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Thread: A Reminder of Why You Can't and Don't Want to Convert Your AK to full Auto.

  1. #221
    Gunco Member sduz1's Avatar
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    Default bs- zoid

    this is bs with exception of the legal ramifications- there are enough parts in the afterworld to do a full auto conversion with a minimum of fuss and minor mechanical skills and money- there is even a drop in auto sear option(see youtube-ak47 dias)do not file your disconnector or tye shoe strings on your weaponthey won't reliably work
    Quote Originally Posted by ZOID ZODIAN View Post
    These internet Assault Weapons discussion boards invariably attract newbies or gun-owners with a little bit of warped enthusiasm who just can't get it out of their heads how neat it would be to convert their AK to full auto.

    In discussions with people I meet, who are invariably new to guns, I keep hearing how easy it is to convert your AK to full auto by filing on this or that part.

    I'm tired of it.

    To manufacture an AK as a semi auto weapon, a different fire control group is used; a different bolt carrier is used; and the receiver is machined slightly differently. You as a civilian cannot legally find any way on earth to convert your lawfully-purchased semi-auto AK to full auto. Period. End of Story. I won't go into the laws here, but suffice it to say that if it wasn't already what is called a "fully transferable" full auto AK, dutifully registered as such by the Federal Government, then you can't own it. Deal with it.

    Now, let's say you're one of those adventurous people who likes to go tell people that all you have to do is file down the disconnector so it won't grab the hammer and you have "instant full-auto".

    Here's why that's not wise:

    1. It's illegal. You will be decades older by the time you get out of Federal Prison for doing it. There is no parole in Federal Prison. Twenty Years is twenty years. I'm not saying that's the sentence you'll get, buy you understand my point. Firing more than one round with one pull of the trigger may be fun, but it's not worth being married to a guy covered with tattoos for several years.


    2. It's dangerous. I deal a lot with gunsmiths; I read a lot of engineering literature on firearms. I understand how firearms work and don't work. I have repaired my own personally-owned AK's. I know what breaks them and what fixes them. Over the last ten years, I have also rubbed elbows with enough gunsmiths who have had to "fix" home hobbyists' misguided projects that I know enough not to EVER want to convert a semi-auto AK to full auto.

    The AK-47 action is not "timed" . We all know about revolvers, and how they are "timed" so that the round is not fired until the cylinder has locked on a fresh chamber, and the chamber is lined up properly.

    A full-auto AK-47 has an extra lever just forward of the hammer that holds the hammer back until the bolt is fully closed and locked. It also prevents the hammer from falling unless the round is fully seated in the chamber. This is to prevent the gun from firing "out of battery", and possibly blowing pieces of the firearm into your face. Because the AK action is not "timed", the hammer could very well fall too soon without this lever holding the hammer back until tripped by the bolt carrier.

    This is why a full-auto AK has different parts: it requires a special hammer and a special bolt carrier to interact with this trip lever.

    When an AK is manufactured in semi-auto only, the little lug on the bolt carrier that trips any full-auto lever is machined off. Plus, the hammer on a semi-auto only AK is machined not to allow that little trip lever to fit under the front of it; not to mention the fact that the receiver does not have the extra hole required for that trip lever to be installed.

    Sometimes, manufacturers of semi-auto only AK's also machine off a little tab on the rear of the disconnector, and the corresponding tab on the safety lever that pushes the disconnector out of the way so it doesn't grab the hammer on a full-auto gun.

    So, you, as the home gunsmith about to take his life in his hands, decides to "file" down something to make the gun full auto.

    Assuming that when you file down the disconnector, the gun doesn't just stop firing at all as the hammer follows the bolt carrier into battery, you have just created a bomb patiently waiting to blow your face off.

    Since the AK action is not "timed", your little file job has created a situation where there is NOTHING to prevent that round from firing as soon as the bolt face touches it. The hammer falls with the bolt carrier, and so will detonate the primer as soon as it can, whether the round is chambered and the bolt is closed or not. So instead of that full auto AK you always wanted, you now have one that will eventually kill or injure you or bystanders the first time it fires a round out of battery.

    That is why you don't want to illegally convert your semi-auto AK to full auto.

    __________________________________________

    On a similar subject, those of you who read the above carefully realize that there is nothing to prevent a semi-auto AK from firing out of battery either. This is technically true, but the tolerances of the AK-47 are loose enough that I have literally never heard of an AK firing out of battery (I'm not saying it's never happened--just that I've never heard of it).

    The lack of "timing" is not an issue, since "timing" only applies to full-auto fire. The disconnector will hold the hammer on a semi-auto AK until you let go of it, and it is humanly impossible to let go of the disconnector faster than the action can cycle. So this is not a problem.

