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If you’re an AK-47 owner, you know that maintaining it isn’t just about keeping it looking good. It’s about ensuring its longevity and optimal performance. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps to clean your AK-47 effectively.

You don’t need to be a gunsmith to do this. With some basic tools and a little time, you’ll have your AK-47 cleaned and ready for action. We’ll discuss everything from the materials you’ll need to the cleaning process itself. So, whether you’re a seasoned owner or a newbie, this guide is for you.

Remember, a clean AK-47 is a reliable one. So, let’s dive in and learn how to keep your firearm in top shape.

Materials Needed for Cleaning an AK-47

Starting off, you’ll want to gather all the necessary materials in advance. Having everything at hand not only keeps the cleaning process smooth and efficient, but it also prevents the possibility of damaging the AK-47 by using the wrong tools or materials.

First on the list is a gun cleaning kit. This should include essential tools such as a cleaning rod, cleaning patches or cloth, a bore brush, and a chamber brush. It’s wise to get a cleaning kit specifically designed for the AK-47 or rifles of similar caliber.

Next, you’ll need gun oil. This specific type of oil is meant to clean, lubricate, and protect your AK-47 from rust. It’s crucial to not use any substitute for gun oil – doing so might lead to damaging the firearm, reducing its lifespan and functionality.

A cleaning solvent is another must-have. It’s designed to dissolve residue or grime that has built up inside the gun barrel or around other parts of the firearm. Just like gun oil, you should only use a cleaning solvent meant for firearms.

One more important item to include is a work mat. This will protect the surface you’re working on and can hold small parts to prevent loss or misplacement. Preferably, use a mat that’s resistant to oil and solvent chemicals, and is easy to clean.

When it comes to taking the AK-47 apart and piecing it back, having a set of small screwdrivers or a multi-tool at hand can be quite beneficial. Make sure these tools are in good condition and fit the screws of the AK-47 to prevent any possible damage.

Finally, you may also need a pair of latex gloves to protect your hands from the oil and solvent, and cleaning rags or paper towels for wiping off surplus material.

In the following section, I’ll walk you through the steps to clean your AK-47 using these materials, ensuring your firearm’s longevity and top-notch performance.

Preparing Your AK-47 for Cleaning

Before we dive into the cleaning process, it’s important to prepare your AK-47 correctly to prevent accidental discharge and damage. Safety should be your foremost concern.

Always double-check to ensure the firearm is unloaded. Remove the magazine and clear the chamber. Visually inspect the chamber to guarantee it’s empty. After this, I always prefer to keep the safety on until I’m ready to begin the cleaning process.

The next step is to disassemble the rifle. Don’t worry – you don’t need to break it down to its bare bones. You just need to perform a basic field strip. Below are the steps I follow:

  • Remove the receiver cover.
  • Take out the recoil spring.
  • Slide the bolt carrier group out.
  • Rotate and remove the bolt from the carrier.

You might also want to remove the gas tube for an extra thorough clean. However, it’s not strictly necessary every time as it doesn’t get as dirty as the other parts.

Once you accomplish this, your AK-47 should be properly prepped for cleaning. Choose a well-lit, well-ventilated workspace, preferably away from living spaces as some cleaning solvents can be potent and pose potential health risks.

Here’s a pro-tip for you, I’ve found using a work mat invaluable. It reduces the risk of losing any small parts and protects your workspace from damaging solvents and oils.

Lastly, gather all your cleaning materials. Your list should include a gun cleaning kit, gun oil, a cleaning solvent, small screwdrivers or a multi-tool, latex gloves, and cleaning rags or paper towels.

Disassembling Your AK-47

Step one in maintaining an AK-47 is having the right tools and workspace, which we’ve already covered in the previous sections. Now, let’s move onto the main event: disassembling your AK-47 for proper cleaning. Doing so isn’t just a crucial part of maintenance; it’s also the best way to familiarize yourself with the inner workings of your firearm.

First, you’ll need to relieve the tension on the recoil spring. You do this by pushing the button at the rear of the receiver cover. When it’s loose, remove the cover, freeing you to take out the recoil spring assembly.

Once finished, you’re ready to remove the bolt and bolt carrier. Simply slide them out toward the back of the receiver. Note: this piece is the heart of the weapon and when cleaned right, ensures the most effective operation and longevity.

After that, it’s time for the gas tube and handguards. Eject the cleaning rod, flip the gun, and you’ll notice a lever on the right side of the rear sight base. Raise this lever to loosen the gas tube, allowing it to be lifted out of the rifle.

With those components removed, your AK-47 is now disassembled, ready to be cleaned, inspected, and lubed.

