The AR platform is essentially the God Emperor of Dune, if Dune were Modularity instead of a fictional planetary creation of Frank Herbert. If I want an entirely new stock on an AR platform it is nearly universally a 10 minute ordeal, at most.
Rare exceptions for one off systems like Maxim Defense and LWRCi models that have shorter unique buffer systems but those only add moderate complexity to the task. AR’s have threaded in receiver extensions that take the recoil system and support the stock and working around that system is very simple.
Upgrading my M16A4’s fixed A2 stock to the more comfortable Magpul MOE rifle stock took a few minutes and a flat head screw driver. The most complex thing about it was not loosing the rear takedown pin’s detent spring into orbit, since it is held under tension by the stock.
When I opted to further upgrade the M16″A5″ into the A5-I, I changed the stock again. The adjustable B5 SOPMOD Bravo went on which, unlike the MOE, required removal and replacement of the rifle length receiver extension and recoil system. This whole process took about 15 total minutes, including staking the castle nut (Yes, you should do that. It’s easy.), and I had my adjustable stock equipped M16.
And that’s really the extent of the complexity. Regardless of the current or future recoil and stock systems I want to run on that AR (or any other AR) the process of properly adding them to the rifle is rather simple and they are highly interchangeable.
Not so, on the AK.
In the video, Brandon goes into why choosing which stock option you want on the AK is crucial prior to purchase. With the exception of the standard ‘fixed’ stock tang configuration, which has some strong after market options, what you pick is pretty much what you get. A side folder is a side folder and an under folder is an under folder.
I like the side folder I bought, personally, and that’s good because I cannot just go and snag a B5 to put on the end of my rifle. I don’t intend to, but the point is that I can’t. My receiver is cut for the hinge and locking mechanism of the AK folder and replacements are nowhere near as prominent on the market as AR stock parts.
Add to that, each type of stock has it’s own receiver machining, and the under folders are especially invasive to the virgin stamping, making your selection prior to purchase critical.
That, ultimately, is what this post is about. Knowing that choosing the venerated and robust AK platform means making some largely permanent decisions when it comes to what configuration the rifle is in.
Nyet change, rifle is fine!