In this part one of an instructional/discussion video, DIY veteran (and former Marine) USMCDoc discusses the illustrious process of building an AK-47 variant from scratch. In it, he dispels the myths, the rumors, and the horse crap in favor of pointing out the important whys for each type of build.
This is a multi-part series, so be prepared for several hours of mostly discussion with some actual show-and-tell. If you’re serious about building an AK-47 variant from scratch, then you have every reason in the world to watch this series from start to finish and follow his advice. However, if you’re looking for a down and dirty – check out the video right below this paragraph.
The Blank Receiver
Before you really can go anywhere with an AK-47 variant build, you’re going to need to machine the receiver. Now, before you do this – check with YOUR state and localities laws. If you EVER want to sell or transfer this item, you will have to go through the FFL process with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
If you decide you want to make the trigger housing group fully automatic or selective firing, you’re going to need an NFA. That’s also non-negotiable in terms of federal law. So, when you are building your AK-47 variant, keep all those things in mind.
Why Is A Homemade AK-47 Variant So Essential?
The AK-47 is one of the most reliable and easily fabricated semi-automatic rifles in existence. It’s main competitor, at the time, was the FAL equivalent which was adopted by many NATO partners. The FAL is complete horse rubbish. It’s not very hardy and it’s much more difficult to operate than most AK-47 variants.
And the other major competitor (at the hayday of AK-47 manufacturing) was the CAR-15 (AR-15, civilian equivalent; M-16A2, military equivalent). The CAR-15 is indisputably one of the best medium range battle rifles on the planet. It uses a smaller bullet size (5.56 mm) than the AK-47 (7.62x39mm) and – with only iron sights and some windage – can reach out and touch someone at 500 yds. What’s not to love?
AR-15s are SEVERELY overpriced and their stock Mil Spec parts can sometimes be garbage.
There is literally no reason on this planet stock AR-15s should be this expensive.
Soooo… You can either spend $1300-1500 building an AR-15 from parts the right way or $850 stock base. From the $850 base model, most AR-15 owners who actually intend to use their AR-15 at the range and as a home-defense weapon, will spend upwards of $1,200 upgrading that rifle through after-market parts.
Screw all that. An AK-47 built from the bottom up will serve you just as well – if not better. You can still add all the bells and whistles that make the rifle “tacticool” while actually being just as effective (if not more so) than a tricked out AR-15 variant.
So, building an AK-47 from the ground up is a fraction of the cost of doing the same with an AR-15 and can accompany all the tricks and ponies every mean motherjammer wants with his rifle.