Wednesday, February 29, 2012

M10-545 Review Part 1: First Impressions

I plan on this being a 3 part review series.  I wanted to get some information up ASAP for those considering these rifles.  This will cover my first impressions.  Unfortunately, it doesn't look like I can get out to shoot until this weekend, so the range report is going to have to wait.  After that, I want to do another shorter post on how I'm going to personalize the rifle.  Also please bear with my sub-par photos, I'm still trying to get back the quality I used to be able to achieve in my magazine writing, but it is going to take more practice, time, and equipment.

Ordering:  I ordered my M10-545 from Atlantic Firearms.  They were professional and helpful through the whole process!  They definitely are a premier AK retailer.  Their knowledge of AKs was quite evident through my conversations with them.  Their product selection and shipping was great as well.

Packaging:  I have a minor gripe here.  The flash hider cut into the shipping foam in the factory box and foam went all over the rifle and in the flash hider.  Again minor, but it needed some cleaning to get off the small foam pieces, some of which partially obstructed the bore.  Atlantic added another box over the M+M/Colorado Guns factory one for shipping.  Besides the rifle and the magazine, the only accessories included where the manual and rail covers.

Receiver: The receiver is typical Romanian.  It has a decent Parkerized finish.  Even though the Parkerizing has flaws in places, it is better than my first WASR10/63.  Saigas' finishes typically look better but isn't as durable as the Parkerizing.

The magazine well has a very straight and clean cut.  This is important because these rifles, both the M10-545 and M10-762, are imported into the United States as single stack rifles to avoid 922r and then M+M widens the magazine wells for the double stack and adds the US parts. On the M10 these cuts are done with CNC machining and looks to have much better results than the Centruy rifles.  While there isn't as wide of range of 5.45 magazines, all of mine fit without issue in the M10-545.  There are a much wider range of 7.62x39 magazines, so I can't 100% speculate that all magazines will fit in the M10-762, however if the CNC cuts are the right size they should have a much better chance.  My WASR10/63 had to be dremeled out to fit my Circle 10 magazines due to the bad cuts.
EDIT:  I received my Tapco magazine yesterday and was surprised to see that it would not latch fully.  Went back through my magazine which are mainly "Bulgarian" ones that most people believe are actually sanitized Russian.  They had a layer of black paint but after that was removed most are plum with definite grind marks where the identification markings would be. These fit fine, as does my true Bulgarian Circle 10 surplus (not waffle) did, albeit tight at first.  My single Circle 21 surplus, however, is worse than the Tapco and doesn't come as close to latching.  This thread over at has a post of someone else with magazine issues and mini review as well.  More on this after I get to shoot it tomorrow.

The receiver also has two shims inside the magazine well to make up for the lack of dimples that are usually present on AK receivers to prevent some magazine wobble.  I am a believer that a little side to side wobble is a good thing, and the M10-545 has that.  It is a relatively clean receiver with not much cosmoline in the nooks and crannies.  The standard Romanian side rail is firmly attached as well. Overall, it looks to be a good receiver with no major flaws.

Barrel:  The barrel is chrome lined.  I'll take M+Ms word for it that it is hammer forged and made in Romania.  That alone was part of the reason why I wanted this rifle in 5.45x39.  Currently, my other 5.45 is a Century Bulgarian parts gun built with a U.S. Nodak receiver and a U.S. made barrel.  While the Nodak U.S. receiver is great, the U.S. barrel is non-chromed lined so it takes extra attention when shooting surplus 7N6.  Also the U.S. barrel is softer steel so I expect it to shoot out quicker (mine has no keyholing issues that some have reported off and on since the first batch of Century Tantals that had 5.56 barrel diameters with 5.45 chambers).  The barrel on the M10-545 should be long lasting and accurate.

Threading on the barrel is 14x1mm LH, the typical AK threading, which is unlike a lot of 5.45x39 rifles that use the larger 24mm front sight block threads.  For a rifle that already is breaking the norm from traditional AK standards, I think this is good thing.  Although lot of people like the effective 24mm 5.45 brake, there are far more 14x1mm LH devices out there.

