Marc Krebs is one the most influential AK gunsmiths around. His Wauconda, IL shop, crafts some of the most sought after rifles on the market. In addition to traditional gunsmithing, he has designed and patented his own handguards, sights, muzzle brakes, safety selectors and other items. Below Marc reflects on what add-on parts to consider for your rifle:
Q: What if I want to use a peep sight on the AK?
A: We offer two options. One that is mounted on our rear sight rail system, and another that will go on the traditional rear sight support. That latter is for fast sight acquisition and older eyes. The scope rail provides longer sight radius and a place to put the optic.
Q: In addition to your handguards and other peripherals, your Mark 6 safety has become very popular among AK aficionados. Why did you come to design it that way?
A: For any firearm that is used in a defense mode or for hunting, you need to be able to take the safety off quickly when needed without having to reposition your hand. I’ve worked on the ergonomics so that this is easier to do.
Q: Let’s say I’m interested in doing a DIY modification of an AK with one of the sporterized imports from Saiga or VEPR. My intention would be to move the trigger group. Would you recommend this for the average guy who has never done this before?
A: Depends on how handy you are. My inclination in this case is to let a gunsmith do it. This is an equipment-heavy task.
Q: Is changing out a stock difficult to do for a DIY build?
A: With a regular AK stock there may be a little fitting. With an aftermarket stock, typically no.
Q: What variety do you like the best?
A: I like the collapsible stocks the best. Once you get used to a short stock, it can really provide you with some nimble shooting. I like the Vltor and Magpul the best.
Q: Do you have any particular third party AK accessories that you particularly like?
A: What I like are the AK adapters that will provide a straight line across the top of the receiver. Vltor makes one—it goes straight along the line of the bore. There’s a lot of other good stuff out there.
Q: What about a folding stock? Does it make ergonomic sense to get one?
A: You’d get one primarily because of the ease of storage—getting in and out of a car, jumping out of a plane, etc. I would go with a collapsible stock because you can vary your length of pull.
Q: Got any preference in grips?
Q: What about third party wooden furniture?
Q: What about a third party match trigger?
Q: Do you have any preferences when it comes to third party rails and handguards?
A: I don’t want to come off as arrogant and say nobody makes as good a product as me but I think we (Krebs Custom) did a good job with the aesthetics and the functionality of our UFM Keymod Handguard. I’m sure there’s other good stuff out there but I don’t have experience with it.
Q: How interchangeable are Saiga and VEPR parts?
A: The internal parts are not interchangeable. It’s hard to generalize with the other stuff. They may or maybe not be interchangeable.
Q: What about putting on a muzzle brake/flash hider? Is this easy to do and if so, what style do you recommend for plinking/hunting?
A: Our new Interchangeable Muzzle system is one of the better ones out there. We use a Vortex for a control to test. There’s a link on our Facebook page showing someone testing our flash hider.
Q: Do you have any other favorite third party add-ons that you think readers should know about? It could be anything in the way of rails, stocks, sights, muzzle brakes, slings, furniture, etc.
- Leatherwood CMR is an awesome scope. It has an unusually wide field of view. Great optics on that and an electronic dot.
- Arsenal, Tapco and, Red Star Trigger sets and (for match trigger).
- AK builder.com offers a lot of things for “DIY” riveting.
- Magpul has good grips and magazines for the AK.
- Both RS Regulate and Midwest Industries make very good side rail scope mounts. I particularly like the RS Regulate product, which is very durable
- Bravo Company KeyMod rails and vertical grips