2nd Generation AK RCS (Ratchet Charging System)

Last year I blogged about the 1st generation RCS forward charging handle for the AK. The latest model not only looks much nicer, but is also non-reciprocating. This looks like the next must have accessory for the AK. It is compatible with AK-47 and AK-74 clones.

Read more about it here.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • snmp

    Same Way of the Vekto CR21 Bullpup of the R4 (AK7- Valmet-Galill Clone)


  • Bill Lester

    I’ll pass. It changes an important part of the manual of arms, so muscle memory and habit are ruined unless you add this thing to all your AK’s. The video says it’s “designed to outlive the firearm.” Perhaps but I doubt the maker has the financial wherewithal to do any long term testing, so the quoted statement doesn’t have much value beyond marketing. Contrast that with the standard charging handle used on umpteen millions of AK’s over the past half century. I know which one I’ll rely upon if SHTF. Finally, it really doesn’t look any faster than the conventional charging handle. The “when seconds count” argument rings somewhat hollow as well. This device might…MIGHT…shave off a tenth of a second at a 3-gun match with reloads on the move. But in a real world gunfight you’d be a fool to reload without cover. So unless you’re using an AK for games, what value does it have?

  • vtb

    Well – main question: Why the hell not to make a Ultimak-style rail over the top of this “system”?

    or it was reserved to the 3rd generation of ratched system?))))

  • Komrad

    Now I need to buy an AK

  • Sian

    If only it could also be added to Saiga and Vepr 12ga shotguns, too..

  • Jim

    But… I’m a leftie…

  • SmilinBandit

    Is keeping your finger on the trigger while reloading recommended?

  • HK_WSU

    Pretty cool idea…now to make it south-paw friendly and you have a great idea.

  • Mike

    It sure LOOKS like it’s moving when he’s firing. Maybe it’s not reciprocating all the way back, but it doesn’t look like it’s staying still. If that thing reciprocates, it could probably do some real damage.

  • Erik

    Very interesting. If they could put a rail on that (like an ultimak) and still have the charging handle accessible they might really be on to something.

  • Feel free to shoot me emails if you have questions: dublinak@live.com

    Very Respectfully,
    Ethan Dublin

  • null

    Hmm… yeah, my AMD has an ultimak and my Saiga came with a bolt catch… so why would I want this? Make it with some rails and I’m sold. Or someone could just create a bolt catch that can be retrofitted to the AK…

    Seriously, I love that feature on my Saiga. The mags hold the bolt open and when I pop out the mag it just snags on the bolt catch and after I put in the new mag it’s a 1/2″ pull for the catch. If you put in a quick release for the mags it’s right next to it, so it’s even faster, as you push down on the paddle to release the mag you use your hand to hold up the bolt catch. My speed is the same as his. And your right hand is 2″ from the bolt catch, left hand is how far away from that?

    Bolt catch, it’s a good idea.

  • 54Bravo

    ‘Meh’ on a charging handle on the left for AKs-personally, I’ve never even thought about that being needed?

    But (not to derail) but how about a source for that rail system that appears to have been retro adapted to the older AKs that don’t have that newer hinged receiver cover and rail! I like how it appears to use the original rear sight base for mounting. (as opposed to the ones I have seen that are pinned to the sides)

    My older milled receiver AK would dig that mod for sure. I don’t need rails all over the thing, but a rear mount like that with a Holo sight would be reaaaaaalllll nice.

  • Cymond

    Mike, I think he did a demo with v1 (the reciprocating model) that shows it won’t hurt you.

    Ethan, I don’t own an AK yet, but I kinda liked the sleek look of the first version. As for function, I would need to handle both to make a decision. Business advice: Saiga-12s seem to be hot sellers, so consider a system for them.

  • Nadnerbus

    Very cool idea, and I like the modernization of a classic design.

    Just the same, I would trade that for a reliable last-round-bolt-hold-open device that can be released easily on a fresh mag without taking your control hand off the grip. It would obviate the need for a support hand charging handle most of the time. Having both would be even better.

  • jaekelopterus

    Did no one watch the video? It says specifically that this system is compatible with Saigas.

  • Brandon

    Interesting, but I’d prefer a decent safety and a bolt hold open.
    Also, non reciprocating charging handle + cheap surplus ammo – forward assist = questionable reliability IMO
    A moot point for me tho, I’ll stick with my Bushmaster

  • Gentleman,

    It will work with Saiga rifles, not shotguns as the gas tube doesn’t come off of a Saiga shotguns without gunsmithing.

    Very Respectfully,
    Ethan Dublin

  • Paul

    Mine works fine so I’ll leave it alone.

    Since the AK does not have a bolt hold open device and no speedy way of taking the empty mag out, I’ll just go ahead and flip the gun on it’s side and rack it.

    If I want a FAL… I’ll get a FAL, ok?

  • null


    My saiga in 308 came with a bolt hold open device, a bolt catch, a little silver lever on the lower right hand side of the reciever. It’s nice to hear it works for the Saiga, I caught that in the video the first time.. 🙂

  • null

    A video of what I’m talking about, it’s hard to explain in text. I guess only some Saiga’s have this feature, would be nice to see a list though. It’s hard to find any info on it at all.

  • Once again, lefties can suck it. No thanks.

  • The beauty of the AK and the Galil (NOT the SKS) is that you can keep your shooting hand on the pistol grip, extend your trigger finger to the magazine catch and release the magazine.

    Your support hand should be used to remove and replace the magazines, not to work the magazine catch!

  • Rick

    Man their are some haters on this site. The product is amazing and will save you time on reloading; even a tenth of a second may make all the difference. If you are a left-hander, just train with your right to recharge your AK. A rail would be quite sweet on this model, but perhaps it will come with the 3rd gen. model. Just be glad their are innovative minds out their making stuff for the AK. Besides, what great contributions to the firearm world have you made? Any? None, unless you want to count you negative criticism, which only shows your lack of class. So, keep it to yourself if you can’t be constructive. Thanks for the great product, Ethan. Keep ’em coming!