Thursday, August 12, 2010

5.45x39 V-Max is here!

Quick picture of the V-Max rounds in the middle. On the left is Russian surplus 5.45x39, on the right is Wolf Military Classic 124 gr. HP. A few of my favorite things...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

New AK Podcast

I'm a big fan of podcasts. There's a new AK focused one available. It isn't up on iTunes or similar services yet, but that it the long term plan. For now you can download the first two episodes directly:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hornady 5.45x39 may be finally out

I got an in stock notice early this morning from the retailer I have it on preorder with saying that the V-Max load is in. Having gotten a chance to call yet but it may be finally here!

Friday, August 6, 2010

New AK Rail- not exactly Choate

The new AK rail that I reported on a few days back will soon be available through Tactical Response and Choate. The manufacturer is apparently located here in my home state of Indiana! They focus on military contracts and it sounds like the civilian market rails will be a limited run for now. Get 'em while their hot!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Kalinka introduces Version 3 of the Tim Heffron mount

This is a 30mm ring mount is probably the best opition over the other two version that have been out there. When the discussion of a side mount that would co-witness was wanted, this was the one referenced in the first place. Apparently Tim finally got them to import it! It should co-witness with a lot of rifles and allows a little more mounting options with the rail. Looks like you could even use offset rings that are currently being used for flashlights.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

And while your at OST

Check out this new entry level fighting bug out bag:

US Palm Defender plate carrier vest available

Still wish they were available in Foliage Green and without armor since I already have some IIIA plate backers.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Choate railed handguards

Thread with Choate prototype railed handguard:

Looks very interesting! i like how the side rails are on gas tube, not the lower handguard.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

7.62x39 Guide

Sorry for the slow posting, I've been at a summer training for my job and AK news has been somewhat slow.

This is a combination of several forum posts that a few people found useful so I thought I would post it up here. I know it is pretty long for a blog post, but I feel the info is worth it.

Let's start off with my favorite load, the Ulyanosk plat produced load with a 124 grain hollowpoint 8M3 "Sapsan" Bullet, which is/was sold under the Wolf Military Classic brand. But this has came under some internet rumors lately.

It used to be without doubt that Wolf Military Classic was made at the Ulyanovsk plant and Wolf Black Box was made at Tula. Just like it implies, Wolf Military Classic is "mil-spec" and in the 124 gr. hollowpoint has the 8M3 bullet that is more effective in terminal ballistics (either fragments or expands under 100m from most reports, including Dr. Roberts). Then last year Wolf Military Classic started changing and for awhile at least with it looked like the 124 HP was really just Tula (Wolf Black Box) repackaged which could make some sense because at one point Uly's plant had a fire.

The latest rumor on WMC 124 gr. HP "Sapsan" 8MC is apparently still being brought in from "Uly," it is just that they stopped using red sealant around the necks but still is suppose to have some on the primer pocket. I don't know for sure though since I haven't bought mostly because I haven't seen any, although I haven't looked to hard because I have a lot of the old stuff stockpiled back. However, I did buy a box of WMC FMJs that had no sealant around the neck nor primers lately.

Note that Uly produced stuff after a certain year (I don't know what that started but at least 2008 on) has a Wolf headstamp, not a Uly headstamp, so you can't use that to tell.

You can confirm that it is the Sapsan 8M3 bullet by taking a loupe and looking inside the hollowpoint and look at its cuts inside the jacket to encourage opening. They should be deeper than Wolf Black Box 122 gr bullets cuts which are shallower or even non-existent. Also if you pull the bullets the shape should be different and the 8M3 bullet being shorter and flat based. Of course you can cut the bullets in half to compare construction as well.

Overall, it seems Eastern European modern FMJ or even "hollowpoint" (which in most Eastern stuff doesn't actually expand) is up to the M67/8M2/US made lead core FMJ designs that cause the bullet to tumble much sooner than M43 based ones that rarely tumble soon enough so most the cheap stuff works better than before. However, Chinese steel core is based on M43 and has only marginally better penetration performance making it not worth the price.

Buy the ChiCom steel core if you want, but really the steel core is mild since it was not designed to be specifically armor piercing. It was only classified that by the ATF when AK handguns were first made. Steel cores in rounds that can be shot out of handguns cause them to be classified as armor piercing. The Soviets' M43 round and later the Chinese copy used steel core to make production easier. Because of this the steel core only has marginally better penetration than current Eastern European FMJs. This is because Russians and others still use "bi-metal" jackets which is a thin plating of cooper over a tough mild steel jacket with a lead core. Due to these more modern rounds' different center of gravity they also have better terminal ballistics from tumbling than the steel core. In my opinion, it is not worth the extra price people are asking for this no longer imported ammo.

