Joined: July 16 2005 Location: United States Posts: 25320
Posted: June 01 2010 at 8:12pm | IP Logged
I thought I would do a review on the AKFST, The unbreakable AK-47 Front Sight Tool made by Magna-Matic. Recently I did a review on another Magna-Matic product called the CRT-15, AR15 bolt carrier carbon removal tool. I was very impressed with the tool, and wondered if the AKFST would be just as well made, so here we are.
The AK series rifles have a short sight radius, which makes them less than stellar in the area of accuracy, not because they are not capable of accuracy, but the short sight radius makes them hard to shoot accurately. Now granted, the AK series was made for a different military doctrine which involves overwhelming the enemy with numbers, and this was a lesson learned by the Russians during WWII watching the US help defeat a better equipped military force, with sheer volume of numbers. Now the US used its manufacturing for its volume, and Russia took that lesson and used its most abundant resource, and that was manpower, even sending men into battle with just a few rounds of 7.62x54r and no rifle with the orders of picking one up from the man that falls dead in front of you.
Now that lesson stayed as part of the Russian military doctrine through much of the cold war, where building a lot of weapons that can function despite proper cleaning, and could put out a high volume of fire. The plan had less to do with taking careful aim, and more to do with charging the enemy and using quick bursts. The psychological effect is overwhelming and there is a lot to be said of the technique, and the AK was designed for just that method of battle (not the careful aimed shots which takes much more training, and better sights)
This is one of the reasons the AK is not as nearly as accurate as the M16/AR15. It was never designed to be as accurate; it was designed to function everyplace anytime using the least trained soldier.
So the AK series does as it was designed to do and it does it well, just like the design of the M16/AR15 series was designed to be a rifle first and foremost and to be used by well trained troops and not conscripts.
Now that you have an understanding of the AK and why the sight radius is so short, and not as accurate as the M16/AR15 series, we can get on with the review. Now unlike the M16 series which has adjustable front and rear sights, the AK, has adjustable elevation (once the weapon has been sighted in), and it has no means of being sighted in by the individual soldier in the field.
So here is the problem. Each person has a unique site picture, and even aim point on a target, so our sights need to be adjusted for elevation and windage for any weapon we use. You cannot hand your AK rifle to your buddy and expect him to get the most out of that rifle as far as accuracy because it has not been sighted in for him.
Now you can use a needle nose pliers to adjust the elevation (not recommended), and you can also use a punch to adjust the windage (also highly not recommended). You can also buy one of the cheap SKS style sight adjustment tools (typically for elevation only) and if you have a tight front sight and your tool is plastic you can also expect the tool to break. You can also buy one of the cheap AK windage and elevation tools, but the quality of these tools is questionable as most are made in china, and not of the best quality. Sometimes they break; sometimes they work but mar your rifle in the process, and sometimes they just will not move a stuck rusted in sight.
This is where the AKFST by Magna-Matic Defense comes in. This tool is ROBUST, and very heavy duty, and itís 400% stronger than the competition, and even includes a limited Lifetime warranty, and best of all its MADE IN THE USA.
Now I have built a lot of AK semi-auto rifles from parts kits, and some of these rifles in prior lives were treated with less than perfect care (in fact some look like the were dragged by a rope on a 50 mile march, and never oiled in the last 20 years). This kind of abuse has a profound effect on adjusting that front sight. In fact on all the front sight tools I had used in the past, the AKFST is the ONLY front sight tool to be able to move the windage adjustment with ease (in fact the other tools would not even move it at all on most of my rifles).
I tested the AKFST on AKís (YUGO, Chinese, Russian, Bulgarian, Polish, German, and Romanian) variants, on AK47ís, AK74ís, RPKís, and even the VZ58 and the tool worked like a charm. While they state that the tool does not work on AK-104 styles gas blocks, or the Yugo M92 Krink, it did work on my M92 good enough to adjust the sights, but it didnít fit nearly as well as the other rifles, which is why they say it does not work.
Now, the AKFST allows a much finer adjustment then even what you can get on AR sights, so using the AKFST to sight in your rifles will get the most accuracy possible out of your rifles.
Now if you donít think you need to adjust the front sight on your rifle, keep in mind that changing brands of ammunition will affect the point of aim on your rifle, in fact you can have a change in the point of aim even within different lot numbers of ammunition. So not only do you need to adjust your sights, but you need to do it frequently otherwise youíre not getting enough out of your rifle. The AK rifle will typically never fail to fire, but it will frequently fail to give good groups, or even be on the point of aim, and if thatís the care itís your fault for not adjusting your sights correctly.
If you are an AK owner, the question you need to ask yourself is: have these sights ever been adjusted (most common answer is no) The most common excuse is: its close enough. But close enough is way off when the range gets farther out.
As for the tool: This tool is built like an AK (itís can take abuse), and last a lifetime. Itís very heavy duty, and I donít see anyone breaking one. The manufacturing quality is beautiful, with no rough machining marks, and best of all it works as directed, and functions better than all the other brands. And all this quality at a very affordable price.
You are not going to find a better or bigger tool, unless you go with the AKFSTís big brother the AKFST-GS which is the gunsmith edition, and itís 900% stronger than the competition.
Itís comes down to this. If you have an AK style rifle then you should have the AKFST, and yes, itís that good. So there you have it, yet another buy recommendation for a Magna-Matic Defence Tool
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