Tag Archives: barrel

Uzi Part 1 of 7: The Uzi Kit, Receiver and Barrel

One of the firearms that had an impact on me growing up was the iconic Israeli Uzi.  In the 1980s you would see them in the news, TV shows and movies all the time.  Today, being quite a bit older, what interests me is the history and engineering that led up to this weapon.  Suffice it to say that Israel has known conflict even before the country was founded in May 1948 and certainly ever since.  Israel first fielded the Uzi in

 

I’m not going to duplicate the history as there are some excellent resources out there that explain the political climate and how the Uzi came into being.

  1. The first is a book by David Gaboury entitled “The Uzi Submachine Gun Examined” that is the single best reference guide I found.
  2. There are two overviews on Youtube that provide good context – especially if you prefer watching  a video to reading.
  3. Lastly, the Wikipedia entry provides a decent overview as well

The Uzi has evolved into a variety of weapons including the micro uzi, semi-auto versions and so forth.  What interested me was the full size Uzi that I had grown up hearing so much about and you’d see them with the original wood stock and the metal folding stock.

Over the years, I’ve made many AKs and ARs for personal use.  I’ve been really busy but wanted to build something different.  For the past several years I have noticed that there are a ton of Uzi kits for sale from the various parts kits vendors and this sparked my interest.  For me, part of the challenge of building from a kit is learning how to do so legally and finding all the parts.

I knew I wanted to build a carbine vs. a pistol so that shifted me in the direction of a wood stock for a number of reasons:

  1. To be classified as a rifle, the barrel needed to be at least 16″ with an overall length of 26″.
  2. To get the overall length, that meant I either needed an even longer barrel or a permanently attached stock that would surpass that 26″ minimum.
  3. The resulting carbine would be front end heavy and the wood stock would help balance things out.
  4. I am not a huge fan of my cheek being on sheet metal – I prefer wood with a gently bend.

Now you many have a different perspective and that is just fine but due to this I ordered two wood stocked Uzi kits from Robert RTG.  I only planned to build one Uzi but purchased a spare kit for donor parts just in case.  What arrived were two seriously oiled kits.  The wood was a tad beat up as were the pistol grip and handguard panels – probably from being packed with the parts.  The bolt and fire control group honestly looked like new.

In terms of the receiver, all my research pointed me to buying one from McKay.  They offer just the bent receiver shell and you can do all the welding or a fully welded receiver that is all set for semi-auto use and ready for you to assemble with.  I opted for the ready-to-go model and based on McKay’s reputation, I also ordered my 16″ 1:10 twist 9mm NATO chambered barrel from them also.  I placed my order direct with McKay, had them ship it to my FFL, Scott Igert, and it arrived a week later.

McKay really did a real nice job on the receiver.  Here it is with some of the original stubs sitting by it:

Here are the details that McKay took care of when they make their fully welded receiver:

  1. The front trunnion has a reduced inner diameter to prevent installation of a military model
  2. The rear barrel support ring must not allow a military barrel to be installed
  3. The bottom of the semi-auto feed ramp will block a full auto sear – in other words, it is just a tad too long for the full length original sear to fit.
  4. The right side of receiver behind the ejection port has a block bar welded in place that prevents the installation of an original full auto open bolt.

The other plus is that everything above is American made so that means the receiver and the front trunnion count as US-made parts.  By the way, in terms of 922r, an Uzi has 13 parts on the 922r parts list so that means three must be replaced with US parts to meet the maximum limit of 10 foreign parts.  The McKay receiver, front trunnion and US-made barrel will enable you to meet the parts count requirement.

By the way, there are a lot of other posts about how to do an Uzi:

For Uzi parts, my go-to sources are:

At any rate, let’s wrap this post up and will discuss the the parts you will want to remove from the old kit.


 

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The UZI Submachine Gun Examined (Hardcover)

Although universally recognized, the history of this iconic weapon has gone largely undocumented — until now. Originally designed for the Israeli military by Uziel Gal, the UZI submachine gun has a colorful history that has reached around the globe. Using approximately 1,000 photos, this book examines the history and technical details of all the UZI variations, both military and civilian, from its initial design to the current models. Also included are original factory documents, model-by-model features, part variations, accessories and manuals.

By (author):  David Gaboury

List Price: $49.95 USD
New From: $49.95 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock
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ATF Opinion Letter on AR Pistols – Some Key Considerations

In this ATF letter, the author asked the ATF’s opinion on a number of great AR pistol related questions.  I am paraphrasing a few points I found important to help folks doing full text searches for opinions:

1) An AR lower receiver is neither pistol nor rifle until it is built the first time.  If you want to make a pistol, a lower receiver must *never* have been built in a rifle configuration.

2) AR pistols do not have a barrel length restriction.

3) AR handguards can be used on an AR pistol

4) An AR rifle and pistol can be in the same household — note, and this is a personal comment, what got a guy in trouble years ago was that he had only an AR rifle and a pistol upper with no lower to mount it on.  I don’t remember all of the details but the main thing here is that you never want it to look like the only reason you have a pistol/SBR upper is to put in on your AR that is legally classified as a rifle.

5)  Magpul angled fore grips (AFGs) are permissible on the bottom accessory/picatinny rail.

AR_Pistol_1AR_Pistol_2AR_Pistol_3

 

I recommend people print and keep copies of letters just in case they need to show someone that some aspect of a weapon was “approved” by the ATF at some point.  Just bear in mind that ATF letters are not absolutes but it helps to have them handy if asked.  A state or local government may have their own more restrictive regulations as well so this may not mean AFGs are legal for everyone everywhere.

Legal Disclaimer:  I am not an attorney and am not giving legal advice.  I am just passing this information along and it is up to you to determine what you can/can’t do.

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
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