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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
You wouldnt? Surely they didnt build you a bad one? Them guys have always put out stellar work for me thats functional and dare I say pretty
Haha


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Maybe it's bad luck but I had 5 rifles built by them and only one came back as good or better than expected. Not dogging them but I won't be sending any more builds their way..
 

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Whoa. A rarity to say the least. BUT, each build is as unique as the original country of origin of these rifles. I think sometimes people loose sight of the fact these rifles off the rip werent made to the highest quality but instead to just be functional weapons to kill the enemy with. So I guess my next question would be did any of the rifles you werent happy with not function properly or was it a cosmetic thing, etc?
Ive been dealing with these guys for nearly 10 years and have had dozens of rifles built at this point. This is surprising news to say the least tbh.


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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Whoa. A rarity to say the least. BUT, each build is as unique as the original country of origin of these rifles. I think sometimes people loose sight of the fact these rifles off the rip werent made to the highest quality but instead to just be functional weapons to kill the enemy with. So I guess my next question would be did any of the rifles you werent happy with not function properly or was it a cosmetic thing, etc?
Ive been dealing with these guys for nearly 10 years and have had dozens of rifles built at this point. This is surprising news to say the least tbh.


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Maybe a fluke, I'm not sure. My first rifle was really nice 69 Izzy kit. Next four all had some issues
asked for my paint to be preserved on my Arabic maadi rsb and front trunnion and all components that were in nos condition.. Instead they painted the whole thing and tried to re do the markings and did not get them correct.. Not to mention the receiver was bent and the rifles action is extremely rough because of it. They offered to "try" and fix the action but never offered to try and correct the rsb and trunnion paint mishap which can never be corrected because once you paint over original you can't UN paint it. This was one of my favorite kits and it's essentially ruined.

The next rifle was this one . Send it to them with a minty furniture set, when I got it back everything on the gun was nice but my buttstock had been scratched/gouged. They blamed it on shipping and did not offer to replace my stock. They also did not use my supplied ALG trigger, instead used a $35 trigger and when I said something they had to track down another ALG trigger to install, so I had to swap the trigger later myself.
The next two were minor mistakes but again something they did not offer to fix. They did not etch "two rivers arms" into my next two and they did not use the etch kits from Thor that I requested. 丹領儭

All of this for me is enough to stay away. Combine that with the 7+ month wait time and 1k per rifle build cost I think I'll go elsewhere. Somewhere that makes sure the rifles are perfect before they leave the shop.
 

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Ya theres a lot going on there for sure. The one that sticks out to me is the paint mishap maadi rifle. This hits close to home because its what I do for a living in a round about way. Im not sure what they promised you but to preserve NOS paint on a new rifle build with new receiver and barrel is pretty much not ideal for a few reasons. It would require a considerable amount of taping, which sounds like probably wouldnt fly with you. You would have a rifle that is at best two-tone with tape marks around the receiver, and every component up and down the barrel from having to tape off old paint. like I said, Im not sure what you were promised. if its any consolation, whatever they put on, it is light years better than what the Egyptians put on it I promise you. But I get it.


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Go check out the 88 Maadi that Vlado did, Im pretty sure he preserved all the original paint on it. TRA would just repaint it.
I never said it was impossible.Just a waste of time. Imo. Other than the receiver and barrel if its a traditional build. Thats getting new paint. So Im not real sure what anyone that goes through the trouble and spends the money to do things like that because its either a weapon your going to use or a museum piece. Pick one. I prefer the realistic approach. Saving original paint on trunnions at this point gets you zero extra dollars when you sell or trade it. Im not a fan is all Im saying. But hey, each their own.


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I never said it was impossible.Just a waste of time. Imo. Other than the receiver and barrel if its a traditional build. Thats getting new paint. So Im not real sure what anyone that goes through the trouble and spends the money to do things like that because its either a weapon your going to use or a museum piece. Pick one. I prefer the realistic approach. Saving original paint on trunnions at this point gets you zero extra dollars when you sell or trade it. Im not a fan is all Im saying. But hey, each their own.


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Ive never heard of anyone considering totally refinished collector grade AKMs more desirable than ones that preserve their original finish. Strange. But hey, to each their own.
 

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Ya theres a lot going on there for sure. The one that sticks out to me is the paint mishap maadi rifle. This hits close to home because its what I do for a living in a round about way. Im not sure what they promised you but to preserve NOS paint on a new rifle build with new receiver and barrel is pretty much not ideal for a few reasons. It would require a considerable amount of taping, which sounds like probably wouldnt fly with you. You would have a rifle that is at best two-tone with tape marks around the receiver, and every component up and down the barrel from having to tape off old paint. like I said, Im not sure what you were promised. if its any consolation, whatever they put on, it is light years better than what the Egyptians put on it I promise you. But I get it.


