AK’s are new to me. I enjoy the AK platform as a grab and go truck gun, as the low cost of ammo is a welcome change compared to the lengthy reloading process that I use to get 5.56. The AK is a platform I would like to continue exploring as I beleive many of my readers rock a kalashnikob. As this is a blog about riflery, it makes sense to explore the accuracy capabilities of the AK and 7.62×39. One of the biggest boosts we will get to a rifle’s accuracy is by making it easier for the dufus behind the trigger to aim. Optics rule the day. The AK isn’t known as the most user friendly optic platform around, and I found quality mounts to be scarce in the grand scheme of things… and once a mount is aquired, the question then becomes, which optic?
GG&G and Atibal Send Their Best:
I sent a few emails and found a good solution. GG&G sent their AK quick detach scope mount and Atibal sent the 1-4x Verum, a brother to the Japanese made Velocity / Velox line. I paired them together with a set of Warne 30mm medium height split rings. First let’s take a look at the GG&G mount:
The GG&G AK optic mount is a aluminum & steel scope mount for side rail equipped AKs. The overall quality of this component is perfection. I don’t believe GG&G gets enough credit for their manufacturing capability, but they should, as every product I have ever received from them has been quality. The AK optic mount’s body is made from 6061-t6 aluminum which is hard anodized a perfect flat black. The clamping mechanism and lever are made of 4130 phosphated steel. As you can see from the photos, the finish between the steel and aluminum components match perfectly.
The mount has no sharp edges and was tumbled well. Reference material reports it will maintain 1/2 minute of accuracy with removal and replacement. I couldn’t measure that degree of accuracy as my AK load was 4 MOA with ten shot groups, but overall I would say I did not notice any change or shift in zero with removal and re-application of the mount. The lever cams against a steel riser which clamps to the AK securely from the bottom of the mount. A steel cam / lever is important, as these components are levers after all… What happens to cheap levers? I noted a competitor’s product arrived “used and in good condition” but clearly it was not as described. The cam on this competitor’s mount appeared to be cast steel… and I believe the previous owner may have clamped it too tight and then proceeded to pry it off the AK. CRACK went the lever.
SO you see why I am impressed with GG&G’s product. Important components are made of the proper materials. The AK Mount retails for $162.50 on their website which is a higher cost than some of the other competing rails… in this case, I would say it’s absolutely worth it if you want to glass your AK. Spring for a piece of gear that will last a lifetime.
What’s a high quality rail without a high quality optic?
The Atibal Verum:
Truth. This is the Verum’s Latin name. This optic is a brother to the Velox/Velocity which I reviewed here. Since the Verum is from the same line as the Velox, consider this a addendum to the Velox as many of the components are the same. The differences are the Verum sports raised turrets, and is SFP instead of FFP. The illumination dial is in a different spot and the magnification ring is slightly different, but it is clear that these two optics are brothers. The body of the optic is robust and feels as tough and overbuilt as the Velox.
Optically there are no surprises. The glass is clear, and fish-eye at 1x is minimal. The illumination dial feels robust and the turrets have a nice feel and audible click. The magnification ring is slightly on the stiffer side of things, but is smooth and grit free. At 4x we have a Mil-Dot Crosshair with a center 1 MOA dot. Illumination is not daylight bright, but useful for twilight and dark conditions. This optic has minimal light bleed out of the front objective.
Overall it’s a quality 4x optic… but there are some quirks.
There were some oversights in the configuration from the factory. As best as I can estimate, the mil-dots in the reticle are too large for a 4x optic. Indeed, they appear to be similar in size to the mil-dots on my Bushnell Elite 10x optic. The discrepancy was then evaluated by measuring a target down range, milling it with the 10x optic, and then comparing the calculations between the 10x Bushnell and the Verum. It appears to me that the Verum’s reticle is calibrated for a 10x-11x optic… but it is 4x. Milling is not possible without extra layers of math.
Second point of interest is the reticle turrets… on top the reticle is marked with a clear set of instructions: Each click is 1/2 MOA. This is true. However, on the body of the turret the numerics and etchings are clearly made for a 1/4 minute optic.
Some of my readers probably know me very well. I don’t have OCD when it comes to guns, and I will tape, spray paint, and mark things to my satisfaction. The overall quality of the optic is sky high just like the Velox that precedes it, but the reticle and turret oversight can be quite off-putting…
I threw the mil-dot reticle into Strelok for evaluation. I used the settings for a single focal plane mil-dot calibrated for 10x and I zoomed down to 4x to evaluate what loading this reticle could work with. Lo and behold, at 4x the BDC matches 7.62×39 well enough to utilize this optic as a 7.62 BDC reticle. At 4x I had decent holdovers for the 7.62×39 and oddly consistent windage in 8 mph increments. Not impossible to use in this role.
As for the turrets… they will get a coat of jet black paint and I will mark them to my BDC satisfaction. That’s me though. I realize that this optic market is flooded with quality options that come in at lower cost than the Velox (which retails for $549) with turrets that match and a reticle that is calibrated as it is supposed to be… So we need to find a niche where this optic fits. Let’s hit the range!
Verum + GG&G In Use
The optic was placed on a AKM with the GG&G mount and Warne medium split rings. Sight in completed quickly at 25 yards, and then minor adjustment was utilized at 100 yards to finalize zero. The turrets are zero’ed as any other optic, and then a screw is loosened and the turret is lifted off the body of the optic and then replaced on the 0 marking. Clicks are positive. The clarity from the optic is excellent and the Japanese have given us quality glass with the Verum, no doubt. I noted a slight warmth to the tint.
