AK-47 Operator's Manual

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Loading and Firing[edit]

Figure 53. Muzzle Nut
  • Check ammo for dents in cartridges and bad primers
  • When inserting magazine into magazine well, be sure to insert forward lip of magazine into well first. Be sure that magazine is fully seated.
  • Pull charging handle, shown in figure 16, fully to the rear and release.
  • NOTE: Do not ride charging handle forward.

Caution: Only blank ammunition may be fired when the blank firing device is in place. Do not use the cap of the combination tool kit as a blank firing device.

Figure 54. Launcher

Hand Grenade Launcher[edit]

The hand grenade launcher is installed by removing the muzzle nut (figure 53) and screwing the launcher onto the weapon (figure 54). To fire the hand grenade launcher, insert a grenade with the pin pulled into the launcher.

Figure 55. Bayonet

Caution: A special type cartridge is used for firing the grenade. Place the butt of the weapon on the ground and fire from this position. The maximum effective range the grenade can be fired is 150 meters.

Figure 56. Bayonet

1. Muzzle Nut
2. Gas Tube
3. Loop


The bayonet (figure 55) is affixed by positioning its loops in front of the muzzle nut and gas cylinder body and sliding the bayonet to the rear until the bayonet catch engages the muzzle nut (figure 56).

Figure 57. Plastic Magazine

Plastic Magazine[edit]

The Soviet AK-47 metal magazine is gradually being replaced by the plastic magazine, (figure 57), which is lighter than the metal. The plastic magazine, because it is lightweight and waterproof, is used mainly by marines, airborne and armor units.

General Information[edit]

Figure 3. AK-47
Figure 5. Wooden Stock
Figure 6. Folding Stock
The AK-47 (figure 3) is a short, compact, selective-fired weapon designed by the Soviets in 1946 which fires a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine and rifle cartridges. It has a mild recoil which gives it the capability of delivering effective full automatic fire up to 300 meters. In addition to the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, East Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, North Korea, Hungary, and Yugoslavia have manufactured the AK-47. The selector markings on the right side of the receiver provide a ready means of identifiying the country of origin (figure 4). The AK-47 is produced in two different basic models - one with a conventional fixed wooden stock (figure 5) and the other with a folding metal stock (figure 6). The folding stock is used mostly by airborne and armor units.
Figure 4

Technical Data[edit]

Figure 7. AK-47 Magazine
  • Cartridge: 7.62x39mm
  • Feed: Magazine (figure 7)
  • Magazine Capacity: 30 rounds
  • Gas operated
  • Weight: 9.5 lbs
  • Length: 34.2 inches
  • Length (folded stock): 27.5 inches
  • Rate of fire semiautomatic: 40 rpm
  • Rate of fire automatic: 100 rpm
  • Rate of fire cyclic: 600-800 rpm
  • Maximum effective range: 400 meters


Loading the magazine[edit]

Place a round between the feed lips (figure 8). Press it down until it locks inside the magazine. Repeat until magazine is full.

Inserting the magazine into the receiver:[edit]

Cant the magazine forward so the lug on the front of the magazine engages with its recess in the magazine well (figure 9); then pull the magazine to the rear until it snaps into place.

Firing the AK-47[edit]

Place the selector on the desired position (automatic middle position, semi-automatic lower position)(figure 12). Aim using a normal sight picture and pull the trigger. The AK-47 with the metal stock can also be fired with the stock folded. This is done by pressing the stock latch located on the left rear of the receiver (figure 13), swinging the stock down beneath the weapon (figure 14). This position is used mainly by airborne and armor units.

Immediate Action[edit]

For a runaway gun, keep the rifle pointed up and down range until all ammunition is expended. Clear the weapon and inspect it to determine the cause of the malfunction. Immediate action for a misfire is to keep the rifle pointed down range for at least one minute. Then pull the operating handle to the rear and eject the misfired round. Load a new round and attempt to fire it. If it does not fire, wait one minute and then unload the rifle. Inspect to determine the cause of the malfunction.


Remove the magazine by pressing the magazine catch (figure 15) toward the magazine; then swing the magazine forward and out of the receiver. Pull the operating handle fully to the rear, inspect the chamber and receiver. If no cartridge is present, release the operating handle and pull the trigger.


Using a 25m zeroing target, set the rear sight at the first notch (the one before "1", often marked "D", by pressing in on the slide catch and moving the slide bar along the leaf until the front edge of the bar is aligned with the line below the letter or number that corresponds with the range in 100 meters (figure 17).

The front sight post can be screwed in or out of its base to adjust for elevation. The wrench in the combination tool kit is used for this purpose (figure 18). Lateral zeroing is done by moving the cylindrical front sight post mount from side to side using the lateral zeroing tool (figure 19).

If the strike of the bullet is below the control point, the front sight should be screwed in. If above, it should be screwed out. If the strike of the bullet is to the left of the control point, the slide of the front sight should be moved to the left; if to the right, to the right.

Moving the front sight slide to the left, right, up or down 1mm, changes the strike of the bullet 26cm at 100 meters. One full turn on the front sight post moves the strike of the bullet 20cm when firing at 100 meters. Front sight post changes should be verified by a group of four individually aimed shots. After the weapon has been zeroed, the old mark should be removed and a new one written in.


Unloading and clearing the AK-47[edit]

Remove the magazine and pull the operating handle fully to the rear. Inspect the chamber and receiver to ensure no cartridges are present. Release the operating handle and pull the trigger (figure 20).

Removing the bolt cover[edit]

Press the serrated end of the driving spring guide (figure 21) into the bolt cover, and while holding the guide in, lift off the bolt cover, rear end first (figure 22).

Removing the driving spring assembly[edit]

Push forward on the end of the driving spring guide (figure 23), disengaging it from its seat in the rear of the receiver (figure 24); then pull the complete driving spring assembly out of the bolt carrier (figure 25).

Removing bolt and carrier[edit]

Pull the operating handle fully to the rear (figure 26), lift the bolt carrier slightly upward (figure 27) and then remove the bolt and carrier by pulling it to the rear (figure 28).

Removing the bolt from the carrier[edit]

Press the bolt into the carrier (figure 29) until the bolt operating lug can be twisted free of its cam path in the carrier (figure 30). Pull the bolt straight forward and out of the carrier (figure 31).

Removing the gas cylinder tube[edit]

Rotate the gas cylinder tube lock upward (figure 32 and 33) to free the gas cylinder tube. Pull up on the rear of the hand guard and remove the tube (figure 34).


First, engage the front opening of the gas cylinder tube with the gas cylinder (figure 35). Then seat the rear of the tube into the rear sight base (figure 36). Rotate the gas cylinder tube lock down to its lock position (figure 37).

Replace the bolt[edit]

Slide the spindle of the bolt into the carrier (figure 38) and rotate the bolt to mate the operating lug with its cam path. Pull the bolt as far forward as possible in carrier (figure 39).

Replace bolt carrier[edit]

Slide the piston into the hole under the rear sight (figure 40) until carrier fits into its cuts at the rear of the receiver (figure 41). Press the carrier down, with the bolt fully forward, and then slide the carrier fully forward (figure 42).

Replace driving spring[edit]

Insert the driving spring into its hole in the rear of the carrier (figure 43) and reseat the guide into its slot in the receiver (figure 44).

Replace the bolt cover[edit]

Insert the front end of the bolt cover into the circular grooves in the rear sight base (figure 45). Apply thumb pressure over the square hole in the rear of the cover (figure 46); press down and forward until the end of the driving spring guide snaps through the hole (figure 47).