Minimal upgrades for a Romanian AK

Friends just dragged in this curious collection of parts. I am puzzled by seemingly ratty weapons being used by very competent people.

Light mount is in evidence under the barrel. Somehow, they managed to graft an A2 flash hider onto the barrel with metric threads.

The grip got an upgrade. But what about the thin, cold wire stock!?

At least this underfolder stock has para cord wrapped around it for insulation…the wire stock has none and features some pretty sharp protrusions over by the hinge. Any suggestions on what folding stock could be substituted to provide proper comfortable cheek weld?

I have no doubt that the owner of this AK can outfight most people armed with fancier arms. Just wondering: why labor under this intentional handicap?

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18 Responses to Minimal upgrades for a Romanian AK

  1. Chris Wilson says:

    Is AK. Is not comfort.

  2. Ray says:

    Yeh . I have never seen the appeal in the “folder” fad among American shooters. The first thing I did with my “Izmash” AK-103 clone was to replace the plastic furniture with wood. It makes it look a lot like an AK 74 and its SOLID. Its also the most accurate of its tribe I’ve ever owned at 2.5 MOA @ 200 yards.

    • Lyle says:

      The folder is of course a compromise, for compactness in portability. There is of course the synthetic folder made by K-Var which looks and handles like their fixed, synthetic, Bulgarian style stocks, but it requires modifications to the receiver.

      To the extent that there is a folding stock “fad” it would have been initiated by government restrictions against it. If you don’t understand the appeal of the folding stocks, then you might ask the military thinkers from countries all around the globe which have fielded them, usually for paratroopers and motorized units. They’re just as handy for the “truck gun”, for the pack packer, the boater or anyplace you want to keep a carbine in a small space for transport or for standby use.

      There’s no reason you can’t wrap the wire stock with some cord or leather if you’re concerned about getting a cold chin. In theory it’s a neat idea, but in practice I doubt I’d ever care, assuming I noticed, once the shooting started.

      • Ray says:

        No Lyle, “folders” were designed for use by AFV crews and paratroops. They are inherently inaccurate and the stock latches are failure prone and offer little in convenience that they don’t lose from the built in fragility of the “folder” concept. That is the primary reason that most of the worlds military’s had abandoned “folder” manufacturing by the mid 90’s. But If you want one, buy one. AND ; yes, I stand by the term “fad” as the AK folder was the “tacticool semi-auto fad gun” that preceded the “AR semi-auto” fad of today, and the AR is the very definition of a fad , just as the AK held the same position in the 80’s. I understand your emotional and political argument but in terms of real world use , folders are inferior to fixed stocks in almost every particular.

        • ScottM1A says:

          Hmmm I’m not sure an AR counts as a fad anymore after being one of the best selling rifle styles in the US for 20 years running. Being I can build one in dozens of different calibers to suit whatever task I need it to do and maintain a commonality in manual of arms I can see little reason to own anything else unless it’s nostalgia.

  3. John says:

    In my experience with AKs, I have found that style of wire (really more of a rod) stock with the triangular butt end to lock up much more rigid than the underfolders (or any other folder for that matter). If comfort is a concern, it could be wrapped with paracord or leather for insulation. Any sharp edges or corners can be rounded off with a file in a few minutes.

  4. Ritchie says:

    Flash hider may be a Tapco part, manufactured from genuine steel.

    AK M16 Style Flash Hider
    MSRP: $14.99
    SKU: AK0685
    UPC: 751348005898

    Item Description:
    Item Specifications:
    Online Retailers:

    Item Specifications

    Counts as 1 U.S. 922r Compliant Part
    Designed for use on standard AK-47 7.62 x 39mm barrels
    14 x 1 LH Thread Pitch
    Manufactured From Steel
    Manganese Phosphate Finish
    100% U.S. Made
    Length: 1.75″

  5. Emily says:

    I’d say it’s the shooter, not the stock, that makes a rifle accurate…
    That being said, a little leather or cord sounds like an improvement worth making.

  6. Emily says:

    Another thing, if you anticipate possibly having to use the buttstock as a bludgeon, steel is nice and hard compared to, say, polymer.

  7. Dick Wolf says:

    As for the AK-47 Pictured I have some input seeing that Iam the owner First off the AK is made in China not a cheep knock off.. Your correct on the A-1 flash hider. I teach a lot of tactical classes where people are coming out of vehicle ..The wire stock is uncomfortable but then In war what is comfortable, the stock in question lends to being able to open with out removing the hand from the fire control ie pistol grip. This is important in a fight. I like the aspects that the rifle works fare better in hand to hand situations. The curved magazine lends to arm bars and body manipulation. Assets in close combat when attacked with a knife and your out of ammo Bottom line I see Guns as tools, and you pick different tools to do a job. So if you uses weapons in your job. Then you should strive to be proficient with all.