    The one worry might be that if your AK gets so full of crud that the bolt won't close properly, then you might have a problem with firing out of battery, but I have literally fired hundreds of rounds through AK's without cleaning them, and I've never had a problem. Suffice it to say; clean your weapon occasionally, and if you drop it in goop so that the bolt lugs might be gunked up enough to prevent the bolt from closing, then your gun needs a thorough cleaning before you try to fire it again. Otherwise, don't worry about it.

    :smile:

  2. #222
    Gunco Member sduz1's Avatar
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    Default god bless you gunnysmith

    wyoming boys know the meaning of the phrase "land of the free"
    Quote Originally Posted by gunnysmith View Post
    The next time you're on I-90 heading west, and cross into WYOMING let me know.
    I'll tell you what ammo to bring.
    I have always enjoyed the smiles after the first time on full auto.

    Hint, .22LR 7.62 NATO, .45ACP, 9 mm
    Any questions?

  3. #223
    Gunco Rookie griffudd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZOID ZODIAN View Post
    On a similar subject, those of you who read the above carefully realize that there is nothing to prevent a semi-auto AK from firing out of battery either. This is technically true, but the tolerances of the AK-47 are loose enough that I have literally never heard of an AK firing out of battery (I'm not saying it's never happened--just that I've never heard of it).
    Thanks for the explanation. I'm a novice to rifles, especially AKs, but I just bought an AK-47 and had to return it due to malfunction.

    And the terminal event was that it fired out of battery. It blew the dust cover off over my shoulder and blew the bottom of the polymer magazine out. I wasn't hurt at all, but I was pretty concerned. And I was forced to stop shooting for the day, as the bolt carrier was jammed into gas chamber and had to be hammered out.

    Though I can't say that I perfectly follow your description of the "firing-out-of-battery" phenomenon (especially since I no longer have the rifle to look at), it sounds like a perfect explanation of what happened to me on my Century GP 1975 rifle.

    (And, for the record, I had not even attempted to modify it in any way. I'd only fired about 300-350 rounds through it. And it was virtually brand new.)

    I wrote about this on another forum to see if anyone else had ever had a similar problem with this rifle. Here was my description:
    1. I just received my GP 1975 about 2 weeks ago. The 1st time I took it out it jammed about every 10 to 15 shots. The guys at the range were watching and said it looked like a problem with the magazine. (It was the California-mandated 10/30 magazine.) There was some play in the magazine.
    2. Following the 1st day of shooting I tried to field strip and clean the rifle. Somewhere along the way, the lever retaining clip fell out. And then the both the trigger and hammer pins came lose from their seatings in the receiver, causing the hammer and trigger to come out of place. After several hours, I finally got both of them back in place. But both were pins were poorly seated, and dislodged several times, necessitating a whole lot of effort to get the hammer spring and pin back in place, along with the trigger spring and pin back in place (the latter being considerably easier.)
    3. The bolt action was not smooth, and stuck several times just manually pulling the bolt back. When I took the bolt and bolt carrier-gas piston assembly out, it seemed like the bolt would stick in the bolt carrier.
    4. It took a total of about 8 hours for me to get the rifle back together after my initial cleaning/field stripping. Much of this was because I didn't know much about rifle cleaning and breakdown. But it was also due to the lever, trigger, and hammer pins being so poorly seated that they fell out while I tried to clean it.
    5. The 2nd time I took it to the range it again jammed frequently, and at one point the trigger stopped working because the retaining pin on the assembly fell out on the ground. Having wrestled with this rifle for several hours already, I was now familiar with how to get the pin back in. Thus, I broke it down on the range, put the pin back in, and resumed shooting.
    6. On my next reloading, I picked the rifle up to fire, and the trigger wasn't there! I mean there was NO trigger in the rifle. It had fallen out on the ground, along with the retaining pin.
    7. I finally did find the triggher (and the retaining pin), broke the gun down, and reassembled it on the range. I resumed firing, and made sure I laid the gun down on the opposite side of the bolt lever, to keep the pins from falling out again.
    8. After this 2nd round at the range, I bought a new 10-round polymer magazine, which fit the rifle without any play--unlike the used metal 10/30 magazine I'd used previously.
    9. Prior to my 3rd trip to the range, I taped over the large end of the retaining pins for the trigger and hammer to keep them from falling out.
    10. On my 3rd trip to the range, though the bolt action still appeared rough, the 1st round jamming that I'd previously been experiencing was resolve. At least initially.
    11. Then I had some intermittent trouble with bolt sticking when I tried to pull it back. I continued firing when I could get the bolt back.
    12. And then on the 3rd or 4th round of a clip, a round exploded in the chamber--blowing the dust cover off and over my shoulder and blowing out the bottom of the new polymer magazine.
    13. And the bolt carrier-gas piston assembly remained jammed into the gas chamber. I couldn't tell if there was still a live round in the chamber or not. I got the guys at the range to help me hammer the bolt back out of the chamber with the gun pointed downrange just in case a live round was still chambered.
    14. There was no live round in the chamber, but there was part of a casing jammed inside another casing in the chamber. One of the rivets on the right side holding the front trunion to the receiver was gone. I don't know whether it was blown out on the misfire or if it was already missing. The other right-side rivet was beginning to come loose.
    15. I don't know for certain what happened, but I can guess. Apparently a spent cartridge did not eject, another live round was partially chambered (posterior to where it should have been), and fired through the non-ejected casing.
    16. I stopped firing after that and took the gun home. Though I took it apart, cleaned it, and reassemble it--the bolt and bolt carrier could not be made to function. When reassembled and bolted back, the bolt-carrier piston assembly jams into the gas chamber and does not come out.
    17. I can hammer it out, but that really doesn't fix the problem, as it just rejams again on the next bolt-back.
    18. After 3 trips to the range, and roughly 350 rounds fired, by brand new Century GP 1975 is non-functional.
    Again, I think your description of "firing-out-of-battery" is what happened.

