Is it new, or fairly new? If so, and if it’s like my Saiga, you have to use a pair of pliers to turn the lever down into the lock position. I’ve had mine apart 10 or 12 times and it still requires some force with pliers. As I understand it, they are tight like this for the first dozen or so field strips.
Yeah, still pretty new. I finally just banged on the lower 1/2 of the handguard and got the top gas tube part to go in.
Problem is, NOW I can't get the stupid cleaning rod back in! I did a little research, and sound like since I have the aftermarket stock, it doesn't feed the rod into the hole that it's supposed to go into. What a pain!