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Just Like Mom Used to Make

Photos Courtesy of Petronov Armament

What constitutes a “real” AK rifle? With variants available the world over from Asia to Africa and back again, the permutations of patterns, measurements, and tolerances are about as diverse as you can get. But a small shop in Phoenix, Arizona, is getting back to the basics. Petronov Armament is in the process of gearing up production for a line of AKs that may silence many an internet purist.

Several years ago, we were sitting at Petronov headquarters, discussing another project, when we spied a set of blueprints on a desk that appeared to be written entirely in Cyrillic. While we weren’t able to get any more information at the time, the story behind those prints — and the products they’re giving birth to — are finally seeing the light of day.

Anthony Petrone, the owner of Petronov, has a close personal friend who spent nearly 25 years living in Moscow. This individual moved to Russia to teach English but wound up developing a number of military and commercial contacts. Through these contacts, he was able to send genuine Russian technical drawings of AK parts back to Petronov.

ak receiver

The drawings cover both AK-47 and AK-74 rifles with various individual sheets dating from 1949 to 1982. This friend translated parts of these blueprints into English. To finish the translation of the engineering dimensions of the drawings, they went to a local tool and machine designer who was able to read the more obscure technical markings. With that last piece of the puzzle in place, Petronov’s genuine Russian AK project was off and running.

Petronov teamed up with Ron Smith of Smith Enterprises Incorporated, best known for their work with the M14/M1A platform for the military. SEI has extensive experience with milling and casting receivers of all different types. Petronov and Smith tested a variety of steel types before settling on 8620 ordnance-grade steel for the Russian-spec AK receivers — the same steel used to make M1 Garand receivers. These receivers will be case hardened in the same manner as their Garand counterparts.

Petronov claims the resulting receivers will be as strong as a piece of solid bar stock. Petronov has gone to a foundry that specializes in aerospace and military parts to produce the machine fixtures, molds, and straightening fixtures as well as several prototype receivers. Anthony says they’ll have their initial batch of receivers available in July, just in time for you to see this article and get in touch with Petronov. Projected July releases include under-fold and side-fold receivers in Russian, Hungarian, Polish, and M92 patterns. Full rifles are expected in 2019.

For more information, contact Petronov Armament at
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (630) 780-4037

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