quick lesson on AK clean-up and lube?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by pro2am, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    How do you get rid of this heavy cosmoline-like stuff that is in the nooks and crannies of an AK? Most of the gun is really clean, but the magazine and parts of the bolt carrier aren't as much.

    While I'm here...should the plunger end of the bolt carrier be lubed, or dry?

    I'll go check AKForums in the mean time too.
     
  2. Jmark

    Jmark Active Member

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    I know a lot of people will put parts like that in the oven on a low temp and the cosmo will run off. Just make sure it you have something to catch the drippings. Personally I just use brake cleaner. I have heard gasoline works decently too.

    As far as the plunger goes just leave it dry.

    ETA: You can get a lot out by shooting it till it gets hot. :shattered:
     

  3. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    Before I got all the cosmoline off, it would jam every other round. Four cans of brake cleaner later, haven't had any problems with it. Well, I've had a couple, but that was due to a dented case. Do you have wood furniture? If you do (like mine), remove it first. The upper handguard wood is kinda difficult, but the other two pieces aren't bad. While those were off, I put some furniture polish on them. Yes, it's a 50 round magazine. 8)

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Jmark

    Jmark Active Member

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    Wow, that 50 looks a bit goofy. :p

    That and too expensive to use much.

    Have you had any problems with that clear Pro Mag? I have only used the one I picked up once.

    ETA: AK pron.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    No problems at all. I have 5 pro mags and 3 steel (1 50 round, and 2 30 round). I actually had more problems with the steel ones at first. I thought it was the magazines until I cleaned out all the cosmoline. I haven't used the 50 yet. Just picked it up at the show in Savannah the other weekend. It isn't even loaded. I just loaded up some stripper clips. I'm sure I'll use it at the next range trip. It probably would get in the way unless you were standing up.

    Here's a good site (forgot to include it on my other post):

    http://www.gunsnet.net/Linx310/index.shtml

    I have a couple other AK links if anyone's interested.
     
  6. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    Thanks for the great info. I read about the brake cleaner too and will give that a try.

    The furniture is black plastic...its a Century Yugo underfolder. Most of it is really clean, but some of the original Yugo parts have that cosmoline type stuff on it.
     
  7. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    I was told to use a bucket of brake cleaner and soak the gun in it. However, I just bought an empty bucket and 4 cans of spray brake cleaner and that worked fine for me. After I shoot it, I'll usually wipe it down a little (the gas piston gets dirty quick with Wolf ammo). No detail cleaning like I do for the G23, though.
     
  8. Tinkerhell

    Tinkerhell Active Member

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    PTSMITHS link above is the best site I've found for any AK stuff. I've looked at lots & that one is the most user friendly and accurate.

    I just got my ak about 3 weeks ago, I've removed the furniture, stripped it, re-stained & put on 3 coats of polyurethane. The old wood was not very attractive and was rough. Now it's great. With the above site doing all of that was a piece of cake.

    Gizmo & I both got our guns at the same show & the fellow running the NRA booth beside us told us a little trade secret. Just take the whole thing to an auto shop & ask them to wash it (or let you do it) in their parts bath. Most shops have a big barrel of mineral spirits to clean parts in. At least field strip it & then dunk the rifle (the whole thing, wood & all) in that & take along a small brush to get inside the receiver. Melts the cosmo off like it was nothing. I didn't go to a parts store but I did get a couple pints of mineral spirits & made my own bath. Worked like a charm. No baking or any of that crazy stuff. I also totally striped it down since I was already planning to refinish the wood. That made it a bit easier to get a brush in all the little nooks & crannies.

    As far as lube goes, just oil everything & if you want you can grease the entire bottom side of the bolt carrier & the rails it slides on.

    Here are a few other items that I have come across that people claim to have done. I like my AK a bit more than these and until I find myself stuck in a 3rd world country & my AK in desperate need of cleaning I'll skip these.


    1)Field strip, run the water hose through it, dry in sun, squirt with motor oil, reassemble.

    2)Field strip, put in dishwasher, run cycle, dry in over at 250 degrees (without stocks of course), squirt with motor oil, reassemble.

    3)Hose down the whole thing with the local car wash pressure washer. Stick on radio antenna to dry while driving home. Dip in motor oil. Store.
     
  9. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    I would really like to see this on someone's antenna.

    I also think that I like mine enough that I'll baby it a bit before running the hose through it.
     
  10. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    Tink,

    The first thing I was told was the mineral spirits thing. I was in Florida and I didn't want to just show up at Pep Boys with an AK asking to clean it. :lol: However, I didn't think about buying my own.

    --------------------------------

    I didn't use much lube. Just mainly around the bolt and where it slides against the bolt carrier. Also on the rail contact points for the bolt carrier. I think any lube on the piston will turn into more crap to clean after a few rounds.

    If you do remove the furniture, the hardest thing to me was the upper hand guard. Maybe it had something to do with it being wood...not sure. I just used an old rag and some regular furniture polish.

    You can see the end result in the picture (which I took last night), but I cleaned and polished it back later in June. The only thing it's gotten since is a couple light cleanings.
     
  11. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    That wood sure does look good.

    I used brake cleaner on some parts. I used gasoline on one of the magazines, along with a brush, with a quick rinse with brake cleaner when I was done with it. It's clean now.

    I'll probably put some lube on the bolt carrier where it slides, but I'll keep the piston clean, I agree that it'll probably end up dirty quickly.

    Bear with me on two more questions.

    Is Wolf and Golden Tiger ammo really non-corrosive (like it says)?

    Should I bother to clean the gas port as it comes out of the front of the barrel for the return trip to the piston?

    Thanks.
     
  12. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    Wolf and Golden Tiger are non-corrosive. I don't think 7.62x39 ammo is commonly corrosive (don't quote me on that, though).

    All I do is clean the barrel and the part where the piston goes into (not sure of the name; Do you know where I'm talking about). That was enough. Hopefully it'll shoot better at the range next trip.

    Do you need help with anything else? :)
     
  13. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    No, I'm good for now.

    Thanks for all the good information. :)
     
  14. zookeper

    zookeper Active Member

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    good timing on this thread, i picked up a yugo underfolder myself today in gainesville. am getting familiar with mine also, hope to break it and my gold membership in sometime this week.
     
  15. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    :righton: Awesome. Let us know how it goes. I personally like the wood buttstock better, but I'll consider getting either a side or under folder in the future. Gotta finance the new toy first. 8)
     
  16. jp233

    jp233 hu huh, you said "Member"

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    you have to clean an AK ??????

    Boy, is that news to me :shock: 8)

    The plunger thingy on the front of the bolt carrier to which you are referring is the gas piston. DO NOT lube that up at all.... petroleum-based stuff can catch fire from the hot gasses.

    Agreed that cosmo needs to be cleaned out, mineral spirits or steam/hot water works great. Brake cleaner is cheap, though.

    But after you get it clean for the first time, just lube the rails a tiny bit and that's it.... AK's dont need to be meticulously cleaned religiously like some other semi-auto rifle I know of...
     
  17. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    That's what I mean. I just wipe down the piston, bolt, and bolt carrier a little bit. G23 and 10/22 and my soon-to-be AR get/will get much better treatment.
     
  18. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    You gotta admit, there is a definite cool factor 8) to an underfolder though.
     
  19. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    I've just never been a fan. I can see the usefulness of it, but I just don't like it as much as the wood.
     
  20. maggie

    maggie New Member

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    I like Big Lot's starting fluid, $1.49, carry to range too, for spot cleaning of gas port. Make sure it's dried out B-4, you re-fire, flames and all that stuff.