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Discussion Starter #1
I've got an East German AKM brown plastic upper handguard with gas tube that I would like to install on my AMD63 along with a solid wood lower handguard as a replacementfor the metal forward handguard and pistol grip.

Problem is the gas tube on the upper handguard doesn't fit well. It's a bit loose. I can't figure out any way to tighten it up and I think it would be dangerous to use.

Should I trash it and get another one that fits? Is there any way to make the gas tube fit tighter?Have any of you fired a AK with a loose fitting gas tube?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Master Endmill Breaker
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1,367 Posts
If it's the latch end that's loose, I read a suggestion somewhere for fixing this one:

A couple quick touches with the welder would add a little material to the angled surface that engages the gas tube latch. Then a little fitting work with a file, or better yet a belt sander, would make a nice tight fit.

Since this isn't a structural repair and is basically just to take up some slack, you could solder a piece of brass shim stock to the angled surface. You wouldn't even have to use silver solder for this fix. Plumbers solder would work or you could even use rosin core solder. The thing that matters most is that both surfaces are perfectly clean. A quick pass with the sandblaster would remove any finish and would rough the surface up nicely. Use a decent flux to get the solder to bond and it should hold up just fine.

You could always try one of the tension spring shims that are on some gas tubes. I have these on a couple of my kits, but I really can't tell a difference with them on or off.

If the tube engages the latch fine but is loose on the gas block, you could always solder a piece of shim stock on the inside edge of the gas tube. You might also get away with heating the very end of the gas tube with a torch and then quench it in ice water. You should be able to get it to shrink a little without deforming it.

If the tube engages the latch fine but is a little too short, I would replace the tube.

Gas tubes are cheap. So if you don't feel like messing with it, just buy a new one.
 

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Premium Member
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And another point of view is that they shoot much more accurately if the tube is loose.

The first thing I do on one that is to be a target shooter is knock a couple of hundreds of the tube length.
 

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Gunco Irregular
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Winn R said:
And another point of view is that they shoot much more accurately if the tube is loose.

The first thing I do on one that is to be a target shooter is knock a couple of hundreds of the tube length.
Winn, Why is that? I believe you but want to understand why that works.
 

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Premium Member
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Grendel-- if the tube is tight, the uneven heating between the tube and barrel warps the barrel and the bullet goes off into Neverland.

As the tube heats and expands it applies pressure on to the gas block which is transmitted to the barrel.

A rifle with a tight gas tube is almost impossible to get to group well.
 
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