View Full Version : Case hardening B-West AK receiver
Good morning All.
I'm hopeing to get real, informed opinion's of how to go about the case hardening, (not heat treating ) of a B-West built AK47. I know about the soft metal in these receivers or I wouldn't be asking for advice. This rifle is in pretty good condition and I am looking to get a longer life out of the original receiver before I'm forced to replace it. I've read a good deal about the process on gun forums and engineering posts but I would like to get advice from someone who has done it.
Any help would be useful and appreciated.
Is your rifle, imported from China, or was it made in AZ?
The Chinese made rifles are good to go.
The made in AZ rifles are the not so good ones.
What is roll marked on the rifle?
It's a bit confusing. The receiver and trunion etc. are stamped as a B-West US built rifle however the Rt Front of the receiver is stamped with a 999xxx number which has been stamped over with XXX's. I'm not sure what this implies.
Post a few pics if you can. Sounds like you have a U.S. made rifle.
If the receiver is "soft", it would cost you more to fix it, than just to buy another rifle.
Think "trade in" for a new Arsenal AK-47.
What part of the receiver is prone to failure? Is it the FCG holes? When I use to build off of kits we would just case harden those holes then anneal them. I dont think the same process would work with a already built rifle though.
Oh how I miss the $100 AK kits, stupid BATFE.
From the look of the rivets it looks to be US-made. The rivets look odd also which may not be a good thing either. Case hardening is for wear surfaces not structural strength. The steel used in the US-made B-West receivers is not high strength alloy steel. It's non-heat treatable plain mild steel that has less strength than non-heat treated alloy steel. The steel used is about 50 percent thicker than European AK's but it's a lower grade of of steel that does not respond to heat treating but and due to its lower strength is easier to form and bend into shape. It mad it easier for the sheet metal company that B-West contracted to make a decent-looking receiver but it lacks strength. The sheet metal company that made them did not have a license to make firearms and after many consumer complaints the ATF investigated B-West and found out that the receivers were not made on location and B-West agreed to shut down operations.
You could try "Kasenit" but it may not hold up. It shouldn't hurt anything though.
I goggled "Kasenit" and found that Brownells no longer sells this product. Midway however has a similar product called "Cherry Red". I assume the lower rails and the ejector would be my main target for hardening without complete dissamembly of the rifle. If I go that far I will replace the receiver entirely.
Thanks for your wisdom and help.
The Chinese thickness receivers aren't easy to find. If you search long enough you may find one. There was an American company that was making them but they have changed owners a couple of times and the current owners haven't started making the thicker receivers for the Chinese parts. The previous owners may have some or they may have sold everything to the current owners that say they have none. They say they have no plans to make them but they might decide to make some at some point. With the lack of Chinese parts I doubt it will be anytime soon. The thicker receivers can be used with modified European parts and some people like to do that to have a thicker a receiver so they may get enough requests for them.
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