[Guest Post] DIY Gun Parts

[ This guest post was written by Doug from Iowa ]

Twelve years ago, I bought a MAK-90 with a thumbhole stock. I enjoyed the rifle as did my friends, but as time moved along so did my gun collection. The MAK-90 sat in the safe for longer and longer periods of time. Recently, I’ve begun to take interest in the 7.62×39 cartridge. I noticed a lot of aftermarket parts being offered to update the AK style rifles so I began to look into dressing up my MAK-90 to wear a standard pistol grip and stock. I also looked into what else I wanted to outfit it with to make it a good home defense weapon, since I live in a rural area. I would have to exchange five parts to U.S. manufacture to be 922 compliant.

One of the features I wanted my rifle to have was a modified safety. I wanted to modify it in a way that would hold the bolt open to the rear and allow my trigger finger to manipulate the safety. Much the way this would work:

Kreb Custom modified safety

Although I’ve never heard anything bad about Kreb Custom’s products, I knew that $65 was much more than I could afford. Being on a public servant’s salary does not lend one’s self to dropping loads of money on one’s hobby. I knew I would have to modify my existing piece and I really didn’t want to mess up, but spending $24 on a replacement standard safety lever was much more affordable.

After measuring where the cutout should go, I got out the dremel tool and went to work cutting the safety. The cut doesn’t look the most professionally done, but I works. I may go back later and make the lines a little straighter.

The next part I was worried would be a little more difficult. Finding the correct spare part laying round and affixing it could be a challenge. I grabbed some extra brackets I had lying about and started bending them with pliers to find the right fit. I settled on some shelving brackets that seemed to bend right into the perfect shape. After bending the piece, I cut it to a more ascetically pleasing sight, and also so it wouldn’t get caught on things. Once I had it the way I wanted, I mixed up some JB Weld and put the extension in the best placement for my trigger finger to reach.

JB Welded part with unaltered bracket

After spray painting a flat finish on the modified safety, the result is a very functional safety lever that allows my trigger hand to stay on the grip.

This article was written by a Guest Author. The views contained in this article reflect that of the author and not necessarily that of The Firearm Blog or TFBTV.


  • User

    Nice work. I’d love something like that on my Maadi but the safety is stiff as hell, I’d probably break my finger!

  • Glock23

    Great article! Good photos. Not having a AK (and knowing the operation) my knowledge is limited. I know that the AK bolt does not stay open on the last shot fired. How does the cut out on the safety make that happen?

    Is the operation manual? Pull the bolt back with the left hand and use the right index finger to move the safety up?

    • David Sharpe

      I don’t know if you’ve been answered yet, but it’s not as a last shot hold open, it’s for locking it open as a “make safe”

      If you have experience with the 1022, this is the same concept as that bolt hold open.

  • Zander


  • Lance

    Pls Pls can you show off the rest of your rilfe? I do enjoy a good AK ev en if its Chinese.

  • Doug

    Thanks everyone.

    @Glock23, I’ve done it with both hands, but it’s much easier to just hold the rifle with the left and and manipulate the bolt and bolt catch with the right hand. I haven’t had too much chance to shoot the rifle yet (only about 60 rounds since the modification), but it works great as a visible safety at the range as well as helps cool the rifle down. Beyond that, it really doesn’t have much use. I suppose you could use it for reloads, but it would just add time into the equation.


    This is the only website I have pics of the whole rifle right now. Unfortunately, the way the pics are posted, you’ll have to be a member to view them if you’re not one already.

  • Doug

    @User, my MAK90 is a Maadi as well. I had seen a video on youtube about bending the safety out to make it looser. Try a search for the video.

  • farmboy7.62

    Thats pretty neat.

  • bullzebub

    user: bend the safety outwards. its stiff because resistance against the receiver. 🙂

  • Yeah, as said above, carefully bend it out from the receiver, the only thing holding it in place is that tension so don’t over do it.
    Added bonus is it doesn’t scribe as deep of an arc into the side of your rifle either.

    I assume you could use the Rt. thumb to pull back the bolt handle and pull up safety lever with index finger?

    Damn, now I want to do that cut too! Only real flaw I ever saw in the AK was the lack of a bolt hold open, problem solved!
    LOVE IT!

  • Peter BE

    I fastened a small rip tie around the safety. That way I can work it with my trigger finger through the loop. Works like a charm!