Friday, April 13, 2012

Mystery railed upper handguard

I came across this railed aluminum upper handguard from a personal sale on my state gun boards.  The previous owner said he picked it up at a gun show, which honestly I don't get to that often. It looks vaguely familiar but I can't place it and my Google-Fu is weak on this one.  Maybe I last saw it at a gun show, but even then there is normally some one selling it on the internet.  Anybody know who makes/sells it?

Besides for sheer curiosity, the thing that drew me to it is that it allows you to place a light offset just forward of the lower handguard, the ideal place for a light in my book. Normally this would take something like a Midwest Industries Extended rail system with offset mount, the Thorntail mount, or jury rig a bolt-on mount onto the gas block like USAFMiller did in this video (note: I do not like the mount he used since it goes past the gas block, it but there are a few others that might work if they aren't too cheap). I haven't seen something like this since the Critical Dimensions/Damage Industries railed gas tube and lower handguard.

Overall, it reminds me vaguely of Knight's Armament with the hole shape and the cutouts at the ends of the rails for their style of covers.  It weighs in at 6 ounces and seems to be of good quality, although I don't have tons of railed handguard experience.  It twists on just like a normal upper handguard and has a retainer spring.  Without it bolting onto a lower handguard or around the barrel, I wouldn't mount an optic on it and that much rail space is a lot of overkill for just one light.  I don't know if in the time being I'll keep it or go back to playing with crappy bolt-on mounts on the gas block. But hopefully RS Regulate will eventually save me from my on ridiculousness with their light mount.

End of rail cutouts for Knight's rail covers

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fleeting Survival's review of the Bonesteel/CNC Warrior Folding Stock Hinge

In part 5 of his AK saga, Fleeting Survival has up a review of the Bonesteel/CNC Warrior M4 stock side folding mechanism.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

CNC Warrior and Bonesteel Arms folding M4 stock hinge

Bonesteel Arms and CNC Warrior are starting to sell their side folding mechanism that looks very similar to the TSD Combat Systems'.  It is available with or without the mil-spec buffer tube.  You have to provide the stock.  Of course putting an M4 style stock on an AK is one of the worst things you can do for an AK purist, but if you like the adjustable length of pull and other things it provides this looks to be a really good option.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Atlantic Firearms has a couple of cool new products

These have been available for a little while, finally got a chance to post about them.

First up is the HellPup Pistol, this is an extension of IO Inc's HellHound series, which is very similar to M+M's M10 series.  Their Pistol is basically a Draco pistol with a railed plastic handguard and Phantom style flashhider.  One other unique feature is a rail on the back of the receiver.  This would  make a picatinny sling attach point very easy to add now.  In the past you had to drill and tap a sling stud in or a sling plate.  I generally don't like sling attachment plates on my rifle AKs but my Draco pistol does have a Parallax Tactical VM-1, which I do think is very solid.

In general, there is a big debate about pistol AKs and if they are useful or not.  I keep mine around somewhat as a toy but also a practical reason is here in Indiana it is the only way I could dear hunt with an AK (haven't yet, but want to).  However, Draco pistols have been very spotty on their importation lately so while the HellPup lists more than a standard Draco does at $650, it still might be a good option if you are looking to get an AK pistol or base for a SBR project.

Another cool product that isn't exactly an AK, but too cool to not drool over in my book is a DSA tacticool Semi-Auto RPD.  At $2500 it is far out of my price range, but still very unique.  Atlantic Firearms always some of the widest ranges of products.

TSD Spartan Kalashnikov

TSD has announced their Spartan Kalashnikov.  It is somewhat a first in the AK world in that it has a low, level, nearly complete top rail due to the TWS Top Cover and TWS Handguards.  While that is exactly what the handguards were designed to do, it is interesting to see an AK finally with both components. Someone has probably combined these two already on an individual basis but it is the first rifle being sold this way.  It could allow some interesting combinations not easily done before, like red dot magnifiers and night vision monoculars. Base rifle is a Saiga and the folding stock is a Polish Beryl. An AAC flash hider is used, which is permanently attached for some reason, maybe lack of plunger pin.  List price is $1500.

