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Do you need a press to install a barrel in a kit build?


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#1 into_the_knight

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:51 PM

This guy uses a ram and a hammer to press his barrel back into the trunnion.

Posted Image

and this.

Posted Image

and this

Posted Image

AK Build tutorial from Guns Guts and God site.

Is this really safe and does the pin really provide enough of an index to determine proper headspace?

All that said, I'm considering buying a parts kit from JG Sales for the AMD 65 and going with a NDS receiver.

I've done a conversion on a Saiga and now am thinking about tackling this on a 100% receiver.

Anybody have experience with this? Can I get away without buying a press?

#2 nalioth

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 08:10 PM

I'm not sure what you're asking, but I'll take a swipe at it . .

1) whatever method you can safely get the barrel in and out (without damaging anything - including yourself) is acceptable. This may include the all-thread method, the posted "ram and hammer" method or using a dedicated set of jigs with a 20g hydraulic press.

2a) If you buy a kit with an intact barrel, you're not headspacing anything. The commie who built the rifle has already done it for you. Pressing the barrel back in place until the barrel pin holes on the barrel trunnion and barrel line up will do the trick.

2b) If you buy a kit with a barrel from somewhere else, you'll need 'headspace gauges' and an oversize pin (if you purchased a used barrel for it) to properly headspace it.
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#3 into_the_knight

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 08:37 PM

I'm not sure what you're asking, but I'll take a swipe at it . .

1) whatever method you can safely get the barrel in and out (without damaging anything - including yourself) is acceptable. This may include the all-thread method, the posted "ram and hammer" method or using a dedicated set of jigs with a 20g hydraulic press.

2a) If you buy a kit with an intact barrel, you're not headspacing anything. The commie who built the rifle has already done it for you. Pressing the barrel back in place until the barrel pin holes on the barrel trunnion and barrel line up will do the trick.

2b) If you buy a kit with a barrel from somewhere else, you'll need 'headspace gauges' and an oversize pin (if you purchased a used barrel for it) to properly headspace it.



You've hit it on the head.

Sorry for the poorly worded question. I am considering buying a kit where you get everything and it still has "parts" of the receiver attached.

This is just a consideration and seems to be a huge pain in the ass compared to the conversion of a Saiga.

#4 nalioth

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 08:45 PM

You've hit it on the head.

Sorry for the poorly worded question. I am considering buying a kit where you get everything and it still has "parts" of the receiver attached.

This is just a consideration and seems to be a huge pain in the ass compared to the conversion of a Saiga.

Considering what you're gonna pay for a kit with original barrel + the PITA to get it assemble, the Saiga does make a lot more sense, doesn't it?

Especially considering the Saiga is made of all brand new parts and the kit may have come from the test-to-destruction range (or worse).
"Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

#5 into_the_knight

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:41 PM

You've hit it on the head.

Sorry for the poorly worded question. I am considering buying a kit where you get everything and it still has "parts" of the receiver attached.

This is just a consideration and seems to be a huge pain in the ass compared to the conversion of a Saiga.

Considering what you're gonna pay for a kit with original barrel + the PITA to get it assemble, the Saiga does make a lot more sense, doesn't it?

Especially considering the Saiga is made of all brand new parts and the kit may have come from the test-to-destruction range (or worse).


I think I'm leaning that way. Someone on here laid out why the Saiga was their favorite ak variant and a lot of it had to do with new parts, chrome lined barrel that is made well, and just basically good manufacturing processes.

With a hungarian kit I don't know that I'll get that.

It would be nice to go through the process to say that you did it. Imagine taking a flat receiver and bending it. That would make any owner feel darn good about being able to build a rifle up from nothing but a flat piece of steel with holes drilled in it.

However, the fact that you could end up with a rifle that is a lot less durable and less square than a Saiga conversion is a major buzz killer. I'm thinking I'm not gonna do it. I might do it for an AK 74.

Price check on the Hungarian kit is 180, and then NoDakSpud reciever for 85. However, then I believe I have to put 922 compliance parts in it right? That would negate the cost advantage really quick.

Thanks for the feedback.

Edited by into_the_knight, 10 July 2009 - 11:42 PM.


#6 bigcec1

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:52 PM

I bought 8 of these kits many years back and I have put a few togather infact im about to do anouther one in the next few weeks finaly decided to use some more of the kits but if these kits are like the ones in the picture its alot more time consuming than it looks but as far as a saiga conversion I probly can do 5 saiga conversions compaired to one build if I have a 100% reciever instead of a flat and im using the screw kit instead of the rivits but from scratch you have to remove all of the reciever peices cut out and drill out all of the old rivits press the barrel out and remove thouse rivits and so on. Its more time consuming but as far as a press you dont need one but its nice to have I use a home made barrel press looks like the pic. But if you just wana give it a whirl have at it but as Nalioth stated you do not have to do headspacing with this kit it was a gun they just torched the reciever so all that has been done it was functioning before they broke it

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#7 bigcec1

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:58 PM

You've hit it on the head.

Sorry for the poorly worded question. I am considering buying a kit where you get everything and it still has "parts" of the receiver attached.

This is just a consideration and seems to be a huge pain in the ass compared to the conversion of a Saiga.

Considering what you're gonna pay for a kit with original barrel + the PITA to get it assemble, the Saiga does make a lot more sense, doesn't it?

Especially considering the Saiga is made of all brand new parts and the kit may have come from the test-to-destruction range (or worse).


I think I'm leaning that way. Someone on here laid out why the Saiga was their favorite ak variant and a lot of it had to do with new parts, chrome lined barrel that is made well, and just basically good manufacturing processes.

With a hungarian kit I don't know that I'll get that.

