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Kalashnikov(ish) Madness at SHOT

Something that we saw at SHOT Show last week was a significant increase in 7.62×39 rifles and AK accessories. While many of these have been widely published (such as Magpul Core’s new offerings) or covered by RECOIL (such as the Sig MCX),  this is a picture intensive highlights reel with some commentary. This isn’t all-inclusive and a few of the items have been available for some time but have limited distribution. No, not everyone will like each item and I can already hear the crazy mutterings of the purists. Admittedly, not everything is exactly my cup of tea either. Without further ado:

This is the Fostech Origin-12 Shotgun, obviously inspired by the Saiga-12. It features options largely unavailable on the Saiga such as infinite gas adjustment and a last-round bolt hold open (LRBHO). Add a little wood to it and it could be the cousin of Vera, Jayne Cobb’s favorite weapon in the TV series, ‘Firefly’. Heck, Adam Baldwin was at SHOT after all.
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The CMMG Mutant got a bit of pre-SHOT press. No, it’s not the first time that we’ve seen an AR in 7.62×39 nor one that can accept an AK magazine, but we’re promised that this one will actually run. There is no LRBHO because that would require modification to the magazines themselves, something that would negate the fact it uses any old AK magazine to begin with. You can also see that CMMG retained the traditional AK paddle-type release over an AR button-type.
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For something brand new, we bring forth the M+M Inc M10X. While obviously the AK is the grandfather, this is nothing like your standard hodge-podge ‘upgrade’. There has been so much redesign that the only backwards-compatible part is the trigger group (good news for those who want to try the new ALG Defense AK trigger offering). Swappable charging handle, adjustable gas, and upgraded controls are all present.

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We’ve seen the MGI modular AR lower before. It is highlighted here mostly due to the magazine release. MGI has managed to maintain the standard AR button-type release via a clever plunger mechanism. The empty magazine simply swings right out when the release is pressed.

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Some big news is that Palmetto State Armory (PSA) is getting into the AK game. We’re not seeing a brand new rifle here, but a brand new direction for PSA. Restriction of Russian imports has not only increased market share for other importers but also created a new market for all-American AKs.

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Also for your consideration is one of their affordable ARs chambered in 7.62×39. You’ll have to use one of the many aftermarket magazines available for this caliber, however. I’ve seen people nearly come to blows over who makes the best of these.

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Right below is a genuine unicorn: The 60-round quad stack AK-74, ‘coffin’ magazine. Sure, Surefire makes a quad stack AR magazine but this was the original. Even behind the old iron curtain these are incredibly rare because they never made it to full production. There was a US-made version in pre-production but we haven’t heard any word about them in quite a while (if you have, please comment below).
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It was in the THOR Global Defense booth right across from PSA, which featured a lot of Zenitco products. If its intent was to grab attention, it certainly did. Of course, Zenitco had many other wares to show off. Oleg Kononenko, the US Zenitco representative, brought me through some of their offerings. A pretty large range of their products can be seen in the follow pictures, from stocks to grips to weapon lights to vertical grips. Note the angled cut in the vert grip below to allow for magazine changes and the collapsing of the underfolder.

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The Zenitco PT-1 buttstock folds to left, allowing access to rifle controls, and can still be locked in place with some optic mount configurations. This and other parts are available here in the states from Legion.

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This lower handguard from Arsenal has an integral weapon light, which instantly brings to mind Surefire shotgun forends.

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Also at the Arsenal booth was a definite step away from the norm. Like the M+M Inc rifle, this one maintains the Kalashnikov gas system and trigger, and adds an AR type selector. They went the extra step of including an AR-style charging system in addition to removing the standard charging handle. The barrel is removable but we’re told swapping barrels involves checking headspace.

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Magpul Core Zhukov-S AK folding stock. Lockup appears to be very solid but it does fold to the right, blocking access to some controls.

Rifle_RoundUp023Last up is the stuff of nightmares for some. CAA completely kitted out this converted Saiga, ultimately giving it the lines of an aggressive alien starship.Rifle_RoundUp024

More to follow after we’ve had our hands on some of this stuff and played with it.

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