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Picked up my AK, pictures and questions.
#1
After four months of waiting and putting some money down on it I finally got my AK-47 (WASR-10). My birthday rolled around and gave me the last bit of cash needed to pick it up. Here it is:

[Image: photobucket-66891-1351341106541.jpg]

I took a few vacation days for my birthday as to get some range time with my AK but the storm ruined my range trip so I will be taking the time trying my best to clean it up. This is my first time handing an AK and after years of handling AR style rifles (22 LR and 5.56) it's quite a different experience. I have to say first off the ergonomics aren't anywhere near the AR's I have handled. I can get the magazines in fairly quick but it takes slightly longer than the AR since the AK doesn't have a mag well. The safety is the major peeve I have with this rifle. With my AR's it just takes a gentle push of my finger, with the AK I have to put a lot of effort into moving it from safe to fire. I learned that by pulling outwards on the safety it takes a lot less effort to move the selector but again it takes slightly longer than with my AR's. The sights are another area where the AK doesn't compare, they're crude and small compared to my AR's. Don't get me wrong they work but that's it. I plan on taking advantage of the side mounted optics rail on my WASR and purchasing a cheap but durable Russian optic soon to fix the shortcomings. I did my research and found great things written about the PK-A Venezuelan and PK-01V optic. Under $400 to boot. The other thing is the break down. Taking the AK apart in general isn't too bad but the last step, putting the dust cover back on turned out to be a bitch. I had to play around with it for 15 minutes before I got it. I had to tilt the back of it somewhat to the right while smacking it down with the other hand to get a solid lock. Lastly the fit and finish of this rifle is just ok. I know this is only a $500 rifle but my M&P 15-22 (Which was $490) feels more solid than this rifle. Sure the WASR weighs more but it feels a bit lose, not like the furniture is going to fall off but the tightness of the AR isn't there.

Now before the fanboys come in here busting on my ass I know what I was getting into before I purchased the rifle, I just chose to mention those things since they stuck out like sore thumbs. I bought the AK because just like my Colt 6920 I know it's a fun yet trustworthy rifle that is battle proven. In time I am sure it can be mastered and the minor shortcomings can be fixed or adapted to. With that said let me get onto the questions. Other than the ergonomics first thing I noticed about this rifle was how greasy it felt out of the box. The packing foam had this yellow film on it where the rifle sat. I asked the guy at the counter if the rifle was packed in Cosmoline, his answer was yes. Playing with the bolt the fire pin was floating around freely and the action as I cycled it manually felt quite smooth. Looking over the inside and outside of the rifle I couldn't find clumps of Cosmoline like some surplus guns have but I would like to remove any that's left so it's clean and doesn't bleed all over me as I fire it. I heard using heat works but it usually requires time and a hot attic/car. Since I want it done fast what are my other options? I heard Simple Green works well, is soaking the whole rifle in the stuff wise? I want to get the Cosmoline out of the furniture especially since I plan on performing the Rit Dye finish over the winter.

The second thing I wanted to discuss was the magazines I purchased, I purchased 10 surplus magazines from Apex Arms. The total cost was $115 and I saved a decent amount over brand new magazines. The catch was they're not new. They have minor dings and some rust. I have two brand new, steel magazines that came with the AK for when I show it off so the rust really doesn't concern me as long as these magazines are reliable. Take a look at what I am talking about:

[Image: photobucket-67959-1351341207938.jpg]

[Image: photobucket-30923-1351341186529.jpg]

[Image: photobucket-48872-1351341287677.jpg]

[Image: photobucket-37481-1351341303848.jpg]

[Image: photobucket-55447-1351341316614.jpg]

The ones I received had only very minor to no dings. However, 9 out of 10 of them have minor to moderate surface rust while one has a small hole in it near the bottom from rust. So what should I do to make sure they're ready to go? I assume a disassembly is called for. How should I clean them? Again I am thinking soaking the whole thing in Simple Green. It would be nice to also clean up the rust if possible. How would I go about removing the surface rust and protect the de-rusted areas? Maybe re-bluing them or some Rust-Oleum? Did I mention these magazines are beefy? I am sure they would make excellent blunt force weapons.

While looking this rifle over I noticed it lacked the cleaning rod/kit so I would like to purchase a cleaning rod and buttstock cleaning kit, so where can I find one? The last thing I was thinking of purchasing is a recoil pad. I am still getting used to keeping my AR on target shot after shot, these are my first centerfired rifles and I just purchased them this year so I am still acclimating myself to the recoil. I know this rifle is going to have more recoil and I am thinking a good recoil pad that slips onto the buttstock is called for to help with it. Suggestions?

That's about it at the moment. Any other suggestions or general advice on the AK is welcomed too as I have no experience with the platform. In closing all I have to say is the rifle is lighter than expected, the magazines are heavier/tougher than first thought, the magazine well on this WASR doesn't have much play in it (Which pleases me) and the front sight post is slightly canted to the left. I can line up the front and rear sights so it isn't too bad. So I leave with some more photo's of the rifle:

[Image: photobucket-50218-1351341127804.jpg]

[Image: photobucket-6412-1351341147206.jpg]

[Image: photobucket-36561-1351462510516.jpg]

1973 manufacture I assume?

