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Discussion Starter #1
I tried to see if this discussion already came up before in the search feature since it's kind of an inevitable discussion at some point, but scrolling through the first 10 pages of threads I didn't see it mentioned, so I figured I throw this thread out to get some more opinions on this in case it hasn't been posted about yet.

So with a lot of you guys pretty inclined to gun mechanics and building, my question is, what's people's opinions (facts would be even better) on which receiver type is more durable. In my prior attempt to find a clear answer I came upon some posts by someone that allegedly owned or is somehow invested in some full auto rental place in Las Vegas or somewhere near there, that talked about their experiences/maintenance regiments on their AK rifles, as well as other rifles. They seemed to say that while just about all types of them are very durable despite lots of full auto fire, the milled ones seemed almost "eternal", though the stamped ones for all practical purposes did still really good. Another thing I read though, mentioned that while milled receivers have slightly better accuracy due to being more rigid, that same greater rigidity actually shortens their service life compared to stamped ones, especially under more military uses (more use of full auto than your average gun-owner).

In theory I can see both points having some merits, so that's what's confusing me. In addition a lot of the larger caliber sniper or marksmen rifles were still milled, leading me to think milled should be strong enough to do at least as well despite not flexing, but then again those marskmen type rifle don't get shot with the kind of rate that a regular infantry rifle or especially a machine gun does. On the same train of thought, a lot of modern machine guns seem to be made stamped, though is that more simply because modern manufacturing has made it possible to accomplish about the same thing with a stamped machine gun receiver as would be possible with a more expensive milled one, or because there's actual durability merits to a stamped receiver design? Then with all that to consider just where do the thicker stamped receivers factor into the durability debate too. Anyways, what's your guys take on this?
 

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Milled is the more durable type but was costly to produce. Advantage to stamped is is worn parts can be replaced individually, etc. maybe we're a bit bias too
 

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For the casual user or the military.
There is no practical difference.

The service life of either type of receiver will out live most of the other parts.

The barrel or bolt, springs etc., will wear out before the receiver.

No difference, but a milled example looks and feels much more solid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
For the casual user or the military.
There is no practical difference.

The service life of either type of receiver will out live most of the other parts.

The barrel or bolt, springs etc., will wear out before the receiver.

No difference, but a milled example looks and feels much more solid.
I get that it’s kind of a moot point, but let’s say hypothetically if both receiver types kept having all other parts replaced as needed, which do you think would fail first and why?
 

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Many sport shooters claim that milled receiver is more accurate but no one of them can say why.
A lot of them claim that because of it's weight - that will be OK when we are talking as sporting point shooting where .22 LR rifles are quite heavy.
But the same guys claim that AR15 must be as light as possible to be more accurate - WTF?!

If you are not shooting bursts/full auto the weight of the gun has nothing to it's accuracy as the gun, especially when we are talking about AK/AKM rifles.

The durability after more of 50 years of service IMHO is quite "good" - when we are talking about factory receivers, there is no difference, of course milled always will be in some way better because of its thikness etc. but stamped are also OK.
When we try to compare receivers made by different AK kits workshops which make their own receivers according to diverse engeereing or useing orginal blue prinst but with some kind of lack of knowledge or simplisity etc. that could make the difference - but no one is "talking" about huge problems so they are done their job good.
 

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A few people complain about twisted stamped receivers, especially during their build.
Now, I have seen pictures of a Sharps Bros milled receiver being slightly curved from the factory. I guess quality control was not performed prior to shipping it out.

I hope my post clarifies everything on this matter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A few people complain about twisted stamped receivers, especially during their build.
Now, I have seen pictures of a Sharps Bros milled receiver being slightly curved from the factory. I guess quality control was not performed prior to shipping it out.

I hope my post clarifies everything on this matter.
I can’t say I’m quite following. But speaking of twisted receivers, let me clarify my train of thought that got me even wondering, because at first I took it as a given that a milled receiver would be more durable (and I’m still leaning slightly that way but not as thoroughly convinced any more).

I was trying to install a barrel into a m72 rpk receiver. My cheap hydraulic press hasn’t aged well over the years, and I have to shim parts of it a lot of the time for it to press down really straight any more. Factor that in with the longer barrel and there have been numerous times that I’ve put enough pressure on the receiver to seriously bend it. Fortunately each time when I released the pressure, the receiver bent back in line like nothing happened. So that got me wondering just how much of a benefit the flexibility of a stamped one is in comparison to the milled one. I imagine in that instance a milled receiver would’ve probably either just had the barrel finally press in straight, or slip out and fall over but that got me wondering just which train of thought is more correct on durability.
 

