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Red dot sight for AK

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Strakele, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Strakele

    Strakele Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. Strakele

    Strakele Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. bfoosh006

    bfoosh006 Well-Known Member

    LaRue "Irondot"...a little expensive, but damn good site.
  5. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

    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.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    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.
  6. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. coyotewillie

    coyotewillie Well-Known Member

    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
  8. pmbiker

    pmbiker Well-Known Member

    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.

    http://www.larrysguns.com/Departments/UltraDot-Optics.aspx I get the 30mm, 4moa dot model.
  9. Strakele

    Strakele Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. Guitargod1985

    Guitargod1985 Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. ohiobowhunter78

    ohiobowhunter78 Active Member


    Plus one on the Larue. Nice sight.
  12. HeavenlySword

    HeavenlySword Well-Known Member

    +1 larue, looks cool, fits closely
  13. pmbiker

    pmbiker Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. ZombiesAhead

    ZombiesAhead Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    They stopped making the PK-AS and they are sold out everywhere. Your only shot would be second hand.
  16. geojap

    geojap Well-Known Member

    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.

  17. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. geojap

    geojap Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. lipadj46

    lipadj46 Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. Strakele

    Strakele Well-Known Member

    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.

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