Category Archives: Care and Maintenance

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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Zastava PAP M70 and Military M70 Buttstocks and Recoil Pads No Longer Match

Hello everyone,

We make a recoil pad for the military Yugo M70, M72 and M76 rifles [click here for the listing]. The original was rubber over a steel pad and was often very beat up when guys bought kits or rifles made from kits.  So, I hunted down pristine original recoil pads and made molds to cast rubber replacements.

Here are the approximate measures for the stock this pad fits on:

  • Screwhole centers are about 3.25″ apart
  • From top inside lip of butt of the stock to bottom inside lip is: 4.20″
  • Top to bottom of the butt outside or overall height is 4.48″
  • Left to right inside lip edge of the butt at the widest point s 1.29″
  • Outside edge left to right at the widest point is 1.63″
  • The lip that the recoil pad sits on all the way around is about 0.17″

Starting in mid-2017 we started getting word from our customers that our military-sized pads were not fitting the new commercial PAP M70 rifles being imported into the US.  It would appear that Zastava has changed the buttstock — presumably to cut cost.  It is smaller and the telltale for consumers is that it has a solid steel stamped butt plate.  The following photo is of an original Yugo M70 military-style recoil pad next to the new commercial PAP steel butt plate:

This next photo just shows an edge view – the white box is just propping them up:

Bottom line is that the stocks are different and our recoil pad will not fit the PAP M70.  I’m hoping to get the word out to reduce confusion.

Please note that at this time, I do not have plans to make a commercial PAP-sized recoil pad as there has not been sufficient demand thus far.


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The AK-47 and AK74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations


Features: This book contains the most complete and up-to-date examination of the famed Kalashnikov rifle yet t
By (author): Joe Poyer

The AK-47 and AK-74 Kalashnikov Rifles and Their Variations provides a detailed, profusely illustrated examination on a part-by-part basis of the famed AK-47/AKM rifles, the AK-74/AK-74M series and the new Century series of rifles, the AK-101 through AK-108.

It is another in North Cape Publications, Inc., Shooter’s and Collector’s Guide series.

Every AK/AKM-type rifle manufactured in the Warsaw Pact countries plus the People’s Republic of China, Finland, Iraq, North Korea and Yugoslavia are described in detail, with a short history on the reason for, and the process of their development and use.

This new, 4th edition is expanded to include he latest developments in the AK47/AK74 platform including the Century series and the AK12. Also included is new information regarding the scope and use the Kalashnikov series of rifles plus information gleaned from the use of the AK-47 in Iraq and Afghanistan by insurgents.

Mikhail Kalashnikov is one of the foremost small arms designer’s in the world. His Kalashnikov action has been widely imitated. This book also includes detailed descriptions of rifles based on his design such as the Belgian FNC, the Israeli Galil, the Indonesian SS1 series, the Indian INAS, the Swedish Ak-5, the Swiss SG-550 series, Singapore’s SAR series and many others.

The book also includes separate chapters that describe the accessaries issued to each soldier, the entire range of Kalashnikov bayonets, telescopic sights (both military and commercial, the sniper rifle variants and their telescopic sights produced by the old Soviet Union as well as other nations. An exploded view, serial numbers and markings, an assembly/disassembly guide with photos, instructions on cleaning, maintenance and repair, and shooting the Kalashnikov rifles and a guide to legislation affecting these rifles and finally, sources for accessories and parts complete the book.

List Price: $22.95 USD
New From: $16.85 USD In Stock
Used from: $15.79 USD In Stock

Video: How to Lubricate Your AKM (AK47) and AK74 Rifles – AK Operators Union 47-74

  

In this video, Rob Ski, of AK Operators Union, does a great job explaining how to lubricate your AK.  Rob is the real deal having grown up around AKs and having also served in the US military.  Be sure to Like him on Facebook.  He’s always posting news and information.


