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Thundermaker
March 08, 2015, 01:22
I've registered at the AK files. While I'm waiting on admin approval, I guess I'll post this here.

I just built my first AR, just because I happened to have most of the parts laying around and palmetto was having a sale on uppers, and it just feels "meh". It's an accurate rifle, don't get me wrong, but it just doesn't scream rugged reliability. I've had the AK itch for a while now, but something has been giving me pause. There are two main options in the AK world, the AK47 and the AK74. Neither seems an attractive option.

Let's start with the AK 47. The 7.62x39 is basically a 30-30 with a light, pointy bullet. 300 yards is pretty much it's maximum effective range. Yes, you can shoot it to 500, but it's already coming in at nearly 45 at 300. At 500 you're dropping the bullet on top of the target. A slight miscalculation in range means a miss, and, even if you hit, the round has little energy left. The bullet's BC is just pitiful.

Now the AK 74. The 5.45x39 is an excellent round. The Afghans called it " the poison bullet " or "devil's bullet". There are a couple problems though. Magazines are difficult to find, and when you do they're god-awful expensive. The ammo that made it so deadly is now banned. All the ammo available for it is steel-cased, imported ammo. Even the hornady ammo uses imported casings. Reloading, while possible, is a lot of work, and requires extra equipment and custom dies.

So, I'm contemplating a 223/5.56 build. My plan is this. I'll build it on an AK74 receiver. The bolt and carrier will be dedicated .223 parts, available from k-var. The barrel will probably be custom made by a friend of mine. I'll have him thread the trunion for it.

Now, I know what you're thinking, " you were griping about 5.45 mags being expensive and rare. 5.56 mags are worse!" I think I have a solution to that.

I have two ideas to tackle the mag problem.

1. Adapt the receiver to take AR15 magazines. Will take some tweaking. I have a blank receiver that was given to me out of a junk pile. It will be a good guinea pig.

2. Modify AR magazines to lock in like FAL and AK magazines. Tig weld a front and back lug to the magazine.

I actually like #2 better because I can attach a sort of guide like an FAL has. I find it much quicker and easier to change mags on a FAL than an AR. On an AR, you have to ring that mag well dead straight. On the FAL, that extension guides you in, then you just lever it in place. It's also a much stronger magazine attachment and uses leverage to overcome the spring tension of a full mag against the bolt.


If anybody has tried any of this before and failed, I'd like to hear about it. Any tips and/or tricks would be much appreciated as well.

Kingtubby
March 09, 2015, 00:25
So, I'm contemplating a 223/5.56 build. My plan is this. I'll build it on an AK74 receiver. The bolt and carrier will be dedicated .223 parts, available from k-var. The barrel will probably be custom made by a friend of mine. I'll have him thread the trunion for it.

Now, I know what you're thinking, " you were griping about 5.45 mags being expensive and rare. 5.56 mags are worse!" I think I have a solution to that.

I have two ideas to tackle the mag problem.

1. Adapt the receiver to take AR15 magazines. Will take some tweaking. I have a blank receiver that was given to me out of a junk pile. It will be a good guinea pig.

2. Modify AR magazines to lock in like FAL and AK magazines. Tig weld a front and back lug to the magazine.

I actually like #2 better because I can attach a sort of guide like an FAL has. I find it much quicker and easier to change mags on a FAL than an AR. On an AR, you have to ring that mag well dead straight. On the FAL, that extension guides you in, then you just lever it in place. It's also a much stronger magazine attachment and uses leverage to overcome the spring tension of a full mag against the bolt.

If anybody has tried any of this before and failed, I'd like to hear about it. Any tips and/or tricks would be much appreciated as well.

If youre going to do this, build a 545 kit on a 556 ak builder barrel. That appears to be pretty straightforward. Anything else and youre asking for a difficult persnickedy build. This is because there is little standardization between the various countries versions of the 556 ak74. Mixing and matching is very tricky.

If youre goin to do the AR magwell conversion, do a canis magwell, that has worked well for folks as well. That will make a pretty solid deal but at a decent price tag. All of this will take some amount of skill...far more than twisting up an AR, the easiest build there is.

A much easier route would be to buy a yugo m85np pistol or whatever the AR mag well model is called. Then just add a stock and welded muzzle attachment to make it a legal rifle. Less than $700 gets you into a serbian 556 rifle with a good track record and a factory barrel. i have the rifle cnc warrior built in 556 that takes m85 mags and i love it.

Thundermaker
March 09, 2015, 05:43
The AK74 kit was my plan. It's really a stretch to call the AR15 a build. I just snapped everything into the lower and popped the upper on it. Going from a stripped upper is only slightly more involved than that. I have built m1 garands and bolt rifles though. The hardest part of an AK build looks to be the riveting. I know they make screw kits to replace the rivets, but I don't know how well they'll hold.

