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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm working on an all-around guide for properly ID'ing Soviet AKM parts, and thought I'd post this image in advance of the completed document. This guide will be entirely based on information obtained from the largest sampling of intact factory rifles (and/or intact matching assemblies) as possible. I'd like to thank jithica and 1968roadrunner for their help in confirming some examples, to Stottman for his invaluable images, and tanakasan for his recent advice and motivation to get this done.

Anyway, barrel parts are especially difficult to pin down due to the way the rifle kit barrels were chopped up, and to the fact most of the AKM parts from both factories at first seem so uniformly similar. Specifically, one of the most consistently misidentified barrel parts has been the rear sight base. In the past, due to a lack of info, most people have simply used the leaf sight markings (which are easy to ID) asa guide to ID the actual sight base it's attached to, but I've found that at least 50% of these are matched up wrong on the examples I've looked at, both in person and in images on the forum.

Also, you can't go by surface machine texture on the sides to determine cast versus milled, as a lot of the milled parts get blasted before they are finished, and a lot of the cast parts get finish-machined (or brush-sanded) before they are finished. Plus, some of the recycled kit parts have been media blasted and refinished during a refurbishment program, which often destroys some of the subtle, original textures. The best way to ID cast is to look at the interior and check the contours. A cast part will have 90-degree corners that cannot be cut with an end mill.

The sight bases are actually very easy to ID, once you categorize them into groups. I just don't think anyone has went back to source materials to do this, not publicly, anyway. You just can't do it accurately looking at cut barrel kit parts.

Maybe this early rough draft image will help somebody out. I used a couple of real nice clear images I found here on the forum, for convenience, and either need to credit the original photographer or take new ones, so please forgive my haste. I have also not (yet) added the early (pre-'68) Izzy milled variation, mainly because I don't think you'll find many (or any) in the current parts kits. There is also a very minor (earlier) variation to the late Tula milled pattern show here that I did not yet include, but I don't think you need it to figure out what you might have in hand if you compare with the ones I do include.

NOTE: These are presented in chronological order of first appearance.

 

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Yet another invaluable guide, thanks for this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, man!
 

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Rock and Roll, Doug!

Another installment of the Encyclopedia Tantal! Excellent info for all of us trying to piece together accurate kits and builds. Thanks for continuing to take the time and energy to help us!

Robert
 

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Awesome! Thank You!

Is this pinned? It should be.
 

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Thanks for bumping this and linking it in my thread. I really did search for this prior asking about it, I promise. :)
 

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That bump picture cracks me up.
 
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Edit: you answered my question in the other thread. A '69 Tula should have the early milled. Thanks. You are the best and I am always amazed at your breadth of knowledge.
 

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One of these days I'm going to take the time to scroll through all of Doug's posts. I missed this one big time.
 
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