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Video: Brownells’ Four Part Series on AK 47/74 Firearm Maintenance

  

Brownells has turned out a nice for video set regarding AK 47/74 Maintenance.  Here they are:

AK 47/74 Firearm Maintenance: Part 1 Disassembly

AK 47/74 Firearm Maintenance: Part 2 Cleaning

AK 47/74 Firearm Maintenance: Part 3 Lubrication

AK 47/74 Firearm Maintenance: Part 4 Reassembly

 


If you find this post useful, please either buy something from one of the Amazon links, or use one of the links to go to Amazon and buy something completely different — as long as you use one our links to go and buy something from Amazon, it helps us out.  For each item you purchase, we get a small bit of ad revenue from Amazon to fund the blog.  The same is true for eBay as well — we don’t get anything unless you buy something.

How to Bullet Drop Test a Barrel?

Plenty of AK barrel have seen heavy use and some are pretty much sewer pipes at this point – blown out, dirty and most of the rifling a distant memory.  A quick way to check is to take a cartridge of the correct caliber, such as 7.62×39, and put it in the muzzle.  If it stops before the case hits, there is hope.  It the case hits or even goes into the muzzle, the barrel is pretty much history.

Pass:

 

Fail:

 

I’m not saying the barrel is perfect but it may still be useful.  I built both M70 stubs on their original barrels and they shot good enough – about 8-10″ – at 100 yards fired with iron sights with cheap ammo.  Still a fun rifle to shoot though.

If a barrel fails, I would definitely get a replacement and not even bother trying to use it but that’s just me.  I’ve known a few guys over the years that proudly built and fired sewer pipe rifles.

Build Your Own AK (Vol. I): Headspacing & Virgin Barrel Population


By (author): Guy Montag, Nicoroshi

Got an AK Parts Kit? This ebook shows you how to build it right!

The AK-47 and its variants are world-renowned for being simple, rugged and nearly indestructible. But if you wanted to build your own Kalashnikov rifle there was no good single source of construction information—until now.

This new ebook series dives deep into proven techniques of home-built AKs. Profusely illustrated with numerous photos and diagrams, these manuals will show you exactly how to assemble your AK parts kit step-by-step. Your build will go easy using our techniques, recommended tools, and veteran builder tips/tricks…all with a critical focus on both safety & quality.

Volume I covers both headspacing procedures and the population of the barrel components in a non-original barrel or virgin barrel AK parts kit. Both AK-47 and Ak-74 build procedures are described in the first book.
Topics include:
– Measuring the barrel journals
– Cut extractor relief on chamber end of the barrel
– Cut the clocking notches for the lower hand guard retainer
– Strip bolt, in preparation for headspace check
– Align, and press front trunnion onto chamber end of barrel
– Headspacing
– End mill/ream barrel pin notch, and set barrel pin
– Install, and drill/pin Rear Sight Base
– Locate, and cut lower handguard retaining notch
– Gas Port location
– Install Lower Handguard Retainer
– Install, and align the gas block
– Drill and pin the gas block
– Install, and align the Front Sight Base
If you have been waiting for the ‘definitive AK assembly guide’ before building your AK, wait no more.
Volume II (coming this Fall) will continue the journey, showing every step to complete your Matching or Newly populated AK parts kit into a complete rifle.

List Price: Price Not Listed
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

A Very Affordable Bore Scope / Endoscope For Your Android Smart Phone That is Only 5.5mm Wide! The GiraffeCam v1.0

Guys, I have wanted a bore scope / camera for years – the formal name for this type of a device is an “endoscope”.  Guess what?  There is now one called a GiraffeCam for $16.99 on Amazon (with Amazon Prime shipping) provided you have an Android or Windows phone.  They mention a Mac in the instructions but the camera does not come with any kind of Apple plug adapter.  So, all I can tell you for sure is that it has a MicroUSB plug and works with my Samsung Note 6 that is running the latest version of Android.

The app they recommend is CameraFi probably because it is free but gets bad reviews in part because there are tons of ads and you can’t buy a paid ad-free version.  I looked around and found USBWebCameraPro for $8.99 and it works pretty good.  The only bug I have found so far is that when you switch from still camera to video and back the app seems to not want to take a picture or video.  Exiting and starting the app solves the problem.  It has a lot of features for using a USB camera and worked as soon as I plugged in the camera – it detected the presence of the GiraffeCam and did everything transparently.

