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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to acquire one of those 1969 Izzy AKM parts kits with the intention of having it built by one of our professional assemblers. Before taking the plunge, I am looking for some direction so I can get this right. First off would be choice of receivers. Is there a advantage to having one numbered by the manufacturer to match the kit? I would like to have the selector markings in Cyrillic as well. Second is selection of barrel. Both for 922r and availability, is there a good U.S. made, chrome lined barrel out there? If not, what about foreign options? How about the FCG? My preference is not to see "TAPCO" on the rifle anywhere. Regarding rivets, I know virtually nothing (other than I have lots of those used in the aircraft industry, along with air hammers, sets, & bucking bars). Lastly, would I be better off gathering up all the components before shipping off the kit for assembly or can I save some angst by discussing my thoughts with the builder and rely upon him to know what to do. I realize this is quite a list, and appreciate hearing from anyone whom is willing to comment or provide guidance. Thanks!
 

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For receivers it would be hard to beat a 74U LLC receiver. They are custom made to order and come will come with Cyrillic selector markings and notches. The receiver can even use the serial number from your trunion to make an all matching rifle. There is a wait time but in my opinion it is worth the wait.

For US barrels the best ones I have seen are the AK Builder produced or machined ones. They have some better details that some of the other barrel produces don’t. Thing is AK Builder hasn’t had any in stock for a while. I know Arms of America offers chrome lined US barrels but I haven’t actually seen one.

Foreign barrel choices are limited to virgin Romanian (quite good – imho) or used Romanian, Polish, or whatever you can get your hands on.

If you can find one Century used to make a FCG that actually looked very similar to Russian – I sold mine before I realized that. Then they switched to Tapco. Arsenal (K-VAR) also makes a FCG worth looking at.

AK builder offers the best rivets for a Russian build imho. There are youtube videos that can give you a good idea of what is involved on AK specific rivets. I use jigs like the AK Builder one and think they are worth the coin - especially if you are a hands on type.

I build my own so I haven’t sent a kit out to be built, but from what I gather it is best to gather all the parts yourself then send the entire package to the builder.

Patience is the name of the game in this hobby. If you send a kit to builder be prepared to wait for quality work to be done. Some people have waited more than a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks MpiKM-72. You covered all the bases and I appreciate your thoughts. Although I am relatively handy at making things (I have a ENCO bench mill & Logan bench lathe), don't think I am confident enough to take on building an AK myself. No one likes to wait, but I would rather do so than rush things. I have always looked at arms from a collector's aspect, and with an eye towards authenticity. Had I not lived in California and been subject to their Assault Ban 1 & 2 (with three coming just down the road), I would have continued my interest in modern tactical military arms and probably be well versed in the nuances of such weapons. Since relocating in 2010 to Arizona, I've got a lot of catching-up to do! The Russian AKM has been my favorite AK variant ever since I saw "Red Dawn" (John Milius 1984 production) back in the day, so hope to fulfill that goal...
 

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pwcosol said:
I am looking for some direction so I can get this right. First off would be choice of receivers. Is there a advantage to having one numbered by the manufacturer to match the kit? I would like to have the selector markings in Cyrillic as well.
If you are going to spend the coin on a matching Iz Kit, it makes no sense at all to then skimp on a receiver whose serial number doesn't match the kit. You want nothing less than a 74U LLC receiver, which will not only be matched by number to your kit, but will have the correct spotwelds, dimples and markings (including Y-stamps), have correct selector markings that look like the real deal (not dinged in by a crappy dot-peen engraver), is top quality manufacturing and heat-treating, and will improve the value of your investment. Current wait time is 6 months or more and costs about twice that of the other brands, but more than worth it.


Second is selection of barrel. Both for 922r and availability, is there a good U.S. made, chrome lined barrel out there? If not, what about foreign options?
This is the issue I'm having on my current projects. Old Eastern European barrels were cold hammer forged, US barrels are not. Like you, I want historical accuracy, and would prefer the Euro style barrel, and an actual Euro barrel would be best. There also seems to be a wide variation of quality in US barrels. Unfortunately because of the barrel ban, we cannot get Euro barrels the way we used to, and are currently limited to Romanian virgin barrels (ie. have not been mounted to a gun, and have no gas port drilled - and thus are "non-sporting"). I have a bias against Romanian parts, as toward the end their AKMs were probably the lowest quality of Eastern Euro production. I'm told this deficiency didn't apply to their barrels, but I haven't seen this positively demonstrated.

