Monday, May 12, 2008

Fixing WASR-10 Magazine Wobble

As anybody who has done any research into their AK style rifle has found out, Romanian WASR-10 rifles are imported as single stack magazine capable rifles and then the importer machines out the magazine well to accept double stack magazines. This means that you can now insert your high capacity AK 47 magazine, but it also usually means that that magazine now wobbles side to side.

The reason for this is simple: They machined out a rifle made for low capacity magazines so that it would accept high capacity magazines. On AKM rifles made for high capacity magazines, there are "dimples" in the receiver that hold the magazine in place so that it does not wobble. Those dimples are missing on the WASR-10.

Don't panic! Just because our AK rifle doesn't have dimples doesn't mean we can't have high capacity magazines without wobble. The fix is just as simple as the reason it happens.

Take a look at your receiver. You don't even have to pull it apart like I did. (I was trying to clean up all the gook the factory leaves in these rifles. I'm still trying to this day.) See the steel plates on the side of the magwell?

Make sure that steel plate is clean. It's much easier to get clean than all the nooks and cracks. I recommend Goo Gone. It'll make getting the grease out pretty easy, but you can use what you like. (If you go with Goo Gone, pick up the original formula. The new stuff will strip the finish right off the metal.)

Once the grease and junk is gone, head to your local Wally World and pick up some J-B Weld cold welding compound. Don't get the quick-curing type, as the temperature resistance is too low.

Mix up a small batch according to instructions. (I only had to use about a thumbnail size blob of each component.) Once it is mixed - you can tell it's done because it turns from black and tan to steel grey - slop that stuff right on the steel plate inside the magazine well.

Don't worry about making it all pretty. The big concern is that you get enough built up so that the top of the mound of cold weld stuff is level with the lip of the magazine well. it will cure fully in about 15 hours, at which point you can test your magazine.
Now, my magazine wobble was fixed by doing this once. You may want to put less on one side and do both sides, it's up to you. Once the J-B Weld is cured, you can grind it down with a Dremel if you put too much on, and then you can paint it if you like.

Dec 2, 2013 - Still have this rifle. I have put thousands of rounds down the barrel, and the JB Weld is still working to stop magazine wobble. There is some slight finish wear on the magazines where they contact the JB in the rifle. After five years, I think that's a pretty minimal side effect for this "ghetto" fix.


Mattwi said...

Great job and easy fix that does work.

Also, not all come from the factory with dimples. I have a Izhmash Saiga and for the most part those come without dimples but are cut for double stack magazines.

IIRC the early Russian RPK did have dimples and the later ones do not.

Huey148 said...

great idea!! I just picked one of these up last week and this was the one issue I have left to fix. It took me over 2 hours to get mine clean out of the box. I think most of the crap inside the receiver is from when they ground off the mag well sides. the stocks cleaned up pretty well with some stain and polyurethene from Lowes, but I am looking to get synthetic furniture anyway. I can hardly wait to try this out tonite.

the WASR is definitly a step below my Yugo M70, but hell, its an AK afterall, its not in the looks. they are all pigs, they love getting dirty and will eat anything you throw at them and keep on belching!!!

koiphish said...

I wonder if it would be better to fab a piece of metal that could fit inside the area you put JB Weld into and then just pound a dimple into the metal piece and tac weld it into place.

JB Weld in a rifle sounds ghetto to me. lol

I mean how long could JB Weld possibly hold up in this situation and would gun oils effect it any?

Jeremy Star said...

It may sound ghetto, but it's held up to over a thousand rounds and many cleanings in between, and it cost less than buying a welder.

guns&ammo said...

Just wondering, what are the odds of the JB weld not curing all the way and it staying gummy and you still have the wobble and a glob of junk in your rifle? I've already applied the weld according to the instructions (added just a little extra hardener just in case) But I'm worried it may not cure right, I have bad luck with epoxy.

rmcfolling said...

Rasa said
Just bought the zestava pap and it has the dimples with the plates on the sides as filler. My concern is will the feeder be able to feed the offset shells of the double stack mags?
Any thoughts?