Tula AKS-74U Production Guide (1982-1992) - Page 2
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Thread: Tula AKS-74U Production Guide (1982-1992)

  1. #16
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    Early and Late vented hand guards

    The early one is on the left. It has the scooped out front end for better air flow. It doesn't partially block the vent holes of the lower hand guard retainer.







    The late vented one



    The early vented one



    All four



    Then you have to ask why the change? Possibly the early one was too fragile or maybe it was for ease and speed of manufacture.



    Last edited by jithaca; 05-24-2014 at 04:50 AM.
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  2. #17
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    Great start, def going to be referencing this a lot.

    If you do want to include the 93 no star, I'll get some pics for you no problem. The wood is packed away somewhere else tho.

  3. #18
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    Okay first big update. I managed to finish writing/posting the Year-Year variation section. I'd really appreciate some feedback on the format if you guys get a chance to glance over it. Once again tried to follow what I can remember from Doug's format, as it is far superior to anything I could ever come up with. I also added some more pictures to the '82-'85 section.

    Quote Originally Posted by jithaca View Post

    Then you have to ask why the change? Possibly the early one was too fragile or maybe it was for ease and speed of manufacture.
    As always Jerry thanks a lot for the info, I'll update the first post when I figure out how the hell to work around this damn 25 picture limit. Any clue when the transition occurred? I'd be very curious to know if anyone has seen an early set with the numbering on the left side

    You've got a much better eye than I'll ever have for the small stuff like that. That's mainly the reason I haven't tackled FCG's, etc yet

    Quote Originally Posted by KalashniFan View Post
    Great start, def going to be referencing this a lot.

    If you do want to include the 93 no star, I'll get some pics for you no problem. The wood is packed away somewhere else tho.
    Thank you very much, I'd love to see the small parts if we go with '93. Sorry I haven't responded to your last PM yet, wanted to bang this damn guide out finally! PM on the way

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell View Post
    Thanks Mike, now I have more stuff to learn!!!! My brain is going to explode!!!
    Haha this community will do that to ya! I thought this guide would only take me 3 hours to write up once I was done the research/made the pictures... 12 hours later my freakin brain exploded too
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote"

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  5. #19
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    Man this guide really sucks...

    Just kidding man --> this should probably be a sticky

  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KSlay1988 View Post
    Man this guide really sucks...

    Just kidding man --> this should probably be a sticky
    I taught you everything you know about AK's

    Haha thanks man. I'll bet you're glad you don't have to hear about my progress on writing this thing all the time anymore
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote"

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  7. #21
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    I have a deact 93 kit with Jim at JBI currently. It was one of the few that made it over via stottman I believe. From what I understand, 93 was the last year of production with a good number of them demilled for deact/dummy pieces. Mine has the star ground off, but still retains the proofs around the barrel pin hole in the trunnion as well as proof stamps on the barrel stub pieces as well. There are also some 93 guns that were re-marked as 2008 models I believe after the 93 and star were ground off. Not sure if those were done for export or what, but have seen a few pics floating around of them.

  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by uao85 View Post
    I have a deact 93 kit with Jim at JBI currently. It was one of the few that made it over via stottman I believe. From what I understand, 93 was the last year of production with a good number of them demilled for deact/dummy pieces. Mine has the star ground off, but still retains the proofs around the barrel pin hole in the trunnion as well as proof stamps on the barrel stub pieces as well. There are also some 93 guns that were re-marked as 2008 models I believe after the 93 and star were ground off. Not sure if those were done for export or what, but have seen a few pics floating around of them.
    Hey buddy, I was looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this guide. Please feel free to correct anything you may have found on the early stuff. I just don't have enough stuff to make a prototype section yet unfortunately

    They got pretty creative with dating the dummy's in 2013, this cracked me up:



    I do believe '93 was the last year of production as well. I just can't seem to find a single picture of one that isn't a dummy gun, have you come across any yet? The picture I posted early of the one that retains the star might be the real deal, but I just can't confirm it because that is the only picture I have of it. Any input would be greatly appreciated
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote"

    -Benjamin Franklin



  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliot308 View Post
    I put the word out for the 87-88 pics
    Greatly appreciated! I really could use all the help I can get with this thing. Hopefully we can hammer down to a finer degree when some of the late-era stuff first appeared.

