Optic recommendation for front rail on an ak47


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seldomseensmith
May 24, 2008, 07:32 PM
Hey guys!

Looking into an optic recommendation for an ak-47 that I will be mounting on the front. I am leaning towards a red dot or similar holographic sight, but don't want to spend the cash on an eotech etc. My biggests concerns are what objective size is large enough. thank you!

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JWarren
May 24, 2008, 07:39 PM
If you do not want to spend the cash for an Aimpoint or EOTech, can you give us an idea of what you are interested in paying for one?

That will help with recommendations.


One thing that I can add without knowing price range is that -- especially in red dots-- you get what you pay for.


You CAN get a decent LIGHT-DUTY reddot or holosight for less than the cost of an aimpoint. Bushnell and Burris are companies that you may want to take a look at.

However, before I sunk around $200 on a holosight or red-dot, I'd save a bit more and get a used Aimpoint Comp M2. I've seen them for around $300.

But that's just me.


-- John

rbernie
May 24, 2008, 07:42 PM
I got a couple of Aimpoints for my AK/Ultimak setups; $259/ea on sale at MidwayUSA.

That's the way to go, IMO - wait for a sale or buy a used Aimpoint.

JWarren
May 24, 2008, 07:44 PM
Oh...


If you DO decide to get a used Aimpoint, MAKE SURE you check out this thread in AR15.com about what to look for in FAKE optics.


We are seeing more and more knock-offs of reputable optics. Aimpoint has been knocked-off quite a bit. There is now a knock-off EOTech, and much to my dismay, there is a Knock-off Leupold Mark 4.

All brought to you by China.



Be very careful-- the knock-offs actually have the company name such as Leupold on them.



Here's a link about the knock-off Aimpoints:


http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=18&t=367860


-- John

DMK
May 24, 2008, 08:11 PM
You CAN get a decent LIGHT-DUTY reddot or holosight for less than the cost of an aimpoint. Bushnell and Burris are companies that you may want to take a look at.

However, before I sunk around $200 on a holosight or red-dot, I'd save a bit more and get a used Aimpoint Comp M2. I've seen them for around $300.Jwarren gived good advice.

I think the Bushnell Holosight is a great sight and plenty reliable for everything this side of full blown urban combat. However it and its Eotech sibling sit very high, being designed to mount on the M16/AR15 platform mainly.

The AK forward mount rails sit relatively high. An Aimpoint or other tube optic will sit lower than the heads-up-display (HUD) type sights such as the Eotech.

If you are worried about having an unobstructed view, make sure to shoot with both eyes open focusing your eyes out at your target area, not on the dot.

seldomseensmith
May 24, 2008, 09:52 PM
Thank you so much for the responses! I think that I'm going to go with a sale aimpoint. According to you guys 30mm is good enough, and I will take your word for it. I don't mind spending 200 something dollars for a sight that will not get destroyed. Also, thank you for the warning about fake scopes.


"the distrust of wit is the beginning of tyranny."

SimpleIsGood229
May 24, 2008, 10:15 PM
Good decision on going with the Aimpoint. Better a good-quality optic on a cheap rifle that vice-versa.

By the way, how is it that you have an AK in California?

seldomseensmith
May 24, 2008, 10:31 PM
Unfortunately, it's in texas like most of my firearms. I will soon be moving to Oregon.

SimpleIsGood229
May 24, 2008, 10:33 PM
Goooootcha. You're always welcome to come over here to Texas, ya know! :)

seldomseensmith
May 24, 2008, 10:42 PM
I do miss the BBQ and hunting quite a bit. However, for all it's drawbacks California (and neighboring Nevada) do have their advantages. This will make you laugh - we have 1 gun store in SF and they charge 75$ for any ffl transfer. bastards.

LeibstandarteAdH
May 24, 2008, 10:58 PM
By the way, how is it that you have an AK in California?

with a fixed 10 round magazine and no pistol grip bayonet lug, grenade launcher or flash hider while shooting nothing but lead core ammo

Coronach
May 25, 2008, 01:52 AM
OK.

I just went through this. I have dickered around with mouting various sights on my SAR-1 in various configurations and positions. I'll try to sum up what I have learned in one brief post.

Mount

There are pretty much four options for slapping a red dot on an AK.