The muzzle device is now different on the M10 series.  It is somewhat similar to the Tapco Razr that they had on the original rifle.  However, rumor has it that these where having problems with the longer prongs, so M+M sourced their own design.  It has four shorter prongs and more circular ports than the Tapco.  I prefer the looks of the shorter prongs more than the Razr's.  Like the barrel, the range session will be the true test for it.  These unfortunately do not seem to be marked in anyway: M+M does claim that they are U.S. made. The flash hider is quite firmly screwed on, I even asked Colorado Guns if it was soldered.  Apparently it is just torqued on really well (remember though if you take it off, righty loosey on these reversed threads).

Sights: As advertised, the M10 does have windage adjustable RPK style rear sight.  This gives the user the opportunity to adjust from zero for wind conditions on any given day which is very hard with normal AK sights. While the rear sight is a definite plus, the unfortunately front sight/gas block is canted.  This could be a bigger issue than a standard AK since the front sight is also the gas block.  Normally canted front sights don't bother me if I can shoot to point of aim or fix the cant myself, which can easily be done. Front sight cant is common in some AKs and happens in other rifles like AR15s.  But since this one is also the gas block, we will have to wait and see at the range if the sight is canted off far enough to interfere with the gas port and cause cycling issues (I bet that it will run fine, but I can't be for sure yet).  It looks to be boresighted though since the front sight is inline with the rear and not centered in the full circle hood.  At least the RPK rear allows for a choice of which sight to set for windage.  If the function is fine, I will have the additional option of adjusting the rear sight for the cant and centering the front sight post which results in a clearer sight picture that a lot of people prefer.

Controls and Internals:  The safety, magazine release, and bolt handle are standard AK. The gas piston is tight on the bolt carrier instead of having the traditional looseness which is a design feature of Kalashnikovs.  Often times though the piston will shoot into a little bit of a wiggle after a few hundred rounds or so.  The wobble will be desirable because it will allow the piston to line up better into the canted gas block if the port is open enough.  The bolt/bolt carrier run smooth enough and it doesn't bind on the gas block which is a good sign for function overall.  However, there is some oil that collects where the piston is contacting the gas block slightly.  I'll watch this area for excessive wear until the piston wobble develops or I fix the front sight cant.  The bolt and bolt carrier have matching serial numbers to the rifle's receiver.  Like most 5.45x39 rifles there is a bullet guide that is riveted to the front trunnion to assist in feeding.  The trigger and rest of the fire control group is a Tapco G2, which is a good option and counts as 3 U.S. parts. A Tapco retainer plate is included as well for quick detail disassembly and better service life than most wire retainers.  I currrently use either Krebs' plates or Chinese style L wire retainers now and so it will be interesting see how the Tapco plate does compared to them.

Furniture:  The M10 starts with a Tapco buttstock.  This is an epitome of what Tapco usually does, it is a middle of the road quality, U.S. made product.  While solid with a sling swivel, its metal buttplate does not have a trapdoor for the standard AK cleaning/tool kit like K-Var or surplus.  Yes, a K-Var or even surplus stock would be a little better quality, but for a lot of users the Tapco stock will be adequate and is an improvement over some other options (plus there is no buttstock kit included).

While the Tapco stock is somewhat average, the Hogue grip is excellent!  As a self-declared US Palm fanboy, it is hard for me to say that the Hogue grip might be becoming my favorite AK grip or at least on par with the US Palm grip, check out the AK Grips Guide for more info on the two.  One minor detail is that if you want to use the storage space in the grip you will have to order the grip door from Hogue or another retailer.  But it is still a great choice of grip for this rifle.