So, I plugged the bright yellow GiraffeCam into my phone and looked in a Dark Bore M72 barrel for the first time.  There is a little dial on the side of the USB “dongle” that adjusts the brightness of some small LED lights.  WOW!!!!  The bore really did look like a sewer pipe!!!  The resolution isn’t very good but you can see the rust, dirt and that the rifling is almost entirely gone.  I wish the photos and video were higher resolution *but* the very fact that I can see in the barrel and get a general idea of the shape it is in for under $20 is absolutely remarkable – revolutionary even.

Now, here is the world debut of the inside of a very worn out M72 barrel with me turning the scope around:

 

Here’s me taking still photos with one hand while guiding the scope with another starting at the entrance to the chamber moving forward towards the muzzle:

Notice the chamber, the presence of the rifling near the chamber, the less rifling and then it turning into a sewer pipe.  This is cool.  I can see the rust, rifling … everything I need to know about the quality of the barrel.  I also ran this down the barrel into a chamber of a pistol, looked up a mag well, it’s very handy.  I have a messed up pool jet that leaks that I plan to look at before we fill it to see where a cracks is at.  The 6 foot cord gives you a lot of flexibility for rifles, shotguns, pistols, cars, you name it.

There are other versions of this scope – some connect by creating a wifi hotspot for example.  They do have a higher resolution GiraffeCam model for $39.99 so a bit higher in price but it is also 2 megapixels vs. the old 640×480 VGA that I reviewed here.  The one BIG problem I foresee with the v4 model is that the camera diameter will increase from the current 5.5mm to 8.5mm which will rule out a lot of the rifles I work with so there are still some big pros to using the v1.0 model.

Bottom line is that this is dirt cheap and a great way to get an idea of how the bore looks or any other place you can squeeze it into.

May 4, 2017 update:  I’m still happy with the scope.  I’ve not found anything this small with better resolution.  A friend asked me to measure the actual outside diameter (OD) of the head of the scope to confirm what the maker reports.  Using my micrometer, I show the OD as 0.2172″ or 5.515mm.  These next photos are from the bore of a brand new uncleaned 5.56 match AR barrel from White Oak Armory:

 


If you find this post useful, please either buy something from one of the Amazon links, or use one of the links to go to Amazon and buy something completely different — as long as you use one our links to go and buy something from Amazon, it helps us out.  For each item you purchase, we get a small bit of ad revenue from Amazon to fund the blog.  The same is true for eBay as well.


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GiraffeCam 1.0 Soft ShortFocus | Endoscope Borescope Inspection Camera | Android PC Mac | 5.5mm Diameter | 6.5 Feet


Features: ANDROID OTG SMARTPHONES / PC / Mac – View and capture video and photos on compatible Android phones with the included Micro-USB adapter. Just download and open the App, and connect the camera to the phone. For PC / Mac, connect GiraffeCam to your computer (Windows 10 & Mac), open the default Windows or Mac camera software, and the camera functions as a webcam, allowing you to capture videos/photos or to use it with video-conferencing software such as Skype, BRIGHT YELLOW – Our trademark bright yellow cable gives the GiraffeCam a distinctive look and makes it easier to find in a messy toolbox or cabinet., TECHNOLOGICAL MARVEL – Advances in camera and LED miniaturization technology has allowed us to bring you an affordable snake inspection camera with a diameter of just 5.5mm, with excellent image quality and bright illumination., MYRIAD USES – The usage possibilities are endless with the GiraffeCam endoscope borescope. Primarily used for plumbing, automotive, and construction, it is an excellent tool to look into any hard to see place., USA SELLER – We are based in Minneapolis, MN and strive to offer the best products and customer service. We do our own QC before the products are delivered ensure the best customer experience and no dud units.

We are the sole owner of the GiraffeCam brand and associated intellectual property. Any counterfeits or infringements will be vigorously pursued.
*Not compatible with iPhones*

Features
The camera has a 5.5mm diameter housing that allows it to fit in tight places
– 6 adjustable LED lights allows for different brightness settings to suit the usage environment
– 0.3 megapixel, 640X480 resolution provides HD video and images
– The waterproof design (rated IP67) allows it to be used in almost all environments

User-friendly
– True plug & play on Windows 10 and Mac devices. Just plug the camera in, pull up the default Windows or Mac camera software, and select “USB2.0 Camera” to view and capture video and photos
– On compatible Android devices, just download the app from the App Store, open the app, and plug in the camera.

