Smyth Busters: Does an AK-47 Need Lubrication?
Our Seekers of Truth, Brownells Gun Techs Steve Ostrem and Caleb Savant, bring their combined experience and wisdom to bear on a notion that's kicked around the gun world for years: The AK-47 is so robust you don't need to lubricate it. The answer is simple. There's no law saying you have to lubricate anything. But any time you have metal sliding on metal, you really should IF you want the device, in this case your Kalashnikov, to last. You need to get some oil on the exterior, says Caleb, to protect the gun from rust, and inside you want to lube the moving parts so your rifle operates reliably. A properly lubricated AK-47 / AKM / AK-74 (or any gun for that matter) is going to outrun and outlast an unlubricated one any day of the week. But won't oil attract dust and gum it up? NO, says Steve, if you're using a good-quality lubricant and NOT applying too much. Overlubricating is just as bad as not oiling a gun at all. Those loose AK tolerances mean that even if a little dust gets in a properly lubricated gun, it's gonna keep running just fine.
WARNING: Never attempt to disassemble or reassemble a firearm unless you are absolutely certain that it is empty and unloaded. Visually inspect the chamber, the magazine and firing mechanism to be absolutely certain that no ammunition remains in the firearm. Disassembly and reassembly should follow the manufacturer’s instructions.