Installing the Tapco Quad Rail INTRAFUSE AK-47 Handguard
To help us out with our "WASR-10 Tactification" project TAPCO USA sent us a Black Tapco Intrafuse Quad Rail AK Hand Guard to play with. This tutorial describes the ins and outs of the installation process.
Making it Fit
Not all AK's are created equal - literally. Manufacturing tolerances are loose and measurements vary slightly from one model to the next. So prepare to tweak your aftermarket furniture a little to make it fit. We used a file set, a sanding block and a sharp chisel (and lots of patience). You want to work incrementally (grind, fit, grind, fit, repeat). Don't rush it. This is necessary because you want everything to fit as tight as possible to prevent "hand guard wobble".
Figure 1: Meet the "Black Tapco Intrafuse Quad Rail AK Hand Guard".
As always, make sure your AK is unloaded. Then, remove the return spring, gas piston and upper hand guard. Take out the cleaning rod and then remove the lower hand guard as well. After that, remove the upper hand guard furniture from the gas tube.
Mounting the Lower Hand Guard
Try sliding the lower hand guard into the receiver. If you're lucky it will fit. Most likely, it will be a little too big. You can either force it in (which will shave off any excess material) or use a sharp chisel, a file or a sanding block to remove the excess material. The hand guard does not stick into the receiver far, so there is little contact surface to begin with. For this reason, work slowly and take care not to shave off too much.
Figure 2: Cut down the receiver insert (red) and bend out the lower hand guard retainer insert (green)
If necessary use needle nose pliers to slightly bend the metal part on the forward side outwards to make it wider. This creates a tighter fit in the lower hand guard retainer which will help prevent wobbling.
You will notice that without the upper hand guard in place the lower hand guard will feel loose. This is normal as the upper part of the assembly is intended to put pressure on the lower to keep it steady.
Installing the "Upper Hand Guard"
If you have not already done so, remove the upper hand guard furniture from the gas tube. Then twist the TAPCO INTRAFUSE hand guard into the slot on the gas tube. This concludes the easy part of the upper hand guard installation.
Now put the gas tube back into place and try to close the latch. If it closes, congratulate yourself and have another beer. Chances are that you will not be able to close the latch. If not, do not try and force it! The reason your latch doesn't close is because the gas tube can't come down far enough in its slot because the upper hand guard can't move down far enough as the lower hand guard is in the way. The solution is to selectively file, chisel or sand the bottom of the upper hand guard until it can come down far enough to close the gas tube release lever.
Hold the gun up against a light source to see which part of the upper hand guard is preventing the gas tube from seating in the gas block. Carefully file that part down, then try it on again. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Again be careful not to remove any more material than necessary, as you want the upper hand guard to apply some pressure on the lower to prevent it from wobbling.
Figure 3: Some of these six notches are probably the first to go.
Think you're done? Then try to reassemble the cleaning rod. Chances are that you will not be able to get it all the way back in place. The reason you can't get it in all the way is that the TAPCO hand guard pushes it a little more up than the old one. This causes the cleaning rod to get stuck against one of the "ledges" inside the receiver.
Figure 4: When the cleaning rod (green) is too close to the barrel it gets blocked by the ledge (red) in the receiver.
The quick solution is to mount the cleaning rod in place before putting the lower hand guard into place. This allows you to "help" it into place. Then, with the rod in place, seat the lower hand guard into the receiver.
Figure 5:The easy way out; fit the rod before seating the lower hand guard.
The other option is to remove the heat shield (it just pops out) and use a round-edged file to create a groove of sorts that allows the cleaning rod to get more clearance from the receiver. Be carefull not to compromise the construction by removing too much material. We tried this but were not able to create quite enough clearance, but every AK is different, so if you are feeling adventurous give it a try.
Figure 6: The hard way; file a groove in the bottom of the hand guard.
Another option would be to insert something over the "ledges" to allow the cleaning rod to slide over them instead of getting stuck. You'd need something hard but flexible, maybe a piece of blister packaging or part of a beer can.
Bottom Rail Panel Removal
If you plan to mount a front grip or any other tacticool attachments that need to be mounted under the gun you'll need to remove the bottom rail cover. To do this simply pull up the lip and slide the rail cover forward. If you want to cover up the side rails you don't use, TAPCO sells a Rail Panel Kit
, which makes your fore end look better and helps improve grip.
Figure 7: Removing the bottom rail panel.
Finally, attach all your favorite accessories. If you decide to go with a vertical grip, make sure you order the "Shorty" Short Vertical Grip, and not the Full Sized Grip as it will interfere with your mag changes. The picture below shows the Tapco INTRAFUSE AK-47 hand guard with the TAPCO Intrafuse Short Vertical Grip and a TLR-2 Laser/Flash Light Combination. The magazine is a TAPCO INTRAFUSE 30 round magazine and the scope is a Belarussian 6X24 POSP scope.
Figure 8: All dressed up and nowhere to go:-(.
Looks like we were not the first to put the TAPCO Furniture on a WASR-10. This U-Tuber used the Dark Earth kit. Video is a little long, but you'll get the idea.