One other budget good terminal performer is Brown Bear 125 gr. soft point. This was the best in the latest Guns and Ammo Complete Book of the AK test (unfortunately the author/editor didn't test the WMC 8M3 load). Also it has the advantage in my book of being Lacquer coated which I like better than the polymer stuff Wolf uses since it gets surface rust more easily, but both coatings still feed fine in AKs.

All the Bear stuff is made at the Barnaul plant, as is the Monarch brand. The differences between the Bear lines them is how the the steel cases are plated. Brown is lacquered, Silver is Zinc, and Golden is brass plating. They will all be about the same quality of bullets, which is generally good and is lead cored with bi-metal jackets. The coatings would the difference and go with what what you prefer or just by what load is available in what line or at your retailer.

One other side brand is Golden Tiger 124gr FMJBT. It tends to be good stuff and is often the most accurate Russian brand. They are made at the Vympel plant.

As I mentioned before, the U.S. Winchester White Box/Federal/American Eagle/Fiocchi etc., 123gr FMJs (with reloadable brass) will have better terminal performance similar to Yugo M67 which tumbles sooner than M43 based stuff (like Chinese steel core). Dr. Fackler determined that M43 tends to make a .30 hole through and through in many cases and isn't a
good terminal performer. Modern FMJ will tumble better, but still not of good option as expanding ammo though in my opinion.

Hornady V-Max and Winchester Soft Points are good bang for the buck U.S. made options. Of course they aren't going to be as cheap as the Eastern European stuff.

Hornady uses Russian steel cases but U.S. powder, primers and bullets. A box of 50 runs about $30-$40. Overall the Hornady loading is a little light though, under the 2350 FPS they list. It has some impressive terminal performance:
Brass Fetcher's testing of a commerically reloaded V-Max load
As you can see, it has a lot of early fragmentation still with decent penetration of the core of the bullet. I'm not sure if I would use it as a hunting round of something I planned to eat like deer and hog due to all the fragments, but it would make an excellent 4 for 2 legged varmint round.

The Winchester loading is just a good typical soft point bullet on brass cases if you are into reloading. Kinda boring compared to some other stuff we're talking about but reliable stuff. Good hunting or self defense at relatively decent price for U.S. ammo. They are normally $20 for a box of 20.

Note on another soft point loading, terminal ballistics expert Dr. Roberts has had bad experiences with Federal 7.62x39 soft points not reliably expanding and they are .308 not .310/.311 diameter so I stay away from them. However they did expand in this test at

Speaking of Dr. Roberts, he does report good performance from Laupa 125gr soft points. In general, Laupa makes great ammo, it is just that it tends to be more rare and expensive here in the the U.S. and I think their are better options once you start to get in that price range
Remington makes a soft point in 7.62x39 but I haven't heard many reports on it so I can't really tell you more there.

Corbon, if you can afford it, is probably the best overall ammo. Their all copper DPX load expands and penetrates reliably and is an amazing performer. The 108gr MPG load makes a good urban load since it basically uses a version of Barnes' Varmint Grenade. They also have a 150gr soft point and a 125gr hollowpoint, the 150gr having my attention for hunting. Corbon as loads the Glaser rounds which may or may not be your cup of tea, I think the MPG load is a better option if you are looking for lower barrier penetration but yet better target penetration. All the Corbon loads run $42-$52 per 20 and Glaser $25 per 6.

One other Wolf load we haven't talked about yet is the 154gr. soft point loading that a lot of people tend to like and similar to .30-30 hunting loads with the advantage of a pointed tip. Although, I'm not 100% sold on the 154gr.'s trajectory out of a 16" AK barrel for longer range and the bullets
tend to shed jackets when expanding. Depending on your preferences, it could make a good short range hunting round.

There's my thoughts on 7.62x39. Sometime when I get a better feel for 5.45x39 the loadings out there and Hornady brings out their V-Max load I'll do a second version of this for the smaller round.