So yeah. Let me know what you come up with in your own research on this.



How about the FCG? My preference is not to see "TAPCO" on the rifle anywhere."
I understand the desire to not stick TAPCO on your gun, but actually their FCG is pretty decent. It is one of the things they actually do right.


Lastly, would I be better off gathering up all the components before shipping off the kit for assembly or can I save some angst by discussing my thoughts with the builder and rely upon him to know what to do. I realize this is quite a list, and appreciate hearing from anyone whom is willing to comment or provide guidance. Thanks!

IMO, gather the parts yourself. That way you know that each element is to your personal satisfaction, and that nobody cut corners out of convenience or ready access to a particular part that will work fine, but isn't up to persnickety Russian Board AK Forum standard. It will take time to do it properly, but when you do the 74U LLC receiver, you are going to have plenty of time to wait, research, and select the parts you really want before the receiver is in your hands.
 

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An interesting point I've just discovered relating to what I said about barrels; while the Soviets were making hammer-forged barrels in 1969, they were using that technology only for making the PKM, not any AKM. The HF barrels for the AK rifle didn't begin until production of the AK74. True? Hmm.
 

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the rguns might not be as correct as you think. if your worried about having all the correct parts fsb, gb, selecotrs, etc. they might not be all correct. i bought two kits and am trying to figure out what is correct for a 69 kit....
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=198826
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Scratch & Roadrunner for your posts. Yesterday I sold a friend my duplicate SAIGA SGL 31-62 (which he has been wanting for awhile), so took the plunge & ordered one of the '69 Izzys from RGuns. I will definitely go with the 74ULLC receiver and get in line a.s.a.p. Hope I am not "jumping the gun" by doing so before I get the parts kit in hand. Based on what I receive, will look to the Forum members to help sort things out. I have an ace up my sleeve in that one of my long time, best friends is Bob L. from Ohio Ordnance. I asked Bob about parts and those for AKs specifically, which he maintains primarily for Class III repair orders. He said I could have whatever I need. A mutual friend will be onsite in a few weeks and make time to go thru the stuff for me. I just have to provide him guidance as what to look for as there are tubs full of parts but nobody knows what is actually there.
 

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pwcosol said:
I will definitely go with the 74ULLC receiver and get in line a.s.a.p. Hope I am not "jumping the gun" by doing so before I get the parts kit in hand.
I think you'll have to have the parts in hand to get the serial number right.

Good luck with the build!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I got a email to call David on the receiver, so will do so today. I expect it will be some time before he gets to me, so figured I could supply the particulars from the parts kit down the road. This is "unchartered waters" for me, but with support of the Forum membership, feel confident this will work out well. I still am thinking about a SGL 31-85 and (likely) a Bulgy '74 platform to fab up an E. German clone AK74N. I am itchy to do something now, but then the SAR (W) and Crossroads dual show event in Phoenix is less than 4 months off, and should offer a good opportunity to do some "hands on" shopping!
 

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I also feel that the Soviet AK is, being the original, one of the most desirable variations out there. These are much scarcer, and hence costlier, than the Romanian, Egyptian, and even Polish kits that are currently available. And when the remaining Soviet kits out there are gone, I don't think our chances are very good that more will ever be imported.

I recently acquired one of the "trunnion-less" AKM kits that Sportsfag's Guide had for sale last year, and picked up a correct year 1972 Izhevsk front trunnion from Desert Fox Outfitters in Wickenburg, Arizona, after determining my kit was a '72 Izhevsk.

I then purchased 2 of the 1969 kits from RGuns, figuring that 3 nice Soviet AKM rifles should give me a nice selection to choose my build projects from. Not being one of the idle rich, I had to sell one of my RGuns kits, and plan to build the other one...and the '72 kit if I don't sell it first.

