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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone tell me how to tell where my parts kit came from? There's markings on the front trunnion on the left side, but I have no idea what they mean. There's a capital "D" inside a double circle next to a capital "A" and some other symbol that sort of looks like a capital "Q" with the numbers 29 5695. This is an AK-74 clone.
 

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....pics
 

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Just from the numbers it's a 1989 Bulgarian.
 

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The odd letters that you are describing are probably Cyrillic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SteveM said:
Just from the numbers it's a 1989 Bulgarian.
How do you know that? Why wouldn't they just stamp the year directly?

And, yes, a picture is in order. Sorry for the quality. The marking in the double circle could be the number 10, but if it is, it looks like the 1 was stamped over the zero's left side. That's why I though it might have been a calligraphic looking capital "D". Then there's the capital "Q" looking symbol, but it has the bottom extension on both sides and is a little more squared off looking. Based on the cyrillic aphabet below, it looks like just like the symbol for a capital "D". I'm really curious about the origin/history of this parts kit and am gladly thankful for all the information you gurus can provide.



 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: 74

caliri47 said:
That's bulgarian.To get the date you add 60 to the first 2 numbers.
That's strange. It isn't any harder to stamp 89 than it is to stamp 29. Maybe this is because their calendar is different or something? I'm clueless as to that one.

What tells you that it is Bulgarian? The 10 inside the double circle? What do the "AD" letters mean? I'm guessing the last four numbers is the serial number and mine is one of the first 10,000 74 parts kits made in 1989. How does a Bulgarian parts kit stack up to a Chinese, Romanian, etc kit in terms of quality, etc? Are these barrels chrome lined? Thanks again for helping out a relatively new to AKs owner!
 

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Re: 74

dtemplar said:
caliri47 said:
That's bulgarian.To get the date you add 60 to the first 2 numbers.
That's strange. It isn't any harder to stamp 89 than it is to stamp 29. Maybe this is because their calendar is different or something? I'm clueless as to that one.

What tells you that it is Bulgarian? The 10 inside the double circle? I'm guessing the last four numbers is the serial number, but it seems like it should be MUCH higher than the first 10,000 74's made. How does a Bulgarian parts kit stack up to a Chinese, Romanian, etc kit in terms of quality, etc? Thanks again!
No- the two cryllic letters are the beginning of a lot number. Similar to Romanian AKs, there is a prefix and then a 4 digit serial number. On a Romanian, it may be AA 0001 for the first production line in that year, the first rifle of that serial number range. Then AB 0001 would be the first rifle of the second production line. AC 0001 would be the first rifle of the third production line... so on and so forth. Although, to be honest, I do not know if they restarted with AA each year or if they just continued until all combinations were done and then started over. Either way, that prevents duplicate serial numbers for the same year.

As far as why they started with the smaller number (29) instead of the actual date (89)... I cannot answer for SURE, but this is my PERSONAL opinion, based only on logic, which could be totally off. I have no references for this, it just makes sense, so take it for what you think it is worth. Anyway... if you plan on making AKs for longer than a few years, you plan ahead. What would they do if they were making AK-74s into 2000? Make it 00? Following the date codes, they should make it 000... three digits, because otherwise, 00 would be 1900. But no AK-74s were made back then. So to be uniform, it is just easier to start with one number and work your way up. However, when it comes to civilian gun sales, I know most companies disguise the date because people do not want "last years" gun, they want a NEW one from this year (for example, the old Sig 226s are this way)... so to prevent gun shops from having to hold on to old stock in favor of new stuff, they disguise the date. However, I doubt the Bulgarian military or their customers were that OCD about their rifles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the info, but what specifically identifies it as Bulgarian? And, are these parts kits any good and are the barrels chrome lined? Mine looks to be shiny, but I can't tell if it's chromed or not.
 

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The 10 inside the double circle is the stamp for the Bulgarian arsenal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I see. Thanks for all the detailed info guys! Still want to know about the Bulgarian quality and if my barrel is chrome lined or not. Surely someone out there knows!
 

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Bulgarian quality is first rate. The barrels are chrome lined. Only Yugo and US barrels are not chrome lined.
 

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dtemplar said:
I see. Thanks for all the detailed info guys! Still want to know about the Bulgarian quality and if my barrel is chrome lined or not. Surely someone out there knows!

High quality barrel, hammer forged and chrome lined. The paint finish may suck... or it may be decent. All depends on how it was applied that day in the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That's good to know about the Bulgarian quality. The finish is pretty good and it's even. It's been a good shooter despite being built on a Hesse receiver. Didn't know any better at the time and it was an impulse buy. Here's a pic of the rifle. I've since replaced the pistol grip with a black one because I thought it looked better.

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Barrelburner said:
The 10 inside the double circle is the stamp for the Bulgarian arsenal.
Is there a link or picture of all the stamps indicating where they're made? I know this won't be my last AK, so I'd like to know where any future purchases came from. :dance:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Q-gunner2 said:
The paint finish may suck... or it may be decent. All depends on how it was applied that day in the factory.
Is it really just high temperature paint like Krylon or something? If it is, then it should be easy to touch up if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Are the kits usually shipped complete together? As in the rear trunnion, gas piston rod, etc... Just wondering how "complete" mine is.
 

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dtemplar said:
Are the kits usually shipped complete together? As in the rear trunnion, gas piston rod, etc... Just wondering how "complete" mine is.
A kit is pretty much a complete AK that someone ran a torch through the middle of. Everything comes together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I see. What are the parts typically swapped out to make it US compliant? Don't you need at least 10 US made parts or something to be legal?
 
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