Red dot sight for AK


February 13, 2009, 06:42 PM
I'm going to get a BP-02 mount for my AK and I want to get a red dot sight to test the accuracy of the rifle. I don't plan on having it mounted on the gun all the time, hence the quick release mount, but I do want the option of having a more precise sight than the irons.

I'm having a hard time deciding what to get through. I'm looking for a red dot sight that:

- Is inexpensive
- Will hold zero with the recoil of 7.62x39
- Is bright enough to see in sunlight
- Looks like it should go on a wood furniture AKM.

I know the Kobra series are common optics for the AK, which I think looks cool on black furniture guns, but I just think they looks too 'modern' for a basic wood and steel AK.

I've read plenty of stories from people who bought a $40 red dot at walmart that works great for their AK, and plenty of people who say if you don't spend $200, you're getting crap that's going to break very soon and easily.

This is going to be a sight that I use for maybe one mags worth during a range trip. It doesn't need to be high speed, low drag, usable as a hammer, holds zero with 30mm rounds, etc. Just a good simple dot that looks like it belongs on an AK.

What are your recommendations?

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February 13, 2009, 07:07 PM
My FFL likes his truglo that is on his mini-14 it seems to be holding up fine. Also for about $125 look at the vortex strikefire. The problem with some of the cheap red dots is parallax, some are real picky about your cheek weld. With any cheap red dot try to get one with a decent warranty because the chances are greater that you will need it. If you can find a Kobra red dot they are awesome optics. I like that you can choose between 4 different reticles. They are not the great deals they used to be though.

The burris fastfire is a good bet and you can get the iron dot from Larue down the line if you want a cool little AK optic mount.

February 13, 2009, 07:22 PM
Forgot to add...

I haven't bought the BP-02 yet, so if you recommend one of the Russian sights that is built in to the mount, that's fine. But it would have to be one that sits over the bore centerline.

February 13, 2009, 08:09 PM
LaRue "Irondot"...a little expensive, but damn good site.

February 13, 2009, 08:13 PM
I know the Kobra series are common optics for the AK, which I think looks cool on black furniture guns, but I just think they looks too 'modern' for a basic wood and steel AK.
The Kobra is no more modern looking than a Wal-Mart Tasco or BSA on a BP-02 rail, but it IS more authentic looking since it was designed for the AK platform and issued to Russian troops using the platform, and the adjustment markings are in Russian.

Here's my SAR-1 in wood-and-steel configuration with a Kobra on the siderail:

I like the look, myself.

Closer view:

One advantage of the Kobra over a generic red dot on a siderail mount is that the Kobra's multiple reticles make close shooting easier. Any optic on a siderail mount sits quite high (the center of the lens of the Kobra is 3.8" above the bore axis, and a Wal-Mart red dot on a BP-02 would be at least that high). But the T-bar reticle gives you a close-in aiming point (bottom of the "T") that lets you make precise shots at 7-10 yards, while the dot and dot-chevron allow you to make precise shots at greater distances.

The dot and the top of the "T" are at the same location, so if you zero the dot at 50 yards, the dot and the top of the "T" are both dead on at 50 and 200 yards. The bottom of the "T" is right on at 7-10 yards and the POI climbs from there to the top of the "T" at 50. Or, if you foresee a mix of close and distant shooting, you can use the dot-chevron and cover the target with the chevron at close range, and use the dot for distance shooting.

I have shot numerous IPSC/USPSA style carbine matches with that setup and it works very well. IPSC targets have a little horizontal A-zone in the head area that can be really hard to hit with a high-sight-line carbine, but the Kobra makes it pretty easy.

The one caution I'd give about the Kobra is that, while it is a tough-as-nails milspec sight, if the rotary on-off switch starts getting very hard to turn due to the tight clearances, you do need to take the sideplate off and lubricate it. If you are an idiot with it (as I was) and decide to keep forcing it against increasing resistance for a couple of years instead, then yes, you can break the switch off, though you really have to work at it. If you do, it's fairly easy to fix, though.

If you don't like the Kobra, I'd second the recommendation for the LaRue IronDot that replaces the rear sight with a combination rear sight and red dot. It is considerably smaller than the Kobra and mounts much lower, if you prefer a low sight line.

February 13, 2009, 08:17 PM
The UTG quick release mount is good too and mounts low but you are still able to remove the dust cover (I have a UTG mount also). With the BP-02 you have to take off the mount to remove the dust cover it is low though so low you may have to grind off a bit of the mount to get it to fit. Here are some cheaper russian red dots that seem to still be available:

They mount over the center line but not sure how low they are. I almost bought the PKA but then I found the Kobra with the built in base used for cheap.

