Echo Nine Three will be bring their sling plates to the VZ. 58 in the near future. The new plate will mount between the stock and the receiver where it will offer a large loop for attaching your sling. Keep your eye on Echo Nine Three as the new VZ. 58 sling mount will be one of several released in the coming weeks.
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In addition to their line of AK accessories, Echo Nine Three is a full-service gunsmith with a ton of experience with the AK family of rifles. E93 occasionally shares easy, DIY AK improvements that you can do at home and I always learn a lot from them. The most recent is an fairly easy way to add a QD sling swivel socket to your AK Triangle Folding Stock.
You’ll just need a 3/8″ drill bit and a 1/2″ drill bit. A drill press would probably be nice but a vice and handheld drill will suffice.
You can find the tutorial on Echo Nine Three’s Facebook page. Each image has its own included instructions so be sure to click through the whole gallery before beginning.
Echo Nine Three’s Mk65 Light Mount is a cantilevered, offset light mount that is designed to work specifically with E93 founder Joe Elledge’s pet AK variant – the AMD 65. However, it also happens to work perfectly with MLOK and Magpul MOE Handguards. I have had one in use for a few months now and have come to like it quite a bit, especially for use with one specific light.
As stated above, this mount is made to work with the AMD-65 but also works perfectly with MLOK and MOE Handguards. You can also install it on other handguards if you are willing to drill two holes. It comes with all the hardware necessary to mount on these handguards including nylon spacers that ensure a tight fit on MLOK slots.
The Mk65 is machined from aluminum and given a hard anodized finish. It mounts via two bolts that come in through the back so you must have access to the back of whatever you plan to mount it to.
The muzzle end of the mount features a three slot 1913 rail which is more than enough space for just about any rail mounted light. It is completely ambidextrous.
Observations from Use
I was not able to track down an AMD-65 for testing this mount which would have been nice. However, I have plenty of AKs with Magpul Handguards so all of my testing took place on those. In particular, I was hoping that this mount would help solve a light mounting problem that I was having on my beater WASR-10, a rifle that I affectionately refer to as the Heinous WASRBeast.
I had no problem installing the Mk65 on the WASRBeast’s Magpul MOE AK Hand Guard. However, some users may find this tricky if they have never had to remove a heat shield from these particular handguards. The heat shield must be removed since the screws come in from the back of the mount. The shield can be replaced after the mount is installed. This points out what is perhaps the most obvious downside to the Mk65. It’s mounting method is awesome for the AMD-65 but may limit it’s application on other hand guards.
This mount solved a problem that I commonly have with short AK handguards – a problem that I was having with the Heinous WASRBeast. The handguards are so short that by the time you place a light and sling mount, there is barely any room to place your hand. Additionally, mounting directly to the handguard usually places the light too low to comfortably activate unless you are using a vertical grip. The Mk65 pushes the light up (or down) and forward which clears space on the handguard and places the light switch where it can be reached more comfortably. The Mk65 is a very good light mounting solution for short AK handguards.
I tested the Mk65 with a variety of lights including INFORCE WMLs, Surefire Scouts, handheld lights in a ring, and pistol lights like the Streamlight TLR-1 and Surefire X series. It works very well with all of them but I thought it shined particularly with the pistol lights. I am currently using it with an X300 complete with Unity Tactical Exos. It is a great set up.
The Mk65 may have been designed specifically for the AMD-65 but it works well on several different types of handguards. It does a great job of overcoming the normal issues with mounting a light on a short AK handguard and it’s 1913 rail ensures it can be used to mount a variety of lights including pistol lights. It’s mounting method may limit it’s use but, if you are handy, you’ll have no problem in most cases. This is a useful light mount for AK shooters.
You’ve likely seen Echo Nine Three’s modification work on the GWACS Armory CAV-15 lowers featured here on JTT before. One of these lowers is central to my Sub 6 with a Twist build. The various photos of this lower that have appeared on JTT are widely shared on the web and I receive fairly regular emails asking about the lower – especially the sling mount.