    I'm going to be adding the FCG identifications that Doug/Mitchell helped me with soon and try reformat some stuff soon as well
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote"

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  10. #24
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    Mike, 1992 was the "officially" published last year for Russian military procurement of AKSU's, but at least one well-worn veteran 1993 popped up in AFG around 2007, at least that's when images were first posted of it. I can only guess it came in from Chechnya. I only have trunnion and bolt carrier close-up images of it, but that's enough to realize it's not some Pak-built copy.

    A lot of the 1993 production was built as live semi-autos, too, said to be for a contract in Europe someplace. Keep in mind the deacts that became available in the UK about eight years ago (sold by rusmilitary and others) were made from some of these very same '93-dated semi-automatic rifles, and they look every bit like they were actually assembled in 1993, FWIW.

    I don't think the factory was making any that year specifically as dummy rifles, but they probably used leftover '93 parts to build up purpose-built dummy rifles later on when MMG's got so popular.

    Interesting topic, I wish I knew more!
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  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tantal View Post
    Mike, 1992 was the "officially" published last year for Russian military procurement of AKSU's, but at least one well-worn veteran 1993 popped up in AFG around 2007, at least that's when images were first posted of it. I can only guess it came in from Chechnya. I only have trunnion and bolt carrier close-up images of it, but that's enough to realize it's not some Pak-built copy.

    A lot of the 1993 production was built as live semi-autos, too, said to be for a contract in Europe someplace. Keep in mind the deacts that became available in the UK about eight years ago (sold by rusmilitary and others) were made from some of these very same '93-dated semi-automatic rifles, and they look every bit like they were actually assembled in 1993, FWIW.

    I don't think the factory was making any that year specifically as dummy rifles, but they probably used leftover '93 parts to build up purpose-built dummy rifles later on when MMG's got so popular.

    Interesting topic, I wish I knew more!
    I really appreciate you taking the time to chime in on the mystery Doug, thanks!

    I've been thinking that it wouldn't make any sense for them to sanitize the trunnion because they were building a dummy gun... I mean, they are advertised as being Tula AKSU's so what the hell would the point be?! So the European contract makes a lot of sense (I believe Stottman posted once that the rumor is some were meant for the US, ever hear that? Sounds like an internet rumor to me). I'm definitely going to add 1993 to the guide now based on your confirmation that a true war vet exists

    Ugh, alright I'm actually dreading trying add stuff to this thread with the damn 25 picture post limit, haha... but in the next few days I'm going to add 1993, add all the information you helped me with on the FCG's, and maybe delete some of the redundant photos to make this damn thing less of a phonebook hopefully.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote"

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  12. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by KalashniFan View Post
    Great start, def going to be referencing this a lot.

    If you do want to include the 93 no star, I'll get some pics for you no problem. The wood is packed away somewhere else tho.
    Quote Originally Posted by uao85 View Post
    I have a deact 93 kit with Jim at JBI currently. It was one of the few that made it over via stottman I believe. From what I understand, 93 was the last year of production with a good number of them demilled for deact/dummy pieces. Mine has the star ground off, but still retains the proofs around the barrel pin hole in the trunnion as well as proof stamps on the barrel stub pieces as well. There are also some 93 guns that were re-marked as 2008 models I believe after the 93 and star were ground off. Not sure if those were done for export or what, but have seen a few pics floating around of them.
    Well fellas, I say we add 1993 now! If you guys still are up to it, please feel free to show off your kits. Since there's a friggin 25 picture limit, the more you can include in a single picture would be ideal (versus one of each part). Thanks guys
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote"

    -Benjamin Franklin



  13. #27
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    Hey fellas, member talmadge here sent me a PM last night containing some really incredible pictures of a '93 AKSU-





    It's a real deal semi-auto example that is owned by a civilian in Switzerland. This is the first time I've personally seen an example of a semi-auto example sold to the civilian European market that Doug was referencing earlier. Big thanks to talmadge for sharing these with us

    Here's what I've noticed so far:

