he lineup of Magpul AK accessories continues to grow — and they’re not the only company providing excellent AK accessories, AK parts, or other Kalash goodness. Here are some (though by no means all) of our favorites.
Magpul Zhukov Stock
A Magpul stock for Vodka Blasters
Some Americafied Commie goodness at the 2015 SHOT Show.*
*This article originally ran in January 2015. We’ve updated it with some pertinent information and images of the Zhukov stock and other Magpul AK furniture in the wild, just for those of you with a vodka blaster fetish.
There are already plenty of options for AK buttstocks, most of which we are not impressed with. Most modern stocks for the platform are less than ideal, being heavy, complex, expensive, or a combination of all. Many of our minions are fans of the AK family of firearms, but we all have different views of what is considered ideal. Reeder’s AK remains “classic”, with wood furniture, Merrill likes his AKs enhanced with exacting parts, and Murr prefers a mix of both (but he still considers the AK a bad-guy gun best left to third-world peasants).
Regardless of your preferred setup, it looks like Magpul is going to have something to appeal to all AK owners.
Unless they’re more interested in custom AK furniture, of course, but that’s an article for a different time.
Magpul AK Furniture: first look
Magpul Zhukov-S AK upgrade
Of all the new AK products we’ve seen this year, the Zhukov-S stock is arguably the most badass. We wanted to check out this new folder in person, so we went to Magpul’s booth to handle it ourselves.
The Zhukov-S is a very streamlined, visually appealing stock. The hinge-style locking mechanism locks up tight and feels like a fixed stock when open. The large, easy-to-depress release button is immediately behind a QD sling swivel socket and is recessed to protect it from accidental release. The inside crook of the stock holds the adjustment button for changing the length of the pull, with each position locking securely and with little perceived play.
The right-side folding design allows shooters to use COMBLOC style optics mounts, which mount to the left side receiver rail, and (most importantly!) the folded stock will not interfere with shooting the rifle when closed.
This could come in very handy should you find yourself in a 1980s action film.
The S-Stock also features a nice rubber butt pad and recessed grooves for adding different height cheek risers. The stock balances well on the rifle when paired with the new Zhukov handguard, and overall it looks and feels…fitting. The stock will be offered in Black, FDE, OD, Gray, and a new Soviet shout-out color: Plum. With an MSRP of $100 as of this writing, this is a lot of stock for the money. They will hopefully be out for sale by late spring, and we look forward to doing a field test.
We’ll no doubt be seeing this on everything from Khyber Pass-looking beaters to Russki blasters to Chinese AKs, and that’s a Good Thing.
Magpul AK Forearms
The next AK product Magpul has released is their family of AK forearms. As mentioned, the new Zhukov handguard pairs well with its sister stock and is the longest setup currently being offered in the lineup. It features an extended length of pull, M-LOK slots, and a QD sling socket. It will be offered at the same price as the Zhukov stock and in the same colors. We’ll write more about those later if we can slip Canipe or Hickman a roofie and get some in hand.
It’s pretty exciting to see all the new Vodka Blaster-related Magpul products being released. It looks like they are going to have a pretty busy year.
How do you install the Magpul Zhukov stock?
Magpul AK furniture in the wild:
Magpul AK MOE/Zhukov Handguard and Folding Stock overview
Where to buy Magpul products
Magpul on Brownells
Magpul at Optics Planet
Magpul at Midway USA
Magpul at Rainier Arms
Magpul at US Elite Gear
Magpul on Amazon
Magpul at Weapon Outfitters
Magpul at Sportsmans Guide
Magpul at Big Daddy Unlimited
Magpul at Cabelas
Magpul AK Accessories
If something for the Soviet Saturday Night Special makes the Politburo Purists lose their mind–we automatically like it. In this section, Nathan Murr brings you through the finer points of the (then-new, now a few years old) Magpul AK stocks and other AK furniture. Mad Duo
Over 100 million were made. Dozens of countries produce it. It has nearly limitless variations. The weapon of choice for fifty standing armies, The AK-47 has been used by America’s enemies as well as allies for nearly seventy years. Since it was first seen by Westerners in 1956, Mikhail Kalashnikov’s design has captured the attention of US shooters and retained it impressively well. Some hate it; others love it to fanboy levels of obsession. Virtually all respect the firearm for its historic reliability. Magpul has been no stranger to the AR-15/M-16 family of weapons, producing aftermarket furniture and accessories for quite some time. This year they answered requests to apply the same magic to the Avtomat Kalashnikova model 1947.
First seen at SHOT show 2015, Magpul’s new lineup of AK furniture has Kalash fans talking. The company has been making magazines and pistol grips for the popular rifle for the last few years, but they have finally expanded into stocks and handguards. Broken down into two lines (the Zhukov series and MOE), Magpul has new choices that will likely appeal to both design purists as well as those seeking the “perfect” AK.
We received the AK furniture much earlier than anticipated and saw that it’s constructed from the same high-strength polymer the company is known for. Magpul set out to create a unique stock and forearm that has the features shooters look for but without the weight and cost. The idea is that anyone with a few minutes of time and basic tools can update their favorite commie blaster themselves.
