Do-It-Yourself AK Rifle: Lee Armory’s Build Class in Phoenix, AZ

The guys at Lee Armory know AKs. They run a manufacturing operation and have all the jigs, fittings and parts for building AK rifles. They also have a cadre of gunsmiths who know and love the Kalashnikov design in all of its variants. Most importantly, Lee Armory wants to help you build that perfect AK to your specifications.

I got to spend time with the gunsmiths from Lee Armory at the Anteris Alliance Range Day and shot several of their AK builds. Their work speaks for itself, the guns look great and run even better. When I found out they had a build class, I signed up.

Do you currently own an AK Parts Kit? Lee Armory can build that East German or Russian Izzy AK. They offer custom builds and Gunsmithing Services.

If you live in an area with state restrictions, Lee Armory can talk you through your options for a legal build. Because they are close, California guns are a specialty. They will ship the rifle back to an FFL of your choosing for Dealer Record of Sale (DROS). Rifle must be “featureless” per California’s Dept. of Justice. Lee recommends a Strike Industries AK Fin Grip for California residents.

I have seen and shot AKs from all around the world. There are some amazing variants and enough models to give most shooters a dream gun. I am partial to full-stock classic models because I feel they shoot better. I must admit, I am not immune to the charms of the triangle side folder, but the under folder is not the girl for me.

Lee Armory’s Romanian Military Classic AKM rifle with Romanian CHF Barrel.

Like many people, I am fascinated with the simple and robust technology used in the AK. The design has many subtle features, not the least of which is the ability to fabricate the rifle under austere conditions for wartime production.

Building an AK-style rifle includes the handcrafted art of rivet smashing. Rivets are much easier to make than screws and provide an outlet for repressed aggression. Lee armorers will instruct each student on the technique.

Barrelhead space and population can be very frustrating. Many AK kits arrive with parts still attached to demilled barrels. Removing and reinstalling these parts is never simple. Canted sights are the most irritating issue with do-it-yourself AKs, in my opinion. But Lee Armory will show you how to prevent this in your build.

Romanian ROMARM AK Parts Kit in 7.62×39

Headspacing encompasses one of the most important tasks for the rifle to function safely. Most home builders don’t understand the risks of incorrect headspacing. The AK design is very forgiving, proper headspace is essential.

Lee Armory has the tools you need to do things safely and easily. They meet you at your level of expertise and offer technical advice and support. If you are not comfortable with performing all the tasks required to build your gun or have a gun already that isn’t quite right, Lee Armory also provides complete gunsmithing services.

If you want to Cerakote that build (or anything else), Lee can hold the rifle and send it out to We Plead the Second for a certified Cerakote application. Cerakote provides a solid durable coating which is far superior to almost every other coating on the firearms market. They’ve tested Cerakote to 1,000 rounds of continuous full auto machine gun fire with almost no issues.

There are two options in the build class, depending on your needs: Custom or Classic.

Lee Armory offers classes from a box of parts to barreled depending on your time constraints. Classes are the third weekend of every month!

  • 1 Day Class – I have all parts ($500.00)
  • 1 Day Class – I need all parts (Parts are extra, billed Separately) ($500.00)
  • 2 Day Class – I have all parts ($999.00)
  • 2 Day Class – I need all parts (Parts are extra, billed Separately) ($999.00)

Here is what you get:

One day classes are condensed, but all topics are covered including instruction.

Course Outline: Day 1
8 a.m. – Introductions
9 a.m.  – Introduction to Riveting
12 p.m. – Lunch
1 p.m. – Introduction to Riveting (cont)
5 p.m.  – Conclusion

Course Outline: Day 2
8 a.m. – Q/A
9 a.m. – Introduction to Barrel Populations
12 p.m. – Lunch
1 p.m. – Introduction to Barrel Populations (cont)
3 p.m. – Introduction to Final Assembly
5 p.m. – Conclusion, Test Fire.

Lee Armory’s AK Build Class held in WARM and Sunny Phoenix, Arizona!  For more information or to register for a class on the third weekend of every month, click here.

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About the author: Mark Miller is a former Customs Agent and a Green Beret who served in Afghanistan and a number of other live fire locations. A student of firearms and shooting, he is an FFL and a SOT. The guiding philosophy of his life is that terrain and situation dictate tactics and the enemy always gets a vote on any plan.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • todd william March 15, 2019, 1:22 pm

    very tempting, wish i lived there. need to replace my mini 30, unreliable with steel ammo. mag issues. ak is better and designed to run 762×39. will run all day and eat all ammo. only drawback, no top rail for optics. someday i will own an AK.

    • CalH March 15, 2019, 9:35 pm

      I have s Bear creek 7.62 x 39 AR Upper. I love it. Shoots steel and brass great. Killed a big hog with it.

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