In a Facebook thread on the PSAK Owners Group page, Chad Wylie, the CEO of PSA, posted Images of a new AKM compatible top cover rail system being worked on. In the thread, he stated The Palmetto State Armory AK Top Cover Rail would be available “before Q2 2022”.
Palmetto State Armory @TFB:
- TFB Review: Palmetto State Armory Dissipator Rifle With PSA EPT Lower
- TFB Review: Palmetto State Armory 10.5″ Battlelink Pistol
- TFB Review: Palmetto State Armory AR-15A4
Why a replacement Top Cover?
If we’re going to talk about an optic mount for the AK rifle, we should talk about the alternatives. This has been covered in the linked articles above extensively and you should have a look if you want to know more. But for brevity’s sake, I’ll do the short version.
The normal method of attaching optics to the AK platform involves a side rail riveted to the receiver on the left side. And while this has over time proven to be a solid and repeatable mounting solution, it has its drawbacks. First off, the ability of whatever factory produced the rifle to attach the rail straight and in line with the bore can vary greatly. Another variable is the country of origin. Serbian AK models use a different spec rail to other Combloc nations. Also, if you have a side folding stock that folds to the left, you’ll have to take the optic and mount off in order to use this feature.
Gas Tube Mounts:
These are on the whole a great option for mounting micro red dots. Tales of cooking red dots with the heat from the gas system are for the most part overstated. Also, it offers the opportunity to co-witness your microdot with your iron sights. But if you want to mount anything bigger than a microdot, you’re going to run into some trouble. It also isn’t viable to run magnifiers and night vision on your rifle. Magnified optic options are limited to long eye relief pistol scopes, scout style.
Dust Cover Rails:
Dust cover rails are nice in that they offer a lot more Picatinny real estate, which opens up options for different optics, magnifiers, and night vision. Some downsides are the loss of the stock iron sights, questionable repeatability, and a more complicated initial install method compared to side rails or railed gas tubes which can be pretty much plug and play.
No further data was given but the Palmetto State Armory Top Cover Rail appears to be similar to the Texas Weapons Systems Gen 3 Dogleg rail, in that it attaches via a replacement of the existing rear sight. Palmetto State Armory does currently offer two different models of Top Cover Rail for their pistol models. These come standard on both the AK-V and AK-P Kalashnikov pattern pistols. This appears to be their bigger brother, the main differences being the size and the form factor of the mounting point on the rear sight block. The current offerings are machined from aluminum and hard coat anodized black.
The Palmetto State Armory AK Top Cover Rail will be competing against offerings from Texas Weapons Systems, FAB Defense, and Zenitco. And while a price was not mentioned, the current models for the AK-P and AK-V can be had for around $79.99 and if that’s true for this new rail it would make it a more affordable alternative to similar competitors on the market.