Part 3: VG1-5 Receiver Reinforcements

Now that we have the two halves ready to spot weld together we first have to install the strengthen plates to both sides.  The major purpose is to add material for the magazine release assembly. These plates add extra material to make a sturdy mounting area for the magazine release.

Historical note – we are making the second version of the the magazine catch, which is a pretty typical push-button type. The very first examples of the VG1-5 used a long piece of spring steel riveted to the rear side of the receiver and bent to protrude through a hole in the receiver and hold the magazine up. Those didn’t work very well, and the design was changed to the more expensive but much more functional button. Mid-production receivers are not uncommon with the rivet holes for that type of mag catch punched and left unused, presumably done untilt he original receiver stamping tool was worn out and needed to be replaced.


And another view.


This is the tool that was design and made to produce this strengthening plate. It is designed so that every side is a different angle.

IMG_0021 (2)s

The tool is designed to attach to the fly press.


You will see the fly press used in numerous operations as we continue with the project…


Now on to spot welding. The first picture is of a 110 spot welder that was first used. The major problem is the depth of the spot weld. It could just not do the task at hand (although it is just fine for AK lower rails).

110 spot welder 2 small

The second spot welder is a 220 unit. It also was not up to the task. With the number of spot welds and  the cool off time between welds it would take forever to complete the project. So the answer was a water cooled unit. I found this one on Craigslist in Phoenix for a couple of hundred dollars.

water cooled spot welder 2 small

Now on to the spot welding. The first thing to do is position the support plates in the proper location.

measure for set up of spot weld small

Next it is time to spot weld.

spot weld support 4 small

Then spot weld some more.

spot weld support 5 small

Once we have completed this task it is time to clamp the pieces together and spot weld the two halves together. With both supports spot welded on.

support spot weld 2 small

It is now time to set up and spot weld the two halves together. First the set up tool (which is the same mandrel used to ensure good bends and angles earlier on).

welding fixture 1 small

And a different view.

welding fixture 4 small

Now on to the welding.

spot weld receivers 1 small

Now the completed spot welded receiver.

receivers ready for welding 2 small

So what you have now is a part that is ready for the first machining step. I will leave you here and with the next post we will start the machining process.

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