I am fortunate to have a few nice Polish AKM front halves, so I plan to use the barrels from a couple of these for my Soviet AKM's. If I didn't have the Polish barrels, I would use Romanians. To me, using any more U.S. made parts than absolutely necessary (standard legal disclaimer: gotta suck that federal 944(r) dick, you know) on a nice Soviet rifle is akin to blasphemy and sacrilege.

I have some of the fully heat treated and hardened 80% Polish AKM receivers from Cameron "Dark Knight" Childers at Childers Guns, and plan to use these. That way I still have a Euro/former Commie Warsaw Pact receiver (I am a Rifle Nazi Purist when it comes to things like that), but it also counts as one of Uncle Sham's good American made pieces of crap, which keeps the children safe. If the Polish receivers were not available, I would definitely go with 74ULLC receivers.

My RGuns kits are both beautiful and in excellent condition, and it took about a month from the time I ordered them to when they showed up at my front door. Both are 1969 Izhevsk. Trunnions, bolts, bolt carriers, top covers, and gas tubes are all stamped matching. The selectors and bolt springs do not match, but from what I understand this is typical and correct for these rifles, which have at some point gone through Soviet arsenal refurb.

I feel that built well using as many original parts as possible with top quality U.S. items ONLY WHERE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, these kits will yield collector grade rifles with investment grade appreciation as far as value and demand.
 

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I might add that I know the Polish selector markings on the Polish 80% receivers are incorrect for a Soviet AKM, and had considered having them changed to Soviet. But I decided to leave them as they are - the Polish receivers are what they are, and I am not ashame of them. And should it ever come up in the future, I have no problems with making it known that I used a Polish receiver and barrel, which to me are light years ahead of something like an AK Builder flat and barrel. They do have the correct X and Y stamps, and other than the Polish selector markings don't have any ugly U.S. mandated federal graffiti scrawled on them that to me is just slightly less distasteful than waking up with the image of Hillary Clinton's fat nasty old azz tattooed on your face.

I also have a selection of U.S. made parts that I can use to play "musical AK bits" for the 922(r) compliance bullschitt, which I assure you I take very seriously for your safety and mine, and was forced upon us by people who care for us deeply and know better than you or I do what is good for us.

Living in the Marxist Sodomite Pedophile Stupid People's Democratic Socialist Workers Paradise Republic of Cornhole-afornia, I also have to "tiptoe through the tulips" with our wise and all-knowing Assault Rifle Ban, and keep things in compliance with it - this means mainly magazine lock and 10 round mag limit.

Of course, my "made in Poland, finished in U.S.A." receiver will count as one U.S. part for 922(r).

So, depending on how I want to configure my rifles to keep the thieving, criminal, degenerate, child molester, perverts in Suck-me-off-ramento and Washington D.C. (District of Communism) happy, when my AK goes out in public it will be wearing some combination of U.S. Palm 10/30 magazine (there are 3 U.S. parts right there), a U.S. made muzzle brake, a U.S. made pistol grip, or maybe I will drop in some of my Tapco fcg parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Looks like things are moving along quite nicely. UPS is scheduled to deliver the Rguns Kit on Friday. If so, that is only five days from order to delivery. Wish it could be so with the rest of the parts & build!!!
 

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That's pretty good - I ordered 2 of them at the beginning of July and got them at the beginning of August - about 1 month. Both of mine were real nice.
Unfortunately I don't have any way to take pictures right now.

Looking forward to a report and photos on yours
 

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pwcosol said:
I got a email to call David on the receiver, so will do so today. I expect it will be some time before he gets to me, so figured I could supply the particulars from the parts kit down the road. This is "unchartered waters" for me, but with support of the Forum membership, feel confident this will work out well. I still am thinking about a SGL 31-85 and (likely) a Bulgy '74 platform to fab up an E. German clone AK74N. I am itchy to do something now, but then the SAR (W) and Crossroads dual show event in Phoenix is less than 4 months off, and should offer a good opportunity to do some "hands on" shopping!
dave makes the best receivers,but be prepared to wait 6 to 8 months for it.that is the real wait time,not the stated one.
 
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