Of first priority was miling out this “sporter” so as to accept standard AK-47 double-stack 30 round (and larger) magazines. A good friend leant me his small but effective drill press, in which I would undertake this the first of many reckless, yet thoroughly entertaining milling projects. Starting out by enlarging the hole in the receiver stamping and barrel trunnion.
After this major overhaul, and having done some advance research I learned all the joys of House Bill 922r. This wonderful piece of legislation required me to make sure that any truly “evil” imported assault rifle must be U.S. made, or at least have enough U.S. made parts to pass as such. So a new Tapco gas piston, FCG (firing control group), and U.S. made I.O. pistol grip were in order to make this gem legal according to my “good friend” William Jefferson Clinton.
What assault rifle would be complete without threading the barrel for a flash hider? Yes, that’s a vise-grip being used to hold the threading die.
Now this will never work, since it came to me as a rifle I have to make sure the end result is the same shoulder fired weapon. Enter the Romanian underfolder stock, which would require some modifications to work on the PAP.
Adapter block polished and later blued.
Welded and finished underfolder.
The finished product. Many bottles of Evan Williams Cherry Reserve were harmed in the production of this firearm. Do not attempt this at home without understanding the laws concerning importation of assault rifles (see 922r).
After some test cycling I learned that I would have to replace the PAP bolt with one made for a standard Yugoslavian M70 variant. It appears that the original single stack PAP bolt wasn’t tall enough to feed rounds off the new double-stack magazine with repeatability. Once this done and headspace verified, after about 200 rounds of cheap steel case Herters ammo, I have experienced one FTF which I attributed to a dented Romanian steel surplus magazine. After customizing and shooting an AK for the first time, my impression of the Automatika Kalashnikova is akin to that of a dune buggy – utilitarian and borderline crude, but very much functional and at the end of the day just a ton of fun! While I would soon discover the magic of the AR-15 / M-16 rifle of Gene Stoner’s brainchild, for functionality little can be done to improve upon the tried-and-true AK-47.