September 23, 2011
Driving out the barrel pin with a 4X air riveter. There are plenty of guys who use hammers and punches or 12-20 ton presses. The point is that there are many ways to remove the pin.
Despite what you may read on the web, even though the kit will be assembled with screws, take the time to remove the barrel from the front stub. Some people assemble AKs by drilling blind holes in the trunnion without removing the barrel and then tapping those holes with bottoming taps. Plainly put, I do not recommend this method, as it is too easy to drill into the barrel or snap off a tap.
There are a number of commercial barrel press jigs on the market that you can use with a 12-20 ton press to push out the barrel pin and then the barrel. I used one from AK-Builder for years.
I have also used hammers, punches & air hammers. The photo shows me driving out the M70's pin with a 4x Ingersoll-Rand air hammer/riveter, and this is my preferred method now unless I find a real stubborn pin. Then I use my 20-ton press and the AK-Builder jig. Note, if you want to go the air tool route, it pays to have a regulator and an air tools with a tickle trigger. Driving out a pin with a cheap air hammer whose trigger is either all on or all off is difficult and you may wind up marring the surrounding metal.
There have been plenty of stories on the gun boards of guys drilling into the barrel or snapping taps. It really isn't that hard to remove the barrel — play it safe and remove the barrel.
Once the pin has been pressed out, the barrel can be driven out. I use an AK-Builder jig normally but have also done this with a copper washer protecting the chamber and then used a hammer and large punch to drive the barrel out.