Help, I think I ruined my brand new AK


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krolden
March 9, 2008, 09:25 PM
I am really stressed and all the gun stores are closed on sunday so I hope that perhaps someone can help me...or point me in the right direction. I just bought a brand new SLR-107FR AK-47 and after taking it to the range, I then proceeded to clean it with some type of brake cleaner....well that was when the fun started. I noticead the finish began to flake and I started to freak out. This is my first AK-47 and I ruined it already. Any suggestions on what i should do? Or is this wear normal? Is my AK-47 going to rust through by mid morning tomorrow? Please help, thanks. I included some pics of the damage.

Should I get this refinished stat? Any finish holds up "okay" to break cleaner..or am I just a total idiot. Thanks again.

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nalioth
March 9, 2008, 09:41 PM
It'll take a lot more than brake cleaner to ruin an AK.


They're not meant to be "pretty" guns. It can be easily refinished.

txffl
March 9, 2008, 09:45 PM
I am not sure about your AK, but my AK (from years past) has a painted on finish. Yep, just black paint. Brake cleaner can remove some types of paint, at least it has in my shop.
If it is a 'working gun', dont worry. It will get banged up anyway. Just adds character.
If you want a 'looker', well, sorry then.
AK not ruined. It still go bang. AK still good.
A light coat of oil will prevent any rust for a long time, if you feel the need.

Sorry you already 'marked' your new gun, but it happens to everyone.

Dionysusigma
March 9, 2008, 09:52 PM
Get some oil on it NOW or it will rust. A refinishing will be necessary. :(

"Some type of brake cleaner..." People are going to bash this, but don't let it bother you. Brake cleaner is especially harsh, yes, but (aside from grips or rifle furniture) it shouldn't (repeat: shouldn't) harm a gun in that manner.

Look at it this way:
1) It's not your fault. That finish would've come off easily no matter what was done.
2) Now you can have it refinished in any way you like! :) There's hard chroming, parkerizing, and about a million colors of Duracoat out there that can be applied in solid or patterened for, in any combination.*


*Unless, of course, it was Duracoat on the rifle in the first place. If so, you might wanna switch cleaners to something a little less... aggressive. :uhoh:

krolden
March 9, 2008, 09:54 PM
I was concerned that perhaps the "finish" being eaten away in a few areas would have created rust. I'm not overly concerned with looks, just making sure that rust doesn't turn into an issue. Thanks for the quick replies though.

bensdad
March 9, 2008, 10:01 PM
Bill Heavey once wrote that he should take every new gun he gets and bang it off of a tree in the front yard. He figured it would save him the anguish of every gun's first "ding." You got your first ding. Now, go enjoy the gun. :D

krolden
March 9, 2008, 10:11 PM
Roger that, immediately after messing it up i put some clp on it...then cried....then put some more clp on it. I usually routinely "swap" my pistols/knifes/rifles/shotguns with oil at least once a month (assuming they are not locked up) if they are just "laying around" the house then I usually oil them more often but I live in a extremely dry environment. Thanks for the concern though. It did annoy me that the finish just "melted" away so quickly. I used the same stuff on all my other guns and my mosin nagant...no problems. Its actually a gun cleaner spray thing similiar to a brake cleaner but for guns (got it at the fun store)

Ash
March 9, 2008, 10:14 PM
If worst comes to worst you can refinish with Alumahyde pretty cheaply. But, it's an AK and now is customized!

Ash

paintballdude902
March 9, 2008, 10:18 PM
are u basing gun care off of how a mosin is taken care of?

its a mosin........thats the one thing in this worl that is more god like than chuck norris.........i mean u can run the thing over with and tank and it still shoot ofter u put some new furniture on it

jk


ur ak will be fine and i ahve used brake cleaner on my enfield to clean out some cosmo

MaterDei
March 9, 2008, 10:27 PM
Your AK still looks 10 times better than mine did when it was 'new'. :)

How did it shoot?

Loanshark
March 9, 2008, 11:02 PM
Head up to wally world, and get a couple spray cans of camo paint. Grab a couple leaves from last fall (there are probably a couple in your gutter anyway) Lay the leaves on the gun to creat a pattern and spray away...

MudPuppy
March 9, 2008, 11:07 PM
I saw the title and though you blew it up or something.

