Saturday, January 18, 2014

US PALM AK Battle Grip (AKBG)

Following is a quick overview on installing a US PALM AKBG.

As always, safety is your #1 priority, so clear your firearm before starting. Remove the magazine (if one is inserted), retract the charging handle, inspect the chamber, release the charging handle, allowing the BCG to go forward into battery.

Once your firearm is cleared, with the safety off, pull the trigger (allowing the hammer to go forward to hold the BCG in place), pop the dust cover off, remove the recoil spring, and, as mentioned, the hammer will hold the BCG in place while you replace your old PG with the AKBG. If you choose to, you can remove your BCG as well, your decision. Next, remove the pistol grip that you would like to replace. For this, usually all you will need is a flathead screwdriver. Set the PG screw and old pistol grip aside, but leave the threaded pistol grip block loosely in place in the receiver. Your block may not be loose, but all the Romys and Saigas I own have loose blocks, either way, it will be retained for use for the installation of the AKBG.

You will need a 3/16 long arm hex key wrench and blue Loctite (if you wish to apply some) to complete the installation.

[1] Assemble the screw set

The AKBG kit comes with 4 parts in two sections; the screw set and the pistol grip. To set up the screw set for installation; take the socket head cap screw, slide the spring lock washer (looks like a ring that is split & offset) on, and then slide the Belleville washer on with the teeth facing the spring lock washer. Place the screw set on the end of the long arm 3/16 hex key wrench.

[2] Install the AKBG

Open the storage compartment plug at the base of the AKBG grip and guide the screw set that is positioned on the end of the hex wrench through the grip and out of the top of the grip. Let go of the grip.

With the setup balanced in your primary hand, pick up the AK with your free hand. With your secondary hand on the AK, you will locate the threaded pistol grip block and hold it in position by lightly pushing it down with your index finger, wrapping your other fingers around the exterior of the receiver.

Bring the AKBG setup to the bottom of the receiver and position the top of the screw up against the threaded pistol grip block protruding from the base of the receiver behind the trigger guard. Slowly rotate the screw set with the hex wrench until it grabs. Once it grabs, tighten it up. However, at this point you may also want to apply some blue Loctite to the block on the interior of the receiver, I didn't, but you can if you choose to. Continue tightening, take your time & don't rush it. I am using a long arm hex wrench and once I reach the limited amount of torque that I can attain with my fingers, I take a rag, wrap it around the end of the wrench, and give it one more solid rotation. Refrain from over tightening, it is not necessary. 

Once installation is complete; reinsert the recoil spring to the BCG, reseat the dustcover, charge the firearm, and dry fire to function check. Place the safety on.

[3] The completed view... with my hand in the way

Final notes. I have tried several popular brands, but sold them off after using the AKBG.  AKBGs are on most of my AKs. Why? Because you will always have your hand on the pistol grip when operating your firearm and it helps when it's a damn comfortable grip. The AKBG fills my hand perfectly, allowing for full control and leverage over my platform. The rear of the AKBG flows up into the receiver allowing for the shooter to obtain a high, firm pistol grip, essentially the same control you would want with a handgun. Functionally, the foundation of efficient trigger control is in the grip. The AKBG is simple and effective in design, being narrow at the top, while filling out at the bottom. I currently do not use the storage compartment for anything, but once I throw an optic on this firearm I will use it to store backup batteries (in a Zipolock bag).

And lastly, I'm in CA and that fugly thing on the trigger guard is a Solar Tactical Gen II bullet button, not some tactical mag release design from SHOT Show 2014. Besides going featureless, the Solar Tac Gen II AK bullet button is the the best option for Californians. You can find cheap imitation versions of it on Amazon, but what sets it apart is the crossbar screw that prevents the BB from walking out while in use/firing.

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