    I'll be getting another AK-type rifle. When I do get it, I'll look closer at all the parts you described. I don't want to have the same thing happen again.

    Thanks again for the explanation.

  4. #224
    GuncoHolic kernelkrink's Avatar
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    OK, first off if there was a whole casing stuck in the chamber, the bullet tip of the next round would have impacted the rear of the case and failed to chamber with the bolt carrier almost fully rearward. In this position the hammer cannot even fall, let alone hit the firing pin. Even if the round somehow went off in this position, the case would blow out, the pressure simply venting to atmosphere. The bullet would not have been propelled forward. What likely happened is the next to last fired round separated, that is the forward part of the case broke off from the rear and the rear was ejected, leaving the forward part in the chamber. The last round was then fed into the chamber and into the remains of the previous case, causing the new round to stick out farther than normal. If the round fired on chambering, that is you didn't pull the trigger but it fired anyway, then the firing pin likely stuck forward. If you did pull the trigger, a properly functioning rifle would not have fired in this situation. The "tail" on the back of the carrier prevents firing pin contact with the hammer unless the bolt is mostly locked up. Assuming correct headspace, the bolt would have been unlocked if the case was not fully chambered. Unlocked would mean the tail would block the hammer fall.

    By "retaining pins" I assume you mean the axis pins that the hammer and trigger rotate on. These pins are secured in the receiver by a retaining wire, commonly called a "shepherd's hook". Just under the large head of these pins is a groove, the spring wire retainer fits down in this groove and keeps the pins from walking out. A common mod is to replace this wire retainer with a couple individual retaining clips available at a hardware store.

  5. #225
    No Hope For Me Coils's Avatar
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    14. ...... One of the rivets on the right side holding the front trunion to the receiver was gone. I don't know whether it was blown out on the misfire or if it was already missing. The other right-side rivet was beginning to come loose.
    That's really scary hearing this.

    Glad to hear you weren't hurt
    And welcome to the forum, since this is your first post.
    "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem" Ronald Reagan

  6. #226
    Gunco Rookie griffudd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coils View Post
    That's really scary hearing this.

    Glad to hear you weren't hurt
    And welcome to the forum, since this is your first post.
    Thank you, Coils. I'm glad to be here and happy to find this forum.

    ------------

    KernelKirk,

    Thanks for the detailed description.

    I'm not a gun expert, nor even very knowledgeable about them (Though I did receive a "self-taught" crash course the 1st time I tried to clean my new rifle, when it spontaneously disassembled itself, necessitating my reassembling it if ever wanted to fire it again.)

    But your description sounds like a perfect explanation for what happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by kernelkrink View Post
    What likely happened is the next to last fired round separated, that is the forward part of the case broke off from the rear and the rear was ejected, leaving the forward part in the chamber. The last round was then fed into the chamber and into the remains of the previous case, causing the new round to stick out farther than normal.
    That fits perfectly for the description of the jammed casing(s) I have in front of me. If I had a functioning camera, I'd upload a picture of it. (I do have one somewhere. When I find it I'll upload a picture.)

    The forward section of the jammed casings is missing its most posterior part. (i.e., the part the firing pin strikes.) And the 2nd casing fragment only has the most posterior part remaining (i.e. the part the firing pin strikes--including a slightly off-center indentation where the firing pin struck it.)

    Quote Originally Posted by kernelkrink View Post
    If the round fired on chambering, that is you didn't pull the trigger but it fired anyway, then the firing pin likely stuck forward. If you did pull the trigger, a properly functioning rifle would not have fired in this situation.
    I can't recall whether I pulled the trigger or not.