Note: Sources for the 8M3 bullet have changed from the Wolf 124 gr. HP, check out this post for more information.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Arsenal annouces first Saiga 12 gauge

Arsenal has only recently gotten into the Saiga market. On the shotgun side they only offered the .410 Saiga. They are now importing uncoverted Saiga 12 gauges, model number SGL12-01 and of course selling them through their distributor, K-Var. For awhile now Russian American Armory Company has been the only importers of 12 and 20 gauges after EAA stopped importing them.

US Palm AK Battle Grip at OST, 10 rounder AK30s shipping

The AK-BG (Battle Grip) is now for available at One Source Tactical for $30. Listed colors are Black, FDE, and brown. I won't be getting one until later this summer since my funds are tight right now.

The 10 rounder Ak30s are now available at Scottsdale Gun Club (parent company of US Palm)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

US Palm AK30 blocked to 10 rounds to be available soon

US Palm has announced 10 round blocked AK30s will be available soon. This is no surprise since they have said they intended to offer this for awhile. But it is still good to see them supporting the shooters that have to deal with California and other locations unfortunate laws. Overall, 10 rounder AK mags have been harder to find, with many of those then being of poor quality Since it is a regular AK30 body blocked to 10 rounds, it still looks like the normal sized AK mag which could be a plus for some shooters. However, the bad news is that they will cost about $5 more since they require different molds.

On the plus side it looks like US Palm will be considering some other colors for mags soon. My vote is still for foliage green, I think it works in the widest variety of environments and works well in my neck of the woods.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

US Palm AK Attack Rack Chest Rig ready to ship.

US Palm has the first shipment of Attack Rack chest rigs ready. Again with this launch, Gabe Suarez's One Source Tactical gets the first batch according to this thread. I'm not in the chest rig market so I won't be getting one of the first ones, but it looks like this will be great for almost everyone into AKs, even for you guys that aren't fans of AK30 mags.

Timbersmith wood stock set at retailers

The new laminate wood furniture from Timbersmith is starting to reach stores. Since they are US made, they count for 922r compliance. Timbersmith is a division of Tapco. I think black stock looks pretty nice! Note they are designed for Romanian rifles.

Ironwood Designs also has some great US made wood furniture and they even specialize is some oddball issues like slant cut MAK90 receivers.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

AK200 Annouced

Izhmash has officially shown the AK200. It looks familiar and relatively evolutionary in design. The Firearm Blog and a few others have posted pictures of the prototype previously and the new design looks to have a few different features than the prototype. The main improvements seem the be rails, furniture, and the rear sight. It also shows that the AK107/8 looks to be a dead branch in the family. Those rifles were designed with a dual gas piston with one moving forward to counteract recoil which was added as a way for the AK series to compete with the AN94's recoil reduction system.

One thing that is common in the prototype and show rifle is the quad stack 60 round mags that look like they may be finally going into full scale production!

Big hattip to The Firearm Blog and SayUncle for reporting this!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

US Palm updates website

US Palm now has an up to date website featuring almost all of their announced products, what looks to be a partnership with Sneaky bags, and a few new/have to be big US Palm fanboy to know about (like their shotgun that as far as I can tell has only been discussed on their tumblr page).

There is more a lot info on soon to be release products like the AK grip that does have a storage compartment (I was somewhat on the fence on buying one if it didn't).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

V-Max 7.62x39 and 5,45x39 ballistics gel shots at Hornady TAP

I hadn't realized that Hornady has listed the V-Max 7.62x39 and 5.45x39 loads on their TAP Law Enforcement side website. Cool to see them marketing these loads to LE. But stumbling upon this I also discovered that they have gel shots of 7.62x39 and 5.45x39 (too bad it still won't be here until July). If you like to see jello shots of your favorite rounds like me, these are great because ComBloc rounds testing are always rare.


It looks like they cut the corner on the 5.45x39 testing, it is identical to the 60 Grain .223 load. Granted they should be all but identical in since the 5.45x39 is just slightly thinner bullet at the same weight but it isn't really an 5.45 shot at this point.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Soldier Systems has picture of new US Palm grip

Looks interesting. I'd like to know if it has a storage trap for batteries/tools. I like the texturing and how the logo works into it. The possibility of a custom logo on the left side is kinda cool .

Ambi Safety producer

Through some creative googling I found the producers of the new ambi AK safety (and the whole Spec K Saiga), Black Horse Arsenal, a.k.a. Confederate Arms of Philomath, OR.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

K-Var carrying Ammo and non-AK firearms

K-Var sent out a email this more about starting to carry Glocks, Sigs, HK, LWRC, and ammo. This is the first I've heard of them branching out of the AK market.

