Magpul Zhukov Review
Though Magpul’s parts and accessories for the AR stage have been around for decades and are the standards against which virtually all other products are judged, the provider only officially entered the AK marketplace quite recently. Over the past couple of decades, Magpul has gradually released a trickle of Kalashnikov accessories along with other goodies, such as a pistol grip, 7.62x39mm magazines, and the MOE AK and Zhukov furniture lines.
First, some otherwise reputable businesses Kalashnikov products come up short in contrast to their AR offerings. Second of all, there are also many AK shooters who find conventional polymer and wooden Combloc pattern furniture to be more than adequate. Ultimately, many names in the Kalash world already offer accessories that are proven, like Krebs Custom’s KeyMod handguard. With these thoughts in mind, I eagerly looked forward to playing with the Zhukov handguard, Zhukov-S folding stock, and MOE AK pistol grip Magpul delivered to me for evaluation. Back in October 2015, I built my own 7.62x39mm AKM pattern rifle with definitive arms.
I determined that my construct gun will be the ideal opportunity to test out the new furniture on, as I’ve several other AK equipped with a wide range of Combloc and aftermarket parts. The Zhukov-S stock is suitable with a stamped receiver AKs with nonrefundable stock rear trunnions. It attaches to the receiver utilizing a two-piece polymer wedge block plus two Allen head bolts. With the bent stock, all you have to do is insert the block and insert and tighten the bolts. One bolt secures the parts of the wedge, and the other attaches the stock into the trunnion itself.
An additional Allen head screw secures a forward QD sling mount through the forward rear trunnion hole. I have removed and reinstalled the stock several times only to make sure it’s foolproof, and it is. The Zhukov handguard that is compatible with regular stamped receiver guns requires a little more work. The top piece slides on the gas tube just like every other regular handguard, but the decrease component demands a permanent removal of the lower hand restraint. Since my Zhukov handguard was set up mid build, I did not need to go through with this measure.
Nevertheless, anyone considering replacing their regular handguards with the Zhukov should be aware that they are going to permanently change their gun and prevent it from using most other handguards.
After eliminating the retainer, one has to slide the handguard’s strong aluminum heat shield carrying the lower halves of the two included barrels moves into place against the front of the receiver. One should then install the upper halves of the straps and lightly tighten the included Allen head screws. With the shield in place, the plastic casing is slid on the gun on the shield and match up against the front of the receiver. Therefore the shell’s back screw holes line up with those on the sides of the heat shield. Once it is flat and fitted correctly, all that is left to do is to tighten the screws throughout holes on the bottom of the lower handguard and fasten the shell to the shield through the back screws.
The MOE AK pistol grip installs as every other AK grip using a screw that threads into the pistol grip block. Feel and function. I was first struck by how comfy to hold and fast tinkering my DAKM was with the elongated span of the Zhukov handguard. I thought I would not like it just up to standard handguards but coupled with a M-LOK handstop it is quite exceptional. Together with the heat shield, the gun felt marginally more front heavy.
Nevertheless, having the ability to receive your support hand at a secure position closer to the muzzle counteracts the change of equilibrium. However, anyone seeking to construct an ultra light-weight AK build for whatever reason could be miffed about the added mass of the Zhukov. The vast quantity of M-LOK attachment points on the Zhukov handguard surely makes the AK it is connected to more adaptable. While the 3 and 9 o’clock slots are ideal for lights and lasers, being in a position to mount these accessories far ahead on a Kalashnikov is not anything particularly groundbreaking. On the other hand, the 3 and 9 o’clock slots let me attach a Vltor ModPod to my AK, something that I was just able to accomplish with an expensive, elongated length of Krebs KeyMod handguard on a Vepr.
Having the capacity to deploy the ModPod from prone along with other positions made taking out accurate shots at 150 yards and beyond exceptionally easy. Additionally, with the legs of the ModPod folded, the handstop was ideal for a stable shooting offhand or from barriers. Given that this was the first time toying with an M LOK pattern handguard, I was satisfied with how all the directly attached accessories and railings held up to abuse. I also enjoyed how slim and minimalist the handguard was thanks to the M LOK system. The M LOK slots also offer the consumer a wealth of sling attachment points, something regular Kalashnikovs lack
The Zhukov handguard’s considerable heat shield surely did its job. After prolonged periods of high volume fire, the handguard was cooler to the touch than it could be with conventional plastic or plastic furniture. The Zhukov-S inventory is very impressive. It locks up securely in the folded and open positions with zero wobbles. As it folds to the right, it enables an operator to utilize their rifle’s side rail and secure the stock in the folded position. Because I only Use RS Regulate mounts on my guns with rails, this was a significant benefit. With the stock folded, it’s Still possible to shoot with a pistol faithfully; I never struck ejection problems when shooting a rifle with Zhukov-S folded.
Running the security with the stock is somewhat tricky, but doable. Magpul sells the cheeks that may Be connected to the Zhukov-S, but I found the standard comb height to be ideal for use with iron and shallow profile optic mounts. I prefer shorter Warsaw Pact length AK buttstocks to more extended versions of NATO, so Zhukov-S feels most comfortable in the completely collapsed position. However, having the ability to extend a real, folding AK stock without adding an AR buffer tube is very convenient. Further, in addition to the 3 QD sling mounts, the Zhukov-S sports a sling loop only front of the rubber buttpad.
These options set it securely above common stocks, which frequently only have a single twist loop on the right or left side. Taking into consideration Its attributes, match to the rifle, and the overall comfort it offers, I believe the Zhukov-S sets a brand new standard for side folding AK stocks. It’s got a substantial leg up on the Combloc polymer stocks I am used to in several ways, and it offers a better cheek weld compared to other aftermarket and AR stocks. The MOE AK grip is a remarkable improvement over conventional Combloc pattern grips. The MOE AK grip is a noteworthy improvement over traditional Combloc pattern grips.
The MOE AK pistol grip is an essential improvement over conventional Combloc grips. It gives my go-to choice, a Hogue overmolded grip, a run for its money. The battery storage compartment is a nice touch that keeps it in line with the characteristics of other aftermarket grips. Final thoughts. The handguard had many strengths. It permits a user to gain their backing hand further on their gun, making it fast and efficiently steadied. The heat shield does its job, and the large quantity of M LOK slots makes it very customizable. The only real drawback to it’s that it requires removal of the handguard retainer, but the Zhukov’s benefits far outweigh that.
The Zhukov-S stock is a fantastic piece of furniture. I plan on replacing the shares on all of my regular, non-folding AK with Zhukov-S models because my budget allows. There is just no reason not to. The MOE AK grip is another substantial piece of equipment but wasn’t a total game changer. It is still a level above standard grips, though. Each of the accessories that I reviewed is priced competitively, coming in right around $100 retail each for the stock and handguard and $20 for the traction.
In comparison, an ACE side folder runs about $140 plus a Krebs extended KeyMod handguard will set you back $260. All in all, the Zhukov handguard, Zhukov-S inventory, and MOE AK traction are all excellent choices for discerning Kalashnikov owners.