder barrel jig and my IR air hammer.  Of the two, I mainly use the air hammer now and that is what I will document in this post.  Note, the AK-builder jig works just fine – I have found the IR 117 air hammer to be faster as I don’t have to do as much set up work.

You don’t have to use the same IR as me but I would recommend you get either a bigger air hammer like mine or at least a 4x air riveter.  An integral regulator in the gun helps with control.

Three Critical Tips Before You Begin

#1 – If you are new to air hammers, practice before you work on your rifle.  They jump around and you need to get a feel for how how control them.

#2 – Mr air hammer is not your friend.  Wear eye protection and do not get skin anywhere near punches, etc.  They can pinch the hell out of your skin.  I’ve had my fair share of blood blisters and cuts from not paying attention or being in a rush over the years.

#3 – DO NOT hammer right on your muzzle.  The crown, or end of the barrel where the bullet exits, is the last thing to touch the bullet.  If you somehow deform the crown you will negatively impact accuracy and you also risk your threads.  Use protection 🙂  I’ll detail that below – I use an old cut down muzzle brake as a protective cap.

Installing the Barrel

To install a barrel, I first install an old slant brake that I ground flat to protect the threads.  I have not used a muzzle nut because they do not seem to offer much protection to the front of the muzzle – they are mainly designed to protect the threads.  With the ground down slant brake, there is a plenty of material in front of the muzzle to protect it.  

You can see how it has mushroomed over time but that’s fine.  I’ve used it a ton and if I ever have a problem, I’ll chuck it and make another.

My best guess is that it came out of a Romanian G kit years ago.  I have a bunch of oddball parts like this that got replaced by US parts for the sake of 922r compliance.  You can use any slant brake you want – just grind the slant off so you have a flat surface to hammer on.

I thread the converted brake / muzzle protector all the way back on the barrel to engage all the threads possible and back it right against the front sight block (FSB).  The idea is that you want the threads to take the impact and not the muzzle.

To start the installation, I push the barrel assembly into the trunnion and tap it with a big ball pein hammer.  I keep sighting down the rear sight block (RSB) making sure it is true.  At the point, you can use a rubber mallet or other non-marring mallet to tap the RSB and angle the barrel slightly one way or the other to course correct.  It is really, really important to get the alignment right at the start.  You will not be able to adjust it once you get very far in.  If it turns out you have alignment problem later, I would recommend driving the barrel assembly out and starting over.

To do the actual driving, I use the IR 117 with the brass peening hammer attachment.  I put the brass hammer face right on the converted slant brake and drive it in.  I keep checking the barrel pin hole to make sure I stop just short of the final location and that it is aligned.  If the surfaces are not aligned, I would drive the barrel back out and start over.  In this next photo, you can see I stopped just short of where I need to be.

Now this particular kit was a headspaced Polish WBP kit and I had checked headspace before I removed the barrel.  If I needed to set the headspace, I would start checking it somewhere around here.

At this point, I drive the barrel in the rest of the way by tapping the end with a big ballpein hammer – or any BFH will do 🙂  It really doesn’t take a ton of energy.  You want to tap and test over and over.  Don’t get impatient and try and drive it in all at once or you risk overshooting where you want to be.  If you do overshoot, it’s going to take some time and you need to make that longer barrel backout tool and either use your press or your air tool (I’d use my IR 117) and push it back out just enough to then fine tune the location.

Do not use headspace gauges as barrel stops.  You may know this but just in case you don’t – gauges are precision instruments and you only install them to test the headspace and *not* as a way to stop travel.  I’ve heard of guys doing that and, for a change, I wasn’t one of them 🙂

Assuming you checked and confirmed the headspace before you began, where to stop is easy.  Once the channel is clear and you have one nice continous path from one side of the trunnion to the other it is time to reinstall the pin.

