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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question that I?ve never read anything about, It seems that there are hundreds of us putting AK?s together and I have never read anything about the upper rails and if they need heat treating. It seems that the gun will last longer if the upper rails are hardened a little and polished. How long can someone expect an AK to last anyhow, 5,000 ? 10,000 ? 50,000 rounds? I?d like to know. Do you need a new receiver every so often because of it wearing out?
When I bring up the fact that I intend to assemble my own AK most people I know say, ?Why do you want a piece of crap like that?. One friend brought me a gift of a couple of real Russian uniform pins to go with the rifles and he still thinks their crap. Ok I?ve never fired an AK but I like the simple design and I?m a frustrated gunsmith so find the idea of building the receiver myself is enough to get me into building this gun. Plus I have Carpal Tunnel and Arthritis so guns like the AK and AR-15 are better for my hands because of their pistol grip.
 

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The lower rails, at least the left side, needs to be hardened because it is also the ejector.

The upper rails don't really have any type of load on them.
I have never heat treated the uppers, nor have I found a need too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks but my point was the fact that the carrier slides back and forth each time you fire the weapon. The constant ware with each round being fired must eventually thin down those rails at some point so wouldn?t some sort of heat treatment and polishing job be of help here? Or would this put all the ware onto the carrier?
 

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Naturally, any time two pieces rub against one another, there is going to be some wear.

But we are talking about two smooth (and hopefully lubricated) surfaces.

AK's last for decades in some of the harshest environments known to man, even when being used in a FA mode, with little or no preventive maintenance.

Heat treating couldn't hurt, I just don't think it's necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
7.62x39 said:
Naturally, any time two pieces rub against one another, there is going to be some wear.

But we are talking about two smooth (and hopefully lubricated) surfaces.

AK's last for decades in some of the harshest environments known to man, even when being used in a FA mode, with little or no preventive maintenance.

Heat treating couldn't hurt, I just don't think it's necessary.

Ok 7.62x39
I won?t worry about the upper rails, I?ll just buff them up a little and that?s that. Or maybe I?ll use a bake on finish that has Molly in it. I guess I get a little carried away or maybe I just think too much. Thanks for the help.
 

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Oldgunner said:
Ok 7.62x39
I won?t worry about the upper rails, I?ll just buff them up a little and that?s that. Or maybe I?ll use a bake on finish that has Molly in it. I guess I get a little carried away or maybe I just think too much. Thanks for the help.


Personally, after the build I have been inclined to think about heat treating the rails or at the very least case hardening them. I don't want to heat treat the pin holes and kasinet things just to have my ejector wear dwon prematurly.

I figure the small amount of extra work will pay off in the long run.


but that's just my humble opinion.
 

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Oldgunner said:
How long can someone expect an AK to last anyhow, 5,000 ? 10,000 ? 50,000 rounds? I?d like to know. Do you need a new receiver every so often because of it wearing out?
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I haven't-- but I have seen reports of 10,000 rounds through one and it is still going strong. At the same time I can imagine three or four drums, FA, in one long burst eroding the throats.

There were a couple of old Russians on another board who maintained you shot until you burned the barrel out, knocked out the barrel, knocked in another barrel and kept on shootin. They said that was why the barrels didn't have numbers on them. But I don't know-- their English was bad and they were probably drunk. When I've been the latter, I'm generally the former-- maybe I'm Russian?

 

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45leadslinger said:
Personally, after the build I have been inclined to think about heat treating the rails or at the very least case hardening them. I don't want to heat treat the pin holes and kasinet things just to have my ejector wear dwon prematurly.
There is no question that the lower rail or at least the ejector must be hardened.
Oldgunner was asking about the uppers.
 

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winner
I work with a guy from Romania and he said just about the same thing. He also told me they did not realy care about head space either as long as the bolt closed. I asked him about clearances, and he told me he had taken appart hundreds of them into piles for cleaning, and they would put them back togeather just picking off the pile. He has personaly shot hundreds and hundreds of rounds with the bolt ratteling after it closed. he thought I was nuts worrying about a few thousandths more or less.

As for upper rail ware,,, I have a few thousand rounds through one of my builds and the finish is still fine so the metal can not be seeing any ware yet. Like most evrything on the AK the fit is not tight at all. this it slowing the ware compaired to tighter tolerances.
As with anything my best advise would be to keep an eye on it if you are not certain. no ware = no worry. ware will happen slow so if you do see something starting you do not like, you will have PLENTY of time to deal with it. If you have just worn the finish at 1000 rounds I would call it good
 

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I had to bang a barrel in with a hand sledge just to convince myself that, hey I worried about all these tolerances just for fun; not out of necessity. Besides, I needed excuses to buy the toys.

I'm trying to remember if I've ever seen wear on the uppers and I did get one that was kind of grooved or stepped on the inside of the top surface because the lower rails were too low. And it happened on the left, ejector side.

 
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