Upgrade Your AK.

The AK is gaining popularity and I’m getting more messages via email and facebook about the AK all the time.

What can an AK owner do to make the AK a better platform?  First thing I’d suggest is to do something that makes it more reliable.  This is a multi-part step that requires a bit of work.  You have to obtain a number of magazines and go through all of them and find the ones that are the least reliable.  Mark those as such, destroy or discard them.  I find that faulty mags can help when you are training for stoppage clearing.  But that’s just me.  Next, the gun needs to be Lubricated Well.  All Machines run better when they are properly lubricated.  An ST-2 treatment of Slipstream from Crusader Weaponry would be ideal, barring that, the generous application of Slipstream to the inner workings of your AK will be a blessing.
Next, something that can help your AK be more controllable. We at Crusader Weaponry have become hugely impressed with the products from BattleComp, and we use them on our Rifle Builds. Here is Why:

One of the reasons we like BattleComp and this video doesn’t show – is that the blast from the brake is better dissipated than the other brakes. That means less blast to disturb dust, and less blast into the faces of your fellow shooters and team mates.
Now that you have an AK that Runs, Stays Fed, and Stays in Control – you are well ahead of the game. Regardless of what you do with the sights or optics – these things are in my mind the top priorities for running an AK.
The best way to get this, is to send your AK to Crusader Weaponry and ask for the ST-2 Treatment and an AK BattleComp. While it’s there, ask for a Finish Upgrade and make your old War Horse look as good as it’s going to shoot.

15 thoughts on “Upgrade Your AK.”

  1. If one has one of the PC AK’s, you know the ones with the horrible hole in the stock “non-pistol grip” stock, can those be up graded or are they in the parts compliance trap?

    1. Yeah, if you are converting one of those to pistol grip config, you’ll need to comply with 922r. It isn’t really that big of a deal with the AK since such a wide variety of US parts are available. The main thing is to know the difference between what parts are countable or not, and not to have more than 10 foreign countable parts from the list in your rifle. Fairly easy with the AK since a standard AK with a pistol grip and muzzle device only has 16 countable parts to begin with.

  2. I would submit that unless you have a defective rifle/magazines, you aren’t going to see much improvement in reliability, because none needs to be made. And if you do have a defective rifle, lubrication isn’t going to make a lot of difference. If you want to make some real improvements, I’d start with furniture that the user is comfortable with (note, I did not say hang rails all over the rifle), bend the safety tab out to reduce the tension and improve operation. Maybe have the trigger polished or a RSA adjustable installed. Add a quality red dot or lower power optic using something like an ultimak or TWS gen 2 rail.

    1. Agreed. While lube might make it smoother that’s not really the point of an AK. Every one I’ve run has been dead reliable regardless of how clean/lubricated they are. Hell, I get the feeling that I could strip the whole thing, dump it in mud, wipe it off, and still not have a problem.

      1. In the Tactical Carbine classes that I teach, we’ve had AK’s fail. I’ve seen just about every kind of gun fail at some point. Even the AK needs to be lubed. If you think lube doesn’t matter, you are not shooting it enough to tell and thus for you any old Lube will do. You want it to survive my course, you’ll need good lube.

        1. I never said that AKs can’t fail, that it doesn’t need to be lubed, or that lube type doesn’t matter. What I said was, if somebody has an AK that is not reliable, just lubing it, even with the best lube in the world, isn’t going magically fix it. A properly set up AK should run well when lubed with “ordinary” gun lube. If it doesn’t, there’s almost certainly something else wrong that will need to be rectified before the user will see much benefit from running the super lube.

          For what it’s worth, lately I’ve been using the bottle of Slipstream that I bought from you on my AKs. I *think* that it makes them cycle a little more smoothly, but they also worked pretty well to begin with. I built each of them from kits (plus converted a couple of Saigas) and have spent quite a bit of time ensuring they were right to begin with.

          It’s possible that I misunderstood the intent of your article; my impression was that you were touting Slipstream as a fix for an unreliable rifle, but reading it again, you could also have been recommending it as a way to give an already reliable rifle a bit of an edge in adverse conditions. If that is the case, then I apologize.

          1. Doesn’t matter what the point of the gun is. It’s a machine. Machines run better when well lubed. All machines. Smooth isn’t just nice to have. Smooth is often indicating better reliability. Less friction slowing parts down that can have a negative impact on timing and reliability.
            Slipstream is an Unfair Advantage. That’s my point. Use what lube you like, but I strongly suggest you try Slipstream. Because it has indeed proven to make many unreliable guns perfectly reliable. I’m not even kidding.

    2. Some mags, such as those from certain companies that make them in polymer… Those are some times okay, sometimes not. So test them. Just like you would in any gun.

    1. Sulaco:

      If you are converting from an importable configuration to a non-importable configuration, you need to comply with 922r. Never heard of anybody getting prosecuted for that law, but you ignore it at your own risk.


      Did you see the part where I said I am using slipstream? I really want it to be everything that you say it is. The best I can say is that I think I can tell a difference, but I’m also only using it on guns that already run well, so that probably explains the lack of miracles.

      And for what it’s worth, it’s also possible to make some mechanical things too smooth. Per legend, Rolls Royce found that out when they tried to build a version of GM’s automatic transmission under license, and it wouldn’t work. There was an engineered amount of friction on many of the internal parts that they had polished away.

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