Tag Archives: Build

Photos of Rick’s Polish AKM-Beryl Transitional Rifle

Rick sent me these cool photos of his new build and I had to share them. He also gave me some details as well.

The rifle has a “Polish FB Radom barrel, trunion, and optic rail. Childers polish cg1 receiver. To stay with the polish theme, I found an unissued polish soviet era laminate stock. I was originally going to use a bakelite grip. But, since this is a hard use rifle. I wanted something more robust. But correct for the polish theme. Your grip delivered and then some. So here are some pictures of my polish AKM-Beryl transitional rifle. At least I call it that for lack of a better term. “

Yes sir Rick – that is definitely one slick build!

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com.

Polymer80 Glock Builders: There is a TON of parts on eBay

If you are working on a Polymer80 build or even wanting to overhaul your existing Glock, there are a ton of parts on eBay.  You can find some good deals but I would recommend you stick with reputable brands and sellers. For the sellers, I would look for lots of sales – at least over 30 and ideally hundreds – and very good scores.  There are cheap imports/knock-offs showing up so beware no-name stuff.

The following are all real-time listing on eBay so you can go there and find parts.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com.

What To Do When Your AK’s Barrel Is Too Big For Your Front Trunnion?

A few years ago, I bought a 1969 Polish Radom Circle 11 AKM kit from Arms of America. It has laminate furniture, matching parts and they populated a new Polish Chrome Hammer Forged (CHF) barrel with the front, gas and rear sight blocks. Furthermore, it was headspaced. I double checked that before I pushed out the barrel pin and then the barrel – that’s where things got interesting.

Pressing Out The Barrel

I have a 30 ton H-style hydraulic press with a 20 ton air-over-hydraulic bottle. The thing is a brute and have used it many, many times over the years on gun and car projects. There are a few things you learn over the years – 20 tons is 40,000 pounds and is a serious amount of pressure – steel parts can bend, break or even shatter under those loads. You learn to go slow, watch carefully feel the pump and listen. I also learned long ago to use the air to move the ram quickly but always do the real work by hand for those very reasons – I’ve bent the crap out of stuff in years past because you can’t tell what is going on.

I wear a full face shield when working with a press. I’m not joking when I say things can go bad fast when there is a lot of pressure. When you push out a barrel, you just don’t expect a ton of pressure from a new kit – at least I don’t. I’ve had some real hairy barrel pins and barrels in years past when dealing with surplus… but not on a new kit with a populated barrel … not until now.

Pressing Out the Barrel

As you can guess, the barrel did not press out easily. I had to apply a boatload pressure – way more than average. So much that I put a 3/4″ piece of plywood between me and the trunnion/barrel assembly. I was also checking and double-checking that my barrel press tool squarely on just the barrel and not a part of the trunnion – guys I was nervous.

I reached the point where I knew I was squarely on the barrel and something had to give. I was whacking on the press trying to shock the barrel out and I kept upping the pressure – pump, whack, pump, whack… Finally the barrel came free like a gun shot. Guys- do you remember the old Romy kits where the pins and barrels sometimes felt like you were taking your life into your own hands? That’s what this felt like.

I actually inspected the front trunnion very carefully looking for cracks. I then inspected the chamber end of the barrel – nice and smooth – remarkably smooth. No signs of galling. Ditto on the inside of the trunnion. I suspect that someone was using some kind of press system that included a barrel support and slammed that new barrel in using a level of force I couldn’t do without damaging parts. I noted to myself that reassembly was probably going to be just as colorful.

Building The Kit

Nothing new about building the kit – I had fun. In the below photo, the front trunnion and rivets are just sitting there. I was mocking things up and they are not actually set. I installed the trigger guard taking care to orient the selector stop properly and using a rubber band to keep the assembly together as I used my press and an AK-Builder trigger guard rivet jig to do the job.

The rubber band keeps the receiver down on the trigger guard jig so the rivet, selector stop and trigger guard all stay in place while you move around. The AK-Builder jig really does a nice job.
Here, everything is drilled and seems good to go.

So let’s get back to the main point of this blog post and why you are probably reading this – what do you do when the interference fit is too tight and the barrel will not go into the trunnion all the way.

Life Got Colorful Trying to Press The Barrel Back In

Yeah, that tight fit came back to haunt me. I tried polishing the trunnion and applying non-seize. Usually this works for me but when I went to press the barrel back in, it would not go. I saw the barrel begin to deflect in the press and immediately stopped. Let me explain what I mean by deflect – a material will bend so much and spring back into place. When I saw the barrel begin to deflect, I immediately stopped – it was taking way too much pressure and I was risking bending the barrel permanently. It was time to press the barrel back out and rethink the situation.

Here’s my barrel and my receiver. I double-checked the barrel to make sure I did not bend it – I got lucky. I always get worried if I see the barrel start to deflect/bend — they don’t always return to true.

