Universal AK Optics Rail from KGM Consortium

At the IWA trade show earlier this year, a representative from the Polish KGM Consortium gave me a sample of a new AK optics rail to try out. This idea here was to create a universal optics mount for basically any AK/AKM/AK74 rifle that would be light, not require permanent modification, and not interfere with other military accessories like under barrel grenade launchers. The target market was Ukraine; to provide a way to quickly and easily improve the combat effectiveness of legacy Kalashnikovs by giving them modern optics.

The rail mounts to the gas tube of the rifle after removing the upper handguard. Three steel claps are used (the rest of the mount is 7075 aluminum, but the steel clamps give steel threads for the 12 screws used). For an additional point of control, the mount is designed to fit tight over the rear sight block of the rifle, thus stabilizing the often-slightly-wobbly gas tube. Since this does not use the barrel at all, the lower handguard is not involved and UBGLs like the GP-25 and GP-30 can still be used. The mount is high enough to allow easy field stripping of the rifle, and either rod dot or magnified optics can be used.

I was initially skeptical, but when mounted to my rifle (an older Century AK74 build with Was tGerman furniture) it actually seemed quite solid. Disassembly and reassembly did not cause a loss of zero. However, after I tried dropping the rifle from head height a couple times, I got a 6 MOA vertical shift in POI. KGM advised me that removing and replacing the rail/gas tube assembly would fix this, but it did not.

Despite my initial skepticism, I really wanted to like this once I started using it. And as long as it doesn’t suffer a significant blow, I think it is a pretty good solution for easily mounting optics on an AK. The use of the rear sight block as a support is clever, and isolating the rail from the dust cover prevents any zero-hold issues resulting from basic field stripping. Unfortunately, the drop that caused my zero shift is not really a “torture” sort of thing to my mind; it’s a totally reasonable accidental slip that could happen to anyone, and having this cause a major zero shift is a significant compromise.


  1. I would say that was inconclusive. One of those drops really wacked tat optic good. That could have done something to the elevation adjustment.

    • Geezus, sir? Can you slow your patter down by perhaps 20%?

      I’m having trouble following you.

      I know you are excited about this stuff. So am I?

      Please slow down a bit?

  2. This was awful. Or maybe it wasn’t really that bad. Think about the mount in respect to “fit for purpose”. What is its purpose?

    Is it to provide consistent aiming for a gentile marksmanship competition, when a shooter is a klutz and keeps dropping their rifle? Or is it to allow the shooter to hit the enemy in combat, even after their rifle has taken some abuse? As this was made for Ukrainian front line soldiers, hitting the enemy two inches lower than he intended still fulfils the purpose of hitting the enemy.

    I often see this confusion of purpose in gun review videos. People think marksmanship perfection is the goal, rather than making sure one shooter walks away from a confrontation, rather than the other one.

    • I’d submit that there’s such a thing as “practical marksmanship”, wherein you’re going to be doing a lot better by not trying to set up the perfect shot and just taking the one you’ve got, in order to at least put something into your opponent. May not be a kill shot, but he’ll at least be distracted.

      I used to run into this a lot with “former Marines” on Army qualification ranges. The Army does not use the Marine KD range qualification; it’s all pop-up silhouettes exposed on a time schedule, and meant to try and replicate what you’d actually be dealing with in combat.

      My guys who were trained in the classic Marine mindset all went at Army qualification as though they were back in the Corps… Even had one show up wearing his shooting jacket, complete with log book. He boloed his first, second, and third attempts at qualification, because he couldn’t wrap his head around the idea of it being better to hit the damn target once while it was up, as opposed to taking the time to make the perfect shot… Which almost always meant that the target was down before he pulled the trigger. I don’t know what the Marines did to that guy, but whatever it was… It took. Getting him to just take the shot was a nightmare. If you gave him all the time he needed? He was capable of doing headshots at 500m, but… That ain’t how it works.

      I believe the Marines have since revamped their training and qual standards since those days, back in the 1990s.

      It’s possible to be “too good” of a marksman, and get yourself killed while trying to play Mr. Perfect. There’s a time and place for that stuff, and while you’ll occasionally run into situations wherein the odd 600m killshot is possible and necessary…? You are, in general terms, a hell of a lot better off being able to make that consistent wingshot within 150m purely on instinct.

      By the time the bastards are that close, you’ve got no time to set yourself up for a perfect shot.

      • I had a former co-worker whose mantra was “the perfect is the enemy of the good”. What you are saying is a wonderful example of perfect getting the way of the goodness of surviving a battle.

        • I have read a quote attributed to Patton. “A good plan now beats a perfect one next week.”

      • that’s why numerous combat sights have a only a large circle as a reticle. To prevent shooters from wasting time on aligning a fine crosshair with the opponents perfect kill zone, instead of just putting the guy in the middle of the circle and pulling the trigger.

    • Speaking as a Jew, I can tell you that it’s not just gentiles who can sometimes be klutzes and drop their rifles.

  3. None of the reference elements they took are precisely machined and aren’t always compatible from manufacturer to manufacturer. If the goal is to equip the Ukrainian army, you only have to work with basically two manufacturer Izhmash and Tula for AKM and one for AK74.

    I designed a top cover with rail that pivot and replace the gastube key. It can be made for $20-30 but no one is interested by it.

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