During this gunsmith's first work on rifles that are based on the Kalashnikov platform, one of the most difficult tasks was the installation of the magazine catch release. Not only must a very strong spring be compressed, but it also has to be positioned correctly, aligned to the catch, put into position, and a pin passed through the whole assembly. Anyone who has attempted this job without a unique tool or special technique, will soon find themselves struggling for at least an hour or two, and nursing numbed fingers for days, and possibly, weeks.
To meet the need of this very esoteric gunsmithing task, a special tool was developed. This is nothing new or special, but rather, a reimagined device, very similar to the one originally provided in an East German armorer's kit. It's possible the Russians provided a similar tool, but only the East German one has been observed and is available for reverse engineering.
These AK magazine catch release tool pliers have the following features:
- Repurposed set of Stanley 9" MaxGrip pliers (Made in Taiwan)
- Jaw parts custom machined from O1 tool steel
- Sandblasted with 220 grit aluminum oxide and Parkerized with manganese to a dark charcoal color for corrosion resistance
- Treated with Gunzilla for additional rust prevention
- Stainless steel hardware attaches both jaws to the pliers
- Manufactured in the USA (except the plier body)
This device is a great gunsmithing tool for the general gunsmith, but a must-have for those who specialize in the repair and construction of AK-47s, AK-74s, and all other Kalashnikov platform firearms. If one needs to install or remove a magazine catch release, this is indispensable.