My complete opinion and speculation is that is probably a good and necessary move for K-Var. They are getting more and more competition from good AK accessory companies. Plus, they are constantly having to wait and see what AK models they can sell since they depend on Bulgaria and now Russia to import parts guns. I really think we are starting to see the end of the good old days of number of AK variants available as more parts kits start to dry up for builders (both home and factories).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

RAAC: Ambi Safety delayed, still coming

In February I talked about the "teeter-tooter" safety that was seen on Russian American Armory Company's Saiga-12 "Spec K" that was orginally reported to be a month or so away.

Clyde over at RAAC says they are still working on hem but they should be coming eventually.
I'm looking to get one of these to replace my Blackjack Buffer's SWIFT lever.

Monday, May 3, 2010

5.45x39 Custom loads- Frangible, Soft Point, and Incendiary

As I discussed about the V-Max delay (which Hornady has confirmed that it won't be produced until July), 5.45x39 is pretty limited because FMJ is common in surplus and a lot of the commercial hollowpoint doesn't actually expand, although there is a report that by looking a bullet construction by "Jack-O' that the Barnaul Hollowpoint and Wolf Military Classic 70 grain loads may fragment/expand (no gel tests yet).

Clark Custom Cartridge is offering frangible 55 grain and soft point 70 grain ammo, along with a incendiary load (those aren't my cup of tea though). They also have some interesting expanding options for 7.62x54r. I'm trading emails with Chris Clark now to get more info.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pictures of another AK30 with cracked feedlips

Here at via (haven't went over there yet to find this thread)

Interesting, like to hear the whole story but can't find the original post and it sounds like the guy who put it up at didn't know either. I spent part of the week explaining why the AK30 current website copy wasn't false advertising and had a full circumference metal cage in the top of the mag for lugs.

I'm not giving up on the Ak30 yet, but right now I want more info.

EDIT: More info is in that thread now, apparently it was two members with two different mags at a Tactical Response class. Also there is another thread at WarriorTalk. It may just be a squabble to discredit US PALM which is what Gabe Suarez believes. If you care about the drama behind it there is a thread at that goes lightly into the details. Not being news so to speak, I'm not putting that here. I'm going to continue to keep my AK30s loaded and ready to go.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

K-Var has some SA M-7 Classics in stock

If you like milled receivers and have some cash, K-Var has "a very few" SA M-7 Classics in stock. They look beautiful and are just under $2000. These apparently aren't being made anymore. In general, Arsenal has to build what they get parts kits for so they end up with a very spotty model availability.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quad Stack AK74 magazine Reserve not met on GunBroker

There was a quad stack 60 round AK74 mag that was on Gun Broker last week. It started at $600 and closed at $900 without meeting reserve! I'd agree they are an ultra rare collectors' item and maybe the only one in the United States, but I'm not going to spend $900+ on any one magazine (unless I hit the lottery). I'd also be afraid the the Russians will finally put these into regular production allow more to trickle in from individual collectors, if not even imported by distributors.

Overall, the design seems pretty interesting when you look at the patten diagram:
Basically a quad stack until it hits the divider and limits the feed down to double. I wonder though how reliable that is. The fact that it isn't in production in Russia would lead me to believe it isn't.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hornady 5.45x39 V-Max Delayed

After going past the 4/1/10 arrival date, MidwayUSA updated the arrival date of this load to 7/23/10.

I've been waiting for the 60 gr. Hornady steel cased with a V-Max bullet to come out for awhile now. Honestly, the promise of that load was the tipping point for me to actually get a 5.45x39 rifle. I figured at with that load it would be a good "urban" load similar to their TAPs ammo and the AK74 would become my home defense carbine. I'm still somewhat hesitant to use the 7.62x39 V-Max load in my 1950s subdivision. I'm just as hesistant to use the MilSurp 5.45x39 since the bullet holds together so well.

Well it looks like I'll be waiting a little longer to transition to that AK74. I might try to do a 7.62x39 vs. 5.45x39 test in late Spring/Early Summer similar to the one over at 230 Grain:

(I'll edit for links later, I'm on my iPhone with this aweful Blogwriter app, and it slows me down enough to where I won't be able to get them in before my wife is ready to leave for Easter Service!)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

US Palm Website Relaunched

After a good April Fools' joke of a Skorpion mag (with one color choice of what seems to be everybody's favorite of Okra), late last night/early this morning US PALM's website was relaunched.

