Project: Building an AK-47 Short-Barreled Rifle Clone

    In this article you will meet a brand new Romanian Cugir WS1-63SB chambered in 7.62×39 mm. The rifle is available for just a little short of 900 Euro or roughly 1 000 US Dollars in Germany.

    Step by step it will transform, like Dracula, into an AK47 Short Barrel Rifle clone.

    Cugir Arms Factory is a Romanian state-owned defense company that is one of the oldest defense companies of Romania, and probably in the World.

    Cugir Arms Factory’s history can be traced all the way back to the year 1799 during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. That’s soon 220 years ago. The steel manufacturing workshops were founded in Cugir, Romania which is one of the first metallurgical factories in Transylvania.

    For more information about their history check out Cugir’s homepage.

    All the pictures and words connected below originally by Schrombo, check out his Instagram.

    There are some really nice photos, descriptions, and suggestions which parts to chose if you’re interested in a similar build. I have inserted links to the company or directly to the product for your convenience – you’re welcome!

    Below: Here you see the muzzle end of the gun. The Magpul Zhukov-U handguard fits perfectly and helps keeping my hands away from all hot parts. I added a Magpul KeyMod handstop, a picatinny rail and an Arisaka Gunworks fingerstop as well as two QD sling attachment points (on the other side of the handguard). And as a finishing touch I replaced the Tapco birdcage flash hider with a .30cal Nightbrake from Manticore Arms. I ordered several different muzzle devices and that’s the one I like best so far.

    The Zhukov-U can be found here at Magpul, with the M-LOK handstop. This is a shorter version of the original Zhukov handguard. The finger stop is a nice detail, find it here. The Manticore Nightbrake is yours here. AK M16 Style Flash Hider from Tapco.

    The Krebs Custom AK safety is a huge improvement over the factory part. Not only does it provide a notch so you can hold the bolt open, but you can easily operate it with your trigger finger. You can also see the ALG trigger and part of the dogleg rail cover from TWS.

    You can find the Krebs Custom AK safety here.

    One of the biggest improvements over a stock AK is the picatinny rail top cover by Texas Weapon Systems. It attaches by replacing the factory sight with a hinge that the cover can flip up on. The custom recoil guide rod keeps downward pressure on the cover and locks it firmly into place. And with a push of a (captured) pin you can detach the whole cover, no tools required.
    For the rear stock I went with a M4 stock adapter from Rifle Dynamics in combination with a LAW Tactical folding adapter and a Strike Industries Viper stock. So I get all the benefits of a collapsible stock and of a folding stock.
    Also in the picture you can see the additional polymer recoil buffer that keeps the bolt from slamming into the rear of the receiver.

    The Texas Weapon Systems top cover can be found here and the Rifle Dynamics Viper stock here. The LAW Tactical adapter is yours in this link.

    This a detailed view of inside of the receiver. You can see the top of the ALG trigger and if you know your way around an AK you’ll notice that I replaced the traditional braided main spring with a non-braided high energy main spring also made by ALG. Keeping everything in place is a trigger pin retaining plate from Power Custom – I simply can’t stand the flimsy original retaining spring.
     The triggers from ALG Defense can be found via their homepage, or Brownells. I used them in my Molot, after having tried a lot of various brands. I would recommend a gunsmith however for the fitting, but it’s up to you and your skills – and also what your AK looks like inside.
    This shows the LAW Tactical folding stock adapter at work. What I like with this solution over the Magpul Zhukov stock I had installed before is that the stock folds to the left of the AK where it doesn’t interfere with my grip on the gun and the operation of the safety and the bolt handle.
    The steeper grip angle of the Magpul MOE SL pistol grip fits like a glove for the shorter LOP I prefer in my rifles.

    If you’re interested in the Magpul Zhukov stock click here.

    The project is now finished!
    Let me introduce you to my own personal AK47 SBR clone and let me show you some of its features:

    So here you have it – Shromo’s take on the AK47 SBR. The only part I’m still searching for is the Venom Tactical gas block / front sight combo. The factory gas block is slightly canted to the left, a fact I cannot accept. But those Venom gas blocks are next to impossible to get over here in Germany.

    The Venom Tactical AK47 / AK-74 Gas Block can be found in this link but seems hard to get in Europe. I find too often that build like this, or even less complicated builds, get to a standstill due to difficulties sourcing parts, in this case, a 99 USD gas block.

    What do you think of Shrombo’s take on the AK47 SBR? Is it to your liking? Would you have built the same or used other parts?

    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too. TCCC Certified medic.