Mods, if this thread is not up to snuff, feel free to delete it.
Like many others, I have been quite enamored with Travis Haley's AK. Not because it was aesthetically pleasing (which admittedly for an AK, it is), but because it is the modernization of an older weapons platform, executed skillfully.
I mean damn, look at that thing.
So, inspired by that, I went about attempting to make my own modernized AK, except a 7.62x39mm model, rather than Mr. Haley's 5.56mm model. I found a Lancaster AK with black polymer furniture and used that as my base, and started upgrading from there.
The first iteration of upgrades looked like this:
Ultimak gas tube, AK74-type brake, Larue offset mount + Surefire 6P, Aimpoint Micro H-1, Ace receiver block, folding stock adapter, AR stock adapter, and MOE stock. Pretty simple overall. However, there were a few things I didn't like in this configuration. First, the Larue offset mount held the flashlight at the same horizontal plane as the H-1, which obscured my vision a bit. Secondly, I'm overly used to using a VFG to pull the weapon back into my shoulder, which was hard with the smooth lower handguard.
A solution presented itself when I found a used Ultimak lower rail handguard for pretty cheap. That enabled me to mount the flashlight off of the left side, thus lowering it out of the H-1's horizontal plane, and also allowed me to mount a VFG.
The lower rail handguard makes the AK feel noticeably front-heavy. However, that combined with the VFG in place makes the recoil feel much more controllable. I can't quite wrap my thumb up and forward on the handguard the same way that I do with my AR, but it still puts it in position to activate the flashlight and keep the weapon under control. Shots don't get back on target as quickly as with my AR15, but definitely faster than with a stock AK.
The other important upgrade was a bolt carrier made by a buddy of mine, with a left side charging handle. This is the second generation of his bolt carrier. The first gen featured an M16A2 flash hider welded on. This proved too heavy for the recoil, and flew off within 30 shots. Thankfully my buddy had warned me about this, and no damage was done. This version with the brass rod is the second generation, with the bolt carrier drilled and tapped as well as welded, which has proved quite stable and useable.
Close-up of the CH:
When zeroing, it showed acceptable accuracy for an AK-type weapon.
25m, using generic Russian-made 123gr HP ammo.
Size comparison with my multitool, about 1" from furthest shot to furthest shot. 1" at 25m should mean 4" at 100m, about 4MOA. Given a basic AK, Russian ammunition, and a 4MOA optic, I consider this decent.
There are still a couple of odd issues though. First is that Brownells sent me a vented Ultimak gas tube, while this AK's stock gas tube had no vents. Consequently it has had some failure to eject troubles. This was mitigated by chopping some off of the recoil spring, but I think I'll just spare myself the potential worries and order a non-vented Ultimak gas tube. Once I get that and verify it functions like an AK should, I'm going to krylon it.
Second, the pin on the folding stock mechanism has shown a tendency to wobble upwards after prolonged firing. Given a magazine I am able to hammer it back into place rather easily. However, if it becomes too much of a problem, I will just take the folding adapter off and screw the AR stock directly into the Ace receiver block.
So guys, what do you think? Good, bad, mediocre, go smoke yourself cherry?