Procrastination is the mother of invention, is she not?
Back in Feb, I bought an M70 PAP single stack with the intention of converting it to standard capacity and making it look a little more "Yugo-ish" than it started out.
So, I've been putting this little project off for the better part of 7 months, trying to get my head around what I needed to do, and then, well actually doing it.
After I bought it, I got caught up in some other projects, like finishing my Franken-Yugo, building an AK for my Dad for his birthday (never thought I'd see the day the Old Man would want one them commie guns), building another FAL (Imbel) to complement my G1, building an AK as a house warming gift for my brother, and working the MG Shoot at the Buffalo Chip Campground. All this while maintaining a day job and chasing almost 2 YO Hazmat A and B around the countryside (almost a full time job in and of itself!). Oh, and going under the knife in Apr to repair torn cartilage in my right shoulder that had me down for almost 2 months.
Rereading the paragraph above, man have I been busy! I didn't realize just how many projects I've had going. And I've got at least 2 more projects to go!
So, here's where I'm at.
I got the old single-stack trunion out. Once I did that, boy did I run into a problem. Seems the barrel is REALLY in the trunion. I mean bowed-the-legs-on-my-12-ton-press-trying-to-get-it-out-and-no-budge in there. Finally had to cut the thing to get it out. That's how stuck it was.
Once I got that done, I had to hog out the mag well to fit a standard mag. Not wanting to replicate what the monkeys at Century Arms do to their WASR rifles, I really sat and studied the problem; turning it over in my mind how to go about making this happen. (That's where the bulk of the time in this little endeavor went, BTW.) Since this was my first attempt at this procedure, I wanted to make sure it was done right. I experimented with making a template out of cardboard. Yeah, that didn't work. Tried tracing paper. Same result as the cardboard. No workee. So I finally measured out a standard AK mag-well with a micrometer, laid it out my measurements on the PAP's receiver with a scratch awl and a straightedge, and very careful went to work removing the material necessary with my trusty Dremel.
I also had to remove two tabs that were part of the lower rail assembly. These tabs actually covered the dimples in the receiver and helped guide the single stack magazines, so without removing them, there was no way to get a standard mag to fit.
I think I did a good job, but I may be a little biased here.
The next thing to do was install the replacement trunion. Since the original front trunion was machined for single stack feed, and I don't own a milling machine, it needed to be replaced. I found an M70 front piece from a de-milled military rifle on GB late last year, and with the exception of opening up the holes in the receiver to accept the new rivets, it fit perfectly.
Since the front end of the barrel was virgin territory, I had to thread it. C'mon, it was just begging for it, right? You can't have an AKM-pattern rifle without having something on the end of the barrel, can you?
As an aside, this was also my first attempt at threading a barrel from scratch. I've seen it done several times, so it was just a matter of taking my time and making sure I properly oiled everything throughout the process.
So what's left? Lets see here: I've got the re-stuff the barrel and check head space, install the plunger pin and spring to retain the newly installed compensator, and fabricate a plate to cover the rear end of the receiver where it angles in. One of my complaints on this model is the angle cut on the receiver, ala the old angle cut MAK 90s from the '93/'94 time frame. I've got some ideas on how to go about doing this, mostly related to an old receiver stub from a Romanian kit I built last year that involve JB Weld. And I've got to do a test fire to make sure everything works.
I've also got to get with Ironwood Designs to get some decent wood to replace the plastic stuff that came with the gun. I'm thinking Afromosia will get me where I want.
So, that's where I'm at. It's going to be an interesting rest of the year. What with finishing this, getting the paperwork back for the virgin M92 kit I'm looking to build, and doing the Egyptian kit I picked up from Classic Arms last week, I'm going to be busy still. Oh, and prepping for Elk Camp, with a new rifle (more on that later!) to dial in.