Down in the Big Easy on the last day of GunFest 2021, Cody Wilson and his team from Ghost Gunner brought out their Ghost Gunner 3 and a new product that has been highly anticipated for the past year. The Ghost Gunner AK-47 kit is finally here.
Last January at SHOT Show 2020 James interviewed Stephen of Defense Distributed about the Ghost Gunner 3 (GG3) and Stephen revealed that the GG3 can cut steel. They teased an AK back then.
Last September I reviewed the Ghost Gunner 3. I milled a few AR-15 lowers and cut a Polymer80 frame using the GG3. So I was excited to see the Ghost Gunner AK-47 80% kit at GunFest since it has been mentioned on Ghost Gunner’s website for over a year.
The Ghost Gunner AK-47 kit is relatively simple. You start off with a pre-folded flat. The GG3 will cut the steel for you.
The crucial part is the jig to hold the AK-47 80% receiver in the GG3. Unlike the AR-15 jigs which are injection molded plastic or in some cases 3D printed, the Ghost Gunner AK-47 kit comes with aluminum jigs.
The jigs are milled aluminum and the spacers that are placed inside the receiver will either be Delrin or some other material, yet to be determined.
One of the major concerns regarding using the GG3 is how the GG3 probes the part so it knows where it is in 3D space and that way it can precisely mill the areas it needs to cut.
Look at the photo above. There is a black block with the probe wire attached to a bolt going through this block. Below is a photo looking at the probe block from the other side.
See the silver aluminum block bolted at the end of the black brick? That is the same style of probe blocks used for the Polymer 80 jig kit. For those who have not looked into a GG3 or read my review, the end mill acts as a probe so the machine knows where it is in 3D space. On a bare aluminum 80% receiver, the end mill touches off the top of the lower receiver then it moves to the mag well and touches off the side and back face of the mag well. This only works if the receiver is bare aluminum. A probe wire is attached to the pistol grip screw. So when the endmill touches the raw aluminum receiver, it completes an electrical circuit thus completing the probe sequence. The same concept applies to the Polymer80. Since the Polymer 80 receiver is not aluminum or conductive, it is not possible to touch off the end mill directly to the frame. The same issue crops up when completing a Ghost Gunner AK-47. By using the jigs and probe blocks the GG3 can probe a consistent material.
Below are photos of the entire AK kit minus the 80% folded receiver. As you can see the finalized version is a single solid jig compared to the two pieces we saw at GunFest.
How Long Does It Take?
According to Cody and Andres of Defense Distributed, the GG3 mills the holes needed to complete the receiver. The GG3 will drill the front and rear trunion as well as the trigger guard holes in under ~45 minutes. And unlike the AR-15 or Polymer80 frame build, the Ghost Gunner AK-47 kit only needs the endmill. No other tools are required to cut the steel.
How Much And When Can We Get It?
The entire Ghost Gunner AK-47 kit includes the jig, an 80% AK receiver, a 1/4″ endmill, the necessary screws and the code to cut the AK-47. Kits will cost $215 and extra receivers will be $80 on their website.
Completed Ghost Gunner AK-47
To show it can be done, Defense Distributed brought out a finished AK-47 that was milled on the GG3.
For those who want to know how to build an AK, Brandon Herrera has a video explaining this process.
Defense Distributed did bring out another cool item but it is not something they make. It is a 3D printed gun called the FGC-9. The people who developed the FGC-9 are kindred spirits with Defense Distributed.
Some of us got a chance to shoot the FGC-9. It was an interesting experience shooting a printed firearm.
Pack It Up, Time To Go Home
Huge thanks to Cody Wilson for his work and freedom he is trying to preserve. Above is a not so good photo, but all that I managed to snap of Defense Distributed’s travel case for their demo GG3. I told Cody Wilson he should modify it so that he doesn’t have to keep taking it out of the box all the time, just have wired connections that lead out of the case so all he has to do is open the case, plug in the wires and away it goes making freedom. Alternatively, he should sell the closed cell foam insert or just start using them to package their GG3s that they sell. That way the customers can take that foam and go buy the right sized pelican case and drop the foam inside. Now they too can transport their GG3 wherever they want. Cody seemed receptive to the idea. I hope it comes to fruition. I look forward to the Ghost Gunner AK-47 kit being released. I still have the GG3 and maybe I can get a kit to review. We shall see.