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Posted: 5/18/2013 12:00:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/18/2013 12:03:42 PM EDT by WpnsMan]
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.

Wpns Man
Link Posted: 5/18/2013 4:33:51 PM EDT
Love the concept but I think MI missed it on this one. I think it should be mounted slightly higher to clear the rear sight, and canted further forward so as to avoid potential eye relief issues when using most 1x4 optics. When using a Warsaw length stock, most optics need to end at around the end of the top cover to be used comfortably. I am only going by pics though as I have not had the chance to play with one. Thanks for the review.
Link Posted: 5/18/2013 6:32:30 PM EDT
I would agree on both counts but, the mount is more than usable as is.

I would prefer if it positioned the scope over the rear sight to get better eye relief as I like to run my stocks set at a short length of pull. I have a feeling MI made it this low to appease people who want to/think they can co-witness with their iron sights. Realistically, with most 1-4X scopes it ain’t happening. While I can see the front sight in the field of view at 1X the rear isn’t even a blur. Many 1-4’s do not attain a true 1X until 10 feet or so from the objective lens.

I didn’t like MI's side rail mount when it came out because it was too high by the time you added rings and still wasn’t far enough forward.

However, for the price there is nothing else in its class and I can live with the minor limitations. Depending on the eye relief of your optic of choice, YMMV.

Wpns Man
Link Posted: 5/20/2013 9:01:25 AM EDT
Mi made it low for a decent cheek weld. Anyone thinking you could co witness with a low magnification, variable power scope is a fool. MI had no such ideas when producing the mount.

Also, with how low it sits, the ocular housing sits way too far into space over the top cover. It is almost impossible to get really tucked in with a short length of pull. I'm testing the RS AK-300 mount with a vortex viper pst 1-4x, and I think it sits a little too far back. Cheekweld with a Rifle Dynamics AR stock adapter is perfect.

RS is coming out with the AKR, which will raise the scope a bit higher to allow the objective to sit above the rear sight. A higher cheekpiece will be necessary, but using magpul stocks that accept the adapter should work fine.

Western optics on AK's are always a compromise.
Link Posted: 5/20/2013 10:50:28 AM EDT
I agree about co-witnessing with 1-4’s and fools.

I am running a Vltor stock adapter with a MOE stock and a ½” cheek riser and get the cheek weld I need. Eye relief is tolerable with the stock in the 4th position out. Though I’d rather run it at the 3rd position to get the same eye relief.

Liquidmetal is running the AK-300 with two AKM (Aimpoint) rings and it looks like it sits about the same height and the ocular is in the same position as mine.

I waited for RS Regulate for over a year and a half to produce their dedicated 1-4X mount and it sounds like they won’t. I saw a post on another forum for their adapter for mounting conventional scopes to the AK-300 but it seemed geared more for optics with large objectives and would be higher than what I want.

About a 1/8” above the rear sight when set on 100 and canted farther forward would be ideal and I think what most people want. Doesn’t look like we’re going to get one anytime soon though.

Until then this is an affordable and workable compromise,

Wpns Man
Link Posted: 5/22/2013 2:34:10 AM EDT
Good write-up. Not much first-hand info on this mount out there.
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