Installing the barrel pin

With I do is start the pin with a big ball pein hammer and then drive it in the rest of the way with an old rivet set that I use just for this purpose.  Years ago I bought a ton of used 0.401 shank rivet sets and rivet tools off eBay for a very reasonable price.  I use one that covers the pin nicely and drive it right in and let me tell you, it goes in fast.  You can stop short and drive it in the test of the way by hand if you want.  I tend to just drive it right into place with the air tool.

By the way, I’ve accumulated a number of rivet tools and bucking bars over the years.  Here’s a quicksnap shot of my toolbox:

That’s it – done.  I hope this helps you out!  In the next post we will go over the unique Beryl optics rail and installing the furniture.

By the way, here are used rivet tools currently on eBay.  Be sure the shank size matches your air hammer or air riveter (all of mine are 0.401″ for example)

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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.


Russian Bayonet Fits modern Russian military rifle (of the variaty not permited

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Ingersoll-Rand 117K 2,000 Blows-Per-Minute Standard Duty Pnuematic Hammer with 5 Chisel Set (Tools & Home Improvement)

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Assembling a Beryl-ish AK From a WBP Kit – Part 5 – Riveting In The Trunnions

As I mentioned in an earlier post, riveting the trunnions to the sheet metal receiver is the proven method. As such, I’ll use rivets in this build but there is a fun thing to point out – there are tons and tons of ways to do the rivets. I’ve known guys who:

  • Would fashion some type of bucking bar and hammer the rivets directly not really caring what they looked like
  • Modified hand punches by cutting then down and drilling or milling an inverted dome into the end to create their own rivet sets for use with a hammer
  • Modified the jaws of 24″ Harbor Freight bolt cutters to make rivet squishers
  • Bought pneumatic rivet squishers like they use in the aerospace industry
  • Purchased purpose built rivet tools from makers such as AK-Builder

I got into building rather late in the game in 2006. Fortunately for me, guys had worked out the building methods so I could learn from others. I also decided to buy the AK-Builder rivet jig that I still use today. It works great for setting the front and rear trunnion rivets. I do plan on trying the bolt cutter method some day and will just buy one of the pre-built jaw sets for the front trunnion rivets. I’m curious mainly for reducing the set up time.

Click here to go to the AK-Builder jig page.

Rivet Selection

The AKMs are assembled using soft steel rivets that deform under pressure. No heat is needed. The sizes can vary depending on the type of build you are doing. The easiest way to get the rivets of the right type, size and length is to buy them from AK-Builder.com. They take all the guess work out of it and it makes for an easy way to go plus they give you a discount if you bought their jig. Hint: Buy two packages for a given build. For an AKM, you have 13 rivets and you can readily sort out what goes where:

  • The shortest rivet goes to the rear for the trigger guard strap. This makes sense because you are just riveting two pieces of sheet metal together.
  • You will then notice 10 rivets of the same size but two will be different – they will be what are called “swell neck” rivets and are intended for the rear lower front trunnion rivet positions that are countersunk. Four of the rivets that are flat under the dome will be used for the front trigger guard and four will be used for the foreward two positions on each side of the front trunnion.
  • The last two are the longest and thickest – they go to the rear trunnion.

The following photo shows the two types of rivets you will use on the front trunnion. The top is the swell neck rivet that is used for the rear two countersunk holes on the front trunnon. The bottom one is a normal rivet and is what is used for the four front rivets to secure the selector stop and front trigger guard strap to the receiver as well as for front-most four (two on each side) rivets:

This next photo shows one of the swell neck rivets next to the counter sunk hole it will go in. They require a couple of extra steps to install in terms of crushing the receiver material into the recessed area first before setting the rivet and I’ll explain your options to do that later:

Last comment, you can buy rivets in bulk if you want to. McMaster has some and firms like Hanson Rivet have a huge variety. You basically need to know the dome type and diameter. You get rivets longer than you need and trim them using the formula that the rivet must stick out 1.5 x diameter to form properly. If it is too long you will have problems also. So, you measure the depth you need and then add that to the overall length.

