Re: AK Test Build (Budget)

This is a discussion on Re: AK Test Build (Budget) within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hi, So I know it's been a while since I decided to embark on my budget AK build. I am sorry for my delay but ...

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Thread: Re: AK test Build (Budget)

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    Re: AK test Build (Budget)

    Hi,

    So I know it's been a while since I decided to embark on my budget AK build. I am sorry for my delay but I feel like I have some good data points from having a bit of trial and error over the last few months. Please refference my original post to gain some insight to what I started with in regards to my AK and some of my original choices of parts. Beyond just making some changes to my rifle I had to be conizant of the law and 922r compliance as this riffle was originally made in China and caught up during the original assault weapons ban. Please see my refference to gun wiki for AK.
    Gunwiki: 922(r) Worksheet for AK-47 Builds


    Original thread
    AK Test Build (budget)

    So if you read my original thread, I started with a Norinco Mak90 which very much resembles the picture below. I bought the riffle with a few mags and some ammo for around 550.00. You can spend more or less on the same model, but I tend to see them go between 500-650 up here.


    So in my original thread I went with an ATI strikeforce stock and furniture combination. After quite a bit of dremeling to fit the stock and hand guards I got everything to fit. Note that a Mak90 is 50% thicker in the receiver then the standard mil-spec AK and so I found that pieces needed to be tweaked a little with some hand fitting. Once I got everything fitted I mounted the Vortex sparc and was off to the range. The first thing I noticed was that even though the top hand guard was was super tight my scope did not hold zero well. I also noticed that the joint in which the stock folds was huge and in the way of my eye sight. My conclusion was that the handguards are garbage if you want to mount optics to them. The stock was actually pretty decent except I could not get over the huge joint in my way. I do have to say that I love the ATI pistol grip and kept it.

    See website for visual
    AK-47 Strikeforce Fixed Stock, Handguards & Pistol Grip with 6 Position Buttstock, Adjustable Cheekrest and Buttpad

    After my issues with the ATI handguards I looked and what I thought were good ways to mount optics for the AK. I had seen many positive reviews of the Midwest industries rail system and figured what the heck. Let me say that once I took the time to get this mounted and installed, it's rock solid and I love it.



    Just to add some ergonomics to my rail system, I also installed the Magpul AFG2



    After experimenting with the ATI stock and not getting over the joint in my face, I just could not get over it and had to make a change. I decided to spend the extra dough and went with a Mako group stock. This is by far the best polymer stock I have used. It's just made so well and the joint is built really solid. I also found that the cheek weld is one of the best features I have ever used with regards to the AK platform. If you use optics on an AK you will have to hold your head up high off the stock to get a proper sight picture. This stock eliminates that. *Note that this also required some fitting as the base is aluminum and needed to be grinded to fit in the thick Mak 90 receiver.



    As far as optics I tested the Vortex Sparc. I have not shot thousands of rounds on a couple different riffles and I can say that I love this red dot for the money. It solid, holds zero, has a fantastic warranty and good battery life. Though it's not an aimpoint, it's damn good and I have no issues using it and feel it would serve me well in many roles.



    Conclusion

    Now that I have had a couple months to test out this rig, I feel very confident with this build. For one the Mak 90 is superior to many AK's in build. It has a thick receiver and barrel to go a long with a fantastic trigger. The trigger was one of the sticklers for me to pass the 922r compliance. I did not want to change it and so I needed to either use USA made mags or put on a tapco piston. I did the piston to save time and energy as I feel that the milspec mags are rock solid. I have also tested quite a few Tapco mags without issue as well, but they not as solid as the milspec surplus mags.

    I do have other AK's that others on the internet would consider top of the heap like my Arsenal, but I have to say that this converted Mak90 is just more solid and is a flat out bruiser.

    Please see the final product. The only other future change will be a muzzle break, but I want to take some time to figure out what I want. Though the AK74 muzzle break on my Arsenal works well, there are a couple newer considerations that have recently come out of the market.

    I have tested this final configuration with 500 rounds without a failure (of course it's an AK) and have not had an issue with a single component. I will also have to admit that this did not end up being the budget riffle that I intended it to be. If you add the cost of the added components it's kind of a high end riffle for an AK. I guess that was the only failure, but it just made sense after I started experimentation. The riffle is Zombie/Flash Mob/SHTF/Disaster ready!

    Installed Stock


    Installed rail system with Vortex Sparc


    Riffle
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    Looks good.

