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Want a two-stage trigger, but can't afford a fancy custom trigger like the one made by Red Star?

How would you like a two-stage trigger for about $20.00 and some elbow grease?

Read on:

This post involves filing or grinding on the disconnector of your AK. I will not go into disassembly and reassembly of your fire control group. There are plenty of sources out there for this information, and frankly, you shouldn't be attempting home gunsmithing until you become proficient and comfortable with disassemby and reassembly.

HERE'S MY DISCLAIMER: You should only attempt the following modification if you understand the AK's Fire Control Group sufficiently that you can spot any potential safety problems.

First, you're going to need a new disconnector, that way you won't take a chance on ruining the one that came with the rifle (i.e., if worse comes to worst, you can just switch back to the original).

I suggest you order several disconnectors in case you need some "practice" before you get the filing/grinding just right. Rule of thumb is to order one from the same country of origin as your rifle. Others will probably work, but this one little step simplifies things.

Now, with your FCG disassembled, do a "dry run" with one of the new disconnectors to make sure that it grabs the hammer properly and holds it when you pull the trigger down and hold it. As you pull the trigger and hold it, notice how much of the hammer's rear tab is being grabbed by the disconnector. Around 1/16" is good enough; more is better. When you verify that the disconnector is going to work unmodified, fine. Your modification only serves to make it work better.

Now the modification: grind or file one and only one area of the disconnector: the underside of the forward tab that normally rests against the trigger. As you grind/file this down, the disconnector spring causes the disconnector to pivot more and more forward.

The disconnector already slips over part of the hammer's rear tab in order to hold it while the trigger is pulled. WHAT YOU WANT IS FOR THE DISCONNECTOR TO BE NATURALLY PIVOTED FORWARD A LITTLE MORE THAN NORMAL EVEN DURING THE INITIAL TRIGGER PULL.

By grinding the disconnector, you create the "stop" to the first stage of the trigger pull by making the disconnector pivot more forward than normal so that it touches the rear of the hammer during the initial trigger pull. In this way, as you pull the trigger, the disconnector, which normally stays just barely out of the way until after the recoil stroke, is modified to touch the hammer "prematurely", i.e. as you pull the trigger for the first time, the hammer buts up against the disconnector hook and encounters the spring tension of the disconnector. This gives you the "stop" in your two-stage trigger. Continuing to pull through will fire the rifle.

I will be the first to admit: the filing/grinding takes some practice and several "dry runs" of the parts fit before you get the trigger pull you want. You may also screw up several disconnectors if you are not experienced in this type of modification. With disconnectors running from as low as $10.00 each in some places, you can afford to screw up a couple.

The beauty of this modification is that you are not filing on a critcal area of the disconnector that could affect safety; in fact, when you are finished, the disconnector if anything will grab the hammer with MORE of a positive engagement than before. Plus the fact that you are not filing on a high-wear surface means that your disconnector will not wear out sooner because of your modification.

One danger sign to look for is that if you have to grind on your disconnector enough that all or almost all of the tension on the disconnector spring is released, then you have a potential safety hazard in which the disconnector will not work at all, making the gun eventually fire out of battery if it functions at all. THIS IS ONE THING TO TEST CAREFULLY: THAT AFTER MODIFICATION THE DISCONNECTOR STILL CATCHES AND HOLDS THE HAMMER FIRMLY AFTER THE RECOIL STROKE. TEST THIS BY "DRY RUNS" SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE TRUSTING IT WITH LIVE AMMUNITION.

OF COURSE, WITH ALL PARTS REPLACEMENTS AND MODIFICATIONS YOU SHOULD TEST THE FIT AND FUNCTION OF ALL PARTS THOROUGHLY IN THE SHOP ENVIRONMENT BEFORE TESTING WITH LIVE AMMUNITION.

Here are some photos to help:
 

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