Category Archives: AK & Related Rifles

Used to discuss AK-47, AK-74, and related rifles

How to Remove Old Cosmoline and Grease or Even Free Up Rusty Parts The Easy Way

We’ve all had parts come in with really dried out preservative on it such as grease or cosmoline.  I bought some 100 year old khukuri blades that were coated in dried out grease and realized this was a great time to take some photos.  There’s a way to get all this crud off very easily – most will practically wipe off!

I learned the following trick years ago after a friend was worried I would blow myself up using gas, brake cleaner, etc.  In hindsight I must admit it was risky but I rationalized it because I needed to get the parts clean – this is not only effective but also way safer.

Take a 5 gallon pail with a sealable lid on it.  In the photos you see a basic Ace Hardware plastic bucket with it’s lid that has a waterproof gasket.

I first learned about this years ago for firearms and it is a cleaner known as Ed’s Red and I’ve used it ever since.  The formula was developed and shared by a gentleman named “Ed Harris” and it works great for dissolving grease, cosmoline and even penetrating rusty parts.

The basic formula is:

  • 1 part Dexron III or better
  • 1 part deodorized kerosene
  • 1 part mineral spirits
  • 1 part acetone

I use it over and over, which is why I recommended the lid.  I’ve been using this bucket for probably 3-5 years now.  If it gets really gross or seems to stop working then I will change it but it’s fine so far.

So, I set the blades in the ATF and liberally coated the sides and let it sit.  I periodically would reverse the blades so they could be immersed.  If they were smaller parts, I’d drop them in there and let them sit for a few days.

What I wold so each time when I turned them was to rub the blades down and try and get the softened/dissolved grease off.  A lot of it would wipe right off with no scrubbing.

So here they are a couple of days later simply wiped down.  I left a thin film of ATF on them to reduce the odds of rust but all the old dried grease is gone.

When I am done, I put the lid back on and move the pail out of the way.  I do keep wet parts out of the cleaner as I don’t want to contaminate it with water but other than that, I’ve soaked all kinds of greasy, oily, rusty, dirty parts in this.  The crud settles to the bottom of the pail over time.  I’ve learned that if I stir it up there is a lot of debris.  If it gets too bad, it will be time for a new batch.

I mentioned it in passing but this is also great for penetrating rusty parts so you can take them apart.  I can’t begin to guess what all I have soaked in this bucket over the years but it sure includes gun parts, blades, rusty car parts, etc.  It’s a huge time saver and I hope it helps you out as well.

P.S.  If you want to read more on Ed’s formula, click here for his original article that is in the public domain.


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Firearms Lube Tip – Use Mobil 1 Synthetic 5W-30 Oil and The Right Dispenser

I’ve been experimenting with different lubricants for a year now because a lot of the firearm “oils” are 99% marketing and 1% oil at a premium price.  You’ll notice that how to lube a firearm is a religious argument for many and I’m not going to get into that.

After doing a lot of digging, I bought two different types of automatic transmission fluid (ATF) (Dexron III and ATF+4) and Mobile 1 Full Synthetic 5W-30 engine oil.  I then loaded up a bunch of squeeze bottles that have needle dispensers on them, labeled each and proceeded to try them out.

Here’s the big secret – they all work.  Of the three, I like the Mobil 1 mainly because it doesn’t have a red color or the smell of transmission fluid.

I’ve now used it to lubricate my AKs, RPK, Uzi, POF-5/MP5 and PTR PDW and am very happy with the results.  It works just fine and a quart will last you forever.

I still prefer Tetra Grease where sliding parts are involved.  As the old saying goes, “if it rotates then oil it.  If it slides, then grease it” has always worked for me though I do admit to reading armorer manuals to see their recommended lube points.

The Right Dispensers Make a Huge Difference!

Regardless of the oil you use, having the right dispenser really helps.  Growing up, we used engine oil out of the tried and true cans with the finger squeeze pumps.  I really don’t use that type of dispenser on firearms but do when I work on cars and what not where a large volume is needed.

