The AK Guy Shows You How to Smooth Out AK Action

Nathan S
by Nathan S

Like its established AR-platform competition, AK’s come in a huge variety of styles, levels, grades, and configurations. However, unlike the AR, its common for those rifles to vary wildly (relative to the AR) due to the lack of a solid TDP that various companies work off of. As a result, especially on the low-end of AKs, the action has a tendency to be much rougher than the AR. While yes, AR’s can be rough, its not typical to have the bolt carrier hang-upon on its own receiver or hammer.

Typical causes for this are unrefined rails (typically just welded in) and a hammer whose shape can cause the action to hang-up if charged slowly. While, yes, the AK will eventually shoot itself in, there are some relatively simple steps that one can take to smoothen out their action, which primarily revolves around the hammer of the rifle.

The AK guys runs through this home-brew machining in detail. The only tools required? A file, dremel, and some sandpaper (typically you will want 100-180 grit for basic metal work).

Basically, pull out the fire control group, round out the hammer, and remove the surface inconsistencies common to stamped and bent metal. Once done, a rifle will be noticeably smoother and the hang-up found in certain brands at the rear of travel will be gone.

The only drawback? You can remove some protective finish from the operating components.

Or? Pick up a solid after-market trigger like the Elftmann or the ALG Defense AK trigger. That may be easier.

Nathan S
Nathan S

One of TFB's resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR's, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.

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  • Elvis Elvis on Dec 09, 2015

    That charging handle isn't modified. It's an SAR2. It came that way.

  • FarmerB FarmerB on Dec 09, 2015

    Err, I'm not metal guy by any stretch, and I know this kitchen stuff can be done to any metal, but isn't there some case hardening and surface treatment you are grinding off? What about bolt speed/over-gassing? I suppose it would work in the gun-shops of Pakistan, but seems somewhat crude to me (no, I've not seen it before either). Something I would have done as a teenager all those years ago :-)