About a month ago, Russian Molot arms plant has released a video showing their premises and the processes they use to manufacture firearms. Just recently they added English subtitles to that video. So let’s watch it and discuss some of the interesting processes shown in the video.
The most interesting and somewhat mysterious process to me is what they call “energy-chemical” polishing of the bore in an acid solution. It is done after the magnetic particle inspection (MPI) of drilled barrel blanks and right before rifling those blanks on a cold hammer forging machine.
Also, note that those parts which don’t work under extreme pressure and thrust (like the gas block or front sight block), are made by casting. However, bolts are made via machining a forging. As you know, usage of cast parts instead of machined forgings was (maybe still is) a problem with some US made AKs leading to sheared off locking lugs, cracked front trunnions and mushroomed bolt carrier group tails.
As with any other gun company, rich history and traditions mean little to nothing if you want to survive in the modern market. You have to combine the skills and experience with modern designing methods and manufacturing processes and equipment. Looks like Molot did this merger pretty well.