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Thread: Optics for AK?

  1. #1
    Registered User louColt's Avatar
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    Optics for AK?

    I've been wondering for a while now. From what I understand, the AK is simply not designed for being used as a sniper rifle. Or a hunting rifle. And yet, we can see a perfect example of the opposite in another thread on this subforum. And it's equipped with a scope (which one is it, by the way?)

    I tried to figure out what would be the best scope for an AK, but I didn't find much, except a short list of scopes. It's really short, with only a handful of scopes on it. And I prefer Vortex scopes anyways, which weren't there. Don't they make scopes for AK?

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    An AK is not accurate enough to benefit from a proper scope.
    A red dot works very well, however.
    If you are really dedicated to a scope, something in the 4x range is all you need.

    The ballistic property of the 7.62x39 cartridge is basically the same as the 30-30, so it is adequate for deer and similarly sized game to a range of approximately 150 yards.

  3. #3
    Registered User DistalRadius's Avatar
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    Both cartridge and platform are suitable for hunting. Pretty much all rifles benefit from an optic. AKs generally are 2-3 MOA guns which will never be a "sniper rifle" but is plenty accurate for hunting at intermediate ranges, same as grandpa's .30-30 Marlin. Soviets have been using optic equipped AKs for some time now. The best ones that are original to the platform are the side-rail mounted optics. The AK's receiver must be equipped with a side-rail similar to this:



    There is literally a whole universe of AK specific optics and mounts, most of which are intended to be used in conjunction with the side-rail. Kalinka Optics has a large selection you can browse. Most magnified optics will be calibrated for the larger 7.62x54R caliber for the Dragunov but they do make the same optics calibrated for 7.62x39. The POSP 4x24V being one example.



    There are a variety of US made solutions for mounting a scope on a non-railed receiver, like railed dustcovers and the like, which are functional but generally inferior to the originals. One can even mount a conventional scope to the side-rail with something like this or this. There are more options out there too but I don't feel like Googling them right now.

    Hopefully this these links will give you enough reading material to get you started. There is a lot to learn about AK optics and mounts and it can get confusing pretty quickly. Best of luck.

  4. #4
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    Any rifle can benefit from good optics - magnified or otherwise. AK optics and mount options are far superior today than they were just 5-6 years ago.

    I have been running "modernized" AKs for over a decade now. I love the gun and have some 7 variants, each having a distinct feature set.

    Yes, I do think that the AK is first and foremost a battle carbine - assualt rifle - pick your wording for what is basically a 300 meter and below weapon. It can go beyond that - and is accurate to a degree. It is not sub-MOA, it is not a sniper rifle and probably not a good pick for DMR.

    If you want to put holes into holes, don't grab an AK, but deer hunting doesn't require that.

    But some AK types are quite accurate and some Optics are very much capable of being mounted ergonomically and increase the capabilities of the AK in ways that those who have not been shooting them and studying them much in the last 10+ years have experienced.

    Here is a cool video (AKOU's Robski behind a VEPR @ 500yds
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa2P83BbIOc

    Here are some relatively inexpensive products to research:

    Midwest Sidemount (RS-Regulate is better, Arsenal's is longer - but this is cheaper and solid)
    http://www.midwestindustriesinc.com/...-p/mi-aksm.htm

    3x power ACSS reticle and a great optic - its in the video I posted above
    http://www.primaryarms.com/primary-a...ign=pa-product

    1-6x variable Power with ACSS. These are longer and bulky, but like a reddot in close - out to 6 power
    http://www.primaryarms.com/primary-a...sfp-acss-300bo

    What is cool about the AK over most other rifles is that it is surprisingly versatile. Most variants have QD side mounts - that means you can have a couple different optics packages kitted and switch between them quickly. Likewise, the muzzle devices are QD - just unscrew your jetbrake for long range and stick on a 4-peice 99% flash hider in seconds.

    The lessons I have learned:

    1. except for the more expensive and well built options, the dust cover mounts are terribad - stay away at all cost. Even the more expensive and well made ones are really unnecessary.

    2. Dot sights can be accurate at longer ranges. 2MOA dots @ 2-300yds is not that hard - probably not something you want to hunt with, but have much better applications too - plenty of guys reaching out farther without magnified optics or even red dots.

    3. Just like the world of ARs, AKs have many innovative accessories and they have thier place. Check out the interwebs for what shooters are doing.

    4. Get good AKs. Research before you buy. WASRs are not crap. Yugos are OK. American made AKs generally are not good investments (some new developments here, but not tried and true yet). AKs from Combloc countries are the best right now.

    5. DO NOT BUY I.O.

    Anyways - lots more info out there than I know.

    Don;t hesitate to throw a magnified optic on your AK - cost like $4-500 to do it right and that isn't an arm/ leg of money.

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    Just because I'm an "AK guy" and an avid whitetail deer hunter this past year I outfitted one of my AK's for hunting. I really just planned on using the hunting AK for one or two hunts out of the 20+ hunts I make each year.

    I have a Norinco MAK-90 that I put the required number of U.S. made parts into and added a regular AK stock.
    To hunt with it I added a side rail, a RS Regulate mount, and a Leupold VXII 3-9x40 scope.

