In recent years, there is tons of questions surrounding manufacturing process for one of the most crucial AK rifle components: their front trunnion.
Front trunnion is the heart and soul on AK rifle – this is the part which interacts with bolt and it basically holds the rifle barrel in place.
With recent AK manufacturing attempts in the USA and some spectacular failures connected to it, question arise about what is the correct way of manufacturing trunnions?
I guess general consensus at this point is, that it boils down to quality control at the production line and quality of steel used…these seems to be the most important factors.
But in order to see how those are made in Russia, I have asked people with straight connections to Kalashnikov Izhmash plant about how they really make their 7.62 trunnions.
Answer was simple: die forging* and then trunnion is machined to final shape…you can see one of their trunnions on picture straight after die forging. I have also received other pictures, but I’m not at the liberty to disclose them (at this point).
Identification numbers were masked on this picture. Please don’t ask why – this was the requirement I had to agree on.
Now, I didn’t stop there. I have asked people with connections to Molot factory (Vepr maker), the same question.
Again, answer was identical, die forging for trunnion and then forged metal part goes into the machining…
At this point I have no reason to believe that answers I received from Izhmash and Molot are incorrect or false…however, let me make this clear: I wasn’t personally in their plant nor I had a chance to witness this process with my own eyes.
I can only pass on to you what I have been told. Again, based on past experiences, those contacts are 100% legit (those people really have Izhmash and Molot connections).
*die forging – the metal is placed in a die resembling a mold, which is attached to an anvil. Usually, the hammer die is shaped as well. The hammer is then dropped on the work piece, causing the metal to flow and fill the die cavities.
Edited to add extra evidence supporting what i posted above. This from member “Kolomna” – thanks for posting this page.
This page from Russian book which basically supports what was posted above: trunnion is die forged…
This page screen is from manual on basically “How to produce AK”. Printed in 2001
Quick translation: forging (Rus – поковка, штамповка)