So, what this confirmed for me was the someone slammed this thing together – hard. An AK barrel is press fit into the trunnion. To do this, the barrel is a tad bigger than the hole made for it in the trunnion by about 0.0010-.0026″ (0 .025-0.065mm) according to Robert Forbus who is a true machinist and has shared a ton with the AK community – click here for his page). At the tighter end (around 0.002″) it is getting hard, if not outright impossible, for someone to press the barrel into the front trunnion without the proper specialized barrel press equipment that supports the barrel. I have a big press but nothing to properly support the barrel in these high-pressure situations. It would likely warp like a wet noodle if I just kept adding pressure.

I don’t own a machine shop but I am a redneck with a shop. I needed to open up the barrel channel in the trunnion and opted to use an OEM brand brake hone. Why? Because I’ve used these small bore hones in the past for other things and was pretty sure it would work for this too.

I also need to point out that I have no way to accurately measure the barrel or the trunnion so I figured I would remove a bit and try to install the barrel, remove a bit and try, over and over until it went in. The next picture shows my OEM hone (and the Lisle is virtually identical):

This is an OEM Tool brand brake hone and the Lisle unit looks virtually identical.

Take a look at the above picture – by tightening the knurled nut at the base of the spring, you can apply more and more pressure to the 220-grit stones at the end of the arms. (The Lisle tool’s stones are 240 grit purely FYI – not a big difference.) I just used the basic pressure and did not increase it. Life lesson for me years ago – it’s easier to take more material off than it is to put it back on.

I applied cutting oil to the trunnion liberally and then slid the hone in and out with my drill on slow speed. I would do this for a bit, clean stuff, and then tested how far the barrel goes into the trunnion by hand and then keep removing more. This is not the time or place to get impatient.

By the way, OEM makes fine 400 grit stones that you can swap into place and use to polish the interior further if you . I got the job done with the 220 grit stones and silver Permatex anti-seize compound. If I ad the 400 grit stones handy at the time, I would have done so but I did not. Also, be sure to clean out the grit/dust before you try to reinsert your barrel.

My one action photo and it was blurry! You get the idea. Keep it lubed with the cutting oil and keep moving the unit in and out so you are polishing the whole barrel channel.

This is a down and dirty “git ‘er done” approach and will make machinists cringe. I go slow and test — I would push the barrel in, test and the press it back out if need be. [Click here to see how to make a barrel backout tool].

*IF* you see a bur or squished rivet protruding in the trunnion, then carefully grind that down with a Dremel and polish with the hone. Don’t try to do it all with the hone or you will be removing material elsewhere that you may need – the arms are spring loaded and independent so they will go where ever they can. This is a pro and con.

After a couple of tries, the barrel went all the way in with the press. To be safe, I confirmed the head space using real Manson brand 7.62×39 gages (use real gages folks and treat them well – don’t go cheap). The barrel headspaced just fine so I pressed in the pin and finished the rifle up.

Bottom line, a brake hone can help you carefully remove steel from the front trunnion and get a tight fitting barrel to go in. It worked wonders on this 1969 cold warrior that is now ready to go to the range.

The 1969 Polish AKM rebuilt and ready for the range!
The rifle is wearing one of our Polish Tantal/AKM grips as a 922r compliance part – we make them by hand here in Michigan from a glass fiber reinforced polymer.

Click here to learn more and order one of our Polish Tantal/AKM grips.

One of our fire control group retaining plates. that fits all AKMs and rifles that use standard AKM fire control groups.

It also has an ALG fire control group – they are awesome triggers – and one of our fire control group retaining plates. Click here for our fire control group retaining plates.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com.

How to legally build a Glock compatible pistol using a Polymer80 frame in Michigan

I wrote about this also in my post about starting a Polymer80 build but thought I would break it out for people who just need to find out about this one thing – how to legally build a Glock compatible pistol using a Polymer80 frame in the state of Michigan.

For those of us in Michigan, we know we have some additional laws on pistols that other states do not. To be honest, before I started this project I wasn’t really sure that I could even do this legally so I started researching.

Before I go further, I’d better give the legal disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. The procedure I am going to outline is for a non concealed carry permit holders. I do not have a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) and my understanding is that the process is different and easier if you do have a CPL. Making registrations easier is yet another reason that I want to get my CPL this year.

Let’s Get Into The Details

To do this legally in the state of Michigan is actually pretty straightforward. First, you need to go to your local Sheriff and get a pistol purchase permit. I called first to make sure I understood where to go, what I needed to bring and so forth. All they wanted was my drivers license at this point and they did not want me to bring in any thing having to do with the pistol and definitely not the pistol itself.  This is not like the old days when you had to take your pistol in for inspection – you are just picking up forms after they run a background check on you.

The lady I talked to on the phone at the sheriff’s department was very helpful but she wasn’t sure what to do until I told her I was building from an 80% lower. When I asked her what I should do in regards to the manufacturer, model and serial number she recommended that I contact the Michigan State Police firearm records division and for your reference, their number is 517-241-1917

The folks I talked to there on two separate occasions, instructed me to complete the purchase permit form with the maker as “SELF-ASSEMBLED”, model as “NONE” and serial number as “NONE”. I filled out the rest of the information in regards to the caliber, number of shots, barrel length, overall length and whatnot same as always. I then mailed the forms in to the address at the bottom of the form.