With firearms, you’ll notice that you often need to get the right lube to the right place.  In the shop, I use the squeeze bottles.  The dispenser pens are something I take in the field as they don’t leak and will not make a huge mess if crushed — let me assure you the bottles will do just that so that is why they stay in the shop.

You can get both of these dispensers very easily off Amazon.  Be sure to read reviews as some brands leak and others don’t.  The ones I am listing next are what I currently use.  I use the 25 gauge needle especially for reaching down into fire control groups and lubricating pins and their attached parts such as triggers, hammers, selectors, etc.

The 18 gauge is good for general use when I want to apply oil in larger quantities:

I have give of the Titan precision oiler pens and all work great:

Now there are still times where I want to spray on thin oil.  While I have used a ton of CLP over the years I find myself using Rem Oil quite a bit.


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Yes, 922r Does Apply to Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs)

Please note that I am not an attorney and this does not constitute legal advice.

The topic of 922r compliance and parts counts came up the other day as whether it applies to Short Barreled Rifles (SBR). In reading the conflicting ATF documentation, the last guidance given in technical branch letters from 2009 and 2010, the ATF does say it applies.  I put it this was as you should look at the trend over time which does seem to point towards 922r being applicable.

I am a very conservative guy and always try to stay on the safe side of legal issues so I would recommend ensuring your SBR is compliant with the 922r parts count requirements.  If you do this then you do not need to worry about it and I am sure there are folks who would disagree with me.

Here is the 2009 letter:

Here is the three page 2010 letter:

Again, please let me stress that I am not an attorney.  If you have any questions on this, I would recommend doing your own research and/or retaining legal counsel.

 


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Check out Aaron’s sweet M92 SBR with our Handguards

Aaron built this SBR by starting with a Zastava M92 PAP pistol kit and then took it from there.  The results are very clean!


Note, we now offer the handguard two ways – we are trying to keep steady supply of black models and you can click here to check availability.

We also offer them through custom ordering for different colors.  Click here for those.

Check out Chris’ Khyber Pass-Style AK with our Tula 6-2 grip

Chris put together this rifle and intentionally wanted it to look something assembled from parts in the Khyber Pass.  I think he pulled it off!

The rifle has one of our Tula 6-2 grips on  it in Dark Russian Plum.  Because the think wax we apply oxidizes, the grip looks lighter than what it actually is and Chris wanted that mix-and-match look.

I definitely like the way the rifle turned out!!

(By the way – Click here if you want to know the wax I recommend for bringing out the color in our furniture.)

A Chaos Rail on a FM-AK47-21 Vepr Rocks!

When the government announced they were going to ban the further import of Molot firearms, I jumped and bought one of the Fime FM-AK47-21 side folding AK-47 Veprs.

The rifle was absolutely awesome except for one regard – I really did not like the ribbed RPK handguard. Now this is the handguard on the Russian RPks and the ribs help with cooling and moving the hand away from the surface of the handguard — the design is genuinely thought out … but I do not like the feel. It’s as simple as that.

With that in mind, I started digging on options. On one hand I could make a new polymer set based on a mint RPK handguard set I picked up along the way. After a while, I changed my mind as the time and cost to create the molds didn’t make a lot of business sense as the Veprs weren’t going to be imported and demand would presumably be low and I would not recover the investment.

So, I researched other options and a firm I didn’t know much about kept popping up – Chaos, Inc. They made a well regarded handguard that looked great to me and reports on the feel and quality were very good. An important design point is that it connects like a handguard and doesn’t clamp anything on the barrel to transfer heat. That was a beef I had with the Midwest Industries rail design I tried years ago. It required the installation of a clamp on the barrel.

At any rate, I decided on the Chaos Apollo FM11L Keymod handguard. By the way, Chaos does not list on their website that this FM11L will fit the FM-AK47-21 side folder so I called them. The guy I talked to said they would take a return if it didn’t fit and I didn’t beat it up. I was pretty sure it would fit so I went ahead and ordered it.

The rail arrived about a week later and decided to install it when time permitted. The following is a quick overview of the steps required:

1] Make sure your rifle is unloaded! I can’t stress this enough.

