Tag Archives: AK-47

Learn About The Type 2 Soviet AK-47 – Forgotten Weapons Video

It’s interesting that we hold the AK-47 in near mythic regard when it comes to reliability.  It took almost 12 years from 1947 to the release of the AKM (Avtomát Kaláshnikova modernizírovanny or  “Modernized Kalashnikov Automatic Rifle”) in 1959.  The journey the design team made over the years is quite interesting.

I did a post on the Type 1 previously (click here to open it) and that first iteration had problems with the stamped sheet metal receiver that affected reliability.  In response, Valeriy Kharkov lead a design team who created a milled receiver from a forging to address the reliability problems and it was ready by 1949.

The Soviets had plenty of labor, that wasn’t a problem so in a manually intensive manner, they machined a six pound block of steel that required 120 steps into a finished 1.4 pound receiver.  That means they wasted almost 3.6 pounds of quality steel and used a ton of consumables and machine time.  To be honest, it boggles my mind but they accomplished their mission – the QC problems with the receiver were addressed.

In the following video, Ian McCollum does a great job showing a type 2  and describing the differences between it, the type 1 and the following type 3.   For example, he points out the rear receiver extension that is made from sheet metal that is an instant identifier of a Type 2 fixed stock rifle (sometimes referred to as the “2A”).  Note, they made the type 2 with an underfolder stock also (the “2B”).

Another tell is that the lightening cuts are parallel to the top of the receiver in the type 2 and in the type 3 they are parallel to the bottom.

There are quite a few other changes such as the grip now being a single piece, the selector lever having an additional clearance added above the pins, gas vent holes moved to 10 and 2 o-clock and more.

By the way, one thing Ian does is refer to it as the AK-49 and I have never read anything that supports that nomenclature.  If you Google AK-49, nothing turns up.  I would recommend you refer to it as an AK-47 Type 2.  Other than that, I think it is a great video and you can actually see the many details as Ian points them out:

If you want to read a book that does a great job detailing the Type 2 and its history, I would recommend The Grim Reaper by Frank Iannamico.  Poyer’s book has details but not as much history.


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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

Video: Legendary Kalashnikov: Story of AK-47 Rifle (RT’s Documentary)

I have a number of books both about the Kalashnikov rifles and also biographies of Mikhail Kalashnikov, the chief designer.  I always find documentaries of either the rifle or the man very interesting.  This particular video combines some fascinating footage about current use, manufacturing and testing with historical information and perspectives on Mikhail Kalashnikov vs. Stoner.

The video was released in 2013 and is 25:57 minutes long and is well worth the time.


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Good animation of an AK-47 operating

I’ve seen other animations in the past that didn’t get into as much detail as this one.  In this video you get a pretty good demo of how the various parts work during the firing and automated loading of the AK-47 but they got the trigger wrong, etc.  This one shows the disconnector and trigger hook operating in the right manner for example.  I’m posting it because I think it always helps to understand what is going on inside a firearm for when you want to tune it, figure out what might be going wrong, and so forth.

Video: How to Field Strip an AK Rifle

To me, the AK family of rifles are some of the easiest designs on the planet to field strip … but I have done it hundreds of times.  For a newcomer, how to take the rifle apart can be daunting.  I took a few minutes and assembled some of my favorite videos and online resources / manuals to help clarify matters:

AK manuals that are online:

YouTube Videos:

Now Brownell’s did some videos on Youtube also but they split them into separate parts:

Part 1 – Disassembly:

Part 4 – Reassembly

 

We will have a future post about cleaning and maintenance so keep an eye out for it.

Video: Tales of the Gun – AK-47, The Kalashnikov, FULL EPISODE

In case you missed the original Tales of the Gun episode on the AK-47 when it aired in 2010, here it is. This is a very well done episode that goes into the history of the design and how it served in battle.   Fans of the Kalashnikov will definitely want to watch this.

By the way, what I like about this particular Youtube video is that the quality is pretty good and it is the whole episode vs. being chopped up.

AK Fire Control Plates Greatly Simplify Installation and Removal of the Trigger and Hammer Pins

A lot of guys, myself included, have run into retaining wires for the trigger and hammer pins in an AK and had a heck of a time removing or installing them depending on the design.  I can’t tell you how many I have had challenges with over the years for one reason or another.  I decimated the stock Zastava wire in my M77 the other day but I can explain that one – I now rather despise the wires and just pull them out with pliers with no plan of reusing them.  Thus, I bent the heck out of the wire just yanking it out.

There is a solution to the retaining wire problem – or at least, my problem with retaining wires.  About two years ago, I stopped using wires altogether and moved to the use of “plates” which are pieces of spring steel or sheet metal that simply go nose first onto the hammer, you then rotate the plate down and it engages the trigger pin and then finally the hole portion winds up aligned with the safety/selector lever hole.  What this does is the plate locks up the two pins and then the selector lever locks the plate in place.  They are incredibly simple to install and remove if you are doing work with the fire control group.

In terms of plates, there are basically two styles you will find.  One originated with RSA and I have used these for a few years now. I only have had one problem – during installation one part of the hammer pin portion snapped right off.  I called RSA and they promptly replace the plate.  Kudos to them for good customer service.

A relatively newer style is from Tapco but I haven’t used it yet myself though I do have one on order for my Vepr 12 to try out. It does the same thing but has a small tab.  I have big fingers and am wondering if this will make installation and removal any easier and let me point out that the RSA is a breeze to install and remove.

 

Best AK Reference Book – AK-47: The Grim Reaper

Folks ask me what is the best reference book to learn more about AK rifles and the variations that are made all over the world. The Grim Reaper book by Frank Iannamico is, hands down, my number one recommendation and I say that based on owning somewhere over a dozen books on the AK rifle.

His first book was very good and with the second he improved the guidance and increased the number of photos. This is definitely a book you will want to add to your library.

 

 


See larger image

Additional Images:

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