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I finally switched over to using a red dot on my AK this year (clone T1 micro) which I really like as a sight. I currently have it attached to an ultimak style railed gas tube. While this has the advantage of being compact, not needing to be taken off when I change the battery, and retaining zero very well, I've run into the issue that its very low position tends to give me something of a crick in the neck by the end of a day. This being the case I'm looking at replacing it with some other type of mounting system, probably a side rail sight mount as I've heard they generally retain zero well enough and generally seem to result in a higher sight position. So, what advice do people have?

The most obvious contenders are the standard "airsoft" side mounted rail.

https://www.taiwangun.com/en/mounts/mount-for-ak-cyma?from=listing&campaign-id=20

The Midwest industries style ones. 

https://www.taiwangun.com/en/mounts/railed-scope-mount-for-ak-black-m-etal?from=listing&campaign-id=19

Or a B13 clone. 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/LSHBAO-HUNTING-Classic-Picatinny-Tactical-Riflescope/dp/B07TJQFK4N/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=airsoft+b13+rail&qid=1566481223&s=gateway&sr=8-1

 

Alternatively there are the dust cover rails , though I'm a little skeptical about how stable they are, unless of course you buy one of the clone Zetic Co ones but I'm not spending as much as my AK again on a fancy dust cover.

https://www.taiwangun.com/en/mounts/ak-receiver-cover-rail-black-cyma?from=listing&campaign-id=19

 

Thanks for all and any advice. Also, obviously I understand that people's perceptions of the comfort of a given system are going to be personal, I'm sure there are plenty of people who use the ultimak gas tubes with zero issues. 

 

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Functionally it's the same. It's not like how iron sights have a higher potential for accuracy the farther apart they are. But what it does change is what area of your vision gets slightly impaired with blind spots caused by the housing of the optic.

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Worth bearing in mind that side mounted rails will stop you from folding the stock, if it is a folder.

RS Regulate Do a nifty system and there are clones about. That would be my recommendation, although the 20mm option sits very low as well

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Hi all. Thanks for the info and input. While it is a side folder, I never actually fold the stock so I'm not worried about that. I think my main concerns with side mounted rails are the weight and the ability to retain zero if they removed and remounted, which is necessary for changing the battery, of course. Those are some good points, RC, I might look into buying a CYMA side mount and a riser and then playing around and see what I like the most. Thanks all!

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Hi Got wood, that's a really helpful image as it gives a clear idea of how high the two rails sit. Im fairness, both seem to provide a higher base than the ultimak rail which sits extremely low, especially with a low, small sight like the T1. For context, one of the reasons I'm looking at different options is that I get migraines, and getting neck pain and odd postures seems to be linked. Something I do like about the RS regulate and Midwest industries rails is that they allow a red dot to be installed just behind the rear iron sight, so not too close to the eye, as RC pointed out, that obscures more vision and I do like how unobtrusive the current position is.

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You may find that staring at a bright red dot will also contribute to migraines.

My advice? Go completely clean and walk the shots to target, with your head a nice comfortable height

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So, while talking to a friend something occured to me. One of the things I've noticed with the T1 on the ultimak gas tube is that I have to get a very low head position to pick up the dot. I think that's partly due to the rail itself being low, but I think partly due to the sight being further away from my eye, with the dot disappearing into the top of the sight if my head is too high. I suspect (and I think this makes sense) that the great distance between eye and sight makes any errors in eye position more apparent. Does that make sense?

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Generally its easier to pick up the dot when its further back, but the unit itself will take up more space in your vision as RC said. I dont really think theres much in it as theres personal preference and depending on platform only so many places to mount.

You could also try one of those mounts that replace the rear sight - that will raise it a bit too.

As for neck pain - its an interesting one but i wouldnt say shouldering a rifle is an odd posture and if you find that its inducing neck pain / migraine i think that is a symptom not a cause. Certainly doesn't sound fun!

Cheers

 

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I've been prone to migraines for ages, with various things being triggers or potential triggers (the worst in airsoft, rather unsurprisingly being strobe flash lights). In fairness, I haven't suffered a migraine during or after a game that many times, but other posture issues do seem to be linked and I've noticed a general neck stiffness after games on numerous occasions. As you say, a lot of this is pretty personal, different people find different things comfortable or uncomfortable. The rear sight rail is an option though I'm a little dubious of losing a rear iron in case the red dot gets shot out. Currently I don't have access to my AK so checking different options by taking the red dot off isn't possible (possibly this wasn't the best time to get obsessed with this issue).

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Shooting positions are a very personal thing, but for me, the most comfortable setup for AKs turned out to be using the Ultimak + T1.. but with an (adapted) SVD cheek riser on my triangle side-folder so everything lined up nicely

Neck strain issues is one of the most common complaints of the AK platform, and is linked to the lack of a decent cheek weld. This is even worse on the prone position, as you cannot really move your neck as freely as in standing positions, and the height of the magazine forces you to push up with your shoulders which is awful. 

Honestly I believe mounting the dot higher will only make it worst, and there's only so much you can do with an AK platform. But that's me. Maybe it works for you. 

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That's an interesting point. I don't recall having this issue running AK iron sights, I suppose I might have simply forgotten having an issue, though I've been running one AK or another for years now as my go to primary. I'll see if I can borrow a side rail mount when I'm back from holiday and see how that feels. Cheers.

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I have a mount from Hephaestus that works on the existing sight mount on GHK and WE (some minor mods required) AKs.

Small, cheap, retains original iron sights and an RMR compatible mounting-plate.

Limited rail space, low mount (can be fixed with a riser) and possible zero-ing problems since it mounts to the existing dust cover, and if that moves, so does your zero.

But I think it's pretty neat.

 

ÖHE-AK-007_03-800x600.jpg

 

http://www.hephaestusairsoft.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=103

Edited by NonEx
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So, the sight mount is very secure, I think I need to do some further zeroing and maybe a barrel and hop bucking clean as the accuracy was a tad inconsistent today, though that might have just been weird woodland crosswinds. As for posture, this seems much better, no noticeable neck pain.

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