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This is not true. Masking of OG parts, mainly the trunnion and RSB's, is an expected service when having a rare/unique kit built and painted. A rifle will not have the two-tone look if done right, and if it really bothers the end user to a high degree. With the correct paint sprayed at the correct parameters, then everything oiled at final assembly, the rifles rarely look two-tone. @techno has a good method for blending trunnions but not completely obliterating the markings or OG paint by simply re-spraying them to match the rest of the new receiver. But thats if someone is really bothered by the slightest difference in tone from factory OG trunnion paint vs painted receiver.

Any rifle that has been cut or barrel and receiver replaced, will never look 100% as it did leaving the factory 50 years ago. Paint oxidation and other elemental factors that are caused by time are difficult to emulate straight out of a spray gun with fresh paint. So its a trade off. Personally, my trade off is that I want to preserve as much OG finish on parts as possible, and happy to match the receiver or barrel to the best of my ability, knowing full well it will never be 100% match. Some originality is better than none.

Refinishing entire guns to either save time or to "make it better than factory" has always been a pet peeve of mine. I don't want "better than factory," otherwise I would buy a completely brand new built firearm I can get in a pawn shop. I want the same gun the factory made 45 years ago. Unique kits like Maadis, with their horrible flaky paint and etched markings, is exactly what makes a Maadi a Maadi. 9 times of 10, you see these completely sandblasted and repainted. Whats the point? Why bother with a Maadi if its going to look like any other re-painted AK? It would be better to spend your money in other projects.
 

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I never said it was impossible.Just a waste of time. Imo. Other than the receiver and barrel if its a traditional build. Thats getting new paint. So Im not real sure what anyone that goes through the trouble and spends the money to do things like that because its either a weapon your going to use or a museum piece. Pick one. I prefer the realistic approach. Saving original paint on trunnions at this point gets you zero extra dollars when you sell or trade it. Im not a fan is all Im saying. But hey, each their own.


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I'm afraid you fundamentally do not understand what an AK is meant to be. It should not be pigeon holed into either being a "museum piece" or "shooter." Ideally, its both. Museum piece in the AK world does not equate a minty mint, fresh, unused rifle. Far from it. It means a rifle that has honest wear or history, and should be adored for what it is, not what it was when it left the factory. I love that there are people that go both ways on this, as long as they're approaching it from the right angle. An all mint kit should absolutely re-built as a minty rifle, but maintaining all the OG finish where applicable.

Here's a Maadi @Slurms MacKenzie referenced in his post. All OG finish and paint flecks on all the parts. Receiver painted horribly and weathered to match the flakes in the OG finished parts. Do we call this a shooter grade or museum grade? If this is how the kit was when received, with actual use and wear, does that constitute any less desirable because it didn't leave the factory with this flaky finish (well, thats debatably with the Egyptians)?

Its the same reason you wouldn't restore a Vietnam bring back rusted out SKS. It kills the history and provenance, and the very essence of what makes it special.

Wood Font Metal Fashion accessory Gun accessory


Air gun Trigger Revolver Wood Shotgun
 

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So what exactly in my statement wasnt true? The part where it will be two tone? You said yourself , it would have to be blended in order to achieve a good match. Which is true. But thats not what I was gathering from the ATgunner build. He wanted the OG paint preserved. Blending anything isnt achieving that nor is that an option according to the rules he set. Your painting OVER OG paint. Look, Im not arguing that it cant be done or that it hasnt been done. All Im saying is if anyone thinks having a rifle that someone has saved any part of a paint job from when it was made 50-60 years is somehow better I whole heartedly disagree. If the end game is to look the part then why not replicate what the original manufacturer did but with modern technics and methods. On top of all that these rifles where and probably still are painted with the cheapest most rot gut bulk paint they could find applied with an Old fashioned bug sprayer style paint gun. Its not practical or financially beneficial so I dont get it man.
But hey, you do you. Just my opinion


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So what exactly in my statement wasnt true? The part where it will be two tone? You said yourself , it would have to be blended in order to achieve a good match. Which is true. But thats not what I was gathering from the ATgunner build. He wanted the OG paint preserved. Blending anything isnt achieving that nor is that an option according to the rules he set. Your painting OVER OG paint. Look, Im not arguing that it cant be done or that it hasnt been done. All Im saying is if anyone thinks having a rifle that someone has saved any part of a paint job from when it was made 50-60 years is somehow better I whole heartedly disagree. If the end game is to look the part then why not replicate what the original manufacturer did but with modern technics and methods. On top of all that these rifles where and probably still are painted with the cheapest most rot gut bulk paint they could find applied with an Old fashioned bug sprayer style paint gun. Its not practical or financially beneficial so I dont get it man.
But hey, you do you. Just my opinion


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Yeah you totally missed the point of what @Vlado was saying.
 

