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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 5/23/2003 8:21:40 AM EST
How do you turn the safety off & on on your AKs? Serious question. Really. I'm trying to see if there is a consensus on the most efficient method.

I've tried the "swipe it off with the firing hand thumb, then grip" method. I've worked the "swipe it off & keep the firing side thumb on the same side of the receiver" method. I've staged the whole hand on the selector lever and pushed down making contact with the social finger way. Is there a consensus on the "best way" to run the gun?


Link Posted: 5/23/2003 8:33:02 AM EST
the major shortcoming to that rifle, no doubt. Slow, clumsy and noisy.

According to Mikhail the AK is designed to be held by the grip with the right hand with all controls operated with the left hand.
I just hold the handguard in the left and clack it with the right.

This is one of the major advantages of the AR over the AK
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 8:47:20 AM EST
That is one thing that ARs have going for them. As they say in business, "Location, location, location". I've been working on "click/touch" drills with the AK and it definitely is a different beast than an AR. Interesting that MK said to operate all controls with the left hand. I hadn't heard that. Do you remember where you got that bit of info?


Link Posted: 5/23/2003 8:57:25 AM EST
I think it was on "Tales of the Gun" on the history channel. Not sure though. I know mag changes are definitely easier with the left hand. With the right it just does not go in smoothly.
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 10:44:18 AM EST
I don't use no safety. I load the gun when I'm ready to shoot. No safety needed. If I were to be in a combat situation where the gun had to be loaded at all times, I would of course use the safety. For pistols that are carried, I use the safety. The chances of me needing to tromp through the woods with a loaded AKM are pretty slim. In case some of you are 'definition challenged', 'loaded' means a round in the chamber. And, in the AK family of arms as well as practically all other long arms, this also means the hammer or striker is cocked and cannot be decocked.
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 10:55:40 AM EST
Drop the gun to a 45 degree downward angle (low ready), rotate your right hand around the grip slightly and swipe it down with your right hand index and middle fingers. I believe the SIGARMS academy is teaching that method for AKs.
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 12:06:38 PM EST
I use Lumpy's method also, it seems to be about the quickest way to manipulate the safety.
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 1:15:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/23/2003 1:16:08 PM EST by MPi-K]
Drop the gun to a 45 degree downward angle (low ready), rotate your right hand around the grip slightly and swipe it down with your right hand index and middle fingers

On some AK's, the safeties are especially stiff, making this method difficult.

I have polished the inside surface ( where the safety meets the reciever pivot hole ) on several AK's I've owned and smoothed them up so I could take the safety off with my right hand index finger only. I still have to remove my right hand from the pistol grip to put the weapon in safe however, or use my left hand.

Also the surface area the safety catch has is also important. The East German safeties have the larger surface area to grip out of all the safeties I've seen.
I've retrofitted my Maadi and NHM91 with East German safeties.

The AK with the smoothest factory safety I've ever seen, was my milled MAK90.
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 1:22:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By MPi-K:
On some AK's, the safeties are especially stiff, making this method difficult.

Bend the safety outward until its barrely gliding across the reciever.
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 2:23:02 PM EST
Thanks for all the replies. I've been most comfortable using the method that Lumpy described.I find that I have better control over the gun if I can maintain a physical reference point on the grip, even if I can't keep a firing grip on it while I'm moving the selector. It also comes in handy from a weapon retention perspective. If my gun-hand just rests on the receiver, with the gun in low ready, I'm not really in a position to maintain control of it if someone else gets "hands-on".

Link Posted: 5/23/2003 2:30:18 PM EST
Not long ago, I'd added a quick mag release and also added a small attachment onto my safty lever.
Now, Im able to change mags and use my safty without my hand leaving the pistol grip.

Link Posted: 5/23/2003 3:49:25 PM EST
Yep, between Krebs and Red Star you can do a lot to improve the ergonomics of the controls, but then you have a unique gun with unique operations, I'm more interested in a nondiagnostic skill-set that'll work with any AK platform.

Link Posted: 5/23/2003 4:00:53 PM EST

Link Posted: 5/23/2003 4:21:41 PM EST
Galil Question, since you brought it up.:)

Galil's have two selectors. The standard AK clacker and the one so nicely located on the pistol grip. How do they work? I assume that the clacker overrides the pistol grip swirch, correct? Do you set the clacker to auto and then use the pistol grip switch for normal operation? The pistol grip can't physically override the clacker, but do they work independently or what?


Link Posted: 5/23/2003 4:41:53 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 5:08:03 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 5:30:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/23/2003 5:31:42 PM EST by TexasGunman]
After looking at that Galils picture, seem like a L1A1 pistol grip could be mounted on a AK.

Use a dremel & cut a lever notch, tac weld a shaft to the ak lever?

Seem like it would work?

Just a idea.

Link Posted: 5/23/2003 5:51:58 PM EST
K-Var now sells the left side safety (read Galil) and according to Campybob and Randy@Independence Arms, they can be installed on a standard AK, if you were so inclined to go that route. FYI
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 7:06:00 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/23/2003 7:39:14 PM EST
Hi, Mbsk01

Would the galil-style safety work on a stamped receiver or only milled?

Link Posted: 5/23/2003 8:48:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By zougou:
Hi, Mbsk01

Would the galil-style safety work on a stamped receiver or only milled?