2] Push in the dust cover retainer at the rear and remove the cover.

3] Remove the operating rod and the bolt carrier group.

4] You will need to rotate the gas tube retaining lever to remove the gas tube. Now this thing is on incredibly tight. I thought Zastava had very tight levers but they have nothing on Molot. You will either need non-marring pliers or a polymer or wood punch to swing the lever up clockwise until the gas tube assembly can lift out.

5] On the right side of the lower handguard retainer, you will see a small lever laying parallel with the barrel. It will need to be rotated 180 degrees towards the muzzle and this is another incredibly tight fit. I had to use stout needle nose pliers in order to rotate it. Once rotated, you can slide the handguard retainer forward. You may find you need to tap it a bit with a rubber mallet – I did.

6] Now, you need to remove the gas tube cover and this is one of the questions I get asked most frequently. The cover is a semi-circle and rotates out of the semi-circular shaped retainers. Clamp the forged steel end (not the tubular end or you will crush it) and firmly rotate the cover. You may find it turns easier clockwise or counter-clockwise and either way is fine. Rotate it 180 degrees either way and then you can pull it away from the tube.

7] Next up is to install the Apollo FM11 lower. This is where their engineering prowess really shows. Their rail is two parts so remove the three hex screws from each side and set the upper half to the side for the moment.

8] Now unscrew the bottom screws and slide the internal aluminum part backwards out of the way. This part will actually slide into the handguard retainer and lock the unit into place. This is why there is a slot for the retainer. Look at the fitment of the parts – they thought this out. Be sure to screw in the set screws also to lock things in place.

9] For the next part, you install the lower by putting the rear tab into the front of the receiver just the same as any AK-style handguard. Now the front requires you to get the retainer in the right place to nestle into the lower. Get the angle right and slide the internal aluminum retainer part into the handguard retainer and screw the internal part back together. The angle must be right so if you can’t get that internal insert to slide into place, move the handguard’s front up and down until it does. Then swing the handguard retainer lever back into position – it will be a tight fit so tap it into place with a rubber mallet. It would not take a ton of pressure – if it does, check fitment. Over the years I have read guys put a ton of pressure on the levers and snap them – the pressure required is firm and you should see movement as you tap the lever into place. They key is tapping and not trying to do one big “mongo smash” hit to rotate the lever. Once done, the lower should be absolutely rock solid – mine sure is.

10] I then installed the gas tube. Nothing attaches to the gas tube so you can remove or install it as needed. I then used my rubber mallet to tap the catch lever back into position.

11] I then installed the gas tube cover by lining up the holes and installing the screws.

At this point it is done. I installed a Vortex Sparc II nice and low on the rail. I like the cheekweld when I rotate the cheekpiece into position. It does NOT co-witness with the iron sights but I really didn’t care about that – I can remove the sight real fast if I ever need to.

I really, really like the fit and feel of this rail. My side folder can lock folded. I did not need to change anything to support the folder.

Here is the end result:

I hope this helps you out!


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Videos: Two Good Documentaries on The History of the Israeli Uzi

As part of my research into the iconic Israeli Uzi, I found these two videos that do a very nice job providing background on the political climate driving the need for the Uzi.  These videos also then provide insight into the design and operation of the weapon.  By the way, these days I have signed up for Youtube Red so I can download videos and watch them even when I do not have an Internet connection.

 

 


If you want to learn more about the Uzi, the following book by David Gaboury is exceptional.  I highly recommend it:

The UZI Submachine Gun Examined


By (author): David Gaboury

Although universally recognized, the history of this iconic weapon has gone largely undocumented — until now. Originally designed for the Israeli military by Uziel Gal, the UZI submachine gun has a colorful history that has reached around the globe. Using approximately 1,000 photos, this book examines the history and technical details of all the UZI variations, both military and civilian, from its initial design to the current models. Also included are original factory documents, model-by-model features, part variations, accessories and manuals.
List Price: $49.95 USD
New From: $43.83 USD In Stock