The website is now up, but it is a little thin. At least we have a clear shot of the AK30, Attack Rack chest rig, Defender Plate (with some more info on it with MSRP), and their unannounced stock mag pouch/comb riser which doesn't appear to have an AK mag in it. I can't tell if it is AR or M14, I believe it is M14/M1A since I think I make out a Springfield Armory mark on the butt plate. Good to see that US PALM may be branching out of the AK market, but I hope they do an AK stock mag pouch as well.

I'm a little disappointed that the Defend doesn't seem to come without armor. I have some IIIA level plate backers that I was planning on dropping in, which it sounds like they are already including for $200ish (although PALM points out that plate backer size panels can't be advertised as IIIA since it doesn't met the NIJ coverage amount to be officially that level).

The Attack Rack is available for preorder at One Source Tactical. Whatever you think of the AK30 and it's polymer, I think everyone will agree that the Attack Rack should be a great piece of kit since it has very AK specific mag pouches (including a wear strip on the lug side of the pouches to increase durability, nice touch). But they are continuing their no OD or foliage with at least the first batch. Only Black, coyote brown, desert tan, and Multicam are available. I know these guys are from Arizona and those colors make sense there along with the most military contracts wanting those colors currently. But out here in the Mid-west I prefer a green shade.

I hope they make some of those AK pouches in MOLLE for those of us that use the system. Emdom is suppose to make some good ones, but US PALM would seem to have some nice touches if they go for a MOLLE pouch and you like shingle style pouches.

I most admit, although you may have already noticed, I've crossed into Fanboy territory with the US PALM stuff. Now I know how all those Magpul AR fanboys feel. I'm pretty jealous of Tim's US PALM care package they sent him with the patches and sticker. I hope those are available soon

For something different, I'm going to post up a "family picture" of my AKs and stuff later this weekend.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

US Palm comments on plate carrier, has new video

LOL, really guys I'm not trying to make this into a US Palm blog, but it seems right now they are putting out some of the coolest stuff for AKs.

In this thread they are talking about their new plate carrier that will included a IIIA plate backer with some great pics:

Also Tim linked to their new tongue in check video of the AK30 mag taser test:

So far their Youtube channel has been pretty bare, hopefully they'll post some more stuff.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Curious about US Palm stock mag pouch

Kinda dreaming about US Palm's new stuff coming out and I've been looking at their website that will relaunch April 2nd. Their stock mag pouch looks interesting. I can't tell if it is on an AK stock or not but I assuming like the rest of their stuff so far it is a AK accessory.

Looking at it, there is a built in comb riser, which could be a big plus to those that use Eastern optics on their AKs.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

MD Arms Molot Grip

The same guys who make the Saiga 12 20 round drums have came out with a Molot style U.S. made grip:

Friday, March 12, 2010

Report of Kalinka's co-witness Aimpoint mount breaking

In January, Kalinka Optics released a special run of side rail mounts that would allow co-witness with a Aimpoint M3 style optic. I have one of these mounts and also a similar mount they offered that usually is for the PK23 which I and others modified to work better as a co-witness mount (see this thread:

Apparently one of these broke already in it's thin point where the ring attaches. That's too bad if it is a problem with all of these mounts since they are my favorite right now. I'll fall back to the BP-02 if these continue to break.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

US Palm Stuff

One Source tactical has some AK30s in Flat Dark Earth.

I'm holding out for some Foliage Green that Gabe Suarez has hinted at, although it isn't on the AK30 packaging as possible colors (which is Black, FDE, and Bakelite). Flat Dark Earth IMO isn't the best choice for my midwest location. now has the black AK30s in stock and the look to have a foliage Ak30 on their AK30 banner EDIT: According to Rob Anderson this was just a lighting/photoshop effect, both mags are actually black. It seems that if foliage is in the works it is very far on the back burner if at all. Bakelite is the next color up. I must admit their FDE is more dark earth than others sandy tan FDE so it might still be a good choice here. They also say that they might be producing some 5.45 mags torwards the end of the year but right now they are trying to service military contracts that are mostly 7.62x39.

Also US Palm's website is being redone and will relaunch April 2. If you look through the transparent announcement they seem to have a stock mag pouch, the Attack Rack AK chest rig, and what looks to be a plate carrier rig.

Also Gabe Suarez has a preview picture of their grip:
Even I with medium hands find the regular AK grips thin so this could be a great option. While I've come to really like the Tapco SAW grips in the past, I might need to give the US Palm and the Hogue's a try.

