• SAG AK Chassis MK2: improve your AK!

SAG AK Chassis MK2: improve your AK!

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SAG AK Chassis MK2: improve your AK!

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The Sureshot Armament Group, operating from headquarters in Russia and the Czech Republic, offers the AK Chassis MK2: much more than "just" an accessory, a full system to improve and modernize one of the most iconic firearms of our times

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 is not "just" an accessory, but a full modernization system for the AK/AKM rifle design for sporting, defensive, and professional purposes

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 is not "just" an accessory, but a full modernization system for the AK/AKM rifle design for sporting, defensive, and professional purposes

The high popularity and diffusion of AK/AKM-based rifles, carbines and pistols among civilian shooters and professional operators worldwide – particularly in several hot spots around the globe! – has long led the industry to look after solutions that would modernize the platform and improve its performance in terms of manageability and compatibility with accessories.

Apart from some factory improvements, most of the effort has been sustained by the American and Israeli aftermarket industries. And the result was a whole bunch of drop-in rail interface systems, handguards, and other accessories that would just add weight and bulk without actually improving the rifle under any of the technical aspects that come from factory.

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 improves the compatibility of the AK/AKM platform with modern accessories... but that's just the tip of the iceberg

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 improves the compatibility of the AK/AKM platform with modern accessories... but that's just the tip of the iceberg

That changed last year, when SAG - Sureshot Armament Group – a company headquartered in Moscow as the SAG Mechanical bureau, LLC., and from the Czech capital city of Prague as SAG KGr s.r.o. for those Countries that can not import from Russia – first debuted the SAG AK Chassis MK2. No longer a mere rail interface system, the SAG AK Chassis MK2 is actually conceived to improve accuracy and operation of the AK/AKM platform.

 

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 seen without the handguard: the integrated trunnion is clearly spotted underneath the aluminum structure

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 seen without the handguard: the integrated trunnion is clearly spotted underneath the aluminum structure

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 installed on a Chinese-made SDM AK-103s

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 installed on a Chinese-made SDM AK-103s

As a matter of fact, the SAG AK Chassis MK2 leaves the rifle free to float within its structure, which also dramatically reduces – or eliminates altogether – the typical point of impact shift recorded when shooting from a rest or a bipod.

Plus, since the handguard of the AK Chassis MK2 is not in direct contact with the barrel – but we'll see it in a minute – it does not heat up just as rapidly and significantly as other AK-type handguards, allowing the gun to be fired in full-automatic or rapid-fire for a longer time. It takes more or less 120 rounds of rapid fire (four magazines dumped in rapid semi-auto or full-automatic) before any significant change in temperature can be perceived by the shooter.

But let's proceed in the right order.

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 is made to improve stability, balance and accuracy of the gun even in rapid fire

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 is made to improve stability, balance and accuracy of the gun even in rapid fire

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 is a CNC-machined system designed to replace not just the upper and lower halves of the handguard of any AK/AKM rifle, but also the trunnion and the gas tube. Both said components are embedded in the structure of the chassis. The trunnion and gas tube are machined out of steel, and sport a black finish, while the overall structure of the chassis is hard-anodized, 7075 aluminum.

The replacement of the factory barrel nut with a precision-machined steel one makes the SAG AK Chassis MK2 a desirable choice for those shooters who operate AK/AKM platforms built on cast trunnions, whose reliability is known to be often substandard.

The integral gas tube of the SAG AK Chassis MK2 is machined out of steel, just like the trunnion, while the rest of the structure is machined out of 7075 aluminum

The integral gas tube of the SAG AK Chassis MK2 is machined out of steel, just like the trunnion, while the rest of the structure is machined out of 7075 aluminum

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 before the installation, complete with the company's own ACR-compatible, machined aluminum M-LOK handguard

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 before the installation, complete with the company's own ACR-compatible, machined aluminum M-LOK handguard

Given the very tight tolerances on which the chassis is built – and since it requires the removal of the front sight and the replacement of the trunnion – the installation should be left to a competent gunsmith. However, the user manual details the installation procedure step by step, so you may do it yourself if you have the necessary tools and competence.

Sureshot Armament Group wishes to remind all potential buyers that there are several differences in the specs of the many civilian and military iterations of the AK/AKM platform. When purchasing your SAG AK Chassis MK2, you should measure the diameter of your barrel with a caliper to make sure you get the variant whose barrel nut diameter matches that of your gun. In some cases, the removal of approximately 1mm (0.039") of material from the trunnion and the gas tube may be necessary to fit the chassis to your gun; hence why the installation is better left to a gunsmith.

