by Robert Kay
Our final interview in the AK series is with Luke Williams, founder of Circle 10 AK, a bricks and mortar store based in Wonder Lake, IL and, an online purveyor of all things Kalashnikov.
Why the interest in Luke’s opinion?
Over the past few months we’ve featured innovators in the industry such as Marc Krebs, Chase Sisgold and Jim Fuller. Whereas these guys are AK builders, Luke is both an aficionado and, a businessman who deals directly with customers interested in the full spectrum of accessories. Luke is “agnostic” when it comes to vendors—he’s not attached to an individual manufacturer. He also gets direct feedback from customers on products. Customers have a way of asking for their money back on items that don’t work.
This type of “ear-to-the-ground” understanding of the industry is important, and we wanted his comments on what he favors in the AK accessories world. We also like the fact that Luke’s business, Circle 10 AK, is on the AK Operator’s Union Local 47-74 preferred vendors list.
Q: Let’s start with handguards. What items do you recommend?
A: I would recommend the Krebs Custom Keymod rail for AKs. Marc Krebs was the innovator of the Keymod design for AKs once Eric Kincel from Vltor open sourced the plans.
Q: I realize the Krebs line is the ne plus ultra for handguards but what if someone wants to get something decent but doesn’t want to pay the premium? Any brands you like?
A: The Mako Group has a very good polymer two piece rail. It will not fit every AK perfectly and requires a bit of file or dremel work but once fitted it is very tight, very light and no sharp edges.
Q: What about pistol grips? Any recommendations?
One of the best things you can do is upgrade the pistol grip from the stock paint brush handle. I equally like the Mako and Magpul grips. They just fit my hand better. Lots of guys prefer the US Palm and some the Hogue.
Q: How about a collapsible stock? Any brands you recommend?
A: Magpul CTR. I run them on all my guns and wouldn’t trade them for anything else.
Q: How about a folding stock that has an adjustable cheek weld? Something that feels comfortable.
A: I really like the Mako UAS-AKP. It is polymer but very sturdy and the adjustable cheek piece is the most comfortable I have felt. Mako makes a steel joint version but it is about 3 times more expensive then the polymer and not really necessary.
Q: How about a decent trigger group?
Tapco G2 single hook tuned by Marc Krebs. Currently that trigger group is not currently sold as a stand-alone item but I’m trying to convince Marc there is a need for it.
Q: How about QD rail mounts for a red dot?
A: The RS Regulate is the best. Very sturdy but with adjustments to permanent set the position once you set zero.
Q: What about a rail system for the other end of the rifle? Is there aproduct you like that provides both a rail mount for a red dot and has a peep sight?
A: On my personal rifle I run an EOTech 512 on the Krebs Custom Keymod rail with a Krebs Custom Fore-End grip adapter on the right side with a Magpul MBUS Front sight. If my red dot goes down that allows me to cant my rifle to the left to engage targets with the MBUS.
Q: That brings us to a query about iron sights. I note that Krebs and Texas Weapon Systems have peep sights. Any improvements from them or another company that you can recommend over the stock rear AK sight?
A: Both Krebs Custom and Rifle Dynamics have an open rear sight with a wider notch and rounded edges. This allows for faster target acquisition then the standard peep sights.
Q: What about wooden furniture?
John at Combloc Customs can take any standard factory wooden furniture and refinish it into a thing of beauty.
Q: Any other item you can recommend for an AK?
A: The single best thing you can use on any quality AK to make it more reliable is a quality magazine. The Magpul AK MOE PMAG is the best I’ve seen so far. Their innovative anti-tilt follower and feed geometry allow for a near perfect feed and function. Right now it’s only available in 7.62×39 with non-reinforced feed lips but we expect very soon to see both the 7.62×39 reinforced and 5.45×39 models released.
Q: How do people get a hold of you?
A: Contact us at http://www.circle10ak.com/