You know folks, I miss the old Romanian Garda kits. I literally built about a dozen of them trying different variations on rivets, screws, welding and so forth. You could get them from $79-119 with the barrel and sometimes even a Tapco G2 fire control group (FCG) included. Copes, Centerfire, DPH and others had pallets of them. My wife would give me the eye any time a box showed up from one of them 🙂
That was the good times and then thanks to yet another ridiculous ATF ruling, the kits with barrels were forbidden for import, the well dried up and prices rose. I actually cut most of the completed rifles up and sold them for parts when kit prices went in the $300+ range. I sure had a ton of fun with friends and family at the range. What I personally enjoyed most was making them. Boy, I made a ton of mistakes along the way but learned too and also learned to respect a lot of concepts that Kalashnikov and his designers put into the rifles including pushing for reliability, simplicity, and so forth.
At any rate, I was going through some photos from January 2013 and thought I would share a few pictures of guns that ran like tops. These two rifles work great and I learned a ton making them. The finishes are shades of Minwax stain with hand rubbed urethane stain on top. I eventually moved to boiled linseed oil but that was long after I built these. I always liked seing how the stain would take to the wood. This is also before I started making grips – the wood one is from Ironwood and I don’t recall who made the plastic one. The finish would have been air dried Duracoat on these.
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