Fixing The AK

Working on and improving a Century Arms Kalashnikov-type 5.56mm rifle. Here’s how to fix common AK problems.

by RK Campbell

Over the years I have used quite a few AK-47/AKM and AK-74 rifles and their variants. I find Kalashnikov-type rifles to be serviceable and reliable, though not as well refined as AR-15 rifles. Having spent some time shooting and working on them I know those believing the AK doesn’t jam or give problems have attended a different church than I. Just the same, the rifle is useful and seldom gives trouble. It has a deserved reputation for reliability but isn’t perfect.

I am going to cover a specific fix for the AK rifle, but let’s go over basic field strip and maintenance first. The AK-47 rifle is a model of reliability, ruggedness and hardy combat ability but it also needs proper maintenance and lubrication. Just enough disassembly to clean and lubricate parts is enough. The receiver is three-sided stamped sheet metal. The rear trunnion and forward barrel trunnion are secured by rivets. Bolt rails are welded in place on the interior of the receiver. The receiver is rigid and strong and the barrel is a hard press fit tied in with a pin. The AK-47 is a model of reliability but I have seen plenty of problematic rifles. Poor maintenance and haphazard manufacture lead to problems.

Read more in the February 2017 issue.

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