    Since the firing pin is contained in the bolt, could this misfire have been caused by a malfunctioning bolt?

    The bolt never looked right to me. Though this was supposedly a "new" rifle, the bolt looked like it had an excessive amount of wear for only the 300-350 rounds that I'd fired.
    Quote Originally Posted by kernelkrink View Post
    The "tail" on the back of the carrier prevents firing pin contact with the hammer unless the bolt is mostly locked up. Assuming correct headspace, the bolt would have been unlocked if the case was not fully chambered. Unlocked would mean the tail would block the hammer fall.
    Yes, that's exactly what I thought. Of all the things I did become familiar with, it was the hammer's position in relation to the bolt. When I first tried to reassemble the rifle, I didn't know the hammer had to be pulled back in order to get the bolt and bolt assembly back in. (I did finally figure it out, however.)

    Quote Originally Posted by kernelkrink View Post
    By "retaining pins" I assume you mean the axis pins that the hammer and trigger rotate on. These pins are secured in the receiver by a retaining wire, commonly called a "shepherd's hook". Just under the large head of these pins is a groove, the spring wire retainer fits down in this groove and keeps the pins from walking out.
    Yes. The displacement of the shepherd's hook was the 1st problem I had.

    Initially, I wasn't aware that there was a groove it was supposed to fit into. In fact, I didn't even see the grooves, until about the 3rd or 4th time the trigger axis pins became unseated. Even then, it was pretty hard to get the retaining wire into the grooves. Actually, I'm not sure if I ever did get it back in the grooves on both the hammer and trigger.

    Quote Originally Posted by kernelkrink View Post
    A common mod is to replace this wire retainer with a couple individual retaining clips available at a hardware store.
    I saw these online and bookmarked them. They look like a great idea.

    Do they actually work?
    Last edited by griffudd; 05-02-2010 at 03:13 PM. Reason: word choice

  7. #227
    GuncoHolic kernelkrink's Avatar
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    If the bolt or firing pin became damaged the pin could stick in a forward position. Dirt and grease inside the FP channel inside the bolt can also cause this. In any event, with missing rivet(s) the rifle is toast anyway and a replcement is in order. Hopefully the next one will work out better.

    The retaining clips I use are the little "snowman" shaped wire clips Lowes sells in their misc hardware drawers. I forget the size, take a pin along and check. There is only on that is even close. For most builds, however, I use the Chinese "L" shaped retainer wire that wraps around the safety selector and then goes over and under the pins. For some reason, the Euro retaining wires are too thin and allow the pins to move back and forth, often popping free. The Chines wires are the same size as the groove and fit perfectly, they never come loose unless you want them to. Less likely to get lost than the individual clips.

  8. #228
    Gunco Rookie griffudd's Avatar
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    Default Retainer Plate

    Quote Originally Posted by kernelkrink View Post
    If the bolt or firing pin became damaged the pin could stick in a forward position. Dirt and grease inside the FP channel inside the bolt can also cause this. In any event, with missing rivet(s) the rifle is toast anyway and a replcement is in order. Hopefully the next one will work out better.
    Yes. I've returned it and the seller has said they'll replace the rifle.

    Quote Originally Posted by kernelkrink View Post
    The retaining clips I use are the little "snowman" shaped wire clips Lowes sells in their misc hardware drawers.
    I'll look for them at Lowes.

    However, I was thinking of something different--a retainer plate. Something like this


    http://store.a51tactical.com/images/TINAK0690.jpg

    Would something like this work?

  9. #229
    Gunco Rookie griffudd's Avatar
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    Default Bolt Carrier Bounce

    Quote Originally Posted by kernelkrink View Post
    The hammer retarder was an "improvement" made after they converted from milled to stamped construction. Millions of AKs came from the factory without one and run just fine. Since all it does is slightly delay the hammer fall AFTER the auto sear releases the hammer it affects the actual auto sear operation not at all. There are a few theories on why it was added, the two most credible ones: it was simply a rate reducer to save on ammo and the other that the flexing of the stamped receiver allowed harmonics to cause bolt carrier bounce, if the hammer was allowed to fall without a short delay the hammer might hit the carrier as it bounced back a bit from full battery and cause a misfire.
    Just for my own edification, could "bolt carrier bounce" occur with a poorly made semi-auto? (I'm still trying to figure out why I had so much trouble with a brand new Century GP 1975.)

  10. #230
    Gunco Veteran [486]'s Avatar
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    Bolt bounce isn't a factor with semi autos, even bump firing you aren't going to be near the cyclic rate of the firearm, so you won't drop the hammer on it before the bolt has settled down.

    Something that would look somewhat similar would be a disconnector inconsistently engaging [maybe too weak of a spring or something], it'll leave the hammer down on a live round.

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