new Polish blanks
There seems to be a little confusion regarding these blanks. There are definitely two different versions, so beware.
One version is reported to be dead soft, most likely requiring more than just the axis pin holes and ejector to be hardened. It also apparently has a sanded finish making refinishing a little more difficult. The difference is easy to spot, the Sportsman guide (and some other vendors) does not have the chicken feet.
The ones that Copes and AK builder are selling are (from what I can tell by finishing a couple) exactly the same metal as the flats that they have been selling. Making hardening and refinishing the same as we have been doing all along with the flats.
Here is a comparison of a bent blank from Copes and a flat from akbuilder that I have bent. They appear to be the same.
I took a center punch and gave them both the same whack in a spot that will be covered by the PG. The results were identical.
Top pic is from SG website
I was so impressed with the copes/akbuilder version, I just ordered 3 more.
i built a Romy 63 on one of the blanks from Copes. Only put about 100 rounds through it but everything seemed good to me. Rivets were all good, FCG was good. no problems.
To further muddy the issue, the Polish shell I bought from AK-Builder (not APEX as I originally posted) has the chicken feet AND has a "sanded" appearance - which I actually like and could easily smooth out as needed.
"Dead soft" is a plus IMHO, but I don't see any undue softness in the shell I bought. OTOH, if the shell can't be spot-hardened then there is a problem.
Like U.S. AKM barrels, there will always be someone who finds "fault" with the product. I like to think that the challenge of the build includes dealing with perceived shortcomings of the parts.
There is quite a bit of debate on this over at AK Files. Some are saying these are 1050 steel.
The one they link to in that thread (keepshooting) does not have the crows feet.
Originally Posted by sovblocgunfan
They appear to be the same ones that SG is selling. Which are the ones suspected of being soft.
They are NOT the ones that Copes is selling.
Take a look at the center punch test I did above. I gave the bent blank and the flat a good solid hit, trying to keep the hits as even as possible. the resulting divots were pretty much identical. If these were as soft as those other ones (SG, keepshooting, et al) are reported to be there would have been a noticeable difference. I could tell just by the "spring" in it when I hit, it is nowhere close to dead soft. Drilling them out also confirmed this.
On a side note; Misty called me today to get my order for the other 3, within hours I had a notice from Fed-ex saying that they were in their possession and on their way. Gotta love service like that.
I looked for this thread you are refering to on ak files cause all of my hendersons have chicken feet, maybe its the batch i got ( first offering) also I m not a metalurgist but the steel looks the same as any flat or plain steel sheet I would roll on my brake
on thing I noticed there are alot a Yahoo's on that site, and everyone is a expert
please send along that link
LOL Re: Yahoos. I know lots of them, from where I work.
Here is one link-there is more than one.
Heat treating receivers - The AK Files Forums
Seems to me whether 4130 or 1050 the only real difference is a higher annealing temp for the 1050. I tend to think 7.62x39 has this one right-they are just like what's been done all along. I'm also thinking that someone effed up spot heat treating and when the FCG holes started to come apart they blamed it on the steel...
I also think cheap wine tastes pretty good, so my opinion ain't worth much. Anyway, I'm glad I got the ak-builder blank and not one of the others.
Your right, I should have verified that henderson myself.
I fixed it
What we need is a rockwell hardness tester. There was one were I worked years ago but that place is out of business. It was simple to use. Stick the metal in, pop it with the spring loaded puncher and read how deep it punched. I am probably over simplifeing it as I never operated it. I wonder if anyone in town has one. I have one of the Copes blanks to test. I'll look into it.