AK-Builder now also sells their rivets in bulk if you are interested – click here.

If you were building from a receiver flat or a tube without a center support, you could consider that as a rivet too but you need to buy that separate as it usually comes with the center support tube it passes through as a set.

This post will be mainly me giving you an overview of what to do and tips based on my experience. AK-Builder has a nice set of instructions you can review by clicking here.

Setting the Front Rivets

In a previous post, I explained how I start with the trigger guard. Next up then is to install the front trunnion rivets.

The AK-Builder rivet jig basically uses an arm to transfer downward force from the press to the rivet to squish it. The domed part of the rivet is held by a small cup and two pieces of thick high density rubber help you stabilize the receiver assembly during the operation. In the next photo you can see the parts plus that I have a 5/32″ drill to help keep everything aligned during squishing.

Now for some tips:

  1. Make sure the arm is as short as you can make it. The longer it is, the more likely it will bend. Note AK-Builder sells replacement arms and I am on #3.
  2. Make sure the little set screw anvil is out far enough to squish the rivet down far enough. These will deform over time and replacements are available from AK-Builder – there are replacement parts for everything from them except for the main body which is built like a tank anyways.
  3. Use the little blue rubber blocks to adequately support the receiver. You want the arm to push down straight. The domed rivet to be sitting squarely in the above cup and to be pushing straight down on the rivet. The little blocks can help support stuff so you can focus on alignment.
  4. When you are positioning the trunnion, make sure the arm isn’t going to press on part of the trunnion.
  5. If you have an air-over hydraulic press, only use the air to run the ram down to the jig. You will not hear a difference before stuff bends. By hand, it is nice and slow and you have time to hear, feel and adjust. I turned an arm into a deformed banana right after I got my air-over-hydraulic jack/bottle. They are a great time saver but know when to switch to the hand pump for the fine work.
  6. It does not take a ton of force to squish a rivet. If your rivet is not squishing make sure the arm is not sitting on part of the trunnion, that the set screw is down far enough and that the bottle’s release valve isn’t partly open.
  7. The last two rivets I do are the countersunk rear lower rivets on the front trunnion. For the countersunk holes that use the swell neck rivet, you can either use the conical stubby press tool from AK-Builder after drilling an 1/8″ starter hole and then 5/32″ as a final step to prepare for the rivet. Important: The little tool is sitting on the base of the jig and you are pushing the receiver down on it. I’m not a fan of this because I can’t see what is going on. Your second option is to do what I do – drill the 5/32″ hole, use a 1/4″ ball bearing and a C-Clamp (on the same side reaching in through the mag well) to push the receiver material into the countersink. This really adds strength and I would recommend you take the time to do this. After you have squished the material in, drill with the 5/32″ bit again to clean up any material blocking the hole.
  8. Last tip – when you are doing the counter sunk holes, do not use the long rear punch – that is just for the rear. The reason for this is that the rear trunnion is solid and you can safely do that. However, with the front trunnion – the counter sunk rivet holes are not connected by solid steel and, instead, the mag well is there. You need to pick a method wherein the trunnion is supported or you risk either bending or breaking the rear “ear” of the trunnion.

Note – you will only see replacement parts for your jig if you bought it direct from AK-Builder and are logged in. I bought mine ages ago and Lonnie had to look up my order and manually turn on the part of the website for me to order parts so just FYI.

The following photo shows me reaching in with the arm and squishing a rivet – the goal height is to squish the rivet body low enough that you can press the barrel back in and it not hit a rivet:

If all goes well, your rivets will look like the following or even better:

I am happy with rivets where the dome is firmly against the receiver. If I mess up, I will drill out the rivet and do it again. Note – The center support rivet was done by Childers and I cleaned that up a bit with my rear rivet set up of the AK-Builder jig.

