Armageddon Tactical is a Littleton, Colorado-based company that produces and sells various firearms parts, mostly in the AR15 field of accessories, but with this new product, the company has stepped forth into the world of Kalashnikov components. The AK47 Hinged Side Rail Mount is a folding picatinny rail mount that is designed to clip onto the side of an AKM or AK74 receiver’s optic rails, providing a picatinny mount for the rifle that allows the use of the traditional iron sights already mounted to it by unclipping and folding the entire mount to the left of the rifle. There are numerous picatinny mounting options out there for the Kalashnikov platform, but none that allow the entire mount to flip to the left of the rifle as this one does. Unlike the AR15, where the picatinny rails allow for a co-witnessing of iron sights against mounted 1X optics that are fixed in place via an attachment system (negating quick removal of the optic if it goes down), the Kalashnikov iron sights are placed at a very low height to the top of the receiver. Currently, there aren’t many products that allow optics to be mounted AND allow shooters to still use their iron sights should their optics go down.
In addition, it uses rare earth magnets for a consistent return to point of aim when the mount is clicked back into place, to ensure that the optic goes back to the spot where it was initially zeroed. This prevents the optic slowly changing microscopic positions every time the mount is swung open and then clicked closed. In fact, the button that keeps the mount shut is only there to ensure that it stays shut, should the magnets encounter a force that they can’t keep up.
Mounting the HSRM to my Bulgarian parts build was very simple and intuitive. You simply click the mount on to the optic rail, slide it over, and then tighten the hex screw that holds the mount’s base in place against the optics mount. I will say that there is nut inside the mount where it is screwed in at the base that can come out during installation or taking it apart if this hex screw is loosened too much. It would be helpful if this were captive in some way so a user wouldn’t have to worry about losing such a critical component. In addition, I had a SAVAK rail mount from Circle 10 AK that I had to take off before installing the HSRM because the rail couldn’t fit on it. But this really isn’t a concern since the HSRM is designed for Kalashnikov rifles with the original rear sight attached.
My impressions are that the mount does what the company says. It clicks in place very firmly. It allows use of the original iron sights when flipped to the side, and it returns to (as best as I can tell) zero despite repeatable mounting and dismounting. I mounted a Trijicon RMR to the picatinny rail, and I will say that shorter mounts are much better than AR height mounts because of the distance from the picatinny rail to the bore of the rifle. The mount also allows a shooter to still have full disassembly capabilities of the rifle even while the optic is set in place. This is because the receiver cover isn’t in contact with the HSRM when it is mounted at all. The picatinny rail also has cuts down the center of it, allowing shooters to actually use the iron sights while the mount is in place and without an optic mounted.
I do have three issues with the HSRM, and that is the weight, length, and flipped open position. After having a conversation with the maker, I got some of the issues cleared up. In my opinion, the length of the rail is longer than necessary for mounting standard reflex optics, but one of the design intentions is to accommodate most optics on the market, in particular, larger infrared or thermal versions that need more rail space. Not covered on the review model, is the ability to mount a light on the section to the left of the mount, which is pretty neat.
Originally I thought that the magnets would just take up weight and be unnecessary in place of a mechanical lock. However, the manufacturer pointed out that the magnets are more cost effective over a mechanical lock which would be much harder to machine so that it returns to absolute zero every time, thus making the magnets a solid choice for returning to zero.
I noticed that the nut that holds the retention piece in can come out if unscrewed too much. This could be a bad situation if it gets lost, but the reason behind this is so that it can be easily replaced if stripped or broken, a much worse issue than just getting lost.
The one gripe I really want to make is about the weight. The weight is a little bit much for a mount of this size, but if used in a civilian capacity, this really isn’t an issue since most of us won’t be humping many miles with gear and a weapon system. If it really is a complaint by customers, I think the company could shorten the length of the picatinny rail, but as it stands it really adds the ability to mount most any optic out there on the current market.
Accuracy wise, I can’t see much of a difference when I mounted my RMR on the rigidly affixed rail of the rifle, and when I mounted it on the test product. I shot it with Winchester ammunition, and the group sizes didn’t really change much, showing that the mount can compete with systems internal to the rifle.
I think the company is onto an excellent accessory piece to the Kalashnikov rifle as the product stands. There really aren’t any in the market that allow the use of the factory rear sights without taking the mounted optic completely off the rifle.