The Zhukov Series
If you set out to find a good aftermarket stock for the AK, you’ll find only a few quality designs that provide both good cheek weld and folding/collapsible ability. Unfortunately, if you want a folding AND collapsible stock that’s built tough, it’s going to come at a high cost. This is usually accomplished with various adapters, hinges, and machined metal, which can weigh the rifle down. The new Zhukov-S folding stock is a viable alternative to that. The stock installs on most stamped steel AK-type receivers in a matter of minutes with only a screwdriver and Allen wrench. A unique wedge mounting design allows for the installation of widely varying receivers. This mount takes out all the slop and wiggles, creating a very solid marriage to the gun.
A simple, large hinge release button is depressed to allow the Zhukov-S to fold to the right side of the receiver. This will allow shooters who wish to use the left side “Soviet” style optics rail located on some receivers to do so, as well as retaining the capability to shoot the firearm with the stock still folded (we can’t figure out why this is still so important to people, and kinda hoped this mode of fire had died off with the cheesy 1980s action movies that popularized it).
The Zhukov stock doesn’t just fold and lock firmly; it also has five positions of length-of-pull adjustment. Extending to a max 11.5” from the rear of the receiver, the stock will provide a longer LOP than a standard AK stock by several inches. This is good news for the big boys out there and those who utilize certain modern shooting methods. The downside is the collapsible stock we received is very tight and appears to have some sort of silicon grease applied to help it slide. We had to pull the stock in and out dozens of times before it finally began to slide with ease. Not a terrible knock on the polymer stock, but annoying nonetheless. The Zhukov-S also has two mounting points for QD sling swivels, one on the buttstock for traditional placement and an additional QD socket on the left-hand front, where stock mates with the receiver.
When locked open, the Zhukov-S feels more like a fixed stock than a folder. The rubber butt fits the shoulder comfortably and stays where placed. The stock’s top line follows the path of the rifle’s bore, much like an M4 buffer tube does. This translated to a perceived difference in muzzle rise when shooting our test rifle. Basically, those that shot the gun commented on how the recoil feels more like a straight push to the rear than with other, classically shaped AK stocks.
The top of the Zhukov has a wide, comfortable surface for proper cheek weld but also has locking grooves to add additional cheek risers. This might not be needed for those that use iron sights or low-mounted optics but will likely be used by those running EoTechs or magnified optics. The stock has been released this spring in basic black, but Magpul plans to release additional colors in the near future. At only 15 ounces, the Zhukov-S is going to popular option for a wide selection Kalashnikov enthusiasts out there.
The second entry into the Zhukov series is their MLOK polymer handguard. The new forearm attaches to the receiver via two barrel clamps, similar to the popular Ultimak optics mount, which has been used for years. (The top of the handguard is cut to allow for use with this popular accessory). A long, light aluminum mounting block acts as a heat reflector as well as a heat sink and allows for the polymer outer shell to bolt on securely. This aluminum chassis requires the user to make a semi-permanent modification to their rifle buy cutting off the front retaining band used for classic AK handguards. Once cut off, it’s going to be a huge pain in the ass to ever reattach another, so make sure you figure out which of your rifles are most worthy of the enhanced handguard. This procedure takes a steady hand, a Dremel cut-off wheel, and about 10 minutes of your time. You may encounter some small fitting issues, but none that should hold you up too terribly long.
Properly installed, the Zhukov handguard offers nearly a full foot of griping surface. The polymer has MLOK mounting slots on the sides and bottom, allowing for easy accessory mounting and additional barrel ventilation. The cool thing about the mounting chassis and outer shell is it gives plenty of room for Magpul to offer additional shells in the future while retaining the metal core. That is to say, if shooting techniques change in future years, they can offer a new, updated shell to bolt to the original metal chassis. Leaving room to grow is a prudent concept these days, as trends seem to change at a surprising rate.
Paired with the Zhukov-S Stock, the handguard creates a different, pleasing feel with a good balance.
Lastly, let’s look at the MOE handguards which have been released with the new AK furniture. There are two variants: one which requires the front retaining band to be removed and another which is cut away on the left-hand side to retain it. The cutaway model allows for the original front sling loop and installs just like the standard two-piece forearm. This is accomplished in only a few minutes after disassembling your rifle and even less time if you retain your original handguard section, which is attached to the gas tube. All of the Magpul handguards, Zhukov included, include a replacement top cover which requires the user to remove the existing cover from the gas tube. If you have a bench vise and can follow the instructions, this isn’t a big deal. If you wish to retain your original top cover or use it with an Ultimak optics mount, the MOE handguards will accommodate this.
The second variant of the MOE handguard (which requires the front band removal) is the same size and width as the drop-in but isn’t scalloped away on the left. If you choose this option, you will need a separate mounting accessory to run your sling. Both of the MOE AK handguards feature MLOK slots on the sides and bottom, allowing for additional accessories to be mounted. Their length is a little longer than the classic handguard, which is also appreciated.
We Think You’ll Like this AK Furniture
Overall, Fans of the AK are going to be impressed with the new Magpul AK furniture. If you are looking to bring your aging commie blaster into the 21st century, the new stock and handguards are worth checking out.
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