Review: RS Regulate AK Optics Mount

Easily add an optic to your AK-pattern firearm. 

posted on June 5, 2024
RS Regulate AK Optics Mount

When AKs resurged after the sunset of the1994 Assault Weapons Ban, it wasn’t long before Kalashnikov enthusiasts became dismayed by the problems of affixing modern optics to vintage Eastern-bloc firearms. In 2009, Scot Hoskisson, an engineer by trade, began working on a modular mounting system that allows for modern optics like the Trijicon ACOG to be mounted onto AK-style firearms directly over the receiver and inline with the bore. The RS Regulate two-piece mounts he created accomplish this by clamping onto the original Eastern-bloc factory side-rail found on the left side of some AK receivers.

The AK-300 Mount Family and The RS Regulate AK-303M

A complete RS Regulate mount consists of an upper and lower mount joined together. The lower mount directly connects to the AK’s receiver via a clamp, while the upper mount holds the optic itself. The upper mount attaches to the lower mount via RS’ proprietary interface that resembles a miniaturized M1913 Picatinny rail. This interface works differently since M1913 rails depend on a screw to apply lateral clamping pressure to secure an item to the rail surface. The RS interface meshes together like a zipper’s teeth, and everything is held in place with roll pins or Allen screws. The beauty and modularity of the RS Regulate AK-300 system stems from the fact that as long as the correct lower mount is fastened properly to the AK’s side rail, the end-user can “mix-and-match” RS upper mounts to RS lower mounts. The upper mounts themselves are the pieces that directly hold the optics. 

AK Optics mount

Although RS Regulate covers nearly all AK-pattern firearms available in the US, the “go-to” general purpose RS lower mount is the AK-303M; with a moderately long top edge, it provides plenty of space along the receiver to accommodate almost any type of optic from reflex to riflescope. The extra space can also allow for users to adjust their eye-relief as needed. AK-303Ms fit standard AKM-pattern receivers, be they Polish, Russian, Bulgarian or Romanian origin. All AK-300 series lower mounts are made from lightweight aluminum with modern manufacturing techniques. For both weight savings and strength, RS mounts use a titanium hex-nut to adjust the clamping force needed to stay put. 

Upper Mounts 

Upper mount models all differ by footprint and RS covers the most important optic footprints on the market including those from Aimpoint (ACRO & Micro/T1/H1), Trijicon (MRO, RMR, ACOG or Burris (Fastfire). In addition they also sell upper ring mounts (30mm, Aimpoint) and upper mounts with sections of true 0-MOA Picatinny rail meant for riflescopes and their own separated standard scope-rings.

Shooting With RS Regulate Mounts

I have direct experience with two different RS Regulate AK mounts. The first is one I’ve had for a decade now and consists of an AK-301 (forward bias) that holds a 30mm RS ring mount with an Aimpoint Pro. It’s clamped onto my Saiga-conversion 7.62x39mm carbine. My second mount sits on another 7.62x39mm AK, a Century Arms WASR-10, and it consists of an AK-303M along with an AKML (Aimpoint Micro footprint). Currently this WASR wears the new Gideon Optics Advocate 1x prismatic sight. Both upper mounts hold the optic directly over the bore and at a reasonable height above the firearm itself, and their light-weight skeletonized design is appreciated too.

The Takeaway

AK aren’t gentle rifles. During firing, their barrels and receivers whip and bend while the entire assembly also contends with the massive long-stroke piston bolt carrier group swiftly reciprocating back and forth. Even subjected to the Kalashnikov’s recoil impulse, neither of my RS Mounts has experienced any issues, especially in terms of the clamp loosening off the side-rail. I was curious as to how the pseudo-Picatinny connective interface would hold up, but I’ve never actually experienced any issues with it. The “teeth” are precisely machined and interlock cleanly, while the high-quality Allen screws hold everything in place securely. Between my pair of AKs, the true round-count is unknown, but I’ve had one of these AK-301s on the Saiga for the better part of a decade and multiple hundreds of 7.62x39mm rounds through it. The newer-to-me WASR with the AK-303M and AKML has closer to 300 rounds, and I have no issues to report.

RS Regulate mounts are well-made and truly make shooting with modern optics on AKs very easy–to the point where it’s almost taken for granted that an AK has a red-dot, prism or LPVO. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’re spoiled with how easy it is to attach sights on ARs. The RS Regulate system makes AKs feel this way as well.


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