US Palm new products in May

US Palm's Facebook page is reporting that their new products will be release in May.  While their quad stacks were in a prototype stage at SHOT, their plan was to release them around next month so they may be hitting shelves then.  The Breakdown AK maybe ready then too, but they were having problems with the folding stock.  They were featuring a couple of new nylon gear at Facebook.  One is a EDC backpack that will be available in different sizes, the most exciting to me is a pack that interfaces with the Attack Rack.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Strike Industries AK Rail Range Report

I finally was able to get out to the range with the Strike Industries AK Rail.  It performed great!  While sighting it in, I wasn't really understanding the distances from the bullseye that my spotter was calling.  I was just happily firing away and he finally says "I don't know what more you want to accomplish, that looks great" followed by "for an AK" (he's a bullpup guy). Throwing out called flyers, I had about a 10 round 3 inch group at 40 yards off not the world's best rest.  I'm sure I could tighten things up some with a better rest and smaller strings, but it was evident that the mount was not limiting the accuracy at all.  In snap shooting, the Primary Arms Micro Dot was quick and not too high.  The mount itself is rock solid.  The only way I could see this mount having issues is if the set screws started to work out but that didn't and shouldn't happen with the Locite.

I think the steadiness of this mount compared to the Midwest Industries and even LaRue rear sight mounts is that it has two points of contact on the rear sight block that are on either side of the connection point.  This makes more of a bridge effect that reduces the chances of the mount shifting vertically.  Both of those other mounts do not have a true point of contact forward of the rear sight pin holes.  Like a loose plank flipping up as you walk on one end of it, only having that single point of contact gives a fulcrum point of the rear sight pinholes and the other mounts tend to bounce up under recoil.  I now have a Midwest Industries rear sight mount that I hope to directly compare to if Strike Industries do produce one for the Micro Dots as they have eluded.  While normally Midwest makes some great stuff, their rear sight mount has undergone one redesign and some people still have issues.  If Strike Industries keeps the same basic design of having 2 contact points forwards and aft of the sight pin holes, I believe future optic specific mounts will be winners.

One of the other interesting things this mount features is the backup rear sight channel.  It was effective enough for backup use, although it definitely had a limited FOV with the optic on. Still, it would work in a pinch of the red dot going down.  I did find that removing the optic changed the point of impact vertically even though the mount did not shift at all.  This was due to without the Micro Dot on the rail you can see more of the front sight in the rear channel and you basically end up using two different points of aim.

At $45, it is a great low profile way to mount that won't break the bank.  The Strike Industries AK Rail is a perfect fit for my Draco carbine that doesn't have a side rail or a factory Ultimak option, both of which would be more expensive options if available.  It's closest competitor price-wise would be a side mount like the BP-02, which requires a side rail, doesn't have the option of still being able to use irons with it, and actually sits at about the same height.  If you require the QD feature like a side rail, you can always get a QD base on your optic.  The height of the Strike Industries rail is still lower than most side mounts/optics like the MTK-03, Kobra, and the PSO/POSP.  To go lower you would need to go for something like an Ultimak gas tube, Midwest Industries railed handguard, or RS Regulate side mount.  While all of these are great options, they will set you back more than the Strike Industries'.  That's also not mentioning the two other similar competitors of the Scoutscope and Samson mounts that seem overpriced now compared to this new mount.    Overall, this is a excellent entry into the AK market for Strike Industries and I look forward to their new product line!

See part one of this review- First Impressions

Disclaimer:  This mount was provided free of charge from Strike Industries for this review.  I hope to keep working with them to give more information about their new products.

RS Regulate new colors for mounts

RS Regulates' Facebook Page has pictures of their new color options for their mounts.  They also have a poll up for limited edition colors, which right now Arsenal Tan is winning. Since OD will be a standard color option, Plum is my vote.  But I could see that being hard to pull of, it is such a chameleon color depending on the light.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Panteao's AK Armorer's Bench with Jim Fuller pre-order

Last weekend I posted on Suarez closing out their Fuller AK Armorer DVD.  Panteao's now has a pre-order page up for Jim Fuller's AK Armorer's Bench DVD/streaming download.  Of course, like Haley's Adaptive Kalash, it is clear from the trailer that it will have Panteao's excellent production values.  Their subscription service is also a good deal if you want to watch a bunch of their videos, just note it takes an email to cancel it.