    -the obvious fact the star hasn't been ground down. I had been working under the assumption that the only reason the dummy guns had ground down stars was because they were built from leftover parts of the semi-auto civilian models that had had the stars ground off. This example shows, however, that that's just not the case. Any thoughts? It just doesn't make sense to me why they would grind the star off the dummy guns, considering no other factory deact I've seen has been sanitized.
    -It looks like the selector markings still have the full-auto notch
    -the owner actually told talmadge that these semi-auto examples cost more than the full auto ones! Man, I wish we could say the same
    -The gun is lacking the barrel cluster proof entirely. I'm not sure why that is. The dummy guns were missing it as well, but now the semi-auto example is too along with the other picture I have of one of these guns with its star that I believe is a real deal example - (edit- I just noticed the cluster proof scheme changed sometime in the '88/'89 range just glancing through the guide. I dont know how the hell I overlooked that all these years. I gotta go through my examples and hammer down a timeline)



    Thanks again talmadge, and I'm looking forward to seeing your guys thoughts on this new example

    I'm still working on adding a new section with accessories, oddities (plum HG's, grenade launchers, briefcase AKSU's, etc) and information of FCG's
    Last edited by Fiorentino; 08-06-2014 at 08:53 PM.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote"

    -Benjamin Franklin



  14. #28
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    This thread just reaffirmed my love for the aks -74u. And, now I want to make it my life long mission to collect as many variations as possible lol.

    Great work!
    WTB:
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  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by swizz View Post
    This thread just reaffirmed my love for the aks -74u. And, now I want to make it my life long mission to collect as many variations as possible lol.

    Great work!
    You and me both brother! I'm trying not to kid myself anymore, I'm not gonna be satisfied until I have one of each year someday

    So many guns, so little time/money....

    Quote Originally Posted by starkings View Post
    early 82 serial 250### but less than 251### hand guards had no numbers on either side, i believe. they are all vented..
    Thanks for the reply. I personally haven't seen any '82s that were completely factory original that didn't have the numbered lowers. The majority for the year had the numbers on the right (it's one of the most easily distinguishing features of them from a distance), while towards the end of the year the numbers finally switched. There's actually an early-vented style and late vented-style as highlighted greatly by Jithaca's pictures... all '82s that are factory original that I've seen have the early style with the SN. Here's a nice early one (SN 213426) that is completely factory original-



    There's an easy way to tell if the handguards on the example you mentioned left the factory without any numbers. Once the handguards were installed on the rifle, the small circular fitment proof was stamped on the left side of the HG's (through all years). Since the practice of numbering the handguards lasted into 1985 nonvented HG's- all vented handguards that I've seen installed on an AKSU had both the fitment proof and numbers. If the example you mention has the fitment proof on the right (and the two proofs struck in the bottom of the HG), and no numbers on the left or right- then that would indicate that it actually left the factory without numbers and is original to the rifle. If the HG's don't have any of the proofs- then I'd have to believe that they were either swapped out at some point in the rifle's life, or the numbers/proof both simply wore off from heavy use (but were originally there when the rifle left the factory). A good example of how the numbers can wear off from use is the last picture in the 1982 section of the guide

    I'm going to keep my eye out for a non-numbered factory original example now, thanks
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote"

    -Benjamin Franklin



  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by starkings View Post
    i dont think anyone would argue that prior to demil the wilson krink had never been messed with and that it was totally original factory gun. the pictures of either side that i have seen show no serial number at all of the handgaurds. it's serial range is 250###
    I didn't realize we were discussing the CW example. In that case, I'd be surprised if the HG's weren't original. The HG's though are worn to the extent that the numbers certainly could have worn off over heavy use, as commonly happens to varying extents. Here's an example-



    There's plenty more examples of well-worn Russian furniture that lost the numbers almost entirely- to the extent you cannot even make out that they are numbers if you didn't know they were supposed to be there (completely illegible). These are to a higher degree than the one I just posted, and are similar in the amount of wear to the CW one.

    Basically this guide is meant to be a summary of what the majority of examples display. The CW one could be an exception having left the factory without numbers... but given the possibility the numbers simply could have worn off as was common, along with all other examples I've found that were earlier production than the CW thus far being numbered- I just don't think it's enough evidence to change out the guide until some more examples are discovered. I'll keep an eye out as I find more examples for sure though.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote"

    -Benjamin Franklin



 

 
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