The AK selector/safety

This is a discussion on The AK selector/safety within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Admittedly - this article will not bode well for "AK purists" - this article is for those that view the AK as a tool - ...

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Thread: The AK selector/safety

  1. #1
    Member Array tire iron's Avatar
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    The AK selector/safety

    Admittedly - this article will not bode well for "AK purists" - this article is for those that view the AK as a tool - and nothing more. So - if you are "purist" - you can stop reading right now. If you view firearms (and for the sake of this article - AK's in particular) as tools - I hope you enjoy the following:

    The biggest downfall with the AK is the 'selector/safety'. It never was designed to be easily manipulated. It was designed so the 'peasant/revolutionary/conscript' had to actually THINK about what he had to do to get the rifle ready to fire. So that stipulated that he actually take his hand off of the pistol grip, move it up and forward to move the selector from safe to full or semi-auto. And contrary to popular belief, the F/A (full auto) position was first, knowing the conscript - in the 'heat of the moment' - would 'push right on through' to the last position - semi-auto. Then he would move his hand back to the pistol grip and begin firing. Savvy operators operate the AK with the firing thumb resting on the 'shelf' of the selector - with the fingers sort of 'cupping' under the trigger guard/receiver. They moved the selector with the thumb, then rotated the hand backward and down onto the pistol grip with the first finger ready to enter the trigger guard. (See photos below of Russian soldiers in Chechnya. Note how is thumb is on the selector and his fingers are 'cupping' the trigger guard in the first 'soldier picture'. In the second one - he has his thumb over the top of the receiver - to manipulate the safety he just brings his thumb down on to the selector 'pad' like the like the first picture. It takes a bit longer, but is a bit easier too as that hand can help hold/carry the rifle better this way.) The third photo on the right is a close up of the 'patrol ready' carry technique.





    An alternative is to have one's first finger on the shelf, and the rest of the hand sort of just hanging onto the side of the receiver - but this is strictly for those that have unusually long fingers (the only guys I know with fingers long enough are all proctologists!). This technique can only be used for very short time periods, and is not comfortable at all.



    However - there is some SERIOUS new 'help' in the selector department. Enter Randy Sloan of 'Blackjack' fame (you can reach him at: http://www.blackjackbuffers.com). He is the guy that makes those great buffers for our AK's and other firearms. He has designed a new selector/safety that is SUPERB. There have been other attempts - even by some nationally known gunsmiths that have offered safeties with a 'hump' or 'tab' to help the firer out - but they have all fallen short of the goal - which is - to allow the shooter to keep his hand on the pistol grip - yet also to quickly and easily move the selector from 'Safe' to 'Fire'. Well - Randy did it!! I can leave my hand on the pistol grip - and my first finger is resting on a 'dropped down' shelf that Randy has welded onto the selector.





    CONTINUED

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  3. #2
    Member Array tire iron's Avatar
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    The 'drop down shelf' is ESSENTIAL to allow the shooter to manipulate the selector COMFORTABLY and EASILY. Without the 'drop down shelf' - one MUST take one's hand off of the pistol grip - which is BAD. With the drop down shelf - to move it to "Fire" I just exert a small amount of pressure downward with my finger, and the selector moves down to the "Fire" position and my hand STAYS on the pistol grip - READY TO FIRE. Then I just keep my finger moving downward onto the trigger.




    When I am done firing, I raise my finger up - it then contacts the bottom of the pad, and while exerting a small amount of effort move the selector up to the "Safe" position.



    The last two photos show the 'Blackjack' safety in use. One photo is at 'Patrol Ready' (note the firing hand is on the pistol grip) and the next photo is shouldered - finger on safety ready to swipe it down. In the photo's it may look a little awkward to have the firing finger up on the safety like that - but it is not uncomfortable in the least - and it beats the HECK out of the way soldiers deal with the selector without this modification!




    IMHO no AK rifle should be without this new safety/selector. It enhances performance, it enhances safety and GREATLY improves the ergonomics of the AK by addressing the biggest flaw the AK possesses. This is a 'must buy'. And at $30 delivered - it within the reach of even the poorest of AK owners.

    Disclaimer: I have no stock/interest/financial gain/business relationship with Blackjack or Randy Sloan. This is a superior piece of kit - at an attractive price - that is why I am so 'sold' on this safety/selector modification. It truly brings the AK's handling characteristics/performance into the 21st century.

    cheers

    tire iron

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    That is NEAT! So simple but such a good idea.

    If you were actually going to use your AK for anything serious, I don't imagine how you could live without one.

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    While i dont have a Ak that is a good Article

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    Member Array tire iron's Avatar
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    Euclidean,

    Thanks for the kind words and thanks for the post!


    Bud White,

    Thanks also for the kind words and for the post!

    cheers

    tire iron

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    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    That looks pretty nifty. I might have to consider one for my AK.
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    The Israeli Galil (a redesigned and super built AK) solves the problem much better & is much more natural to operate with its ambidexterous type Fire/Safe Selector that operates with the "gun hand thumb" from the flip side. Or from the other side as an option.
    But, for an "Add On" accessory on a standard pattern AK yours sure seems much quicker and more functional than the original.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    Tire - thx for posting this - I sure would like to change mine to something more ergonomic!!

    Indeed - well for me too - the AK is a total tool - and anything that improves general handling ease is good.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    it really is amazing what people can do when they think about it and then you look at it and go well duh that makes a lot more sense.

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    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    Where can a feller find one of those mag carrier pouches like that guy is wearing?
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Cheaper than dirt or sportsman's Guide i think Should have them

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    thanks
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  14. #13
    Member Array tire iron's Avatar
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    CombatEffective,

    Thanks for the kind words and for the post - and I do encourage you to get one of these nifty things!


    QKShooter,

    Yeah - the Israeli's took the AK to an "art form" to be sure. Your picture looks sort of like my Galil - only I have an "AR" Galil (no bipod) and is imported by Action Arms.

    Thanks for the kinds words and thanks for the post!


    P95Carry,

    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    Tire - thx for posting this - I sure would like to change mine to something more ergonomic!!

    Indeed - well for me too - the AK is a total tool - and anything that improves general handling ease is good.
    I am glad you enjoyed the article - and I am glad it may have been of service to you! Try one of these - I guarantee you'll like it!


    Bud White,

    it really is amazing what people can do when they think about it and then you look at it and go well duh that makes a lot more sense.
    Agreed! A way to tell a *superb* invention is - when you see it a lightbulb goes on - and then you think "WOW - why didn't anyone think of that before!"


    BTW - CombatEffective - the chest rig I have is a Chinese 6 mag unit. It is quite rare for some reason. Three mag chest units can be found - but if you happen to locate some 6 mag units - please let me know!

    cheers

    tire iron

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    I couldn't find one online last night. A three mag unit would be find with me.
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  16. #15
    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, what make stock is that on the AK?
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