If brake cleaner messes up a finish, imo it's not a finish worth getting worked up over anyhow.

Either get a can of BBQ paint and redo it (and redo it again when it needs it) or finish it with some good stuff, like gunkote or alumahyde and be done with it.

W.E.G.
March 9, 2008, 11:21 PM
AK's love the earth.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/rifle%20pics/AK-47/vucijak-usmc-10.jpg

You and yours hasn't had a bad day until your top cover looks like this when they find you.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/rifle%20pics/AK-47/blood1.jpg

birdbustr
March 9, 2008, 11:29 PM
Brake cleaner cleans brakes and brake parts. This is the second post I've seen where someone used a product not made for guns on their guns. Congratulations, Here's your sign.

Some lessons are best learned the hard way. Sorry about your rifle.

Im283
March 9, 2008, 11:33 PM
I don't see a problem here.

takhtakaal
March 10, 2008, 02:27 AM
What nobody has told the OP is that this is an Arsenal rifle, which means that it is built to the highest standards possible for a semiautomatic AK clone sold in the United States, and inexplicably given the worst finish possible.

Basically, these rifles are crap paint over parkerization, if you're lucky, or over bare metal, if you're not. The solution is to bite the bullet and get it refinished, or do it yourself, if you're really handy. You'll have to register to post, but the fellows on the Bulgarian subforum at http://www.theakforum.net/ can set you straight as to what the best options are for a refinish.

General Geoff
March 10, 2008, 02:49 AM
Brake cleaner does a wonderful job at cleaning metal. Bare metal. Anything that was on said metal (be it dirt, grime, powder or copper fouling, paint, bluing, etc..) can and will be stripped off with brake cleaner. Thus you must be very careful with what you spray with the stuff. It also tends to eat plastic of almost any type.

ColinthePilot
March 10, 2008, 02:57 AM
Brake cleaner cleans brakes and brake parts. This is the second post I've seen where someone used a product not made for guns on their guns.

I keep hearing about people using brake cleaner on their guns, with no problems, but still, is it really that tough to get a jar of Hoppes 9? That and Rem Oil are the only things I use to clean my guns. I've seen what brake cleaner does to my auto parts, and thats awesome, but not the thing I want to do to my guns.

aka108
March 10, 2008, 09:34 AM
I've used brake cleaner on blued firearms and wipe them down with RemOil when finished. Don't think I would use brake cleaner on those that come with painted surfaces.

bogie
March 10, 2008, 10:02 AM
Brake cleaner is fine when you want nothing but metal there. And it's the exact same stuff that they sell in the fancy "gun" can for 3-4x the price. Only that has a warning on it that you shouldn't use it on finish, paint or tupperware.

As for the case at hand? It's an AK. It go bang.

BryanP
March 10, 2008, 10:07 AM
For what it's worth, it is my understanding that brake cleaner is essentially the same stuff the put in Gun Scrubber. And yes, it will strip the finish. You'll need to get it re-finished, but other than that I doubt you did any damage.

Bwana John
March 10, 2008, 10:42 AM
Get a coat of Krylon on there and you will be fine.

Sans Authoritas
March 10, 2008, 10:55 AM
W.E.G., there has to be a good (though sad) story behind that.

-Sans Authoritas

ROMAK IV
March 10, 2008, 11:40 AM
Brake cleaner works well on cosmoline, but I have never had a problem with painted surfaces, since most are not painted, they're blued. I do take care to not get it on the wood, as it will east some varnish and even plastic. It is still not soemthing that I use often, and I limit use to inside bare metal parts.

If you do happen to oil the finish, just make sure to use a degreaser/wax remover that doesn't leave a residue, before you paint, as it isn't good to paint over rust OR oil. Ideally, you would remove the stock, and the rest of the finish before painting and use a metal prep, (usually containing phosphoric acid) before painting, but a decent job can be done without doing so. In fact, I would just keep the rifle dry, and wipe with a cleaning solvent before painting rather than to apply oil before repainting. It is just easier.

nalioth
March 10, 2008, 12:17 PM
there has to be a good (though sad) story behind that. You mean something like the Serbo-Croatian war, perhaps?

Quite a few of the Yugo kits came in in similar condition. Century refinishes all their rifles, but individual builders refinish as they please.

