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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 10/10/2007 5:33:35 AM EST
We've seen some Tire Iron posts before and they have contained some of the best advice I've seen on any forum.

I don't always agree with him, but I do always listen to what he has to say, and respect that it is coming from personal experience and not just hearsay.

That said, I bring you the man himself:


I have always been a fan of the AKM. I like its lighter weight compared to the AK. (If you remember – AK-47 which was type classified in 1947 and has a milled steel receiver – and weighs approximately 9.46 pounds. The AKM uses a lighter stamped steel receiver – and weighs approximately 6.9 pounds. The way I view the AK-47 is – if I wanted to carry a 9.46 pound rifle – I would carry my 16” FN-FAL!)

It feeds from a very reliable 30 round magazine, and fires a shortened .30 caliber round (7.62x39mm).

The inherent reliability of the AK is legendary – as it was made for conscripts that came mostly from the peasant class – and the Soviet Army knew they would not be as fastidious as their western counterparts when it came small arms maintenance. So – the AK can go for long periods without much maintenance at all.

On the other hand – the “ergonomics” of the AK series (or actually the LACK of ergonomics) has kept it in sort of a “second class” when viewed by most professionals. The MUCH more ergonomic M4 has been and continues to be their “first choice”.

So what is it that keeps the AKM down??

Well for one – the selector/safety. However – that has been remedied by Randy Sloan of Blackjack fame. ( [link=www.blackjackbuffers.com]www.blackjackbuffers.com[/link] ) His SWIFT lever makes using the selector a BREEZE! (See an article I wrote regarding the SWIFT lever [link=www.modernminuteman.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=322]HERE.[/link]

The next thing that keeps the AKM from reaching its full potential is the poor sights. There are some “fixes” for this out there – but to my mind – the very BEST way to fix this problem is go straight for a “red dot” type scope. And – for me – there is only one option. The ULTIMAK is the ONLY way to go. Here’s why: for a “dot” scope to be truly worth its salt – one needs to be able to “co-witness” the iron sights THROUGH the scope. That allows INSTANTANEOUS use of the “Back-Up-Iron-Sights” (BUIS) in the event the scope goes down. The ULTIMAK is the ONLY way I know of to use a “dot scope” and still co-witness the irons. Yeah – you can put a KOBRA or some other “AK” red dot on your AK – but it really screws up the cheek weld. You have to hold you head up off the stock to use these – and most of them won’t allow you to see the iron sights – so they have to be removed to use the iron sights. How bad you want to fiddle with that when on a “two way” range?? ( Randy Sloan has a great price on the ULTIMAK [link=www.blackjackbuffers.com]www.blackjackbuffers.com[/link] )

On top of the ULTIMAK I placed the only red dot there is for this set-up – the Aimpoint (I attached the Aimpoint M2). The EOTech holographic sight is what I run on one of my M4’s – but it sits too high – and won’t allow co-witnessing of the iron sights when used on the AKM. ( I got my Aimpoint from [link=www.nmtactical.com]www.nmtactical.com[/link] )

The next “complaint” I have had is the buttstock length. I know – most Americans want a LONGER stock on the AK – but a lot of those that do more than punch paper want a SHORTER stock. This allows a more “natural” fighting stance with the rifle. The “best” option IMHO is to attach a M4 style stock on the rear receiver. The M4 style stock allows the greatest flexibility when it comes to different lengths of pull (LOP). When I have on winter clothing and a level III vest and a full blown LBV – I have my VLTOR set at a different LOP than if I am in a T-shirt. The very best M4 style stock IMHO is the VLTOR when speaking about AK's. There are other attachment methods out there – but they all fall short when compared to the VLTOR. One of the really cool things about the VLTOR is the “tube” is actually a storage compartment! The VLTOR also comes with two attach points for a sling, one on the stock – and one on the mount. (Contact “Tom” at [link=www.mooneysfirearms.com]www.mooneysfirearms.com[/link] and he can hook you up with the VLTOR stock at a great price!)

Then – for those of you that like “fore grips” – the best attach method I have found is to get the TDI lower fore-arm and fore grip. It is very strong – sturdy and “does the job”. I don’t feel that one needs a stronger or more sturdy attachment method on the lower receiver. In other words – I see no need for the aluminum rails instead of the lower handguard. With this TDI unit one can still attach a flashlight – or a laser – and keep the cost down to “acceptable” levels. (BTW – Blackjack buffers has these as well.)

OK – the cost?? Well, the “conversion” from regular AKM to the “AKM4” as I call it – cost only around $750 bucks – and the INCLUDES the Aimpoint scope! Without the Aimpoint – the cost is around $375.

Now – my “AKM4” is almost the same over all length, the same weight, arguably more reliable (my M4's are 100% reliable too) and NEARLY as ergonomic as my “regular” M4. I also do like the .30 caliber bore – even though I know that the 5.56 with the right load actually surpasses the Russian round.

All in all – I am quite satisfied with my “AKM4” – it is a HECK of a lot better than it was before these recent mods – and it nearly reaches “M4” performance for less money too!

