RS Regulate has been manufacturing two-piece AK optics mounting solutions for AK pattern rifles for a number of years. Its first-gen mounts combined an upper mount dovetailed into a lower mount. This was a solution that could be used to put the optic directly over-bore—something not all mounts can do when it comes to AK side rails with variable thicknesses—but offered limited adjustability front-to-back as well as limited which optics that could be used. Quickly, the Gen 2 mounts were released. These Gen 2 mounts replaced the dovetail with a picatinny-style mount. While still adjustable to be over-bore, the optic could be placed anywhere along the receiver’s length where the mount was. Also released were a number of upper mounts compatible with almost any optic you could think of and the AKR, a long 1913 picatinny rail, if there wasn’t a mount coinciding with your optic. RS Regulate now also manufactures products other than optics mounts, including flashlight mounts and a stock adapter for the Vz58 to fit Magpul Zhukov stocks.
The current RS Regulate lower mounts are what I like to call the “M-series.” They are Gen 2 mounts that have been slightly redesigned to be lighter, thinner, and stronger than the first iteration of the Gen 2 mounts. They’re offered in three different lower mount styles (forward-biased, rear-biased, and full-length) for AKM/AK74 pattern rifles, as well as certain configurations for Yugo/Serbian rifles, Romanian PSL rifles, the Century Arms proprietary rail, and even Vz58 rifles. New upper mounts are also being released regularly, with the newest mount being the AKMT for the Trijicon MRO series of red dots, until now.
In recent months, the great folks at RS Regulate have been working on a mount for an optic that’s more thought of as a pistol sight than a rifle sight. The soon-to-be-released AKMR will support all models of Trijicon RMR as well as other optics that use the same mounting pattern such as the Holosun 507C. RMR red dots may have been popularized by their use on pistols, but were originally designed as rifle sights. Being so light and compact, I thought one would feel right at home on top of my Arsenal SLR104UR rifle (tax stamp pending).
Arsenal’s line of SLR104 rifles are some of the highest quality 5.45×39 rifles available on the market and, while the FR (full-size) models are not currently being imported, the UR models are still available at K-Var at the time of this writing. The SLR104UR is a Bulgarian-made AKS-74U rifle that very closely matches Russian-built examples except for the addition of a side optics rail which is a benefit in my opinion. They come as factory SBRs, or you could go my route by buying the 16” barreled version, submitting the Form 1 application to the ATF, and enjoying the rifle while waiting for the approved tax stamp. In its final form, this rifle will be an almost exact copy of an AKS-74U – appropriate to top off with an optic as small and light as the RMR.
Due to the rear sight being located on the rifle’s top cover, the only RS Regulate lower mount with which the rear iron sight would not interfere is the AK302M, the rear-biased mount. I tend to have a very forward cheek weld, with my cheek in the dip of the AK stock. Even with such a forward cheek weld, my concern of the mount “booping” my nose when firing was a non-issue. The AKMR mount is scalloped on the bottom to curve around the AK’s top cover. This lets the optic sit so low that the RMR cowitnesses with the irons almost absolutely. This is definitely a benefit of the RMR’s mounting screws being inserted through the top of the mount rather than through the bottom, such as on an Aimpoint Micro.
As much as I do love Aimpoint Micro optics, the RMR seemed a better choice for my SLR104UR. Total weight of the optic and mount setup came out to an amazing 4.6 ounces. Compare that to the next-lightest optic on the market, the Aimpoint Micro. A Micro T2 with the appropriate RS Regulate mounts weighs in at 6.2 ounces. This gives the RMR a 1.6 ounce advantage as far as weight is concerned. The RMR’s battery life and durability may be slightly less than that of an Aimpoint Micro’s, albeit negligibly, and its slight lacking in those two considerations is easily made up for with its lighter weight and smaller footprint.
Another mounting option for the RMR is the Ultimak, a gas tube replacement that has a 1913 picatinny rail on top and clamps to the barrel for stability. In my uses, Ultimaks are very viable optics mounting options, however I can’t get over putting a $500 optic somewhere the heat is so extreme. Besides the barrel, the gas tube is just about the hottest surface on the rifle during firing. I haven’t personally done any heat testing with my Ultimak, which currently has a Holosun 503GU on top of it, but heat causing the electronics to fail and/or thermal drifting to occur is a concern. Using RS Regulate mounts voids all of these concerns.
Short-barreled or full-sized, any AK could benefit from the use of an optic with a footprint as small as the RMR’s. I’ve been waiting for the AKMR from RS Regulate since I got my SLR104UR about a year ago. Now that it’s finally here, I’m excited to see the increased number of Kalashnikov rifles outfitted with RMR sights. While not officially released yet, the product page is live on RS Regulate’s website and an official release date will be given shorty.
What is your opinion of AK Optics? Do you run an optic on your AK pattern rifle? Which one? Share your answer in the comment section.
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