Kalashnikov Accessories : Opinions, Conclusions, and Lessons

Gun Education – Kalashnikov Accessories.
By Larry Vickers

Are you looking for more cool gear options for your AK 47 or AK-74 rifle, then you might like to read our review of the best AK 47 Accessories.

Kalashnikov AK-74 Rifle
Kalashnikov AK-74 Rifle in need of Kalashnikov Accessories

Strasburg, OH -(Ammoland.com)- I have taught many AK classes over the years and along the way I have arrived at some opinions, conclusions and lessons. I'll hit some key points that hopefully the reader can learn from.

Kalashnikov Accessories & Accuracy

1) The Kalashnikov is dramatically more accurate than it is given credit for being. The standard iron sights affect its shoot ability to be sure, but with a suitable optic mounted, such as an Aimpoint Micro T-1 Red Dot Sight, it is capable of perfectly acceptable accuracy, with head shots out to 50-75 yards and upper torso hits out to 200 yds. More than enough to get the job done.

2) In my experience the 5.45 x 39mm is inherently more accurate than 7.62 x 39mm. This, of course, is ammunition dependent but all things being equal, the smaller caliber has the accuracy edge.

Kalashnikov Accessories & Modification

3) An enhanced safety like the offering from Krebs Custom is a great upgrade to an AK. It offers a right handed shooter a ‘shelf' in which the trigger finger can be used to manipulate the safety on and off. It doesn't really offer any real advantage to a left handed shooter, however.

4) The Kalashnikov uses a lot of sheet metal in its fabrication so extensive range fire is best accomplished with shooting gloves to avoid nicks and scrapes. In addition, it is recommended that an end user who is looking to refinish or customize their AK should take the opportunity to debur and radius these edges before refinishing.

RS AK-300 Action Shots : With a suitable optic mounted, such as an Aimpoint, the AK is capable of perfectly acceptable accuracy, with head shots out to 50-75 yards.
RS AK-300 Action Shots : With a suitable optic mounted, such as an Aimpoint, the AK is capable of perfectly acceptable accuracy, with head shots out to 50-75 yards.

Kalashnikov Accessories, Rails & Optics

5) Siderail optics rails have been used for decades on Kalashnikovs and were originally copied from the World War II German G43 series of rifles. It is imperative that the rivets holding the siderail are tight, as optic zero retention depends on this. As far as siderail optic mounts themselves go, the best I have seen to date are made by RS Regulate.

RS Regulate RS AKML Upper and AK-301 Lowe
RS Regulate RS AKML Upper and AK-301 Lower

6) Several manufacturers offer replacement gas tube optic mounts which allow direct mounting of red dot sights or picatinny rails. In my experience, these work very well and in normal use they hold up well with no issues from gas tube heat transfer. Of course, extensive full auto fire is begging for trouble with a gas tube optic mount and thus should be avoided or minimized.

Kalashnikov Accessories

7) Magazines often need hand fitting in Kalashnikov rifles. Don't expect brand new magazines of any make to fit without modification. The good news is once they are fit to a particular rifle they are good to go for the life of the magazine or rifle. In my experience, the Soviet-made steel or Bakelite magazines are the best of the breed and remain the gold standard in AK mags. Buying several of these in new to like new condition and fitting them to your rifle is highly recommended.

Polish Steel AK47 7.62x39 30rd Magazine
Polish Steel AK47 7.62×39 30rd Magazine
Magpul AK Furniture : Kalashnikov Accessories
Magpul AK Furniture

8) Understand that although many aftermarket accessories exist for the AK most are to be avoided for serious use rifles. This is because many of them are made for the recreational shooter and not for those that use AK's in harms way. Some of my personal favorites are the AK trigger from Geissele, my signature Vickers AK Sling from Blue Force Gear and the aftermarket AK furniture from Magpul.

This is not an all exclusive list but these items all seem to be good pieces of kit from my experience.

Do your research

9) The Kalashnikov is a very forgiving rifle but it is still a machine and can fail like anything man made. Not all AK's are created equal and you don't always get what you pay for. Do your research before you buy and choose wisely. Just because a rifle is made by a well-known AK gunsmith doesn't mean it's the correct AK for you. Sometimes less is best.

