Circle 10 AK just released an American-made parts kit for building AK-74s, and if the parts are made as well as they claim, it could be just what the U.S. 5.45 market needed.
Some Of The Other Things You Will Need To Complete Your AK-74:
- Riveting Tool
- Trigger Guard Riveting Jig
- Barrel Press Kit
- 12-Ton Press
- Drill Press
The American AK market has been severely lacking 5.45×39 options for a while now. Complete AK-74s have stopped coming in for a variety of reasons, and the supply of surplus parts kits has seemingly dried up. The parts kits that do come in are very expensive and haven’t even included barrels since the ATF banned their importation in 2005. There are many new American AK-enthusiasts who wish that they had an AK-74 in their collection. For some time now the only available 5.45 AKs were from Palmetto State Armory, and while they made a noble effort the end result was unfortunately not up to Kalashnikov standards.
While American-made AKs have had a rocky past, and I remain skeptical of the quality of any AK that is not from an ex-communist dictatorship, this new parts kit from Circle 10 AK shows a lot of promise.
All parts included in this kit are new production and made in the U.S. Some of the parts are made in-house by Circle 10 AK themselves, while others have been outsourced.
The included 16” barrel has been chrome-lined, but the manufacturer is not listed. Some U.S.-made AK barrels have had issues in the past, so hopefully this one will prove to be of decent quality.
The most important parts of the rifle—the bolt, bolt carrier, and front trunnion—are all made from forgings. This is the proper method for making these components and is a good sign of their quality.
Forged parts are great news for this kit, but the overall quality of its components won’t be truly known until they have been built into complete guns and abused with thousands of rounds of fire.
Keep in mind that building an AK is nothing like assembling an AR. AKs require more tools and knowhow than most people have, and you should do research and gauge your skill level before embarking on a home-build project.
For those looking to learn, however, this is an ideal kit to do it on because it has no historical significance. If you’re going to make a mistake, it would be better for everyone if you did it on this new-production American kit rather than original Russian parts from the ‘70s.
The included rear trunnion is for a fixed stock, but the front trunnion has been drilled to accommodate a side-folder latch. It would only take a rear trunnion swap to build this kit into an AKS-74 or AK-74M style of rifle.
I am excited to see these new Circle 10 AK kits built out and tested. If their forged parts can withstand the high chamber pressures of 5.45 without issue, Circle 10 AK may have just provided for an excellent new option for American shooters looking to get into the AK-74 platform.
The parts kit has an MSRP of $849.95, but don’t forget to factor in the cost of hiring an experienced builder or of buying the tools needed to do it yourself.
For more information on Circle 10 AK, please visit circle10ak.com.
Imported 7.62 AK Options
- The Zastava ZPAP M70 Rifle
- The Zastava ZPAP92 AK Pistol
- The Cugir WASR-10 Rifle
- The Cugir Micro Draco AK Pistol