Oct 292019
 

I am now in a full blast AK research mode, so if you have suggestions, please comment.

I think I am going to pimp my WASR AK out in plum furniture just because I can. There is a metric ton of accessories for the AK, but Magpul’s Zhukov Stock looks pretty comfortable and I like folding stocks (I could not have a folding stock on a semi-auto in California, so I am probably compensating). I do not like the name very much: Marshal Zhukov was the asshole-in-chief for the Soviet Army during WWII. He was an absolute butcher, best I can tell, but pretyt much everyone looks good next to Stalin, so he enjoys good PR. To be fair, he was likely a competent general and after Stalin killed every general worth noting in the 1930s, Zhukov was probably the best of the bunch.

I know many people like to out fit their AKs with AR-style buffer tubes and AR stocks and from comfort standpoint, they might be right. However, I already have a bunch of ARs, so I am not itching to make my AK look like one of those. I could always stay with the original wooden stock, but that would be very out of character for me.

With handguards, the number of options is significant and it is really not obvious for me which way I should go. I have spent a lot of time with AR handguards just to figure out that all I need from it is to not cut my hand and to have some means of attaching a sling swivel and a flashlight. What worries me a little is that there is so much variance in available AKs that I keep on hearing people talk about filing this or filing that. I am hoping to avoid making too many permanent modifications. Honestly, I am very tempted to just get Magpul’s MOE handguard, especially since I can get it in matching plum color. Magpul does make the longer Zhukov handguard, but I do not hold my support hand that far out, so I am not convinced it makes sense for me. I remember from my Saiga-owning days how hot the area round the gas block gets and how quickly, so I tend to keep my hand away from there. That is not the muscle memory I am itching to develop (if you’ve ever burned your hand after a couple of magazine dumps you’ll understand). Another important factor to consider is that AKs are a little front heavy, in my opinion, so I do not want to add weight if I can avoid. This becomes even more of a factor if I ever attach a suppressor to it. Magpul’s MOE handguard seems to be about the lightest I can get while still being able to attach a couple of things to it. If I wanted to hang a ton of accessories, I’d probably go for one of MI’s offerings.

Next, we move onto triggers. It seems like there are quite a few out there and the consensus is that ALG is the way to go in terms of bang for the buck. There are much more expensive ones out there as well (from CMC and others). My one problem with all of this is that I really prefer two stage trigger and all of the nice aftermarket ones are single stage. Besides, my WASR kinda has a weirdly adequate trigger as is. I am sure I will end up with an ALG one eventually, but not quite yet.

Lastly, we come to optics and mounts. I have written a ton about optics and mounts for ARs, so I will be digging into this quite thoroughly in a future post. Best sidemounts available seem to be from RS Regulate and MI, but there are other options out there that I might investigate as well.

For the actual optics recommendations: stay tuned.

 Posted by at 4:05 pm

  5 Responses to “Researching into AKs and accessories…”

  1. I think the standard size MI Universal handguards (with direct optic mount top covers) are about as light as you can get for a handguard/optic mount/anti rotation qd sling mount- all-in-one solution at 7.5 oz. They also have provision for accepting a wide variety of light mounting systems, depending on configuration ordered (mlok or keymod).

    This is assuming one wishes to direct mount a compatible co-witnessed RDS as your sighting solution.

    It really saves weight/bulk by combining all the features into one integrated package. Heck, even if you’re not going to use a direct mount RDS, I’m not aware of a lighter AK handguard option.

    This is the way I would probably set up my rifle if I didn’t live in a place that gets months of sub zero, arctic type weather.

    One thing I’ve learned about the Kalashnikov platform over the years: It was certainly built with arctic warfare in mind, and in ways the AR wasn’t. When the weather gets really, really cold here, I switch to an AK with irons. The controls instantly go from harsh and unrefined to absolutely practical and usable compared to an AR. It’s all a matter of Temperature and the kind of gloves you’re wearing. Also, iron sights don’t fog up and freeze up when going from warm cars/buildings to Norse Hell and back, or if you accidentally breath on them.

    I do have the Zhukov stock. I like it for compact storage. It’s a little heavier than I could wish, but I find it worth the trade-off for my uses. Very comfortable, solid, and you get the option of check risers if you decide to use a taller mounted optic solution.

  2. Check Out Occam Defense in Idaho. Absolute Best hand guard on the market. I have one of their rifles on order as well, Very Very excited about that, just ordered one the new run pistols as well. I have had three Rifle Dynamics rifles as well, Miss the 19″ barrel PSL they did for me Badly. M-13 here in Vegas is highly recommended as well and within driving distance of commie country? RS Regulate is the best detachable scope mount system that I have used. Have one on my remaining RD rifle I liked it so well. Agree on the ALG trigger, have not tried their top line unit yet? Watch an M-13 video on a simple trick for easy peasy installing an ALG trigger. Look into a KNS adjustable gas piston as well, really helps tune one in that has not been custom built by wizards.

    • Thanks. It does look like an interesting design. I do not know if I am willing to put a $300 handguard on a WASR, but perhaps I’ll get one of their builds. Have you tried their rear sight base? At the moment I am really itching to get a 9×39 from Krebs. I might also test a KS-47 from Palmetto.