The M10s more tactical look is largely due to its aluminum railed handguard.  This looks to be a direct copy of the UTG/Leapers handguard but without part of the top rail that goes over the gas tube (which a lot of people don't like aesthetically anyway).  It would not surprise me if M+M uses the same Chinese OEM supplier that UTG/Leapers does for their handguard.  However, M+M went the extra mile and has "M+M" engraved on the handguard and the molded into the rubber rail covers. While one of the lower end aluminum rail systems out there, this design has a lot of proponents.  I have handled these before, but this will be my first range experience with them so I'll wait for actual live fire before I comment more on there functionality.  One bad issue us that my handguard is actually missing two screws.  It looks like maybe the builders only put on two corners to secure it and then forgot to other two.  After calling Colorado Guns about it (without mention of a review), they apologized and told me they would send the screws out to me immediately.  Hopefully the screws will be here before the range session.

Another new option on the M10 series is the Romanian wire folder stock.  This stock has been my favorite option for a drop in folding stock for standard AKs (metal triangle AK74 and polymer AK100 maybe better but require a receiver and trunnion that will take them).  I am happy to see these being offered as an option and after the range session of the as delivered M10, I will be switching out to a wire folder that I already have.

Magazine: Included is a single ProMag 5.45x39 30 round magazine.  These magazines are the cheapest 5.45x39 option available for AKs and their feel reflect hat.  I would guess that the body is ABS plastic, as is the floorplate.  My current opinion is that even the non-metal lined Tapco magazines are better. However, I will give the ProMag a chance along with a Tapco 5.45x39 magazine and my current surplus mags for comparison at the range.  While the ProMag magazine is 3 U.S. parts for 922r, M+M went the extra mile and didn't count them.  This means that out of the box you have no problems using Combloc surplus magazines, which you will need a few anyway since only one magazine was included.

Final Thoughts: The M10-545 looks to be a good entry level AK.  It has some noticeable upgrades from it competitors like WASRs or DIY Saiga conversions.  I would be somewhat surprised if the front sight cant does effect functioning, but there is a chance, as is a lot of problems that could pop up at the range. So I'm reserving an all out recommendation until I get some rounds down it.

Disclosure: Atlantic Firearms gave me a discount and T-Shirts when I reached out to them about buying a rifle for a review (the T-Shirts rock and I'll be wearing one or both at the range).  I do feel that they are an excellent retailer whose reputation is well known. The discount will also allow me to get a review in on the M10-22 as well.  If you disagree or agree with that, you are more than welcome to post in the comments your opinions.  In the end, they are a company that I believe in, as do with many other customers in the AK community.  I am proud to say that I am associated with them in this small way.

Part 2: Range Report Here

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Guns and Ammo Complete Book of the AK47 2012

The G&A Complete Book of the AK47 Annual is hitting shelves now.  This is the one gun magazine I'm guaranteed to buy each year (if you don't include the American Rifleman subscription).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kmanator's AK stocks (and other stuff)

This past weekend I discovered Kmanator's stocks at his eBay store, but he has been selling his unique creations on a few AK message boards for awhile now.

These steel stocks may not be the most practical since they can run slightly heavier than a wood version, but they definitely are cool!  The Zombie Battle Axe stock is mean and nasty, and available with several designs like this skull and crossbones and a biohazard symbol. However, the "edge" is really just a bevel for safety (a good choice in my book).  He also has a few cutout stocks that are less apocalyptic, but still make a statement.

For that extra ComBloc statement, these are currently being redesigned to add a star .
He has a lot of great stuff at his eBay store as well, like metal signs and banana hangers shaped like AKs.  Overall, pure fun items; sometimes we get wrapped around the serious aspects and forget that shooting is fun too.  Kmanator's stocks also won't break the bank at just over $40 each.

TSD New Folding Stock

While US Palm is still working on their folding stock, Gabe Suarez just released a picture of his company's new folding stock in this thread that they will be using.   My first thought when I clicked on the thread is that it would be the new US Palm stock, and it may or may not be since Suarez is a little vague (it is not US Palm, see update). It allows M4 style stocks to fold to the left or right depending on the adapter used.  No word on price yet.  ACE does have a similar setup with a "pignose" adapter for their folding mechanism.

