Back when I got turned on to the majesty of the Kalashnikov design I started saving pictures of interesting stuff. I know everyone has probably seen most of these somewhere, but I hope that there might be something new and interesting among the same old stuff.
1) 100 round magazine. Apparently they're not Photoshop.
2) 75 round magazine. I think I'd rather have a drum...
3) Saiga in .30-06. Yes, it's an AKM-length receiver. That's one of the ugliest stocks I've ever seen in my life. Also note the trigger guard, and oddball top cover, and the nifty front sight, and what looks like a crosswise safety over the trigger.
4) Nicely done AK in .45. Note the front sight/gas block mod.
5) 2XTM pistol with Suomi drum. Note the sight front sight - it looks like a regular gas block turned backwards, shortened, with a blade attached to the top. I'm not sure what's going on between that and the top cover. Heavily modified RSB, or something handmade?
6) pistol in 9mm. Note the re-angled rear on the receiver, how the front of the receiver was turned up, the reshaping of the trigger guard, and what looks like ball milled indents on the barrel shroud. And, of course, the bayonet mount.
1) 8mm with a Krikov lid and skeleton stock.
2) Afghan bling! Man, this thing screams for a pair of fuzzy dice...
3) AK-54R. I've seen a couple of these now. It's a PSL with the barrel shortened, gas block moved back, and AK stock bits. I will build one of these when I get some of my current projects finished.
4) AK with Thompson foregrip on AMD-65 front end. What's not to like?
5) billet aluminum top cover
6) bullpup kit. Note cut on back of receiver.
1) Chibajoe bullpup Saiga shotgun
2) Chinese underfolder bayonet bits
3) Croatian APS95. Note the lack of a conventional TSB and the carry handle/sight (scope?) arrangement. I get the idea they designed this for a fixed stock, because the sharp slant cut at the back needs an extension for the folding stock. The front handguard looks PSL-ish, but I think it's just thinner than a regular AK guard.
4) double underfolder in action.
5) the "Franken-AK". Looks like a Valmet gas tube rear with a square tube, among other things. I like it.
6) Magal in .30 Carbine. The Israeli progenitor of the Bizon.
1) PAR-1 pump action AK
2) overfolder conversion
3) another overfolder conversion
4) yet another overfolder. All of those use PPsh bits
5) someone who didn't like the "backwards" Romanian foregrip. And I agree with this guy; the Romy is great if you're holding the gun at your hip, not very comfortable if you're holding it up at your shoulder. Plus slanting it this way would clear a normal underfolding stock.
6) Saiga .410 with full-length barrel, gives it a Tabuk-ish look.
1) I think he built the platform on the back of the top cover. Conventional RSB. The builder ground off the sight bits and smoothed things out. I'm not sure what the foregrip is from. Conventional gas tube with the front wood retainer trimmed off. Note the enclosed front sight. Lots of nice details on this build.
2) another shot of the same rifle. Better view, possibly earlier since it has the front wood retainer on the gas tube. Either there's a snotload of work on the gas block or he made it himself. Looks like it might be adjustable, too.
3) this is supposed to be an SKS.
4) supposed to be an "SR-99". Looks like a Valmet that some crazed benchrester put the mega-bling to.
5) Valmet shorty. Progenitor of the Krinkov? Looks like the stock swings up from a left-side pivot, which technically would make it an overfolder. The stock would be offset when down.
6) Vektor CR-21 bullpup. Yes, there's an AK inside the plastic shell. Frame from a really bad Scottish movie; the guy is a British actor, most famous for playing a con man in a TV series called "Hustle."
1) Galil (paratroop?) with left-handed bolt handle. Note the sprung cover; probably a couple of hairpin springs around the flat-headed retainers. The bolt pushes it down as it moves back. Fails the "too much rail" test, though.
2) takedown AK. Slip fit barrel, Uzi barrel nut.
3) Turbothis' homebuilt front trunnion. Chinese type with no bullet guide.
4) Chinese Type 81. Notice the Valmet-type slanted front, stamped receiver. SVD-style op rod. After a lot of staring at Type 81 pictures, the best I can figure is all the changes were done to reduce the weight of the rifle. It would be hard to find much to trim from an 81. Which is weird, considering the Type 56 and others are substantially heavier than the Soviet rifles. Note also the bulged cheeks like an RPK or Yugo.
