Suppressing AKs

I started with suppressors back in 2016, in part because I was considering getting back into ARs after a 10 year hiatus and in part because I wanted to see how well AKs really do suppress. I am typically the guy who reads something on the Internet and wonders if it's true. If it's interesting enough I then begin to find out on my own (Actually, the entire reason I have this website is because people said AKs can't easily use optics and that Russian designs suck. Surprise, but that is also not entirely true).


So in 2016 I started working with suppressors on AKs. A couple years later this is what I have learned (so far)

As far as suppressors go the common mantra is that they also suck on AKs...too loud, too much port pop, too gassy and the ever present issue of non-concentric threads leading to potential baffle strikes. In short, most people believe AKs don't suppress well and this is often repeated online. Some of that is true, and some of it isn't depending on the rifle in question... it is always highly specific to the AK being suppressed


While it is definitely true that AKs don't suppress as easily as ARs do, AKs are quite effective suppressed and actually a ton of fun once you get them dialed in. Due to the wide variety of alignment issues you could run into (depending on your AK) you must certainly be careful when suppressing, however, after you assess your particular rifle it can be very smooth sailing and a crap ton of fun. I have found that I have had zero issues with Bulgarian or Russian built AK74s, and I would also consider those to be among the most consistently built AKs on the market


One thing that is also definitely true about AKs is that there is a wide variance in consistency across all potential models manufactured by so many different countries, and many that are assembled in the US. The variations in thread concentricity, canted sights, magwell dimensions and the ability to mount optics are just a few of things you could run into on an AK, so please be aware of the bigger picture - you really cannot just grab any AK and run it suppressed without looking it over in detail first. It's not as easy as an AR so don't fool yourself. However, with a properly built rifle you have an excellent chance to suppress your AK but until you are 100% sure take it easy, be cautious and triple check everything.


If in doubt, don't shoot. It's as simple as that




Here are a few dedicated suppressors I'm using in September 2018
L to R
Sandman-K, AAC 762SDN-6, Joshards SOCOM 762 on his PSL and the Wolverine on my modified Tiger
I think down the road I will move the 762SDN-6 over to the Tiger, or possibly get another K can for it



Suppressors


AAC Mini 4
This was my first ever suppressor and I'm glad I got into K cans first. I've gotten a ton of use from the Mini 4 on AK74s and ARs and have been extremely happy with it. I have been really surprised at how quiet K cans are relatively speaking and how effective they are outdoors. The lower weight and smaller length makes them very handy on 16" AK74s, and really sweet on 12" AK105s (or shorter 8" AKSUs). I've had great experience with the Griffin 24x1.5 to 1/2x28 FSB adapters on a number of my rifles, especially my SGL31-94, and the Mini 4 has been a damn good can

For me this can is tolerable outdoors with no hearing protection and while I must be clear that it is not hearing safe I personally would have no problem shooting it if I had to without protection. As with all things suppressor related I am not a professional and YMMV, so be safe and take care of your hearing. Don't do anything stupid because some guy on the Internet posted his opinion

SGL31-94 with Mini 4 and Kashtan 1P

AK105 with Griffin M4SD-K and 1P87 + 3x Jupiter magnifier
Both with RS Regulate BM1 light mount, X300 and ZenitCo B10 lower HG +B33 top cover


I've moved the M4SD-K over to the Larue for now but this is by far the quietest K can I've shot. It's quite effective I must say, and I like the fact it uses milspec A2 flash hiders as a mount




Even though I usually use a mag hold anyway, if I plan on doing mag dumps or extended firing I will use a vertical grip when shooting with a suppressor. It helps massively with the heat build up

Check your suppressor repeatedly. Heat burns up Loc-Tite really quickly and the mount can start to walk off, even using other more robust products like Rockset


I've moved the ACOGs back to my ARs but this is a great combo. I really can't say enough good things about the ACOG (and Browe BTO). Definitely my favorite Western optic hands down



Shown here with Aimpoint T1 on the Stormwerks rail, Zenitco B13 HG and AAC Mini 4 suppressor with Griffin Armament 24x1.5 to 1/2x28 adapter. PN6K can see past the T1 without a problem

This is a damn nice package I have to say. I really like the UF with the Attero Arms red dot mount


Mini 4 on the SLR104UR that has a 9 inch barrel instead of 8, with the extra inch threaded 1/2x28

AAC 51T Brakeout 2 QD with Griffin 24x1.5 to 1/2x28 adapter. Please be careful and understand that all components MUST be loc-tited or they will walk off during shooting and risk baffle or end cap strikes. I've got thousands of rounds down the pipe on this particular setup without a hitch and also now use the AAC 762SDN-6 on the SGL31-94 instead of the Mini 4



AAC 762SDN-6
On my SGL31-94 (top). I really like the performance of the full size can, so much so that I also have an AAC M4-2000 on the way as well. It's hearing safe as far as I can tell, and a really nice shooting experience





Dead Air Sandman K

Instantly my favorite suppressor, I picked this up in August of 2018 and it went straight to my 'light weight' hog gun, an SGL31-44 converted to an AK105 pattern rifle. I say light weight because by the time you add light, laser, optic and suppressor nothing is truly light anymore, but relative to the suppressed Tiger this a balanced rifle



Shown here with the PVS14 as a weapon mounted optic. I keep a Larue QD weapon mount on the PVS14 in case I want to run it on the rail instead of the helmet




