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WASR AK issues...

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by JeremyK, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. JeremyK

    JeremyK Milwaukie Professional BA

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    Ok so I recently aquired a WASR 10 AK (yeah yeah yeah, I can hear it now..."your first problem is that you've bought a WASR" or "EEEEWW, why'd you buy a WASR" or something of that nature) and took it out to shoot with some buddies who also have WASR's (both 10/63's with the underfolding stock). Right off the bat, while dry firing and cycling my buddie's AKs, I noticed that their 63's bolts cycled much smoother than mine, and required much less strength to pull back. We had a mixture of Wolf military classic and Russian mil-surp ammo. My Buddies also had steel mags while I had Tapco synthetics for mine. First mag through mine, the rifle malfunctioned at least four times, at least two of which were failure to eject (leaving the spent shell casing in the chamber while the fresh cartridge was on its way into the chamber). And thats how the day went with my WASR, lots of failure to ejects, a few failures to feed, and a few failures to fire. All this happened with both kinds of mags (the steel and the Tapco) and with both kinds of ammo (the Wolf and the mil-surp). All the while I watched enviously as the two WASR 63's functioned the way AK rifles are supposed to function: flawlessly. All in all I ran about three hundred rounds through my WASR and had multiple failure-to-whatevers. I oiled the crap out of it on the range (which I had also done before leaving). I had also cleaned in thoroughly the week prior to shooting. Any suggestions at all? I'd like to take it to a gunsmith, but if its something I can do myself, then I'd gladly do so. I got the rifle used, so I'm not sure of the round count. Maybe she hasn't had a proper breaking in...? Any help would be hot.
     
  2. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Beaverton New Member

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    I have owned two WASR's and never had what I called a problem. After 2 or 3 thousand rounds I had one begin to do what you described. I replaced the bolt (purchased from Midway for around $60) and seemed to fix the problem and worked like new. AK's are built tough but parts will begin to fail like any other fire arm. You said you purchased it used I would be willing to bet someone had a lot of fun with it before you.
     
  3. JeremyK

    JeremyK Milwaukie Professional BA

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    So just the bolt, or the bolt carrier/charging handle too?
     
  4. pogi

    pogi Gresham, OR Active Member

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    You have to be carful replacing the bolt because of head spacing issues.

    Did you try running your buddy's steal mags or did you stick with the Tapco mags?
     
  5. JeremyK

    JeremyK Milwaukie Professional BA

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    Both types of mags. Do they make head space gauges for an AK?
     
  6. JeremyK

    JeremyK Milwaukie Professional BA

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    Yup, shot with both types of mags. Do they make head space gauges for AK's?
     
  7. pogi

    pogi Gresham, OR Active Member

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    They do. You might want to take it up to Rapid Firearms in Sandy for them to take peek.
     
  8. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    What kind of metal mags, ProMag or Romanian surplus?

    Maybe the roughness means nothing. For instance, if you pull the bolt back and let is slide back softly and it catches on "something", that is normal. That is the bolt catching on the cocked hammer.

    Remove the bolt, remove the mag. Put recoil spring/rod guide and bolt carrier back together w/o the dust cover. Cycle the bolt carrier. Is it still rough? Then, you may have an upper rails to bolt carrier issue.

    Those recoil springs seem like the last forever but they don't. But I suspect mag alignment to be at the root of your problems.

    An area to check is the mag catch (or mag release). Is cycling as rough with as it is without an empty mag installed? If not the bolt could be rubbing the lips of the mag. The Mag catch and trigger guard assembly detemines how far into the mag well a magazine can rotate in. Load a metal mag (surplus preferred) into a good working rifle and mark a line around the magazine marking the magazine well contour. Now insert the mag onto your rifle and compare. I can't tell you how much difference is too much, but at least it should tell you something.

    Is is jamming when peeling the next to the last round in a mag? Is the last round half peeled out? That could be a weak mag spring, too.

    One thing I would not do: go changing parts w/o diagnosing the problem first. You can end up with bin full of parts for nothing. I helped fellow poster here had a similar problem with a US made AK. Without getting into too many details it turned out the US made receiver mag well was poorly made. The mag wiggled side to side quite a bit. I showed him exactly what caused the wiggling (virtually absent lower rails mag support) but I could not fix it for him w/o getting "creative". I don't know what he eventually did with it.

    I reiterate, diagnose, then, fix. I suggest you google up instructions to build your own receiver and read carefully the material related to lower rails installation and mag wells. You may try this link:
    Lower Rail Installation - Gunco.net

    If you can't still figure it out, try this: clean it up, and I mean, remove all the oil, grease, etc. I want it totally dry. BTW, an AK should still work totally dry. Inspect all moving parts contact surfaces for abnormal wear. If you suspect any binding anywhere, paint the area with a colored marker, and put it together and cycle that bolt. Check for missing ink.

