I’ve been using AK’s for a long time. I shot my first AK (a “worn out” select fire AKMS) in 1989, and have been a fan ever since. Over the years I have owned a dozen or so AK’s in various versions, and have found them all to be reliable and “combat rifle” accurate (even that first AKMS in the mil was 3 MOA accurate). I have used various mods over the years, and after a conversation with a friend about the most recent mods, I decided to write a post about it.
First up, the sights. I’ve used AK iron sights for years, and although I never had a problem hitting what I was shooting at, I always wished I had a rear peep like my Valmet M76 had. Well now you can have that option, and your accuracy should increase tremendously. I’ve been using Tech Sights on my AK’s since 2012, and can tell you that they cut my iron sight groups in half. They are durable, and there is no problem with return to zero after field stripping.
Next up is optics (I didn’t perform any mods to the front sight, it works fine as is). Because I used a Tech Sight on the rear of my Romanian AKM, the standard AK side mount will not fit (sits too far back). I found this modular rail system from RS Products for side mount AKM’s that is very adaptable for situations like mine, and sits very low on the receiver. It’s return to zero is dead on, and the overall system is very robust.The top and bottom that I purchased was the AKR 1913 Pic. Rail and the AK-301M Front Biased Base. Using this mount with a no frills 4x scope (I originally mounted it on my first AKM in the early 90’s with a B-Square mount) the rifle shot 2 MOA, and I had one group that was 1.5 MOA.
I am a big fan of an adjustable length of pull when available. I am also a fan of folding stocks for compact storage or use in a vehicle. To that end I decided to get a Magpul Zhukov-S folder from AIM Surplus ( I buy a lot of firearms accessories from them). Here is a pretty good review of this stock and forearms assembly. and I put their field test below. All I can say is that it’s one of the most comfortable folding stocks I ever used (and I’ve use many different types), and it’s 4 position adjustment makes fitting the weapon to the person very easy.
If you noticed, I said I also purchased the Magpul AKM handguard, and you’re probably asking why I felt the need for this. It wasn’t about having a matching fore end and stock. It was about making that rifle capable of taking my DBAL IR laser, and my Surefire light, their accompanying pressure switches, and an angle grip. I like modularity from rifle to rifle, as much as is possible anyway. With the available rails made by Magpul, once again, it was a no brainer.
Two more items I have put on my AK’s The first is a charging handle extension, and the second is an M16A1 type flash suppressor. The charging handle extension really helped out with not only grasping the charging handle (bigger and more surface area, but as a “lefty”, having it slung across my back was a pain, because that small charging handle would stick me right in the spine. It negates the pain, but more importantly, it makes it easier to grasp, especially with gloves on. I ended up taking it off of the side folder because it inhibited me being able to charge the rifle with the stock folded, but it is still on the underfolder, and isn’t going anywhere (make sure you locktite the setscrew, or it will vibrate loose).
As I already mentioned, I put an M16A1 type flash suppressor on the muzzle of both rifles. This was done for two reasons. First, the slant brake that they came with does not inhibit flash at all. Two, I can put a standard M16 blank adapter on those rifles and fire blanks out of them while conducting training.
Last but not least, I wanted to review some mag and ammo carry options. I have found that the open top AR mag pouches will hold AK mags. The caveat is that the rear mag retention tab can catch if you don’t pull it straight up and out. Try it, or not, it’s an option. This is not my first choice, but it’s good to know it will work.
One type that I have used for eight years now is the Condor pouches made to take multiple types of mags. These pouches will carry two M14 type mags, Three AR type mags, and two AK type mags. Retention is with velcro and a snap, but I have never had a problem with them retaining any mag placed in them.
The last mag carrier I’ll discuss is the lowly chi-com three mag rig. I have used one of these for 27 years, and it’s still holding up. It will hold three AK 30’s (Magpuls won’t fit), or six AR 30’s. It is low profile, and is as simple as it gets.
I only use one type of bandoleer to carry extra ammo for my AK’s, and that’s the old chi-com type. It will hold a basic load (210 rounds) on stripper clips, and is a Hell of a lot more durable than anything we have used in our military (of course it’s also slightly heavier). The far right pocket (as you’re looking at it from the front) will hold three stripper clips instead of two, so that’s how you get the 210 rounds in a ten pocket bandoleer.
One advantage of the underfolder over a side folder with a scope, is that it will fit in my M60 barrel bag. Honestly, with the level of accuracy and comfort those mods give me on the side folder, it’s a fair trade off, and I’ll take it.
Hope this discussion was helpful. Remember, these are my mods based on what I felt I needed and how I use my rifles. You mileage may vary.
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE