AR-15-to-Soviet Side Rail Adapter Spotted In Egypt

We’ve seen AKs fitted with all manner of 1913 pattern rail farms, but what about the other way around? AR-15s with Soviet-style side rails, would anyone really do that?

For years now, one of the major modernization efforts for the Kalashnikov series of rifles has been to fit them with stable, repeatable Western Picatinny-style rail systems for mounting optics. Success in this area represents a magnification of capability for those rifles, as the side rail prevents field-stripping without first removing the optic, and it also blocks the folding stock, if applicable. Neither of these things mattered in the original operational context in which the side rail was designed, but they do now.

Well, in some parts of the world, Egypt to be precise, it’s back to the future, with M16A4s mounting adaptor blocks inside their removable carrying handles, allowing the user to affix side-mounted Soviet-style optics to their AR-15 pattern rifles:


This fighter, reportedly from Egypt, is using an M16A4 or clone with an attached rear sight/carry handle, and a block to allow him to mount his POSP-type scope.


This adapter – the only one of its kind I know of – reportedly comes from Egypt, although the context beyond that is not known to me.

It makes sense: These optics are plentiful and robust, you can field-strip an AR-15 with it attached, and there’s no folding stock to worry about!

H/T, Max Popenker

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • El Duderino

    Looks like someone got up to Gun Nut 3 in Fallout 4.

    • Major Tom

      Nah, finally started unlocking Russian optics in Battlefield 3 and 4.

    • Southpaw89

      Yes and all he needed was three tin cans a beer bottle and some duct tape to make it happen.

  • oldman

    When you aint got unlimited funds you adapt what you got. Necessity as they say is the mother of invention.

  • Mike

    adaptor blocks inside their removable charging handles
    I think you mean carrying handles

  • Michael Lubrecht

    Looks like an interesting adaptation. Unfortunately, you’d need a neck like a giraffe to deal with the height over bore problem.

    • M

      Looks about as high as a carry handle mounted aimpoint so…. chinweld

  • SP mclaughlin

    Gonna open up a whole new market…

  • micmac80

    ‘Neva been done befo’ would be a line on an show about guns …………..

    • SirOliverHumperdink

      game changa in da big sann box

  • nova3930

    when all you got is lemons you may as well hit some acid and come up with something that’s nutty but works….

  • Uniform223

    Looks like there wont be any contact from the cheek to the stock.

  • Nicholas Mew

    Compared to some other terrible optics mounting we have seen in the Middle East, that actually looks pretty damn good.

  • Anonymoose

    >removable charging handles
    But srsly, I’m surprised anyone besides the USMC has M16A4s.

    • Evan

      The Corps just switched to M4s

      • Anonymoose

        And that replacement process has not even begun.

    • CZFan

      the m16 is a great weapon, no overgas issues like the shorty guns, softer recoil pulse for marksmanship, and all that extra velocity. A 20″ gun may not be the handiest thing up close inside but I dont know of a single marine that has had the m16 in Afghanistan and disliked the extra range and more consistent fragmentation up close. And made an effort to get an m4 in that situation over the m16.

      I know I wouldnt. I would be going the other way, I would want all the 77gr ammo I could carry and a mk12 spr not a cqb weapon in a place where engagements are frequently hundreds of meters and longer.

      • Anonymoose

        I could not agree more, but I would really prefer an 18-20″ .308 for extended range, especially if it had an adjustable stock.

        • CZFan

          for sure an AR-10 especially a light one would be perfect for that environment, say an 18″ barrel with an 8.5lb loaded weight, maybe 9 with a scope. but its the ammo that is the killer, its just so heavy compared to the 5.56 and the 77gr stuff has really made a difference

  • Twilight sparkle

    I wonder if the square section on the upper for the cam pin pocket is still there

  • BrandonAKsALot

    And to think I’ve been wanting to buy a Rakurs-P for my AR. I no longer have to limit myself with sullying my AR with Soviet parts.

  • DwnRange

    wonder how many poopy-diapered kids were using that cart????

  • CZFan

    That is some sort of full auto M16 or clone I can barely make out the pin for the auto sear.

  • Cmex

    I wish we kept more from the siderail — holds zero great, no need to locktite / keep having to retighten things, and stuff can just be slid right off.