"Guns & Ammo Complete Book of the AK47" is hitting shelves

Last years was good and ground breaking, this years has better info in it IMO. Eric Poole, the editor, even admits they were surprised how well last years did.

David Fortier, as always, has a number great of articles. I can never get enough of his stuff! Gabe Suarez has a couple of articles and Marco Vorobiev has a two as well. I can never get enough of Vorobiev's experiences in Afghanistan in the Spetsnaz.

New AK74

Sorry for the slow posts lately! I got a new Bulgarian kit on NDS-2 AK74 in my arsenal. It was one of those blow out deals that Centerfire Systems was offering for $350 shipped! BTW, it is featured as the first article in the new Guns & Ammo Complete Book of the AK.

The Nodak NDS-2 seems to be good quality albeit no frills. The other 922r parts it has the Tapco G2 FCG, Century pistol grip, and Tapco stock.

I can't tell if Century's handguard that looks like a polymer version of Yugo handguards is U.S. or not. If it was I would change out the stock for a Polish wire folder today, but it looks like I'll have to wait on a U.S. handguard for that.

It did come with surplus Circle 21 and Circle Ten mags.

The gas piston is very clean but not U.S. marked. The brake seems to be original with zig zag cuts and side ports on it (IIRC most U.S. 74 brakes don't have those details). The crown is clean under the brake as well. It os a parts gun without matching serial numbers. Overall for a second string, first time 5.45x39 rifle it should be a great purchase pending a round at the range.

As long as it shoots ok I should be very happy with the purchase. It is much nicer than my WASR10/63, which I'm selling to offset the cost of this rifle. BTW, the WASR had version 2 of that horrid paint job in the banner of this site that looked only marginally better (it was my first Krylon job). My MAK90 now has a pretty good OD base with black furniture that looks much better. But since I'm looking to sell the WASR the paint job must go. One reason A lot of people recommend Krylon over Duracoat etc. since it can "easily" be removed. I would say that yes, a lot of the paint comes off easily but there are a lot of places I've had to go at with a toothbrush to remove and it's NOT easy or quick. I'll only be painting my "keeper" rifles from now on.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

AK30 versus other tested to failure

This thread has the videos along with some pictures of the AK30, Circle Ten Waffle, and Combloc steel mag caveman destruction test Gabe Suarez did. He feels that the Combloc steel probably wouldn't have fed after test round 2, making it the least rugged (but still very robust, I'd love to see the same test with AR mags)

Basically he still feels that the AK30 is the winner and the picture of a failed feed lip after a claim of drop on a carpeted floor is false and is either somebody lying. Not mentioned, but my thought is alway that it could be a lemon, like even the now AR standard of PMags had bad batches.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pictures of a broken lip AK30

User claims it fell out of his bag on to carpeted floor. Rob Anderson of US Palm replies in the thread.

Gabe Suarez over at Warrior Talk says he did drop test on concrete to where Combloc metal lips were bent (the only bad AK mag I've ever had was a bent lip 40 rounder). Photographic evidence to follow at One Source Tactical.

My popcorn is out, I'll do a drop test of my own on my carpeted floor.

EDIT: Here's the video replies:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Editorial- "Keep that Crap off my AK" versus Tacticool M4ized AK

I'm going to post up a Sunday(ish) Editorial every week. Partly I want to do this to move away from just making gear posts right now and also see if there are any of you out there that want to comment on my opinions, which are like a certain part of the body...

Please feel free to post comments if you don't agree! I want a free exchange of ideas here. Just note if anyone is personally attacking anyone else, that is not acceptable, keep it to "just the facts" as Joe Friday says. Also this place isn't where I'm going to argue with anti-gun people. There are plenty of other firearms politics focused blogs out there like and being two great ones.

This week I want to talk about where I am in the AK Purist versus Tacticooled M4ed AKs. This has came out of a couple of message board posts I've had recently and Gabe Suarez's post lately about modernizing the platform so it is a hot topic over at Warrior Talk right now.

Basically, I'm in between purists keep the AK original and M4ize tacticool it. I am not at this point in my life an AK collector. I have been using the platform now for over half my life and during that time they have been kept as a fun gun but also with the serious purpose of a defensive rifle if needed. Because of that they are not collector's items where I try to get the proper markings, magazine, handguards, etc. Maybe when I get more cash to burn and even then I'm going to have a few go to rifles that are designated for defense. Being a defensive rifle, I have no problems doing reasonable upgrades from standard AKs that I think allow it to perform better if I ever have the unfortunate experience to use it in the "gravest extreme."

