Upgraded iron sights on an AK?


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philpost
July 15, 2010, 11:20 PM
Anyone upgrade the iron sights on their AK (Krebs, Tech-Sights) and care to make a recommendation?

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briansmithwins
July 15, 2010, 11:49 PM
Not me.

I can do 4MOA with the stock irons on my AKs. That's good enough to keep hits on 12" plate at 300 yards if you do your part.

The AK sights are very fast close up and offer reasonable accuracy as is.

BSW

philpost
July 16, 2010, 12:00 AM
I'm not interested in should I or not, I'm interested in feedback regarding upgraded iron sights.
And 4 MOA at 300 yards IS 12", so I would be highly surprised if they all stayed on a 12" plate. I love my AK, I have a good one, and I'm a decent shot, but no way is it a 300 yard rifle, especially stock.

The_Pretender
July 16, 2010, 01:13 AM
Well, the whole idea behind the 7.62 x 39 cartridge was that most engagements were inside 300 meters. That being said, that would represent the extreme distance, with most conflicts occurring closer.

4 MOA is nothing to be upset about. It will be plenty enough for man, and we have to be honest, that is what the rifle is intended for.

However, to help you with your question, there is an article in the second edition of Guns n' Ammo's Complete Book of the AK47, beginning on page 40 that mentions the rear receiver T-slot Tech-Sight. The author says he had to file it to get it to fit, but it has a set-screw to assure a tight fit.

"The rifle's original rear sight needs to be removed, but that is a matter of three seconds with the proper application of a hammer and a screwdriver.

"Does the Tech-Sight keep its zero? For testing I fired a group, removed the cover and sight, reinstalled them, fired another group and on and on. The zero did not change.

"The reality of what I found was that the actual recoil force puts more stress on the sight than removing it and reinstalling it. As the recoil spring pressure is constant on the sight, as long as the sight fits snugly into the T-slot when installed, the sight should keep its zero under the worst of conditions. .... The Tech-Sight nearly doubles the sight radius."

It looks to be more or less a rear peep sight.

Hope this helps.

General Geoff
July 16, 2010, 01:25 AM
"The reality of what I found was that the actual recoil force puts more stress on the sight than removing it and reinstalling it. As the recoil spring pressure is constant on the sight, as long as the sight fits snugly into the T-slot when installed, the sight should keep its zero under the worst of conditions. .... The Tech-Sight nearly doubles the sight radius."
(emphasis added)

That is worth the upgrade in and of itself.

philpost
July 16, 2010, 07:13 AM
Thanks for the input. I have the article you mentioned, and at the Appleseed I attended, people were getting good results with their Tech-Sights. The only thing that puts me off is replacing the recoil spring and cover, in addition to the sight, whereas the Krebs is a straight drop-in, but doesn't increase the sight radius at all.

unit91
July 16, 2010, 09:40 AM
I tried the Texas Weapon Systems rail with the rear peep sight they sell. I would STRONGLY recommend staying away from this setup if you're looking for an irons upgrade. It's a very nice setup if you want to add optics, but the rear peep sight sits way too high. As a result, your sights are not parallel with your barrel, thus are pretty much worthless except at one very specific range.

gsgleason
July 16, 2010, 12:57 PM
I just got a krebs replacement rear leaf ghost ring(direct replacement for stock rear sight leaf, uses existing sliding thing) and a cross-hair front post replacement.

I haven't shot it yet with this setup, but it sure looks nice.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=693844
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=644580

Note that the krebs leaf has two variants: one marked to 800 meters and one marked to 1000 meters, depending on what your current setup is.

crushbup
July 16, 2010, 01:33 PM
I hear great things about Mojo Sights

tkopp
July 16, 2010, 01:37 PM
I tried the Texas Weapon Systems rail with the rear peep sight they sell. I would STRONGLY recommend staying away from this setup if you're looking for an irons upgrade. It's a very nice setup if you want to add optics, but the rear peep sight sits way too high. As a result, your sights are not parallel with your barrel, thus are pretty much worthless except at one very specific range.

No sights are parallel to the barrel. If they were, you'd never be able to zero the weapon. What is the zero on the dog leg? Did the manufacturer go with the 'battle' height instead of a 100y zero?

DoubleTapDrew
July 16, 2010, 01:57 PM
Interested in hearing more about these as well. I am leaning towards the Krebs rear sight. I hate the stock rear notch. I need a lot more trigger time but sometimes end up accidentally lining up one of the front sight protective ears with the rear notch instead of the post when shouldering quickly. It doesn't help that it's an underfolder which aren't known for their stellar cheek weld to begin with.

Z-Michigan
July 16, 2010, 02:06 PM
Mojo sights are high quality and not too much money. But I don't know how much real-world benefit they're going to deliver on a rifle that's only 3-4 MOA anyway.

