AK-74 in Indiana Needs Gunsmithing: Any Suggestions or Volunteers?


December 12, 2007, 07:04 AM
I have a WASR-3 5.45x39mm (AK-74) that I got off a guy I know for cheap. I got it cheap because the darned thing doesn't work! It operates in an almost semi-automatic function. Each time you fire, the bolt fails to cycle most of the time. Sometimes it gets hung up half way, and other times it doesn't even try to cycle.

He seems to have welded on (yeah, welded on) a '74 style muzzle brake, so the company won't fix it and he says he never tried to fire it before the brake was added, but I don't think that would upset the functioning. I know nothing about gunsmithing, but this problem seems to be in the receiver. Any suggestions on what I can try and/or anyone in my area (central Indiana) that would be able to fix it?

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December 12, 2007, 09:48 AM
Did he clean it before he shot it? Is the inside gummed up with grease? Is the chamber clean?

December 12, 2007, 11:46 AM
It's clean as can be and the guy was a machinist and even removed all of the burrs inside that he could find and it didn't change a thing.

December 12, 2007, 12:15 PM
I have a WASR-3 5.45x39mm (AK-74) I DO hope you meant to say WASR-2

The WASR-3 uses 5.56x45 (aka .223 Remington)


December 13, 2007, 12:45 AM
YES! I did mean WASR-2, my mistake. Slip of the finger/easy mistake! Apologies.

...gun is still broken, though :neener:

December 26, 2007, 11:46 AM
No takers willing to suggest a competant gunsmith?

December 26, 2007, 11:22 PM
A couple things to try.

First of all, does the bolt carrier slide freely in the receiver even with the bolt removed.

Take the gun apart. Remove the recoil spring and bolt carrier assembly. Take the bolt out. Put the bolt carrier back into place and see that it moves smoothly from full forward to all the way open.

It should move smoothly and with almost zero resistance when being moved front to back. I can tilt my AK down and the bolt carrier will slide forward.

Now put the bolt back into the bolt carrier and try seeing how smoothly it operates by hand.

The bolt carrier should slide smoothly back into place and the bolt should lock up smoothly.

If all that is working fine, then it might be a problem with the gas system. First of all, check to see if the gas block is canted or not by sighting down the barrel and seeing that the front sight/gas block/rear sight block are all lined up properly.

Now check to make sure that the gas port is fully clean. I forgot what some guys use, but the port needs to be clean otherwise if its plugged, it will cause the gun not to cycle. The bullet travels down the barrel building pressure which then vents into the gas port and then pushes teh gas piston back which is then connected to the bolt carrier. If the gas port is plugged, then no pressure to push the gas piston back.

Try to see if those things will help. If it was me, I would first check to see that the bolt carrier slides freely, then check the gas port.

December 27, 2007, 12:01 AM
If the hole is about the same as an SKS, you could borrow a gas port reamer from a buddy with an SKS, or you may be able to use a pipe cleaner soaked in some hoppes #9 or whatever you use to clean your gun with. If its plugged, that should unplug it. After you clean it, I could clean your barrel just in case it was plugged and you pushed some gunk down into it.

December 28, 2007, 11:37 AM
The bolt slides smoothly and the rifle, I am told, never operated correctly. It has had between 30-60 rounds through it and has been cleaned. Still no luck.

It is difficult for me to tell if the gas tube is canted, but I even bought a new tube that fit tighter just to make sure and the problem still exists.

What next?

January 15, 2008, 08:52 PM
Any takers?

January 15, 2008, 09:18 PM
I am no gun smith but i have a SAR-1. I won't take this one unless you pay the FFL fee's, but I will talk if you like.

I am not so sure I understand what you said in post 1.

My take is you fire the gun and the bolt only comes back about half way. Is that correct?

If so then remove the dust cover, the bolt and spring, then flip the lever to realease the upper fore arm, and pull the piston tube off. Stick a pipe cleaner in as far as you can. Then with a light pointing in the bore, and your eye looking in the breech see if you see that pipe cleaner.

1 old 0311
January 15, 2008, 10:01 PM
On the two WASR's I have I pulled/released the op-rod 100-150 times before I shot it. Could be worth a try, something may be binding.
If that doesn't work check one of the AK boards. I don't remember anyone in the Indy area, but there were some AK builders in the Southern part of the state. Good luck.

January 16, 2008, 12:38 PM
Correct, about half way.

I'll pay all FFL fees and and shipping if the repair cost is affordable.