  8. Gewehr98 says:

    Of the multiple AK variants I’ve owned, I felt the underfolder had the most painful cheek weld of all. Even with paracord, it was no fun. As for the “ratty” rifle in the photos, it appears to be a Romanian SAR-1, with a lever-release wire sidefolder vs. the Romanian pushbutton-release wire sidefolder. My own bedside gun is a very similar SAR-1 with pushbutton wire sidefolder and slant brake. To be honest, the wire sidefolder is head and shoulders above the underfolder’s blade with respect to cheek weld comfort. The hinge lockup on those wire sidefolders is Swiss Bank Vault solid, too. I’d wager those who badmouth such things have probably never used them. I’m curious how you got to be such a gun snob, Oleg? I’ve actually migrated away from my various AR platforms to a few AKs for my SHTF guns, including a SBR folding Suchka based on a Yugo M92 pistol. I understand not liking a minimalistic folding stock, but they’re attached for a reason, not unlike the M4 collapsible stock everybody has to have. For the AK, you could always go with a triangle sidefolder, an ACE folder, or even the more recent AK-74 style full stock left side folders like K-Var sells these days. I know you may not like them because they remind you of the oppressive Soviet Union, but I assure you that that “ratty” collection of parts is by no means a handicap to the gentleman in the photos, and no different than some of the composite FrankenM4geries I see at my local rifle ranges. (Yes, the next defensive carbine course I take, probably with Sonny Puzikas, will have me taking an AK or 3, vs. my normal AR)

    • Oleg Volk says:

      I like the utility of folding stocks, was just wondering one of the worst designs (as I understood it) was picked by a competent user. The triangular metal folding stock seems rather more user friendly to me, as does the plastic KVar.

  9. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Don’t over complicate the reason why people install a folding stock on their guns – its to make the entire package more compact. Why no padding on the wire stock – to increase badassery appearance maybe ? I don’t know – metal stocks left in full sun feel extremely hot when brought to the cheek (I don’t know about cold – it rarely gets that cool here). I’ve shot the Romanian as-is (bare) and it isn’t as bad as you think. The underfolder is very uncomfortable for me.

  10. Richard Douglas says:

    Perhaps the reason to own and train with a ratty gun is to be familiar with the “least common denominator” of semi-auto carbines. If one trains with and knows a cheap ratty carbine, then one is able to deploy whatever cheap (or not so cheap) carbine one may encounter in less ideal situations. It is easy to run a perfect machine, but how many machines stay perfect under other than ideal conditions?

    By making training a tough as possible, the real world becomes easier when the wheels come off…

  11. atp says:

    I have not used them myself since I don’t own any wire stock or underfolder AKs, but the c. $35 stock adapters from should greatly improve the cheek weld of such stocks, without losing any of their compactness:

  12. Vladimir says:

    just one note regarding AK clones quality
    I have some experience (Croatian Army and civil market in Czech Republic) with few of them. Here they are sorted from best to lowest quality (it means quality of barrel and all mechanical parts, also weapon accuracy and durability, all at factory state, no tuning)
    1) serbian AK47 (M70)
    2) original russian AK74 (however, I have no experience with original AK47)
    3) hungarian clone of AK47
    4) romanian AK47 – really poor quality, nobody wants it (if there were an choice)
    regarding civilian (semiauto) clones available in CZE, I can say that poland clones are also very good, similar as M70.
    Sometimes I saw east-germany clones and their owners rate them also good, but not good as poland.
    Unfortunately, I have no experience with russian commercial clones (Saiga) and with clones manufactured in US…
    Regarding foldable stock – it is much better solution for units operating from inside vehicles (tanks, howitzers, EOD etc…), but down-foldable stock is nonsense. Cannot be unfolded with attached magazine

  13. Leroy says:

    There were a lot of ROMAK AK pattern rifles imported during the “assault weapon” ban with thumbhole stocks, no bayonet lug and no threads under the spot-welded barrel “thread protector”.

    it was pretty common about 15 years ago to grind off the spot weld and tap the barrel to take US pattern thread suppressors to avoid having to pull off the entire AK front sight block.

    At the time, parts were plentiful and many folks either swapped the thumbhole stock for plastic Warsaw pact furniture or added the Romanian side-folder.

    This was all a function of there being no real aftermarket for these rifles and carbines, as it was illegal (and still is in many cases) to modify them.

    I’d bet this is an older beater rifle from that time.

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