Adding a touch of class and a dose of durability to one of the most rugged defensive carbine’s known to man
As you know (or will find out) from reading the accompanying I.O., Inc. AKM247-C AK-47 rifle article, we were very favorably impressed with this gun. But, with its “classic” looks also comes a classic third-world-looking furniture set. The wood buttstock and 2-piece handguard were made from laminated wood, with individual layers so wide (i.e., fewer of them) and so close in color that the laminated effect was nearly lost. The pistol grip was plain black plastic. We like our guns accurate, reliable and pretty, and the AKM247-C fell a bit short in the last category.
To remedy the problem we ordered a laminated hardwood AK-47 furniture set from Boyds Hardwood Gunstocks directly from their excellent, easy-to-use website. In the “Find a Stock” box on the home page the first question is “Make,” and IO, Inc. was not listed as a manufacturer. There was, however, a generic category called “AK-47,” so we started there. The next question was “Model,” of which there was only one choice—Romanian/Eastern European Stamped Receiver.” Last time I looked, Poland was still in Eastern Europe, and the AKM247-C does have a stamped receiver, so we clicked that box. Finishing the questions “Action” “Shape” and “Finish” brought us to the AK buttstock page, where we could chose among Forest Green, Nutmeg, Pepper colors with standard rubber butt pads (all $65.50) or one of eight custom laminated colors at a $15.00 to $16.50 upcharge, or four grades of solid walnut with upcharges of $35 to $218. We chose the standard laminated Nutmeg color.
Going back to the “Find a Stock” box let us chose a 2-piece handguard set. All the same options as with the stock are available for the handguard set, and we again chose the standard laminated Nutmeg for $42.00. The same process again took us to the pistol grip page, where—one more time—we chose the standard laminated Nutmeg, also priced at $42.00. For all pieces we specified Boyds no-extra-cost, standard semi-gloss finish
Unlike most of its other gunstocks, Boyds does not offer any other options for the AK—like laser engraving, checkering, forend tips, cushy butt pads, etc.—so hat was the end of the ordering process. Total time: 10 minutes. Total cost: $149.50 plus shipping.
When the stock arrived it was beautiful compared to the factory furniture set. It was also much stiffer due to roughly twice the number of layers in the laminate. Installation was quick, and outside of some minor fitting (almost a given with the wildly-varying dimensions of AK’s built by various manufacturers) and drilling for the two screws that attach the butstock to the reciever’s rear tang, everything fit like a glove. If you have an AK you’d like to class up, check with your firearms dealer, or head straight for Boyds website. Contact Boyds Hardwood Gunstocks, Dept. OT; Tel.: (605) 996-5011: Web: www.boydsgunstocks.com