AK-47 Disassembly and Re-assembly
This is a set of disassembly and re-assembly instructions for the AK-47 rifle. I am writing this article and providing field stripping instructions as a safe and comprehensive set of instructions for legal and responsible firearms owners. These instructions will help you to understand how to safely take down and re-assemble this rifle for cleaning and maintenance purposes.
A Brief History of the AK-47
This rifle is the brainchild of Mikhail Kalashnikov, a tank mechanic during The Great Patriotic War, as the Russians call it (WWII for everyone else), he was recovering from wounds in a Soviet hospital when he began designing this rifle (originally named the AK-46, but because it was adopted in 1947, it is now the AK-47). Some believe he stole his design from the STG-44 or Sturmgewehr 44, as well as John Browning's M-1 Garand, and Remington. Actually, M. Kalashnikov did borrow design features from the M-1 like the trigger mechanism, but he denies copying the STG -44 from the Germans. Either way, he created one of the most, if not the most, reliable firearms still today.
While the rifle is great for any terrain or climate, it does have draw backs. One draw back is the placement of the rear sight, and since this sight is mounted in the middle of the rifle, I cannot call it a true rear sight. The placement of this sight causes the weapon operator to strain their vision while trying to line up the narrow rear aperture with the front sight post. Two, the rifle is manufactured with loose tolerances and while this is a good feature for mud, sand, snow, and dirt to be able flow out and the weapon still function, the loose tolerances also cause a sacrifice to the accuracy since the parts can move and travel during firing, this affects accuracy. Three, in order to take the rifle off of safe, the firing or non firing hand must be moved (on the M-16, M-4 family, you only need to rotate your thumb) and this causes the weapon operator to remove their vision from the sights. The AR platform allows the shooter to change a mag, select fire, and chamber a round all while using the non-firing hand and still maintaining sight picture integrity with the firing hand (this is real handy in a gunfight).
All of that being said, I love this rifle and I highly recommend this be in everyone's survival kit. Here's why:
- This is the most reliable semi-auto rifle you will buy anywhere.
- Because the Soviets made so many, and it was cheap enough for other countries to copy, the market is flooded with them making them an affordable purchase.
- The ammunition is plentiful, in bulk, and very affordable too. Not to mention it is a nice-sized round with some punch.
- This rifle was designed for use by a peasant army, conscripts with little or no education, and this is another reason for its' simplicity. I have seen children as young as 5 or 6 carrying and able to use this rifle. It's so easy a kid could do it, sorry caveman!
- The parts in the AK-47 are universally interchangeable, meaning you can gut one bad weapon to save another.
- This is a weapon you can shoot and put away without cleaning it (although, I always recommend cleaning after shooting. This is just a good habit to get into for weapons maintenance and care.
By using the instructions below with the illustrations, even the average laymen gun owner can become an expert in about 30 minutes.
Please send me your questions or comments. Thank you.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Philip Chance on September 07, 2020:
Good introduction to Ak
Scott on April 30, 2020:
Some people are teachers. THIS is an organized and specific tutorial done by someone who obviously understands what a "teacher' is. Excellent information. Clear and concise. Thank you.
Dave Seals on September 21, 2019:
The components of an AK-47 are not universally interchangeable. This especially true for the bolt. Often the headspace will not be within tolerances and it is common for the tolerances to be so far off that the weapon will be inoperable,
Ralph Bone on May 18, 2018:
Does the dust button cover move up and down like the AK-74? It’s ok to be forceful, just don’t go and use a hammer.
Bryan Donnelly on May 18, 2018:
I just cleaned my AK-47 for the first time, no problems. Then re-assembled and have ONE problem. Can not get the dust cover to seat and lock down. Any tips?