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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys, I'm considering building a NY legal AK. I've always wanted an AK, and with Saigas going up in price, I figured "why not build a NY legal AR, with detachable magazines, instead of getting a SKS". So parts kits are pretty cheap, you can toss on a Monsterman grip, remove the threads, and the bayonet lug, and boom, a legal rifle. I can build AR-15 uppers and lowers, and got bored with it, and looked to AKs. I'm thinking of using a Hungarian AKM parts kit, with a Nodak Spud AKM receiver, a Tapco G2 trigger group, US made magazines, a screw set with red locktite instead of rivets, and a US made gas piston, which I believe should bring me up to the required number of parts. I'm not fully sold on the idea of doing this build, but I'm very interested in the idea (not to mention the ammo prices). I still have a bunch of reading to do on the topic, and if anyone else has done this, or has considered it, I would love to hear your thoughts.
 

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Screws instead of rivets for which parts? If you intend to use a screw to secure the front trunnion I would say that you should reconsider this. Threads and screws are meant to provide tensile strength (the nut and bolt head being pulled apart), but the rivets in an AK need to provide shear strength (force perpendicular against the long axis of the rivet). Any excess play between the screw threads, receiver holes and trunnion holes becomes excess headspace.

An AK is not like an AR where the barrel extension is fitted to the barrel assembly itself and headspace is fixed on a specific barrel assembly. AK bolt lugs are in the front trunnion, and the AK barrel assembly is pressed and pinned without having an index pin to align the gas block, front sight and receiver.
 

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Iv always wanted to build an AK. But it seems way to involved. Its not like building an AR where it's pretty much legos. What i would like to know is if you can buy an AK receiver with the trunnions, rails, ejector and barrel already installed (american made).
 

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If someone could however get this set up and put out NY legal aks without some silly spur...we could come and they would fly off of the shelves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's what I was thinking, we don't really need Saigas, kids in the Khyber Pass have been building AKs for a long time, if they were so complex, they would be making something else. I think I'm going to use rivets, I need to get my hands on a press, but that shouldn't be too impossible. Here's another thought, if I make a bunch, and get to to a point where they're working well, etc, and I build from a 100% receiver, (serialized), could I sell them to a FFL for resale, or would that be a no-no? I know you can sell AR-15s built from a complete lower, so how different would it be?
 

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That's what I was thinking, we don't really need Saigas, kids in the Khyber Pass have been building AKs for a long time, if they were so complex, they would be making something else. I think I'm going to use rivets, I need to get my hands on a press, but that shouldn't be too impossible. Here's another thought, if I make a bunch, and get to to a point where they're working well, etc, and I build from a 100% receiver, (serialized), could I sell them to a FFL for resale, or would that be a no-no? I know you can sell AR-15s built from a complete lower, so how different would it be?
No different, both ways you become a manufacturer.
 

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Except Obummer banned the import of those, and the prices have been going way up. Plus, I love doing things myself.
Then go for it! I've done a few builds in the past but the price of decent kits just doesn't make it worth while anymore. You could get a brand new demilled kit with the factory paper in the barrel for $60 bucks. Now they don't even import with barrels anymore so that's an additional cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Then go for it! I've done a few builds in the past but the price of decent kits just doesn't make it worth while anymore. You could get a brand new demilled kit with the factory paper in the barrel for $60 bucks. Now they don't even import with barrels anymore so that's an additional cost.
I found a parts kit with the barrel pressed in already, which should make it easier. Barrel is going to be a 16" chromed US barrel. It's really annoying that you used to be able to get parts kits for that cheap. Do you have any advice for building? I started as an AR guy, so this is a lot to figure out.
 

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I found a parts kit with the barrel pressed in already, which should make it easier. Barrel is going to be a 16" chromed US barrel. It's really annoying that you used to be able to get parts kits for that cheap. Do you have any advice for building? I started as an AR guy, so this is a lot to figure out.
My advice would be to get a Nodak Spud receiver. Even the econo ones are nice and the heat treating is done properly. Take your time, there no do overs like an AR. You can't un-drill holes. If you are doing a screw build buy good taps,the trunnion steel is like a rock. You will need bottom taps for the front one. Don't drill into the barrel or it's a wrap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've done some reading on the screws vs rivets, and I think I'm going to go with the bolt cutter riveter method, and from what I've heard, screws just aren't as good. I heard the Russians messed around with them, but couldn't get them to work to their satisfaction, so I may as well do things the way they were intended to. Definitely going to go with a Nodak receiver, I've heard a bunch of horror stories about using flats, plus I don't want to have to weld on the rails.
 

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They do make that, it's called a Saiga.
Yes, and I have one. They just went the way of new mak-90's and dodo birds. Maybe other people don't yet have one.
 

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Screws instead of rivets for which parts? If you intend to use a screw to secure the front trunnion I would say that you should reconsider this. Threads and screws are meant to provide tensile strength (the nut and bolt head being pulled apart), but the rivets in an AK need to provide shear strength (force perpendicular against the long axis of the rivet). Any excess play between the screw threads, receiver holes and trunnion holes becomes excess headspace.

An AK is not like an AR where the barrel extension is fitted to the barrel assembly itself and headspace is fixed on a specific barrel assembly. AK bolt lugs are in the front trunnion, and the AK barrel assembly is pressed and pinned without having an index pin to align the gas block, front sight and receiver.
While I am not a fan of screw builds they are an accepted means of securing the trunnion to the receiver.
The screws/rivets have nothing to do with headspace. The only thing that dictates headspace is how far the barrel is pressed into the trunnion and set with the barrel pin. It is completely possible to headspace a barrel outside of the weapon.
Do a little searching on the screw debate. I believe on ar15.com someone built an AK using toothpicks instead of rivets to prove a point.
 
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