Once you get more familiar with your rifle, you may want to change out your rear sight. A rear sight upgrade can be an inexpensive way to tighten up your groups and improve target acquisition.
You owe it to yourself to check out an aperture sight (also known as a peep sight) which you may find to be an improvement on the classic AK rear sight.
Why? Of course everyone has different preferences, but for many, an aperture has more intuitive feel.
Even with decent eyesight it’s not possible to clearly focus on both sights and the target. Since the rear sight will tend to be somewhat unclear, in my experience you can more readily place the post in the center of a ring than in the center of a notch. The brain naturally understands centering an object within an aperture. Another advantage with the peep sight is that some shooters will find it easier to aim with both eyes open compared to the stock sight.
If you’re shooting offhand and need quick target acquisition an aperture can be advantageous. There are several iterations you can purchase from either Red Star Arms, Krebs Custom, Arsenal and, Circle 10 AK.
The Red Star Arms version, called the “Combat Sight,” is actually manufactured by a company called Mojo Sights. It’s fully screw-adjustable for elevation and windage and sells for $49.95 on the Red Star Arms website.
The other version is the Krebs Custom AK Aperture Sight. Coated with a black oxide finish, it differs from the Mojo product because the elevation is adjusted by using the original rear sight’s elevation slide. Price is $64.99. I’ve used both and like them equally.
A third option is the new U-Notch “hybrid” rear sight from Circle 10 AK. It combines features of the classic notched sight and the peep sight. You use this by aligning the circles on the front and rear sights and placing the post in a six o’clock position on your target. I had a chance to try this system out a few times at the range prior to publication of this book and am totally hooked. Target acquisition is fast and it’s an intuitively comfortable to use. For $52, I think it’s a great investment. There are also such as dust covers and rail systems with apertures mounted much closer to your eyes than the traditional rear notch sight. The companies that manufacture these systems are Krebs Custom, Texas Weapons Systems and a company called Tech-SIGHTS. The prices for these products range from around $100 to $300.
Keeping it Traditional
If you’re a traditionalist, you can go with an improved version the original sight. There are several companies that have products I would recommend. Krebs Custom and Jim Fuller’s Rifle Dynamics both make a variation on the traditional AK sight.
Essentially, they have modified the original by rounding the edges of the rear sight and widening the notch. The result: both products offer clearer, cleaner sight pictures by making the eye naturally align with the sight notch. The Krebs product is priced at $39.95 and utilizes the original elevation slide. The Krebs Fast Acquisition Rear Sight also has rounded edges but uses the rifle’s original elevation slide. It’s priced at $39.95.
The Rifle Dynamics unit comes with its own elevation slide and is priced at $90.
If you’re going to spend most of your time shooting off a bench, the traditional sight will serve you well.
Another variation to the traditional sight, sold by Arsenal, is the RPK style rear sight (which is standard on the VEPR). It allows for both elevation and windage adjustments on the slide. I’ve used it on my own VEPR and can say from personal experience how convenient it is to have both adjustments available in the same place. Price is $85.
If you’re going to shoot in low light situations Meprolight, an Israeli concern, offers “Tru-Dot Night Sights” for AK-47 rifles. It resembles an ordinary AK rear sight but there’s a tritium dot on both the notches and the sight post as you’d find on some handguns. Justin McMillion of JMAC Customs, which manufactures aftermarket AK parts, is a big fan of this product. He said that the sights help him shooting in low light and are even are easier on the eyes during normal daylight hours. The other advantage is that you can adjust windage on the rear sight using a small screwdriver. His only complaint was that it was necessary to lock down the front post as it wasn’t as tight as he would have preferred. Price is $109 on Amazon.
Circle 10 AK sells a number of sights, including their own U-Notch Peep Sight for $51.95. This is the invention of Circle 10 AK founder Luke Williams and it has already received attention from government agencies.
K-var also has a variety of front and rear AK sights to choose from.