In my first article on hotrodding the WASR 10, I talked about taking off the bloc-quality furniture and restoring it to something more suitable for Scandinavia (namely above IKEA grade). Now that I had the firearm looking good, the next step: help its performance in a potential home defense scenario. After all, the Kalashnikov is famous for being the go-to weapon in case of the decline of western civilization. It ought to be real good protecting the homestead at night, especially if you need to go beyond the distance of a typical shotgun to reach out and touch someone.
To that end, I equipped my AR with a high-quality weapon light and a laser sight. The light for locating and disorienting an assailant or assailants, the laser to pinpoint my aim (literally) and intimidate (allegedly). The problem: unlike an AR-15, the AK platform does not give you any choice for mounting accessories. Well, except for a side-mounted ugly metal protrusion best used for snagging clothing. Let’s go back to 1913 for some Picatinny!
I wanted to keep the look of my WASR like an AK. I’ve seen AKs dressed up with so much tacticool you have to play “spot the safety” to identify the weapon. Moreover, I did such a nice job with the WASR-10′s wood furniture I thought it would be a real shame to toss the tree work for all a blacked-out rail.
So I compromised. I removed just one of the three wood furniture units (the lower hand-guard) and replaced it with a section of rail. I found a unit from FAB defense distributed by The Mako Group in Farmingdale, NY. Hey, I live close to there! So I swung by the factory to see what the deal is . . .
Arriving at Mako you wouldn’t know they’re in the arms accessory business. A friendly receptionist called one of the guys from the back who took me around the corner into a locked room. It was piled high with all sorts of dummy ARs and AKs loaded with a farrago of accessories.
“Just pick what you like and I’ll see if it is in the warehouse.” God bless the American firearms industry!
After bullshitting with the gun guy (a.k.a. trying to score more info), I discovered that “everything you see here” is imported from Israel. Ken? The owner (basically a distributor) has friends in the Promised Land.
The WASR-10 rail unit took a little finagling to get it to sit just right. I used a file to gently scrape off a little excess plastic. That’s a good thing; the rail now fits as snugly as a wad of Clevelands in a Taliban leader’s pocket. That’s especially important as I wanted a stable platform for a laser, to maintain some type of zero.
Now the search for lights and lasers . . .
I decided simple would be best; the light and laser should be one integrated unit. Less batteries to worry about swapping out every year. I found a good deal on a Sig Sauer light/laser device. Based on what I knew about their quality of Sig’s handguns, ignoring what I knew about their handgun triggers, I figured the unit had to be well-built.
I was right. But the plain-jane model I wanted was out-of-stock. Sig’s saleswoman offered me the all-singing, all-dancing Stoplight STL-300J with a no-charge vertical foregrip.
The 700-lumen blast from the weapons light in a dark room is the equivalent of getting blinded by sand thrown in your eyes. Only not quite so pleasant. Try it yourself. You’ll be seeing purple dots and recalling bad acid experiences for the next hour. Put the bad boy on strobe mode and it will disorient your assailant faster than a whack upside the head.
Crimson Trace also offered a viable alternative, but the Sig deal was catnip to this member of the Tribes. The only advantage of the Crimson Trace unit: the buttons that actuate the light and laser are mounted on simple pressure pads on the foregrip. The Sig makes you move your thumb around to light up someone’s life.
The Crimson Trace is a little more ergonomic, but I doubt it matches the blinding luminosity generated by four CR123 batteries. Which also give the Sig double the battery capacity of the two-battery Crimson Trace.
So, light/laser/foregrip all in one tidy package. It’s the perfect compliment for an AK (other than Adrian Lima peering over her sunglasses and cooing “Nice AK Brett’). I guess I meant complement.
You want irony? The Sig Sauer Academy’s anti-terrorist class trains you how to operate an AK in case you encounter one in the field (e.g. in the hands of a dead terrorist). Anyway, I’m officially pronouncing this WASR ready for home defense, not to mention apocalypse later.