February 13, 2009, 08:25 PM
I bought the BP-02 to try on my Saiga's, have 2 of the .223's. Like you, I'd like to see what the accuracy is with both of these. I do like the mount since it sits over the bore, compared to some of the others I've seen. Now that I've converted the 16" bbl'd one to PG style, I've got a couple of days of vacation I have to burn next week, I'll do some testing to see if the mount holds solid. The first time out, the mount worked loose, had to quit shooting with it till I got it adjusted.

I bought a $45 BSA (cheap!) red dot sight to try first. A lot of these seem to hold up well, and if it does, I'll probably leave it on the 16". I also bought a 4x tactical type scope (cheap again!!) so I would have some magnification for a better test of accuracy on a paper target. I tried it mounted once, but the pre-converted "sporting type stock" the Saiga came with set my eye too far away from the short (7" long) scope for proper eye relief. A standard hunting type scope probably would work fine with the longer stock. Now I want to try again with the AK type stock and see if its any better.

Anyway, the only problem I've seen with the BSA red dot so far, is the dot brightness is dim in sunlight/snow. Like I said, I'll give it a better test next week. I looked at the Truglo's at Cabelas last month, but had just bought the BSA the day before, or I would have bought one of them. If I remember right, I think these were 2x power too. I did see a reflex(?) type on sale at Walmart that looked good too. I think one of these might be the way to go and if the BSA doesnt work out, I might try it. Greg

February 14, 2009, 01:03 AM
The Kobra sight is very rugged and very cool. I have owned both versions currently available and generally like them....

I did say "owned", don't own anymore. They are too heavy and sit too high.:eek: There, I said it and I feel better.

Now I have an Ultra-dot on an ultimak. I used to fear heat transfer to the optic but the Ultra Dot has a lifetime warranty. If I cook it I'll send it back, got a cheapo wal-mart red dot on sale for a backup. I like the Ultra-dot, have one on a Ruger MKIII too. It's a lot of scope for the money. I get the 30mm, 4moa dot model.

February 14, 2009, 11:51 AM
I do like the look of the Ultra-dot. Is the dot bright enough to see under all conditions? Keeps zero and all that good stuff? And how low are the rings? I want my sight to sit as low as possible.

February 14, 2009, 11:44 PM
Holy crap! That LaRue Irondot is the coolest thing I've seen in a good while. I am going to have to get one now.

February 15, 2009, 01:28 PM
Plus one on the Larue. Nice sight.

February 15, 2009, 06:09 PM
+1 larue, looks cool, fits closely

February 15, 2009, 11:37 PM
The Ultra-dot has plenty of brightness adjustment and a screw on UV filter. I use it in bright sunlight along with the sun shade tube extension. You can turn the brightness setting down to save batteries. The UV filter is very effective, like putting sunglasses on the scope.

Holds zero, sits low and shrugs off the heat from the Ultimak. The irons don't co-witness the dot but they're visible in the tube.

February 16, 2009, 01:05 AM
Get a PK-AS. It's a little more expensive than a Kobra (by about $20) but may be a little better. Check Tantal for pictures and prices. I have one side-rail-mounted on my WASR.

February 16, 2009, 08:15 AM
They stopped making the PK-AS and they are sold out everywhere. Your only shot would be second hand.

February 16, 2009, 08:22 AM
I love my PK-AS-V. I don't see why they stopped making them. Also, some people don't seem to like them, but I don't know anywhere else you can get a rock-solid, steel, 1 MOA black dot/red dot scope for around $200. They work great.

February 16, 2009, 09:43 AM
It's like the russian scope designers had a contest to see who design a scope that mounted highest. The Kobra is high but that one takes the cake :) I almost got a PK-AS but went with the Kobra just because it mounted lower (still high) and the pick-a-reticle feature.

February 16, 2009, 10:10 AM
That's what a lot of people said about the PK-AS and especially the PK-AS-V, that it sits too high. But I have never had a problem with it at all. With a sling it cinches right into your body and your face and eyes are in a very natural position with the rifle and scope. You don't have a cheek-weld, it's more like a chin-weld, but it works just fine. In many ways I like holding my head a bit higher with the carbine as I can see more in my peripheral vision.