5) another shot of a Type 81
6) The filename is "AK22-2.jpg", but this might be one of those .17 cartridges. I would have just pushed the barrel through the front until the headspace was right and moved on; this guy did it the hard way by cutting the barrel to clear the locking lugs, then pushing it in from the back. I can't fault his workmanship, but I wonder why he did it that way.
1) Type 1 AK-47, the original. Note the front trunnion, which is considerably longer than the AKM, and how the receiver it cut away instead of bulged like a Yugo. You can see how the Saiga shotguns inherited this feature half a century later. A sheet metal tang holds a two piece grip like some early SMGs. Frankly, when I saw how the pistol grip attached to an AKM I thought "WTF?", surely that cheesy nut and long skinny screw wouldn't hold the recoil. But it does. Also note the rear trunnion and how squared-off the trigger guard is.
2) A bunch of people have made variant of this type of stand. It's a neat idea. (nice Yugo, too!) I was thinking about making a wall rack that would hold the rifles vertical. Yeah, I could set the buttstocks on a shelf and use a notched board to hold the barrels, but that's so... ordinary.
3) PSL too ordinary? How about an Iraqi al-Kadesih? It's their version of the PSL, but of course entirely different. 7.62x54R. I wouldn't kick one out of my gun rack...
4) billet gas block; I think this is turbothis' .303 build. But I was more interested in the block he made to hold the top cover. It's sandwiched between the barrel and trunnion, cut out in the back for the cover to slide into. Very elegant solution if you want a smooth-top AK.
5) the back of the cover anchor
6) an AK laid out with CETME wood.
1) Someone didn't like the look of one of the big blocky DEZ aftermarket gas blocks, so he put it on a diet. Too bad he didn't do something about the axle nut...
2) My Chinese military milled receiver had full round rivets on the trigger guard. But this scan from an old Soviet armorer's manual shows clipped rivets.
3) custom gas block. And interesting wood, too.
4) FAL foregrip bits. Grip too, I think.
5) front charging handle conversion. What I *think* he's done is use a larger diameter gas tube, with the gas piston sliding inside the charging handle tube. The shiny ring at the rear is a stop collar clamped to the gas piston. The charging tube just sits there unless you pull the handle. I'm still fascinated by the front charging handle idea, but on the other hand, it's yet another opening for dirt and debris to enter the firearm. No free lunch, as the saying goes...
6) Nice wood. This is supposed to be a G3 mag adapter. But you're not going to get a G3 mag up inside an AK trunnion without substantial cutting on either the trunnion or the magazine. If this thing actually worked, I'm assuming the trunnion and receiver both got carved quite a bit. I can't tell how the guy mounted the adapter, either. Even though G3 mags are cheap, I can't see the point when M-14 mags require much less work. For that matter, why not just suck it up and buy the right .308 mag to start with? Yeah, they command a premium price, but do you really need 20 of them? Your shoulder is probably going to be sore after the first three or four...
1) Galil exploded view. This one shows how the carry handle attaches to a collar behind the foregrip. The Valmet/Galil/R4 gas tube is a couple of inches longer than an AKM tube since the Valmet doesn't use a rear sight block. The distance between the ears on the front trunnion is the same as a Yugo, plus there are small square slots cut on the inside bottom of each ear. The rear of the gas tube has small square tabs that slide into the trunnion so it doesn't fall off. The top cover holds the gas tube in place instead of the slot and lock of an AKM. This means the top cover carries the recoil load of the weight of the gas tube, which is another reason the Valmet top covers are (usually) reinforced. The odd big round hole at the end of the receiver of the original Valmet design, which used a fat tube screwed into the back of the receiver instead of a wood or plastic stock. Steel held up better to cold Finnish winters than plastic. Also note the full-round front sight and spring loaded firing pin.
2) Most Galils have a Tantal-type lever on the left, which allows operating the safety with the right thumb. Since the rifle is safe with the selector up, the thumb lever is safe when forward. IMI got a contract to sell some guns to a buyer who insisted the thumb safety be forward to fire, which meant building a rocker and link assembly to reverse the motion of the thumb lever. The pivot is an extension of the grip nut. This picture is a bit misleading due to the weird angles; in the receiver, ithe grip nut would be down and back from where it's shown here, so the angles of the levers would work out right.
3) a better shot from the other side, showing correct angles.
4) the name of this picture is "gas-operated-DE-mag.jpg", which I assume means "Desert Eagle magaine." .357 Magnum? Anyone know anything about this rifle?
5) this is an INSAS safety. I think it might actually be easier to operate than the Galil safety; it's easier to wag my thumb up and down then crink it forward and back.
