June 4, 2009, 06:27 PM
This is my first custom AK (rifle none the less) and I have no idea how to deal with it.
I don't know how to adjust the irons or railing for sighting, I don't know how to take the handguards off of the railing (for whatever reason), and I'm especially clueless as to how I'm supposed to dissasemble the gun / put it back together for cleaning / maintenence. I'd like to learn how to do these things and understand my weapon before I actually take it to the shooting range.
This stupid bull**** piece of paper that came with the gun is useless. It's like someone typed it up in 5 minutes on Microsoft Word without any regards to letting the customer know which part of this gun is which when they name certain aspects of it (especially the railing). Talk about ambiguous. :cuss:
Can anyone help a fellow gun owner out? I'm sorry if I come across as extremely new (or upset), I'm just used to reading specific manuals for specific firearms as to understanding how to figure them out.
June 4, 2009, 07:34 PM
The first thing you need to do is relax. Firearms in general are relatively simple pieces of equipment and most of them require very little technical skill to operate and maintain. Common sense and the ability to think before you act is all that is required. This is especially true of the Kalashnikov, which is legendary for its simplicity.
The first thing we need to do is familiarize with controls. Here is a pic of my Romanian WASR:
DISCLAIMER: These instructions apply to more traditional AKs. While mine has a rail system in place, it behaves like the standard hand guards in terms of installation and removal. Different rail systems may install and remove differently, but I have no experience with them, so I can't say for certain. If they do, you'll either have to contact the manufacture directly or wait for someone with more experience here.
The safety is the large lever on the right side of the receiver. In Class III weapons, there will be three positions. All the way up is 'safe.' As with all mechanical devices, this can fail. Never rely completely on a safety device. In the 'safe' position, the bolt can still be pulled back far enough to check the chamber to confirm whether or not the rifle is loaded. The next position down on a Class III weapon would be for automatic fire. This position is absent on commercial semi-automatic clones and does not apply to your rifle. Sweeping the safety all the way to the bottom puts the weapon on 'fire.' As a semi-automatic rifle, the weapon will fire one round for every pull of the trigger for as long as there is ammunition in the magazine. The safety must be in the position in order for you to pull the charging handle back far enough to manually eject a chambered round or to chamber a round from a fresh magazine.
The mag release in located centerline under the rifle and in front of the trigger guard. It is the traditional paddle-style. Pushing it forward unlocks the catch at the rear of the magazine and allows the magazine to be removed. The AK uses the rock-and-lock method whereby the magazine must be inserted, bullets on top and facing downrange, so that that the magazine catch at the front of the magazine well catches the front of the magazine. The magazine is then rocked backwards until it locks. This will require some practice to do smoothly, but is simple once you understand what needs to occur.
The charging handle is the protrusion on the right side of the rifle. It is connected directly to the bolt carrier assembly and is reciprocating. This means it moves during operation. The user should take care to avoid contacting the charging handle/bolt carrier mechanism either in person or with surrounding objects (clothing, shooting bench, trees or surrounding cover, ect.) both to avoid malfunctions and personal injury. Having the charging handle thump a carelessly exposed finger in not pleasant. The charging handle can be used as a forward assist, but this is generally discouraged and should be used only in special circumstances, for example, after checking the chamber when the charging handle is not pulled all the way back and may not have enough energy to fully lock, a light forward tap on the charging handle can be used to make sure the bolt is locked. Under no circumstances should this be used to forcefully chamber a round. If a round doesn't chamber correctly during normal operation, it is because something is wrong. The round could be improperly sized, there could be debris in the chamber, or some other mechanical problem that needs addressing. In all cases, forcing a round to chamber can lead to a catastrophic increase in operating pressure that can cause permanent damage to the firearm, the operator, or both. The bolt carrier on the AK does not lock back after the last round has been fired, at least on most traditional AKs. This means that in order to reload, the charging handle must be manipulated after a loaded magazine has been locked into place. To do this, you simply pull the charging handle all the way to the rear and release it. Do not follow it home. Pull it back, and release it.
These are the three basic operating controls on the AK. To field strip the rifle, we must ensure that it is unloaded. With the weapon on 'safe,' the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, and the finger straight along the receiver and out of the trigger guard, remove any magazine that is present in the rifle. Removing the magazine first is imperative with any semi-automatic as it ensures that a round is not chambered during the next step. With the magazine removed, put the rifle on 'fire,' and pull the charging handle fully to the rear. Visually, and if necessarily, tacitly, confirm that the chamber and magazine well are empty. Release the charging handle. The weapon is now clear and can now be safely field stripped.
