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Posted: 10/30/2009 4:29:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2009 4:32:31 PM EST by OlSarge2K]


So I have an AK74 I want to turn into a "Practical" fighting rifle.
Step one to my mind is to add a weapons light.
Looked into a couple ways to do it. Replacement handguards with picatinney started at about $45.00. Full blow rail systems started at about $100.00.
I decided to go with option C., the TRM 3" Picatinney rail from Command Arms I had lying around.

Taking the stock lower handguard, I used snips and a X-acto knife to remove the molded ridges off the right side in the appropriate spot.
I then shaved the back of the CAA rail flat (it had projections to aid mounting on AR handguards) with the snips and X-acto knife.
Next I placed the handguard against the rail and marked where to drill. I popped out the metal heat guard inside the lower handguard and started drilling holes.
The CAA rail secures with 4 screws, so 4 holes were drilled. I initially was going to reinforce the whole thing with A and B epoxy or liquid model glue, but after I had tightened down the 4 screws
(with blue Locktite) I realized it would not be necessary.

View of the rail secured with 4 screws.



View of handguard with heat guard replaced.



Finished product.



The light I've chosen to run on the weapon is a well used Streamlight TLR-1. I used this one in Afghanistan for about 8 months so I'm confident in it's ruggedness.

Weapon assembled with light.







I'm sure this mod has been done numerous times. But I thought I'd share my attempt. The CAA TRM 3" rail works well for this application and is about $10.19.
http://www.commandarms.com/product.asp?pID=147&cID=8
Link Posted: 10/30/2009 4:52:21 PM EST
Looks good. I'm not an engineer but i'd probably use red loctite which is more "permanent". How hot does that area get?
Link Posted: 10/30/2009 5:17:41 PM EST
Nice. I like it. I am about to upgrade 2 74's to rail lights, but I dont like taking up all the handguard real estate. I want to find a way to mount a rail off of the FSB like those mounts for the AR, but am not having luck yet...
Link Posted: 10/30/2009 5:23:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By MOS2111:
Nice. I like it. I am about to upgrade 2 74's to rail lights, but I dont like taking up all the handguard real estate. I want to find a way to mount a rail off of the FSB like those mounts for the AR, but am not having luck yet...


Unless tour FSB is part of the gas block I would recommend against that. You WILL burn you hand using the light way out there on an AK, and it is also a reach to turn it on if the FSB is near the muzzle/
Link Posted: 10/30/2009 7:28:31 PM EST
I've been thinking of finding a broken or just flat out cheap enough bayonet to steal the mounting lug from and use that to fab up a mount for a light, the light of course would sit further back than the lug to allow me to reach it.
Link Posted: 10/30/2009 11:41:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/30/2009 11:42:15 PM EST by bikeman543]
If you're going to mount a light like that why not put it on the bottom so the light switches would be ambidextrous?
Looks cool though. Good idea.
Link Posted: 10/31/2009 5:08:54 AM EST
you want to move your hand as little as possible when reaching for your weapon light. A quick thumb motion should be all it takes. Putting it in an obscure spot only makes your life harder and more confusing.

to OP, I did the exact same thing on my Tantal. Works great. You a lefty?
Link Posted: 10/31/2009 5:56:42 AM EST
I did something similar, I put some Ergo polymer rails on my Choate polymer handguards. It holds my Primary Arms weapon light.

Link Posted: 10/31/2009 7:10:38 AM EST
Originally Posted By wav3form:
Looks good. I'm not an engineer but i'd probably use red loctite which is more "permanent". How hot does that area get?


Huh, good point. We will have to see. I'm inclined to think that much heat would defeat the polymer handguards themselves..... On the other hand maybe the heat will transfer from the metal handguards into the screws.....

Link Posted: 10/31/2009 7:38:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By bikeman543:
If you're going to mount a light like that why not put it on the bottom so the light switches would be ambidextrous?
Looks cool though. Good idea.


I want to keep the bottom on the weapon slick to aid in prone supported shooting, etc. I did "chin mount" the TLR-1 on my M-4 for a while. Run in conjuntion with a verticle forgrip, one activated the light just like it was mounted on a pistol. I think having a foregrip placed that far back on an AK would probably lead to loading issues.



Originally Posted By markdl000:
you want to move your hand as little as possible when reaching for your weapon light. A quick thumb motion should be all it takes. Putting it in an obscure spot only makes your life harder and more confusing.

to OP, I did the exact same thing on my Tantal. Works great. You a lefty?


I'm right handed. I went back and forth on whether to mount it on the left or right side of the weapon. Mounted on the left side it would have been easy to activate the paddle with my thumb. Mounted on the right side, I actually find it convenient to control with my pointer finger.

When mounted on the right side of the weapon, the light's "Ambidextrous momentary/steady on/off switch" requires inward pressure on the bottom paddle for steady on and an outward pressure for momentary.
However, one can get a momentary effect by only squeezing the bottom paddle in halfway.

Long story short. I think you could effectively control the weapon and light mounted on either side..... either using ones thumb or pointer finger.
In the end I mounted the light on the right, as I ground my weapon ejection port side up.... and I figured the light would consequently get less abuse on the ejection port side.
Link Posted: 10/31/2009 10:42:43 AM EST
thanks for the explanation.
Link Posted: 10/31/2009 12:17:03 PM EST
Yes, thanks for the explanation. Like to hear all things considered.
Link Posted: 10/31/2009 12:26:39 PM EST
Seems like it'd be difficult to hold.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 9:21:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2009 9:51:10 AM EST by OlSarge2K]
Originally Posted By Oneiros:
Seems like it'd be difficult to hold.


Not really.



Link Posted: 11/1/2009 10:11:00 AM EST
You can't just post pics like that and not expect requests for MOAR.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:41:15 PM EST
I agree- I want the scoop on that, all the Details- links to where I can buy that outfit for my wife, etc.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 1:58:04 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/2/2009 2:09:31 AM EST by 6Paul11]
I put a random piece of rail between the upper and lower handguards on my Yugo with absolutely no mods. Unfortunately it only works on the Yugos. I love this gun.

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