Sunday, March 22, 2009

AMD-65 Build Log – Part 1

Lest you thought the Tabuk was the only thing I’ve been working on, I also have an AMD-65 project going. As an Intel guy, I had to do some soul searching before building an AMD. . . Okay bad joke! For those of you who don’t know, the AMD-65 is a Hungarian variant of the AK-47. AMD stands for Automata Módosított Deszant, and the weapon was designed for armored infantry and paratroop usage. The AMD-65 features both a folding stock and a short 12.6” barrel. Because of the barrel length, you unfortunately due to current U.S. firearm laws have to permanently lengthen the barrel to ensure it isn’t classified as a short barreled rifle, unless you want to pony up $200 for a tax stamp. I didn’t want to go that route (this time around) so I’m opting for the lengthened barrel.

Right now I’m in the “demilling” phase of the project, and it has been a bear! The front trunnion came off of the receiver easily enough, but the rear trunnion was incredibly difficult to drill out of the receiver. Like most AK variants, the rear trunnion has two full width rivets. I went through about three different cobalt bits (that’ll teach me to buy the cheap ones!) clearing the rivets. In the end I actually had to punch most of the second rivet through on my 12 ton press.

This project marked the baptism by fire of my AK-Builder barrel jig . Having tried various methods of removing barrels in the past, I must say the AK-Builder jig is amazing. I was demilling a Romanian “G” kit simultaneously and started with that kit. First you remove the barrel pin. In both cases the barrel pin came out without incident and even looks reusable. It takes a bit of force and initially the pin would move in stages – force would build up behind the ram and eventually the pin would slip relieving the pressure. On the Romanian kit, the barrel slid out freely once the pin was removed. The AMD, however, initially moved in stages like the barrel pin. I believe part of issue was the thick black finish on the kit acting like a glue and sealant.

As mentioned before, the barrel has to be permanently lengthened if you don’t want to register the final product as a short barreled rifle. Tapco makes an extended muzzle break which can be attached to the AMD barrel to get it to the requisite length. When acting as a barrel extension, the muzzle brake has to be welded and pinned to conform with US law (as I understand it based on my reading of various boards, I’m not a lawyer). Pictured below is the barrel with the muzzle brake screwed on. I’ll be taking it to a local gunsmith for welding and pinning (along with my two Tabuk barrels to be shortened and rethreaded).

The AMD-65 is unique because of its double pistol grip arrangement, and that’s one of the many features that attracted me to this particular build. I really like the wood grips, and made sure I picked up a kit with them. Unfortunately when they arrived they weren’t in “excellent” condition as advertised. However, after a lot of cleaning up (Simple Green is your friend – especially the lemon / yellow version) they turned out looking fairly good (see below).

At this point the build is pretty much ready to go. Unfortunately I’m still waiting on my NoDak Spud receiver. After some unpleasant experiences with an Arsenal and an Ohio Ordinance undrilled receivers, I’ve decided that I’m going to go with all pre-drilled receivers going forward. They’re not that much more expensive, and they go together much better. This build will exactly meet the no more than 10 imported parts rule under 922(r). The U.S. made parts will be the receiver, muzzle attachment, gas piston, and trigger group (3). I’ll post more pictures of this build as well as I go along. It will probably be finished before the Tabuk as it’s a simpler build.

Until next time!!!

No comments: