HOW TO CLEAN YOUR AK-47
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So you just got your first AK-47 RIfle, congratulations and let me humbly welcome you to the club. You now have one of the most simple and effective tools of self-protection out there. Many battles have been fought with the AK rifle by many different groups; They are built tough and will work under just about any condition. In this post, we will help you understand how to properly clean/maintain your AK-47 after putting some 7.62x39mm rounds through it and show you what products we like to use to accomplish this task. GUN CLEANING KITS AND TOOLS As I said in the AR cleaning tutorial, you can use some spit, a dirty rag, and some elbow grease, however, there are great gun cleaning kits and gun cleaning tools out there that will make this much easier. Here is a list we recommend. Hoppes Universal Cleaning Kit These basic universal kits are my go-to when starting out. They come with Hoppes 9 which is the best cleaning solvent around plus some jags and patches. Everything you need to get started. Hoppes Premium Kit This kit has all of the added brushes and jags though I usually pick up separately, all in one box. Donít forget to pick up some Hoppes 9 separately. CLP Goes after cleaning oil. Used by many and works great. WHAT IS CORROSIVE AMMO? Some combloc ammo used corrosive primers. Iíll expand on what that means below but the simple takeaway is, if you shoot old corrosive ammo youíll need to do some extra maintenance before you put your rifle away. The quickest fix is to hose your chamber, bolt, carrier, piston, gas tube, front brake, and gas block down in the sink with hot water before cleaning. That will wash the salts out and keep the gun from rusting. But first, letís go over what corrosive ammo is. The corrosive part of the ammo is in the priming compound in the primer. Old day ammo used potassium chlorate or sodium perchlorate in the priming compound, which when ignited and burned, turns into potassium chloride and sodium chloride. These salts get deposited anywhere carbon does and are hydroscopic, which means they attract water. Salt and water sit against the steel and can rust it to the point of pitting damage to your nice rifle. Corrosive ammo used to be dirt cheap which is why a lot of people shot it. If you get an old spam can, assume itís all corrosive and clean your rifle accordingly. FIELD STRIPPING YOUR AK-47 Once you have your tools ready to go, youíll need to disassemble your AK-47. As I said above, these are simple machines so simple instructions will work best here. 1.) Make sure your weapon is clear and that you donít have any mags or ammo sitting around. Putting a hole in your favorite tv is a bummer and the least bad thing that would happen with a negligent discharge. 2.) If you are running a side-mounted optic, youíll need to remove that first. 3.) Remove the top cover by pressing the rear button in and pull up. 4.) Push the recoil spring forward and pull it up and out of the carrier. 5.) With safety in the fire position, pull your bolt carrier backwards and lift it out of the receiver. Go straight up, donít try to twist it. 6.) With your bolt facing up and your carrier facing forward, rotate your bolt counterclockwise until itís out of the carrier groove and pull it forward to remove it. 7.) Use the rail groove in the side of the carrier to rotate the gas tube retainer up. You can use pliers here if youíre American, but if you squat and wear tracksuits, youíll use the carrier. 8.) Remove your upper handguard and gas tube. 9.) If your rifle has a front brake, press in the detent and remove it. Remember, most AK-47s use a left-hand thread. Congratulations, your AK is officially ready for cleaning! CLEANING YOUR AK-47 Wet a patch in some solvent and run it down the bore then set the rifle aside so the solvent can do its job. Wet another patch and clean all of the carbon-fouled surfaces on the bolt, carrier, inside of the dust cover, and piston. Wipe dry with a rag. Clean carbon from around the fire control group. Itís an AK so it doesnít need the white glove treatment. Run some patches down the bore until they come out mostly clean. Once done, run a dry patch and call it good. OILING AND LUBRICATING YOUR AK-47 The great thing about an AK is that it will run, we live in a 1st world nation however so why would we abuse our guns. Oil the rail slots on the carrier. Lightly oil the bolt but leave the bolt face clean and dry. Oil the pins on the fire control and add some oil to the front of the hammer and the hook on the trigger. REASSEMBLY Letís work backward when putting the rifle back together: Screw your muzzle brake back on first. Put your gas tube back on and use the carrier to turn the gas tube lock back down. Remember to wear your Adidas while doing this. Put your bolt back into the carrier. Slide it in from the front of the carrier, rotate clockwise then pull forward to make sure the bolt is in the carrier groove. Make sure your hammer is cocked back before continuing Put the bolt and carrier back into the gun. Push straight down on the carrier at the rear of the rails where the notch is, then slide the bolt and carrier home. Put the recoil spring and guide into the back of the carrier, then push it forward slightly and fit it into the slot on the rear trunnion. Put the front of the top cover into the groove on the rear sight block then pop it down over the recoil spring retainer. Some firm persuasion with the butt of your hand works well here. Safety off, rack the carrier back, and dry fire to function test. Rack the carrier again, put the safety on, and test to make sure you donít get a click. Thatís pretty much it folks! Again, AK-47s are very simple machines. They have few field-strippable parts and are easy to clean. I usually tell folks to keep their life and liberty guns clean because you never know when youíll need it, but with a well-built AK-47, skipping a cleaning every now and then wonít hurt it a whole lot, in fact, I think mine likes a little bit of the filth. Overall, take care of it and it will take care of you.