UPDATE: Definitely TSDs, the folding mechanism based off the Galil is what is offered, no buffer tube or stock.  Available here for $125

Friday, February 17, 2012

Military Arms Channel AK74 DMR project

Sturmgewehre has a very cool project going on.  He is making a AK74 DMR with a barrel "Straight Jacket" from Teludyne Tech. This barrel cover should increase the barrel rigidity and better heat dissipation.  I first heard about the product awhile ago on a podcast, and I happy to see one finally tested.  It should be a project to watch with 1 MOA or less results expected!  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

M10-762 and 545 in stock at Atlantic Firearms

M10-762 here

M10-545 here

They also have a video of each after the jump.

Also: M10-545 with Wire Folder

Right now if everything works out, I am planning get an M10 of some sorts for review here, the hits on this website due to it makes it hard for me to argue to not review one.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What big review to do next Bleg

I'm hoping you guys can light up the comments a little, please!  I'm on the fence with a couple different options on what big review to do next, each one has a lot of interest to me but has its own cons.  Help me get off the fence, what would you most like to see:

1.  A Review of a M10 rifle, most likely the newly released 5.45x39 version, I'd go for one with a Hogue handguard if available.  The original post the one with the most hits here so I would like to give those finding this place first hand information. However, since I don't get to shoot my centerfire AKs that much, I'll be splitting limited range time with yet another AK means they all end up sitting a little more besides for the new one.   

2.  A review of the Midwest Industries AK-SS handguard with a Primary Arms Micro red dot.  I was all about this rail when it was announced but now I'm not as hot about it now since without the rails it looks like the receiver will have some exposed corners where it meets the handguard.  Minor detail I know, but it just bothers me for some reason. 

3. Comparison of the RS Regulate and Midwest Industries 30mm Side mounts.  Problem with this is that I have a lot of side mounts already and not all my AKs have side rails.

4. Something else (in the same budget range)?  

I would have also listed the US Palm quad stack or a training class.  But the US Palm quad stacks won't be available to later in the year since they are still prototypes and the local training class I want to take is in September and I can't afford to travel to one before then.

I by no means guarantee that I will follow your advice, follow the majority vote, etc., or even do any of these in the long run if "Real Life"(TM) happens, but I would still like to hear what you want.  Thanks!

M10-545 now available

A 5.45x39 M10 is now available at Centerfire Systems.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

AK Grips Guide

The grips for the AK used to be a pretty bland world. Now though, there are a lot of options out there for users that want the either that classic look or more modern ergonomics. Often grips need to be 922r complaint as well for more U.S. made parts count.  Since the AK grip market has exploded recently there are grips for any type AK owner out there from old school transitional to new school tacticool.  Let's start out talking about traditional grips.

Century- Many are familiar with this grip because it is what comes with their AK if it was imported by Century Arms. It is normally marked with a "C" towards the top of the grip. It is one of the lowest quality plastic with poor texturing and thinnest widths grips out there. I think part of the reason AK grips get a bad reputation for being thin are these grips. They are noticablly thinner in my hand than any of the other classic grips, if I recall correctly this difference was only a few hundredths of an inch. Unfortunately, I've gotten rid of all my Century grips so I can't give you an exact measurement. Overall, I recommend this be one of the first things you change out even if you like the classic look, there are better options out there. Since it is OEM, you won't find a retail price out there on it, but I would not pay more than $5 for one.

K-Var- As much as I sometimes dislike K-Var for some of their policies and prices, this grip is the winner in the Traditional Grip market if you need 922r parts. It is avalilable in Plum, Black, Flat Dark Earth (FDE) and Olive Drab Green (OD). The bottom of the grip has a metal reinforcement bushing where your grip screw head rests. This alone in my book makes it a great option. The plastic is high quality with a very grippy texturing. It has a wider thickness than the Century grip at .94". Honestly, it is better than most of the surplus grips I have pulled off of AKs. You will also pay a premium of around $15 retail for this grip, but I believe it is worth it in this case.

