First outing with an AK


February 24, 2007, 10:39 PM
Just got it this week, and it's a new gun. I've fired 7.62 in an SKS, and I've fired "short" rifles (i.e., NOT assault rifles, but they kinda look like'em).

But I've never fired an AK. So, what to expect? Anything to look out for? FWIW, it's a Lancaster AKM.

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February 24, 2007, 10:44 PM
The only thing to look for is FUN:D :D

But why would you "out" an AK???:evil:

February 25, 2007, 12:26 AM
Look out for people to your right, the brass ejects ~30 feet.

February 25, 2007, 10:24 AM
Welcome to the club! Buy up plenty of mags and ammo and have fun. And yes, they do indeed sling the brass.

February 25, 2007, 01:31 PM
Well, I'm back, and yes, it does sling the brass... when it's willing to fire.

For some reason that escapes this AK newbie, it failed on about every 4th or 5th round. It wasn't a failure to feed, as there was always a fresh round chambered - it was a failure to cock the weapon. My first guess is that something is preventing the gas system from completing its job.

It does kick more than my other 7.62 x 39 rifle, an SKS. And the shots I got off (50 yard range) were better placed than I had expected.

Any ideas on the jamming, folks?

Prince Yamato
February 25, 2007, 02:58 PM
It probably has something to do with metal burrs somewhere in the receiver. My advice is take it to a smith who knows about AKs and have them look at it. I have the same problem with my new AK-74. It chambered the first round ok, then the bolt would never return fully to chamber the second round. Pisses me off frankly, but I assure you don't let this manufacturer's fault sully your perspective on the AK.

February 25, 2007, 03:21 PM
Check the gas port to make sure it's clear.

February 25, 2007, 04:02 PM
Good idea. As it was a brand new gun, I only gave it a superficial cleaning before I took it out. It'll get a thorough going over this evening.

February 25, 2007, 04:40 PM
You dont have a "buffer" in it, do you?

1 old 0311
February 25, 2007, 04:48 PM
Did you clean ALL the cosmoline inside, and out? Once that is done lube the rails and bolt then cycle the op rod to the rear for a bit. This usually does it.

Prince Yamato
February 25, 2007, 05:04 PM
The "buffer" being a problem is a rumor. I have a buffer in my Maadi. It doesn't affect cycling one way or the other. All it does is prevent the bolt from slamming metal against metal.

February 25, 2007, 05:18 PM
I've had buffers in a couple of AK's, and its no rumor, they caused a number of malfunctions until removed.

The buffer is not at all necessary. I have a number of AK's and not one shows any sign of the carrier battering or even impacting the receiver.

If there is a rumor, its that they are necessary at all. ;)

PAC 762
February 25, 2007, 05:18 PM
It's unlikely to be the gas system. Check the trigger. A tapco G2 will probably solve your problem.

February 25, 2007, 05:29 PM
It does have a factory installed recoil buffer (, but as that is standard equipment for this model it seems unlikely that it's the source of the problem. The warranty as I understand it would not allow for removing it. I will, however, pursue that angle if clearing everything else doesn't take care of the problem.

It's a new build, so cosmoline was not present. I am going to give it an intense cleaning tonight.

The trigger is a Tapco G2.

At this point I'm still suspecting the gas system but, eventually, we shall see.

Thanks for the replies.

February 25, 2007, 05:41 PM
I'd be willing to bet thats your problem. That appears to be a "Buffer Technologies" buffer, and is exactly the ones I had troubles with. What happens is, they cause the rifle to short stroke, which can cause the rifle to have feeding problems and the hammer not to catch.

Try a mag without the buffer, and see if the problem doesnt go away.

PAC 762
February 25, 2007, 05:58 PM
I still don't think it's the gas system. You'd be amazed at the amount of gunk you can have in the gas tube and still get flawless function.

I agree with AK103K. Lose the buffer. I'd never guess a manufacturer would waste their money installing one.

Prince Yamato
February 25, 2007, 07:41 PM
Oh, I didn't say the rifle "needed" one, I just put one in because it kicks less with one. Incidentally, my AK-74 has a similar problem to the one he describes and it has no buffer installed.

February 25, 2007, 08:20 PM
I have an Armory USA AK that absolutely HATES buffers. Without one, the gun cycles flawlessly and is 100% reliable. I've tried both versions of buffer that BlackJack sells and one by BufferTech and neither one works. I however, do not experience the condition that MMcfpd is describing. The buffers in my gun tend to shorten the cycle time and old brass can't get out of the way fast enough for the new brass (well, it's not really brass but you know what I mean) and everything gets smashed by the bolt. MMcfpd's complaint is that the round is chambered but the bolt hasn't cycled the hammer back. I'd start with disassembly, thorough cleaning, including gas tube, rod, and port, and lube the crap out of everything. Having a little 600-grit sandpaper around for any rough spots in the receiver may not be a bad idea. Try that, and if still doesn't work, then pull the buffer out. They may be nice to have...but there are tens of millions of AK's out there without them.

