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80% Receivers - how to get them to 100%

This is a discussion on 80% Receivers - how to get them to 100% within the AK-47 Talk forums, part of the Long Gun Talk category; Some friends and I have been looking at kits for an AK-47. As we dig on 80% receivers, we seem to hit a brick wall ...

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Old 02-26-2008, 06:32 AM   #1
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80% Receivers - how to get them to 100%

Some friends and I have been looking at kits for an AK-47. As we dig on 80% receivers, we seem to hit a brick wall quickly.

You can buy 80% receivers that are flat with holes. You would need to bend them, heat treat them, etc. Here's a good link
Collecting and Shooting the Military Surplus Rifle (2005) - Surplusrifle.com

The advantage that I see there is that receivers have the small forming around the mag cutout. The disadvantage is that I don't have access to a press.

Alternatively, you can buy 80% receivers that are already bent with little to no holes, like the ones here -
http://www.tanneryshop.com/ak-47.htm

While it helps with my press issue, it appears that these don't come with some of those subtle formed areas done, like around the mag well.

Have any of you built an AK using an 80% receiver without a press? If so, which path did you go down?

Thanks...BTW, I do have access to welding equipment, a mill, and a drill press. So I can do everything but the bending...unless there's some secret to bending the flats without a press (which I'd love to know about)
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:49 AM   #2
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99% of the people who build AK's, who do not build on 100% recievers, use press bent flats. There is a good reason for this, building on something like a coldsteel prebent is a b*tch! It's not as easy as you think...just drill a couple of holes and blamo, you're done. Then there's the fact that I hate coldsteel as a company...try to email them or call them before you place an order, see if you EVER get a response. Oh, then once you place your order, expect to wait at LEAST 2 months to get your item.
Just spend the $75 and get a press from Harbor Frieght, or whomever. You'll also need to (because you said you have welding tools) weld up a jig frame to bend your recievers. There are numerous posting on the forums I linked to earlier that have the dimensions.
Bending your own and doing light touch up work it A) easier B) quicker and C) cheaper in the long run.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:20 PM   #3
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$55 shipped for NDS-3 'econo' receivers....hard to beat, unless you plan on building alot of AKs, but even then, I still bought 100% receivers....
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:33 PM   #4
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The key to 80% is that they do not have the lower rails welded in. If you go to the akfiles there is a guy who rents his flat bending jig for free you just have to get on the list. I used it to bend five flats. Northern tool has the cheapest presses which is what I use. However if you are only building one or two go with nodak it will make the build immensely easier.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:48 PM   #5
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I found this website that has some very good step-by-step instructions. Thought I'd share.
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:04 AM   #6
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Get a Tapco "improved" flat (they already have the rails bent), then google "poor man's jig". You can make a bending jig out of a few pieces of angle iron, flat stock, and some bolts/nuts. Total investment of about $15.

The idea that 99% of builders use finished receivers is absurd. I'd say the majority of home-built AKs are built on home-bent receivers.
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:14 AM   #7
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Built mine using a tapco flat, my buddy has a jig and a press so it was easy to do. He has built like 5 or 6 always uses flat receivers.
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ncrotti1 View Post
Built mine using a tapco flat, my buddy has a jig and a press so it was easy to do. He has built like 5 or 6 always uses flat receivers.
That doesn't really help this fellow's situation... Unless you're volunteering your buddy's jig.
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:46 PM   #9
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Well, I finally got off the dime on this one. I've been searching and the parts kits are just drying up at an incredible rate. So I purchased a Romanian AK47 "non-G" (whatever that means) kit with an excellent bore, etc and matching serial numbers. I bought it off Military Gun Supply for $150.

A friend of mine with lots of machining equipment purchased one as well. We're going to give it a try with a pre-bent receiver. We'll see. I figured that worse case, I get frustrated with the receiver and buy a complete one. But I like machining and making my own stuff. So hopefully this project will be a success.

I found this website for those interested in building one -
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:51 AM   #10
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What i like about the 80% flats is no one knows you have a gun "ATF" and no FFL needed.
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