Setting The Rear Rivets

Next up is to squish the rear rivets. This requires more careful positioning and also support. I have messed up a fair number of rear rivets over the years due to one of those things being wrong. The first thing to do is to remove the arm and install the rear trunnion rivet “bridge”. You will still use the little cup to cradle the rivet head and the rubber strips to help with positioning.

In this next photo you can see the jig set up for the rear rivet. In hindsight, I should not have taken this example photo yet because you first need to use the countersink tool at the bottom to press the receiver material into all four holes and then chase the holes with the drill press to clear any receiver material out of the way before you can install the rivet.

Here is an important tip, after you press the receiver material in, have cleaned up the holes and are getting ready to do a rivet, do some careful alignment and work holding. The piece of metal with a U-shaped cut out goes between the large screw body in the middle and the receiver. Bring that main screw down by hand because you next use the alignment tool – a punch with a hole in the middle to make sure the rivet forming tool (the one with a recessed dome in it) will come down square on the tool. Once it is aligned, use a wrench to bring the main body of the jig firmly down on that metal with the U-shaped slot and make sure nothing moves. Double-check it again with the alignment tool and ensure the rivet head is still squarely in the cup. In my experience you need to use a wrench to bring the body down – it requires more than being hand tight but not so much that you are deforming stuff. The words to think of are “securely aligned”.

Now, use the punch / rivet set with the inverted dome to form the rivet head as you apply pressure from the press. When the tool gets even with the surface of the receiver, stop. If you keep going you will mar the receiver and leave some portion of a telltale dent around the receiver.

Done!

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And with that, you should be done and ready to reinstall the barrel.


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.


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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.

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Assembling a Beryl-ish AK From a WBP Kit – Part 4 – Drilling the Front and Rear Trunnion Rivet Holes

In the previous post I removed the front trunnion from the barrel assembly and was then ready to install the front and rear trunnion into the receiver that I had already riveted the trigger guard on. This post will focus on drilling the rivet holes needed for the front and rear trunnions.

Front Trunnion Rivet Hole Drilling

The AK-Builder Trunnion Rivet Hole Drilling Fixture makes locating of holes much easier than the methods I used when I first started. I mainly used the Post-It method where you would rub a Post-It note over the holes and then stick the note on the trunnion as a rough guide as to where to center punch and start drilling. Some guys also make little locator tooks out of spring steel but I never tried one of those.

This jig is awesome. There is one very, very important thing you must do when using this jig – make sure you drill press table, column and the jig itself are secure. If the work can shift while you are sliding the receiver on or off, you are hosed and will drill a hole ut of position. I can’t stress this enough.

The jig is on an X-Y table on my drill press. An X-Y table gives you crank knobs like you have on a milling machine and allows for precise drilling. I use it all the time for drilling grips and other items. Basically you secure your item and then use the X-Y table and a spotting bit or whatever to get you right where you need to be. I wrote a post a while back about the table if you are interested. An X-Y table is not mandatory but boy does it help if you do a ton of drilling.  Note, when you buy the table it will not come with any kind of fixture/clamp set. You will need to buy one that matches the size of the T Slots of the table you get.

If you look at the next photo, you will see a red mandrel sized for AKM-type trunnions. You will slide the trunnion on to that all the way and turn the knob in the back to expand the mandrel and secure everything in place.

So you basically install the trunnion, locate the hole with your press, slide the receiver on and then run the drill down and make a hole in the same place. It’s that easy and that reliable as long as everything is secure. Again, that is the key part here.

I should point out that I prefer to use a center 135 degree cobalt drill bits and cutting oil when I do drill the holes.

Once I have all of the front rivet holes drilled, I move on to the back trunnion.

Rear Trunnion Installation

The rear trunnion is held in place by the other side of the fixture and the tab fits int the part of the rear trunnion where the operating spring guide would normally sit.

Again, make sure everything is secure or your hole locations will be messed up.

With that, it is now time to proceed to riveting in the next post.


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.


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Grizzly G8750 Compound Slide Table (Tools & Home Improvement)

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