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DanTheEldest

"Has anybody else had this?" gas piston question

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I recently finished my conversion and took it to the range for testing. It ran 100% with all my mags and I'm totally happy with it, but the question arose when I got home. I disassembled it and started cleaning and when I was wiping down the piston, it felt "odd". I realized that there is a slight amount of looseness (wobble) where the piston threads into the carrier. I had an extra pin so I removed the piston and examined everything just to make sure nothing was cracked. Both the piston and the carrier are fine, but I took a pair of dial calipers and checked the threading diameter on the aftermarket piston and the original, and they're different. The US-made piston is .003-.005" smaller diameter than the original, depending on where on the threads you check it. The length of the threaded area that screws into the carrier is also shorter than the original, giving less bearing area on the threads, which I noticed when I was installing it originally. Now it's all back together again, and even though it's threaded in to where it's supposed to be and the pin is snug, there's still a little bit of movement due to the shank being a slightly smaller diameter. Has anybody else had this? Should I try a different piston, or leave it? Is the piston supposed to be absolutely rigid? I have no idea when it loosened up during shooting, but function wasn't affected at all. I just don't want the movement to cause something to fatigue and maybe the carrier cracks down the road.

Edited by DanTheEldest

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It is completely normal for a piston to wobble in an AK. Sometimes they take forever to loosen up, and other times they start wobbling very early. Either way, it's nothing to worry about, it will eventually wobble in any AK.

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It is completely normal for a piston to wobble in an AK. Sometimes they take forever to loosen up, and other times they start wobbling very early. Either way, it's nothing to worry about, it will eventually wobble in any AK.

 

Tru'dat.

 

But do continue to regularly inspect the bolt carrier for any cracks, as there have been a few reports of cracked/broken carriers.

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Much obliged. I figured having a little slop might help with reliability, but this AK stuff is all new to me and I don't know what's normal yet.

 

When it stops working, is when it's not normal ;)

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Much obliged. I figured having a little slop might help with reliability, but this AK stuff is all new to me and I don't know what's normal yet.

 

When it stops working, is when it's not normal ;)

 

 

THIS!

 

A bit of wobble is normal, it has been that way for quite some time for my Saiga. Never has it backed out.

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