​Mastering the Maintenance of Your Yugo AKM: Cleaning, Refinishing, and Sling Attachment

​Mastering the Maintenance of Your Yugo AKM: Cleaning, Refinishing, and Sling Attachment

Posted by Clayton Goswell - AK Community Restorer on Feb 9th 2024

Owning an original Yugo AKM is a mark of distinction in the firearms community. These robust rifles have a rich history and a reputation for reliability. However, like any firearm, proper maintenance is key to ensuring peak performance and longevity. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the intricacies of cleaning, refinishing, and attaching a sling to your Yugo AKM, empowering you to keep your prized possession in pristine condition.

1. Cleaning Your Yugo AKM:

Cleaning your Yugo AKM is not just a chore; it's a ritual that fosters a deeper connection with your firearm and ensures its continued reliability. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of the cleaning process:

Disassembly: Begin by removing the magazine and checking to make sure the chamber is clear. Next we move to disassembling your Yugo AKM according to the manufacturer's instructions, there are many tutorials online and visual aids on Youtube. Try searching for "Yugo ak field stripping instructions" also. This particular blog post does not seek to give instructions on field stripping though but we have an actual guide on field stripping a Yugo AKM that you can book mark here.

Barrel and Chamber: Using a cleaning rod such as one seen here and patches soaked in solvent, thoroughly clean the barrel and chamber to remove carbon buildup, fouling, and debris. Pay special attention to the crown and rifling to maintain accuracy. You can also acquire a specialized Yugo cleaning kit such as one seen here.

Bolt Carrier Group: Disassemble the bolt carrier group and clean each component with a solvent and brush. Remove any carbon deposits and lubricant buildup to ensure smooth operation.

Exterior Surfaces: Wipe down the exterior surfaces of your Yugo AKM with a clean cloth and solvent such as CLM to remove grease, grime, and fingerprints. Inspect the finish for wear or damage, as this may necessitate refinishing.

Reassembly: Once all components are clean and dry, reassemble your Yugo AKM in the reverse order of disassembly. Ensure all parts are properly seated and secured before proceeding.

2. Refinishing Your Yugo AKM:

Over time, the finish on your Yugo AKM may show signs of wear, diminishing its aesthetic appeal and leaving it vulnerable to corrosion. Refinishing is a simple idea but can be complicated and it holds some risk if you're unsure of what exactly you're doing. It is though, an extremely effective task to rejuvenate your rifle's appearance and protect it from the elements. Here's how to refinish your Yugo AKM like a pro, should you choose to weather the risks:

Stripping the Old Finish: Begin by ensuring the rifle is unloaded and chamber clear. Next we proceed to stripping the old finish from your Yugo AKM using a paint stripper or abrasive blasting. This process will remove any existing coatings, revealing the bare metal beneath.

Degreasing: Thoroughly degrease the metal surfaces of your Yugo AKM using a solvent to remove any remaining oils, lubricants, or contaminants. This step is crucial to ensure proper adhesion of the new finish.

Applying the New Finish: Choose a high-quality firearm finish such as Cerakote or Duracoat in a color of your choice. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully, applying the finish in thin, even coats to achieve optimal coverage and durability.

Curing: Allow the newly applied finish to cure completely according to the manufacturer's recommendations before handling or reassembling your Yugo AKM. Proper curing ensures a durable and long-lasting finish.

Reassembly: Once the finish has cured, reassemble your Yugo AKM using the same process outlined in the cleaning section. Take care to avoid scratching or damaging the freshly applied finish during reassembly.

Safety: Remember to use safety in each step, if you're unsure about a step or a result consult a community member(s) from a forum. Go to a local rifle store and consult their opinion or hire a professional to assist. 

3. Attaching a Sling to Your Yugo AKM:

A sling is a practical and versatile accessory that enhances the usability and maneuverability of your Yugo AKM. Whether you're navigating rugged terrain or transitioning between shooting positions, a properly attached sling provides stability and support. Here's how to attach a sling to your Yugo AKM with confidence:

Choosing the Right Sling: Select a high-quality sling that meets your specific needs and preferences. Consider factors such as material, length, width, and attachment method to find the perfect sling for your Yugo AKM.

Locating Attachment Points: Identify the sling attachment points on your Yugo AKM, which are typically located near the rear of the receiver and under the handguard. These attachment points may consist of sling swivels, loops, or slots designed for securing the sling.

Attaching the Sling: Begin by attaching the sling swivel or sling mount to the rear attachment point using the provided hardware. Ensure the attachment is secure and free from any play or movement that could compromise sling stability.

Threading the Sling: Thread the sling through the front attachment point, which may be a loop or slot located on the handguard, gas block, or barrel. Adjust the sling to the desired length, taking into account factors such as body size, shooting stance, and carry preference.

Testing and Adjusting: Once the sling is attached, test its securement by applying gentle pressure and ensuring it remains in place during movement. Make any necessary adjustments to the sling length or attachment points to achieve optimal comfort and functionality.

Maintenance Tips:

Proper maintenance is essential to keeping your Yugo AKM in peak condition for years to come. Here are some additional tips to help you care for your firearm:

  • Regular Inspection: Perform regular inspections of your Yugo AKM to check for signs of wear, damage, or corrosion. Pay particular attention to high-wear areas such as the bolt, barrel, and gas system.
  • Lubrication: Apply a light coat of lubricant to metal surfaces to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation. Use a high-quality firearm lubricant recommended by the manufacturer for best results.
  • Storage: Store your Yugo AKM in a dry, climate-controlled environment to protect it from moisture, humidity, and temperature fluctuations. Consider investing in a firearm safe or case to provide an extra layer of protection during storage and transportation.
  • Training: Familiarize yourself with the operation, maintenance, and safety procedures of your Yugo AKM through proper training and education. Seek guidance from qualified instructors and resources to enhance your skills and knowledge as a responsible firearm owner.

By following these comprehensive guidelines for cleaning, refinishing, and sling assembly for your Yugo AKM, you can ensure its continued reliability, performance, and visual appeal. Whether you're a seasoned shooter or a newcomer to the world of firearms, mastering the maintenance of your Yugo AKM is a rewarding endeavor that will pay dividends in the long run.

For more on cleaning and maintenance on Yugo's or other AKM models continue on to read here.