Arsenal PR-01/PR-03 Handguards: Arsenal Inc. in Las Vegas produces top-quality PR-01 and PR-03 quad-rail handguards for AKs and Krinks, respectively. These units, made to tight specifications from aluminum and stainless steel, maintain the rifle’s ability to store a cleaning rod, fit both stamped and milled receivers, keep debris out of the receiver with sealing caps, and have marked rails so you can easily return optics and accessories to their original positions if they’re removed.
Arsenal SM-13: Bulgarian AKs are some of the best, and Arsenal Inc. is the exclusive distributor of these rifles in the United States. To respond to increasing demand, Arsenal recently introduced the SM-13 scope mount, which attaches to the side receiver rail of most AKs. It is CNC-machined from a billet of aluminum and provides a 7.5-inch-long rail on top for mounting an optic. The quick-detach locking system is made of steel to ensure a secure hold that will help your sight to maintain its zero. The whole mount weighs less than 6 ounces.
Century Arms AK Micro Dot Side Mount: Smaller red-dot sights—as opposed to larger sights that use Picatinny rails—are incredibly popular because they’re small and lightweight. To meet demand, Century Arms has introduced the AK Micro Dot Side Mount as part of its Red Army Standard line. Mounting optics to the receiver, rather than the top handguard, is much sturdier and inherently more accurate, and the AK Micro Dot Side Mount is built specifically for Century Arms’ RAS47 and C39v2 side rails. The unit is made of hardcoat anodized 6061-T6 billet aluminum. It features a stronger engagement than comparable mounts and will accommodate any T1/H1-style sights.
Command Arms XRS47-SET: Not content with the standard quad-rail systems available for the AK, Command Arms Accessories (CAA) has developed a comprehensive five-rail system. The XRS47-SET is made of three solid aluminum components that are secured together once installed on your rifle. Each component can be used independently or tied together as a single unit. The rear rail system covers the dust cover and offers a stable mount for optics. There is also an extended forward top rail for red dots or laser units. Finally, three rails on the forend allow for multiple accessory options, and rail covers are included for improved comfort.
Krebs Custom UFM KeyMod Handguards: Krebs Custom has created several new UFM KeyMod Handguard System variants to fit Yugoslavian AKs, Russian VEPRs and imported Saiga rifles as well as standard AKMs. A long version is also available for AKs with forward-mounted front sights. The long version covers most of the exposed rifle barrel and allows for more tactical shooting while keeping the support hand protected. These handguards are made from 6061-T6 aluminum and feature Picatinny top rails. The sides and bottom feature KeyMod slots for mounting accessories.
Magpul Zhukov: Georgy Zhukov was a Russian military officer decorated for his service in both WWI and WWII. What does that have to do with handguards? Along with AK and AKM handguards, Magpul offers the Zhukov handguard, which is extended to protect a shooter’s support hand with comfortable ribbing on the bottom for a secure grip. M-LOK slots are built into the sides for accessories, and an aluminum heat shield is included.
Midwest Industries Universal Handguards: Midwest Industries offers a wide selection of AK accessories, including rail systems and scope mounts. The company’s Universal AK-47/AK-74 Handguards come in short and long lengths, and they’re available with no rails, standard Picatinny rails, M-LOK slots or KeyMod slots for various AKs, including the Russian VEPR. For those who just want a top rail, Midwest Industries also offers railed gas tubes.
Midwest Industries 30mm Side Scope Mount: Midwest Industries offers several scope-mounting options. The 30mm Red Dot Side Mount is built specifically for smaller red-dot sights. The company also offers Side Railed Scope Mounts for AK/AKM rifles as well as the 30mm Side Scope Mount, which uses standard rings to holds low-power combat optics. These mounts are all made of 6061-T6 aluminum for enhanced durability without adding too much bulk or weight.
TAPCO AK Quad-Rail Handguard: A quick and cost-effective option for installing a rail system on an AK comes from TAPCO, which manufactures a wide array of accessories for both ARs and AKs. TAPCO’s AK Quad-Rail Handguard replaces both the top and bottom handguards on a standard AK. Externally, it simply looks like a conventional polymer lower handguard with a railed top handguard. However, the unit includes two easily installed accessory side rails. There’s also a hidden full-length bottom rail that features a seamless cover. The handguards are made from polymer, and an aluminum heat shield is included. Models are available in black or Flat Dark Earth.
Texas Weapon Systems Gen-3 Dog Leg Rail: Using a standard receiver-mounted scope rail on an AK is sturdy, but it places the optic a bit high for a good cheekweld. Thankfully, Texas Weapons Systems has a solution. The Gen-3 Dog Leg Rail replaces the standard AK rear sight and top cover while providing a solid mount for optics. At the rear, the steel receiver cover locks into the guide rod. The top cover remains easy to rotate out of the way when needed for cleaning and maintenance. The new Gen-3 design features a takedown pin at the front that allows the rear of the cover and scope to be removed as one piece, all while retaining your sight’s zero when reattached. It is designed to work independently or in conjunction with the Gen-3 AK handguard, which is made of solid aluminum.
Troy AK-47 Railed Gas Tube: One stable place to install a rail is on the gas tube, and Troy offers a solid replacement for this area. The AK-47 Railed Gas Tube features a 5-inch Picatinny top rail. You install it by simply replacing your rifle’s top handguard and gas tube. It offers a rigid mounting platform, and its low-profile design allows you to co-witness some optics with the rifle’s iron sights. This gas tube is made from hardened aircraft-grade aluminum that has been hardcoat anodized for durability.
UltiMAK M1-B: Possibly the sturdiest forward mount on the market today for the AK is the UltiMAK M1-B mount. UltiMAK is unique because it customizes these mounts to specific AK variants. Not all AKs are same, with variations between milled and stamped receivers. Other differences emerge from the factories in various nations that field the AK. Consequently, these factors can affect the fit of your mount. But UltiMAK offers the highest degree of specificity, including mounts for AK pistols, Krink-style AKs as well as AK shotguns. UltiMAK’s AK mount replaces the gas tube entirely and attaches to the barrel, providing a very stable mount. The gas tube itself is designed slightly shorter than the original and allows for easier installation. Each mount is made from anodized 6061-T6 aluminum.
Firearms and telescopic sights have been around for a long time, but the two did not meet until guns became accurate enough to benefit from optics being mounted on top. Even so, these accurized rifles went to designated marksmen and snipers, not the majority of infantrymen. But, as we have learned in recent years, mounting optics—magnified or not—on rifles can greatly great benefit all shooters. The AK platform is no exception in this regard, and thanks to the booming interesting in all things AK, plenty of manufacturers have developed options for installing optics and other mission-critical accessories on your rifle. Here are some new and proven designs to check out today.
- RELATED STORY: 11 Magazines and Drums to Keep Your AK Well Fed
For more information about the rails and mounts featured in the gallery above, please visit the following sites.
Arsenal PR-01/PR-03 Handguards
Century Arms AK Micro Dot Side Mount
Command Arms XRS47-SET
Krebs Custom UFM KeyMod Handguards
Midwest Industries Universal Handguards
Midwest Industries 30mm Side Scope Mount
TAPCO AK Quad-Rail Handguard
Texas Weapon Systems Gen-3 Dog Leg Rail
Troy AK-47 Railed Gas Tube
This article was originally published in ‘AK-47 & Soviet Weapons’ 2017. For information on how to subscribe, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.
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