Midwest Industries (MI) was kind enough to send us their new AK Railed Gas Tube for review. This rail has only been out since the end of June and we have really seen nothing on it, other than some pictures. First I have to say, the MI AK Railed Gas Tube looks amazing and after the installation, it is rock solid. I am hoping it performs half as well as it looks. I was recently looking to get an Ultimak rail when I ran across the new MI AK Railed Gas Tube. It looks like a promising competitor to the Ultimak, and I was interested in it installing faster and easier that the Ultimak. In this Part One review, I will go over the MI AK Railed Gas Tube features and some things you need to know when installing it. I will attempt to simplify the steps for installation as there are some dry fit/pre final install requirements.
*Provides a lower 1/3 co-witness sight picture with most (Aimpoint type) micro red dot sights.
*Easy Installation, with no permanent modifications to weapon.
*Made to same internal profile as standard AK gas tubes.
*Constructed of 6061 aluminum and 4140 steel, with mile-spec picatinny rail.
*The MI Railed Gas Tube can be found in four configurations, to be compatible with Standard AK 47/74 rifles, Yugo M70, Yugo M92 PAP and Yugo M85 PAP gas tubes.
The MI AK Railed Gas Tube comes with mounting screws, Allen key and blue loctite for the installation. A small word of advice though, as with everything AK related, a big hammer is always needed. I had to use a large rubber mallet to assist with installation. A large flat head screw driver will also help you when dry fitting the railed gas tube.
There are installation steps provided with the packaging but I recommend these steps, as different hand guards can affect the installation. With some hand guards it is hard to reach the leveling screws. I currently have Magpul AK hand guards and there was some back and forth in getting the rail on. As you can see below, you cannot reach the Allen key screws with some hand guards without pre-leveling and setting up the MI Railed Gas Tube.
Step One, dry fit & leveling.
Completely unload, field strip and remove the hand guard on your AK. replace the stock gas tube with the MI Railed Gas Tube.
Make sure there is no gap between the sight block and the gas tube. This is where the rubber mallet comes in handy, to tap the rail in place.
Screw the end plug nut out, until it fits the gas tube to the gas block. This should be done only hand/finger tight.
Insure the rail is level and in the position you want, by adjusting the rear leveling screws on each side with the supplied Allen key, to the barrel.
Insure the gas tube locking lever can move freely and lock the lever down.
Step Two, loctite the leveled tube.
Once dry fitted and leveled, back out the rear gas tube leveling screws, apply loctite to the screws and reinstall them in place on each side.
It is recommended that you let the screws sit in place for 12 hours, before moving on.
Step Three, Complete installation.
After waiting for the loctite to cure, remove the railed gas tube. Back out the front end plug nut, and this is where the mallet and screw driver come back into play, tap out the railed gas tube. Re-assemble the hand guard and reinstall the railed gas tube. Once again, I had to use the mallet to tap the railed gas tube in place.
Hand tighten the front end plug nut to the gas block.
Once the front end plug nut is hand tightened to the gas block, apply loctite to the set screws and screw them in hand tight to each side of the railed gas tube.
Installation is now complete. Check to make sure everything is level and where you want it. You can now mount your optic of choice and head to the range for zeroing.
I am very excited to get the rail and optic to the range for testing. This system is much easier to install and remove than the Ultimak rail, as the Ultimak uses barrel bands. I will be removing and replacing the MI Railed Gas Tube during live fire to see if the point of aim and impact is affected and changes. So far I am very happy with the installation and quality of the rail. I actually think it weighs less than the stock gas tube, at least if feels like it does. Stay tuned for Part Two, to see how the rail performs.