Tapco- Middle of the road in price and quality option between the Century and K-Var grips. I only have limited experience with this as that I owned one just for a few days to put on a rifle I was selling in order to keep the modern grip I had on it. It does have nicer plastic and features than the Century, but not quite as good as the K-Var. They do have a new Bakelite orange color and is offered in Black, FDE and OD as well. It normally retails around $10.    EDIT: Just got my hands on a Tapco grip again. Good texture and measures the standard grip widith of .92"

Iron Wood Designs- If you must go classic, wood, and 922r compliant with just the grip, then this is almost your only option. However, the buzz on the internet is that Iron Wood Designs grips are high quality and they offer several different grip type options like milled AK, AKM, Yugo, and AMD. I don't have hands on experience, but I can say they have a solid reputation and wouldn't hesitate to order from them if I needed U.S. made wood stocks. These retail around $35-55.

TimberSmith by Tapco- This is the newer 922r compliant wood AK furniture on the block. Again, I have no experience with it (as you can tell I'm not that big into wood), but it seems to be of high quality from most reports. However, it looks to be that these are only available as sets and you can't buy just grips. They are offered in some gorgeous colors, brown and black laminate, Red stain, and American hard wood. The full set of stock, handguards, and grip retail for around $130.

Surplus Grips-  These run the gamut in pricing and quality.  There are collectors grips, typically Russian, that can fetch high prices.  Then there are some pretty low quality plastic and wood ones out there for cheap.  If you aren't a collector, I still recommend the K-Var if you are going plastic.  If you are going for wood and 922r parts count isn't an issue, then a surplus grip is going to be a cheaper option than the U.S. made ones, so that might be the niche for non-collectors with surplus grips.  However, top quality wood still would probably be the Iron Wood Designs grips.  Since we have been talking about thickness, for reference, most post-AKM surplus grips I've measured are around .92", pre-AKM grips are suppose to be thicker.

Note- Usually traditional grips do NOT include grip screws. If you have a traditional grip installed already, you will have a grip screw, but if you are changing out a modern to traditional grip, you may need to relocate your original screw or buy a new one.

In general the modern grips tend to fill the hand better, have better egronomic features, and offer storage compartments if it uses a non-standard grip screw.

MD Arms Molot- This is a modern U.S. made grip with a bit of Russian authenticity.  It is modeled after the Molot grip with finger grooves added.  The Molot comes on Saiga shotguns at the Izhmash factory. The true Molot grips are rare because Saigas are imported into the U.S. with the sporter stock. This is another grip that I have no personal experience with, however, MD Arms has a good reputation.  It does use a standard grip screw, but due to that there is no storage compartment.  It retails around $12

Arsenal RPK Grip This is a newer style grip made in Bulgaria.  A more classic look, but modern feeling grip.  Arsenal always has good quality and some swear by this grip.  However, it isn't a 922r part.  It uses a standard grip screw.  I don't know why K-Var in the link describes it as for milled receivers only, most AK grips are interchangeable and other retailers that sell it do not have that stipulation on it. Retail $20

ATI Stikeforce and Scorpion - These grips are very similar in shape to the older version Command Arms grip.  While it feels good in the hand and is a 922r part, I wasn't very impressed with the plastic's quality on the Strikeforce so I quickly passed it on.  The Scorpion is an upgraded version with a shock absorbing backstrap and rubberized grip. The Strikeforce uses a standard grip screw.  The Scorpion includes its own grip screws but doesn't have a storage compartment.  In general, ATI doesn't have the best reputation on the internet but I do like their AK handguards if you use a heatshield with it.  The Strikeforce version retails for around $15 and the Scorpion for $25

