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Suggestions to fix a VERY stiff AK47 mag release lever

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by leadcounsel, Aug 5, 2012.

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  1. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    Jun 5, 2006
    Tacoma, WA
    My WASR has an incredibly stiff mag release, but it's not every time. When it acts up it is ONLY with a magazine in the well. And not all mags fit it, just some.

    So using a mag that does fit it, the first time it will release without a problem. Then the next time I literally don't have the thumb strength to push the lever forward and need to hit it with the other mag.

    This is not after firing it or any other changes. Just practicing mag changes.

    Suggestions on:
    1) Correcting the stiffness of the release
    2) Shaving it a little to allow all mags to fit? Or would that create too much wobble for other mags? How do I fix it so all mags will fit?
  2. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Member

    Jul 6, 2012
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    If the magazine release works freely and with some mags just fine I doubt the issue is the magazine release. The problem is that all magazines are not created equally. A difference of a few thousandths of an inch can be the difference between a magazine that will or will not release. My guess is the mags and not the rifle but I could be wrong.

  3. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

    Jun 12, 2005
    Phoenix Az
    My first WASR I bought 11 years ago when I turned 18 had some burrs on the mag well which caused the mags to sit in weird. Some worked fine but some had the same problems you described. Luckily my friends father is a master machinist and he was able to. Lean up the mag well for me.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  4. AK103K

    AK103K Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    The mag release is a stamping, and usually has sharp edges from the manufacturing process. Those edges often grab the tail of the mag making it hard to release. If you take a small jewelers file, and lightly break the edges where they contact the mag, it should release much easier and smoother. You dont want to take off much, just lightly bevel the edges.

    Another spot that usually benefits from a little filing, is the little tit on the back of the selector lever. Its the part that makes the "arc" you see in the finish. That little tit usually has a spot that it rests in on the receiver (sometimes its just the fold at the top) when on "safe", that causes the selector to be hard to take off safe. If you take the point off it, and break the edge on the receiver where it rests, it will make the lever a lot smoother to operate.
  5. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Dec 6, 2010
    LeadCouncil - this is NOT an uncommon problem.

    The issue is either A) the lever HOLE was drilled in the wrong spot, or B) the lever itself is slightly too long.

    VERY carefully, and slowly, grind a TINY bit off the top of it with a dremel until it releases fine.

    I had to do this with 20+ Yugo M72AB underfolders of late Century Arms production because their drill press jig was out of whack on the assembly line.

    Easy fix, just don't take off "too much"! go a little tiny bit, test fit, do a little more, test fit, etc.

    EDIT: Worst case I ever saw the magazine (ANY MAGAZINE) would NOT EVEN SEAT. How that crap passed Century International's inspection I can't even fathom. I had to remove .008" of metal on that one, JUST to get a mag to seat..
  6. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

    Dec 28, 2010
    In soviet russia, mag release fixes you! (so practice mag changes till your thumb gets stronger and you mag release breaks in)
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