Attero Arms AK Optics Mounts
By: Tom Marshall
Traditional optic mounts for the AK platform generally utilize the receiver mounted side rail. While there’s nothing wrong with this, side rails add weight, add bulk, may impede the function of a folding stock and may not hold zero. Attero Arms has designed a more innovative solution specifically designed for low profile red dot optics. They were kind enough to loan us two different mounts, which we mounted on two different rifles. One is a mount for the Burris FastFire reflex sight, which we mounted on a Petronov Armament 5.45mm AK decked out with a number of tactical goodies. The other is for the Trijicon MRO, which we mounted on a stock Century RAS47 7.62mm AK.
The mount itself, machined from 7075-T6 bar stock aluminum, is both lightweight and low profile. It is a direct replacement for the AK rear sight. Installation is simple, and I was able to do it in about 5-10 minutes sitting on my couch. First remove the rear sight leaf, then removed the rear sight spring (you’ll likely need needle-nosed pliers for the latter). Using a mallet and punch, secure the Attero Arms mount to the rear sight base with the included roll pin. Then insert the replacement nut, made of 304 stainless steel, into the base and tighten down the nut with included hardware. Before or after the last step, attach the optic to the mount, again with included hardware. I recommend using thread-locker on all screws to minimize the risk of zero shift.
Each mount has a hole pattern specific to the optic you intend to use. They currently have mounts for the following optics:
-Aimpoint Micro (and some clones)
If you don’t run any of these optics, or like to switch optics, there’s also a version that just has a small length of picatinny rail so you can use just about any electronic sight that has a M1913 mount.
It should be noted that the AK platform has a wide range of specs/tolerances across a number of different manufacturers. Attero has done their best to create a mount that will work with the largest number of AK variants. If you’re not sure whether the mount will work, Attero Arms’ customer service is top notch, and you have several options. You can contact them before placing your order and ask. You can order a mount and, if it doesn’t fit, you can return it for a refund or you can attempt to work with Attero to get a mount modified to fit your rifle. I had to do this with the MRO mount. The RAS47’s dimensions are not entirely within original AK spec. I had to return the first T&E sample I received from Attero, because the out-of-spec rear sight base caused the optic mount to cant upwards, making the included backup iron sight unusable. Before sending the mount back, Attero requested a series of photos of how the mount was sitting on the rifle, as well as some pictures of the rear sight block itself. When I returned the mount, they used these photos—in conjunction with an actual RAS47 that they went out of their way to procure for testing—they created an optic mount that was specifically designed to fit the Century RAS rifle. The sample they sent of the “V2” mount fit the RAS perfectly. If you’ve never heard of Attero Arms and you’re concerned about their customer service…don’t be.
With everything mounted and loc-tite’d down, the only thing left to do was go shoot. Between the two different rifles, I probably put 500-700 rounds through Attero-equipped guns. To date I’ve experienced no shift in zero and nothing—not mount, nor optic—has rattled loose under recoil. The mounts lie nearly flush along the top of the rifle and each one includes a pistol-style notch just forward of the optic to be used as a crude back-up sight, should your optics fail you. The iron-sight notch is small and unobtrusive. It sits at what I would call a “lower 1/8” co-witness. You can barely see the notch in the bottom edge of your optic’s field of view. We found it a little difficult to line up on our MRO. The FastFire, with its smaller, flatter window design gave a pretty clear view of the BUIS.
What I think I like most about these mounts is that they “blend” in to the rifle’s aesthetic, whether you like to set up your AK as a purist, or as a super-ninja. The Attero Arms mount fits seamlessly onto any rifle, regardless of configuration.
This mount adds virtually no bulk or weight to your rifle and provides you a host of modern sighting options that don’t impact the weapon’s function or manual-of-arms in any way. They are available direct from the manufacturer at www.atteroarms.com and go for about $75 each. The test samples I received have found permanent homes on my rifles. So check them out, and bring your AK into the 21st Century.