Thursday, September 4, 2014

I left my AR for an AK

WASR 10/63 in action
For the past 12 years I was a die hard AR fan boy, but was never a hater of the ultimate rival of my go to rifle. I just didn't pay any attention to it, similar to an annoying younger sibling. After some extensive research and peer pressure by Olmsted Risk Solutions I decided to go to the dark side
and get an AK to give it a fair trial period, I mean what’s the worst that could happen? I was that guy who said “Sure it’s reliable and powerful, but you can’t hurt them if you can’t hit them!”

Yugo M70 pre beautification
I was fortunate to find a quality Yugo M70-B1 with the nice beefy receiver and the much desired magazine dimples on the receiver. Unfortunately it didn't have original wooden handguards, it had a shitty UTG quad rail that just had to go in order for me to obtain the look I was going for with this rifle.
Almost complete
 I made it my duty to make this beauty look the part of a traditional AK that might be seen on a battlefield overseas. I first changed out the things that irritated me the most; I ordered a custom handguard set from Ronin’s Grips and added the US Palm AK Battle Grip. At this point the rifle started to look the way it should, I thought it best to add Krebs Custom safety (Not a must have, but they are nice) and Krebs retaining pin (A must for AK owners).
Krebs safety for a final touch

I had an easy decision to make after taking the AK to the range, replace and upgrade the piece of crap factory rear sight with the Rifle Dynamics rear sight in 800m option. At the conclusion of the second trip I was really happy with the rifle, so happy in fact that my AR started to get dusty.
AK #2 WASR 10/63

Let us put an end to this madness of bolting on useless heavy junk that has no real business being on an AK in the first place and start thinking about Function over Flair. Focus on the capabilities of this beast and enhance its strong points and avoid the temptation of trying to overcompensate for its shortcomings.

 In my humble opinion if you make the following changes you will have succeeded in achieving a lightweight and functional modern AK.

  • Tapco G2 trigger or Red Star Arms adjustable trigger (Only needed if you have trigger slap)
  • Krebs retaining plate
  • Rifle Dynamics AK to M-4 stock adapter
  • Milspec buffer tube, castle nut, and Magpul asap end plate
  • Adjustable stock that offers a solid cheek weld (B5 systems Bravo stock, Vltor E-mod, etc)
  • US Palm AK Battle Grip or Magpul MOE AK grip
  • UltiMak optic rail or Troy AK-47 gas tube rail
  • Rifle Dynamics rear sight (optional if using optic)
  • Bolton gas block if you have canted sights or canted gas block (armorer needed for this)
  • Muzzle brake (Too many good options to list, do some research)

RD venom antidote brake
This is the complete list of quality upgrades I find to be of most value. I am slowly chipping away at this list and am actually forgoing a few items on this list since I have a limited budget at this time. Proper cheek weld from a quality stock is top on my list followed up by a quality muzzle brake and optics rail/gas tube.
Before the AK vs AR debate begins do me a favor, write down how much you paid for your rifle and all of its accessories and then do the same for the opposing firearm. If you own an AR you most likely have 1200-3500 invested depending on optics and initial rifle cost. If you own an AK you may have 500-1200 invested. You can pick up an AK for the same price of 1000 rounds of 5.56 and the AK is .27 cents/round, that’s hard to beat if you like to shoot a bunch.
Finished product
WASR 10/63

When reliability comes in to conversation regarding the AK platform, even AKs can have issues. Luckily we have Rifle Dynamics on call for the unexpected hiccup. Check out what Lance with Olmsted Risk Solutions did with when his AK failed to feed reliably here.

Iraq 2003 I'm on the left with my first AR

In conclusion, the AR has been a part of my life since 2002 and I will always love my AR, but adding an AK to your armory is a no-brainer when you consider how much it costs to own and shoot in comparison to the AR. The AR hands down is more accurate than the AK, but I’ll take the reliability of the AK that is a bit less accurate over the AR. Expanding your proficiency with multiple platforms is always something to keep in the back of your mind as well, the AK can be a bit quirky and definitely takes practice to get comfortable with.
For the “Can’t hurt em if you can’t hit em” people, I hit 8” steel at 250yds using my WASR with little difficulty, I am confident I could stretch this rifle to 350yds and still hold my head high with my groupings.

Do you even AK, Bro? If so how did you set yours up and why?  Share your AK pics to my page at Koufos Emergency Resource and let’s see what you got!

Stay fit and Keep that Warrior Mindset!