[Image: photobucket-59685-1351341359307.jpg]

Best shot of the front sight post and cant I could take.

[Image: photobucket-52430-1351341333040.jpg]

[Image: photobucket-31025-1351341343845.jpg]

My 700 round tin of 124 Grain Wolf ammo, purchased for $175 with shipping.
[Image: 23lmtsn.jpg]
LifeInPa, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
Sanity, yours if you can keep it. Confused
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#2
From what it appears in the photo, it just looks like the front sight post needs to be pushed back to the left. I don't think it is canted. This usually occurs in the rear sight block. A simple AK sight pusher will fix your problem. I have one, depending on how close you are.

The rust on the magazines shouldn't affect the functionality if they are on the outside. If you are going for looks, some steel wool and a new finish should take care of that.

A quick search for a cleaning rod brought up a whole bunch of options. Just find the best price. May even be able to pick one up at a gun show.


Other than that, fine looking rifle. I'm a big fan of AK's.



GB
[Image: IMG_6916_zpsfa73efcb.jpg]


Certified Range Safety Officer. Proud member of the NRA, GOA and GSSF. PA2A since Sep 2012.
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#3
Don't worry about it feeling a bit flimsy. It's a stamped sheet metal receiver. But remember, AKs are legendary for taking massive amounts of abuse and neglect without failing. The magazines may be a bit on the ugly side but the feed lips look to be in good shape and that's the most important part. If you're looking for an optic and want to get something reliable but inexpensive, check Aim Surplus. They have a Vortex Strikefire red dot with a side rail mount for $259. The mount is low enough that it will cowitness with the iron sights.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#4
GreenBlood10;31406 Wrote:From what it appears in the photo, it just looks like the front sight post needs to be pushed back to the left. I don't think it is canted. This usually occurs in the rear sight block. A simple AK sight pusher will fix your problem. I have one, depending on how close you are.

The rust on the magazines shouldn't affect the functionality if they are on the outside. If you are going for looks, some steel wool and a new finish should take care of that.

A quick search for a cleaning rod brought up a whole bunch of options. Just find the best price. May even be able to pick one up at a gun show.


Other than that, fine looking rifle. I'm a big fan of AK's.



GB

The store I brought the rifle from told me about the tool but after asking him about the front sight post he personally felt it should be fine. I am afraid of screwing up the zero of the rifle so I opted against purchasing this tool. Hopefully when I get to the range it will hit where I am aiming.

About the magazines what would you recommend for a finish? I would prefer just doing a touch up on the rusted spots but with something that blends with the existing finish. Thanks for the advice, it's appreciated. Smile
[Image: 23lmtsn.jpg]
LifeInPa, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
Sanity, yours if you can keep it. Confused
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#5
They're AK mags. Hit them with some steel wool then a can of krylon.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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#6
Warpt762x39;31420 Wrote:They're AK mags. Hit them with some steel wool then a can of krylon.

^That will work. Im a big fan of DuraCoat DuraBake. Just steel wool them, spray them and bake them in the kitchen oven. The small can should do 10 mags. I use this stuff all the time and the end product looks great. A complete amateur can make these come out beautifully.

http://www.houtsenterprises.net/dur_bake.html

(Use Matte Black)

GB
[Image: IMG_6916_zpsfa73efcb.jpg]


Certified Range Safety Officer. Proud member of the NRA, GOA and GSSF. PA2A since Sep 2012.
Give me a follow @MikeCo88
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#7
Warpt762x39;31417 Wrote:Don't worry about it feeling a bit flimsy. It's a stamped sheet metal receiver. But remember, AKs are legendary for taking massive amounts of abuse and neglect without failing. The magazines may be a bit on the ugly side but the feed lips look to be in good shape and that's the most important part. If you're looking for an optic and want to get something reliable but inexpensive, check Aim Surplus. They have a Vortex Strikefire red dot with a side rail mount for $259. The mount is low enough that it will cowitness with the iron sights.

I agree, the feed lips seem to be in good shape. As for the optic I wanted something that was tested in battle and has a reputation for surviving it. The commercial optics are untested and I don't want them to become a weak point on the rifle so I looked at some com-block optics. The issue with them is poorer battery life than high end American optics (Which I would purchase for my Colt in a heartbeat but not a cheap AK), more bulk/weight and in many cases a weird cheek weld. However with some digging on AK rifle forums I came across these optic options:

Venezuelan PK-A


[Image: PK-A_Venez_SGL31_Left02.JPG]

[Image: PK-A_Venez_SGL31_LeftClose01.JPG]

[Image: PK-A_Venez_SGL31_LeftClose02.JPG]

[Image: PK-A_Venez_SGL31_RightClose03.JPG]

PK01-V

[Image: PK01-V_SGL31Left01.jpg]

[Image: PK01-V_SGL31LeftClose01.jpg]

[Image: PK01-V_SGL31Right01.jpg]

I discussed the topic here in great detail: Side rail mounted optics for a WASR-10

Warpt762x39;31420 Wrote:They're AK mags. Hit them with some steel wool then a can of krylon.