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It was a slight attempt on my part to create more confusion stating they both have their negatives.

Anyway, I tend to be in the milled receiver camp for a few reasons.
The switch to stamped receivers was made in order to speed up production and to cut the costs too.
The mentality of that time was to produce a lot of cheap (why not even disposable) weapons instead of very precise and expensive ones.

AKs are generally all about compromises.
Reduced accuracy at greater distance. Best used within 300m. If you can hit a minute of man, you're good.

If a vehicle runs over the rifle and it's bent, leave it there. Pick one up from a fallen comrade.
Make it relatively light so you can carry a lot more ammo.
Have an intermediate cartridge for same purpose (vs 7.62x54r for example).

Back in the Soviet times, raw materials were to be used wisely. Make more with less - type of mentality.

So we got the "improved" AKs because of these reasons.
But was there any improvement?
Yes, it did accomplish all the tasks set.

Even if it came out a little less than optimal in replacing the milled receivers inherent qualities, it was again a compromise they could live with.
Let's say 5% less accurate. Fine.
Aim for the belt buckle and you should be able to kill those imperialist pigs.

Yeah, Rob Ski has done a ton of crazy testing on the stamped one, pushups, pullups from a tree, drop tests. Sure it may be fine, or it may lose 2% accuracy. Are we able to tell?
Out of the box we are happy with 2-3 MOA.
Is that good? No.
Is it good in terms of thousands of men running towards you and sending a cloud of lead straight to your belt buckle. Hell yeah.

You AR friends will always try to make fun of you. They will also make fun at those with budget ARs vs Gucci ARs.
You can also make your AK 1 MOA if you put a lot of money in it.
It kinda cost a lot nowadays to begin with so you can actually make fun of your Gucci AR friends :D

At the end of the day, what do you want out of your weapon?
A good balance between accuracy, reliability, longevity, price, carrying weight should be the answer.
Yes, there are ARs out there who can check all those boxes, but should we all be the same, dress the same way, drive the same type of car, live in the same designed houses, etc?
 

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It was a slight attempt on my part to create more confusion stating they both have their negatives.

Anyway, I tend to be in the milled receiver camp for a few reasons.
The switch to stamped receivers was made in order to speed up production and to cut the costs too.
The mentality of that time was to produce a lot of cheap (why not even disposable) weapons instead of very precise and expensive ones.

AKs are generally all about compromises.
Reduced accuracy at greater distance. Best used within 300m. If you can hit a minute of man, you're good.

If a vehicle runs over the rifle and it's bent, leave it there. Pick one up from a fallen comrade.
Make it relatively light so you can carry a lot more ammo.
Have an intermediate cartridge for same purpose (vs 7.62x54r for example).

Back in the Soviet times, raw materials were to be used wisely. Make more with less - type of mentality.

So we got the "improved" AKs because of these reasons.
But was there any improvement?
Yes, it did accomplish all the tasks set.

Even if it came out a little less than optimal in replacing the milled receivers inherent qualities, it was again a compromise they could live with.
Let's say 5% less accurate. Fine.
Aim for the belt buckle and you should be able to kill those imperialist pigs.

Yeah, Rob Ski has done a ton of crazy testing on the stamped one, pushups, pullups from a tree, drop tests. Sure it may be fine, or it may lose 2% accuracy. Are we able to tell?
Out of the box we are happy with 2-3 MOA.
Is that good? No.
Is it good in terms of thousands of men running towards you and sending a cloud of lead straight to your belt buckle. Hell yeah.

You AR friends will always try to make fun of you. They will also make fun at those with budget ARs vs Gucci ARs.
You can also make your AK 1 MOA if you put a lot of money in it.
It kinda cost a lot nowadays to begin with so you can actually make fun of your Gucci AR friends :D

At the end of the day, what do you want out of your weapon?
A good balance between accuracy, reliability, longevity, price, carrying weight should be the answer.
Yes, there are ARs out there who can check all those boxes, but should we all be the same, dress the same way, drive the same type of car, live in the same designed houses, etc?
Actually the original AK47 design was a stamped receiver firearm.

However that design and the stamping technology and metallurgy of the time were not capable of producing an acceptable and durable stamped receiver.
Receiver failures and productuo problem led to the use of a milled receiver until 1959 when the AKM stamped sheet metal design was adopted.
 