CZ223
March 10, 2008, 12:44 PM
Paint it pink!:D

Hokkmike
March 10, 2008, 12:46 PM
I then proceeded to clean it with some type of brake cleaner....

Sorry. Where did you hear to do this? Anyway, your problems are cosmetic at worst. If nothing else, see this is as an opportunity to refinish your AK and make it better than it was. Or, just use it like it is. Kind of like those jeans kids buy with worn knees and holes already in them.

The next time you clean it use CLP, or Hoppes, or Rem Oil......!!!

takhtakaal
March 10, 2008, 12:52 PM
This place does AK refinishing: http://www.salboarms.com/

Their reputation is good.

the naked prophet
March 10, 2008, 12:56 PM
Yep, it's ruined. You should send it directly to me...


Seriously though, take off the rest of the paint, and finish it fairly cheap with DuraCoat. http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu39.htm

Danus ex
March 10, 2008, 01:15 PM
We all know how you feel. Just yesterday I put an arsenal-refinished M38 in a vice to un-cant the front sight and only after I had pounded on it did I realize that I didn't change the vice jaws to something that wasn't steel. I took the barreled action out and found a square of newly scratched off finish right on an obvious part of the receiver. Fun. A while back I made a similar booboo with an almost mint Mexican Mauser. That's life!

Anyhow, don't get pulled into the never brake cleaner/always brake cleaner argument. It's more important that you understand what happened at a simplified level. As was pointed out, your finish appears to be some kind of paint or varnish over some kind of phosphate coating (Parkerizing). Simply put, brake cleaner eats paint, so cleaning your gun with it will mess up that top layer. You'll need to use something else on that particular rifle if you want to keep the original finish. Brake cleaner is fine on non-painted and non-varnished/lacquered/shellacked metal finishes.

Wolfgang2000
March 10, 2008, 04:27 PM
Use cleaners for guns that say "FOR GUNS". Yes gun scrubber is ALMOST the same a brake cleaner. But Gun Scrubber is DESIGNED FOR GUNS. It won't strip the finish of a gun.

I don't understand why we spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a firearm, then want to save a dollar on a can of cleaner. :confused:

But don't feel to bad, I bet it happen to us all, at one time.

I would get a can of high heat flat black paint and "refinish" it.

Bartkowski
March 10, 2008, 04:46 PM
I have never had a problem with brake cleaner or carburetor cleaner when using on firearms. I am very careful so I don't get it one the wood, and plastic on guns that have it. Neither have ever taken off bluing, they do dry the metal out but all you have to do is re oil it. I have seen carburetor cleaner "melt" plastic before and can imagine that it will easily strip paint, but haven't seen it effect bluing.

TexasRifleman
March 10, 2008, 04:47 PM
Sorry. Where did you hear to do this?

Well I use brake cleaner a lot really. It's not ideal for all finishes but some can tolerate it just fine.

The thing is the AK here doesn't really have a "finish" it has a paint job.

It's nothing to worry about, on the cheaper import guns those kinds of finishes are pretty common.

moooose102
March 10, 2008, 04:48 PM
well, for those of you bashing krolden, i guess you have NEVER MADE A MISTAKE! we bow down to you. NO WE DON'T! the guy was genuinely upset, and rightfully so. it may be "only" an ak to some of you, but this guy just spent some of his hard earned coin on a new gun. show a little sympathy! geesh! anyway, i use brake clean on certain parts of my guns, after i strip them. of course they are all blued. as for your ak, if you are handy, i would go ahead and strip it the rest of the way, and get some "KG" GUN KOTE. they make it in about a hundred colors, so you can customize it to your likeing and once it is on and cured, that will be the end of your problems. that stuff is TUFF! but i still wouldn't advise using brake clean on it after you finish it.

Odnar
March 10, 2008, 05:49 PM
Get some Hoppes #9 for next time.

jpwilly
March 10, 2008, 06:11 PM
SOME Brake cleaner is corrosive and containes clorine!

Joe the Redneck
March 10, 2008, 07:57 PM
First, I've used carb cleaner "down the bore", not on the surface, with no problem. By no means does carb cleaner "strip" metal finish.

Second, it did't "eat away" the paint, the paint was bad from the factory. This is totally not a bid deal. Just get the high temp paint and yo are GTG.