Compatible Smartphones
-Android (4.4 or higher) systems with OTG function -Samsung Galaxy S3 (i9300, i9308), S4 (i9500, i9508), S5, S6; Note2, Note3, Note4; SONY Z2 L50H; SONY LT26i; Nexus 5

Multiple Applications
-Automotive / Diesel Repair and Maintenance
-Inspection of hard-to-reach areas
-Plumbing, construction, restoration applications

Specifications
-Diameter: 5.5mm
-Sensor: 0.3 Megapixel CMOS
-Resolution? 640X480
-View angle?60°
-Focal Distance?2″ – Infinity
-Interface: USB2.0, Micro USB
-Light: 6 Adjustable White LED Product

Contents
1 x GiraffeCam SFT endoscope borescope
1 X Micro-USB to USB adapter
1 x Manual
1 x Side-mirror accessory
1 x Hook accessory
1 x Magnet accessory

List Price: Price Not Listed
New From: 0 Out of Stock

Good animation of an AK-47 operating

I’ve seen other animations in the past that didn’t get into as much detail as this one.  In this video you get a pretty good demo of how the various parts work during the firing and automated loading of the AK-47 but they got the trigger wrong, etc.  This one shows the disconnector and trigger hook operating in the right manner for example.  I’m posting it because I think it always helps to understand what is going on inside a firearm for when you want to tune it, figure out what might be going wrong, and so forth.

What is a Ferrule on Yugo and AK Rifles?

A ferrule is a metal end cap found on some wood grips and handguards to protect the end grain of the wood from being hammered and splitting open.  They were used on different country’s weapons and are usually not interchangeable between countries.  For example, Bulgarian and Yugo ferrules are different.

Near and dear to me are the metal ferrules on Yugoslav / Zastave wood lower handguards.  The following photo shows a M92 lower and the black metal cap is the ferrule.  This ferrule does not fit everything Yugo – just the M70, M85/92, and M77.  The M72 and M76 are unique sizes.

DSC_0312

You have three options when you need a ferrule:  1) Find a used one and this is real hard – try posting in the Marketplace of http://www.akfiles.com and see if they have one.  2) Buy a replica ferrule from us or 3) Simply pry the old ferrule off, put it on the new handguard and the squeeze the tabs shut again with a pair of pliers.

DSC_0320 DSC_0322 DSC_0323

Note if you are putting it on one of our plastic handguards either just set it on it with the ears closed or glue it in place.  Absolutely do not try to squeeze the ears shut — the little metal divots will not dig into our plastic and you risk snapping the handguard tabs.  Again, either slide it on or glue it in place with something like rubber glue or Goop that you can later remove if you want.  Epoxy works too but it is pretty permanent.

For example, I just slid the ferrule on the M70 bulged handguard in the next photo.

I hope this helps!

The following link is to the page on our web store with our various Yugoslav / Zasatav rifle and pistol furniture offerings:

http://shop.roninsgrips.com/Yugoslavian-Furniture_c18.htm


If you find this post useful, please either buy something using one of the links to eBay and Amazon or click one of the AdNow advertisements. EBay and Amazon you need to buy something, AdNow pays for each link you visit – no purchase needed.   With Amazon, if you click on one of our links and then buy something else – even unrelated stuff like clothes, electronics and groceries – we get credit and it would be hugely appreciated.  Doing something like the above will help us fund continued development of the blog.


Video: How to Field Strip an AK Rifle

To me, the AK family of rifles are some of the easiest designs on the planet to field strip … but I have done it hundreds of times.  For a newcomer, how to take the rifle apart can be daunting.  I took a few minutes and assembled some of my favorite videos and online resources / manuals to help clarify matters:

AK manuals that are online:

YouTube Videos:

Now Brownell’s did some videos on Youtube also but they split them into separate parts:

Part 1 – Disassembly:

Part 4 – Reassembly

 

We will have a future post about cleaning and maintenance so keep an eye out for it.