[Red Oktober 2016] Joe Firearms Kalashnikov modifications

Joe Firearms is a Utah based company that specializes in outfitting Kalashnikov rifles in addition to offering their own line of AJAK-47 and AJAK-74 rifles. Most significant is their flared magazine well that is welded to the receiver, their extended magazine releases, and left hand charge. Apart from the flared magazine well, a number of these features are available all over the Kalashnikov world, however combined with a number of their other options, many other companies offer these at a much higher price point for the consumer. I thought their extended magazine release looked especially worthwhile because it is ambidextrous by way of a bar that extends on either side of the trigger guard. Many Kalashnikov aftermarket extended magazine releases are usually only operable from the right side of the firearm, instead of the left side. They also had a neat concept wherein they cut down the charging handle to a short enough length to engage with a notch on the safety, while retaining their added left hand side charging handle. A number of Kalashnikov safety’s feature a bolt hold open device but few of them allow the bolt to be activated into battery by just a flick of the safety. Their simple concept does just this.

DSC03962 DSC03965 DSC03967

It appears that in the AR world, there are a number of enhancements focused on the operating components themselves. For example we have free floating barrels, different types of buffer tubes, springs, trigger/hammer combinations, low mass bolt carrier groups and so forth. But whereas in the Kalashnikov world, there are actually very few options in depth when it comes to the actual operating components, and more so on the manual of arms. Such as safeties, left side charging handles, magazine releases, picatinny attachments, etc…


Adding picatinny rails at 10 and 2 o’clock positions.

DSC03977 DSC03978 DSC03979

Bolt hold open catch



Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


  • Frank

    You know, one thing I’ll never understand is why instead of cutting a big enough hole and flaring it up to match the other side of the AK, most left-facing carry handles just cut a massive hole and leave it there.

    • RSG

      Carry handle?

      • Frank

        Charging handle, I meant.

  • Martin M

    That is some nice looking work.


    It’s really amazing the lengths to which people will go to make an AK more like an AR.

    • jay

      I find it amazing since they aren’t designed to fill the exact same roles. Also wonder how much weight all those rails add to a heavy (or light) rifle?

  • therealgreenplease

    Damnit, I have the AK bug again. Son of a…

  • iksnilol

    The safety is not a new concept. Literally any notched bolt hold open safety allows you to bring the rifle into action by flicking the safety and letting the bolt ride home.

    • Cymond

      Yeah, but other left-hand-charging AKs delete the right hand bolt handle completely.

      • iksnilol

        Well, thays stupid. What if you need to use it with your off hand?

  • John

    This is Bravo 18 now called OSS AK department being resurrected.



    • DIR911911 .

      and we’d rather you turn off caps lock

    • kreatin

      and spell correctly too… sheesh

    • ozzallos .

      Covert AR rounds are covert.

      • Longhaired Redneck

        For covert operater use only while operating as (un)official covert operaters.

  • User

    Haha i had this ida just for fun 2 years ago, quadrail? nah, rather Hexarail! But it seems a bit problematic in therms of spacing mount.
    But the flared magwells basibly should be on every modern rifle.

    • .45

      Given the way my Wasr fits mags, I’m not sure that a flared mag well would be all that useful. If it isn’t lined up, it doesn’t go in, and that flared mag well doesn’t look like it would ensure perfect alignment. I say this without having tried it, so take that with a pound of salt.

      • jay

        Or, pound salt? Some guns have issues that are just not fixable. Lipstick on a pig, don’t make her more attractive, or smell better! ;-}

  • adam eaton

    Barlows no longer does any Ak work.It is all done in house now by Joe Firearms.