    I've put a bunch of Midwest Industries rails on AK's and I think they are the best of them all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by C hawk Glock View Post
    I had seen many positive reviews of the Midwest industries rail system and figured what the heck. Let me say that once I took the time to get this mounted and installed, it's rock solid and I love it.
    Good to know. I've been thinking about getting one.
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    That looks great, and sounds like it performs really well too!

    I did a Mak 90 mod too, but I like yours better. My Aimpoint mount never holds zero, so I am looking at alternatives and you may have just written my ticket for the MWI.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Rock and Glock; August 16th, 2011 at 08:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    That looks great, and sounds like it preforms really well too!

    I did a Mak 90 mod too, but I like yours better. My Aimpoint mount never holds zero, so I am looking at alternatives and you may have just written my ticket for the MWI.

    Thanks!
    This one from midwest industries work great for aimpoints (depending on your model). It drops it down a touch lower for co-witnessing. I didn't go with the US palm version and I like options on where I mount the optic forward or backward, but this unit also has rave reviews. I hear that ultimaks hold zero, but I have issues mounting my optic basically on the gas tube and the heat it kicks out. By way, thank you for the kind words.

    Midwest Industries: AK ML2 Handguard
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    Great looking build. Someday when I am home I will build one.

    I to started with a MAK-90 because of the thicker receiver. I had mine built as I was not at home.




    The Ultimak rail does not put off as much heat as you would think and is rock solid.
    I was lucky in the fact the builder, Rifle Dynamics, are the experts at fitting things not originally made to go together. Like the Arsenal side folder on a Chinese rifle.

    Also can you tell me/us more about the red dot? I love Aimpoints but dern they are pricey.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    My Aimpoint is a much older model (I got it when I bought a used Benelli SG with the Aimpoint mounted to it) - I'll go look at the Model Number....................I wouldn't have the $$ now for a current model..........

    Mine is a 7000SC 4 MOA, for what it's worth. Here is a pic, without the Aimpoint:

    IMG_0658.jpg

    Proof that dirty guns still look dirty in pictures.........
    Richard

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    "But if they don't exist, how can a man see them?"

    "You may think I'm pompous, but actually I'm pedantic... let me explain the difference."

    "Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything."

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    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    Great looking build. Someday when I am home I will build one.

    I to started with a MAK-90 because of the thicker receiver. I had mine built as I was not at home.




    The Ultimak rail does not put off as much heat as you would think and is rock solid.
    I was lucky in the fact the builder, Rifle Dynamics, are the experts at fitting things not originally made to go together. Like the Arsenal side folder on a Chinese rifle.

    Also can you tell me/us more about the red dot? I love Aimpoints but dern they are pricey.
    Very nice! I love the look of that bad boy! As far as the Vortex Sparc, I really like it a lot. It holds zero very well and have a lifetime warranty to boot. I liked this one so much that I bought a second one.
    Ccccccc what? Ccccccccccc Hawks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock View Post
    My Aimpoint is a much older model (I got it when I bought a used Benelli SG with the Aimpoint mounted to it) - I'll go look at the Model Number....................I wouldn't have the $$ now for a current model..........

    Mine is a 7000SC 4 MOA, for what it's worth. Here is a pic, without the Aimpoint:

    IMG_0658.jpg

    Proof that dirty guns still look dirty in pictures.........
    There is just something about an AK. They are all business! I like your build, what stock do you have on there? It looks beefy.
    Ccccccc what? Ccccccccccc Hawks!

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    My build is from October 2007:

    US Compliance Parts:

    I used the TDI pistol grip (1);
    TDI Fore-ends upper and lower(1 or 2);
    Tapco trigger group (3);
    Ace adjustable stock (1);
    Muzzle Brake (1)

    Total US parts count: 7 or 8. Minimum is 7 with the brake counted.

    I think I counted correctly. IIRC the Fore-ends count as two parts. Could be wrong. Either way, I have the minimum requisite number of US parts to be fully compliant.
    Mak-90 After Modifications

    My Aimpoint Mount is from here:

    Scout Scope scope mounts for your AK SKS or Saiga rifles

    To be fair, I just haven't had the time to zero the Aimpoint and see if it holds zero well now with some tinkering. To much life in the middle of work.

    A good Fall goal!
    Richard

    NRA Life Member

    "But if they don't exist, how can a man see them?"

    "You may think I'm pompous, but actually I'm pedantic... let me explain the difference."

    "Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything."

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