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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a Romanian RPK kit (1960's I think) from Arms of America and a Childers receiver and am about to send off to my builder, who has invited me to list specific requirements I might have and really I am looking for advice. I'm new to builds and for that matter have owned only 2 AK's prior to this and am not remotely an expert.

I have some concern in that I think I made a mistake in asking Arms of America to headspace it rather than just send the loose parts, because they didn't bother to really get all the grime and rust off. How you can press together parts that you didn't clean all the rust off first I don't know, but they did. I got a quite considerable amount off from accessible with Kroil, but obviously can't get where parts and the barrel are pressed together.

I'm not talking major pitted rust, but enough to really rust-stain rags wiped on it, and leaving quite a pile of particles at the bottom of the Kroil when soaking.

Should I ask it to be pulled apart and re-assembled?

And anyway, with the barrel being in the white, how can it get proper finish without disassembly? (Lack of knowledge rather than saying it can't.)

Also, for proper fit of the bipod, will I need to wait till I have the cleaning rod before sending off? It hasn't arrived yet. That's a potential issue I learned of just a few seconds ago from another recent thread here, from someone else's loose bipod mount. Mine is REALLY loose.

And just in general, what is there to ask for except such as building to a typical Combloc appearance? What might there be ask for with regard to markings? To me Cyrillic letters are cool, but I have no idea what markings might be appropriate. Or any other details that might be worth knowing.

Thank you!
 

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you need romanian markings and correct selector notches, if you want them at all. strictly speaking not needed and can save you $40-50 off the total cost. it would be silly to have russian marking on the otherwise romanian gun. if you are using an 80% receiver you can specify where you want identification info and serial applied. if using 100% receiver then this isn't relevant.

if you ask him to do a full refinish - he will take care of dirt grime and rust when he is going to blast old finish off. so i wouldn't worry too much about it.

barrel gets finished with the rest of the parts, either painted when build is complete or parkerized.

when he asks about options he assumes you know what said options he typically provides. you should ask him if you don't know and then decide what you want to do. builders are typically do some things and don't do others.

if it was me and i was building historically correct representation, i would ask to match finish to the rest of the parts. No after-market crap, only all-original parts with exception of required 922r compliance parts. if i was building just a range blaster for fun i would ask about some modern finish like gun-kote or cerakote. and whatever accessories trinkets i would want on it.

i would also ask to install a side rail, so optics can be mounted. and probably ask to drill undersized gas port, or check with him on what size he typically drills and make sure it's not a huge one. no need to overgass the gun.

that's all i can think of. maybe someone else has additional suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. My understanding was price included hot bluing and original markings, so I guess I made a mistake (waste) in getting the headspacing and the barrel populated. I did ask the builder a question re having the barrel populated, for a different reason, and now I'm surprised he didn't say no don't do it, unless I am misunderstanding that it doesn't need to be undone to blue it.

I would have thought exactly the same as you said, parkerized and/or painted, but the builder's webpage says blued is correct for Romanian.

For that matter, what with Arms of America populating the barrel, I guess they would have drilled their own gas port. Now even moreso I wish I had just ordered loose parts...

I didn't know that Romania stopped using Cyrillic letters (turns out that was 1920) and so certainly that rules that right out. I'm sure the builder would have corrected me on it but it's nice to not have asked, which you got me straight on.

Thank you also for mentioning the side rail. I am having that put on, I just forgot to say. That said, I may have forgot to put it in the package!! Which isn't sealed up on. Definitely have to check that!
 

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romanina used bluing on very early guns. pretty sure they switched fairly quickly to park. look at the parts - that's a dead on indicator of the gun's original finish.
while i like bluing on milled AKs, stamped guns are less suited for it. too many cracks, crannies and crevices to rely on bluing to keep things from rusting. a lot of those areas are hard or nearly impossible to reach too, like under trunnions. you can have a rust factory going in there and you would not even see it or can effectively get to it. i would rather rely on park as far superior finish than bluing. so if you can swap to that i would try. in any case park is far easier to apply than bluing and that in itself could save you some money. but if that's not an option then douse your gun with copious ammounts of penetrating oil, especially in hard to reach places. let it sit and wipe excess before use. bluing is just not that great at dealing with corrosion especially in humid environment. if you live in arizona or other arid state then this would be a lot smaller issue for you and bluing would be just fine as long as you don't let your gun get too wet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess that's why it had the rust problems it did! Not terrible, but certainly everywhere even if quite lightly.

Thank you!
 

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The later Romy weapons have a type of bluing that looks like park but is not. I forget what it is called exactly.

There is a thread on here discussing it. I beleive it was on later 70s into the 80s weapons.

If you were to have it parked then painted not many would notice.

Good bluing along with appropriate markings would be correct on a 60s RPK.

A side rail although technically not correct makes the rifle more versatile.
 

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A headspaced kit will still need to be disassembled to allow the builder to install the front trunnion rivets. Just thought Id throw that out there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Much appreciated, I understand that now. This was my first time ordering and frankly I wanted to complete the purchase before it disappeared rather thanresearch first whether I ought to pay for the headspaced option. It was I guess now a waste (unless there is some other reason?) but at least now I don't have to worry about trapped rust.

Wingnut308, it will be Two Rivers, so I have every confidence. Any fail would be on my end whether omission of what to ask for or making a poor request.
 

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A headspaced kit will still need to be disassembled to allow the builder to install the front trunnion rivets. Just thought Id throw that out there!
I bought one of those kits from AoA a while back, and the barrel came headspaced and also fully populated. There was still grease and some gunk on the parts, but not too bad so I left it populated and just degreased it well. You can't press the parts back on without grease anyway, so I didn't see any need to take them off and clean them separately. Also, the parts were Parkerized so bluing was not really an option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You can always call or email us for advice on a build.
That's what we do...;)
Thank you!

And indeed I will!

I was trying to minimize unnecessary stupidity or ignorance directed your way.

And a good thing actually because sure enough, I had not packed the side rail into the as-yet unsealed box which I thought had everything, and had dnepr0mike not posted, that would have caused an unnecessary added delay and second shipping expense.
 

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Wingnut308, it will be Two Rivers, so I have every confidence. Any fail would be on my end whether omission of what to ask for or making a poor request.
That's the right answer. They are the best one stop shop, all you need to do is throw a note in the box that says 'do your thing' and you're gtg.
 

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Two Rivers was kind enough to reach out to you here, let them build your rifle. Choosing a builder is the most important step if your not going to build it yourself. Two Rivers does hot bluing and it looks outstanding plus it's correct for your RPK. Here is a link to a Romanian RPK paratrooper that they built for a friend, one of the best one's I've seen.
Good Luck!
https://www.akfiles.com/forums/threads/pics-two-rivers-romanian-paratrooper-rpk.394020/
 
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