On the steel wool part do I have to scrub all the finish off or just hit the area with rust and spray the whole magazine including the area with existing finish?

GreenBlood10;31425 Wrote:
Warpt762x39;31420 Wrote:They're AK mags. Hit them with some steel wool then a can of krylon.

^That will work. Im a big fan of DuraCoat DuraBake. Just steel wool them, spray them and bake them in the kitchen oven. The small can should do 10 mags. I use this stuff all the time and the end product looks great. A complete amateur can make these come out beautifully.

http://www.houtsenterprises.net/dur_bake.html

(Use Matte Black)

GB

I like the idea of baking on the finish but is that safe to do in my oven at home? I don't want to poison myself, especially since our meals are cooked in there. Confused
[Image: 23lmtsn.jpg]
LifeInPa, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
Sanity, yours if you can keep it. Confused
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#8
Your comments about the loud & stiff safety are common remarks from experienced AK users.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Take it to the range & fire it. A lot. If it hits pretty much where the sights indicate and no jams, you have a good one.

The mags are well used, but appear serviceable. You can always steel wool the rust off. I'd test the at the range first. Here's one of your images (below). In this pic, I'd look over the mag on the far left carefully:

[Image: photobucket-67959-1351341207938.jpg]

Those ribs were pressed in the magazine's side for strength & rigidity. Something smash-i-gated it enough to flatted those ribs. With this much deformation, I'd pop the floorplate & spring out, and verify the follower runs up & down freely. If free, try using it.

BTW, those mags came from Eastern Europe. I can't tell for certain which.

The front sight slide transverse as a windage adjustment, it requires a clamp-type tool to move it. Usually the tool's shaft has a slot cut for raising/lowering the front sight (elevation adjustment).

This is the tool that's been around for decades:

[Image: p_100003415_1.jpg]

(link to source)
This one is newer:
[Image: p_100005933_1.jpg]
(link to source)
Subject matter expert on questions no one's asking.
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#9
Ah, the good ole WASR. Congrats. Every gun guy should have one, hell, everyone should have one (or at least an AK of sorts)

Q&A time. As was mentioned about the sight, looks like it just needs pushed left. Shoot it first though before you go moving it around, it may be on. Off center posts are common with AKs'. Not pretty but it works. If you wanna hack up your new $500 piece of hardware, take a thin file and open up the rear notch a bit. It will greatly aid in your sight picture, picking them up and getting them aligned quicker.

Optic- Shoot your irons for a bit and get acquainted with them. Then go optic if you want. You already know my take on the Russian opticsWink

The mags- mark them with tape, 1/2/3/etc. on the floorplates. Then you can keep track of them. Make sure they feed reliably, chuck the ones that dont. Mags are cheap and expendable. You can get rebuild kits (follower, floor plate, spring) too. A few of those you got dont even look like theyre worth it though. Looks like one of 'em even has a few small holes.

Safety- they are stiff for sure. Take a flathead wrapped in a silicone cloth (doesnt have to be, just get some protection on the blade of the screwdriver so you dont mark up your receiver) and pry outwards. Pretty simple. Dont get all Hulk on it. Pry a little, check it, pry a little more until desired results are achieved.

The cleaning rod and buttstock cleaning kit are nice to have and you should be able to find them both for under $15.

Recoil pad- get tougher

Get one of these- http://www.midwayusa.com/product/3002124...andPopProd . Best $30 you'll spend on yer AK. I promise.

This DVD by Gabe and Jim Fuller of Rifle Dynamics is pretty good too and for $13, why not?

[Image: 0AE4F8C8-0D10-45E0-9F4C-5275BD789765-153...65B919.jpg]
Can be found here- http://www.onesourcetactical.com/kalashn...I3S27e9LTp
and to the dust you shall return
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#10
Some 0000 steel wool and WD 40 should take care of the rust.

I just had to go do that tonight with my pistol magazine stash. I left them in the garage of my old place, and the heat and humidity there winged some of the blued ones.

Note to self..never ever buy blue steel mags EVER.

Junk came off and looks pretty good.

Now off to CDNN next week to get more pistol magazines. The ones for my S&W 910 and the Mec Gar's for my Hi Power took the worst of the humidiy.
The Glock mags were just dirty, and the ones for my P1 were good to go. Guess parkerizing has its merits lol.

The repro mags for my Luger from CDNN had just surface crud and cleaned up nicely.

I got a beater Wasr about 3 years ago, and did the following:

Changed the wood furniture to Tapco NATO rear stock and pistol grip, and the forearm to one from the AK builder sight.

Took out the stock trigger, and changed it to a Tapco.

Removed the loop spring that holds the pins in place and replaced it with a solid metal one.

Slant break removed and replaced with a Tapco AK74 type flash supressor.

Hit up Apex Gun Parts for your AK parts (cleaning kit and cleaning rod).

Enjoy your new addition to your family Smile
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