In late 2011 I really got the hunger to own an AES-10B (one of the hard to find semi-auto Romanian RPK copies). I finally found an arms dealer that had one and placed my order. When it arrived I couldn't hardly stand the anticipation waiting for the range to open so I could play with my new toy. After a few shots I saw that the rifle had more than its fair share of problems. The bolt carrier was sticking badly and I was getting light strikes on the rounds. Two weeks later I sold the rifle for a loss instead of taking the hit on shipping it back to the place I purchased it. Later that week I was so full of remorse that I purchased another one from an online auction site at a huge premium. I hated to take the hit on the $$$ but as soon as I sold the first one I knew that I had made a mistake. Since then I have learned that the AES-10B is no longer going to be manufactured. I'll probably hold on to this one forever!
The RPK with a 75 round drum magazine and a 10-40X50 scope (this beast weighs more than 25 pounds):
One of the first things I wanted to do was to replace the wood. It looked absolutely horrible. I was going to buy new furniture for it but instead opted to put some elbow grease in the project. I had recently committed the sin of refinishing a Mosin Nagant (something that would get you kicked off quite a few of the good Mosin forums). Instead of going the same route of sanding, staining, and coating with polyurethane for high gloss furniture I wanted to stick with something that looked a little more "military":
I completely disassembled the rifle except for the butt stock. No matter what I did I just could not pull it out of the receiver. I finally tied a rope between it and my heavy welding table and with a combination of jerking on it as hard as I can and beating the hell out of it with a heavy rubber mallet it finally came apart:
I took one last look at the parts before starting the work:
I gave everything a bath in Krud Kutter to remove any cosmoline, grease, or oil that may have found its way onto the wood:
I wanted a darker stain than the light Pecan I did on the Mosin so I did some tests with Red Oak and Red Mahogany. In the end I chose the Red Mahogany stain:
I spent the next two days sanding and steam cleaning the wood. It still looked terrible but it was MUCH better than how it started out:
After a couple of coats of pre-stain wood conditioner I applied a coat of the Red Mahogany. I let it sit on for 15 minutes (probably too long) and then wiped off the excess. It is kind of hard to see the real color in these pictures but it turned out as well as I hoped it would considering what I started with:
Next I spent the next several days applying coats of boild linseed oil. Wipe it on, let it dry for for 24 hours, wipe it off. I repeated this for about a week and then applied a few coats of Tom's 1/3 Wax (really nothing but linseed oi, turpentine, and bee's wax):
The parts are refinished and ready to be reinstalled:
Back together and ready to shoot:
Again, it was hard for me to get the lighting correct to take a good picture. This is a better representation of what it really looks like:
The scope was only on the rifle for a few days so I thought it would be nice to put a picture on here of what the rifle looks like now:
Note - You are probably seeing missing links to some pictures above. I still use Notepad to create the html code and have a template with plenty of extra references to pictures to save on typing. As I continue the page I will add pictures and descriptions and these missing links will disappear.