AK Gas Tube Question...
I am converting a Saiga, and have obtained two gas tubes that are supposed to be for AK47s in general. I believe it was advertised as being for a Romanian or Bulgarian gas tube. The cost was literally half of the cost of the gas tubes I've been buying, which fit perfectly. But, I was hoping to find something a little less expensive. So, I decided to experiment. Unfortunately, the new experimental gas tubes are about 1/32" too long. They almost fit, but they're just a little too long to clamp down.
So, I ground down both tubes to shorten them a bit where the end of the tube engage the gas block. But, it's not a perfect fit. Both tubes are rock solid when the lever is locked down, fully seated at the bottom, in the groove. But, after being ground, one of the tubes doesn't fully seat all the way against the lip of the gas block. There's just about 1/32" of gap between the lip of the gas block and the where the gas tube begins. There are no open gaps or anything, and both tubes are tight when the lever is depressed. The other tube, which has slightly less ground off, snugs right up against the lip of the gas block, no gap whatsoever.
So, is it safe to use these gas tubes after modifying them as I have? How much pressure develops inside the gas tube? I understood that for the most part, the tube mostly functions as a guide for the piston, and as protection against outside contaminates. It's also my understanding that the piston only moves a relatively short stroke anyway. I have even read that you could actually fire the rifle without the gas tube in place, and without any repercussions. Not that it's recommended to do so, but that it can be done.
I just don't want to fire the rifle if there is any danger that by the one gas tube not being fully seated against the gas block. The tubes line up perfectly, and they both seem that they would guide the piston in the proper plane. But, I don't want the gas tube modifications to cause some kind of catastrophic event to occur, or to damage the rifle.
Also, another thing I notice about these tubes is that the lever doesn't completely close all the way to the dimple on the side of the receiver. It seems like I would have to grind a little off the beveled surface areas where the lever contacts the end of the gas tube to lock it down in order to return the lever to it's fully closed position. I had considered widening the bevel on the gas tube to provide enough clearance for the lever to fully close all the way, but not sure about making that kind of modification.
there is no pressure in an AK "gas tube" (more properly: piston guide).
Hey, thanks very much for that video! Nothing like seeing the proof in a video. And, you're right, I am convinced. I feel much better now knowing that what I had read previously about the gas tube being primarily a guide, and a protective cover, is correct. Actually, my modified length gas tubes have no gap whatsoever. So, with a little extra grinding, I'm able to cut the cost in half from around $35.00 to $18.00. Thanks again!!!
cool video, i learned something new here!!!
It would be awesome to do ARFCOM MYTHSMASHERS. ("Mythbusters" is taken.
A forum with a tacked thread for each gun myth, and a video which smashes it.