Prince Yamato
February 26, 2007, 01:26 AM
What I meant was, I'm having the same problem he's having in my 74, but it doesn't have the buffer. I think the sandpaper idea is the best yet. That's essentially what the gunsmith said that they were going to do with my AK (after I'd given it to them, of course, and over the phone). I'm also having them check for a bent piston. The thing is, with the loose tolerances of an AK, a little thing like dirt shouldn't matter. Metal malformation, however, can be a very bad thing.

Edit: looking at the picture of the recoil buffer that was posted. I think some people disconnect the spring from the (don't know the technical term) little metal thing that keeps the receiver cover on. I just spiraled my buffer OVER the spring, to the back, so the spring is not prematurely compressed. The effect is similar and there is a reduction in recoil, but I haven't observed any FTE or FTFs. I think I may have installed my buffer "incorrectly", but the way I installed it, it still functions.

February 26, 2007, 07:49 AM
I've never understood how the buffer was supposed to lessen recoil. If anything, when the carrier impacts the buffer, its taking that force directly to the gun. Without it, the spring absorbs the force and uses it to return the carrier as its supposed to, and the receiver is usually not ever impacted.

The AK wasnt designed to use a buffer, if it was, it would be a standard part of the rifle, which it isnt. I've never seen a "real" AK that had one, and any of the AK's I've peeked into that didnt have a buffer, ever showed signs of the carrier battering the receiver.

As a matter of fact, I dont remember seeing a buffer for the AK's at all much before the late 90's. Thats right around the time the bat wing mag release, and the notched and modified selector levers, and some of the other "dubious" add ons started showing up. You dont suppose its all a marketing ploy, do you? :rolleyes:

February 26, 2007, 08:15 AM
Man are those things FUN! :what: One of the best feelings in the world is the feeling of the AK's recoil pushing against your shoulder (you'll know what i'm talking about when you fire it). Never could hit anything with them though, but that could be cured with more practice.

February 26, 2007, 08:38 AM
Now you have a reason to buy lots of magazines and those cool sardine cans of ammo.
Good luck.

February 26, 2007, 08:42 AM
The problem you have of it stopping ever few rounds might just be a break in period. My wasr 10 took about 50 rounds before itd want to cycle all the time and from then till now never had a problem again 3,000 rounds later. Also dont listen to people about never cleaning it and packing it full of mud. A cleaning right away should also help with the problems, but I think after some more rounds and some cleaning you should have no problems. a bullet proof design. certainly fun to shoot, be sure to stock up on plenty of mags and lots of ammo before the demonazis try to ban them.

Eleven Mike
February 26, 2007, 12:14 PM
The Bad News: Your rifle is obviously not a real Kalashnikov, as we all know they never, ever, ever jam.

The Good News: If this were a real AK, it would make you go out and kill people, so be glad it's not the real thing.

February 26, 2007, 01:27 PM
That's good to know.

I am going to try a thorough servicing and deburring first, along with a little more break-in time. If the problem does not abate, I'll then turn to experimenting with the buffer.

I'll report back. Thanks for all the input.

February 26, 2007, 02:04 PM
What ammo are you using? Some people have reported problems with the Wolf HP and the Military Classic ammo.

February 26, 2007, 04:05 PM
my advise, check and clean the gas piston, tube and such, and get rid og the buffer, i think the main point of the buffer, is to lessen the wear and tear on the weapon more than lessen recoil.

February 26, 2007, 04:32 PM
I have no knowledge as far as how often this occurs on the WASRs, thought it sounds common. However, from a consumer standpoint, my recommendation would be to either go back to the retailer and show them the problem, or call up the importer, who I can guess is Century in this case.

February 26, 2007, 05:00 PM
My brother just bought a WASR a couple days ago... wow is it a blast to shoot! He had a couple problems similar to what you were describing, but when I shot it I had no issues whatsoever... could it possibly be technique in any way? We were at a loss why it never happened when I was shooting.

February 26, 2007, 06:07 PM
just keep runnin rounds through it. also try a different mag. I had a friend who had a mag that was junk and needed to be filed down and bent back a little bit. Ive ran the cheapest ammo I can find anywhere through it and it eats it like candy including wolf,tiger, and anything else I can get a good deal on.

February 26, 2007, 06:12 PM
Ammo was Federal American Eagle 124 gr. FMJ. I've got a case of Wolf 154 gr. steel case that I'll also try on the next outing. The gun is a Lancaster AKM ( with a Global Trades/Armory USA receiver. Outside of the problem discussed, it seems to be a nicely put together piece that shoots well... when it shoots.

February 26, 2007, 06:13 PM
And yeah, I'm looking into another magazine right now.

February 26, 2007, 10:39 PM
MMcfd, you're local to me. If you want to try some different mags or ammo, drop me a PM. I am pretty familiar with AK's and would be happy to look it over for you.

