Itís important to point out that everything you see in this article is done prior to shipping and none of these steps are required by the customer.
When we first started offering our Vepr Forearm Package in 2012 we were adapting original Vepr gas tubes by brazing on front and rear upper forearm brackets. This was done on a core exchange with customers using their gas tube.
Vepr gas tubes cannot be bought on the aftermarket and permanently adapting one that is irreplaceable could effect the value of the gun if one went to sell it and the new owner wanted to change back to the original tube.
A regular AK gas tube
fits the Vepr, but with our upper forearm being longer than an AK these
gas tubes don't work, and there isn't one available for the AK without
brackets where the tube itself has the correct length, so in 2013 we started making our own.
In our process we start with a bare tube and braze / sweat the components on using 56% silver 44% bronze rod, which is very strong and has good flow in the molten state. The components are produced using a combination of stamping, CNC machining, and investment casting.
The locking lug at the back of the tube is brazed on first and we work our way forward brazing / sweating on the rear upper forearm retainer and then the front retainer.
The next step is preparation of the lower forearm. The front bracket is investment cast and you can see the wax plug below used in making the ceramic mold. This process can be seen in an earlier "Blog" post at:Production of OEM Components
The gas tube, front lower bracket and three screws that hold the bracket on are then Cerakoted and baked in an industrial oven at 300 degrees for an hour.
The lower machine screw on the front bracket threads into a brass nutsert and the two upper screws are designed specifically for polymers. Prior to installing the bracket we locate and pre-drill the hole in the lower forearm for the bolt that attaches it to the gun.
We then assemble the front bracket to the forearm. The upper and lower forearms are injection molded out of high temperature resistant nylon that has a filler mix of 35% fiberglass, which is the same material our butt stocks are made of.
The last steps in the process are to instal the upper forearm on the gas tube and band the upper and lower together in preparation for packaging and shipping to the customer.
These arrive ready to install with no modifications to the weapon, and you can see the final assembly instructions the customer follows at: Vepr Forearm Installation