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AK optic mounting options?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jason41987, Aug 11, 2012.

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  1. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    hey everyone.. it should be known im working on getting an aK-74 in the near future.. but im curious about the mounting options.. not just how well they work, but the bit of information i cant seem to find is how much weight they add to the rifle?...

    there are various side-mounts available for the riveted side mount rail on the AK rifles, as well as the mako group vfr-ak rail system, and the texas weapon systems dog leg..

    im sure there are others im not sure of.. but whats the most reliable in maintaining zero.. whats the strongest and most able to take a beating, and about how much weight would these different systems add to the rifle?

    also.. what other systems are available that i havent mentioned that are worth looking into?
     
  2. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Member

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    Weight- they're all pretty heavy. Lighter than they look, but still heavy.

    Any quality side-mount rail will work fine if you tighten it like it's supposed to be. Even the cheapo UTG mount works.

    Strongest are probably the Russian import combat optics, and any AK siderail optic should hold zero fine. They were designed to hold zero with repeated mounting and dismounting, and do it much better than your average Picatinny rail QD system.
     
  3. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    i will share my experiences.
    I hlave had mixed results with the BP-02 which can be a good mount. It is made of some kind of soft metal though for what that's worth.

    KVAR 04s is a good mount. It only uses two screws to fasten the rail where I would like to see 3. The mount is not adjustable for elevation so you better hope your side rail is mounted right, and use a good scope.

    TWS rail gen 1: seemed like a good mount. Came back too close to my nose with a warsaw stock and can't be used with an Ace sidefolder if you cut off the tang.

    The PSO scopes were designed for the SVD and applied to the AK as an afterthought but they do hold zero and feature good optics.
     
  4. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    i was also looking at the polish beryl top rail... similar to the TWS dog leg but drills into the side of the rear sight block for mounting, which allows the rifle to keep its rear sight as backup... but i cant figure out how this beryl sight would fix to a non-beryl AK with a side folding trunnion.. can the rear trunnion be modified for it? or am i really better off going with the side mount?..

    also, all mounts add weight, how much more weight would the side mount add in total, using the same rings and optic, vs the TWS dog leg or beryl mount?
     
  5. Cal-gun Fan

    Cal-gun Fan Member

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    For a side mount, currently the best out there is the Midwest Industries AKSM. The KV-04s used to be the best, but the MI rail sits lower, is lighter, and has more available rail space. It also uses a better quick detach mechanism. Great for conventional optics or for red dots.
     
  6. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    seems so far everyone believes the riveted side rail is the best top mount for AK rifles, so i should probably ignore the others, put the side rail on the AK when i build it, and go with one of these mounts

    i looked at the midwest industries mount.. i like it, very low and tons of room, though, i was probably just going to mount an eotech or kobra on it
     
  7. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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  8. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    heh.. sturmgewehre videos.. i like his videos

    hm... with this RS mount.. i can use something like the aimpoint red dots, right?.. also, would it work with scopes as well?
     
  9. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    I think they make them with 1" scope rings, and just a rail. If you're going for just a rail, the MI rail is just fine. The RS is just nice if you're thinking 30mm dot or 1" scope.
     
  10. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    i really like the features on that RS.. and i think if i go with something like an aimpoint red dot, it would be an overall lighter setup than going with a rail, and a rail mounted red dot or rings.. so ill probably go with that RS and an aimpoint...

    unfortunately, i WAS going to put a left side folding AK-74M type stock on the rifle.. its a shame these stocks wont lock with any rail mounted to the side... so i guess im going to have to re-evaluate my stock/rear trunnion options
     
  11. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    The best choice for an optic mount, in my experience, is the UTG 978 lever-lock mount. I have both it and a BP-02, and the UTG mount is much lighter weight and has no loss of durability. Its rails are also longer than the BP-02, allowing for an optic to be mounted farther forwards. I have put the UTG mount through abuse hunting, and it can take the hits. Just make sure you get the lever-lock version, not the set-screw version. It's truly an excellent mount, at a good price.
     
  12. Parallax

    Parallax Member

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    So far I've tried the Ultimak, the TWS dogleg, and the RS Products sidemount. None of them add any noticeable weight. My favorite is the RS sidemount, but I'm not running a folding stock. If you are, the TWS is your best bet. I'm not a fan of the Ultimak, rather not have a $600 Aimpoint Micro sitting right on top of the gas tube.
     
