I went to my FFL to fill out the 4473 for my first AK. Got it from Centerfire; built on an FEG receiver, or so it says on the box it came in. I'll be picking it up on Saturday and hoping to take it to a range on Sunday.
My question is, would it be ready to take a few hundred rounds through it or should I take some time to clean it out a bit before taking it out to a range? I know AKs can run ok caked in mud, but I want this thing to last a while, at least until I get a few more AKs
Personally, I always clean a new gun before I shoot it. By "new," I mean new to me - it could be brand new or a used gun. It doesn't hurt to make sure there's nothing obstructing the barrel. Run a few patches down the barrel, what the heck. I think it's a good practice to check and clean any new gun before you fire it, AK or not.
There's a video on Youtube where a guy opens a new AK-74, right out of the box. He does a quick inspection and notices the included open-bolt flag had jammed into the barrel. He used the cleaning rod to push it out. What if he had just loaded the gun and fired it without that inspection?
At a minimum, ALWAYS at least run a patch or two through the bore of any new-to-you firearm, to make sure it's clear. With a gas operated gun like an AK, you should also make sure there isn't any buildup in the gas tube.
New guns are usually not lubricated from the factory. The oil or grease they come with is to prevent corrosion. Plus, since this is your first AK it would be worthwhile to field strip and clean it so that you gain familiarity with the mechanism before taking it to the range.
I did field strip it and hard a damn hard time putting it back together. the bolt and the carrier just wouldn't line up.
The carrier would line up with the cutouts in the back but then the bolt would get caught up on the receiver; or vice vesa.
After a few choice words and some finagling, I did manage to put it back together and did a function check.