There’s nothing quite like the sweet smell of lithium grease dripping off an old AK-47 from some splintery wooden crate. If you want a battle rifle that was designed for its ability to endure abuse from conscript armies, battlefields and Wolf steel-cased ammo, then this historic and infamous icon is the one you’re looking for.
The AK-47 is well-known for being a clunker of a rifle, and certainly does not carry the same high-precision tolerances as its featherweight nemesis, the AR-15 (at least according to AK loyalists).
Then again, let’s see about changing that. At least out to 200 yards, that is.
No. 5 – Update Your Furniture
If you’ve ever picked up a WASR-10 variant and felt the love of a wooden cheek weld from those old stocks, then you’re probably well-aware that maintaining consistent marksmanship is a rather tricky ordeal under such a configuration. That’s why I suggest updating your furniture first, because a polymer 6-point adjustable stock will enable a more consistent (and a great deal more comfortable) cheek weld.
And it includes the added benefit of having an adjustable length of pull. Which is nice, especially for those with arms that are longer than your average Cold War-era Soviet conscript. For this reason, it doesn’t even have to be a super-expensive, tactical sniper stock, since we’re not exactly looking for sub-MOA performance out of this beast.
Realistically speaking, you could get away with a Tapco T6 or ProMag Archangel setup. I would recommend purchasing the forend with a bottom Picatinny rail, since the ability to add a foregrip would help manage some of that bouncy 7.62×39 recoil.
No. 4 – Add a Quality Rail
There are some places where the AK will allow you to skimp and go for the cheap option. With your Picatinny rail above the receiver, however, I would not. The precision of your optics depends on something that WILL NOT dance with a fired round, and something cheap from UTG is just not going to cut it.
The beauty of the Ultimate Arms Gear rail system is the fact that it’s secured to the trunnion and the rear sight, which results in incredible stability for your optic.
Yes, it will run you about $50 to purchase one, but it certainly beats wasting money on a rail that’s either too high to establish a good cheek weld or is attached to a rickety dust cover.
No. 3 – PMag, Comrade
When it comes to AK-47 magazines, it really doesn’t get much more durable and reliable than the stamped real deal. However, even though this is an article about accuracy improvement, I must say that switching to polymer PMags is an absolutely necessity for AK owners.
Not only will a new set of Magpul PMags offer a major weight advantage over their steel counterparts, they also have proven their tremendous value over the years, especially among troops using them for their ARs in combat zones.
In addition, it’s becoming a very well-known fact that magazines are the most common cause of function failures in rifles. This is why upgrading your magazines should have a noticeable and beneficial effect on how your AK runs and feeds.
No. 2 – Extended Magazine Release
Want to add an unusual mod that will transform your AK into an excellent tactical asset? Simply add an AK-47 Speed Catch Extended Magazine Release and you’re sure to raise a few pairs of eyebrows when you do a crazy-fast reload at the gun range. According to RAM’s product description:
Just press the release with your trigger finger while keeping your palm wrapped around the pistol grip, and change magazines with your opposite hand, all in one motion.
Without this modified magazine release, the AK-47 reload is notoriously challenging and time-consuming in tactical terms. In comparison to the AR, this issue has always been one of the biggest deal-breakers among gun lovers, haunting the old Soviet rifle since the famous debut of Stoner’s M16.
But with an extended magazine release, your reloads can finally match the speed that your AR-toting buddies are accustomed to. That ridiculously stiff toggle in front of the trigger guard was once a pain in the buttstock to actuate. But now, you can finally nudge that sucker with your trigger finger.
Because a lever should add leverage (and not hinder it).
No. 1 – Upgrade Your Sights
The AK-47 was originally developed as a round-slinging machine gun, and you can see that fact blatantly displayed in the fundamentals of the rifle’s design.
In this article, we won’t be discussing the rifle’s internals or the idea of swapping out the barrel, which is a known accuracy killer in the AK (because the explosive forces of a heavy 7.62×39 cartridge tend to cause a great deal of harmonic dissonance in that disproportionately lightweight steel tube).
The sights, on the other hand, are a doable fix. If you aren’t planning on mounting an optic, then snagging a set of Tech-Sights (for roughly $110) is a known way to achieve a non-typically tight 1-2 MOA grouping out of your AK. Many reviewers have discovered the effectiveness of these sights within the past few years, to the pleasant surprise of all AK lovers from sea to shining sea.
AK Accuracy Is Not a Punchline. It’s a Birthright.
Well, that ought to bring down your AK’s gaping stamped receiver tolerances and glaring inaccuracy issues. After those mods, you should have a weapon fit for nailing those 200-yard shots with a much higher degree of consistency. And if you decide to use an optic, then make sure that you adjust 7 inches above the target to account for the 7.62×39’s own low tolerances for resisting gravity.
Because in Soviet Russia, you don’t resist gravity. Gravity resists you!
What advice would you add for improving an AK-47? Share your suggestions in the section below: