Selecting Components The parts you buy will be determined not only by the features you're looking for but also how much sweat equity you’re willing to invest. Do you want to grind partially de-milled components (which are still riveted to fragments of barrel and receiver) or would you prefer fully de-milled parts that arrive ready to use? Will the barrel bore be chrome-lined or treated with a nitride finish? Is a new unpopulated barrel (no parts attached) going to be used for maximum customization or an easy-to-install pre-populated barrel assembly to cut down on elbow grease? Will the majority of the parts be purchased separately or as a kit?
Before ordering any parts, I met with Blaine Bunting of Atlantic Firearms. Few people are as enthusiastic about AKs and helping home rifle builders achieve their goals as he is. After discussing the available options, I took advantage of the affordable one-stop-shopping solution the company’s website has to offer. The bulk of the rifle’s parts were provided in a Polish AK-47 Parts Kit with the original wood furniture for $325. The kit I received contained parts manufactured in 1967, with matching serial numbers, in very good condition (Russian and Bulgarian kits are good choices too).
Atlantic Arms Manufacturing’s American-made components were selected to complete the base rifle set. A pre-drilled Nitride Treated 4150 AK47 Barrel with 1:10" twist six-groove rifling for $99 was added to the list along with an AAM-47 Black Oxide Receiver on sale for $59. The receiver required an FFL transfer just like an AR-15 lower receiver or a complete firearm. I already had the AK magazines I wanted on hand.
All of the parts needed to build a complete rifle were in place but I had a few upgrades from other companies in mind. A set of Meprolight AK-47 Night Sights for $125.70 were ordered along with a Tapco AK G2 single-hook trigger group for $32.99. Tapco, by the way, has an informative page on 922(r) compliance that can help make sure you have the right number of U.S.-made parts.
I planned to install a Magpul extended Zukov polymer handguard but it would have required filing off the front sling loop. Since I didn't want to make a permanent alteration, the shorter MOE AKM Handguard for $36.95 was used instead. The Magpul ZHUKOV-S shoulder stock ($99.95) is length adjustable, folds and has several QD sling swivel attachment points. The Polish Bakelite grip would be replaced with a textured Stark AK Grip ($24.95) that has a battery storage compartment.
Two additional parts provided by MOD Outfitters included a receiver-mounted sight rail plate ($30) and a Power Custom FAL-style hammer/trigger pin retainer plate (below, left, $4.99). The threaded muzzle would be fitted with the thread protector provided in the Polish kit instead of a muzzle device like a flash hider or brake.
By the way, it's possible for a demilled AK parts kit (above, right) to arrive with some of the full-auto fire components in the box. Having a box of AK parts is legal—but not if you already own a semi-automatic AK. Once the semi-auto rifle is fully assembled, being in possession of the full-auto components is illegal. Destroy or dispose of these components long before starting the build.