By Rob Kay
The definition of a stocking stuffer is a “a small, usually inexpensive gift that is placed with others in a Christmas stocking”. Believe it or not, there are some terrific little items you can add to your AK that will enhance its utility and even improve your shooting without breaking the bank.
For starters, if I told you that there was something you could easily add to your AK that would tighten up your groups, boost your target acquisition and in general improve your shooting capabilities post haste (and cost you around $50) you’d probably be skeptical.
The Peep Sight–A great investment
Well folks, it’s called a peep (or aperture) sight and you can add it to your AK in a matter of minutes. What’s more, it works wonders. If you’re shooting offhand, and need quick target acquisition an aperture, in my experience, is really advantageous.
There are a couple of iterations you can purchase from either Red Star Arms or Krebs Custom.
The RSA version, called the “AK-M”, is actually manufactured by a company called Mojo Sights. It’s fully screw-adjustable for elevation and windage and, sells for $54.99 on the Red Star Arms site.
The other version is the Krebs Custom Fixed Rear Ghost Ring Sight. Sporting a handsome black oxide finish, it differs from the Mojo product because the elevation is adjusted by using the original rear sight’s elevation slide. Price is $64.99. I’ve used both and like them equally.
I’ve used the Mojo on my Saiga and the Krebs on my VEPR. I think they are a huge improvement on the classic AK “blade” sight. Why? Even with decent eyesight it’s not possible to clearly focus on both sights and the target. Since the rear sight will tend to be somewhat unclear, you can still more readily place the post in the center of a ring more accurately than trying to place it in a notch.
However, the real advantage is probably in our genetic code. The eyes (really the mind) naturally “understands” an aperture. It’s just more natural and comfortable to use.
I believe particularly shooters of a certain age will really appreciate the peep sight—it’s especially easier for older eyes. Another advantage is that some shooters will find it easier to aim with both eyes open compared to the stock sight.
There are a couple of companies that provide products such as dust covers and rail systems with apertures that offer a larger sight radius than the traditional AK. These companies include Krebs Custom, Texas Weapons Systems and a company called Tech-SIGHTS. The prices for these products range from around $100 to $300. However for the purpose of this article we’re going to stick with sights under $100.
Keeping it Traditional
If you’re a “traditionalist” and want to keep the old fashioned blade sight, there are several companies that have products that are definitely improvements on the original equipment. Jim Fuller, whose company, Rifle Dynamics, builds rifles and designs parts, and Krebs Custom both make a variation on the traditional AK sight.
Essentially they have modified the original by rounding the edges of the rear sight and widening the notch. The result: Both products offer clearer, cleaner sight pictures by making the eye naturally align with the sight notch. The Krebs product is priced at $39.95 and utilizes the original elevation slide.
The Fuller unit comes with its own elevation slide and is priced at $90.
If you’re going to spend most of your time shooting off a bench, the traditional sight will serve you well.
Another variation to the traditional sight is the RPK style rear sight, which allows both elevation and windage adjustments on the slide. It’s very handy to have both windage and elevation on an AK. Adjusting the front sight of an AK (for windage and elevation) can be an arduous, hassle-laden experience that takes a special tool. The RPK style sight eliminates having to tweak the front sight of AK altogether.
Photos courtesy of On Target staff.
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Rob Kay writes about firearms for Hawaii Reporter and is the author of How to Buy an AK-47.
Read more of Rob’s articles on OnTargetHawaii.com