AK 47 Tools For Building Your Own Rifle

By Thomas Conroy
AK 47 tools

Top Five Tools For Building Your Own AK-47 Rifle - original AK image : Legion Arms AK 47 tools
Top Five Tools For Building Your Own AK-47 Rifle – original AK image : Legion Arms
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Kalashnikov rifles are big news lately. An executive order from the White House recently cut off the Russian-made versions – Saiga rifles and shotguns along with VEPRs.

But there are still plenty of AK 47 rifles and parts kits from places like Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, just about anywhere from the old Soviet Bloc and their allies.

Even before the import ban on Russian AKs, building your own Kalashnikov was becoming more  popular, and will probably become even more so, now with the current ban in place.

Jim Fuller with Rifle Dynamics has tapped into this interest, hosting “Build Your Own AK” classes all over the country.  He also has an outstanding AK Armorer’s video out. You can get his video, along with the AK-Builder.com tools used in those classes from several quality vendors, including Brownells.

I haven’t had the pleasure of attending one of Jim Fuller’s classes, but I am building my own AK. And I’ve learned by doing what tools are really helpful in building your own Kalashnikov. You’ll need more than just five tools – things like drill bits, big hammers and headspace gauges –and if you insist on building from a receiver flat, you’ll need a Receiver Bending Die, too.

In my case, I chose a fully-formed AK receiver with rails and center post already installed, as I wanted my first building experience to be relatively simple.

Do not forget to familiarize yourself with 922r rules about building from a parts kit. This website has a handy calculator to let you see which US made parts you’ll need to add to a foreign AK parts kit to stay in compliance.

But here are what I’ve found to be the absolutely most useful tools for building an AK.

My Top Five AK 47 Tools for Building a Rifle

AK47 Trigger Guard Riveting Jig
AK47 Trigger Guard Riveting Jig

5.) AK Trigger Guard Riveting Jig
The very first rivets I ever crushed were those holding the trigger guard onto my AK receiver. Lots of first-time American AK builders just don’t have much – if any – experience riveting things. The AK Trigger Guard Riveting Jig ( http://goo.gl/YvoQfx ) makes this task simple and straightforward. If you’re trying to rivet the trigger guard onto a receiver that already has the rails welded in and the center post installed, like mine, the kit even comes with the extra post and plate for that.

AK-Builder Barrel Press Kit
AK-Builder Barrel Press Kit

4.) Barrel Press Kit
Pressing the barrel into place is a real “Moment of Truth” in building your AK. I’ve seen videos of all sorts of homemade contraptions to accomplish this, but the AK-Builder Barrel Press Kit ( http://goo.gl/uHSt8J ) seems to be one of the best tools for the job out there. It’s a very-well thought out kit that has all the parts, including a brass muzzle-alignment nut to protect the muzzle of your rifle against marring while it’s being pressed.

AK-Builder Rivet Tool AK 47 tools
AK-Builder Rivet Tool AK 47 tools

3.) Riveting Tool
Riveting the front and rear trunnions into place is another very important step in building your own AK. If the front trunnion isn’t straight, your rifle will be crooked, neither reliable nor accurate. If the rivets are not tight and secure, the rifle could literally come apart in your hands while firing, which could be truly catastrophic. The Riveting Tool ( goo.gl/kbHoK1 ) makes it easy to get those rivets exactly where they need to be, and ensure they are well-crushed and tight. This tool also lets you dimple the rivet holes in the receiver – helping the receiver and trunnion to “stick” together – and can also install the center post, if you’re building from a receiver flat that doesn’t yet have the center post installed.

SKIL 120-Volt 10-Inch Drill Press AK 47 tools
SKIL 120-Volt 10-Inch Drill Press

2.) A Good Drill Press
You will wind up needing to drill new holes, or to modify existing holes to put your AK together. Some receivers require you to locate and then drill all the holes for both the front and rear trunnions. The receiver I used had pre-drilled holes that aligned perfectly with the trunnions, but they were just too small in diameter to accept the rivets. I used a drill press to enlarge them. When you do press in the barrel and headspace it, you’ll have to drill another hole that just scallops the barrel for the barrel pin. No matter what, you will wind up drilling holes in metal.

Drill presses are not specifically gun-related, but if you’re going to take on projects like building AKs, you’re going to need one, or at least be on good terms with the neighbor who has a well-equipped home shop in his garage or basement. Drill presses are just plain handy for all sorts of jobs. You might as well get one. Start with Amazon, or look for garage sales or check local online listings for used items if you need to go cheap.

Legion Arms AK47 Building Jig Kit AK 47 tools
Legion Arms AK47 Building Jig Kit

1.) Legion Arms AK47 Building Jig Kit

The Legion Arms AK47 Building Jig Kit includes a complete set of high quality AK47 building jigs, including some we already mentioned above. This is the most widely outfitted jig set available anywhere. Everything you need to finish your AK47 builds is there. Includes everything you can buy elsewhere and then some – including a Barrel Press Kit, AK Rivet Tool (Plinker jig), & Trigger Guard Riveting Jig. As well as a host of other small jig parts to assist you in EVERY part of the AK build process. If you can drill a hole and operate a hydraulic jack – you can build an AK with this jig. Legion Arms also offers complete step by step instructions.

Just Do It

It can be complicated to assemble all the tools you’ll need to build your own AK. It might even seem a bit expensive. But the time and money spent will seem cheap compared to the knowledge you’ll gain, and the satisfaction you’ll feel when you take that rifle – that you built all by yourself – out to the range for the first time. And I’ve heard that building AKs is like eating potato chips. It’s hard to limit yourself to just one. I can’t wait to find out if that’s true, once I get the barrel pressed into my first homemade Kalashnikov.

Thomas Conroy is a firearms aficionado and writer who lives in the Midwest.

  • 16 thoughts on “AK 47 Tools For Building Your Own Rifle

    1. Can you ship AK parts to India if I order online?.I am ready to buy but I am from Kolkata (India).If it’s possible then please inform me

    2. Bought 2 MAK90’s 22 years ago for $180 each and a NHM for $225 they’re not fancy, work well…still shootin’ ’em. Purchased 2 Tantals,2 Bulgarian AK74’s and 2 Romainian 47’s 4 years ago, each cost $400. I’m not poor, but I’m cheap, Like RDNK and Chuck said all these tools are expensive. I leave the building to the professionals…just enjoy shooting. I shoot well and often, try to keep life simple, got enough stuff I don’t need, why buy more. Interesting, but it don’t make much sense to me.

        1. When the gubernment takes all guns away, I will wait for the revolutionaries and other doomsday-forcasting weapon stockpilers to win the ensuing civil war and restore my rights to buy guns.

          Until then, I’ll just buy guns.

        2. Most states do not register guns, only the most commie craphole states like commiefornia do. Others just do the background check and just issue a bill of sale saying the firearm has been sold. The Government does not know to whom, all the Government even has a clue of is a background check was completed, which is done ALL the time for things other than firearms. So have no fear, buying guns at the store, at least for now, are still under the table.

          1. That”s BS, I was in a washington department of fish and wildlife truck talking to the agent, he ran my name on his computer and every gun that I have ever purchased that was run through the NICS system appeared on a list. Don’t tell me they don’t register your guns.

            1. gunguy , You are full of shit. the NCIC system only stores Firearm serial numbers that have been reported stolen.

              i tried to run lost pistol for a FFl friend who owns a gun range through the NCIC system and it would not come up, i even contacted the ATF and they had no way to find the original owner since Firearms are not registered to an owner.

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