It would be nice to go through the process to say that you did it. Imagine taking a flat receiver and bending it. That would make any owner feel darn good about being able to build a rifle up from nothing but a flat piece of steel with holes drilled in it.

However, the fact that you could end up with a rifle that is a lot less durable and less square than a Saiga conversion is a major buzz killer. I'm thinking I'm not gonna do it. I might do it for an AK 74.

Price check on the Hungarian kit is 180, and then NoDakSpud reciever for 85. However, then I believe I have to put 922 compliance parts in it right? That would negate the cost advantage really quick.

Thanks for the feedback.



Unless you have a press and proper stuff for jigs to do a flat I would try and go with a NoDakSpud or some outher reciever when you do a flat its alot more time consuming and you still have to temper the reciever after its bent. And yes you have to build it to 922 compliance
"When there is no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth" George Romero

#8 into_the_knight

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 12:02 AM

You bought those kits when they were like $50 didn't you? At least NDS receivers are still reasonably priced.

#9 into_the_knight

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 12:06 AM

You know I think I know my limits. This is probably one of them.

Could I do it? Yeah i think so. Is it worth it when compared to Saiga nowadays? I don't think so.

If kits went back down to sub $100 I might do it for kicks and giggles over a long period. But for now, I think things are pointing to no. But it's awesome to be able to find guys who have gone through it and are willing to weigh in with their knowledge.

Thanks Big!

#10 bigcec1

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 12:08 AM

I paid 35$ a pop and I was wrong I got 18 of the kits I just looked in the box I have em in still got the reciept I have used some of the NDS Receivers even there economy ones they make some good stuff Ive done 4 flats then the ram busted on my press just not gotten around to repairing it so i bought some of the NDS recievers
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#11 bigcec1

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 12:11 AM

Yeah converting a saiga is a whole lot less time consuming and the plus side is all the new parts you can build a ak kit with new barrel and so forth but then you have more work involved
"When there is no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth" George Romero

#12 SJgunguy24

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 11:18 AM

No you don't NEED a press, but it will make the job way easier. I'm building up some kits now,i'll be making at least 1 pistol maybe more. No paper work and no B.S. The only way to get an AK pistol here(Cali) is from a flat.

#13 into_the_knight

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 11:19 AM

I paid 35$ a pop and I was wrong I got 18 of the kits I just looked in the box I have em in still got the reciept I have used some of the NDS Receivers even there economy ones they make some good stuff Ive done 4 flats then the ram busted on my press just not gotten around to repairing it so i bought some of the NDS recievers



Okay so I'm green with envy. Nice job.

#14 into_the_knight

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 11:21 AM

Oh yeah and you have to pay extra for the matching number kits now a days. If the numbers don't match, is there an issue with headspace or is it good enough that the barrel and front trunion are still mated together?

#15 nalioth

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 11:30 AM

Oh yeah and you have to pay extra for the matching number kits now a days. If the numbers don't match, is there an issue with headspace or is it good enough that the barrel and front trunion are still mated together?

Potential parts with numbers (depends on country of origin):

rear sight leaf
barrel trunnion
gas tube
trigger
hammer
disconnecter
butt stock
lower hand guard
safety lever
rear tang
bayonet
bayonet sheath

If the numbers don't match on the sight leaf and barrel trunnion, or the trigger and gas tube, I hardly think it'll be an issue. God forbid you get a non-matching bayonet - that'll make the rifle useless :haha:

So long as you get a barrel trunnion with an original barrel still in it, there are no issues.

Edited by nalioth, 11 July 2009 - 11:31 AM.

"Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

#16 into_the_knight

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 11:35 AM

Oh yeah and you have to pay extra for the matching number kits now a days. If the numbers don't match, is there an issue with headspace or is it good enough that the barrel and front trunion are still mated together?

Potential parts with numbers (depends on country of origin):

rear sight leaf
barrel trunnion
gas tube
trigger
hammer
disconnecter
butt stock
lower hand guard
safety lever
rear tang
bayonet
bayonet sheath

If the numbers don't match on the sight leaf and barrel trunnion, or the trigger and gas tube, I hardly think it'll be an issue. God forbid you get a non-matching bayonet - that'll make the rifle useless :haha:

So long as you get a barrel trunnion with an original barrel still in it, there are no issues.



Lulz about the bayonet. So true so true.

I'm still talking myself down from a build versus a Saiga conversion which I think will yield me a better product. (If the price were still what BigCec1 was paying things would be different).

This is just for chewing the fat / educational purposes.

So when people piss and moan about matching numbers, they're being purists? And there's no problem with bolt group and trunion matings? That seems to be likely, otherwise it would be difficult to repair an AKM which seems anti-thetical to the philosophy behind its design.

#17 nalioth

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 03:08 PM

So when people piss and moan about matching numbers, they're being purists? And there's no problem with bolt group and trunion matings? That seems to be likely, otherwise it would be difficult to repair an AKM which seems anti-thetical to the philosophy behind its design.


Let me repeat myself:

So long as you get a 'complete kit with barrel' and said kit contains a barrel still stuck in the original barrel trunnion, you can pretty much build the rifle w/o worries about headspace.

The "purists" - in this case - are the ones that go to Nodak Spud or wherever and get a 'custom serial' number on their receiver that matches their parts kit numbers, and put together their 'all matching numbers kit" on it.
"Tactical" is a mindset, not an equipment list.

#18 Shandlanos

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:33 PM

I dunno if they're all purists, per se, or they likely wouldn't be building on an American-made receiver. A true "purist" would have to get one with the tradition FCG.

Seems to me most of that is a desire for a sense of neatness, that or a wee bit of OCD.
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