Thursday, January 26, 2012

TWS has new railed handguards

Texas Wapons Systems, makers of the excellent AK dust cover rail mount, has a new handguard system in the works and it seems that it will be part of Gabe Suarez's TSD line. Looks good but pricey, I'm personally going for the new Midwest Industries handguard with an micro red dot top. Also, I'm working on a lengthy opinion piece on the TSD AKs and how they mark a shift for Suarez.


  1. They do look nice, but I'm not sure it's such a great idea to open the gas system up to the elements as much as this does. You can see the gas piston in multiple places, and you can even see in front of it. That's just begging for debris, and compromises the reliability of the whole system.

  2. Not a concern. Go look at the RPD machine gun. It has an even larger gap between the piston and the gas block.

  3. That's a nice lookin' piece. But,what Gabe and Co. have seem to have forgotten is the legendary AFFORDABILITY of the AK weapon system. One of the big reasons I went with the AK system was exactly for the affordability of the system. If I wanted pieces of kit that costs the same as AR system stuff,I would have went with an AR platform. I'm a working stiff with lots of bills,mortgage,college tutition payments for kids,etc. For the price of all the high zoot bells and whistles that Suarez pushes,I could've had an AR. I personally would not pay more for a simple optic than I did for my entire rifle. I chose the AK platform because I didn't want to spend $1,000;$1500,or $2000 on a weapon system. But,that's just my take on it.

  4. Yes I'm concerned about debris in that open of a system. But you can run a AK without the gas tube at all. Ultimak talks about that with their support on forums and has video with a gap of about a 1/2 inch which still runs fine:
    Most of the gas forces are applied in the gas block area, the tube is more of a guide and a debris guard.

    I understand exactly what you are saying and I am mentioning that in my TSD write up. I'm more of the opinion though that instead of an AR if you are going to pay enough for a next generation carbine like a SCAR, ACR, or XCR, why not go that route. I think that there are plenty of affordable AKs out there and that is part of the reason I like them, but I do think there is value in paying as much as a good AR on some AK for the added capability (normally at that point you are getting something like a triangle or polymer side folder and Aresnal or custom quality).

  5. A few thoughts for your consideration:
    1) The cost savings in the AK vs AR, SCAR, etc is in the basic platform.
    2) Accessories for the AK require the same R&D and manufacturing costs as for any other platform - assuming like for like quality.
    3) On a built up rifle, you'll still see a significant savings over a comparably equipped AR, etc.
    4) Thinking in the AK OEM space to date has been low cost rifle, low cost accessories, low total system cost - at the expense of accuracy and some aspects of quality (such as look and feel - even the cheap rifles go bang more or less when they need to).
    5) The approach that is emerging is that the AK outfitted with high quality accessories can still be less expensive than comparable platforms but improve significantly in the deficient areas.