While I have had good success using a Griffin 24x1.5 to 1/2x28 adapter (and continue to use them on most of my AKs), I wanted one or two rifles with 1/2x28 directly on the barrel. This AK105 is cut about 13.5" instead of 12" and the Dead Air Key-Mo is rocksetted directly to the barrel as you would with any AR15. I left the 24x1.5 FSB in place and threaded ahead of it which allows me to put the standard cone booster on instead to restore the classic look



Dead Air Wolverine PBS-1
It goes without saying that Dead Air knocked this one out of the park in terms of ease of use and mounting to most any rifle out there. They solved one of the biggest potential issues with AKs and suppressors, which is concentric barrel alignment. The Wolverine does this by a generously large baffle stack and a large end cap exit path. It is very unlikely to have a baffle strike, but it can happen - I've had one end cap strike on an SLR107FR that had a very non concentric bore that I didn't look too closely at before shooting. Since the Wolverine is a modified Sandman-S tube it's quite easy to swap the end cap out in the unlikely event of a strike. However, based on the baffle design and baffle placement through the tube it seems very improbable to get an actual baffle strike


Due to the size of the baffles the Wolverine is not hearing safe on any rifle I have shot and it is uncomfortable to the shooter without ear pro, but it works quite well if you are not looking for maximum suppression (and use plugs or other ear pro). It does what a suppressor should do and has a nice tone, it's just not the quietest can you'll run into


I use mine to hunt on my modified SVD Tiger rifle and have been really happy with it. I'm still testing repeatability for removing and re-adding the Wolverine but this is one suppressor that I have been very very happy with and highly recommend for fun. There are many quieter options on the market but the Wolverine is the de facto Easy Button when it comes to suppressing the AK. All major thread patterns are available as inserts including AR thread pitches, and I have used my Wolverine on two ARs while waiting for their dedicated cans to come in

Wolverine PBS-1 show here on the Tiger with custom 24x1.5 front sight block



Getting the REAP-IR zeroed on the Tiger




Auzzie's fixed stock RPK74 with plum furniture and 1P29, using the 14x1L insert


On the AK74 under folder using 24x1.5 insert



High Standard Hungarian non matching kit with US barrel and nice Tula laminate
Also has the AK Master Mount and PK01-VS and is using the 14x1L Wolverine insert




1988 Izhmash kit from RGuns converted to a side folder with 1PN51 mounted



The Wolverine ran really well on the Larue with the 1/2x28 insert. It doesn't have anything to engage the locking collar against since ARs don't use a detent pin on the FSB but slow fire and frequent checking of tightness works just fine



I used the Wolverine with the 5/8x24 insert for a while on my 300BLK 10.5" Faxon barrel Anderson upper. Great combo, especially for 220 subs. The Faxon seems to really like Nozler Custom Competition Match Grade 220gr subsonics



AAC Illusion 9

I bought this to do double duty on the Scorpion Evo as well as my G19 pistol, and perhaps an MP5 clone down the road
** Update 9/16/18, was able to shoot the Scorpion and am really impressed! **


Due to the lack of availability on the Illusion 9 improved fixed barrel spacer I had to make my own while I waited for them to come back in stock. You don't need the fixed barrel spacer for a pistol with a recoiling slide, but since the Scorpion has a fixed barrel you can't use the 1/2x28 piston and spring without risking a baffle strike. Not sure why in September 2018 they were impossible to find, but the improved fixed piston was out of stock everywhere, even AAC didn't have any lying around.


In the meantime I worked with an industry partner who absolutely told me this was not a professional suggestion, but that he had seen others DIY themselves this way without issue


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Please note: I chose to take the risk of damaging my Illusion 9 and I DO NOT recommend this, unless you are ok with destroying your property. It is not factory supported or encouraged

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I used a piece of 5/8" copper tubing which perfectly slid over the 1/2x28 piston that came with the Illusion, and carefully marked where the end cap tightens down all the way, then cut the pipe to match. The whole process took about 10 minutes once I could see what needed to be done





I made sure everything was square and fit properly, then crossed my fingers and started shooting. I fired one round at a time and then removed the piston each time to check for issues.
After 10 slow fire careful rounds I handed the Scorpion over to Nictra to finish the mag


I have to say the Scorpion and Illusion 9 combo is bad ass. With subsonics it's super quiet and brings a smile to your face. I am extremely happy with this little blaster



Joshard's SOCOM 7.62 RC
This was really my first intro to suppressed AKs back in the day, Joshard had this around 2014 or so. Before I could get really into the nitty gritty I relocated overseas and put most of my gun hobby on hold


We mocked this up many years ago on the AK105 but only shot it on the full size SGL31 back then. Seems to be hearing safe on the SGL31


The permanent home for the SOCOM is Joshard's PSL. He spent a lot of time working on the muzzle face to get it perfectly aligned and in 2018 installed a KNS adjustable AK piston. The SOCOM 7.62 is hearing safe on the PSL, or if it's not it must be very close



**Verify concentricity before attempting to shoot**

I used 13/64" x 3' Grade A2 Steel Precision Drill Rods which are perfect for 5.45 rifles, available from fastenal.com. They also have rods that work for 7.62 rifles


You need to get used to what concentric looks like as the position of the rifle will cause the rod to tip from side to side
I recommend to check this about a zillion times until you are comfortable with what concentricity looks like and then check yourself a few more times for safeties sake



Please note I do not consider this concentric enough to shoot - this is a photo demonstration only. You want the rod to have an equal amount of space around it and this needs to be done on a very flat surface. It takes time to get used to what it should look like


















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