by Rob Kay

Tapco has had a huge presence at the SHOT Show of late, possibly because it’s owned by the Freedom Group, aka Remington which it purchased in 2012. The majority of their products are targeted towards the AR platform but they do manufacture a sizable number of AK parts. What I’ve done is to cherry pick what I believe to be the best bargains in terms of price and quality.

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The Tapco vertical fore grip compares favorably with products costing three or four times as much.

One of the most popular items is the Intrafuse AK SAW style pistol grip. It’s one of those rare products that is both competitively priced and high quality. (Marc Krebs has used it on his $2000+ custom rifles). It is made from high strength composite, it feels ergonomically correct and, has a storage compartment inside. You can get them for under $16 from Primary Arms online.

Magazines made by Tapco are both inexpensive and very dependable. My 10-round mag runs like clockwork and I’ve seen a ton of positive online reviews that buttress my opinion. They offer 5, 10, 20 and 30 rounders and you’ll see them advertised on Classic Arms for as little as $8 for a 30 rounder. Pretty tough to beat.

I’ve also used the Tapco short vertical grip designed for the AK. You attach it with a bolt that cinches down a spring loaded clamp. I’ve used $60 vertical grips and frankly cannot see much of a difference between them and the Tapco product, which you can buy for as little as $16 from Primary Arms.

Tapco G2 triggers can be found on just about every imported AK because the rifles need an American-made fire control group to make them 922R compliant. They are robust and, at about $30 retail, are priced very reasonably. If you want to customize them, there’s a ton of videos on YouTube that will describe how to do it.

Along with the G2 trigger, on my Saiga was Tapco’s AK-74 Style Flash Hider. Never mind that it’s modeled after an old Soviet era muzzle braked for an AK 74, it’s designed to work with a 7.62 x 39mm as well. It looks cool and, reduces the muzzle rise and recoil greatly. There’s no point-of-impact shift either. Removing it is not a big chore, and it indexes perfectly with the pin when you’re putting it back together.

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You are going to need this Windage & Elevation Sight Tool. Looks a bit old fashioned but it works.

One last suggestion. If you purchase an AK, one tool you’re absolutely going to need is a Windage and Elevation Sight ToolThere’s just no way around it unless you take a mallet and a punch and start banging on the front sight but this is not recommended! Yes, compared to the AR system they are a bit klunky and Soviet-like but they work.

Tapco has a really good one for about $16. (I’ve been borrowing one for the past month from my On Target colleague, Mr. Price, and it works like a charm). The pin is tight (as it must be) and takes some elbow grease to get the post to where you want but you eventually get it just right. Just don’t leave home without it.

There’s a lesson here: If you’re going to convert an AK and you don’t want spend a lot, consider Tapco.

Photos courtesy of  On Target staff.

Questions?  Comments?  Contact us at ontargethawaii@gmail.com

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