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Right after the war when the country was devastated economically, technologically, financially, communistically (hahaha, new word), lacking skilled labor force, lacking raw materials... nothing really worked all that well.

They gathered up everything they capture and bring home. Stole everything they could from Eastern Europe immediately after the war. Made them pay war retribution, disassembled their factory and moved them to USSR and so forth.

As their technology improved and they perfected the stamping process, yes they were able to implement it again.
And of course, again, it was done in order to save production costs not because it is a better design and implementation totally superior to milled receivers.

Look at their mantra: Simplicity in everything.
 

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The milled will probably out last the stamped but first I want to see someone afford that much ammo and have time to shoot it.

Take a 95 Honda Accord and a 95 Toyota Camry. Both can easily get half million miles but which one will last longer? Take X amount of chimps and give each a typewriter. They are all capable of writing great works of literature ....but how long will it take them to write that?
 

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From a technical point, stamped receivers are not as durable. From a practical point, lasting a few thousand years(stamped) as opposed to lasting to the end of time(milled) is not really a practical difference.

Milled receivers are more durable simply because there is much more material. They're heavier and thicker.

Neither receiver will be outlived by the rest of the firearm though, so the difference is purely academic.
 

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pretty much everyone that is somewhat knowledgeable on the history of the AK, knows that it was Kalashnikov's first and primary intention, for the receiver to be stamped. It was only milled out of necessity. (much to his dismay)

That being said, I'll just add my 2 cents. Of course a milled receiver looks good, feels good, and is super durable. All these things are great. Unfortunately, they are much more labor intensive to build, thus costing more money and time, and requiring a more skilled workforce to produce. Stamped receivers, on the other hand, are much easier to produce (cheaper), lighter, and still work great. Personally, I think stamped receivers are plenty tough for their intended use, and I much prefer the lighter weight. Just my opinion, though.
 

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There’s variables even in this topic.
The first AK47 may of been stamped but they are just as thick as milled T2s and T3s.
Chinese and Yugoslavian stamped are also as thick as milled .... yeah yeah yeah I know super anal experts , they aren’t exactly the same thickness but you know they’re close so don’t start.

The AKM was designed to be lighter and they probably didn’t care if it lasted as long as milled

As far as we’re concerned in semiautomatic land it all matters not for durability and as far as consistent groups? .... go get a bolt gun and stop saying “accuracy”
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
So I guess with the general consensus here being that the milled is the more durable version then, can someone wager a guess at what the statement of "milled receivers being more prone to metal fatigue under heavy usage" could be about. I don't know exactly what to make of that, but I've run into it a few times while reading up on this, and like you guys say, milled makes more sense to be the more durable type, yet at the same time "being more prone to metal fatigue" seems to fly in the face of that thought.

Btw. interesting to know that the original Type 1 stamped receiver was as thick as the Yugo/Chinese ones. I thought with there being issues manufacturing the type 1 receivers, that the problem was more because I anticipated them to have started out with the same thickness of receiver as the later AKM's. Also, I'm a little surprised that the walls of the 1.5mm receivers are of the same thickness as the milled ones. I've only handled a few milled ones, but for some reason I thought they were still somewhat thicker, though it's not like it's exactly easy just to eyeball them in comparison to a stamped receiver.
 

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Because Iv never seen a for sure factual historical statement, it’s my opinion there was nothing really wrong with the T1 except for it took longer to make and constancy of quality from unit to unit probably varied to much because of all the hand work.
So in midstream the T2 was stared and built at the same time as the T1 ... sharing most of the same parts in the beginning.
A T1 has 11 countersunk rivets that were metal finished flush .... the other 4 in the magwell are finished flush on the inside.

Once I started building milled and a T1 I noticed something I don’t think most people realize.
If you look at a AKM receiver you realize it’s designed to except all the parts of it’s thicker forefathers.
The stepped top rails - X & Y stamps are all there to thicken the 1.0 shell to work with the old parts dimensions.
None of that is done on 1.5 stamped shells you might also notice.
And they abandoned the flush rivets most certainly to speed production.

All that being said, anything made in one piece is going to be superior to something made in three pieces and riveted together in my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The ground flush rivets on the T1 is another thing I never understood.I know I'm not well versed in all the in's and out's of riveting, but despite the rivet expanding inside the channel it's put in and holding things in place that way, it would seem to me like grinding the rivet heads down, then in turn just weakens the whole thing again, by not having something wider on both ends of the rivet, keeping this together as well.
 
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