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Tag Archives | AKM

Rifle Dynamics “Bolt On” Upgrade Package

Rifle Dynamics can turn your AK into a full custom work of art given a bit of time and a fair amount of money. For those who don’t want to spare the time or the coin for them to work their magic, there is the Rifle Dynamics Bolt On Upgrade Package.

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Rifle Dynamics has put together a kit that consists of some of their most popular upgrades that don’t require a gunsmith’s touch. The kit includes a Rifle Dynamics AK M4 Stock Adapter, B5 Systems Bravo SOPMOD stock, a mil-spec receiver extension (buffer tube), castle nut, end plate, US PALM AK Battle Grip, and an Ultimak M1-B.

The price is very, very competitive for everything that you get. If I was starting from scratch on a new AK, I would be all over this. Check out the Rifle Dynamics “Bolt On” Upgrade Package.

Damage Industries AK-47 Modular Forearm Assembly MkIII

This is something of a golden age for AK-47 shooters. There are so many great accessories on the market that can really improve the functionality of the venerable AK. One of the newest such accessories is the Damage Industries AK-47 Modular Forearm Assembly MkIII.

Damage Industries AK-47 Modular Forearm Assembly MkIII

The AK-47 Modular Forearm Assembly MkIII is a new and improved version of Damage Industries’ previous railed forearms. This new version has top and bottom rails with slick sides and modular rail sections that can be attached in a number of locations including high and forward on the side of the upper hand guard. That can be an ideal location for a weapon mounted light.

It comes with 2 rails sections and mounting hardware. One of the rail sections includes a QD sling swivel socket so you won’t have to purchase a separate sling mount.

The AK-47 Modular Forearm Assembly MkIII is machined from aluminum and hard anodized in the USA. It adds considerable functionality but only 4-6 ounces to the total weight of your AK. Check it out at Damage Industries.

Echo Nine Three SpecMod Stock Set for AKMs

Warning: Go get a napkin or something to wipe your drool. Echo Nine Three has been working for nearly 2 years to create the SpecMod Stock Set – a stock set for AKMs that provides modern features and ergonomics with a purist appearance.

E93 SpecMod Stock Set Stock

The stock features a triangular cheek piece (similar to a SOPMOD stock for an AR-15) that is adjustable for height via shims. It can be adjusted low enough to use with iron sights and high enough for use with optics. It features a rubber recoil pad to take the edge off recoil and an improved toe in angle for increase contact area with the shoulder.

The fore grip is available in two different versions. The regular version features a shortened version of the Romanian “G” vertical grip (AKA the Donkey Dong). The vertical grip is shortened enough to provide plenty of clearance for mag changes but still provide enough grip to work with a modern thumb forward grip. Optionally, you can choose a standard AKM hand guard with no vertical grip.

The pistol grip is very similar to a standard wood AKM grip except it has been enlarged to better fill the hand.

The SpecMod Stock Sets are hewn from birch laminate and then finished with a “Russian Red” finish. These stock sets are manufactured by Ironwood Designs to Echo Nine Three’s spec. They fit AKM pattern rifle (stamped receivers) and may require some fitting.

Now you don’t have to choose between functionality and good looks! Check out the Echo Nine Three SpecMod Stock Sets.

E93 SpecMod Stock Set

Manticore Arms MA-5100 Stock

Russian triangular side folding stocks are very popular among many AK shooters because they are more comfortable than something like a wire side folder or underfolder and, frankly, they look really nice on the right build. However, they are not only expensive to purchase but expensive to have installed since they require cutting the receiver in a way that exceeds the capabilities of many shooters. Enter the MA-5100 Stock from Manticore Arms…

Manticore Arms MA-5100 Stock

The MA-5100 is designed to bolt directly to any standard 10-32 bolt pattern stock adapter or and hinge. Years ago, ACE LTD. was the only game in town for these adapters but now they are are available from a number of places so you have a lot of options. If you don’t already have a hinge or adapter installed, you can purchase one with your MA-5100. You can easily install this stock by yourself with some basic tools.

The MA-5100 is made from 6061 aluminum and weighs only 15 ounces. When paired with a hinged adapter, it has the same length of pull as an original Russian triangle side folding stock.

Now you can have the look and the functionality or a triangle side folder at a fraction of the cost and hassle. Check out the MA-5100 at Manticore Arms.

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Strike Industries AK TRAX Hand Guard Rail System

The word modular gets tossed around loosely when it comes to firearm parts. In the case of the new AK TRAX Hand Guard Rail System from Strike Indsutries, I would say it fits well.