1. Mount that replaces the facotry rear sight. I didn't do this, since I like having the irons as backups.

2. Dustcover mount. Don't.

3. Combloc side rail. This is the "proper" way to do it, and it has the advantage of being designed for the weapon. The receiver can flex, though, and some mounts don't lock up very tightly, so maintaining zero can be hit or miss. You also have the choice of having the sight sit very high or very very high, or off to the left. And if you go with the "very high" option above, you can get pretty tight clearance for the dustcover, which can make cleaning slightly harder (big deal) and malfunction manipulations more difficult (more important). I tried the combloc mount and did not like it.

4. Ultimak rail or functional equivalent, putting the sight on the gas tube or immediately above it. I consider this to tbe the best option. It's out of the way, down as low as you can get it, and works very well with a red dot. The disadvantages are that ultimak mounts are not cheap, and you're putting the weight of the optic on the nose of the gun.

Sight

If money is no object, an Aimpoint on a low ring on the Ultimak is the way to go, period. Nothing is as rugged, dependable, and elegantly simple. You can use the dot with good cheekweld, and if the dot goes down you can look through the sight and use your irons. An Aimpoint Comp2 is what I had on my SAR for a while, and the setup just plain works.

If money is enough of an object that a used aimpoint is not an option, you have a couple of other decent choices. Any 30mm tube sight will work on a low ring, and most of them will allow you to look through the sight to use the irons. The S.P.O.T III sight is a "no name" sight that has gotten great reviews on arfcom that would work. Burris has a version of the same sight that would work as well.

Eotechs and other 'reflex' style sights will sit high enough that they will block the irons and may require cheek pieces if you like having cheekweld and not jaw weld. If you put them on a QD mount you will solve the problem of the blocked irons, but make the sight sit even higher. I had an OKO Holosight that I tried to use on the Ultimak and just could not get it to work right.

Russian Optics

Another good option are Russian sights. The PK-23 and the PK-A both have versions that will mount on the Ultimak rail in a 30mm ring. I have a PK-23 that I just got on mine right now and my only complaint is that the stupid thing juuuuuuuuust blocks the irons. If I have to switch to iron sights I'll have to dump the optic, or I may be able to crank up the FSP and the rear sight base and try running it like that. I'll lose my elevation adjustment on the rear sight, but, well, who uses elevation adjustments on AK BUIS anyway?

Mike

PS The reasons I moved the Aimpoint off of the rifle were that it seemed weird having an optic that cost more than the whole rifle on my beater blaster, and I had another use for the Aimpoint.

PPS Oh, I forgot. There is the Beryl rail and the copy made by Krebs. It basically puts the sights over the duscover but on a stable mount. Never used one, but the look very nice.

DMK
May 25, 2008, 01:18 PM
If I have to switch to iron sights I'll have to dump the optic, or I may be able to crank up the FSP and the rear sight base and try running it like that. I'll lose my elevation adjustment on the rear sight, but, well, who uses elevation adjustments on AK BUIS anyway?That's an interesting suggestion. I always just battlesight my AK and SKS then leave it anyway. I wonder if anyone sells an extra tall front sight post?

DMK
May 25, 2008, 01:22 PM
The reasons I moved the Aimpoint off of the rifle were that it seemed weird having an optic that cost more than the whole rifle on my beater blaster, and I had another use for the Aimpoint.
The flip side of that is having a tough as nails combat carbine with probably the toughest red-dot sight available. A rifle (like any machine) is a system, only as strong as the weakest link.

Putting a cheaper optic on an AK to me seems to me like running a Humvee with a space saver spare tire on it.

If it's just the cost issue, think of it this way, with the money you saved on the rifle, you can put more into a better optic.

briansmithwins
May 25, 2008, 01:46 PM
1) I like the side rail. The receiver may flex, but I've never had a problem with return to zero. Mounting optics on the rail also preserves the balance of the rifle better too.

2) I use the elevation adjustment on the rifle. I was using irons last month for our local rifle match. We had targets (10" steel) at 180, 220, and 300 yards. I used the '2' setting for the close targets and '3' for the far target. 7.62x39 has such a rainbow trajectory that hold over for targets at range can get tricky.

