Screwing together an AK

AMD 63

AMD 65 with fixed butt stock

AMD 65 with fixed butt stock and wood hand guards

Polish AKMS

Click here for instructions on how to assemble the under folder stock.



1. Start by grinding the rivet stubs flush with the trunions. Then center punch them for easier drilling.

2. Rear trunion -  Use a bit no larger than the diameter of the rivet to drill them out. Drill from each side to make it a little easier and be sure to use cutting oil. Once you've drilled through jump up one bit size and do it again. The rivet should spin free. If not jump up in size again, but making sure you're not cutting into the trunion itself. You could also try using a punch to drive them out after you've done enough drilling.  They are swelled in the middle so they are a little tough to get out. . 

Front trunion - Again, use a bit just a little smaller in diameter than the trunion. You don't want to be cutting into the trunion. On the front four you can only go 0.19 inches before you start hitting the barrel. The trunion itself is only about 0.10 inch thick. If you use a cheap bit you should be able to feel/hear the barrel once you reach it. The two on the mag well can be punched out once you grind them flush. You may need to drill a hole through them and then punch them out. Once drilling is complete insert a nail punch into the hole at a slight angle and give it a couple good taps with a hammer. This should cause the rivet head to separate from the thin rivet shaft. It will also cause the rivet shaft to separate from the trunion. You don't have to dig all the pieces out. The remaining rivet head will now look like a little donut. This can remain in there because the screw will keep it from moving around. Take your time on the front four. If your not careful you will wind up cutting into the trunion hole and finding yourself using larger screws. I used grade 8 button head screws that I purchased from a specialty screw shop. I could not find them at Home Depot or Lowes. They only carried 1/2 inch length so I had to cut them down. 

Cutting screws to length. I took a piece of sheet metal the same thickness as the receiver and drill six holes in it. You can fold the sheet metal if its too thin. Insert the screws and place a standard nut (they are about the same thickness as the trunion) on the back. Then simply cut them off using a Dremel and a cut off wheel. Using the sheet metal made it easier because I could do them all at once and the screws were easier to manage.

3. I purchased from Lowes a 10-32 tap that came with the correct drill bit. You will find the trunion holes are already the correct size. I didn't have the need to drill them out. You will need to grind the tap down a bit on the tip because it will bottom out quickly on the front four.  Just grind the pointy tip, don't grind the starter threads. There is no need for a "bottom" tap because there is about a 0.10 inch gap between the trunion and the barrel. If you just grind a little off the tip of the tap you should be fine. Be sure to use plenty of oil and go slow. Real slow. Once you feel it bottom out STOP. You don't want to break a tap. Again, you are only threading the trunion and it is only 0.10 inches thick. 

The rear trunion is a different story. If you are going to break a tap you will do it while tapping the rear trunion. If you don't get the tap perfectly plum it will start to bind and get tougher to turn. On my second build I reamed out the trunion hole a little. It made tapping a lot easier. Remember to cut a little and then back it off, cut a little and back off. You don't want to break a tap in the rear trunion. Use cutting oil.

4.  The trigger guard will require 8-32 button head screws. There is no tapping involved for them if you use nuts. The screws will fit real snug. You could probably ream out the holes a little, but I didn't. You will probably have to shape the nuts to fit. I used two thin pieces of metal (cut them into small rectangular shapes) and drilled and tapped them instead of using nuts. I've found it easier to cut these screws to length once with the trigger guard installed. The smaller/cheaper cut off wheels will fit in the receiver.

5. Once everything is tapped you are ready to go. First install the trigger guard. This will allow you to properly fit the front trunion. Once the guard is in place use a clamp on the sides of the receiver to hold the front trunion while you position it for proper mag fit. I used a receiver from Vulcan Arms and their front trunion holes were drilled just a little too far back.. Try all your mags ensuring you get a good lock up. If the receiver holes are where they need to be then great, screw on the front trunion. If it was like mine you will have to reshape the holes to fit. Once all screwed together recheck your mags for proper fit. Test fit the bolt carrier and bolt at this time as well. 

6. Now move to the rear trunion. Same thing for it. You want to make sure the dust cover fits properly. Fortunately the holes on my Vulcan receiver where drilled in the correct spots. I simply drilled the receiver holes out a little so the 10-32 screws would fit through and screwed it together. I used 1/2 inch screws on the rear. I used a standard rear trunion on my 65. If you're using the original folder you will have to cut out the receiver for it to fit. You will also have to drill a hole in the bottom of the receiver for the folder button. You will also have to locate and drill out the lower trunion hole. It has a different pattern than a standard trunion. The top hole is the same, but the bottom is in a different location. You can simply put a screw with lock nut on the inside to cover up the unused hole. I did this on a PAR rifle and it looks just fine. 

7. If you choose to use a double hook trigger on your build you will have to remove a little material from the trigger hole on the receiver. Simply drill a hole where the forward most part of the channel will be and use a cut off wheel on your Demel to finish it off. I've since bought a carbide bit for my Dremel and I use it to make this cut. The carbide cutter is about $9, but it is works great for precision metal removal. You will want to do this before you attach the trigger guard. 

8. As strange as it may seem that is all there is to screwing one together. Now there will be some other fitting you may have to do based on the receiver you use. On mine the lower hand guard didn't butt together with the receiver perfectly and left a little gap. I simply filed down the front of the receiver and now I'm happier with how it looks. I also had to file a little off the front of the lower hand guard to get the retainer clip to lock down correctly. I also had to sand a little off the stub on the butt stock to get it to fit in the receiver. If you use a Vulcan receiver you will have to remove material from the ejector. It sticks out too far and will not let the bolt slide past. There is also some material on the right rail you will have to remove so the mags will fit. Other than that, that is all I did.

9. I used red thread lock on the screws when finally finished. You have to use heat on red lock thread to loosen it, so make sure you are certain everything is "ok" before you use it.

10. Yes, I added the correct amount of compliance parts.

I have now built four AMD's and a Polish PKMS using the screw together method. Each build went a little smoother than the previous. I used a hand drill, Dremel, and files on almost everything. A drill press is not a "needed" item, but would make some of it easier.