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.
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.
Bolt hold open catch