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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here's my 1970 Izhevsk kit. This is one of the kits without the front trunnion, but if I end up keeping it and building it (it is up for sale right now on the Marketplace forum here) DFO has a 1970 Izhevsk trunnion that has the same Cyrillic first letter in the serial number prefix and would be close to and correct for this kit. Bolt and carrier, gas tube, and top cover match.

Grip and rear sight assembly are Tula from the same era, not sure or don't remember what the other parts are, but I think the selector and maybe the recoil spring rod are Tula (have to check this to be sure) and other barrel pieces I think are correct era Izhevsk.

Observations and comments are always welcome.
 

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It might help a great deal to turn the flash off on the camera, i can't really see the details or the serial number on the bolt carrier too well.

Definitely not a 1970 bolt carrier. Must be a later style replacement.
 

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The '76 AK-74 carrier cut-out pretty much matches the '76 AKM pattern, i.e. just a partial version, so your carrier is post-'76, at least the early part of the year. It's the version found in a '77, and probably also many '76 rifles. .

 

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You should switch the Tula lower in this '70 Izzy kit out with the one from your other '72 kit, which is Izzy and correct for this kit. The one we see here is a Tula and would go way better with the Tula buttstock in that other '72 kit you have.
 

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Serial number, with Cyrillie letters prefix, is r3 8707. The Cyrillic "r" translates to our "g", and as I recall the "3" translates to our "z".

DFO has 3 1970 Izhevsk trunnions whose serial number prefix starts with "r", but have a different second letter - 2 have "n" (our "P") and one has "C" (our "S"). Looking at the list of AKM serial numbers in one of the message threads here, I see a 1964 Izhevsk that starts with "r" and 3 1964 Tulas as well as a 1970 Tula and 3 1971 Tulas.

Like with Mosin-Nagant and SKS rifles we don't know in what order the serial number prefixes were assigned (with Mosins at least it is definitely not in strict alphabetical order) for each year, and we don't know what production figures were each year for each factory. However, based on the admittedly small list of serial numbers, there does seem to be at least some minimal co-relation between Tula and Izhevsk serial number prefixes for certain years. So going only by the first letter on this kit and the first letters of the DFO Izhevsks and the listed Tulas, it seems that the serial number for this kit dates it to the late 1970-early 1971 period.
You might have misunderstood me. There's absolutely no denying it's a 1970-71 serial number, but the question was if this is a 1970 carrier, and the answer is for sure a negative. That carrier design did not exist in 1970 or '71. Plus, the serial number looks to be in an incorrect location for a factory-marked 70-71 Izzy rifle, but the flash makes it hard to tell for sure. In any case, I'm certain it's a replacement carrier due to the timeline and this can probably be double-confirmed by the serial number font/spacing/location.

BTW, it's a super rare carrier to find, only used for a couple of years.
 

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Yeah, I had already considered that, but wasn't sure if a hg with the spring would be correct for a 1970 Izhevsk and if one without the spring would be correct for a '72 Tula
Tula both switched over sometime in 1972, so you coudl go either way. Izhmash switched over in late '71 or early '72. It's one of the few changes I can think of that happened at both factories almost simultaneously, within such a short amount of time. There had to have been a timely "Service Bulletin" that came down, changing the design at both locations. It might have been due to a problem encountered in the field, i.e. loose lower handguards after a certain amount of use. or it might have just been an improvement for manufacturing needs. or both.

What that spring actually did on the assembly line was for the first time allow them to make universal fit lowers that needed little to no hand fitting to be tight every time. before that spring, each lower was made oversized and had to be hand fitted both at the back and the front, and if it got worn then the tight factory fit went out the window. That's why the Soviet field manual forbids removing it at the user level.
 

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Tula RSB...probably would go good with your '70 Tula kit which *looks* like it has an Izzy RSB. BTW, I have a Tula LHG with the spring if you need one. LMK.

Robert
 

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Yeah, I had already considered that, but wasn't sure if a hg with the spring would be correct for a 1970 Izhevsk and if one without the spring would be correct for a '72 Tula

.The 1970 Izhevsk kit is kind of my "miscellaneous/parts kit" right now, so getting it proper and correct takes less precedence than trying to get the '69 RGuns and the '70 and '72 Tula kits as correct as I can. Then there is also to some degree the question of do I try to make these kits as correct for arsenal as possible (like all Tula parts on a Tula kit, even if some are later or earlier) or correct for the year/general era of the kit (like later parts regardless of Tula or Izhevsk on the 1972 Tula kit, and earlier parts regardless of arsenal on the 1970 Tula kit).

I have experience doing this with Mosins, M1 Garands, and M1 carbines, but AK's are new (and sometimes confusing) to me.
IMHO, I would go for both arsenal and era correct. You have a fair number of kits it seems and a little jockeying between them would yield great results. And a little "horsetrading" on the boards would definitely help fill in the gaps!

Robert
 
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