I received the MI AK side scope mount I ordered a couple weeks ago. This is the 30mm mount with integral rings for running low power and 1-4X optics, model MI-AK30SM.
After looking around for options for mounting my Burris M-TAC this seemed like the best solution. I really didn’t want a rail mount that required separate rings as I wanted the scope mounted as low as possible. My initial impression after opening the packaging was positive as far as fit and finish go. This mount exhibits the same quality as every other product I have that was manufactured by MI.
I also really like the ADM locking system they are using. The lever has a locking latch that prevents it from inadvertently coming unlocked. The system to adjust the lever to your rifles individual rail is as ingenious as it is simple. Best of all, there are no tools necessary. Simply unlock the lever to the open position and push up on the assembly. This will raise the eight sided adjusting nut sufficiently to clear its recess in the mount. Now it is a simple matter to loosen or tighten the nut one flat at a time until you reach the desired tension for your rail. When you release the lever assembly, the adjustment nut is lowered into its recess in the mount by spring tension. The adjustment nut is prevented from rotating by its flats bearing against the mount. This definitely has the Russian method of adjusting mount tension beat to hell.
After I adjusted the mount for my rail I mounted it to the receiver. I was initially worried that it may not be centered with my rifles bore as there is a great range of variables in tolerances for AK’s depending on the manufacturer. My anxiety was soon put to rest as this mount appears to be centered with the bore on my particular rifle. Hard to get at the perfect angle to get a really good picture but these should give you an idea.
I placed my M-TAC into the rings and positioned it with the turret housing midway between the rings. This gave me the correct eye relief for where I like to run the length of pull on my stock and was the most ascetically pleasing. This was great until I started to tighten the rings only to find out that my power adjustment ring was making contact with my receiver cover. Looking at the bottom of the rings I saw a good 1/16 to 3/32 of an inch gap, bummer. Thinking it may be due to the Saiga’s particular cover, I swapped out the one from my SAR 1. Sure enough it fit with around 1/32 of an inch or so of clearance. So, after ensuring I had enough internal clearance for the carrier I filed the bottom rear of the Saiga cover until I had the same clearance with the scope mounted. Now I just need to TIG weld the bottom of the takedown hole up and fit it so that it pulls the cover down firmly when assembled, problem solved.
My clearance issue may just be related to a combination of my individual rifles receiver cover and the M-TAC’s adjustment ring. FYI the diameter of the M-TAC adjustment ring is 1.745. Just something you should take into consideration if the power adjustment ring of your scope has a diameter bigger than the M-TAC. Anything smaller should be fine. Those of you who run Cat Tails and/or other levers on the adjustment ring may also encounter problems depending on the diameter of the ring and/or arc of adjustment travel. If the mount was 1/8 of an inch taller I think it would resolve any potential adjustment ring interference problems. For those who are concerned about such things, the mount is to low to allow field stripping the rifle with it on. Considering the superb locking system, this really isn’t an issue to me.
All said I really like this mount. Was it worth the $129 retail? I think so. Nothing compares to its features at that price point. Depending on what scope you run or your rifles rail height, you may not encounter the same issue I did.