  13. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    I cannot recommend one to anyone. I had the lever-lock, and the front section of rail snapped off under recoil, sending an Aimpoint ML3 airborne.
     
  14. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    You must have gotten the one bad one then. I read reviews before I buy something, and I haven't seen anyone else complaining about UTG rail hardware. While hunting with my Saiga .223, the whole 10-pound rifle fell off my shoulder onto a rock, scope first. Broke the scope, but the rail didn't flinch. I put a new scope on it and still use it to this day.

    Here's the front of mine. I really don't see how that could break under any circumstances. There's a LOT of metal there.

    IMG_20120812_021404.jpg

    Also, what the heck were you shooting? A Saiga .308? I honestly can't picture any AK having enough recoil to challenge a mount that isn't so badly compromised you can see it with the naked eye, let alone send an Aimpoint airborn.

    FYI, I have heard of a BP-02 breaking, but it was a much more severe structural failure. Things happen. Sometimes air bubbles get into the metal when it's being made, and even things milled from billets are not always immune to this if the original billet is flawed. It's a freak event when it happens. However, having used both the BP-02 and the UTG mount, I believe the UTG is a better unit overall, and it at least appears to be sturdier than its other competitors based purely on how much meat there is on it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  15. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    well, this is a rifle im working on building.. so.. if its going to interfere with a left side folding stock, ill simply omit the left side folding stock if no one makes a left side folder thatll work with a side mount.. could also go with a right side folder but i dont really like wire stocks, so i would probably just go with a fixed polymer... use the RS with an aimpoint, or something similar

    so.. obviously having the best optics mount is more important than the direction the stock folds, or whether it folds at all or not... so ill find a different solution than a left side folder
     
  16. Adam123

    Adam123 Member

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    The Midwest Industries mount is the best. It sits lower than any mount I've seen and you can keep your irons (unlike other popular options, I.E. Krebs, TWS, and others).
     
  17. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    youre referring to their side mount, right?
     
  18. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    I had a midwest mount and returned it to midway. It was so low that it would not clear the dust cover on my SGL-31 or on my Saiga 308 when tightened. I also had a difficult time adjusting the mechanism to tighten the unit securely. I did eventually get it tight IIRC but the product was not good enough for me to keep. I returned it for a KVAR04s which uses the original PSO mounting mechanism design and has a little more clearance on the dustcover.
    On the MI unit I was tempted to take one leg off the "W" and shorten the rail at the rear. It would save some weight and take off some unnecessary rail at the rear.
    Also on my rifles the MI mount was at least 1/4" off of center where the KVAR unit is closer to center
     
  19. henschman

    henschman Member

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    The main issue you will run into with most AK mounts is the fact that they will put the optic so far above the iron sights that you will need to build up the stock of the rifle quite a bit to get a proper shooting position with cheek weld... which then makes it hard to use the iron sights unless you remove the cheek

    This will certainly be an issue if you use anything like an EOTECH or a Kobra, which sit very high themselves.

    The only mounts I would consider for an AK would be those that allow a red dot sight to be co-witnessed with the irons. Those would be the Ultimak and the RS AKM. Wanting to run a folding stock makes it an easy choice in favor of the Ultimak. The fact that it mounts on the gas tube has never been demonstrated to have any adverse affects on any quality optics like an Aimpoint. It will give you a lower 1/3 co-witness with a 30mm Aimpoint in a low ring, or the compact T1 or H1.
     
  20. Inebriated

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    It was an Arsenal SGL-21, so 7.62x39. Sheared right where your front scope base is.
     
  21. Adam123

    Adam123 Member

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    Yes.
     
  22. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Must have got a bubble in the metal, then. I've seen a BP-02 that cracked for similar reasons. That said, it should have been pretty obvious from looking at it.
     
  23. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    i doubt id be willing to go with an ultimek mount.. its too far forward for my liking, and id also like an option for the occasional low-magnification scopes as well.. i guess the ultimek would be fine to add a magnifier to the RS mounted red dot sight though
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  24. jason41987

    jason41987 member

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    any good, more affordable recommendations for a sight to actually fit in the RS mount?
     
  25. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    If I was doing the RS aimpoint mount I would definitely look at the aimpoint PRO.
    MI also is making an aimpiont AK mount.
     
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