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Solidsnake87
02-14-2007, 2:21 PM
Hey guys,

I'm about ready to start an AKS-74U build but before I start working on parts I wanted to discuss assembly options. I know how to do the rivet build from demilled parts but I kind of want to avoid the hassle of soaking the barrel pin in kroil for a week, popping it and the barrel out, making another custom rivet tool, riveting the trunnion on, and then re-inserting the barrel.

What other assembly options do I have? I'm not too familiar with the U drive stuff but let me know whats out there.

aklover_91
02-14-2007, 2:27 PM
Screws. Suck it up and do a rivet build, that's the way they're meant to be.

jumbopanda
02-14-2007, 2:37 PM
Judging by this question, I assume that you are not very experienced in building AKs. Because of this, I would recommend you work with a cheaper kit, such as a Romanian AKM, before starting your AKS-74U. I have done three AKs so far, and none of them are absolutely perfect; all have small flaws. My latest one is probably the best one but still has small imperfections. If you handed me a $600+ kit right now and told me to build it, I don't know how comfortable I would be with it.

I HIGHLY recommend that you remove the barrel and rivet the trunnion the right way. If you decide to try assembling it with screws, you must drill the holes perfectly, making sure that you don't drill into the barrel. Your receiver holes must match perfectly too, and you better pray that you don't break a tap. I've been there, and have concluded that rivets are the best way.

If you want to build such an expensive kit, I think it would be worth investing ~$100 in a 12 ton hydraulic press. I would also recommend the $100 AK-builder.com barrel press kit, which includes all the tools needed to remove/install the pin and remove/install the barrel. I've used this setup to separate 5 barrels from their trunnions, and reinstalled 3 of them. No problems at all.

JHC
02-14-2007, 3:41 PM
I've played with Udrives and they will work if done properly so you can avoid pulling the barrel but you will still have to rivit the 2 lower front trunion holes.
If you want a handfull of Udrives to play with I'm here in Sac and have a few in the garage

Solidsnake87
02-14-2007, 4:17 PM
Judging by this question, I assume that you are not very experienced in building AKs

I've built 2 romanians thank you.

I know how to build an AK just fine through the rivet method I was just wondering if there were quicker build methods that produced the same build quality. That was the point of this thread. I am ready to do another rivet build I was just wondering what other options are out there.

Builder
02-14-2007, 4:30 PM
Of all of the various fixation techniques, rivet, U-drive, and screw, I like TIG welding the best. TIG welding does not require the rivets or barrel to be removed. No broken taps (been there done that on the PSL build). No problems with drilling into the barrel (if done carefully there's no risk). Best of all, we know that welding is a well understood, long lasting, and secure technology for fixating steel.
The removal of the old parts of the receiver and preparing the trunions for welding takes about an hour. It takes about 20-30 minutes to do the 10 TIG welds. Make sure that the bolt carrier rides smoothly before welding. Clamp both trunions into the new receiver and recheck the bolt action. Fix any collisions. Check again. Prep steel weld areas as normal but I like to use 4-C from Shooters Solutions as well. Then weld.
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l108/DavidRSw/AK-47.jpg
Happy building,
Builder
ps the pistol grip is just resting there....:)

jumbopanda
02-14-2007, 4:31 PM
Again I think rivets would produce the highest build quality. I've never used U-drives before, and don't really care for screws.

Since you've done two builds already and are now planning on doing a very expensive one, that's all the more reason for you to get a press and barrel removal kit. It's a GREAT investment and makes the task quick and simple. No soaking it, freezing, polishing, or any other kind of hassle. But then again if this is to be your last build then don't bother with it.

So it all comes down to rivets, screws, and U drives. I really can't comment on those, but I will say that rivets>screws and chances are, rivets>anything else. But again, I haven't explored all of the options out there so I don't know for sure.

I can't really stress enough how strongly opposed I am to using alternative fastening methods on an expensive kit. Of course it's your kit so you can do whatever you want. If you want more input, go to AKfiles.com, there are tons of builders over there and it's practically a library of AK knowledge just waiting to be tapped into. Good luck with whatever you choose and I hope it comes out great.






P.S. Rivets r da best! :D

jumbopanda
02-14-2007, 4:41 PM
Of all of the various fixation techniques, rivet, U-drive, and screw, I like TIG welding the best. TIG welding does not require the rivets or barrel to be removed. No broken taps (been there done that on the PSL build). No problems with drilling into the barrel (if done carefully there's no risk). Best of all, we know that welding is a well understood, long lasting, and secure technology for fixating steel.
The removal of the old parts of the receiver and preparing the trunions for welding takes about an hour. It takes about 20-30 minutes to do the 10 TIG welds. Make sure that the bolt carrier rides smoothly before welding. Clamp both trunions into the new receiver and recheck the bolt action. Fix any collisions. Check again. Prep steel weld areas as normal but I like to use 4-C from Shooters Solutions as well. Then weld.
Happy building,
Builder

Here's a thread on AK Files about weld builds if anyone wants to read it.

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17421&highlight=weld+build

Solidsnake87
02-14-2007, 4:49 PM
This is to be my last AK build ever. I think i'll just press the barrel pin out with the hammer/kroil method and take the barrel to a machine shop to get it pressed out like last time on my romanians. I figured I'd have to go with rivets again. If only Aks were as much of an erector set as ARs.

!@#$
02-14-2007, 4:51 PM
don't forget the trunnions are heat treated. welding changes the heat treating not in a good way. there is alot of info on this on the web. i assume the link above deals with this but i will post just in case it did not.

Builder
02-14-2007, 5:14 PM
I've read that the trunions are heat treated, but never once did anyone state just WHICH treatment. My PSL front trunion was NOT heat treated as the tap cut the threads easily while the stock trunion was a bear and eventually I broke the tap. The Romanian AK and RPK front trunions don't seem to be heat treated as they file easily.
Just remember, it's not the heat treating strength of the trunion that holds the trunion to the receiver; it's the rivet. And it sure isn't heat treated.
In the picture above, notice how little heat color change of the receiver there is. Those welds were done by a certified welder.
Builder

Solidsnake87
02-14-2007, 8:48 PM
Has anybody by chance seen an AKS-74U kit under $650? It would be nice to know before I made my order.

grammaton76
02-14-2007, 10:42 PM
Gotta say, I definitely agree that rivets are the right route.

Kind of a purist here... if it was good enough for the eastern bloc to do from the introduction of the AKM on to today, it's good enough for us.