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I am in the process of trying to assemble parts for a correct period 88' AK-74 using an Izhmash Rguns parts kit. What would be the correct receiver sight base to use on this? Did the Russian military use a certain style on their weapons systems that used optics? Would this style be the same for a 86' Krinkov?

I'm still a AK newbie. ;)

Thanks.
 

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Yes, the same style as used on a Russian 80's era AKSU.
 

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There will be more, of course, and they are on order, but she's out of stock right now.

I hate to recommend my daughter's competition, but If you are in a big crunch for time and don't necessarily require one that is exactly "Soviet correct" in cosmetics, there are at least two choices I'd consider. First, you could use the Bulgarian version of this rail as sold by Kvar. It's sized correctly but uses non-Russian style squared off lightening grooves. Secondly, there's a new one being sold by Desert Fox Outfitters that looks fairly close just going by the images on their website. It may be the best available alternative until the RMP-3 is available, and the last time I checked they were in stock.

AFA practical use, I do not have one in hand so I cannot verify if the DFO versions have precision rivet spacing, or are sized correctly for the majority of optics. Keep in mind most Russian optics grip onto the rail by flexing (or bending) the frame of the clamp to increase pressure, and they can only bend so far. There's only a few thousands of an inch between a rail being within (clamp adjustable) specifications (sized at midpoint for the vast majority of optics), and one being either too loose for most, or too tight for most, as measured on the dovetail dimensions. Some rail makers just test fit their rails using one particular scope they might have on hand, instead of using a blueprinted dimension and/or testing using a multitude of different optics made in different factories.

In any case, just be sure to test fit your applicable optics before you have the rail permanently riveted to your rifle, and you should be GTG.
 

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I wonder what sort of time frame we are talking about? A month or two, or a year or two? I'd rather have the correct style one. Even though my rifle is going to be a remarked Bulgarian clone (unless I happen to run across a cheap Russian late-70s/early-80s AK-74 kit, which just isn't likely these days) I am trying to make it nice enough to be passable at a distance as an early Afghan-war era AKS-74N to go with my 1pn58. It's going on an NDS-2SF receiver so it isn't going to be as nice and detailed as yours are in Book of the AK, but that one in the early AK-74 article is what I am kind of using as a general guideline. I really do love the way that 1979 rifle came out. And the 1985 Bulgarian-based clone build on your website that Ted Marshall did turned out BEAUTIFUL as well, so that also is part of the inspiration for what I am trying to do with mine. So if it is not going to be too long, I may just wait and get the good mount. I guess if nothing else, I could assemble it and then try to go back later and add the rail, but that might be more of a PIA than just doing it up front.
 

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I appreciate your comments fully, thanks. There's usually 4-6 weeks between batches. These used to be in stock all the time, generally speaking, but there's been some kind of demand for them late this year that has apparently not been entirely met, yet. In any case, I'm making the long trip to eat Christmas dinner at her house late tomorrow night, so I'll be able to ask her about them while we are there. Happy Holidays, man!
 

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You too, and have a safe trip. And yeah, I'll wait on one of those. That, and the RPKL/RPKN rail for my AES-10B would really add a nice touch. One other quick question; on your website page on the 1985 AKS-74N2, you mentioned something about the scope s/n and the rifle s/n being matching numbers. So, if I re-engrave my trunnion, would it be "correct" then to use the s/n on my 1pn58 scope as the new trunnion (and the last 3 digits on the other parts) s/n?
 

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No, they have two different serial numbers. What that text was referring to was that the rifle and the scope were mated, sighted-in and shipped as a "complex" direct from the factory, and were meant to stay with each other as a matched set. For this reason, the rifle's model designation and serial number were painted onto the metal transit box the scope was stored in (when not in use), and in many cases the serial number of the scope was engraved (or etched) onto the scope plate on the rifle. Sometimes the rifle's serial number was also hand-etched onto the scope, but in later years this practice was abandoned..

In any case, the rifle had a standard serial number that fell within the series production number range for that year and model, and the scope also had it's own dedicated serial number which was wholy unrelated to the one for the firearm (they were made and numbered at two different factories). Once the sights were delivered to Izhevsk, they were mated to selected rifles, zeroed-in, numbered to each other, and certified as a matched set to fill military orders..

I hope i did a decent job to explain that here, on the site it must be a bit confusing.
 

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You did, and thanks. That does bring up two other questions, though. Is there a list or a post somewhere that gives the serial number ranges for the different years? And around what year did they quit marking the serial number of the scope on the rifle rail?
 

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If you can tell me the year of your rifle, I can give you the rundown on the serial number range. 1980's era Soviet AK-74N rifles did not have their own separate serial number ranges, they were built within the standard sequential range of the entire AK-74 model year.

AFA marking the plates on the rifles, it was a traditional method which used to be done religiously, by the factory, and at least until about the 1980's. Replaceable ballistic cams were introduced in 1976 (with the NSPU), which made the scopes more easily transferable between weapons types, so by the early 80's it became less common for them to mark scope numbers on the rifles (at least on Izhevsk produced 74's, but no so on some other types such as RPK-74N, SVDN and PKMN).

However, There is no doubt it was still being done off and on, at least on certain batches of rifles, even during the war years (possibly more at depot or unit level, and not just from the factory). It might have been done, or not, depending on where the weapons were being sent i.e. to the domestic army or some other entity that did not require such markings. In any case, the latest rifle I've seen with (factory-looking) scope number markings was an '89-dated AKS-74P in the hands of MVD irregular forces (SpetsNAZ), and at least two early '90's AK-74M's with the serial number of a sight marked on the scope plate (model unknown). I am of the opinion that few if any AK or AKS-74's with scope plates were ever issued without having scopes mated to them by the factory. This is of course not the case with the AK-74M's, most of which probably never had a scope mounted onto them during the course of their lifetime.

The scopes that were issued with parent rifles also had the rifle serial and model information documented in their "passports" and/or field manuals (depending on era and model), which are all hardcover booklets supplied with the scope. Most of the NSPU scopes that came in not too long ago from Finland were all orphaned from Soviet built parent weapons, with the firearm designations and serials stenciled on the cans. Everything from AKMN's to tank-mounted PKMT's. In many cases, these designations are coded in GRAU indices rather than being spelled out in model nomenclature..

Need any help, just let me know. If I don't know, I'll try to find out for you. It might be after the holidays before I have time to make a adequate reply. However, this is one of my favorite areas of study and discussion, so thanks for your interest.

Happy Holidays, man!
Doug
 

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Hi, Doug. Hope you had a good holiday and a safe trip there and back. I found one of the RMP-3 rails that a friend of mine sold me over on the Files, so I have that part covered.

Also, I've decided that the year I am going for with this project will be a 1985 version, similar to the one Ted Marshall built that is on your site. That is a VERY beautiful weapon, and very much along the lines of the parts I am working from- an unfired Bulgarian kit, NDS-2SF, both plum and wood hand guard sets, and GM chromed barrel, a Russian triangle folder, and a trunnion and bolt carrier to be remarked to 85 Izhmash markings. So since it is a remarked Bulgarian version, I can set the s/n trunnion and bolt carrier to whatever number would be preferred and correct. Going from that other rifle's trunnion, it seems like "4002870" would be a trunnion serial number that would fall within the correct range for a 1985 AKS-74N. Would that be correct?
 
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