Russian Type 2 AK: Introducing the Milled Receiver

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Updated to fix errors in nomenclature and production dates.

With recognition of the production problems of the original Type 1 AK, an alternative was needed. Russian engineer Valeriy Kharkov led a team of engineers who designed a replacement drop-forged and machined receiver for the AK. This new receiver was not a technical challenge for Izhevsk to produce, and it added durability and potentially accuracy to the weapon, at the cost of an additional pound (half kilo) of weight and more manufacturing time/expense.

The Type 2 AK is distinctive for its rear socket used to attach the buttstock, which was done to simplify the receiver profile and to allow the same receiver to be used for both fixed and underfolding stocks. The Type 2 receiver also has a weight reduction scalloped cut on the right side which is parallel to the top surface of the receiver (on the later Type 3, this cut would be made parallel to the bottom of the receiver instead) as well as a few other smaller features.

While the Type 2 receiver solved the immediate problem for Kalashnikov’s team, it would only be in production for a short time. Introduced in 1951, production ceased in 1957, being replaced by an improved iteration of milled receiver, the Type 3, in 1955. The Type 3 would remain in production until the stamped receiver was finally perfected as the AKM in 1959, and the Type 3 would be produced by a significant number of nations outside the Soviet Union.

Today, the second pattern AK is an very rare weapon, and I am grateful to the private collector who allowed me to video this one for you!

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