3) Cheap optics are just that, cheap. Something will be missing: durability, light transmission, battery life, loss of zero... What are you doing with the rifle? Days at the range punching paper? Rifle class? Matches? SHTF? As the consequences from a failing optic get more serious you should put more money into them.

My setup is a Trijicon Reflex II on a commie BP-02 mount. That puts the sight low enough to get a decent cheek weld. BSW

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y3/briansmithwins/reflexdetail.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y3/briansmithwins/rx12andbp02.jpg

DMK
May 25, 2008, 01:53 PM
Boy, it's a shame you couldn't just bolt that Reflex directly to the siderail mount. That would probably bring it down about a half inch.

I have that sidemount also. It's very modular. The weaver rail comes off with a few screws.

Lowering scopes closer to the bore also improves your ballistics slightly.

briansmithwins
May 25, 2008, 02:57 PM
Yeah, the reflex wouldn't fit in between the nubs on the BP-02. I've modified a BP-02 in the past, but that was with a PK-23 and wide 30mm ring. BSW

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y3/briansmithwins/leftdetail.jpg

rbernie
May 25, 2008, 06:20 PM
Aimpoint on an Ultimak:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=63168&d=1188489535

dstorm1911
May 25, 2008, 11:13 PM
Side mount as pictured above,

Why would the side mount have any effect on cleaning etc.. Coronach ? ya simply slide it off takes bout half a second... I have assorted optics/dots mounted on the LOpro mount as pictured above and can swap from DOT to variable scope in less than 2 seconds.......... try doing that with Ultimak mounted optics...... zero is never effected if ya actually adjust the side mount correctly for tension

Reciever flex only occurs under full auto use, it takes the colliding recoil pulses to cause the reciever flex and it goes away completelly in an AK that has had the rate reducer removed.... its non existant in semi auto mode and has no effect on optics holding zero

Coronach
May 26, 2008, 01:52 AM
Why would the side mount have any effect on cleaning etc.. Coronach ? ya simply slide it off takes bout half a second... I have assorted optics/dots mounted on the LOpro mount as pictured above and can swap from DOT to variable scope in less than 2 seconds.......... try doing that with Ultimak mounted optics...... zero is never effected if ya actually adjust the side mount correctly for tensionZero can and will shift, dependent upon the interface between the mount and the bracket. Yours may not, but mine does. It's not a huge deal, but it would make taking the optic on and off for cleaning and malfunction clearance annoying. I find the increased optic height to be poor enough that it's not worth messing with. I don't think cleaning is the issue...I can clean everything I need to clean with the rail in place, you just have to work around it.

You can swap optics on an Ultimak pretty easily, too. QD mounts.

Reciever flex only occurs under full auto use, it takes the colliding recoil pulses to cause the reciever flex and it goes away completelly in an AK that has had the rate reducer removed.... its non existant in semi auto mode and has no effect on optics holding zeroPlace your AK on a rest, or otherwise grip it firmly. Grap your optic, mounted on the combloc bracket. Press against it, and see if it deflects.

I admit that it is a small concern, and unlikely to ever be an issue for your standard AK using standard ammo and a standard red dot sight at reasonable distances.

Really, my main gripe is the optic height. Everything else is pretty minimal.

Mike

dstorm1911
May 26, 2008, 02:03 AM
Coronach, with the LOPro mount the optic sits right ontop of the dustcover, have been building AKs and designing AK accesaries for 23+ years, have never had any problem with any russian side mounts retaining zero at all and my personal guns are sighted in for 2"s with handloads at 100 yards, never any shift at all with any of them. In fact just today I was clearing out some round tail squirles that are infesting the rear of my property with onea my Yugo M70B2 UFs with a cheap Center point 4-16x40 scope mounted on onea the LOPro mounts with the cheap included chicom rings, handloads at 105 measured yards, the targets are 3" tall and usually partially hidden behind dirt or in holes and moving.... no problem at all blowin away 15 of em with 15 rounds fired from a camera tripod with a bag mounted on it for a rest..... after I was done the red dot went back on for a few runners at the 50 yard mark... dead squirle for every shot fired

http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk268/dstorm1911/250px-Round_tailed_ground_squirrel.jpg

http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk268/dstorm1911/200px-Ground_squirrel_mesquite.jpg

I don't waste much ammo on paper myself...

rbernie
May 26, 2008, 11:21 AM
Reciever flex only occurs under full auto useUh, actually it also occurs when you accidentally drop your rifle and it lands on one side of your optic. You know, the optic that's sitting on the top of this giant lever that's attached to a thin strip of metal that's riveted to a thin sheet of stamped sheet metal.