One problem I have seen regularly is the carrier dragging on the hammer, since the G2 has a slightly taller profile than stock. Usually a little filing and polish will take care of it. I am not a fan of buffers, and have seen them cause short stroking before.

And definatley check the gas port; a pipe cleaner works well for that.

Also, in your original post, you say it was failing to cock? Do this function check. Remove mag, and top cover. Cock, and dry fire, and keep the trigger pulled. Now cock again, and look to see if the hammer is caught by the disconnector. If so, release the trigger and the hammer should catch on the trigger. Do this a few times real fast, and note if the hammer follows at any point. If so, some tuning on the trigger is in order.

February 26, 2007, 11:24 PM
Thanks, texlurch! I will try that test tomorrow evening.

Toten Kopf
March 3, 2007, 10:12 AM
Not to add fuel to the fire, but some of the kits that I have built showed heavy impact marks on the rear trunnion from the rear of the bolt head and carrier.

You could easily see the indentations from the rear of the bolt and carrier. I use BlackJack Buffers (green) in all my AK's (factory and builds) and have never had any problems.

As a side note, a seasoned AK builder had the rear rivets begin to shear from bolt/carrier impact. The rivets were faulty (weak/shearing) but it does show that impact does occurr, heavily at times.

As far as the problem that started this thread, I have no clue (without actually seeing it).

March 3, 2007, 08:16 PM
Well, it's now one clean AK. I didn't find much of any deburring to be done; it's an Armory USA receiver and it's pretty clean, as are the parts. It passed the function test suggested by texlurch easily.

So, I'll take it out again in the morning and try again, still, for now, retaining the factory buffer. I do have some Wolf I'll use, as well as a couple of steel mags I picked up at a gun show today.

I'm hoping it's a break-in thing at this point. I have had a couple of other guns change somewhat after they had a few hundred rounds through'em. We'll see.

March 4, 2007, 11:38 AM
After taking my AK out for the first or second time half-way through a mag the trigger froze up, I mean it would not budge, it was stuck in the forward position. Puzzled, I removed the cover and spring and piston assembly and looked down onto the trigger assembly and to my surprise found a small piece of machining metal stuck between the bottom of the receiver and the back of the trigger where it passes through the bottom blocking any and all movement of the trigger rearward. Upon removing the metallic debris this rifle has functioned flawlessly ever since and is just a plain hoot to shoot.
I am a K.I.S.S. type of person and these guns are the epitome of that indeed, along with Glocks. :D

March 4, 2007, 05:44 PM
MMcfpd, what's the verdict?

March 4, 2007, 11:15 PM
This morning I put about 150 rounds through it, and I think the failure to cock problem went away. I did have one odd failure using Remington in the factory magazine - a fresh round chambered, and there was another loose in the gun(?). Other than that, though, it went well. Using Wolf in the factory mag and in the two steel surplus mags I got at a gun show yesterday worked fine, and I tried a mag load of Remington in one of the surplus mags without a problem.

Breaking in, perhaps? Or something wasn't sitting quite right and just stripping and reassembling put it right?

One way or another, I think I'm starting to like this gun.

Prince Yamato
March 4, 2007, 11:55 PM
It's probably just excess bits of metal inside the gun. I couldn't "see" anything inside my ak-74, but after the gunsmith did a quick deburring, everything worked fine. Aparently, the chief fault lay im that little talon like piece of metal that directs ejected brass. The smith said that it was actually cutting into the bullets and holding them in place. He sanded it. Gun works fine. You probably corrected the problem on your own by "sanding" the ejector down by firing enough brass through it.

As far as ammo goes, these guns could fire a turd if it had a primer attached to it. The whole, "it doesn't like wolf ammo... so I fired silver bear through it..." All the Russian ammo comes out of the same factories, they just slap a different animal (or insect in the case of Monarch) on it. I could never tell a damn bit of difference between the ammo when I fired it.

March 5, 2007, 10:36 AM
All the Russian ammo comes out of the same factories, they just slap a different animal (or insect in the case of Monarch) on it. I could never tell a damn bit of difference between the ammo when I fired it.
There is a difference in the ammo, its not all made at the same place. I believe most come from the Russian Cartridge Plants Association-JSC, who are made up of the Barnaul Machine Tool Building Plant, the Novosibirsk Low Voltage Plant, and the Ulyanovsk Machine Tool Plant.

Barnaul is the maker that I've always found to be the most consistent, hotter, and usually the most accurate, especially the SP's. If it says Barnaul on the box, your probably better off. If you can find the old "Barnaul" labeled ammo, even better, as it was always good stuff.

Wolf, is generally not the better of them, although the last lot of 154 grain SP's I got has been very good. In general though, its very inconsistent between lots, and its the only Russian ammo I've shot that has had misfires.

For general short range blasting, as long as you get no misfires, or hang ups with HP, its all good. If you shoot a little farther out, I'd stick with the Barnaul, or try a coule of boxes of the heavier 154 grain Wolf.

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