Joe

Avenger29
March 10, 2008, 08:16 PM
I'll stick with the non-toxic Hoppes Elite, thank you very much.

I value my health.

woodyjustin42
March 31, 2008, 11:04 PM
Well the guy already said he felt stupid about using brake cleaner, so why does everybody rub it in I guess nobody has ever done something like that. Well at least your gun is still fine and you will probably use rem-oil now. You know I used to use sand for my 240g barrels and worked great(not the bore though) everybody has different methods live and learn.... And oh ya baby wipes with aloe-vera and alcohol etc you name the wipe I used it I even punched the bore on my m-4 with baby wipes.

dawgtraxx
March 31, 2008, 11:07 PM
no prob with the finish, now go set the handguards on fire!!

clange
April 1, 2008, 03:28 AM
What nobody has told the OP is that this is an Arsenal rifle, which means that it is built to the highest standards possible for a semiautomatic AK clone sold in the United States, and inexplicably given the worst finish possible.
Seriously. I don't know how they get away with selling $1000 AKs with crap for a finish, but I guess they're the best game in town for some configurations.

Nickotym
April 1, 2008, 01:58 PM
Use cleaners for guns that say "FOR GUNS". Yes gun scrubber is ALMOST the same a brake cleaner. But Gun Scrubber is DESIGNED FOR GUNS. It won't strip the finish of a gun.

SNIP

I would get a can of high heat flat black paint and "refinish" it.

Does the paint can of high heat flat black paint say "FOR GUNS"? :)

pgeleven
April 1, 2008, 08:35 PM
why on gods green earth would you spend money on a new AK? you can get a used one at almost any discount sports store that sells weapons (dunhams, for michigan) for less than $350. think of it as the previous owner did all the breaking in for you and you get to reap the benefeits with a tuned weapon. then you can beat the crap out of it and ding it up while not feeling too bad. its not going to break on you, and theyre not meant for showroom quality, unless you plan on gold plating the sucker. take it with a grain of salt and appreciate the relability over looks.

Brian Dale
April 1, 2008, 10:36 PM
I use brake cleaner on guns. They're guns, not van Gogh paintings. I keep solvents away from plastics.

It's a rifle, specifically an AK-type rifle. It was invented to go through wars. Protect it from rust and you'll be fine.

Shoot it and enjoy it. :)

Avenger29
April 1, 2008, 11:54 PM
why on gods green earth would you spend money on a new AK? you can get a used one at almost any discount sports store that sells weapons (dunhams, for michigan) for less than $350. think of it as the previous owner did all the breaking in for you and you get to reap the benefeits with a tuned weapon. then you can beat the crap out of it and ding it up while not feeling too bad. its not going to break on you, and theyre not meant for showroom quality, unless you plan on gold plating the sucker. take it with a grain of salt and appreciate the relability over looks.

Because some of us who appreciate high quality appreciate a top-level AK built of the better parts, not a WASR cobbled together by Century's drunken monkey labor force.

That's why some shooters spend money on a pricey AK.

CWL
April 1, 2008, 11:58 PM
My suspicion is that the OP's rifle already had corrosion on the steel and which was hidden by the paint job. The gun was probably not prepped in any way before painting. Cleaning the rifle just knocked the paint off. Nothing to do with whatever cleaner used on it.

I have used brake cleaner on my guns, all of them in fact for at least 15+ years. All my M1911s, glocks, SIG, H&K P7/PSP, P7M8, P7M13, Ruger, Browning, AR15, Shotguns, whatever. One of my shooters is in the $4k range and several more are in the $2K+ ranges. I don't use it on wood and I don't use the types with chlorine in it but that's it.

Brake cleaner is the same stuff as Gunscrubber, they are formulated to remove carbon deposits and oils/grease. What magical ingredients do you think is in Gunscrubber? Go ahead and drink company Kool-aid if you want, guns are made for war, they are made to suck-up anything industrial and work.

teombe
April 2, 2008, 12:13 AM
Hey folks -

Arsenals (pretty much all of the stamped ones) are finished with a terrible spray-on finish. About half are parkerized underneath the paint.

I've literally removed the finish on my SLR-106F with Mpro7 (which is one of the most gentle gun cleaners on the planet).