No thanks.

Pilot
May 26, 2008, 11:45 AM
I have a Russian Kobra site on my Romanian AK-74 conversion. Works great and I think they still sell for under $200. You can get them and others here:

http://www.kalinkaoptics.com/default.aspx

Coronach
May 26, 2008, 01:03 PM
Dstorm-

Which mount and optic combo are you talking about? I'm all for something using the combloc rail as long as it doesn't shift while mounted AND is low enough.

By "low enough" I mean significantly lower than that BP-02/Reflex combo that briansmithwins has pictured. In order to be low enough, you'd pretty much have to mount the optic directly (integrally) to the arm of the mount, with no intervening picatinny base and clamp.

Mike

dstorm1911
May 26, 2008, 09:47 PM
Coronach With the BP-02 ya can cowitness the irons with most red Dots, using low Rings with a 32mm scope ya can hardly get your head low enough to see through the scope with the original butstock (thats why I prefer the Yugo underfolder when using optics) With the 40 mm objective lense on that mount with medium height rings the objective literally sits right against the AKs rear sight.......

as far as retaining zero ya adjust the mounts lock with the mount slid solid to the front of the rail on the rifle, it has no choice but to return to the exact same spot when reinstalled, I don't leave any optics mounted on the UFs as ya gotta remove em to fold the stock, not a single one of em has any problem with zero retention regadless what optic is mounted (I have a 75 or 80 of those BP-02s setup with any combination of scopes and DOTs that get swapped between a couple hundred AKs for testing and evaluation of different components etc..) most I've gotten the siderails fitted so I don't have to readjust the mounts lock tension when swapping from one rifle to another just zero whatever optic is on the mount (there is a wide variation in side rail dimensions normally so the mount must be adjusted for each rail its put on or do like I did and just mill all rails to same dimension before building the rifle and installing the rail) if properly fitted that side mount is rock solid and has zero twist or flex to it......... if not properly fitted then as with any mount it can shift all over the place.

I'm currently testing the Clearpoint Scopes sold by Wally world for $69, one is mounted on an AK, one is on a G3 and on an L1A1 with a fourth mounted on a China/Beeman springer air rifle (to see how they do with reverse recoil) so far these are an amazing scope especially at the price, the G3 normally eats scopes but other than the illuminated reticle switch taking a dump the glass itself is holding up great, and the one bein used on the AK(s) has done great other than the factory supplied rings with the BP-02 puts the objective bell right against the rear sight making turning it to focus a pain and hadda mount it with the objective set all the way out as originally it jammed into the AKs rear sight when I was turning it to zero at 100 yards.... these are not a compact light weight scope yet they are holding zero just fine mounted on the siderail under recoil a heavy scope is what will usually get your rings or mount to shift under recoil....... no effect on the AK sidemount at all still rock solid and still zeroed right where it started 453 rounds ago....

How low are ya wanting to get cause unless your mounting a straight tube the BP-02 is plenty low enough it sits below the rear sight height and MUCH lower than anything mounted on the gas tube... any lower and ya can't get your head down enough to see through anything mounted on the rail....

Coronach
May 27, 2008, 01:00 AM
Coronach With the BP-02 ya can cowitness the irons with most red Dots, using low Rings with a 32mm scope ya can hardly get your head low enough to see through the scope with the original butstock (thats why I prefer the Yugo underfolder when using optics) With the 40 mm objective lense on that mount with medium height rings the objective literally sits right against the AKs rear sight.......I have to see this, because I have a BP-02 mount and it squarely blocks the irons, and the picatinny portion is above that. Do you have pics, and where did you get this mount? I ask because I want one...the height is my major gripe.

Mike

Coronach
May 27, 2008, 07:39 PM
Bump for pics of this BP-02 mount that is significantly lower than mine.

Coronach
June 1, 2008, 09:06 PM
Bump?

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