So I want good, modern equipment that was designed to keep the AK's strong points and minimizes the weaker points that will continue to improve it. The US Palm AK30s are a example of this in my book. While more expensive than good old Combloc steel, they still are a great value in that they should last longer, be lighter, be more rugged, and require less maintenance than other AK mags. But at the same time I'm not getting rid of my Combloc steel nor my Circle Tens. Quality is it's own quantity, and visa versa.

Unfortunately, quality costs money. But I think you can find a good middle ground here in money spent, especially when compared to the other extreme of hogwild M4 style AK ran rampant. Ironically, purists though tend to come in two groups for opposite reasons, some purists like to spend money making as correct as possible, and others like to save money because entry level AK stuff is cheap. Trust me, I understand saving money, it is part of the reason I'm an AK user. A serviceable AK and mags can be cheap and will get you by, but you can also choose not to be stuck at state of the art, circa 1950.

On the other hand, I don't necessarily want my AK looking like an M4 just for the look. There are two basic reasons for tacticooled AK, and one similar to collector purists. Some people like to spend money to make their rifles look tacticooler. It's still your money guys, if that blows your skirt up, do it. But because that equipment wasn't designed for the AK platform, I don't think it is always the best solution for it.

Just putting it on because it's on M4s doesn't make it work well on an AK. In the long run, you can actually be handicapping your AK. For instance, I dislike M4 stocks and railed handguards on AKs, partly because I've been there, done that. When Kreb's KTR-03 hit the market I was in awe! So in the early 2000s I tried to make my MAK90 as close to it as possible (BTW, if you dig the whole tacticool AKs, Krebs is the ultimate still!). I was thinking "hey, the venerable old girl AK can be just as modern as an AR-15." But I ended up with an extra heavy rifle that was more complex and wasn't as usable as the original configuration.

I think if you are going earmark it as a defensive rifle, there are better options than that for an AK. One example I see is a good folding stock is a better option than a 6 position stock unless you:
A. use body armor off and on (if it is always on, not so much since shorter Warsaw pact stocks work for a lot of people still)
B. you and another person tend to use the same rifle and you have a large difference in LOP needs (wife and husband, parent and child). I really think everybody can use the Warsaw Pact length stocks, but if you really need the longer length after you have tried the standard stock for a decent number of rounds, go for a NATO length fixed or folder.

But to put a collapsible stock on an AK for the to get the compactness of an M4 is ridiculous in my book. If you are trying to get a compact rifle, why not try one of the several great options out there with AK folders, starting with a rifle built with a AK-100 style folding solid stock, or my personal favorite the mostly drop in for stamped rifles East German/Polish/Romanian wire side folder. Don't try to make your AK more compact by adding an useless buffer tube to the rifle! You see some "covert carry" bag/case options out there for an AR and in order for them to get down to non-rifle length with the buffer tube, you need to pull the hinge pin out which the will require the rifle to be reassembled for use. A folded stock AK can fit in a $10 Walmart tennis racket bag and be debatably more covert with a rifle that is usable at short ranges as folded and longer ranges when the stock is unfolded in much shorter amount of time than reassembly of an AR.

I'm not an AK purist nor a Tacticoolist, I'm a realist.

Hehe and I just pissed off the two biggest parts of the AK community at once! Remember, it's still your Ak guys, do what you want with it! If you feel I'm wrong, comment away!

Friday, February 19, 2010

AK30 comparison pictures

Here's some comparison shots between the U.S. Palm Ak30, Circle Ten Waffle, and standard ridge backed Combloc steel mags.

Overall, the AK30s are still my favorite and well worth the around $30 each I paid for them. The springs are strong, the magazine feels up to the AK standard of ruggedness, and they are lighter and better fit/QC than the Circle Tens. BUT I've found two minor gripes.

First Magpuls will come off too easily. Granted they might be a little stretched out from being on my Circle Tens, but overall they don't grip as well. Also the slanted floorplate either gives even less surface area for the Magpul to grip on or requires you to seat the Magpul further up the magazine making the loop smaller. Looks like I'm back to some duct tape, paracord sheath with zip tie inside for my AK30 pulls.

The second even more minor gripe is no witness hole for a full load. I'm so used to looking at that hole when I finish loading a mag, I've gotten lazy in counting how many rounds are in there.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

U.S. Palm AK30s are here!!!

