A Crate of AKs

What projects do you currently have sitting on your workbench? A custom AR that you need a final piece in order to finish? Or are you building a night vision gun so you can eventually take it to a low-light/no-light tactical class? Doesn’t it seem like there are always way more projects queued in your head than there are days in the year? We’re guilty of stacking up more projects than we could ever finish, too… but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Projects come big and small, and some even come in double-XL size. We’d say that the featured project you see here qualifies as one of the larger undertakings that we’ve seen in a long while. What you’re gawking at is a crate of ten Polish underfolder AKs complete with accessories. The wooden crate was handmade and the AKs were individually assembled by UN12’s very own Technical Editor, Michael Penhall.

The crate is definitely a conversation starter and can easily be used as one of the most badass coffee tables around. It has both a solid wood lid as well as a clear top made of thick plexiglass to show off its impressive cargo. Bottom line—it looks like it was for sure one fun project to work on.

Let’s hear more about this AK-crazed pet project directly from Penhall himself.

“I always wanted to build a ‘crate of something.’ I first looked at Mosins, but a full crate of those rifles was just going to be too long for me to display or store. I also looked into building a crate of SKSs when they were available, but they just didn’t fit my existing collection very well. So I finally settled on AKs to fit in with everything I already had.”

The crate isn’t an exact reproduction of an existing weapons shipment crate. Instead, it was designed from the ground up employing a lot of creativity and imagination. Penhall goes on to describe how he got the wooden crate made.

“I had a friend help initially design the crate and I added some changes to the handles and the lid. I was flying blind for most of the build because I couldn’t find any good reference photos of a complete crate of AKs until after it was built. So even though it’s not a clone of an existing crate, it does have the surplus look and feel I was going for.

 “The rifles contained in the crate are Polish underfolders built on AK Builder parts kits with new U.S. production barrels. The armorer’s kit came from Apex Gun Parts and contains all the spare parts for the underfolders. I wanted to make sure that the crate not only included ten AKs, but all their accessories and an armorer’s kit as well. Packed alongside the rifles are ten magazine pouches. Each pouch includes three magazines and a cleaning kit, as the AK underfolders have no buttstock to store the cleaning kits. A sling and oiler bottle set is contained in each of the heat-sealed pouches.”

As we mentioned at the beginning, two different lids were created for the crate—one made of wood and the other crafted from clear plexi with a wooden frame. Both lids feature matching markings in Polish. As it turns out, Penhall is able to translate them for us.

“The Circle 11 you see emblazoned on the crate’s cover is the factory logo, factory name, and the initals ‘AKMS’. In Polish, this stands for ‘Karabinek Automatyczny Kalasznikowa Modernizowany,’ which translates to ‘Short Battle Carbine Automatic, Modernized with Folding Stock,’” Penhall says. “The entire project took a while to complete, but it was a lot of fun putting this thing together.”

A beautifully made transport crate of ten underfolders is certainly work worth drooling over. As a fan of unique DIY projects, especially those that incorporate guns, we have to say that this is an impressive creation to behold. Penhall says that he’s got a few more projects underway, and after seeing how this one turned out, we’re excited to see what else he’s got in store.

Let’s hope this next time he goes even bigger.

Text & Images by Jerry Tsai

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