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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Russian/Bulgy AK74 cast brake?

Has anyone ever seen an AK74 muzzle brake that was cast?

My buddy has one and can't find info.

I'll try to get some pics.
 

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It looks like an unfinished brake that skipped the final finish-machining after it was cast, for several reasons. Final machining would have removed the mold numbers, casting lines, flash and any other evidence of it being a cast part. Does it have a black paint job, or a chrome lining? It looks like it was left in phosphate with no black paint in the image.

If this is so, that indicates it never reached the point of being final finished in preparation for chroming, and before the outer finish was applied. Most of the time, this is an indication it did not meet a certain inspection standard, one way or the other. Does it have any proofs on the bayonet groove on the bottom?

It looks to be Bulgarian due to the old style threaded collar combined with the newer style two-piece front baffle plate design. The US was sent a lot of these kinds of unfinished parts from Bulgaria. We'd need to know the source for the brake. There's a very slim chance it's some rare early '80's Russian brake, but to me it does not in any way look like one except maybe for the two digit mold number format.

Also, with such a high mold number it's extremely doubtful it's some sort of experimental. They must have made a lot of these. IMO it just looks like a standard Bulgarian AK74 muzzle brake that for some reason has not been final finished.
 

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Hi Tantal,
Thought I should share these photos here so people can study as well.

I have some brakes that are matte black just like you said but they are all chrome-lined and have inspection marks.
They are all Russian, right? Are they rare? What period were they produced?
I think the very right one was made from the mid to late 80's.



 

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Very nice set of "who's-who" muzzle brakes, hehe. They are all certainly Russian. The one on the far left is the rarest you have displayed here, i.e. the earliest series produced variant, being a true "Half Moon" pattern as used (on purpose) up to mid-1979 (note the short bayonet ring); the three next to it are "Zig-Zag" brakes used from 1979 to late 1983. The two on the far right are early "Short Collar" cold hammer forged two-piece brakes, introduced by late '83 and assembly line correct up to late 1989 (when the collars were lengthened ala AK-74M). It's a very nice collection.
 

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Thanks Tantal! :)
Are the early ones (half moon & zigzag) normally in matte black?
 

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Thanks Tantal!
Are the early ones (half moon & zigzag) normally in matte black?
Not really, but I guess that depends on what you mean by matte black. Not flat black, at least. I don't know that your early brakes display what I'd call a factory finish, at least maybe not the final topcoat finish. However, it's damn difficult to tell from a photograph depending on the lighting. They should have a mild shine to them, and be very dark black, not just dark grayish like most black spray paint.

The early ones are actually finished in a standard manner, just like the rifles, i.e. "squid ink" dark black paint just like what you'd see on the average Soviet AKM or AK-74 receiver (or maybe a Bulgarian rifle), which is not what I'd describe as matte and powdery looking as black oxide or dark phosphate, for instance. The factory paint is a very dark with a sort of a semi-flat sheen, but not BBQ paint flat black. However, early brakes are not anywhere as shiny as later hammer forged Soviet brakes, unless of course it's been on a rifle for awhile and got polished through cleaning procedures and normal wear, which they will do after a relatively short period of time. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Now, the hammer forged brakes are normally very shiny from the beginning due to the way they were base coated. They were simply not painted with the same method as used on the earlier rifles. Early brakes were normally phosphate under paint, but the hammer forged brakes were often a shiny black oxide under paint. You can also see this in the shinier appearance of later made Izhevsk top covers. Even if the brake is left on the rifle when it's painted in full (often the case, depending on the era), the barrel and brake are normally shinier on the later rifles because those parts are not done in phosphate and thus shinier under the paint to begin with.

Getting back to the surplus parts, a really super flat dark gray color (as apposed to a deep black semi-flat paint) often means they were used take-offs that were refurbished, or new parts that were never given an overcoat of rifle type black paint, for possibly several different reasons. If a perfectly good leftover brake was left in the factory setting, not used because it was of an obsolete pattern (unlikely), then it could have been left in a base finish (the early brakes would have been phosphated). however, a brake destined for military supply line replacements would have usually been pre-painted before it shipped out.

Unpainted brakes (especially non-chrome lined) are also suspicious as out of spec discards, and rightly so. However, many parts that appear to have non-factory looking finishes (compared to those seem on built rifles) are sometimes also well-done recycled parts. First they were usually acid/chemically stripped (to get rid of worn paint and interior corrosion and carbon build-up in a fast manner), then dropped in a tank of black oxide/bluing solution that darkens the bare metal but does not darken the chrome linings. Some of them are also blasted and then refinished in a dark phosphate or back oxide/blue. They lose a lot of their original texture, machining lines and proof mark crispness if they are put through such a process, and sometimes even the chrome linings. I'd rather have worn. A large part of recycled spare parts are done that way, though, instead of getting a factory style black paint job. It's just easier for the recyclers to finish them that way to provide a "like new" appearance, which is actually nothing "like" how they looked when they were actually "new", hehe.
 

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Thanks Little Gunny for the pics and Doug for the info
 
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Discussion Starter #8
The brake in question is chome lined with a phosphate finish only (IIRC). It does have a proof mark as well but I can't remember on which side (I've always seen them on the bottom near the slot for the cleaning rod, this one was different though). This thing came off a Kvar, ((10)), double rivet kit.

I'll get some more info.

Thanks everyone for posting up.
 

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Thanks, pogi. It's curious that a bare phosphate brake come in a kit, but then again some of the kits sold over the years by K-var were pieced together using a lot of virgin parts, and in many cases those parts were not what you'd call finished out. I think Kazanlak filled K-Var's requests for desirable "Russian style AK parts" with whatever they had left laying around from the Cold War era, whether it was goodies like old stock Soviet ZIP stock spares that the Bulgarians never got around to using on the assembly line, or seconds and out of spec discarded stuff, or parts that were simply never finished out all the way because production of the AK-74 had been shuttered so unexpectedly. All of it got thrown together, chunked in crates and shipped to the Amercians. hehe. And we are damn glad to have it, BTW!
 

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I have a bulgarian break with a lower mold number in the same place also chrome lined but stripped of paint. I was gonna take a pic and start a thread asking the same question but never got around to it . It came from a kit i got from copes back when they were $174 i bought 5 or 6. I know of that one but i believe i have another one with the mold numbers on the collar. If i was home id snap a pic of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have a bulgarian break with a lower mold number in the same place also chrome lined but stripped of paint. I was gonna take a pic and start a thread asking the same question but never got around to it . It came from a kit i got from copes back when they were $174 i bought 5 or 6. I know of that one but i believe i have another one with the mold numbers on the collar. If i was home id snap a pic of it.
Please take some pics and post them up when you get a chance.

Thanks.
 

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I guess there's no proofs on these at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I guess there's no proofs on these at all?
There is a proof on the pic in the OP but it is in the 12 o'clock position and not on the bottom as expected.
 
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