NEW: Midwest Industries Gen 2 AK Hand Guards

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In what may seem like a sin in the eyes of true firearm aficionados, I don’t currently own an AK-patterned rifle. But I am on the lookout for something short and 5.45-based (thanks a lot, Nathaniel F.). The one thing I struggle with when it comes to classic-but-useful guns is how to mount needed accessories without ruining traditional appearances and styling. And while I have altered wood hand guards and forends in the past, it’s not always the best choice – sometimes a full modern replacement is the best answer when utility meets style. That’s where companies like Midwest Industries is able to fill the void.

Introducing their second generation of AK hand guards, Midwest is offering M-LOK mount compatibility, railed top covers for optic mounting and quick release sling mounts all in an affordable package. The sets are compatible with most AK rifles (save for Yugo variants), lightweight and are easy to install.

From the looks of each setup, mounting an optic results in a lower 1/3 cowitness with standard AK iron sights. While the MRO-compatible top cover is available for purchase now, the railed top cover is listed as ‘coming soon’. Further options and details are in the product images from Midwest below.

Again, I’m torn. While I am a huge proponent of innovation as well as function over form, I also love the look of a traditional wood-finished AK. I wonder how these forends would look color matched Cerakoted with an appropriate wood stock? Or, it just sounds like an opportunity to build both wood and aluminum options.

Midwest Industries Gen 2 AK Hand Guards

Midwest Industries Gen 2 AK Hand Guards

 

Midwest Industries Gen 2 AK Hand Guards

Midwest Industries Gen 2 AK Hand Guards

 

Midwest Industries Gen 2 AK Hand Guards

Midwest Industries Gen 2 AK Hand Guards

 

 

Midwest Industries Gen 2 AK Hand Guards

Midwest Industries Gen 2 AK Hand Guards

 

Midwest Industries Gen 2 AK Hand Guards

Midwest Industries Gen 2 AK Hand Guards

MSRP: $160 – $235 (approx).

Midwest Industries – http://midwestindustriesinc.com/

Midwest Industries, Inc
W292S4498 Hillside Rd.
Waukesha, WI 53189

262-896-6780



Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Anonymoose

    These look really awesome. Also, they’re coming out with a railed gas tube and sideplates to make that gas tube blend in better with their Gen1 handguards.

    • Sermon 7.62

      No, these look awful. It’s crude, and doesn’t match the rifle’s lines.

      • Corwin Bos

        An AK has “lines”?

        • Sermon 7.62

          I am not good at English. But I think it might be called “lines”. Or not.

        • roguetechie

          Yes, the AK has lines… A perfect example is when people install the derpy AR15 buffer tube adapters on that jut straight off the back of the gun following the line from the top cover seam rather than spend a few more bucks to get the adapter that instead is properly downwardly canted to parallel the lower receiver angle.

          That is an example of two of the lines already existing on the AK platform. Also, this isn’t just a stylistic and aesthetics concern. By ignoring the original lines on a platform you are effectively changing the ergonomics of the piece in ways that, many times, result in inferior usability and performance.

          That isn’t to say this is ALWAYS a bad thing, sometimes it can actually make an existing item function and perform much better. But it’s something that really should be pursued with caution, and IMO applied sparingly only to improve function and usability rather than aesthetics.

          This is why I own a couple Zhukov stocks but none of the M4 style add on stocks for my AK’s. The Zhukov is as close as I can get to the superbly well designed AK-12 stock.

          • Pete – TFB Writer

            Well said. I agree.

          • roguetechie

            Thanks Pete,

            I’ve given this some very deep consideration over the years, and spent a lot of money I shouldn’t have chasing the gun Barbie dream house stuff.

            Now I’m more inclined to deep dive into specs, and tend to deploy my hard earned dollars like a sniper. One shot one kill…

            Hopefully one day in the not too distant future I’ll get to send you guys T&E samples of some of the things I’m working on.

            If this day comes please do me and your readers a favor, and beat it like you hate it!

            If you break it tell me how it broke and maybe send me a couple pictures. I’ll turn around and rework whatever I need to and then send you a new one until I get you one you think is actually worthwhile.

