The AR15ization of the AK.


Shawn and I have been talking about this for a while, and we weren’t sure how we wanted to approach the subject.

I swear if I had a nickle for every time I’ve seen this meme I would be able to afford to buy Epstein private island and turn it into a personal automated 360 degree shooting range. I’d also have enough money left over to buy New Jersey, but no one would want that place.

Now, before we get to the AK, let us look at a few other guns. Let’s talk about the AR15ization of everything.

Single shot break open .410

FN SCAR 17 with M4 style waffle stock

Now I love collapsing stocks and I love side folding stocks but why would you put an AR stock on something when there are so very many other options? Now putting an AR stock on a single shot shotgun make makes sense because it is so simple and cheap to do it, but why the hell would someone replace the adjustable side folding stock on an FN SCAR with an AR15 stock? Why?

The AR stock is designed around the receiver extension/buffer tube. This tube is necessary for the function of an AR15. On almost all these guns the AR15 stock is slapped on later, that just ends up being empty space. Let me use a personal example:

When I set up my stand along M203 Grenade Launcher, it cam with an AR stock, a LMT SOPMOD to be precise. I didn’t see much point to running an AR15 stock on this weapon. So I installed a SIG folding and collapsing stock. You know what, the SIG folder kinda sucks in some ways. It is very slow and awkward to collapse and extend. I need to use two hands on the stock to do either. The folding mechanism is great, that makes it worth it. Far better for me than an AR stock on a non-AR weapon.

Let us go back to the AK. Here are some pictures of modern AK rifles.

Most pictures from Ivan Tactical’s instagram, some from the Vepr12 forums.

Wow, magpul stocks, western optics, quad rails. But who care about those plebs, what about Russian special forces?

Back in 2015, Larry Vickers did a video on the Russian Counter-Terrorism unit “Alpha”. Link here.

Extended quad rails, AR15 stocks, western optics, lights and lasers.

I see plenty of people complain about this trend. They think it is wrong that this is happening to the guns they like. They argue that it is only happening because people want to look cool, and they have all sorts of derogatory terms for it, “Tacticool”, Tacticalol”, “Tactifool”, I think you get the drift.

What these people think.

These people would argue that we downgraded when we went from what is on the left to what is on the right.

But at much as they hate it, these are all great improvements. Collapsing stocks allow you to better fit the gun to the shooter or make the gun compact for transport. Rails allow you to better adapt the weapon for the tasks you need it to do. From bipods to IR lasers. The ability to mount optics has been a huge force multiplier.

AR15 stocks, while somewhat silly to mount on other guns, tend to be a massive improvement over alternative options. That is why we see so many Magpul CTR stocks on guns that are not AR15s. The modern AR15 is just so much better than most of what else is out there that other guns have had to become more AR15ish to remain competitive. The AK has always been a good gun, but it is a better gun for fighting when you can mount modern weapons and accessories to it.

Making other guns more like the modern AR15 is always an improvement.

Ok, maybe not always.


  1. cannot find anything wrong with a tactical lever action as a house/farm utiliy gun for her and him and the 2.4 kids etc.

    plus its upsetting the fudds and traditionalists.

      • nothing wrong with the wood and steel ak either.

        horses for courses was my thought, and about rain, condensation, salty fingerprints and fuxed length of pull.

        ftr, mine’s a laurona/winchester model 22 sxs. blued, case hardened and oiled wood.

  2. How many FAL style, tubed stocks have been mished mashed onto various firearms, to include AKs, throughout the years? AR stocks are plentiful and diverse enough for every taste under the sun and what someone chooses to do with their money is their business. My personal preference would be for something that was made for the rifle instead of stuffing something else on there but those options may not be available. The MagPul gear comes to mind. But, that’s not for everyone. Shoot, the XCR crowd waited like 5-6yrs for a factory adjustable stock beyond the original AR stock adapter and, you guessed it, the tubed style folder.

    What would be useful in fitting an AR stock onto non-AR rifles is a purpose designed receiver extension to make use of that empty space for basic issue items; cleaning kit, etc. Or, for whatever you want like your Johnny Rambo survival knife gear. There may be one already out there but I’ve had no reason to look for it.

    • Yup the FAL tube stock, then perhaps the ACR stock would be two other commonly used stocks retrofited to other firearms.
      You rarely see that space in the buffer tube used for storage or for a recoil reducer, but that seems far too rare.

      • A bunch of us worked on getting the ACR stock to work on the XCR now that you mention it. It’s actually a good stock I think. Not so much the price but a good stock.

  3. I personally have no beef with most of this stuff. I don’t think pistol grips work well for the recoil on shotguns, and I think the telescoping stock is a little weird on guns that don’t require buffers, but each have their advantages, so whatever.

    I’d love an AK with a quad rail or similar M-Lok setup. I think AKs with scout-style red dots are pretty awesome.

    I don’t love the collapsible stock on the lever gun, I’d prefer a fixed stock myself, but an accessorized friend is great. Lever guns make great home/property defense guns. Again, a scout-style red dot would be great.

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