From what I understand, BOTH. Which is good news for everyone.

Feel free to email anyone who does custom work and see what they say. I think 2 reputable sources is enough, but it doesn't hurt to get a few more.
Link Posted: 5/24/2003 2:59:24 AM EST
While the AK ergonimics are very different from US guns, you have to remember when and where it was made. The AK is designed to be held by the left hand on the handguards while everything else is done with the right hand.

The reason for this is simple, while you're doing anything other than firing, you finger isn't on the trigger.

Remember who this gun was desinged for. I'm not knocking the Russian people, but at the time peasant conscripts weren't exactly used to working with technology and mechanical things. Most had never seen a truck, tank, tractor, telephone, etc. So it's not really a bad idea for the design to incoporate a "fail-safe" safety of not having your finger near the trigger unless you're ready to shoot.

Remember that the M14 rifle (similar time frame) was taught to do everything with your right hand as well. Mag changes, charging, everything was done with the right hand. It had a much better safety system IMO, but the US Army/USMC taught right handed ops with the M14.

Nowdays with everything having to be "tactical" somehow there has to be workarounds for all these "design deficiencies". You get all sorts of "tactical" advice on how you're supposed to change your M14 mag with your left, you're supposed to do this, that and the other thing because it's the "tactical" way to do it, design be damned.

Quite frankly, I've pretty much gone to the Soviet method of right-handed ops with the AK and it works fine. I guess I'm not TC ("Tactically correct"), but it's the way it's desinged and it works fine that way.

Not knocking anyone's method, I just think that often we get to ingrossed in applying some type of thought process that just doesn't need to be there. The AK safety isn't designed to be swept off and used in the blink of an eye. I'd use it if I'm boarding a vehcile, aircraft, boat, etc. I'd use it for most other tasked that involved my two hands. I wouldn't bother using it patrolling. Just leave it off and use your brain. If you come across something you need to do (like climb a wall, etc) then you can snap the safety on, do your thing, and take the safety off and move on.

Link Posted: 5/24/2003 6:05:19 PM EST
The US Army and Marines still teach right hand gun manipulations for right hand shooters, even with the M16 platform. From an economy of motion/efficiency point of view, that is not terribly efficient. I want to run my gear in an as efficient manner as possible, regardless of what (specific gear) it is, hence the question. While I know you can run an AK in several different ways, same as you can run any gun in multiple ways, I'm curious to see how many people run their AKs in what manner. Most gun designers don't know squat about using what they design, so I don't know if I'd put a lot of weight on how the designer thinks it should be done.:) Thanks for all the feedback,

Link Posted: 5/25/2003 3:18:09 AM EST
The only downside I see with the "right hand load" for the AK is, its the only way I've been able to cause a malfunction that requries a lot of work to get it working again. I had a discussion on another board as to the method the Russians use. The person I was talking to said he was taught in the US Army from a Russian manual as to the propper way to load an AK. He also told me of this "malfunction", which I had never encountered before, and said it was a common thing.(I reload my AK's, for the most part, using my left hand, and after literaly thousands and thousands of reloads never had this happen before I tried this) What happens when using the right hand is, the mag can miss catching the reciever with the front lug on the mag and then the rear lug gets cauget under the mag release. At this point the mag is jammed, the bolt will not strip a round from the mag, and it requires a lot of work, or, at the very least, a good swift kick on the mag, to get it out. It is not a fun thing! I never encountered it until I tried his method as he said it was the "proper" way to reload them. I understand that armys have to teach a method to "all" the troops that works and is safe. It may not be the best way, but its the best safest way for most involved. Some people are educated beyond their intelligence, so even the safest way is never safe. Mag and safety manipulations can vary from situation to situation and it would seem prudent that you try everything you can and know how your weapon works(and why it doesnt)when you try to do it, in as many situations as you can. What works for someone else, may not work well for you and vice versa. Trying all the different methods you can and finding out what does and doesnt work for you and why seems to be the best thing to do to me. It may be the Army, Navy, or Marine Corp way, but it aint the only way.
Link Posted: 5/25/2003 6:21:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/25/2003 6:27:45 AM EST by Ross]
I've seen people have the same problem with mag changes with either hand. Heck, when I bought my first AK, I managed to do it with my left hand.

Trying out different ways and just adopting/adapting for yourself is the way to go. I was just pointing out that the design is that way for a purpose, not just ass-backwards Russian, like many people think. Many folks just knock the AK design on the basis that it doesn't fit into their tactical scheme of things. Well, it doesn't. It does fit into the old Soviet Union's tactical scheme, which may or may not be your's.

I find myself doing mag changes with the left hand personally. I do loading, unloading, etc with the right, but I found it too hard to unlearn the years of carrying an M16 and using my left to deal with the actual mag. Probablly I'm over complicating the process, but it takes into account me and my past training, which never seems to be able to leave me alone.

Link Posted: 5/25/2003 6:46:31 AM EST
I'll stick to right on PG, left for mag changes and controls. It's a little cumbersome but nearly so as the opposite.
Mags put in with the left hand just go in much, much easier for me. YMMV. While I do use my right for the controls and bolt handle I am certain that if I ever were to seriously train for any type of combat that I would do the opposite.

Whatever works, I guess. But I always found the AK to be a clumsy weapon and when I heard about the left hand for controls and tried it, it made complete sense to me.
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