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With Turbo's paint and a little artistry one cannot tell the difference between it and OG paint. As a mid to high end collector, I want to keep a much of the rifle as original as possible. The OP's rifle shows the mix of the two well.

They are all shooters to me (even if they only get 3-5 mags before they go in the safe and mostly come out for glamor shots). They all get the occasional range trip for fun and unabashed showing off, lolol.
 

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Im sorry this happened to your irreplaceable 83 kit. The factory white paint and inspector proofs stamped into the paint around the barrel pin are what makes those 83's really pop, so sad when they get painted over.
After seeing what you've done recently, I believe you could strip it, repaint, add some Vlad-tech, and make it look like it was originally.
 

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So what exactly in my statement wasnt true? The part where it will be two tone? You said yourself , it would have to be blended in order to achieve a good match. Which is true. But thats not what I was gathering from the ATgunner build. He wanted the OG paint preserved. Blending anything isnt achieving that nor is that an option according to the rules he set. Your painting OVER OG paint. Look, Im not arguing that it cant be done or that it hasnt been done. All Im saying is if anyone thinks having a rifle that someone has saved any part of a paint job from when it was made 50-60 years is somehow better I whole heartedly disagree. If the end game is to look the part then why not replicate what the original manufacturer did but with modern technics and methods. On top of all that these rifles where and probably still are painted with the cheapest most rot gut bulk paint they could find applied with an Old fashioned bug sprayer style paint gun. Its not practical or financially beneficial so I dont get it man.
But hey, you do you. Just my opinion


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I saw yall bickering, I didnt even read but a few lines.

I make the paint that all these primo Russian kits have on them, if its refurb then its not the same paint. I sell TRA that paint. Its chemically 1:1 same to all tula/Izzy/molot Since 1960. If its refurb, dont try to save the paint

Bulgarian & Hungarian are dead match too. Polish is hit or miss but I can get it to blend and look right because the pigment is the same. Polish paint has a hardner I believe.

I agree with you on the Maadi, and it is hard to mask off all the parts like requested, and blend this is that. On a maadi Im sure they are using appliance epoxy in a can.

Im only speaking on Russian guns, you can paint over the original paint job and it sticks. Its a pretty gnarly lacquer. You can also just dust over the painted parts with alum ox and paint over. Every job is different. Many times they dont go as well as you want them too.

I get your side of things and I get theirs, reality falls in the middle with what is profitable/logical to do. How we paint our personal rifles and how they paint them wont be the same. They have to be reasonable with time/resources.

The hours put into a highly detailed project can stack up fast. This is why some high end builders will offer hourly build services for picky customers.

There is more then one to skin a cat/Ak


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So what exactly in my statement wasnt true? The part where it will be two tone? You said yourself , it would have to be blended in order to achieve a good match. Which is true. But thats not what I was gathering from the ATgunner build. He wanted the OG paint preserved. Blending anything isnt achieving that nor is that an option according to the rules he set. Your painting OVER OG paint. Look, Im not arguing that it cant be done or that it hasnt been done. All Im saying is if anyone thinks having a rifle that someone has saved any part of a paint job from when it was made 50-60 years is somehow better I whole heartedly disagree. If the end game is to look the part then why not replicate what the original manufacturer did but with modern technics and methods. On top of all that these rifles where and probably still are painted with the cheapest most rot gut bulk paint they could find applied with an Old fashioned bug sprayer style paint gun. Its not practical or financially beneficial so I dont get it man.
But hey, you do you. Just my opinion


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Welcome to the forum. More specifically, welcome to the Russian subforum. We might be a little different in here, haha. As an example, I can only think of extreme cases in which I would pay nearly $2k for a kit in the condition of the recent imports and proceed to spray the whole thing down in fresh paint. I did end up with one of the kits that had the paint stripped before hand; case in point, if I build that one, it would probably get a full dose of Techno's paint. Any of the others, even most of my earlier RGuns imports will be refinished in the painstaking way you describe - masked-off original parts before painting the barrel and receiver.

When I get around to it, I'll blend things a little better to avoid the two-tone look you mention. And I agree, it's not a great look until blending, whether carefully done intentionally, or aged through general use. Even on my '58 T3 reweld, I kept the original finish on everything but the "repair section" that served as the center part of the receiver. I rust-blued the middle section and blended it into the original parts. Blasting the whole thing and doing a complete reblue would be a valid way to refinish such a build, as would doing a complete repaint of one of these kits. It comes down to what the owner wants. But at the same time, these things are like classic cars. Some of those collectors are also nuts, and they have particular ways in which they choose to refinish. Even worse, some of us collect both!

Generally, others here share a similar sentiment. Maybe if these things were a dime a dozen, I'd have one ceracoated realtree and another gold plated, but instead, I pay a premium for beat up parts and then try to figure out how to make my new receiver and barrel look as gnarly as my pitted top cover. As I said, welcome to the Russian subforum!

pp
 
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