At the time that E93 completed the work on my lower, they installed a prototype loop mount that was never available made available. Now they are offering a new sling mounting option that is an improvement over my prototype mount and a vast improvement over the stock sling mounts included on the CAV-15 MKII lowers which are very rudimentary.
The new mount should look familiar. It is a Magpul M-LOK Sling Mount that has been repurposed for use on the CAV-15. You can request pricing on this additional service when you order your CAV-15 MKII modification.
Echo Nine Three has Bakelite Orange and Soviet Plum AK MOE magazines available now. These magazines are custom dyed, not painted, so the color won’t wear off. The GenM3 version will be available soon.
Echo Nine Three’s new Mk65 Light Mount is designed to cantilever a weapon light forward and offset it to the hand guard when used in conjunction with AMD-65 ventilated hand guards or Magpul’s M-LOK Hand Guards. If you are willing to drill two small holes, it can also be fit to most AK hand guards.
The machined aluminum Mk65 has a hard anodized finish. It mounts view two small screws and is completely ambidextrous by virtue of its design. It features a 3 slot picatinny rail for attaching various lights like Surefire X300s, Scout series lights, and many others.
Many AK variants have short hand guards that can become cramped for space when a light is mounted. Weapon light placement on such short hand guards is often less than optimal unless you have a way to push the light forward and offset it slightly. This mount will allow AK users to place the light in a way that falls more naturally under their weak hand thumb.
For instance, the X300 mounted on the WASR below can be activated but not without shifting my typical grip. It is also taking up space that might otherwise be used to grip the rifle. The Mk65 would solve this problem by making the light easier to activate and restoring space on the hand guard. It looks like I will need to purchase one to try.
Echo Nine Three’s AK flash suppressors are one of the best deals on the market for AK muzzle devices. They work well and they won’t break the bank. They are especially affordable when they are 40% off!
Check out the flash suppressors at Echo Nine Three. The sale runs until Christmas.
Echo Nine Three is bringing it this Black Friday. Their Sling Plates are some of the best AK sling mounting solutions on the market and their Flash Suppressors are already a great value. At 40% off they are both no-brainers.
Echo Nine Three has added a Services section to their website. There you will find a growing number of the gunsmithing services that they offer including their CAV-15 Lower Receiver modifications. If you have been reading JTT for a long time, you have seen these services mentioned before several years ago and seen them in use on the Sub 6 with a Twist Build. Now, for the first time ever, these services are officially listed on the Echo Nine Three website which is great because I have received several inquiries about the modifications over the years.
The CAV-15 Receiver Modification package includes cutting the stock to the customer’s specified length of pull, fitting a new butt pad, undercutting the trigger guard, and stippling the grip. If you think about what it would cost to the change the stock and grip on a standard lower receiver, this package is quite reasonably priced and I can testify to the fact the work is very well executed. It completely changes the way the GWACS Armory CAV-15 MKII Receivers handle and goes a long way toward reducing the weight of an already lightweight lower.
The CAV-15 MKII tends to get lumped into the same category as all the other poorly executed polymer lowers and that is truly a shame. These lowers are bull strong, lightweight, and handle very well – especially with the E93 Modification Package. You give up some parts standardization and some ability to easily swap/adjust parts but the price is right and it would take you a few life times to wear one out or break it.
You know Echo Nine Three for their line of sling plates and slings for the AK family of weapons. However, many do not know of their gunsmith services and long history with the AMD-65. They recently posted a video that shows how to install Magpul AKM MOE Hand Guards on an AMD-65 which is great news for AMD-65 owners considering that these are great guns with very few fore end options.
Two things are made abundantly clear in the video: the AMD-65 looks great in its new Magpul kit and Joe Elledge (head honcho at E93) is like some kind of a human milling machine with a rotary tool! My Dremel work never looks even close to that good.