The factory wood buttstock on the AK-47/AKM rifles is a rather robust and trouble free part. It is impervious to cold. There is little to mechanically fail on it and your face won’t freeze to it in the winter. However it is not exactly ideal for all body types. If the factory wood fits your body and shooting style, you may not see any need to replace it. If you are smaller or larger than the average Russian, you may benefit from a different length of pull.
Previously we reviewed the Archangel OPFOR Adjustable AK stock. This is an extremely solid stock that adds some length of pull and comb options. I don’t feel it goes short enough to use with body armor in a CQB type shooting stance. This is one place where the M4 type adjustable stocks excel. The problem is how to reliably attach an M4 type stock to the stamped AK receiver. Enter Rifle Dynamics.
Rifle Dynamics is no stranger to the AK rifle system. They produce a great little adapter that allows you to use a standard AR15 receiver extension on your AK. This gives you the freedom to use either a commercial diameter, mil-spec diameter or any other AR15 compatible stock on your AK. As a bonus the Rifle Dynamics adapter does not require any alteration to your AK. If you decide later you want to go back to stock, your tang is intact and ready to accept the factory wood.
The Rifle Dynamics adapter is simple to install. Four screws and two minutes later you are ready to install whatever AR stock your heart desires. Since the Rifle Dynamics adapter places the tang of the AK trunnion inside the buffer tube, you get the shortest length of pull possible with your chosen stock.
The Rifle Dynamics AK to M4 Stock Adapter has an additional ergonomic advantage. It raises the buttstock of the rifle so that the buffer tube is directly in-line with the bore of the rifle. This alignment helps to reduce muzzle rise when firing in full-auto. On semi-auto rifles it assists in keeping the muzzle on target for fast followup shots.
There are other M4 stock solutions for the AK on the market. Some are cheap. Some are more expensive. The Rifle Dymanics AK to M4 Stock Adapter reduces the need for proprietary tubes and allows for attaching the widest variety of AR stocks.
The M4 stock we chose to install on our AK project was the Magpul MOE Carbine Stock. With a $59.95 MSRP the MOE Carbine Stock offers high quality for a reasonable price. The MOE Carbine Stock is a simplified version of Magpul’s CTR (Compact/Type Restricted) Stock. The difference is that the MOE goes without the CTR’s locking mechanism, QD sling point and operates more like a traditional M4 stock. The MOE Carbine does keep the pleasing, rounded shape and butt pad of the CTR. We had an extra commercial diameter tube laying about so we chose to go with the commercial spec stock. The MOE Carbine Stock is available in versions to fit commercial spec or mil spec tubes.
Installation of the Magpul MOE Carbine Stock was as simple as pulling down on the release and sliding it on. Even without the locking adjustment of the CTR the MOE Carbine Stock seems to have less slop that other M4 stocks we have tried.
The Magpul Carbine Stocks (both MOE and CTR) offer another benefit in this application. They both accept the Magpul MOE/CTR Cheek Riser. Depending upon the optics you intend to use on your AK you may not gain sufficient comb height with a standard AR stock. The Cheek Riser allows you to add height in a trouble free/clean manner. There is no need for tape on or velcro cheek pads. Since the AK does not have a rear charging handle, there is no concern over the Cheek Riser blocking it.
Installing a traditional M4 receiver extension on the Rifle Dynamics Adapter requires a castle nut and lock plate. This was another area where we felt we could improve the handling of the AK. Once we removed the forward sling loop to install the MI rail system and the rear sling loop attached to the factory buttstock, we were left with no sling mounting points. Since this AK was intended to be more of a CQB type weapon we felt a single point sling mounting point was a necessary addition.
We had already reviewed the Magpul MS4 Multi Mission Sling and felt it would be a great addition to this rifle. In order to attach it, we sources a Noveske QD End Plate. This lock plate completely replaces the standard AR lock place and adds a steel QD flush cup just below the receiver extension. When the sling is removed there is nothing protruding from the rifle. Since the QD is on the centerline of the rifle it is ambidextrous.
Lastly, we chose to add a Magpul AFG to the MI Rail. This is completely a personal choice. It does nothing to change the function of the rifle. I have grown to like the feel of the AFG and use one on my work rifle. My work M4 receives the majority of my training time, so making the AK handle more like my M4 should increase my efficiency with the rifle.
Many of the ergonomic changes we have made make the AK look and handle differently. We were careful not to change how the AK operates. The goal of this build was to improve the rifle/body interaction. This AK may feel more like an AR when mounting it, but when it comes time to change a magazine, operate the selector or clear a malfunction, it operates just like any factory fresh AK. This allows me to still gain the training benefit of working with an AK.