6) Krebs peep sight leaf. No reason you couldn't make your own from and old AK leaf.
1) another left-side safety, looks homemade.
2) K-Var left Galil-style safety. So I've got this thing about left-hand safeties, okay? I'm left-handed...
3) this is supposed to be a "Luscious Lips Magwell." The best that I can find to say about it is that it's not as ugly as some of the weird magwell thingies the AR vendors sell...
4) Valmet M62. You can see the steel stock I mentioned earlier when describing the Galil drawing. I like this type of stock, but it would look funny on a receiver that wasn't rounded off at the back like the Valmet. Also note the two different styles of pistol grips and mounts.
5) Valmet M71. Note the lower handguard - the barrel is threaded, a large thin nut is screwed down, and then the GB and FSB are pinned into place. The picture is small, but you can also see the magazine release. Best as I can tell you pull it back with your trigger finger. This is a stamped Valmet, as you can see by the rivets and the absence of the lightening slot over the magwell.
6) Valmet M76. Also a poor picture, unfortunately. Also a stamped receiver, different rivet pattern. Note the multiple tenons on the side folding bits.
1) someone's non-reciprocating cocking handle mod. There weren't any pictures of the internals where I found this.
2) North Korean stamped rear trunnion. Well, why not?
3) modifying a Yugo to look like a Galil. Marching to the beat of a different kettle of fish.
4) make that a Micro-Galil!
5) the builder just cut the bulges out of a Yugo stub and weld them to a 1.5mm Chinese flat. Between the time the Tapco flats dried up a year ago and when AK-Builder started shipping their Yugo flats a couple of weeks ago, this was a reasonable thing to do. Four rivets are in the main receiver, and almost two inches of weld for each of the other two rivets, I don't see why this wouldn't work just fine.
6) Tantal left side safety. Many ways to skin that particular cat...
1) foregrip thingie for magazine. Still seems wrong to me, but I've seen pictures of MK himself shooting that way.
2) sweeeet Galil build, before Park and paint. I liked it better this way.
3) PSL carbine with Lahti magazine
4) "Saigalil" Saiga conversion
5) Saiga underfolder conversion
6) wedge foregrip
1) "tactical" mag release. Valmet had several extended mag releases, a couple of them were similar to this one
2) AKM vs Saiga - note extra axis pin behind safety.
3) tang-mounted rear sight
4) rail mounts to rear tang and RSB. Unlatches from adapter on tang to swing up out of the way so cover can be removed
5) Micro Galil parts kit. Note unique gas block, threaded barrel, left side bolt handle
6) VEPR mag release and crossbolt safety. Also note the caliber - .35 Remington is a historical curiosity here, but if the pictures I keep finding of Russian and European market guns are any indication, it has made a big comeback over there. It's basically a rimless .357 Maximum and does its business at a rated 33,500 CUP, giving it a lot of bang for not much pressure.
1) BOZ-1 bullpup
2) CBRPS bullpup
3) chrome plated AK - Krinkv top cover, long barrel
4) tacticool Saiga-12 (?) from Englishrussia.com. Note left-hand cheek pad.
5) East German Weiger 941
6) custom AK holster [grin]
1) Indian INSAS AK variant. Notice the Tantal-ish safety, prominent trigger bulge, folding charging handle on gas tube
2) milled Chinese Hunter. Uses slant-cut receiver like the Valmet Hunter, but they didn't move the trigger group back. Instead they lengthened the trigger and left the axis pins where they were. The rear of the trigger guard has the rivet on the inside since the rivet holes weren't moved, either. Reinforced top cover is screwed to receiver.
3) Norinco Hunter mag latch. It slides back to release the magazine. Valmet Hunters used a different slider arrangement.
4) Super Vepr stock. Accepts Vepr/Yugo/RPK bulged receiver with cross safety.
5) "Ayup, back in the day, kits were so cheap we could use them for table lamps..."
6) sprung (Polytech) vs. unsprung firing pins.
I'm scraping the bottom of the picture directory now...
1) "Yugalil" build. This is pretty close to what I originally wanted my Beowulf to look like. This guy basically built a Galil on a Yugo receiver, like an improved Valmet M76. Note the two rivets in the bulge, what looks like a separate barrel ring for the forward sling swivel, and the slant cut back. I'm not quite sure what's going on there; Galils are slant cut, but not that much, it looks like he originally planned to use Valmet or Norinco Hunter bits on the back.