Command Arms/CAA/EMA Tactical Original AG47, New AG47, and UPG47-   The original AG47 was very similar to the ATI Strikeforce, it is just more solid and with a storage compartment. In general these are always some of the thickest AK grips towards the bottom.  However, it doesn't look to be imported any more and has confusingly been replaced with a new style grip with the same model number.  Personally, I don't like the looks of the new one as much but in general my experience with CAA (TDI) stuff has been about on par with Tapco in quality.  The UPG47 is a customizable grip with interchangable front and back straps.  It looks to be a great option if you want to play around and find exactly what will fit you. While all three have storage compartments, they are all imported from Israel so they are not 922r parts.  The AG47s retail for around $25, the UPG47 $35

Mako Group- This is another Israeli imported grip.  It looks to have some good ergonomics, only one finger groove for the middle finger (for a lot of people the ring/pinky groove are the problem ones) There is some nice checking on the backstrap.  Mako Imports decent stuff, but often a little pricey. This one is about $30.

As you may have noticed, the last two are Israeli importers.  The lines there sometimes get a little blurry and at one point both were importing TDI brand stuff if I remember correctly.  Mako has branched out to another Israel supplier, FAB Defense.  Also to make things even more confusing, the next supplier specifically has TDI products listed on their site with no photos of the products while advertising made in the U.S.A.  I'm attempting to get in contact with them to find out if I can shed so light on the situation.

MFT Engage EPG47 and EPGI47 I just found MFT (Mission First Tactical) Engage while researching this guide.  They are U.S. made grips.  The MFT grips claim to fame is that they mimic the AR15 grip angle right out of the box, so it may be a good option if you are more comfortable it (AR grips can be used used on AKs with modification or a grip adapter).  The EPG47 is a basic model with finger grooves and stippling.  The EPGI47 is the upgraded version that offers removable front and back straps. They both have an unique storage compartment.  While it looks to be on the smaller side, it has foam block that can be cut to your tastes and reduce rattle.  The retail prices are approximately $22 for the EPG47 and $30 for the EPGI47.

Tapco SAW- This is my old stand by.  It is called a SAW grip since it is designed like the FN grip that is put on M249s.  I have used these long enough that I have two different versions of this grip. My oldest has a Galil style safety cut out but current ones do not.  Honestly, over the years, Tapco's grip screw has gotten worse.  They originally had a flathead screw, now they have a shorter metric hex bolt that is really annoying to find the right socket extension to fit all the way up the grip.  Overall quality is good, there are newer grips from other companies that have better.  It has a very spacious storage compartment and the bottom wire retainer latched door stays closed even though sometimes you wonder if it actually will.  I was able to carry an essential parts kit in mine with a FCG/bolt spring set, an extractor, a firing pin, a couple of axis pins, hammer, and optic batteries.  Ergonomically, it fills the hand well while swelling more toward the bottom, has okay texture, and a comfortable angle.  While I think there are now better grips out there, these gave me years of good service and I still have one on my Draco pistol. 922r compliant, it is available in Black, OD, and FDE, and the retail is around $18

Ergo Grips- Ergo used to offer a few AK grips but they are back to offering just their original, which is still a great option.  This grip has a "pencil eraser" feel rubber coating.  The finger grooves are a less aggressive which a lot of people like.  For a long time the Ergo was main other option from the Tapco SAW since it is U.S. made.  If you like a little spongy feel on your grip, this is the way to go.  It has a large grip compartment as well.  Retail prices should be around $25