One benefit of the standard notch rear sight is that mud wipes right out with a finger, while a peep (the standard in the west) may be more difficult to clean if you get the sight in mud. Whether this matters for those of us who mostly take their rifles to a range, I don't know.

Ithaca37
July 16, 2010, 02:06 PM
No sights are parallel to the barrel. If they were, you'd never be able to zero the weapon. What is the zero on the dog leg? Did the manufacturer go with the 'battle' height instead of a 100y zero?

The rear peep sits high than the standard rear sight. You zero it to whatever range by making elevation adjustments to the front post. You can make windage adjustments on the rear sight. He looked at having an AR style rear sight, but decided against it to keep the sight as small and simple as possible which he felt was more in keeping with the AK design.

As for the sights not being useful other than at one specific range, I am unclear what the poster is talking about. You can not make on the fly range adjustments like you can with the traditional rear sight, but you do not need that if you pick a reasonable zero distance.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 16, 2010, 02:09 PM
If it were mine (and it's not) and if I were replacing the sites (which I'm not) and if I were buying new sights (which I'm not), I would put tritium replacement sights on both the front and back. However, since I'm not the person considering this, and I am merely giving my suggestion which -- many times -- and to many people -- is worth nothing seeing that I didn't charge for it!

If there are any complaints about the content in this post - remember, it was all free.;)

EAJ
July 16, 2010, 02:12 PM
I purchased one Tech-Sight’s peep sights for my Lancaster shortly after they completed testing however I haven’t shot it yet. First impressions were: looks durable and is sturdy on the receiver which should help retain zero, finish on new receiver cover did not match the old one or AK, receiver cover is more difficult to remove, which could be a problem in the field.

aka108
July 16, 2010, 02:26 PM
I wouldn't change the original sights on my Arsenal SAM 7S. I run a Kobra red dot on it and it works just fine. The reqular AK signts won't make the rifle extremely accurate and I doubt that other iron sights will turn it into a target piece. If you were to put the sights on the center of mass of a man sized target at 3 or 4 hundred yards you wouldn't hit the point of aim but you'd hit some meat if it were a real person.

my762buzz
July 16, 2010, 04:23 PM
Krebbs is the holy grail of extended rear sight enhancement.
I got a 28 inch sight radius on the rifle below and can mount any scope, red dot sight, etc on my rifle.

http://i29.tinypic.com/2isdus6.jpg

Ithaca37
July 16, 2010, 05:31 PM
No doubt the Krebs is nice, but it is also twice what the TWS rail costs.


Oh, and nice VEPR.

wally
July 16, 2010, 05:57 PM
I tried the Texas Weapon Systems rail with the rear peep sight they sell. I would STRONGLY recommend staying away from this setup if you're looking for an irons upgrade. It's a very nice setup if you want to add optics, but the rear peep sight sits way too high

I had no trouble adjusting my front sight to get a good 50 yard zero with my Texas Tactical rail rear aperture sight. With a set of see-thru rings for my Votex Strikfire red dot I have a fast red/green dot with usable BUIS at the ready.

AK103K
July 16, 2010, 07:19 PM
And 4 MOA at 300 yards IS 12", so I would be highly surprised if they all stayed on a 12" plate. I love my AK, I have a good one, and I'm a decent shot, but no way is it a 300 yard rifle, especially stock.
If youre a decent shot, 300 yards is fairly easily done with stock sights and even with guns like a SAR or WASR, and thats from field positions, not a bench. Ammo is actually more of an issue. If you have ammo the gun likes, and youre capable, you shouldnt have any problems.


Personally, if you want to upgrade the guns sights, you want to look towards something like the Ulltimak/Aimpoint set up. Its money much better spent. You get both the iron sights and the dot in virtually the same plane, and the irons will cowitness to the dot. The rifle shoulders and shoots like it does with iron sights, and you get basically the same cheek weld.


I have AK's that I replaced the stock sights with Meprolight three dot night sights. They work well, but they also reduce the useful range by about 100 yards or so, simply due to the size of the sights. They work great for close, fast shooting in all light, but like the iron sights on the Springfield SOCOM's, they make longer range shooting a chore. If I was going to spend the money for an iron sight upgrade, I go this route over any of the peeps.

All of this also pretty much hinges on what type of shooting you do and what youre expecting from the gun/sight combos. If youre just the occasional target shooter who shoots off a bench, then a Mojo or something similar might be a better choice. If you shoot more realistically, and intend on using or relying on the gun in a more active manner, then the low and forward mounted red dot is the way to go.