Kingtubby
March 09, 2015, 17:38
Pressing and headspacing the barrel is the hardest part, esp on a vertical press. Rivets just require patience and the willingness to grind/drill them off if they dont come out right. Sooner or later they will all look okay.

Two other things: do NOT thread the barrel or trunnion - the ak barrel is designed to be press fit and pinned - that works and shouldnt be modified; and DO NOT do a screw build, that is asking for disaster, like a bolt carrier to the throat kind of disaster.

nyalaman
March 10, 2015, 18:16
For the mag issue, I've heard there is adapter for the magwell that can be put in place to accept AR mags on a .556 AK.

nyalaman
March 10, 2015, 18:33
For the mag issue, I've heard there is adapter for the magwell that can be put in place to accept AR mags on a .556 AK.

Digger59
March 10, 2015, 19:29
A Galil mag might work

Timber Wolf
March 10, 2015, 20:09
Buy this: http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=471969950 Find Weiger mags or modify Galil mags to fit. Done, enjoy. I have a high dollar 5.56 AK (Arsenal 106FR) and like my SAR-3 better. I paid $900 (year and a half ago) for the Arsenal and $300 for the SAR (a long time ago). The SAR loves 62 grain steel cased ammo and is MORE accurate than the 106FR.

TOWS220
March 12, 2015, 17:57
My two cents...
-for mags use either bulgy pattern or get the canis adapter, order it now because they have a hard time keeping up with demand.
-as long as you use ak-74 pattern stuff like the mentioned bulgy kit it will be an easy build.
-If you have the skill to mod the rec or make your own adapter that would be a great idea too.

Here is may saiga, I tried to sell it as a box o parts with a mag adapter for weeks. Got down to $250! No buyers so it got built cheap, trunnion still needs to be milled for canis adapter.

http://i1113.photobucket.com/albums/k520/Nate_West/Mobile%20Uploads/20150131_123309.jpg (http://s1113.photobucket.com/user/Nate_West/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150131_123309.jpg.html)

Thundermaker
March 12, 2015, 18:35
Wish I had known about that deal.

hueyville
March 12, 2015, 23:05
LGS had a Romanian SAR-3 in 5.56 today and a Rock River 7.62x39 AR with proper lower to use AK magazines. Just an odd day cruising the shelves. Had I been more cash heavy would have purchased both.

Old Sarge
March 13, 2015, 08:31
My two cents...
-for mags use either bulgy pattern or get the canis adapter, order it now because they have a hard time keeping up with demand.
-as long as you use ak-74 pattern stuff like the mentioned bulgy kit it will be an easy build.
-If you have the skill to mod the rec or make your own adapter that would be a great idea too.

Here is may saiga, I tried to sell it as a box o parts with a mag adapter for weeks. Got down to $250! No buyers so it got built cheap, trunnion still needs to be milled for canis adapter.

http://i1113.photobucket.com/albums/k520/Nate_West/Mobile%20Uploads/20150131_123309.jpg (http://s1113.photobucket.com/user/Nate_West/media/Mobile%20Uploads/20150131_123309.jpg.html)


TOWS220
What kind of front sight base is that? I like the basic look of the gun. Had I seen that for $250ish I would have been all over it.

Old Sarge

TOWS220
March 13, 2015, 19:21
My buddy brazed a cut up tantal fsb and a saiga gas block together for me and then cut and threaded the barrel to 14.7 in.

Largesfc
March 30, 2015, 11:33
I would have been all over that saiga!

Vance
April 11, 2015, 11:46
I really don't like the idea of using AR mags on the AK platform. I useto think it was a good idea but I changed my mind. Most AR guys will admit that the mags are the weakest part of the platform. Why bring that weakness over to the AK? Also you have to remove material from the front trunion to make AR mags fit. It might be nothing but that can't possibly be good.

I have a 223 Saiga and what I did was install a bullet guide and pick up a couple circle 10s. Then I got 12 m85pv mags for $10 each and got them working with some extensive modifications.

Largesfc
April 11, 2015, 11:59
What were the mods to the m85 mags? Any pics?

def90
April 12, 2015, 19:21
Plenty of people over at AKFiles have built 5.56 AKs.. They have spent the time/money/blood/sweat/tears.. they have it all figured out, don't over think it and try to reinvent the wheel.

Vance
April 12, 2015, 21:04
What were the mods to the m85 mags? Any pics?

Heres a link with pictures.

http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?/topic/91541-pap-m85pv-556-mags/page-2#entry1018117

Largesfc
April 13, 2015, 12:02
I dont think they will work in my sar3. I would have to take the side brace off.