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!