Here are some pics:


Storage compartment in buttstock.

tire iron


The biggest downfall with the AK is the 'selector/safety'. It never was designed to be easily manipulated. It was designed so the 'peasant/revolutionary/conscript' had to actually THINK about what he had to do to get the rifle ready to fire. So that stipulated that he actually take his hand off of the pistol grip, move it up and forward to move the selector from safe to full or semi-auto. And contrary to popular belief, the F/A (full auto) position was first, knowing the conscript - in the 'heat of the moment' - would 'push right on through' to the last position - semi-auto. Then he would move his hand back to the pistol grip and begin firing. Savvy operators operate the AK with the firing thumb resting on the 'shelf' of the selector - with the fingers sort of 'cupping' under the trigger guard/receiver. They moved the selector with the thumb, then rotated the hand backward and down onto the pistol grip with the first finger ready to enter the trigger guard. (See photos below of Russian soldiers in Chechnya. Note how is thumb is on the selector and his fingers are 'cupping' the trigger guard in the first 'soldier picture'. In the second one - he has his thumb over the top of the receiver - to manipulate the safety he just brings his thumb down on to the selector 'pad' like the like the first picture. It takes a bit longer, but is a bit easier too as that hand can help hold/carry the rifle better this way.) The third photo is a close up of the 'patrol ready' carry technique.




An alternative is to have one's first finger on the shelf, and the rest of the hand sort of just hanging onto the side of the receiver - but this is strictly for those that have unusually long fingers (the only guys I know with fingers long enough are all proctologists!). This technique can only be used for very short time periods, and is not comfortable at all. Here is a picture of the 'proctology method'.

However - there is some SERIOUS new 'help' in the selector department. Enter Randy Sloan of 'Blackjack' fame (you can reach at: [link=www.blackjackbuffers.com]Blackjack[/link]). He is the guy that makes those great buffers for our AK's and other firearms. He has designed a new selector/safety that is SUPERB. There have been other attempts - even by some nationally known gunsmiths that have offered safeties with a 'hump' or 'tab' to help the firer out - but they have all fallen short of the goal - which is - to allow the shooter to keep his hand on the pistol grip - yet also to quickly and easily move the selector from 'Safe' to 'Fire'. Well - Randy did it!! I can leave my hand on the pistol grip - and my first finger is resting on a 'dropped down' shelf that Randy has welded onto the selector.


The 'drop down shelf' is ESSENTIAL to allow the shooter to manipulate the selector COMFORTABLY and EASILY. Without the 'drop down shelf' - one MUST take one's hand off of the pistol grip - which is BAD. With the drop down shelf - to move it to "Fire" I just exert a small amount of pressure downward with my finger, and the selector moves down to the "Fire" position and my hand STAYS on the pistol grip - READY TO FIRE. Then I just keep my finger moving downward onto the trigger.



When I am done firing, I raise my finger up - it then contacts the bottom of the pad, and while exerting a small amount of effort move the selector up to the "Safe" position.


The last two photos show the 'Blackjack' safety in use. One photo is at 'Patrol Ready' (note the firing hand is on the pistol grip) and the next photo is shouldered - finger on safety ready to swipe it down. In the photo's it may look a little awkward to have the firing finger up on the safety like that - but it is not uncomfortable in the least - and it beats the HECK out of the way soldiers deal with the selector without this modification!



MHO no AK rifle should be without this new safety/selector. It enhances performance, it enhances safety and GREATLY improves the ergonomics of the AK by addressing the biggest flaw the AK possesses. This is a 'must buy'. And at $30 delivered - it within the reach of even the poorest of AK owners.

Disclaimer: I have no stock/interest/financial gain/business relationship with Blackjack or Randy Sloan. This is a superior piece of kit - at an attractive price - that is why I am so 'sold' on this safety/selector modification. It truly brings the AK's handling characteristics/performance into the 21st century.

Here is the link again: [link=www.blackjackbuffers.com]Blackjack[/link]


tire iron

Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:41:40 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:49:15 AM EST
He's not talking about the weight of the modern milled rifles. He's talking about the original issue AK47 from back in 1947. Different animal!
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:07:26 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:47:40 AM EST
Whats wrong with just keeping your finger off/behind the trigger and pointing the rifle in a safe direction, instead of bawwwwwing about the poor safety ergonomics?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:15:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By hegalex:
Whats wrong with just keeping your finger off/behind the trigger and pointing the rifle in a safe direction, instead of bawwwwwing about the poor safety ergonomics?

I'm definitely not standing in front of you on patrol.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:44:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By yonderway:

Originally Posted By hegalex:
Whats wrong with just keeping your finger off/behind the trigger and pointing the rifle in a safe direction, instead of bawwwwwing about the poor safety ergonomics?

I'm definitely not standing in front of you on patrol.

Carry one like that all day & night, day after day & there's a multitude of times that method will prove to be dangerous.
Link Posted: 10/11/2007 1:27:48 PM EST
Hmm, no responses in 24 hours, so I claim victory!

Have some meme

Link Posted: 10/12/2007 5:03:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By hegalex:
Hmm, no responses in 24 hours, so I claim victory!

Nah. Sometimes there just isn't a point. It was pulling things OT anyway.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 12:45:56 PM EST

Some of us take that responsibility to be "well regulated" seriously, and do patrol.

And what exactly do you "patrol" for? Space aliens or mass invasions of hermit crabs on the coast.
Link Posted: 10/12/2007 1:39:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By JRBL1A1:
If YOU saw some guy ride past you on a bike or walk past you on the sidewalk with an AK slung over his shoulder, you're trying to tell everyone here that you wouldnt think something is fishy???

Cooooome oooon.

I'd be following that guy from a distance, at least for awhile, and hope to Hell I didnt have to put a .380 ACP via Sig 232 into his head (my CCW).

I guess I live in a redneck part of the country. OR I'm not a good candidate for neighborhood watch. I have seen people walk by with a firearm and I don't do much more than notice they have a firearm. I certainly don't call the Police or follow them.

If they look sketchy I would follow them and call the police.

As for safeties. Point your rifle in a safe direction.
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