My mags are here from One Source Tactical! My initial impression is WOW!!! The feel really solid, grippy in the grooves on the front and back of the mag, and feel lighter than Waffle Circle Tens (but I haven't actually weighed them).

The package list Flat Dark Earth and Bakelite as other color options that apparently will be coming soon! As long as these are as great functioning as Gabe Suarez has reported, they will be the only mags I ever buy again as long as they are available in the capacity and caliber I want.

Also U.S. Palm has an interesting new AK Chest rig coming soon too:

Monday, February 15, 2010

AK30 Palm Magazines are shipping

According to Gabe Suarez here:

The thread includes some great description of why it is better than Circle Tens and some pictures of a mud test. Can't wait to get mine!

Also another member at Warrior Talk got a nice package with patches and sticker with his mag, he must have had company contacts.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hogue grips and handguards, Suchka Ultimak

I knew they were making grips for the AK but now they also have handguards. Apparently the grips are made in the U.S. But I don't know about the handguards. The handguards look ugly but I'm sure they probably feel good. Anybody try them yet?

I know my posts here have been gear related so far but right now there is a lot of cool new stuff coming out for the AK including a Suchka (Krinkov) Ultimak rail:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

AK74 magazines from Tapco

Cope's Distributing now has Tapco Ak74 magazines for your 5.45x39 rifles!

The Tapco magazines aren't my favorite, but they could be great range mags and/or good for quick 922r compliance. Long term though I would recommend all your 922r parts be in the gun or only own U.S. made mags and that limits you from a whole world of magazines.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rob Anderson from U.S. Palm was on Tom Gresham's Gun Talk this weekend About at the 28 minute mark.
Rob Anderson was on talking about there new AK30 magazine and teasing some new products included body armor and a new AK grip soft launched at SHOT which is getting some Mid-East orders from Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Rob and Tom eluded to the fact that an AK magazine plant blew up "in Russia" (as Tom said) and then Rob claimed the only metal cage magazine in production which would seem to mean Circle Ten isn't making any more of their waffle magazines but they are located in Bulgaria but Tom isn't a big AK guy so he may have had his geography confused.

One other interesting thing from the interview that they don't use front and back reinforcement metal straps like the Circle Tens due to the fixed floorplate.

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Teeter-totter ambi safety coming out in about a month!

Check out what Nutnfancy recorded but didn't talk much about (probably because he isn't a big time AK guy and realized what it could mean). RAAC is doing with a new Saiga 12 at about at time 24:08.

It has the same features as the Krebs and Blackjack safety but then takes it one step further and adds a back plate for lefthand thumb or even triger finger on a uncoverted Saiga for those that are stuck in not so free states (I live in a free State but I was dreaming up a similar mod if I bought a Saiga and left it unconverted for awhile). This should be drop in throughout AK models unlike the Galil style safety that Kreb's adds to some of his AKs

I think that you still need to be able to work the traditional AK safety, but I think this has a lot of merit on your fighting rifle. I'm using a Blackjack SWIFT lever (Krebs and Dinzang have similar options now that Blackjack doesn't sell these) on my go to AK already and can't wait to change it out to this. I'll still keep normal configuration on others that are traditional AKs and train with them still. I also must say that firing left handed is still plenty easy with standard safety too just hitting it with your right hand, but I'm ok having centeralized safety operations on the pet rifle I'd grab first.

One other issue I see is that in left thumb versus right fingers moment are opposite (thumbs up, fingers down) so it is a slightly different mental/physical process. Definitely not as simple for training, but the solution is mechanically simple on the other hand and I shouldn't take too much practice to overcome.

If you put it on an unconverted Saiga, then it is going to be opposite still with your right fingers. However instead of having the safety waaayyy out there on it I think it still would be a good option if you can't convert your Saiga where you live.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

U.S. Palm Mags shipping this week

U.S. Palm (a division of Tango Down) announced on their twitter page that they will be shipping their delayed mags to this week! Which hopefully means I will have some in hand some time next week since I pre-ordered there.

Gabe Suarez says these mags will be the best, even better than Bulgarian Circle 10 Waffles which are my current go to mags. Apparently the delay was so they could fix either some production issue.

I'll be sure to post up here what I think!


I just wanted to start a small firearms blog focused specifically on the AK47 and it's variants since I've been an AK shooter for 16 years now. Mostly it will be news and other cool stuff about AKs and what ever else I decide to talk about!