To do this there is a take-down button located on the rear of the receiver cover above the stock at the back of the rifle. Pushing it in allows the receiver cover to be drawn back and up, off the receiver. This should allow you to see the recoil assembly, which is some manner of shaped wire with a coiled spring around it, and the bolt carrier assembly, which is attached to a large gas piston. Taking care as it is under spring pressure, push the recoil assembly forward so that is clears the notch holding it to the back of the receiver, and draw it straight back towards you until it is free of the bolt carrier mechanism. Then pull the bolt carrier mechanism straight back and fully to the rear, and lift it up, clear of the notches in the rails of the receiver. Turning it upside down exposes the bolt. The bolt can be rotated and pulled free of the bolt carrier. Finally, look on the right side of the rear-sight block. There should be a small lever. This can be rotated clockwise to allow removal of the gas tube. The gas tube is removed once unlocked by pulling straight up on the back and lifting it out of place. This concludes the basic field strip of the Kalashnikov rifle. No further disassembly is typically necessary for general maintenance.
The barrel is best cleaned with a Bore Snake or the cable from an Otis, from breech to muzzle. You can spray the gas port, visible where the forward part of the gas tube connects, and the gas tube itself, with a high quality cleaner/degreaser. Then use your standard bore cleaner to clean the bore. The bolt, bolt carrier, recoil assembly, and gas piston can all be wiped down with a rag with a little bit of bore cleaner on it. The gas piston itself, as well as the face of the bolt, chamber, bore, and the inside of the gas tube should all be clean and dry, with no lubricants applied prior to reassembly. Additionally, care should be taken to avoid getting solvents in the firing pin channel. The most that should be done with the firing pin channel is a quick spray with your cleaner/degreaser. While a light coat of CLP, Hoppes Lubricating Oil, or some other quality lubricant can and should be applied to the exterior of the bolt (except its face, but including the lugs), bolt carrier (expect the gas piston itself), recoil assembly, and the inside of the receiver (once it too has been wiped down), none should be applied to the firing pin channel, chamber, bore, gas piston, gas port, or gas tube. While the AK is generally forgiving, lubricating any of these areas at best is not going to improve function and will make future cleaning, in my experience, a little more tedious. At worst, as with all firearms, lubricating the chamber or bore can result in increased operating pressures and possible damage to the firearm, or at least a decrease in reliability.
Reassembly is done in reverse order. Gas tube first. Replace bolt in bolt carrier mechanism, replace bolt carrier mechanism in receiver, taking care to ensure it is riding freely on both rails, then replace the recoil assembly, keeping positive control of it until the rear of the assembly is locked securely in its notch at the back of the receiver. Replacing the receiver cover can be a little bit tricky at first. Basically, you make sure it's fit securely in the grooves at the front of the cover, then applying constant pressure forward and down until the take-down notch clicks into place in the hole through the rear of the receiver cover and the cover is held in place.
Removing the top hand guard is kind of a PITA. At least with the tools I had on hand, it involved two large pliers and a lot of twisting and cussing. The bottom hand guard has a retaining clip on the forward, right-hand side that IIRC correctly is flipped up, allowing the front metal retaining piece to be slid forward and the hand guard to be removed. I only did either once to install the TDI rail system I have, and have done neither since, as it hasn't proved to be necessary.
Barring reading this whole thing over and over again, you might just want to search 'AK field stripping' on Youtube.
June 4, 2009, 08:06 PM
Heres a decent video showing the takedown process. Hope it helps. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA8qIu72DnM
June 4, 2009, 09:29 PM
I think it would be hard NOT to find less than 5 good AK guides via a simple google search.
here is one from an "AK47 Disassembly" Search:
What rail system do you have and what is it that you need to figure out about it?
June 4, 2009, 09:37 PM
THANK YOU! I appreciate the lengths of time you guys (especially MT) went through to help me with this endeavour. :cool:
What rail system do you have and what is it that you need to figure out about it?
This piece of paper tells me I can adjust the rear sights and rail system (not sure what kind of rail system it is besides picatinny on the receiver) for windage and elevation. As clueless as I am, I had no idea that irons or railing could be adjusted for windage and elevation. I have no idea how to do it.
This is what I get for only knowing sights on shotguns (only thing I'm familiar with)... and that's because they are round beads on the end of the stick... LOL
June 4, 2009, 11:54 PM
Here ya go...video doesn't look too bad, but if your like me you need to mute the sound. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-YvUR8OlzQ My gawd that accent is like using a cheese grater for toilet paper. :D
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