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Discussion in 'The Kalashnikov Klub' started by CarlosC, Feb 11, 2010.
Cool info. And pics! Few notes:
To my knowledge AK was adopted in 49, not in 48.
Until it became AKM the guns official abbreviation was AK, not AK-47. When the receiver was switched from stamped to milled the official name became Oblegchyonnyj (Lightened) 7.62mm avtomat Kalashnikova (AK).
Official abbreviation of the latest 74 is AK-74M. It makes sense if you think about it. My hunch is that calling it AKM-74 would be a bit confusing. It is for the same reason the gun was not called AKM-74 initially even though it was based on AKM, not on AK. There can only be one AKM
And a bit off-topic:
The gun was originally adopted without bayo. Bayonet appeared first with the Type 2 receiver and was redesigned for AKM. AKM bayonet was patterned after the diving knife designed for the Soviet navy scouts by Lt.Colonel Todorov(?).
At different development stages the gun had features some people cant imagine life without: thumb safety, bolt hold open device, gas regulator, aluminum magazines and even a telescoping monopod that was stowed in a front pistol grip. All, obviously, deleted.
Ok cool. I definitely want your take on why they went with a 90 degree
gas block and Romania optioned not to on the AK74 5.45 guns and how this benefits the evolving design. No one else seemed to want to discuss this a while back and this thread is about the variations.
By the way, great idea for a thread.
WOW, simply WOW!!!!
Great thread. I'm interested in possibly acquiring an AK sometime in the future. Thread bookmarked for later review.
Carlos, I must give credit where credit is due. You have outdone yourself with this thread. Thank you for all the photographs and information.
This needs to be a sticky. Very good information.
Nice thread, very educational...
Well, the reason Russians went with 90 degree gas block (and made sure that the port hits the groove, not the land) is because the original slanted hole created the elongated oval footprint on the barrel that was sheering the smaller and faster 5.45 projectile. It took several years to detect and nail the problem.
I dont know about Romanians but suspect the reason they stayed with AKM-type gas block is economics. Russians did not exactly share the AK-74 technology the way they shared AK-47 technology so those allies who decided to adopt 5.45 were left to go through their own teething problems. When Romanians designed MD86 Commando which had to have a new gas block integrated into the sight base they went with a 90 degree gas port.
Chinese used even more straightforward approach- drilled smaller hole.
Its amazing what pressure behind a bullet or shotcup can do sometimes.
The saiga 12 shotguns which are smooth bore and have the 90 degree blocks
still can occasionally shear off a piece of plastic shot wad or cup that end up in the gas system. This is considering there is no land edge sticking inward and the hole is perpendicular to the bore. So, essentially, the pressure behind the wad has distorted the wad top profile upward into the gas port hole as it passes and the curved edge of the port hole intersecting the bore on the muzzle side shears off the plastic material.
CarlosC, great info, thanks for the excellent post.
This is what I am looking for...anyone with additional information or clarification.
I double checked...I have one source that states Kalashnikov was informed in 1947 that his design had been slated for acceptance by the Russian Army. An order by the Ministry of Armament dated January 21st, 1948, directs both Izhmash and Izhmekh to assist in supplying parts and assemblies for the new rifle. They issues another order in May of 1948 saying that the main production for the new rifle would be done exclusively by Izhmash starting in January of 1949.
That's correct, the bayonet was only fitted on the two latter milled receivers and on. Those would be the M1951 bayonets. The next one was the M1959 bayonet, which have the round pommel. The square pommel bayonets are the M1974 models. The newer style you see mostly with AK-74s is the M1983 model.
Don't forget about the holes drilled into the barrel to act as a recoil compensator, the two piece gas piston/bolt carrier and, at one point, a two piece receiver that was hinged like an M-16's.
I'll have to dig up the source, but I read somewhere that while the gas block is the 45 degree style, the hole is 90 degrees. I t would be nice if someone who has removed one could verify that.
Thanks for all the info carlos. I always learn something new from your posts. Keep it up.
The original gas port in the barrel was drilled through the gas block. This made up for differences between parts. The AK's with vertical gas blocks have the gas port drilled in the barrel before the gas block is installed on the barrel of course. The RPK-74 seems to have angled gas block. This may be because it is a machine gun and it makes it easier to clean or the accuracy of a machine gun isn't as important as with a rifle. There is a tool to clean the vertical gas port though. The Galil has an angled gas port but it is a different angle than the AK angle. I do have a Romanian 5.45 rifle that I am going change the front sight block and the gas block on it, so I will be able to see how the barrel's gas looks. It's an early one with the thinner barrel and takes the 22mm muzzle brake. The later standard thickness Romanian 5.45 barrels may be made like the Bulgarian ones with a pre-drilled vertical hole.
North Korea originally made milled receiver AK-47's. Later they went to stamped European type AKM's. They have Hungarian-looking front trunnions with odd looking C-shaped rear trunnions and a ribbed trigger guard. North Korea made milled receiver RPK's from 1963 to 1975 and now makes stamped receiver 5.45mm AK-74's with steel magazines.
Another well-written/illustrated and informative thread; thanks, CarlosC!
Added to the list of CarlosC threads in the "already Stuck" thread (above), titled --
Sticky: Resources/links for AK owners/users...
Congrats on a job well done, Carlos. This should be a sticky. Very informative.