My local Sheriff’s department was very helpful and recommended that I wait until I was done with the build because the purchase permit was only valid for 30 days. I confirmed this with the Michigan State Police Firearms Records division and they too were very happy to help.

I wrote this post to get rid of the fear uncertainty and doubt that some people seem to have. You can do this. To be safe, I would urge someone from Michigan to do their homework and confirm my findings so you can legally enjoy your resulting pistols just like I plan to.

6/30/20 Update – If you have a Michigan CPL it is even easier. Call your local sheriff’s department — in my case, I call the Sheriff’s records department — and tell them that you plan to build a pistol and that you have a CPL. They literally have a form they can email you to fill in, sign and mail back to them. At least the Berrien Country Sheriff’s department does. They then complete it and submit it to the Michigan State Police. The really nice thing was that I did not need to go into their office last week. Your sheriff may handle things differently but do point out you are building it and have a CPL if that is the case.

Polymer80 and Glock Parts Vendors

When you want to customize your Polymer80 or Glock, or you need replacement parts, there are a number of solid vendors you can go to:

Those are all reputable vendors and aren’t going to sell you inferior counterfeit products.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com.

Polymer80 Glock Build Troubleshooting

If you haven’t heard about Polymer80, they make a number of 80% receivers including some remarkable Glock compatible frames. Now they aren’t just a cheap gimmick – I like the grip angle, the texture and the finger relief that all result in a far better feeling pistol than an actual Glock in my opinion. Now there are haters that say these are not Glocks – that’s fine, they aren’t. Then again, it’s not like we all buy ARs only made by Colt or Armalite either in comparison.

So I have been posting about how to do the builds [Click here for a Glock 17 using the PF940V2 frame post and here for one on Glock 19 using the PF940C frame post]. They are very straight forward, fun and can generate a reliable pistol. Like all things, there can be challenges and troubleshooting your build to understand why the slide is binding, the trigger isn’t resetting and so forth are all things that may happen. Luckily, there are also lots of videos and posts for understanding how to solve the challenges.

Be Sure to Read the Instructions First

I do recommend you read the instructions from Polymer80 before you do your build. If you didn’t read them and are now having challenges, I would recommend you go back and read the good instruction file they wrote and watch the video:

Troubleshooting Videos

Also, Pew Pew Tactical did a nice series of posts on building and troubleshooting Polymer80 builds. Click here to open a new tab and go there.

My Take On Common Issues

  • The slide doesn’t go all the way back: Check that the recoil spring is not catching on the channel you needed to mill out. Check that the slide stop spring is sitting flush and not catching on the spring. Sometimes plastic falls into that channel and keeps it from fully seating. (It would be a good idea to blow your frame out with compressed air to get all the loose plastic out). [Note, we have a tool to aid in the sanding of the barrel block area, click here to read about it]
  • Trigger not resetting – this is either an issue with how Polymer80 did some of the Rear Rail Modules (RRMs) or how the frame was drilled causing the RRM to move. If this happens, you will need to file a bit off the right side (when looking down at the receiver) of the RRM so the trigger bar doesn’t hit it. I’d also recommend checking that there aren’t burs/machining imperfections on any of the trigger’s metal parts that might cause binding.
  • Slide not cycling smoothly – The rail modules should be equal height. Again, there may have been an issue with drilling causing an alignment issue. See if you can bend/adjust the rail modules so they line up.
  • Trigger feels gritty – remove the trigger and polish all metal surfaces. Blow out the pistol and trigger areas to ensure there isn’t any plastic debris. Expect it to take a couple hundred rounds to smooth out.
  • Action feels gritty – again, polish everything. I like the small rubberized polishing bits for the Dremel as well as working with sandpaper up to 2000 grit. Always remember that your goal is to smooth and polish, not to remove a ton of material. Another option is to simply let the parts get to know each other and wear in. A ton of grittiness will disappear with use.
  • Slide seems to lock open at times – this is likely due to the recoil spring catching on plastic left in the barrel block area. Click here to read more and to see our tool that can help.
  • The pistol doubles, meaning it fires on the pull of the trigger and the release. This is most likely caused by using an aftermarket connector. If you are not using an OEM Glock connector, try using one and see what happens. I did a post about this if you’d like to read more, click here.

So, I hope this helps you out. Polymer80 Glock frames are well engineered and do work. There may be some issues you need to work through due to how you build the pistol and the parts you use but view overcoming them as part of your journey and don’t give up. The end result is definitely work it.

Polymer80 and Glock Parts Vendors

When you want to customize your Polymer80 or Glock, or you need replacement parts, there are a number of solid vendors you can go to:

Those are all reputable vendors and aren’t going to sell you inferior counterfeit products.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at info@roninsgrips.com.

Please note that any images shown were extracted from the videos and remain the property of their respective owner(s).