2) another "Saiganov." The lower foregrip is wood, but I can't tell if the builder spliced in the pistol grip or carved the whole thing from a blank. Note the rear-set tripod bits.
3) a Romanian build in silver Duracoat. It takes some getting used to, but lay a black gun on a tailgate for a while on an Arkansas summer day, and your hand will sizzle when you pick it up.
4) Ah! Another picture of the Yugalil. The builder apparently started with a Hunter replacement stock of some sort.
5) a nice Yugo in silver.
6) South African Vektor H5. Yes, it's a milled pump-action .223. Note the front sling swivel. I don't see a rear swivel... The top cover is normally held in place by the gas tube on Valmet-pattern AKs; without a gas tube, I'm guessing they've screwed or welded a bracket over the trunnion to take the front of the cover. Also note that, without the gas tube, they're using a new, lower cover, which means a completely different bolt. I see the usual Galil safety clearance in the pistol grip, but I don't see the safety lever or its pivot hole. There seems to be an extra hole and something hanging down in the trigger guard. I'm guessing there's no sheet metal selector on the right side at all. I've found a couple of pictures of the left side, none of the right.
In all, a much more involved conversion than the Romanian PAR pump guns. This was apparently a serious factory rework, not a quick hack for the British and California markets.
1) I found a left-side picture of an H5. Nope, no selector.
2) Milled and stamped Valmets. The top is a Hunter. Note the screwed-down top cover and the unusual selector - it has a bolt notch, and there's also an extension on the back of the lever. Maybe it's so you can operate the selector with your forefinger; the geometry of the non-pistol-grip stock makes it hard to tell. One really odd thing is the tiny mag catch - Valmets normally use much larger catches than Combloc AKs, and the Hunters usually have a sliting catch inside the trigger guard. This one also has a curved trigger guard instead of a squared one.
Below, we have a stamped receiver. Note how the front sheet metal goes up the side of the trunnion, and the foremost rivet is also the barrel pin.
The "slant cut" at the magwell is the same on both; it looks steeper on the Hunter due to the foregrip extending back over the front of the receiver.
3) Vepr trunnion. Remember the two-rivet Yugalil above? Now I know what the extra rivet is - there's no bolt turning ramp on the bullet guide, so it has a "bolt kicker" rivet like a Saiga. Actually, I don't see a bullet guide at all in this shot. Some Chinese trunnions didn't use bullet guides, from what I've heard.
4) This is a South African R4. Just to add fuel to the buffer /no buffer flamewar, that's a factory-installed urethane recoil buffer. In a milled receiver, no less.
The bolt carrier isn't *supposed* to hit the rear of the receiver, but firing pressure goes up as temperature goes up. Whatever powder they were using for their ammunition probably got a little happy on really hot African days, so Vektor installed the buffer. It snaps into the round hole in the back of the receiver. The Israelis didn't use a buffer in the Galil, but they were probably using a different powder in their military ammo.
You can also see the thumb safety linkage in this shot.
5) M-16 (NATO STANAG) adapter for Valmet/Galil/R4. If you've ever stuck an AR mag up into the bottom of an AK you've probably wonder HTF these things can work; there's only .050" or so clearance front to back; not enough room for the mag plus the adapter. See the slot in the front? That overlaps the front of the receiver (remember, slant cut) so the mag is right up against the receiver. The back wall is cut away, so the back of the mag is against the back of the receiver. This adapter is held in by the AK's usual latch; some adapter designs are riveted on at the latch pivot hole.
You could adapt one of these to an AKM by cutting another slot in front, down where the AKM receiver is.
Now that I know how these things work, I'm going to pick one up for my Beowulf build, because AR mags are way cheaper than .223 AK mags...
6) this is an ejector repair part for a milled Galil. The repair part is sitting on top of the rail. To install it, they run a small cutter through the side of the receiver, cutting away the original ejector, then rivet the repair piece in place. If you ever see a Galil with two mystery rivets over the back of the magwell, that's what they're for.
Molot Super Vepr trivia - from the Robarms .PDF manual, circa 2000.
1) Super Vepr gas tube removal - there's a sliding catch that runs under the sight.
2) side view of the RSB and catch
3) Super Vepr top cover - it's flat on top, bent down at the sides. The front is mooshed to fit the curve of the RSB.
4) the RSB
5) the recoil spring is duplexed, like an ordinary AK hammer spring
6) (from an old Gunbroker ad) inletting on Super Vepr stock shows RPK-style front trunnion bulges