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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a very dark Bakelite grip with "1/1" mold number. Does the mold number tag this one as an early one? If so what is the earliest this would have been issued on a rifle?
jithaca
 

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Are you basing it's age solely on the mold number or does it have other features that indicate it is an early grip?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mold number and the dark color of the Bakelite. Doug Ford has a picture, on his site, of an early AKM stock set and he mentions that the early grips were dark compared to later ones.
 

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Is this the text you are referring to from his site?

"Here is a set of very dark AKM furniture, early 60's Russian laminates for the stamped receiver AKM rifle. The pistol grip is a very dark maroon color bakelite. Notice the buttstock has a bottom sling swivel location (the sling swivel is missing). Also, the bottom odf the buttstock has a slightly rounded edge. Original Russian finishes are not completely smooth, the grain of the brush sanded wood, and the miniature brush strokes of the finishers tools, will show in the top coat. "

It's not clear to me whether he is saying that the particular grip in the photo is dark or that all early grips are dark.

Further down the page he states:

"Earlier grips had less raised checkering blocks and felt smoother to the hand."

I was looking for an early bakelite grip for an early AKM project rifle and got into a somewhat lengthy discussion with Tantal. Really wasn't a discussion, he was schooling me. :smile:

I have bakelite grips that are marked 1-1 & 1-2. They look identical to others that I have that are marked 50/2 & 48/2. I thought that the mold numbers gave an indication of relative age. I sent them to Tantal and he said my low mold number grips were just newer grips with low mold numbers.

From what I gathered, the mold numbers aren't a positive indicator of age, but can be used as general indication of age sometimes, but not always.

The early Russian bakelite grip that I got from him has a low grip number (1-2 that happens to be backwards) but it looks slightly different from the newer grips. The color isn't particularly dark and Tantal never mentioned color as a defining characteristic. The checkering isn't as deep on the newer grips that I have and doesn't cover quite as large an area the newer grips. The finish isn't as shiny as the newer grips either.

I thought Red*Dawn posted that the bakelite grips started on AKMs in 1963.

I'd be interested to see a photo of your grip and I will try to post a photo of the one Tantal sold to me as an early grip.

Mike#6
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Checked the surface area covered by diamond pattern and it apears to be the same as some Tula grips that I have. Take a look at the following links.








I thought Red*Dawn posted that the bakelite grips started on AKMs in 1963.

Forgot about that. So would a pre-63 dated fixed stock AKM have one of the thicker type laminate grips?


Jerry
 

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Hi Jerry,

What it appears to me that you have is a "shiny plum" grip that is for Krinks and AKS74s.

Does your grip look like the one on the right?



If that's what it is, then they are hard to find. All those folks making Russian krink clones want them bad. I had a guy almost beg me to sell him one for $100 for his new Russian Krink clone.

If you want to, take a look at this post for comparing shiny plums to standard maroons:

http://www.akforum.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=390

Almost forgot, I'm pretty sure that the early Russian AKM rifles (until about '62 according to Red*Dawn) had the skinny laminated pistol grips like those that were always on the AKMS folders, not the fat laminated grips like on the T3s.

HTH,
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I belive you are right. I have a Tula Plum that came from a Krinkov kit, but it is a lighter color than the grip in question. However after looking at the picture you linked to, I am certain this grip is also a plum , just a darker color than the Tula. I guess I was hoping it was an early Bakelite that I could use on an early AKM build. You see what you want to see sometimes.

What year does your early AKM build replicate?

jerry
 

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I wound up going for a '61, so I'm using a laminated grip. I got an FEG kit with a round top, flat pad gas block, so I went with something before '62.
 

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Great info! These are the type discussions I really learn from. I have a grip with a 1-2 mold # that I thought might be an early grip but now I am not so sure. 1 question I have for you guys that I have not been able to find any info on is, how do you distinguish a Tula mfg. AKM grip from Ishmash AKM grip? Please keep these Russian topics comming as there is so many interesting things to learn.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mike,
I am also collecting parts to do a 1961 build. I am using an early Romanian kit. It has all the early features only it has a flat top gas block. I do have an original 1961 dated Russian trunnion. It will end up being a mismatch rifle. I have thought about trying to weld over the s/n's of the parts and remarking to match the trunnion, but I figure it would just end up looking bad.

Anyirons the Tula grips use a "-" to seperate the numbers and the Izvesh use a "/", 1-1 vs 1/1

Jerry
 

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Thanks jithaca. It is funny how little bits of info can be so damn hard to find. Then when you ask someone it so simple.
 

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Thought I had a pic of mine, but guess I dont..

Anyways, the early ones are more of a marbled color.. Reddish with black. Also, the checkering is a little bit different....

Finding one would be difficult though. I have had one out of maybe like 100 maroon grips that have passed through my hands..

Now, if one is trying to build a perfect clone of a particular year (instead of just a general, non descript clone), I would say find a photo in a book of the rifle you want to copy and move from there... Then you can be sure you get it correct..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Alright Rob,
Help me keep look out for a 1961 Izvesk AKM picture.
 

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Here's some pics to further the discussion.

Comparison between shiny plum, old maroon, and new maroon. In this case the older maroon grip is lighter than the newer one.



A side angle to attempt to show the difference in spacing and the height of the rows of checkering on the two grips. The "old maroon" grip has shortr diamonds that are spaced farther apart.



Here's group shot of the ones I had handy. It shows a range of color, darkness, and markings.

 

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The vented AKSU handguards I received from Andrei came with a shiny plum grip with 1-2 mold number. Doug wanted to trade for it as he said it was a rare one.

The second shiny plum I have is a 6-2

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the great posts and picture! So if I go ahead and put a Bakelite (not plum) on my 61 AKM, fixed stock build, instead of a laminate will I be drummed out of the Corp?
 

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jithaca said:
Mike,

(stuff snipped)

Anyirons the Tula grips use a "-" to seperate the numbers and the Izvesh use a "/", 1-1 vs 1/1

Jerry
I did not know that!

Nice pic SG, I have a 6-2 shiny plum grip like yours.

Great discussion guys. Now we just need to find Jerry a laminated PG for his '61. :smile: I'm afraid using a bakelite grip would be cause for dismissal. :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well I read that on one of those AK Boards, is that wrong?
 

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:grin:

Those were some good times we had back when the Andrei shipments came in then playing show and tell. Then yahoo had to kill the photo posting.

So hopefully with the new site and yahoo goes away we can have more show and tell goodies.

Chad
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So whats up with the new site?
 
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