    Where I hunt in the foothills the vast majority of shots are at 60 yards or less. I actually could have just used the iron sights but I am used to using optics on hunting rifles so it just seemed like the right thing to do.

    Zero'ing a decent scope on an AK can be a bit of a challenge. It is more a matter of averaging shot groups more so than having repeatable tack-driving precision.

    At the distances I hunt using an AK it is an ethical hunting tool. Much past 60 yards I personally would not take the shot because I want a clean shot and clean kill.

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    i have cheap red dots on my 2 ak's....my son got a deer with it....problem with mak 90 is the scope sits up too high....on my pap i drilled the top cover and it sits down correctly

    if you want to know what i put on my sons AK ill get it out of the safe and check...i believe its a 2x one with a cabellas name on it......bad eye relief and i think i paid $150....does the job

    on my PAP i bought the cheapest bushnell red dot and drilled the top cover to put a rail on it...nice thing is it mounts nice and low


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    Lou,

    This is a great resource for all Russian AK optics. Very detailed and most of these scopes can be bought in the states. http://russianoptics.net/default.html. BTW, I use the PO 3.5x21P scope (made for Venezuela with a 7.62x39mm cam) and have excellent results at 300+ M.
    Last edited by Soylent_Green; 02-09-2017 at 07:17 PM.

  8. #8
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    I have had several AKs with side mounting rails. I also bought an AK that came with a side mounted tasco. It is clunky and off bore axis, and I traded it away at the first opportunity. If you want a scope in that caliber, buy a bolt action or put one on an SKS. If you want an optic on an AK, I recommend the Texas weapons systems picatinny dust cover. I use a red dot on mine and am quite satisfied.

  9. #9
    Registered User Inkognito's Avatar
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    An AK makes a great deer rifle. As already stated, an AK is not going to be accurate enough for a traditional sniper role which would demand accuracy out to great distances. but out to 300 yards they are quite effecitve and adding a small scope does make them much more effective. Something in the 1x to 4x range is perfect. Personally, I think the Vortex 3x Spitfire is a great optic to mount on an AK.

    Keep in mind, adding a scope or an optical sight to a rifle does not increase the rifles range or accuracy; it increases the operators range and accuracy. Most rifles will shoot far more accuracte than the user is capable of, this includes AKs. As the range to target increases, the users limitations exponentially increase which results in increased deterioration in accuracy. Magnified optics aid the shooter and help reduce the users diminishing ability to acquire and hold on to a target as the range increases.

  10. #10
    Registered User Paul Kersey's Avatar
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    I like a simple red dot on mine.

    Last edited by Paul Kersey; 05-06-2020 at 09:41 AM.

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    Years ago, I purchased a scope from Classic Arms for my Romy WUM 1.

    It is a scaled-down version of the POSP , in I believe 4x24 fixed power.

    MULTIPLE people at the gun shop scoffed when I mentioned scoping my "commie piece of $@#+" AK.

    Well, at 100 yards with S&B steel core and S&B bi-metal ammo, I can repeatedly print three shot groups that could be mistaken for single or double hits.

    I once bet my friend I could match or exceed his 100-yd group from a slow-fired 30 rd magazine, his Bushmaster XM-15 to my stamped AK. Winner took home 1k rounds of IMI 62gr 5.56.

    I still have about 100 rds of that beautiful 5.56 left.

  12. #12
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    Realistically, there is not, nor has there ever been, any sighting system that is capable of making a firearm more accurate; better than factory sights/scopes simply allow the shooter to more clearly see the target and/ or increase the sight radius, both of which simply allow the shooter to morr clearly see any aiming errors.
    Will a 50 Telescopic Sight allow more precise bullet pkacement vs a simple notch-and-post placed 6" apart, on the same platform? Certainly!
    However, if the platform is innacurate, the 50 Scope will only allow the shooter to more clearly observe his (her?) misses.
    I've seen shooters spend $1k+ on a Rifle, and put a $30 Scope on it. While this is most definitely ill-advised, it is on par with putting a $3k Scope on a $200 Rifle. Neither setup is ideal, and in both cases, the shooter will be disappointed.

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    Original Vector M92 factory SBR + JPoint RDS w/Wings

    Old Arizona saying: "A rattlesnake in the house ends all talk about animal rights!"

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    Just an update: Riton Optics makes a pretty sweet 1-4x AR type scope with a mil dot reticle. The Gen 1 is currently only fetching about $119 on theBay...This optic has a pretty amazing build for $119. I'm going to slap one on my 5.56 Vepr.

  15. #15
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    Most AKs are basically a 6MOA rifle.7.62x39 30-30 ballistics mostly.Anything better than 6MOA out of a 30 cal AK would be considered a match grade rifle? LOL
    Last edited by MGMAN45; 02-15-2020 at 06:39 PM. Reason: info

  16. #16
    Registered User DistalRadius's Avatar
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    Mine seem to get around 3 MOA. The sights are the biggest obstacle to achieving this which is why I think basic optics are a good idea.

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