Next up, we’ll move onto the cleaning process itself. It’s here that all your prep work pays off, leaving your AK-47 in peak condition and ensuring a smooth, effective performance time after time. Stay with me as I guide you through the next steps.

Cleaning the Individual Parts of Your AK-47

Now that we’ve disassembled the AK-47, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty: cleaning each individual part. You’ll need a few tools for this task, including a bore brush, a cleaning rod, patches, and gun cleaning solvent.

Cleaning your AK-47 keeps it functioning smoothly and extends its lifespan. Let’s dive into the process.

Using the Bore Brush

Firstly, attach your bore brush to the cleaning rod. Next, add a liberal amount of gun cleaning solvent. Now we’re ready to clean the barrel. Push the rod through from the breech end (the part closest to the trigger) to the muzzle end. Remember, you always want to follow the natural path of the bullet. Don’t scrub back and forth – it can damage the barrel. Repeat this process until your solvent comes out clean.

Switch to Patches

Once you have brushed the bore, it’s time for us to use patches. Attach a clean patch to the cleaning rod and soak it in the gun cleaning solvent. Push the patch through the bore several times, removing it when it surfaces on the muzzle end. Don’t reverse direction! Replace it with a new, clean patch and repeat the process until the patches come out clean.

Cleaning the Other Parts

The remaining parts of the AK-47: the recoil spring, bolt, bolt carrier, gas tube, and handguards, also require attention. You should clean each part individually, scrubbing with the bore brush and solvent as needed. Wipe off excess solvent from each part after cleaning. Don’t soak these parts in solvent – it may lead to corrosion.

This process not only protects your components from damage but also ensures your weapon operates effectively. In our journey to maintain an AK-47, there’s still more to learn. Let’s proceed to the lubrication process in the next section.

Lubricating and Reassembling Your AK-47

After cleaning, we move onto the next crucial step – lubrication. Proper lubrication of your AK-47 is essential for its smooth operation and decreased wear and tear. I personally recommend using a quality gun lubricant.

Start by applying a small amount of lubricant onto the moving parts of the bolt carrier, especially the sliding surfaces. But remember, when it comes to lubricating guns, less is more. Lubricate sparingly. Excessive lubrication attracts dust and grime which could hamper the performance of your firearm.

Let’s move on to reassembly. Remember how I’ve been emphasizing keeping track of all components during disassembly? Now’s the time that it pays off.

  1. Begin with reinstalling the gas tube and handguard. Placement is key here; make sure they align perfectly.
  2. Next, focus on the bolt carrier and bolt. These make up the heart of your firearm, so careful attention is required. Slide the bolt carrier group back into the receiver, make sure it locks properly.
  3. Finally, put the recoil spring back into place. Look for the ridge on the spring guide; it should be facing up. Then, lock the dust cover into place.

Over time, you’ll find that this process becomes second nature.

Onto one more important point: Regular checking of your AK-47. You should develop a routine of inspecting the firearm. This helps you understand your weapon better, and ensure it’s always in top working condition.

As always, safety comes first. Make sure the gun is unloaded when cleaning and lubricating. Treat every gun as if it’s loaded, even when you know it’s not. It’s a good rule to live by for every gun owner.

The importance of proper maintenance of your AK-47 cannot be overstated. It ensures your firearm stays reliable and extends its lifespan.


So there you have it – the ins and outs of maintaining your AK-47. Remember, regular cleaning and lubrication are key to keeping your firearm operating smoothly and reducing wear. Don’t forget to apply lubricant sparingly to the moving parts and follow the steps for reassembly carefully. Regular inspections will help keep your AK-47 in top shape. And above all, safety first. Always handle your firearm as if it’s loaded. By following these tips, you’ll ensure the longevity and reliability of your AK-47. Happy cleaning!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I lubricate my AK-47?

A: It is recommended to lubricate your AK-47 after each cleaning and before each use to ensure smooth operation and prevent wear and tear.

Q: How much lubricant should I apply?

A: Apply a thin layer of lubricant to the moving parts of the bolt carrier. Avoid over-lubricating as it may attract dirt and debris.

Q: What are the steps for reassembling the AK-47 after cleaning?

A: Reassemble the gas tube, handguard, bolt carrier, bolt, and recoil spring in the reverse order of disassembly. Make sure all components fit properly and securely.

Q: How often should I inspect my AK-47?

A: Regularly inspect your AK-47 to ensure it is in top working condition. It is recommended to perform detailed inspections at least once a month or before each use.

Q: How should I handle my AK-47 safely?

A: Always treat your AK-47 as if it’s loaded and follow proper gun safety protocols. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot and never point it at anything you do not intend to shoot.