AK-47 Type III, circa 1954
Izhevsk Arsenal (SLR-100 based Replica)
Projects Page 27

Allow me to introduce my good friend and well-respected gunsmith, Dean Davison. Dean has built some of the most beautifully crafted AK rifles I have ever seen, and specializes in the milled receiver AK rifle. Although they have traditionally been less numerous and less commonly used by commercial and do-it-yourself builders, several new parts kits and receiver designs have recently become available on the market which should translate into a spike in interest and popularity. Dean considers them easier to build than the stamped metal type rifle, but his approach to them is not, and not unlike his approach to more expensive firearm builds. In other words, he has an unfaltering eye for quality and detail seldom matched in the AK community, and accepts nothing less than perfection from himself. I think the images in this article show this and represent one of the finest examples of his work. No doubt many DIY builders who might be considering an eye-popping milled receiver project will be motivated to tackle this type of build partly due to Dean's craftsmanship. --Tantal

Builders Showcase presents
Dean Davison

I am retired and live in Las Vegas, NV. Vietnam infantry vet (67-68, 5/7 Cav,1st Cav Div) and that is where I had my first experience with the Kalashnikov and started my reverence for the rifle...don't know if anyone is interested in this war story shit but I have seen these from the other end and they are a hell of a rifle. I worked as a toolmaker and machinist for several years while attending college and that is where I developed my metalworking skills. Always fond of firearms since growing up on the farm in Missouri where a rifle or shotgun was a tool. Being retired I love to work on guns and building AK's was a natural evolution I guess.

This Russian has taken about 3 years to get the parts together, find a reciever, and get it all done. Z_recto did the furniture which is all NOS Russian. Sling is a 1952. I reblued the old slabside in the pics. Did all the prep work for bluing myself, was put in the bluing tank by Ray Lynn's Custom Guns of Las Vegas (he doesn't normally work on AK's). --Dean

ENGRAVING: Ted Marshall

"I built this on a Bulgarian made SLR 100 receiver using a matching number Soviet parts kit. I guess this would be an early Type 3 with a leftover Type 2 top cover, so I put a solid buttstock on it. Matching numbers on the gas tube, bolt carrier, bolt, top cover. The rear sight, recoil lug and selector are bare. The basic kit was 100% Russian except for E. German wood screws."

"The barrel pin? It's there but hidden pretty good. Barrel is pinned but there is no outline...I peened the edges of the pin into the receiver steel and filed/stoned it flush. You can barely, barely see a spot if you look closely because of the end grain of the pin vs. the receiver grain. Put a thumbprint on it and you can't really see it."

"Ted Marshall did his usual perfect engraving job, including the selector markings and receiver proof marks. He also cut the selector notches. Fellow AK Forum board member, falakar15, turned the barrel down dead nuts at .9072" and the shoulder as requested for the perfect headspace. Awesome machinist!"

"The guy who does the bluing for me fires his tanks up early on Sunday morning. I went over about 11:00 and picked up the parts right out of the basket. After I got them home there was still work to clean off the salt deposits, spray WD-40 into all the cracks and let it soak in to prevent rusting, clean the bore, nooks and crannies. All that takes quite a bit of time. FINALLY I started assembling it. Just sitting there and seeing it all come together is the grand finale. That was so much fun. What a day!!"

"I received the new Russian proofed milled mag latch from "SVDS" on the AK Forum.

"The barrel had been parkerized so I had to sand it back down to smooth steel.I used 400 grit with WD-40 for all the final finish. Tried to leave a grain running in the direction on everything as oriiginal. No machine buffing. I re-cut all the edges and all that good stuff."

"All the wood is new: buttstock from Stottman, grip and handguards from "five four five" on the AK Forum. Z_recto did his usual good work on refinishing the stock. Mint barrel came from Xcibes, and the kool 1952 sling from SteveM."

"I don't know what it is but the old Russian stuff is just different. I do have a milled receiver and have been picking up Russian stuff so I may do another."

"I shot a couple hundred rounds at the range before I blued it and it is just awesome. Works so smoothly and very accurate in AK terms. I centered the front sight pin and it was right on for windage, probably shooting within 4" at 80 yards but guns are better than my eyes. I AM going to shoot this gun. THAT is what they are for. My day of having safe queens is over."

"This one stays with me...at least for awhile. My enjoyment is in building them and yeah, the love affair tends to fade so I move to a new project. I want to say thanks to all the Forum members and KCA members who supplied a lot of good info and the following for the great work and parts:

AK Forum and KCA Forum for supporting the habit.
Tantal: All the good info and inspiration...thanks Doug!
Stottman: new solid buttstock. Zrecto for the awesome refinish.
Five Four Five: new grip and handguards...original finish.
SteveM: that kool 1952 like-new sling.
SVDS: for that brand new Russian proofed milled mag latch!
Xcibes: for the mint barrel I looked for so long.
falakar15: barrel machine work for the perfect headspace. Awesome machinist!
Ted Marshall: Engraving and selector notches.
Last but not least: Ray Lynn who at 77 years old is still going strong, a super gunsmith, and nice enough to put my prepped parts in his bluing tanks for a donation."

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