February 16, 2009, 10:47 AM
Yeah I believe the russian SF types are trained to shoot with their head up unlike here where they have a cheek weld and aim low down the barrel. So the russian red dots are fine if you keep that in mind. Still I am putting a cheek pad on my S12 to help a little bit with my Kobra.

February 16, 2009, 11:20 AM
Does the PK-A sit over the bore centerline? I can't find any pictures actually looking through the sight, nor information that says one way or another.

February 16, 2009, 12:53 PM
The PK series (EXCEPT the PK-AS-V) are offset considerably to the left; the PK-AS-V is either over the bore or slightly offset. The Kobra, and POSP optics sit on the centerline.

February 16, 2009, 01:55 PM
I'm going to mount an early Weaver red-dot on my SAR-1, and it appears the BP-02 sits the lowest of all the available mounts.

February 16, 2009, 01:57 PM

February 16, 2009, 09:06 PM
If money was no option, I'd say Larue Irondot or an AimPoint Micro & the UltiMAK Rail.

I think the ultimak & red dot looks fine with wood, and it allows cowitnessing with irons.

The Larue leaves all wood intact, doesn't stand out/stickout much and works like a charm.

February 17, 2009, 10:01 AM
Bad picture but this is a really nice scope. Too bad they stopped making it. (

February 17, 2009, 10:07 AM
Note that the BP-02 mounts are fully adjustable if they're too loose to start with. The way you adjust them is you take them off, turn them over, and press the clamp down on the shaft. Then you can turn the screw to adjust their tightness. The screw will lock into a groove and not turn independently once the clamp is released. I had to do this on both my PSO scopes for my PSL.

If I were to choose a red dot, I'd probably go Adco. They have some very fine products that work and hold up well. They're more expensive than some of the budget brands, but the 3 MOA dot ones are just nice. I can also tell you from experience that their dots are more than bright enough to be seen in the brightest sunlight.

I'm rather critical of the LaRue Iron Dot because of its obscene cost. At $400, it costs more than most AK's by itself. The ability to co-witness the iron sights is not that important when you factor in quick release lever lock mounts, and its 4 MOA dot and small lens area are substandard. My conclusion: overpriced junk. For around $200 you can build a BP-02 or UTG + Adco setup with a better dot.

February 17, 2009, 10:21 AM
i have found the bushnell trophy red dot to be one of the best ones for the money. i have them on 2 ak's, an ar180,a gsg-5,the one with the 4 different recticles is about 80.00,has 2 size red dots,circle dot & a cross, with 11 brightness settings. its about 5 1/2" long, and i usually get 30mm rings for it because i dont like the ones they come with.& you can buy 30mm quick release rings from leupold,weaver, & warne & use the iron sights easily if you like.ive noticed with some other red dot sights that the dot becomes blurry or broken up after firing,but the trophy dot stays round....

February 17, 2009, 10:22 AM
Here is my setup. I looked at the Russian variants and I was planning on getting on of the Kobra sights but I bought a Bushnell Trophy and UTG mount and I've been very happy with them. I've had the scope off several times and it keeps zero when I slide it back on. It has 4 different reticules and the batteries seem to last quite a while. I haven't felt the need to spend money on anything else. Maybe one day.

February 17, 2009, 10:24 AM
Oops. Here is a pic. I forgot to attach it to the last post.

February 17, 2009, 02:45 PM
So, I forgot what the original problem was. Was it about putting a cheap red dot on or having a black colored item on a wood stock ak?

- Is inexpensive
- Will hold zero with the recoil of 7.62x39
- Is bright enough to see in sunlight
- Looks like it should go on a wood furniture AKM.

I went back and read it again. Opinions were asked for, so, here are mine. Zero? If that is your desire, don't go cheap.
Cheap is, well, cheap. Everyone that I've looked through were bright enough for bright daylight when turned on the higher settings. I think the black goes just fine with wood (could always paint it to look like wood grain but how ugly would that be).

February 17, 2009, 03:06 PM
Nothing wrong with black on wood. Just the style I guess. I think something like a PK-A looks like it should go on an AKM much more than something like an aimpoint or ACOG.

I don't mind turning a click or two every once in a while when I shoot if it can't PERFECTLY hold zero. I mean I only expect to get maybe 4 MOA out of this rifle anyway. I don't want to have to adjust EVERY SHOT cause the scope sucks so bad that it can't hold on through one round of x39.

I like the look of the Russian sights but I don't like the low-left offset, so I think I'll stick with the BP-02 and something like an Ultra Dot or ACDO.

February 17, 2009, 04:34 PM
I have been pleased with my Bushnell Trophy so far...

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