Weapons: Pimp My AK


September 25, 2012: Since September 11, 2001, a growing number of accessories have been developed for military rifles and machine-guns. Most of this stuff was designed for American and NATO assault rifles. But now this gear is appearing redesigned to fit AK-47s and other Russian or Chinese designed weapons.

Most of these accessories would not have appeared were it not for the development of the "Picatinny Rail." This is a standard for a metal rail, with crosswise grooves, that make mounting accessories (scopes, lights, and so on) easy to do. Just snap them on or tighten a few screws. The Picatinny Rail is a development of the Weaver Rail, which has been around since the 1930s. Items built to attach to a Weaver Rail can be attached to a Picatinny Rail but not vice versa. Anyone who handles an assault rifle or light machine-gun knows all about the Picatinny Rail and can't imagine going into combat using a rifle without rails.

Some countries and entrepreneurs have simply had Picatinny Rails created that can easily be attached to Russian or Chinese made assault rifles and machine-guns. In many countries the security forces and many criminal organizations prefer AK-47 type weapons but still want all the cool accessories. Thus the Picatinny Rail has become a common accessory itself. But manufacturers have found there is also a large market for accessories, like folding stocks, flash suppressors, and forearms grips that do not use a Picatinny Rail. These other accessories are finding a ready market all over the world. Since AK-47s are so cheap (because of all the Cold War surplus dropped on the market in the 1990s), it's not unusual to see gunmen holding tricked out AK-47s were the accessories cost far more than the rifle they are mounted on.




Article Archive

Weapons: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close