That's just a fact of life. No, it's not screwed up. Keep it oiled good or send it off for refinishing. End of story.

That said, the arsenal is STILL worth twice the price of a WASR. And - until Saiga starts importing their guns 'un-sporterized', it's just about your only opportunity to get something that good in a box.

Halo
April 2, 2008, 12:34 AM
Anything that will be stripped off by brake cleaner will also be stripped off by that "designed for guns" Gun Scrubber. That's why they've released a whole new "synthetic safe" formula of it. The only mistake the OP made was perhaps not being aware of just how aggressive of a solvent brake cleaner is, and that it should not be used on finishes or plastic. A $7 can of "made for guns" Gun Scrubber would have done the same thing in this case. These aggressive solvents should be relegated to cleaning internal components unless you know for sure that they're safe for the exterior finish and furniture. Glocks, for instance, can be thoroughly hosed with brake cleaner if you so desire.

To OP - don't worry too much. As others have said, if the finish was so crappy that brake cleaner took it off, well, it was going to come off sooner rather than later anyway. It's true that some of these rifles simply have a painted finish. The top cover on one of mine had a scratch that went down to bare metal. BBQ grill paint took it right back to original appearance. :)

goon
April 2, 2008, 12:45 AM
It might rust if you don't keep oil on it, but I've seen guns far more neglected than that that didn't look much worse for the wear.
You didn't ruin it - you just took some finish off.

I agree with the others.
We generally refer to stuff like that as idiot marks for a reason, and some of my guns also have them.

MachIVshooter
April 2, 2008, 01:32 AM
Brake cleaner cleans brakes and brake parts. This is the second post I've seen where someone used a product not made for guns on their guns. Congratulations, Here's your sign.

Not a thing wrong with using brake clean, so long as one understands what parts it can be safely used on. I use brake clean on all my stainless, parkerized, and blued finish guns. I keep it away from polymer or painted guns, and I'm always careful to remove any plastic or wood from the gun before I blast it. Brake clean gets what the Hoppes and toothbrush don't. And it ensures the oil won't be contaminated/thinned by cleaner, as it evaporates very quickly and takes just about any solvent residue with it.

My polymer and painted guns get scrubbed with hoppes and then washed with very hot water and dish soap.

dstorm1911
April 2, 2008, 02:14 AM
its no big deal........ this is a 1964 Romanian non G all original other than the NDS receiver, no refinishing of any type, nothing but war and abuse... and no the receiver is not blued its bare heat treated 4130 steel...... nothing at all was done other than to demill the old receiver stubs and re rivet into the new receiver..... not a single trace of any corrosion.......

http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk268/dstorm1911/64-romanian-1a.jpg

http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk268/dstorm1911/64-rommy-4a.jpg

http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk268/dstorm1911/64-rommy-3a.jpg

no special care needed.....

icebones
April 2, 2008, 06:04 PM
oh well, that how you learn.

i was most likley a cheap powder coat anyway.

now your AK has that rugged battle scared look!

if was me i wouldnt worry about it too much.

pinstripe
April 2, 2008, 07:36 PM
I have never understood the mentality of some folks. You buy an ak47 and then treat it as if its a Weatherby. It is a cheap rifle at best. I take mine 4 wheeling, strapped to the back rack and usually covered in mud. I rinse it off in a creek before putting it into the cab of the truck. It is what it is. I am not judging you, or anybody else, but what is the real concern? Is it that you paid too much for the weapon, or that you wanted a showpiece? Take it out and shot it until it begins smoking, then lay it in the dirt to cool off. This is why the thing was invented in the first place. No worrying, just have fun shooting the finish off of it.:D

Arbor
April 2, 2008, 09:16 PM
OP said:
Its actually a gun cleaner spray thing similiar to a brake cleaner but for guns (got it at the fun store)

Can't any of you read? He didn't use brake cleaner, he used gun cleaner...same thing. But why are half of you telling him he should have used something designed for guns when he did?

plexreticle
April 2, 2008, 09:29 PM
The finish underneath is probably nicer looking than the paint job.

I would strip it and take a look. If it's crappy them repaint it the color you like.

I was thinking of painting my AK with a can gold spraypaint for the lulz.

Fixxxer
April 2, 2008, 09:32 PM
Just use some Krylon Camo Paint, works great.

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