In today’s world the AK47 rifle is arguably one of the most popular sporting rifles on Earth. We all know how they usually show up from the distributor or in that trade you just pulled off. The “Standard” AK47 sports the iconic slant muzzle brake, some form of laminate or stained wood usually Beach, Birch or some unknown type of wood from a distant land. They come with one or two Com Bloc surplus magazines if you are lucky, a Tapco if you are unlucky, and lets not forget the trigger assembly. The trigger sometimes is nice and relatively smooth or dreadful like a Tapco G2. There are most likely six different trigger manufacturers you can find for the AK47. 90% of them arrive looking and handling a lot like each other.
So what happens when you finally get an AK47 ? Once you start to look into accessories for it you can easily become lost in a list of countries and model names that seem to cause sensory overload. That’s why we here at The Arms Guide have created this handy Top 5 List for you to check out and give you feedback on. This list will offer you five choices that are affordable and will help you enjoy shooting your AK47 for years to come. We will say this list is not a ranking system, rather just a list. So let’s see what the writers and critics here at the site have to say. DRUM ROLL PLEASE …..
#1.) HIGH QUALITY MAGAZINES
Any semi automatic weapon is nothing but a club without functional magazines, even the AK47. There are AK47 magazines manufactured by a dozen or more companies and countries. The market for good magazines is vibrant but prices are climbing. I would recommend anyone who gets any new gun automatically go out and buy 10 magazines for it right from the start. Try AIM Surplus, Apex Gun Parts, and Gun Mag Warehouse if you are wanting to stock up for the Clinton Apocalypse.
#2.) TRIGGER UPGRADE
One of the most common complaints about any AK47 is that the trigger feel can range from gritty to sloppy with no consistency. As any shooter knows, when the trigger isn’t smooth and consistent that causes a hiccup in the mental and physical elements of the shooter. These hang ups or irregularities can and will cause the shooter to jerk or slap the trigger. All this does is promote frustration and bad marksmanship. The ALG Defense AKT trigger is a low cost fix to a sometimes nagging problem. ALG Defense’s parent company Geissele Automatics is well known for dependable triggers for the AR platform, now they tossed their hat in the AK 47 ring. I own one of these and for $49 it was well worth the price. It took the trigger slap out of my AK and made it feel like a totally different rifle.
#3.) MUZZLE DEVICE
A key component in firing any weapon is to control muzzle rise during the course of firing. The AK47 does a decent job with the 45* off set slant brake that it came with. The problem is that things have changed since 1947 and their are far more effective ways to control both recoil and/or muzzle flash. The Fighter Brake by Definitive Arms is relatively new to the market and a fairly affordable option. There are of course many other top manufacturers of AK specific brakes, such as the VG6 Epsilon, the Manticore Arms Nightbrake, and the Tapco AK74 style brake. Any of the above mentioned will be a noticeable improvement over the slant brake. I have used both the Manticore and the Fighter Brake and found them to be a great upgrade.
#4.) DAGGER BY AMERICA GRIP
The Dagger by America Grip isn’t just some toy or gimmick, it combines the functions of a carbon scraper, optics adjustment tool and a broken case extractor all in one. Anyone who has shot cheap 7.62×39 ammo from any Eastern European or country ending in STAN has most likely suffered a split case. It immediately puts whatever rifle or machine gun you are firing into a non functional condition. The Dagger allows you to quickly clear the stuck case and put your weapon back in a running condition. It also features a nice carbon scraper at both ends of the tool to aid in preventive maintenance of your AK rifle. Another feature often overlooked is the pocket clip that allows you to stow it almost anyplace on your person. I have several of these in both 7.62 and in .223, they are invaluable when needed most.
#5.) OPTICS UPGRADE
Many AK47 variants will come with a permanently mounted side rail, if yours does you are in luck. There are several companies such as RS Regulate, Midwest Industries and ZenitCo that make over the top side mount optic rails. My personal favorite is the RS Regulate Series. These rails are modular and come in three different variants, full length, rear based and forward based. They also allow you to buy one rail base section and have available top sections to fit most Aimpoints, Bushnell TRS25, ACOG, and other popular optics. This allows you to keep your optics low on the AK47 and not lock you into one “system”. If you shoot a budget off brand or Bushnell TRS25 then move up to something higher like a ACOG or a Trijicon MRO you can retain the same base and similar profile.
HONORABLE MENTION: MagLuLa Loader
I put the MagLula AK 47 loading tool as an honorable mention. Once dismissed by many including myself as some sort of plastic range throw away gimmick, the MagLuLa is anything but that. It allows you to load or unload pretty much any AK47 magazine I have found in seconds. This saves both time and the fingers of my shooting gloves. If you shoot more than once or twice year you should really look into these awesome Israeli made magazine loaders.
Any list of “Top 5” or top anything for that matter can be subject to much argument or debate. I debated putting a favorite grip on the list or something like firearms training. In the end I had to make choices that I thought were both useful and made a significant improvement in my AK marksmanship. If you have an accessory or item that you think should have made the list be sure to drop us a line in the comments section and let us know. We are always up for interaction or good clean debate.
Be sure to check back often as we have more Garage Gunsmithing, Gun Reviews, and continue our AK47 series here at the site. As always be safe and happy hunting this fall season.