            That’s how the gun industry SHOULD work… I don’t want to pay you to review my product!!

            I want you to hate the idea of giving it back so much that you call me, and see how much it’ll cost you to keep it!

            That’s how you know you’ve got a solid product.

          • Pete – TFB Writer

            Awesome. When you are ready, shoot Phil an email. I’m all about no-nonsense stuff that just works. Maturity carries over to the firearm world pretty easily.

  • Nicholas C

    I already have these. Review to come shortly.

    • justin

      does it allow for lower 1/3 cowitness? i just installed on my gen 1 c39 pistol and it doesnt even come close to low enough to use iron sights through the optic.

  • John

    What does this offer over the Magpul Zhukov handguard?? I think you could get it cheaper/lighter with a Zhukov handguard and an Ultimak if you really wanted to mount an optic on the front.

    • Ken

      Easier and probably less toxic to cook your bacon on metal handguards than plastic ones?

  • Pete Sheppard

    Get tired of the modern, simply put the wood back on. 😉

  • Petto

    They are nice looking but they sure overheat that fast too

    • Garrett Hart

      From experience?

    • USMC03Vet

      It’s almost as though people don’t shoot their rifles anymore. The metal heat conductor handguard fad is atrocious.

      • Pete – TFB Writer

        While I agree, I’ve never been a mag dump kind of guy. Like I said, I’m torn.

  • derpmaster

    AK? “Needed accessories?”

  • Vhyrus

    So, I’ve been comparing the old and new versions of these and I cannot figure out what makes the new ones better, except for 0.7 ounces of weight savings. Is this really just for looks?

  • Jeff Smith

    “While I am a huge proponent of innovation as well as function over form, I also love the look of a traditional wood-finished AK.”

    Sounds like you should by two guns.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Ha!

    • maodeedee

      “”While I am a huge proponent of innovation as well as function over form, I also love the look of a traditional wood-finished AK.”
      That means that you are someone with “The Right Stuff” and not a girly-man who’s into “Tacticool” and fluff.

  • Black Dots

    Midwest makes nice hand guards. I have an M-LOK 2-piece drop in for my AR that I really like. If I had an AK I would probably give these a spin because I CAN’T STOP BUYING THINGS PLEASE HELP ME FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

  • SLi-Fox

    I had their first gen on my first AK. I liked it a lot but, it needed a heat shield.

  • Retriever222

    Pete, if you are talking about a Russian/Bulgarian Krinkov, look at the Zenitco B11/B19N combo.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Thanks! Researching.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    I’ve shot one AK with metal handguards. Well, I lie, two. one being my AMD-65, but that’s another thing altogether. Anyhow, I shot a FA M92 at a rental range with the first version of the MI handguards. There is a good reason the AK never had metal handguards (again except the AMD, but it has a forward grip), they get incredibly hot very fast. You can find countless videos of people setting their wood on fire with a couple drum dumps.

    Many times folks get butthurt in the AK world over someone saying their accessories are a bad idea and whine and cry about purists, when in reality it’s just advice from experience. Unless you are using a full size forward grip, metal handguards are generally a very bad idea on AK’s.

  • Reef Blastbody

    Question regarding AK gas tube mounted red dot sights: doesn’t being positioned in very close proximity to a heat source like that dramatically reduce the service life of a red dot, especially battery powered ones like Eotechs or Aimpoints?

    Is there a heat shield included, or an air gap and ventilation holes designed in that mitigate heat to something within the operating specs of a good duty grade dot sight?

  • maodeedee

    “In what may seem like a sin in the eyes of true firearm aficionados, I don’t currently own an AK-patterned rifle.”

    That’s OK. better to not own one that to take an AK in original military configuration and try to “Jazz it Up” and make it look “Tacticool”. It’s better to take one with all the bogus stuff on it that makes it legal to import and restore it back to the way Mikhail Kalashnikov

    intended the rifle to be, simple, rugged, and reliable with no frills, bells, or whistles.
    And anyone who is younger than the age of 45 needs to learn to use the open sights at distances out to 500 yards. Anyone older still needs to learn to use open sights if you don’t already know, but just needs to get closer.