January 16, 2008, 02:27 PM
HMMurdock, Well I will if it comes to that.. Lets first have a look on line.

I don't own a wasr, but do own 2 SAR-1's and a Yugo underfolder. Yes there are slight differences, but no major ones.

One difference is the wasr has no dimples like the SAR does, and has been altered to take a double stack mag, in addition it was butchered by Century or some one like century. That old Amrican /Foreign parts count thing.. May I say grrrrr?

As i sit in NH USA you are just about 1/2 way across the USA from me.. FFL has costs.. is a Royal pain, but we both know that. me: I like stuff free and iof not free cheap, don't you?

SO, do you understand what I asked? If so can you do that?

"remove the dust cover, the bolt and spring, then flip the lever to release the upper fore arm, and pull the piston tube off." "Stick a pipe cleaner in as far as you can. Then with a light pointing in the bore, and your eye looking in the breech see if you see that pipe cleaner."

January 16, 2008, 02:40 PM
Part 2.. I am doing this so as not to confuse issues. I wanted to say the above is test 1.

I suspect other things as well, but I need to know this first, and can step by step, part by part tell you how to take the gun all apart if need be.

I don't think things will get that far.

In the front site base there is a gas vent, which could have anything pipe cleaner sized, to include weld slag seemingly stuck in the vent hole.

And is why I want to know if you can see a pipe cleaner in the hole.

The front site base might not be pinned on straight up, and so could cover a part of the hole and then possibly you will not be able to get a pipe cleaner to pass.

There could be trigger group issues, and if so we can discuss these some too, so long as you can understand anything I say and will state you don't if you don't first.

If you don't understand say so as that is my part of the problem, not stating things the way you understand.

Once we find tools are needed, then we can discuss who will do what. These guns are supposed to be peasant proof, but Century's ideas on what original parts should look like are not what old Kalashnikov had in mind.

January 18, 2008, 07:32 PM
sounds like the hammer is not letting the bolt operate freely. try this...
take off the dust cover, cock the bolt,pull all the way back if it hangs up the hammer needs filed down at an angle where the bolt can ride foward again. now with the cover off and bolt all the way pulled back and stuck, get a round pointed file or anything that will fit in there and push down on the hammer if it releases the bolt, there is your problem. hope this is helpful and i understood your problem. jim

January 18, 2008, 08:07 PM
ragntag , That and a bit more will be part 3. It might be if he dioes as you say, and while still holding the bolt back, that if then he also pulls the trigger the bolt with hang up, leaving the action locked open.

This gun isn't supposed to lock the action open. And yes i am ware some one has jigged a mag addon where the floor plate does indeed lock the bolt open. But is not the issue here.

So you could be very correct. However if the barrel vent is clogged, and or off set with the front site base, so as to close the gas from escaping into the piston and piston tube there is no sence messing with the bolt yet.

In order to help I/we need that pipe cleaner test.

January 19, 2008, 08:31 PM
Have you found any problems?

January 20, 2008, 07:07 PM
I would first point out the fact that having someone send a gun to an individual to be repaired, even if through an FFL, doing a transfer via a 4473, and then reversing the procedure, is tantamount to gunsmithing without a license. Any activity like that is a situation fraught with legal peril, and best avoided if you don't want troubles.

The problem that I saw with your posting about fixing your gun was the fact that you wanted a local 'smith, since if you would've had a friend handy with guns, you would have already talked him into a favor, by now.

If a shooter was wanting a firearm fixed by a gunsmith, like myself, I would not be able to guarantee a level of cost to fix when someone else has been in the mechanism, at least, not until a thorough parts and function perusal was possible. The parts alteration by a well-intentioned but possibly amateur owner (who removes excess material in places best left intact) can create many possibilities that wouldn't become apparent immediately, and certainly don't lend themselves to long-distance diagnosis.

You have had a few suggestions put before you, but how much time do you expect to use and still be nowhere? I can understand someone wanting the possibility of a low-cost or simple fix, but sometimes that just is not the case.

As for myself, I do supply hints for things that may be easily rectified, but just can't afford to run a free on-line gunsmithing school.


January 20, 2008, 07:23 PM
Just for grins what is the fee for a offset front site base, partially blocking the barrel vent?

What is the fee to get a better trigger controll group installed?

There are jobs not even a real smith wants, who does these?

Have you seen the work from Century Arms? Care to comment on that kind of work!? LOL

If you ask me the techs there work for banana's and eat them all!

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