Larry Vickers with an Original AK-46 Prototype Rifle
Larry Vickers with an Original AK-46 Prototype Rifle

10) Take care of it and it will take care of you. Keep it lubed and feed it good Ammo. The Kalashnikov has proven itself throughout the world and will serve you well. The historical significance of the Kalashnikov series alone, as one of the most influential small arms in history, means it is a weapon whose place in small arms history is secure. And any serious gun guy needs at least one in his collection. You will not be disappointed.

LAV out,

Larry Vickers
Master Sergeant ( Retired )
US Army SOF Combat Veteran

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AmmoLand Editor Comments:  This article was updated to reflect changes in product improvements / availability on 10/31/2017.

  • 12 thoughts on “Kalashnikov Accessories : Opinions, Conclusions, and Lessons

    1. Any serious firearms collector should an AK or two as well as the same number of AR’s. Having both is areal eye open and will help misspell the many myths.

    2. TexDan:

      Interesting response, thank you. Our evaluation of things is perfectly reasonable, though One might have second thoughts about the HiPoint, which by the way, I have no experience with. Semantics, which I would say are the subject of “dispute” are a subject of their own, one which we could discuss if you like. Cheers.

    3. Oh, re rifles in particular or firearms in general, pardon me for asking, but what is this “cool” crap. Firearms are TOOLS.

      1. I personally believe many of my tools are cool. I purchased my vehicles, which are tools to get me from point to point, based on my cool factor. I have many wrenches, screwdrivers, plyers, drills, sanders and etc that were bought due to my “cool” factor. My firearms, which are weapons, were bought with my “cool” factor as well. This includes optics, the furniture to said firearms and etc. If you only have a logical Spock type of personality, then I guess the only thing driving your life, is logic. A Hi Point would fit that “logic” bill perfectly, it throws a bullet adequately enough. But, I like my 1911s, AR 15s and I really enjoy fixing them up to meet my “cool” factor. I married my wife, initially due to her good looks and how we meshed together, also a “cool” factor. I know any woman would have worked for having children, but I enjoy my wife’s beauty and intelligence as well. I also like fine Scotch and Micro Brewed Beers, because they also are “cool”. You can go specifically with logic, as a tool is a tool, which is absolutely true. But, I will continue to add my feelings to my “tools” and also to that which I want around me. I know my wife is not a tool, so before anyone blasts me for using her as an example, don’t. I just want to explain that, to me, the word “Tool” is emotionless, while the word “Cool” implies emotion. Life is too short to not enjoy beauty as well. My take only…

        1. Hi-Point is coming out with a 10mm carbine and I think that is pretty cool. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    4. Respecting comment number 8, if your use of an AK type is limited to plinking, informal target shooting, put as much lipstick on the pig as you like, no damage done. For serious use, which very few owners, happily there, will ever come to know, the KISS PRINCIPLE, Keep It Simple Stupid, should not be overlooked or forgotten. A passing note re accuracy, SKS v. AK type.Having find a couple thousand rounds of Russian Ball Ammunition through each, I experienced no malfunctions with either one. That said, the SKS is the more accurate of the two, in my experience. The SKS strikes me as awkward to load or reload. Perhaps I had bad stripper clips. As for the AK magazines, some seemed to benefit from a light going over, fitwise, with a file. Once done, no problem.

    5. I am the PROUD owner of a Yugoslavian variant AK and I shoot at a 12 inch steel gong at 300 yards using the iron sights. I make it ring most of the time. I’d take it into battle. NEVER had a malfunction. WHAT? I can’t hear you AR owners…..

    6. The biggest downfall of the AKM rifle is the short sight length when it comes to long-range accuracy. A set of peep sights or an optic will greatly improve the gun’s abilities. I’ve seen it on Russian, Romanian, Hungarian, and Century Arms’ offerings…

    7. Larry, you’re talking out your ass on number 7. Love ya bro, but I don’t know what you’re talking about. Most AK mags fit most AK’s as a rule, not an exception.

    8. More accurate than it’s being given credit for – then you declare that it’s good for head shots out to 50-75yds? Seriously? I could probably do that with a cheap slingshot, meanwhile my old beater SKS is minute-of-golf ball with irons and the cheapest steel case rounds I can find past 200yds. Easily. All day long, every day, weather or wind irrelevant. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for the “accuracy” of an AK pattern if I’m honest. Tart it up with a bunch of gizmos if you want to waste the $$, but anything calling itself a rifle had better be able to do a damn sight more than 8″ patterns at 50yds.

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