    The best way to help diagnose your problem is to actually cycle the bolt with rounds in your mag. Working to load with live rounds should give you the creeps, so, if you reload, make a few dummies.

    I'd be glad to help you if you do not mind driving to Hillsboro... PM me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  9. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Sounds like bolt and recoil spring issues, not the mags.
    Also, the rails on most of the CAI AKMs are a bit rough, you can always smooth out& polish up your guide rails.

    After doing one or perhaps all three I guarantee no more issues will arise. Lastly however, have you checked the receiver at all?
    If its bent up just enough many issues can occur as well. Had an AKM in a soft shell case smashed by some full ammo cans and didn't notice until after firing... something felt off and sure enough the receiver was smashed just enough to throw my BCG out of wack.
    Just a thought.
    As much as I love supporting gunsmiths, especially local ones.. the AKM platform can mostly be tinkered with yourself without horrible result.
     
  10. JeremyK

    JeremyK Milwaukie Professional BA

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    How would you recommend polishing the rails?
     
  11. DinhRose

    DinhRose Austin, Texas (Ex-Pat of SE PDX) Active Member

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    I am interested in knowing this too. As far as your failure to eject: is the extractor not grabbing on or did it just rip the lip off of the casing? Fte and ftf are mostly mag and ammo issue rather than the gun itself. Although I guess your buddies were shooting it too and they had no problem so I am at a lost. WASR are super finicky guns though. Mine works 99% of the time with almost any type of ammo. while my buddies' kinda runs but doesn't load well on wolf ammo.
     
  12. supergenius

    supergenius 206 Active Member

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    WASR super finicky? LOL... Ive never had an issue with either of mine. Ever... With any mag, with any ammo.



    Tapco, Chinese, Bulgy, Circle 10s, Russian 30s 40s, Drum....


    Wolf , Tiger, bear, Yugo surp, random crap found at a garage sale... LOL.... One of if not the LEAST finicky rifle Ive ever owned.

    I agree check the receiver. You should be able to see the additional wear and whatnot if its that. Would explain a couple of the things you mentioned....
     
  13. DinhRose

    DinhRose Austin, Texas (Ex-Pat of SE PDX) Active Member

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    That's the point. I have one that works great and you have one that works great. The original post and my buddy both got unwilling POS that has nothing but problems. I guess finicky is not the right words rather it's more like feast or famine.
     
  14. halmbarte

    halmbarte PDX Active Member

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    The OP sounds a lot more like FTExtract than FTEject.

    Have you stripped the bolt? Do that, clean and examine the extractor, the spring, the extractor axle, and the pocket the extractor lives in.

    The punch for stripping the bolt should be in the standard tool kit.

    If just cleaning doesn't fix it, take it back. You bought a new rifle and one of the things you paid for is the warranty.

    H
     
  15. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Think he said bought second hand.
     
  16. halmbarte

    halmbarte PDX Active Member

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    Somebody sold it to him. I'd say that somebody has some 'splaining to do.

    H
     
  17. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Do they make head space gauges for AK's?

    Go/No Go Gauges for 7.62x39

    GO/NO-GO GAUGE SETS - Brownells


    184-000-039
    7.62x39 Headspace Gauge Kit
    Mfr. Part: GONG762X39
    $50.99

    Aloha, Mark
     
  18. Toxic6

    Toxic6 Higher then a PDX hipster (~10,000 ft higher) Active Member

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    One thing I found "fixing" a CAI WASR was that the bolt and carrier were narrower then normal AK's where they fit through the feed lips - thinking it was due to some of the WASR rifles being converted from single stack mags to double stacks. I would think this could cause miss feeds, maybe check it (I compared it to another AK bolt/carrier assembly and it was plainly visible in a side by side comparison). Mine also had the rails and bolt ground to match up with a poorly installed and ground trunnion which had bent the receiver, canted sights, and CAI stamped on the side of it LOL.

    Also, I agree you should check the head space -I'd think the extractor wouldn't work right if the bolt wasn't locking up correctly in the trunnion. Cleaning the bolt well also wouldn't hurt. Polishing the rails might smooth the action but I wouldn't grind on anything- I'd take note of any areas that seem to be wearing unevenly before you polished them since they could tell you where things are hanging up.
     
  19. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Oregon Well-Known Member

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    You need Pauly to work his magic. He's in PDX and will make it sing like a sewing machine. It's unlikely the thing is worn out and you need new parts, it's an AK.
    http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?/user/19652-pauiy/
    Rough or sticky cycling is probably the issue and that's his specialty. He's a great guy and very reasonable.
    I polished my bolt and rails and my saiga 12 still wouldn't cycle low brass shells (it has 3 undersized gas holes which don't help) but he worked it over and now it runs flawless. I'd contact him and send your bolt and possibly fcg parts. It's the best money you'll spend on it and you'll have an ak with ak reliability. Not trying to sound like an ad and he's not paying me but he's an ak expert and does do really good work and goes way beyond all the usual home gunsmithing fixes.