WASR-10 Upper and Lower Hand Guard Disassembly
Whether you want to refinish it or replace it, there comes a time in the life of every AK owner where he (or she) will need to remove the "Hand Guard" over the Gas Tube. The good news is, you don't have to be a brain surgeon to do it. Here's how it's done:
Step 1: Removing the Gas Tube
Make sure the rifle is unloaded. Then use a pair of needle nose pliers to flip up the "Gas Tube Latch" on the right hand side of your rear sight post. It will take a little force, so use a piece of cloth to prevent scratching the paint. Moving the latch up releases the gas tube. Lift it out.
Figure 1: "Well, here we go! Up and out!" [Willy Wonka]
Step 2: Twisting off the Hand Guard
We used a vise for this step. If you don't have a vise, use a pair of pliers to hold the tube steady. Again use a rag or similar to prevent scratching the tube's coating. Do not over-tighten/over-squeeze. With your free hand turn the wood piece 180 degrees. Do not squeeze the wood as you try to turn it, as that will cause it to lock up. If you have a hard time getting it to move clockwise, try counter clockwise. There is usually a good and a bad direction to turn it.
Figure 2: "Timber!"
Once you have flipped the wood piece upside down you can simply take it off. Don't loose the metal spacer!
Figure 3: "Liberated Gas Tube."
To reassemble: Place spacer in wood piece. Drop wood piece back into the gas tube brackets, and turn 180 degrees again. And yes, it does have a front and back side:-).
Step 3: Removing the Fore End
On to the easy part. Removing the "forearm", "fore end" or "lower hand guard" is done by flipping up the "hand guard latch" which is located on the forward right side of the rifle. If it is stuck, use a flat screwdriver to pry it up. You can then slide the lower hand guard forward to remove it from the AK.
Figure 4: "Latch".
Tip: Removing the fore end is much easier if you first remove the cleaning rod...:-)
Figure 5: "More Wood for the wood Pile."
Now that the handguard assembly is removed, it's time to put on some tacticool furniture, or a Rommy Donkey Dong lower hand guard.