Depending from the factory configuration of the rifle, a variation of approximately 200 grams (7.05 oz) in overall length may occur after the installation of the chassis.

We tried our SAG AK Chassis MK2 on an AK-103s semi-automatic rifle made by Sino Defense Manufacturing of China

We tried our SAG AK Chassis MK2 on an AK-103s semi-automatic rifle made by Sino Defense Manufacturing of China

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We tested our SAG AK Chassis MK2 on an AK-103s semi-automatic rifle manufactured by SDM - Sino Defense Manufacturing, owned by the author. Straightforward convenience aside, we took that decision measuring several factors including (but not limited to) the current state of the market.

The SDM-branded AK variants are becoming increasingly popular among shooters in many European Countries due to their wide availability and low price. They work just fine, and are a perfect choice particularly for first-time buyers, although experienced AK owners looking for a cheap platform for a custom job may consider them as well.

Their success is also due to the recently amended European Firearms Directive now imposing further restrictions on demilitarized firearms (full-automatic rifles converted to semi-automatic for civilian sales, very popular in several European Countries), as well as to the sanctions against Russia that make original Russian-made AK derivatives harder to come by, both in Europe and in north America.

The SDM AK-103s was submitted to a 300 rounds rapid-fire test immediately after the installation of the SAG AK Chassis MK2

The SDM AK-103s was submitted to a 300 rounds rapid-fire test immediately after the installation of the SAG AK Chassis MK2

As usual, differences in tolerances and dimensions can be found on Chinese-made AKs. These differences can be either very subtle and negligible or very prominent, depending from the manufacturer, the year, and the lot. It is true, however, that the Chinese industry has witnessed an improvement under this point of view lately, and a remarkable one.

By using an SDM AK – something somewhat obscure, particularly to north American shooters – we wanted to show how the SAG AK Chassis MK2 can be installed on any commercial, civilian or military AK/AKM platform and improve the overall quality and performance if compared to the basic factory configuration.

More specifically, we submitted the SDM AK-103s to a 300 rounds test dumping ten full magazines immediately after the installation; half of the rounds were fired just as fast as they could be, with quick mag-changes. The chassis proved rock-solid, and while we did not test the rifle for groupings, it did return a considerably improved performance on target and superior stability in rapid fire due to the better distribution of the overall weight.

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 features a full-length top Picatinny rail and a rear sight seat

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 features a full-length top Picatinny rail and a rear sight seat

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 features a top MIL-STD 1913 picatinny rail for optics, going from the gas block all the way down to the rear of the ejection port. The entire chassis, minus the handguard, remain in place when the rifle is field-stripped for cleaning and maintenance.

The top rail also offers perks such as a proprietary three-slots mount for Trijicon ACOG series sights; since the chassis does not obstruct the sighting line, it comes with a CNC-machined seat to install the original leaf rear sight of your rifle.

The ACR handguard is held in place by a single screw pin

The ACR handguard is held in place by a single screw pin

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 can be ordered either with or without a handguard; it is configured to accept Bushmaster-Remington ACR rifle handguards, either metal or polymer. The latter may need to be filed down a bit at the rear to fit: the SAG chassis is really tight!

Sureshot Armament Group itself manufactures an ACR-compatible CNC-machined hard-anodized aluminum handguard for the AK MK2 chassis, coming with M-LOK slots for additional rail segments and two quick-detach flush cups for sling swivels. The handguard is held in place by a single screw pin when installed.

Choosing the right variant, you can install the SAG chassis on any AK/AKM variant – such as this Bulgarian, 5.45mm caliber BSR-74

Choosing the right variant, you can install the SAG chassis on any AK/AKM variant – such as this Bulgarian, 5.45mm caliber BSR-74

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 features two QD flushcups for a tactical sling

The SAG AK Chassis MK2 features two QD flushcups for a tactical sling

SAG's AK MK2 chassis is currently one of the most interesting and complete entries in the already vast aftermarket accessories market for Kalashnikov-based long guns.

The suggested retail price for Europe is set at 410 Euros (approximately 474 US Dollars at the current exchange rate), which is a bit steep if compared even to the higher-end products offered by the American and Israeli competition; but the price is matched by the high manufacturing quality – there is a lot of engineering and tight-tolerances CNC machining here! – and by the nature of the product itself. Once again, this is not just a rail interface, it does improve certain technical features of the rifle, and we witnessed it first-hand.

The Sureshot Armament Group's products – manufactured in Russia for the local and CIS markets, and in the Czech Republic for the rest of the world – do not have an official distributor in many Countries. If you live in one of those, you can still purchase the SAG AK Chassis MK2 directly from the company website.