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The AK TRAX Hand Guard Rail System is a new hand guard system for AK family of weapons. It consists of two main parts – the TRAX1 and TRAX2. The TRAX1 replaces the standard hand guard and gas tube cover. It is a stand-alone unit that can be used with or without its top rail section. The TRAX2 is an extension to the TRAX1. It can also with used with or without its top rail installed. This modular approach makes it possible to install the TRAX Hand Guards in four different configurations.

The use of the KeyMod attachment system at 3 and 9 o’clock further enhances the modularity of the TRAX. The availability of KeyMod accessories like rail sections, light mounts, and sling mounts continues to expand which should make this system even more versatile.

Check out the AK TRAX Hand Guard Rail System.

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AK-47 Magazines – What’s Good, What’s Better, What’s Best, and What to Avoid

I haven’t tried every AK-47 magazine out there – far from it. However, I have tried a ton of them and I have been able to form some strong opinions about what is good, better, and best (and what is terrible). It isn’t the easiest market to find magazines in right now but, if you are looking to purchase magazines, this information might be of use to you.

AK47 Mag US Palm AK30

US PALM AK30

AK47 Mag Chinese Flat

Chinese Flat Black

Best

Magazines that I rate “best” must be reliable, durable, and offer significant functional advantages over other magazines…

Bulgarian Circle 10

Bulgarian Circle 10 magazines are the standard by which I judge all other AK magazines. I have never had one break, bend, rust, crack, or otherwise fail. The Circle 10 magazines feature polymer bodies with steel reinforcements in both locking tabs, the feed lips, and along the spine. They are lighter than all steel magazines and less susceptible to denting and rust. Their biggest downside is that they are expensive.

US PALM AK30

Some people are probably going to have an issue with me rating these “best,” but the AK30s just flat work for me. Much of their perceived shortcomings come from earlier iterations of the magazine. The newest versions with thicker feed lips and locking tabs on the base plate have performed perfectly for me so far. They are basically all I use on the range now.

These mags are very light weight. They handle better than just about any other mag that I have used. US PALM backs them completely and offers great service if there is an issue. They are made in the USA and now, thanks to the craziness, they are one of the most available and most reasonably priced of all the premium magazines on the market.

Chinese Flat Back (No Rib)

The Chinese Flat Back magazines are the best of the metal magazines from the perspective of someone who has spent full days training with an AK. The rib on the back of most metal AK mags can and will tear up your hand over time and training repetitions. These flat back magazines have no rib which makes them a joy to use. I have found them to be just as durable and reliable as any other metal surplus magazine. If you find them for non-collector’s prices – buy them… buy them now… do it.

AK47 Mag Polish Radom

Polish Radom Magazine

Better

Magazines that I rate “better” must be reliable and durable while offering some kind of improvement over the typical surplus metal magazines…

Hungarian Tanker (20 Round)

The Hungarian Tanker magazines make the “better” list because of their handy size. These magazines hold only 20 rounds but their compact size makes them easy to handle and allows them to work better in pouches designed for AR-15 magazines. Their loaded weight is around 1 pound lighter than loaded metal 30 round magazines.

I have found them to be very well made with many of them coming into country in new condition with a nice dark parkerized type finish. They use the same springs and followers as a 30 round magazines so they are easy to service.

Yugoslavian Bolt Hold Open (BHO)

The Yugo BHO mags look like just about every other eastern European metal magazine at a glance. However, the followers sit higher in the magazines and have a large, flat back that physically catches the bolt when the magazine is empty. If you are paying attention, the difference in the feeling of the bolt slamming home and stopping short on empty is very noticeable. The bolt will close as soon as the mag is removed but the difference in the feel may be enough to tip you off that you are running on empty.

The hold open function is very different from your typical mag so I suppose some caution should be used when choosing these magazines. You should probably be sure that you have enough of them to merit training with them and using them as your go-to magazine or refrain from using them in the interest of keeping your training consistent.

AK47 Mag Hungarian Tanker with Chinese

Hungarian Tanker shown with a Chinese Flat Back

 

Good

Magazines that I rate “good” are reliable and durable. I would gladly use any of these magazines (in fact, I do). Don’t let the plain old “good” rating scare you off…

Surplus Steel

There really isn’t much in the way of functional differences between most surplus metal magazines so I am lumping all of them together. Most of them are from various eastern European countries. It can be find to research which country they are from, find different rib patterns and stampings, and hunt for arsenal marks. They basically all work very well and used to be very reasonably priced. These are the backbone of the AK magazine market.

