We found the perfect AK-47 mount and scope combination for this article. If you have been wondering which AK mount is the best, for sure it is the system you see here from Texas Weapons Systems. For a scope, we pick the new CMR from Hi-Lux called the AK762. The reticle is set up specifically for the ballistics of the AK-47 cartridge, out to 900 meters. More than 200 yards is probably useless with the gun we tested here, but it is as good as it gets for the Romanian AK-47.
If you look at the bullet drops of the 7.62×39 compared to the 110gr. .300 Whisper, they are nearly exact, which makes this new CMR the goto scope for that caliber as well as the .300 Blackout. This is for the supersonic versions of course, as both of those cartridges were created for subsonic loads.
We thought that maybe some brass case ammo would help this Romanian WASR from Century Arms perform a little better, but it just isn’t an accurate gun.
The Texas Weapons Systems mount replaces the dustcover and rear sight on your AK-47. Between the front dogleg stabilizer and the precision machined realease button hole, there is no wobble whatsoever.
Click to make the picture bigger and it will show you the way the reticle works. You can zero the gun at 32 meters, which is also 200 meters, and you have perfect holdovers up to 900 meters. The outside and inside circles, as well as the dot and the holdovers are illuminated as well.
The 300 and 400 meter holdovers can also be used as shot boxing range extimators, similar to the Leatherwood scopes we have reviewed here.
Our best groups at 100 yards were like this, 2-3 inches across and strung vertically. You would think that once the gun heats up, the stringing would lessen, but no, five shots consistently strung up and down. Granted, they are all “center mass” at 100 yards, but compared to an AR it is a completely different class. We have used a CMR on a Stag AR and got ragged holes at 200 yards.
The S&B ammo shot a little more of a round group (that round on the right is not in this group it was probably from zeroing another rifle later). The five shots you see here are in about a 5″ circle, again all center mass, but at 200 yards some would be off the target completely.
The Hi-Lux CMR AK762 is a 1-4 x 24 illuminated reticle scope with a 30mm outside tube. It is made in China, and can stand toe to toe with scopes costing twice as much. The turrets are zero referenced by loosening these two screws, then zero, then tighten them back down. With the ranging in the reticle itself you don’t need to turn turrets for windage and elevation adjustments. It can all be done with holdovers and unders on the fly inside the CMR reticle.
Texas Weapons Systems Gen-2 AK-47 Rail
Hi-Lux CMR AK762 1-4×24 30 mm. Riflescope
$436 on Optics Planet:
$436 Natchez Shooters Supply:
All other things being equal, the AK-47 nearly always wins on price. Therefore most of us end up with at least one AK in our gun accumulation. The problem is, all things are not equal with the AK. They are known for reliability that exceeds ridiculous, but they are also known to be horribly inaccurate. If you follow our exploits here at GunsAmerica, you probably read our recent underwater, in the mud test of a high end AK from Century Arms called the PAP, but most of us out here have the inexpensive, garden variety Romanian AK-47 that generally retails for well under $500. These guns are the poster children for no matter what reliability, but they also are known as “spray and pray” guns, though the parameters of spray and pray would vary depending upon who you ask. We have tried to scope the AK-47 with one of many not ready for primetime scope mounting systems over the years, and they are always a disaster. But times have changed. You aren’t going to get anything like good accuracy out of an AK-4, but with the right mount and the right scope you can get accuracy good enough for just about any self defense situation, and even 3-Gun and other tactical rifle competitions, provided the targets aren’t too far away. For this article we review the highly rated rail/scope mounting system from Texas Weapons Systems, $139.99, and the Hi-Lux CMR scope with a new AK762 reticle, $436, which is special made for the ballistics of the 7.62×39 AK-47 cartridge. This combination delivered acceptable accuracy for an AK-47, and is a platform that is as hardcore as the AK-47 itself.
The problem with most scoping systems for the AK is that they are not solid. The PAP we reviewed came with a scope rail mounted on the dust cover, and though the rifle is very well done, that dust cover rocked back and forth with hand pressure. The PAP is more accurate than your run of the mill Romanian AK, but under recoil that wobbly dust cover isn’t going to cut it. There is also a sidesaddle mount for the AK, and there is even a Romanian mount that fits the sides of these Century imported guns specifically. None of them are solid, and you can feel the wiggle as soon as you go tighten the scope ring bolts. Recoil isn’t heavy in the AK-47, but bang jiggle isn’t going to give you the best performance out of the gun.