Hogue- This is one of my current favorites.  Hogue calling these "OverMolded" made me expect that they would have a good amount of spongy feel to them, similar to their "Handall" grip sleeves.  Actually, they have only a slight amount of give in the thin rubber coating around the plastic core.  It still feels great as the texture and natural grip of the rubber makes your hand stay put.  The finger grooves, while on the larger size, fit my hands really well.  The overall grip size is just right for me, not too big not too small.  Like most other modern grips, it has a storage compartment.  It is a good size, although not as large as the Tapco SAW and just a touch smaller than the US Palm.  It can fit 3 CR123 batteries, or in my case 2 CR123s and a broken shell remover.  Hogue offers a grip without a plug though so be aware of that if you want to use the storage area.  The version that includes a plug also has a wire retainer and plastic divider designed to hold AA (2), CR123 (3), and CR2032 (4) batteries in a very organized way.  However, I didn't have much luck with the divider, maybe partly due to the fact I was trying to fit the shell remover place of one of the CR123s.  The plug can be used without the divider and is very secure.  But since the door is held in with just the pressure of the excess rubber at the bottom of the grip, it may come out more easily over time.  Removal of the plug is cleverly accomplished by placing a 7.62x39/.308 or .223 case in the indents on the door.  Hogue also partners with Samson to fit a Field Survivor tool/cleaning kit in the grip cavity.  While a very cool option, it is very expensive especially when compared to the cost of a normal AK buttstock tool kit and boresnake.  The install as easy on these due to a good sized and easy to work with grip screw.  These excellent grips are available in the standard Black, FDE, and OD, but also Hogue has a twist with their "Ghillie" version of these colors that have a little grain effect to them.  MidwayUSA lists that a "Zombie Green" will be offered soon as well. These grips can also be bought in a combo pack with their handguard that will be eventually reviewed here too. The grips without a compartment plug are around $18, with the compartment system are about $24, and with the Samson Field Survivor, $110.

US Palm AKBG- Last, but definitely not least, is the US Palm AKBG (AK Battle Grip).  If you read here regularly, you noticed I am somewhat of a US Palm Fanboy.  Products like this grip make me unashamed to say that. This is the most solid, high quality grip I've tried on the AK.  It has a look that still works well with a traditional aesthetic.  The texture is good, although a little less non-slip than the Hogue's rubber coating.  The storage compartment is only second to the Tapco SAW in size.  I had to remove the hammer from my essential parts kit and the firing pin needs to be positioned just right to fit.  The door is rubber, advertised as water proof, and has a nice pull tab.  While one of the most slim modern grips out there, its curved lines allow it to fill the hand just right.  I would bet this grip works with the widest range of hand sizes.  Another noticeable difference is that it allows your hand sit closer to the receiver than any other grip, giving better control to the rifle.  My only gripe about the US Palm is the grip screw length.  The screw itself is high quality and the washer is the best one I've seen on any grip, but if it was just another 1/4" longer it would be much easier for it to thread into the grip nut with the compression you need to for the washer.  Once you get it on and use it, you quickly forget about pesky screw.  Colors offered are Black, FDE, Brown, and the new Red Bakelite.  The typical retail price for the $30

Hopefully this has laid out most of the now many options you have to change out the grip on your AK.  A few years ago selection was pretty limited, especially if you needed a 922r part.  Today, the biggest problem might be trying to find the one you like best with all the options.  However, variety is still a good thing.  Now, I use several grip styles.  I keep traditional grips on my .22 and 5.45 guns so that I have an extra tactile feedback that the smaller grip equals smaller calibers.  My 7.62x39 guns get the modern, larger grips.  That might just be me over-thinking it, but I like that system.  Plus I get to enjoy some of this selection we have now.  Most days the US Palm is my favorite grip, although I'll pick up the Hogue gripped Draco Carbine and notice how nice it is too.  Sometimes I get nostalgic and remember the quality and looks the K-Var Plum grip adds to my AK74.  If you find that grip that works and you want to stick with it understand completely.  For years, that was the Tapco SAW for me.  But at least you don't have to be stuck just because there are only a few out there.

Friday, February 3, 2012

RS Regulate Micro Mount Preorder, Teaser Shots of New Light Mount

RS Regulate's new Micro Red Dot side mount is up as a preorder at Brownells,  If you like side mounts, you will finally have a way to mount at Micro red dot as low possible.

Also there are some cool teaser shots of their new light mount at Facebook. Since watching Adaptive Kalash, I've been looking at getting a light mount that gets the light off the handguard to try out more of the new school handguard grip.  I've been looking at the Thorntail, but I'm going to have to wait for this one.