Polish Polymer Radom with Metal Reinforcement

Beware, there are at least two different types of Polish “slab side” polymer magazines on the market as Radom magazines. The ones with metal reinforced feed lips and locking tabs work well. They are EXTREMELY lightweight. The polymer on the feed lips can crack and chip a bit but it doesn’t affect function thanks to the metal reinforcement. Make sure you are buying the type with metal reinforcement!

Recent Manufacture Metal Bulgarian

Shortly before the panic buying, there were new manufacture Bulgarian metal magazines available. They cost a bit more than typical surplus metal magazines and they had plastic followers, but they are brand new, packed in sealed plastic bags with light oil. They have performed very well for me.

Bakelite

Bakelite magazines are generally very reliable though not as durable as their steel counterparts. I hesitate to even mention them because they are generally priced as collector’s items. If you have them, you can use them and they will serve you well but you would probably be better served by selling them to a collector so you can buy some mags that you don’t have to feel bad about using.

AK47 Mag Yugo BHO

Yugoslavian Bolt Hold Open

Avoid!

Magazines that I rate as “avoid” are not durable, not reliable, or both. Don’t buy them…

Polish Polymer Radom without Metal Reinforcement

These magazines may look like their metal reinforced counterparts but they don’t perform like them. These were made for the civilian market and they crack and chip relatively easily. They are reliable so I guess they may be a decent training magazine but don’t expect them to last long.

Bulgarian Polymer Slab Sides and “Bullet Mags”

There are a number of different polymer magazines on the market from Bulgaria that lack the full metal reinforcement of the Circle 10 magazines. They aren’t worth your time or money. They are too fragile for regular use.

Every Magazine Made in the USA Except the US PALM AK30

If you are looking at an AK magazine and it is made in the USA and not a US PALM, put it down and walk away. They are all pretty terrible. Some have had good luck with the Tapco magazines (I haven’t tried them) so they may not belong in this category. The jury is still out on the Magpul offering. They likely should not be lumped into this category.

Bulgarian Circle 10

Bulgarian Circle 10

Wrap Up

This is hardly an exhaustive list simply because I haven’t tried everything out there. However, the above list does cover many of the commonly available magazines (or at least what was commonly available before all the panic buying).

I personally use my US PALM AK30s pretty much exclusively but I also have a nice stash of Hungarian Tankers, Bulgarian Circle 10s, Chinese Flat Backs, and a mix of a few Yugoslavian BHO and new manufacture Bulgarian metal mags. These have always served me well.

Spend your money wisely!

PMAG 30 AK MOE

People have been asking Magpul to make AK-47 magazines for years and now they are finally getting their wish. Magpul announced the pending arrival of the PMAG 30 AK MOE, an all polymer AK-47 magazine.

Magpul PMAG 30 AK MOE

Eyebrows are already raising at the announcement of this magazine. All polymer magazines have a terrible track record with AKs so people, myself included, are understandably skeptical about the durability of the PMAG 30 AK MOE. However, I also believe that if anyone can pull it off, it is Magpul. It would be foolish to dismiss these magazines without giving them a chance given Magpul’s track record. Magpul has already announced a future version with more metal reinforcement like the Bulgarian Circle 10 magazines.

According the Magpul website, the PMAG 30 AK MOE will be available late summer 2013.

AK Cleaning Kit Public Service Announcement

If you own an AK, there is a good chance that you have one of those little capsule style AK cleaning kits laying around. There is also a very good chance that you don’t even know the half of what it can do. James Yeager recently attended the Rifle Dynamics AK Builders Course and was able to share some footage of AK whisperer Jim Fuller talking about the many uses for that little AK buttstock suppository style cleaning kit. These kits have so many functions, you would think they were Swiss.

The More You Know

RS Regulate AK-300 Side Mount System Overview

RS Regulate AK-300 Series Mount

RS Regulate has released a video that serves as an overview of their entire AK-300 Side Mount System. It shows all the various modularity options and how it compares to their original AKM mounts. It looks like the most comprehensive optic mounting platform available for the AK.

US PALM AK Battle Grip – Plug Free Since Right Now

You can find a US PALM AK Battle Grip (AKBG) on all of my personal AKs. If you were to look inside each one of them, you would find absolutely nothing. It has a plug that is secure and well designed for holding various small items inside the hollow grip but I don’t use it. Apparently, that is pretty common because US PALM is now dropping the plug. The AKBG will now come without a grip plug and the savings will be passed on to you in the form of a new lower MSRP ($24.95).

US PALM No Plug

Additionally, US PALM is hinting that they will be providing a new item that has storage capability for all of you who will miss the plug. Could this possibly be the US PALM buttstock that I have been hoping for?

Check out USPALM.com.

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