An alternative is the type of setup popularized by the “scout rifle,” which was pioneered by the famous gun writer Jeff Cooper. This entails mounting a scope on the top of your forend, far away from your eye. Don’t try to buy a regular scope for this. The eye relief on a regular scope is meant for the back of the receiver, so you won’t see even close to a full sight picture. You need to buy a long eye relief, or “scout scope,” which are made by several manufacturers. I personally don’t like the scout scopes. They don’t have the wide field of view that you get with a good red dot in the forward position, and while they may give you more situational awareness in close quarters battle, the reticle is too far away from your eye to give you your best long range shot. On the AK-47 it doesn’t matter that much, because you really are splitting hairs for no reason. There is no such thing as an “accurate” AK-47, so it all boils down to what you like. I like rear mounted scopes.
We found the Texas Weapons Systems mount after a lot of internet research as to what people liked and didn’t like. Google around and you will see the comments yourself. The whole premise of the TWS mount is that all you need to provide a stable platform on an AK-47 is a stable platform, so they made one. All AKs are a little different, but they all fall within the same tolerances, and those tolerances are very loose. Tighten up those tolerances, lock the whole thing down, and viola, you get a stable platform. Take a look at the pictures of the TWS mount. It is just a standard dust cover with an extra dogleg that attaches to the rear sight base on the AK. TWS supplies you with a new takedown rod, and the button on the end of it exactly matches the takedown button hole on their dustcover. You wouldn’t think something that simple would work, but it does, and it is solid as a rock. As AK mounts go, the Texas Weapons Systems mount gets six out of five stars. Don’t waste your money on anything else.
The CMR AK762 is an interesting idea from our friends at Hi-Lux/Leatherwood. It is just like the CMR you have seen in a couple other articles here, but the reticle is set up for the ballistics of the 7.62×39 cartridge. If you are a regular reader here, you know that we have reviewed several of the Hi-Leatherwood products, and no, it isn’t because they pay us to review them (like the print magazines do ). Hi-Lux is just are a little more on top of the internet in the optics world, and the Usual Suspects have been slow to get us product. So here we are with yet another awesome product from Hi-Lux, and this one is extremely well thought out, but maybe overkill for the AK-47, just due to the limitations of the gun. We will see this scope again, however, because the ballistics closely match the 110gr. .300 Whisper from Hornady, as well as some .300 Blackout loadings.
For the AK, and other cartridges with a similar ballistic curve (see the charts in the pictures), the AK762 reticle on the new CMR gives you holdovers for distances out to 900 meters. That is generous for the AK cartridge, but with the accuracy we experienced, even 300 meters is generous for an AK. Firing at a man, or even a Jeep sized target at 300 meters is a crap shoot with an AK, sorry to say, but with potential something short of minute of broad side of a barn for accuracy, 900 meters with what is essentially a glorified pistol cartridge isn’t happening.
The scope itself however is genius. Take a look at the picture we have here of the reticle. If you click to make it bigger you will see the range estimation and framing options right there within the crosshairs. In the illuminated center array you have MRAD/Mil-Dot measurements in 1/2 Mil increments from 1-4 Mils, and a full scale up to 40 Mils. You also have on the right a series of ranging crosshairs to frame a 19″ section to estimate range with no math. If you zero the scope at 32 meters and check it at 200, you have an exact point of aim using holdover in the reticle out to 900 meters. The 30mm tube on the CMR is bright and clear, and the sharpness at the edges, as well as the eye relief and 1MOA illuminated dot are the quality of scopes twice the price. I don’t think that I would ever tell anyone to go out and get an AK-47 for anything but close quarters battle type of shooting, and certainly not for 3-Gun or any kind of competition, but if you are stuck with an AK-47, the Hi-Lux CMR AK762 scope with the TWS mount will make the most of it. At 1-4x power, you can use it as both a both eyes open, illuminated red dot, as well as a long range precision riflescope.
We thought that maybe buying higher quality, brass cased ammo would help in the accuracy department but it did not. The brass ammo shot better than the steel case, but still not even close to 2 or 3 MOA, which you can beat with a paintball gun these days. There are some very serious AKs out there from Krebs Custom and some other small custom shops, and some of those purport to exemplify real rifle accuracy. We have yet to try one, but my feeling is to tell people to just go buy and AR instead. On the run of the mill AK-47s we have tested, even with the rock solid TWS mount and extremely high quality CMR scope, the gun is just hopeless. We’ll be back soon to try a Saiga maybe, and there is an old Norinco kicking around the safe that might have better results, but though we couldn’t speak more highly about the TWS mount and Hi-Lux scope, so far the AK-47 itself is a bust.