I like the AK platform, but I’ve never liked the standard military issue stock. I’m too tall, and the shape of it means I can’t get my head low enough for a good sight picture, so I have to scrunch and contort to shoot.
ATI sent me their AK-47 Strikeforce Stock Package to try. I’ve heard criticism of their products over the years, but, while I’ve made some of my own regarding functional details, I’ve never had a problem with their workmanship or reliability.
The instructions are clear, and you should pay attention to them. The lower handguard, for example, goes on slightly differently from the factory guard. They’re easy enough to follow, and an Allen wrench, Phillips and Torx screwdrivers are all that are needed for installation.
The buttstock assembly bolted right in place. Due to variances in manufacture, you may need to shim the receiver tang slightly. The stock is made of DuPont® Extreme Temperature Glass Reinforced Polymer, and feels solid. The castle nut is steel, not cheap aluminum. There is a locking tang to prevent the tube from rotating loose.
With the six-position stock collapsed, it has the same length of pull as the factory AK stock, but, I was able to get a much more comfortable cheek weld and stance. Two clicks out was a perfect, comfortable fit, leaving four more clicks for people even taller than me. (I have 1.5″ extensions on my AR15A2 stocks, for reference.) There is a cheek rest with stick on rubber padding, but I didn’t need it. The cheek rest attaches with four screws. The AK isn’t a hard recoiling gun, but it can be a bit brisk with the metal buttplate and mount angle. The recoil pad is just thick enough to take out any bite. The rubber material is made by 3M.
The grip is large and comfortable. The backstrap is cushioned, and the finger grooves felt right. My finger pad dropped exactly onto the trigger.
There are rail sections for the upper and lower handguards, that install with screws. If you decide not to install them, there are covers for the slots, that insert easily, remain in place, but remove from inside without difficulty.
Once set up, the rifle was easy, almost instinctive to handle and mount, balanced better and shot great. Furniture can’t directly improve accuracy, but operator comfort and handling certainly does.
Criticisms: The lower handguard was very tough to get in place. I’ve seen this before with ATI products, though I don’t know if there’s a fix. Snug is good, and increases strength and reliability. Just be advised you may have to work at it to get it in place.
The grip was comfortable for me, but may be overly large for some small shooters. I’d also like to see the internal space exploited for storage.
The stock assembly should have a somewhat heavier screw, in my opinion. The single 8-32 seems a bit light. A 12-24 at least would be my recommendation, or a 6mm x 1mm.
If I were to offer one improvement, that empty buffer tube should have a plug or screw thread at the rear, so it can be used for storage. It’s right there, waiting.
If you like the AK, but are a taller shooter, this may be exactly the accessory kit for you. It looked a bit odd at first, but I’m quickly getting used to it, and plan to leave it on one of my AKs for the future.
The kit retails at $144.99, or, if you prefer to buy just the stock, the MSRP is $79.99, on par with most six- position stocks. Both are available discounted at several outlets.
ATI Stocks are made in the USA.
Disclosure: ATI furnished me the stock set through a promotional firm for test and evaluation. It is understood that I keep this sample, regardless of the review I write, and that I offer feedback on any problems I identify.
– Michael Z. Williamson, SurvivalBlog’s Editor at Large