The optic and rail increased my capability with the AK quite a bit. The setup shaved 2 MOA off my iron sight shooting at 100 yards with factory ammo.
The Verum sits at a very odd place. This is a high quality optic with some mis-matched features. It sits at a odd place in the market. Shooters are gravitating to 1-6x minumum. They want daylight bright reticles. They want hard use, last a lifetime optics on a budget. They want easy to use BDC reticles. Some consumer wants are harder to fill than others and everything is a compromise.
The Verum hits some check-boxes and misses others. If you are looking for a optic for your AK or 7.62×39 rifle, the Verum would certainly fit the bill. It’s very high quality and would be a good match for a hunting rifle. It is overbuilt, and the glass quality is sky high. It’s fortunate that the reticle matches 7.62×39, but for other platforms it is simply a crosshair reticle as the mil-dots are not usable. In low light, the illumination is sharp with minimal bleed-through out the front of the objective. If your looking to glass your AK, consider it a solid option for this role.
The GG&G Mount is perfection on the AK. I think I would consider it likely that it is the highest quality side mount on the market. I studied several models and ordered the two most well known – highest rated and I had to send one back right from the get go. The GG&G AK mount is likely the king of side rail Kalash mounts. I compared it to the K-Var / Arsenal, MidWest, and a smattering of Russian mounts that looked of dubious quality. Nope. The GG&G wipes them all out, but it is the most expensive option so the price matches the quality. I did find it online for 140 at Brownells, so shop around!
This combo is not cheap. This setup… the rail, optic, and rings will set you back around $750 dollars. The rail and rings by themselves will push $180 to 200 depending on the deals you can find. It’s a costly setup, but not out of line for the high end construction this package offers. From rail, to rings, to optic, everything is built right. As for the Verum’s feature set, love it or leave it. I will be holding on to this one for the long haul as it suits the AK-47 very well, and I likely wont find an overbuilt Japanese optic like this anywhere else for the cost. For that, I will live with the quirks and make it my own.
- Lifetime Warranty
- Made in Japan
- Second Focal Plane (SFP)
- Laser Etched Reticle
- Red Illuminated Center Dot
- 7 Brightness Settings
- Fully multi-coated lens providing over 95% light transmission
- H lens coating UV-curable hard coat, much more scratch-resistant than most UV coatings commercially available.
- High profile target turrets for windage and elevation adjustment
- Water proof with or without elevation and windage caps.
- Shock Proof
- Fog Proof
- Magnification: 1-4x
- Twilight Factor: 4.7-9.4
- Objective Lens Diameter: 22mm
- Eye Relief: 4.68-6.7 inches
- Field of View: 17.7-67 feet / 100 meters
- Tube Size: 30 mm
- Turret Style: Target Turret
- Adjustment Per Click: 1/2 MOA
- Max Elevation Adjustment: 80 MOA
- Max Windage Adjustment: 80 MOA
- Weight: 14.4 ounces with no mount
- Length: 10.25 inches
- Made of 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum
AK-47 SCOPE MOUNT – QUICK DETACH SPECIFICATIONS:
- Attaches to most AK variants with a built in receiver scope rail interface.
- Scope mounting dovetail rail meets MIL-SPEC-1913.
- The AK-ucam QD adjustable locking mechanism is shown to have 1/2moa return to zero or less when re-installed properly on to the AK-47 scope rail.
- QD system allows for easy attachment, removal and re-attachment.
- The AK-ucam lever is serrated on the bottom finger pad to facilitate a secure grip when unlocking the quick detach mechanism.
- The GG&G AK-ucam QD System is fully adjustable for a worn or out of tolerance AK-47 side rail.
- All edges are smoothed and rounded for the shooter’s safety.
- Material 1: The scope mount is precision machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum.
- Material 2: The AK-ucam Quick Detach mechanism is manufactured from heat treated 4130 steel.
- Finish: Aluminum Body is Type III hard coat anodized in a non-reflective matte black finish per Mil-Spec.
- Finish: Steel parts are manganese phosphated a non-reflective matte black per Mil-Spec.
- Rail Length: 6 1/8″.
- Weight: 8.4 oz.
- Warranty: Lifetime.
- Made In America By Men And Women Proud To Be Americans!
Disclaimer: These products were sent to me by their respective manufacturers, and I am not compensated or paid for any of the review above. I would like to thank Atibal and GG&G for submitting these products for a full review.
That scope is a no-go for me. Non-matching reticle and turrets? What is this, 1998? Eh, it worked for a while. This can be overlooked. The turrets are marked for 1/4 MoA adjustments but adjusts 1/2 MoA? That’s ridiculous, even for a $300 scope like this.
The scope sells for $550? Absolutely not.
I have the KVar -13 mountvar 4…which is not as good. The KVar 13 ,is evey bit as good as the 3G. It is a quality piece and also is alum/steel and adjusts perfectly. it was also the mount chosen by Russain Military…and it sits lower than the 3G, which is very important on an AK with its lousy stock profile to begin with! i run a Vortex 1-6 Strikefire…best sope for the money..it has a horseshoe reticle, is ilunib-nated..glass is outstanding etc etc…and can be found for $300 on sale from several vendors…you can not get any better.