I can’t say exactly when I came up with the idea of this, but I recall a couple of things spurring it on.
There was a thread on a gun forum about discrete ways to move firearms to and from the range. One person was talking about packing their firearms in a bucket. They could put the ammo, paper targets, the firearm, and anything else they needed in an innocent looking bucket and head to the range. I thought that was a really cool idea. I also was enthralled with Polish mini-Beryl and the SIG 552 Commando at that time.
I started to really like the idea of a very short barreled 5.56 that had a folding stock. Back when I was doing thing, the side folding options for the AR were pretty rare and or unreliable. And pistols braces were not a thing, so it was not something that could easily be done.
So did I want?
- A very compact 5.56 weapon system
- A right side folding stock
- Ability to mount optics
- Ability to mount a silencer
- Right side folding stock
How did I justify it?
Well, first, I wanted it. That was enough justification. As for performance out of a short barrel. All sorts of groups around the world have fielded very short barreled rifles, From the AK74SU, G36C, Mini-Beryl, etc. There are many sub 9 inch barreled 5.56 and similar weapons out there doing serious work. Are they ideal? No, but they do get the job done. I wanted something that could be small, and discretely packed away.
I looked at options. The SIG 552 was nearly unavailable, and if one could be found it was stupidly expensive. In hind sight, had I just sprung for one, I would probably still have it and it would be a cherished part of my collection.
I saw that there were 5.56 AK rifles available. I also saw that we had all sorts of new options for upgrading AKs. Railed top covers, quad rail hand guards, etc.
I saw people were making aftermarket right side folding stocks. Why a right side stock? Because the right side is the RIGHT side. Only godless commies or euro weenies would make a stock that folds to the left.
I look at the option of buying a SIG 556P, going though the SBR process, then installing a Samson quad rail and an ACE side folding stock. But I was hearing a good bit of bad reviews on the SIG 556 line.
After some thought and researched, I looked into options like it being 7.62×39 or 5.45×39. I finally settled that I would use the AK platform. I would, over time, have a Kreb’s quad rail. I’d use a Tango Down front grip, and have a light mounted on the left side. The barrel would be slightly extended and threaded for use for a silencer. I’d have something like SIG diopter sights installed. At this time it was not uncommon to have HK diopters welded to an AK. Down the road, I might add a M16 mag well and use AR mags. I also liked the idea of using a rail mount on the AK rail to add my favorite optic, the ACOG.
What could go wrong?
I picked up an Arsenal SLR106UR rifle.
I decided I’d settle for a left side folding stock, as this style folding stock is pretty great. When open, it is like having a fixed stock.
I went with the rifle, as I read all these people say you could cut down the barrel and it would just work. I wanted to have the barrel cut down a little long, and threaded for mounting a modern western silencer like my Surefire 556K.
I had a local dealer SBR it. When I chopped the barrel it didn’t run right afterwards. I ended up having to send it off to have the gas port worked on.
The Arsenal finish was especially bad. It seemed to come off when I looked at wrong.
I tried a few different front hand guards.
An Ultimak worked, but got very hot fast. It would burn my fingers.
A bought a rarer set of machined delrin hand guards. I was going to run this bottom with the Ultimak top, but I realized it would take massive amounts of fitting to get this to work, so I got rid of them with out ever using them.
Eventually I ended up using the Kreb’s quad rail I planned to get from the beginning.
I had issues with excessive windage preventing zeroing. Reliability was just not there. It looked cool and was fun to play with, but it felt heavy for the size and just not very good.
I tried different different set ups, never got anywhere near the performance I would consider acceptable.
I had even picked up two different AR15 magwells for the AK. Either would have required modifications to the receiver, but had that work been done, I would have been able to switch between using AK mags or M16 mags. Had it been working well, I would have had that modification done.
In the end, I parted out the accessories and sold the gun at a loss. Put a lot of time and effort trying to get an end result with out realizing that what I was starting with was never really going to do what I wanted.
I’m not saying a “Krinkov” style AK is bad, it just wasn’t what I wanted to begin with. It wasn’t as light or compact as I wanted. Mounting a suppressor didn’t work out. Optics mounting never worked out the way I wanted. It just kept slipping father and farther away from my initial goal.
Don’t make the mistake I did. Don’t sick money into a nebulous project with out knowing if you can get the result you want in the end.
I did learn that I like the idea of a 5.56 AK. So the only AK I own is a 5.56 AK.
Anyways, thought I’d share that gun project of mine that didn’t work out. At least I learned from it.
Or maybe not.