Another thought, as far as spending on tying to upgrade the stock iron sights to some type of non AK "improvement". Maybe the money would be better spent on ammo, and learning to actually use what you have. As much as people complain about the stock AK sights, they are more than serviceable, and are very shootable, if you take the time to learn the sights and the gun. Many people I see shoot them (as well as a lot of other rifles), never have. Baring an actual mechanical issue with the gun, its generally not the guns fault if you cant shoot it.

philpost
July 17, 2010, 07:11 PM
I'm not going to dispute anyones achievements, and I certainly am not trying to turn this into an AK vs. AR dispute; I've done my research, and chose the AK for good reasons. But as the following video illustrates, the AR (or M-16) is indisputably better for distance, and the sights are just a better design : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6BpI3xD6h0
I'm going to have to assume that the Picatinny Arsenal chose someone competant (probably way more than me) to shoot an AK in this video, and he couldn't even put it on a 200 yd target. So I guess he " needs to learn to use what he actually has" as well?
Now look, I'm not trying to turn this into a tackdriver, and I'm fully capable of shooting your eye out at 400 yds w/a different rifle & a scope. I'm just trying to tweak the performance of my weapon without batteries, maybe replicate accuracy at 25-50 yds out to 100. So thank you to the folks who posted those links to the Krebs and talked about the Techsights and the Mojo. Based on some of the reviews of the Krebs aperture, it might be what I'm looking for: drop in, low profile, but a significant improvement. And I can always use a red dot with my side mount adapter.

AK103K
July 17, 2010, 08:09 PM
That video has been around awhile and really shows nothing, and really isnt even a good comparision to show the diffeence between the two. Its obvious what the intent was just by the content. It would have been more realistic, if the same shooter (someone preferably qualified to do so too) had shot both targets using each gun. The boy shooting the AR wasnt all that impressive either, especially considering he was shooting off a rest.

I own and shoot both AR's and AK's and have a pretty good idea how both shoot and what I can expect from them. I've shot AR's in ''target" matches, where the groups are quite tight, and I've shot them a little more realistically, along with AK's, where the "hits" on target, were very similar.

Theres no doubt, if youre a target shooter, that the peep sights are the better sight to use for precision type shooting. The problem with most of the add on peep type sights for the AK's is, they were not really added with the thought of actually using the rifle in mind. The Mojo type are mounted to far away to work as a true peep is supposed to, and are more of a hindrance than a help, and the Krebs and TWS type, while mounted in a more suitable place to be usable as a peep, also are mounted in the wrong place if you shoot an AK using the proper technique, with your head down and forward. If youre used to shooting that way, look at where the sight and mount are, and think about it.

I'm always amazed that so many complain that the AK's sights are bad, yet that very type of sight, is probably the most common type around, and I''d be willing to bet more people are familiar with them than are with aperture type sights, of any kind. The AK is very capable of realistic accuracy, if youre a capable shooter. Its not a target rifle, nor is it trying to be, but you should easily be able to make good hits on a man sized target out to 300 yards with it, using just the issue iron sights.


Just to give a little credit to the AK, since the video above seems to be such a credible thing to some. This was shot at 200 yards using the stock, and slightly canted iron sights on an old SAR1. The lower three shots were fired from a rest to confirm zero, the rest, from a cross legged sitting position at a steady cadence. Ammo was Wolf 154 grain SP's, which the rifle likes.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7d700b3127ccec27ff9e8590e00000010O00CYuWbdo5bsQe3nwk/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Same target with another that was just prior to it, where I was chasing the zero around while getting it getting in. Just so you dont think it was a fluke. I take credit for the flyers on both too.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7d700b3127ccec27f465e984f00000010O00CYuWbdo5bsQe3nwk/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Red dots do make things a little easier though....

100 yards, different AK, using an Aimpoint mounted on an Ultimak rail. Again, cross legged sitting....
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7d700b3127ccec27fd338d8fb00000010O00CYuWbdo5bsQe3nwk/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

and offhand....
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7d700b3127ccec27fedffd82300000010O00CYuWbdo5bsQe3nwk/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

2 second "snap shots" from a casual low ready at 50(R), and 100(L)...
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b7d700b3127ccec27ec09a39b400000010O00CYuWbdo5bsQe3nwk/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

While I dont have any problems with the iron sights on my AK's, I do prefer the red dots by a large margin. Same goes for my AR's.

KBintheSLC
July 17, 2010, 08:15 PM
I put a Mojo Microclick on the rear and a tritium post on the front. The ghost ring in the rear makes a big difference.

unit91
July 21, 2010, 02:08 PM
I had no trouble adjusting my front sight to get a good 50 yard zero with my Texas Tactical rail rear aperture sight. With a set of see-thru rings for my Votex Strikfire red dot I have a fast red/green dot with usable BUIS at the ready.

When my front sight was at full deflection, I was still shooting way high at 100yds. I'm currently looking into swaping out my front sight post; I'll let you know how it goes.

tkopp
July 21, 2010, 02:27 PM
You could always do the Mosin trick and put a piece of heat shrink tubing over the front sight post, blow dry it on tight, and trim to height.

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