How much more fun can the AK be?
For those of us that are non-military, or in states that don’t allow privately-owned full-auto firearms, having a weapon that can shoot full-auto is an exciting prospect, but unattainable for most, unless they have a connection or some other lawful purpose.
Enter Bumpfire Systems for a fix. I’ll start this off by putting it out there right up front that I find the usage of fully-automatic weapons as a civilian, and even in most LE settings, is wholly impractical. Suppressive fire is typically frowned upon in pretty much any setting other than combat, and cops and private citizens alike are responsible for every round that goes downrange. Are there exceptions? Sure, when weighing out the totality of anyone’s circumstances perhaps a full-auto weapon would be wanted and justifiable, however we’re not here at this juncture to address combat tactics as it pertains to full-auto fire.
All of this being said, however, I don’t know a single person that doesn’t get at least a grin on, if not a full-on giggle after shooting full auto. Heck, some gun clubs in free states turn a good business by offering full-auto weapon demos and rentals at their clubs, and turn a pretty penny doing it. There’s definitely a market for it, however unfortunately with the laws the way they are, most of us will be relegated to these specialty shops/clubs to get our full-auto-fetish satiated.
"This is about as close as you can come to a full-auto AK"
So if attending a specialty club is not an option for us normal folks, what else is out there?
The answer is the shooting technique called "bump firing," in which the end user uses the recoil impulse of the weapon itself to simulate the firing rate of a full-auto weapon. Now techniques and tricks have varied over the years ranging from a looser shouldering of the weapon and a "push" forward with the support hand on the rifle, to shoestrings, to rubber bands.
More recently, a company called Bumpfire Systems entered the bumpfire market and has released a series of bump fire stock configurations for the AR and AK platforms. Now, this is not a new company, nor is it a novel idea – other companies such as Slidefire do exactly the same thing, and had released their products before, but initially at a higher price point. So let’s take a look at Bumpfire’s system.
The Bumpfire system is a simple, reinforced nylon stock system that will fit most AK stamped tang receivers. It is comprised of an integral pistol grip and M4-style stock that slides on an extension that mounts to the AK receiver. The stock has a knob that will lock the extension out so the user can shoot in semi-auto mode.
Bumpfire Systems rightfully notes that this stock will fit most AK receivers, and mine (an old Ohio Ordnance beater) was not of the same spec as the Bumpfire Systems kit, so a little creative Dremeling was required to mount the extension – it protruded into the receiver too far and interfered with the sear. Once it was custom fit, my AK function-tested just fine.
Once out in the wild, I thought I’d give the Bumpfire a go. Fortunately for me, I also had my buddy Eric Foxtrot, who, as fate would have it, was checking out an AR-version as well. Both of us…well…failed miserably at our first attempt to get more than a 3-5 round burst off.
What most trigger-jerkers will have to get used to, is that in order to make the Bumpfire system really work, the trigger finger must remain isolated and inserted into and through the trigger guard. The pistol grip on the Bumpfire Systems stock has a bit of a shelf built on it that partially overlaps the trigger guard opening, which facilitates the trigger finger to act as a bar of sorts oriented perpendicular to the trigger face. Users keep the trigger finger in this position, and using the support hand, push the weapon away, which moves the trigger to press against the trigger finger, pressing the shot off. The weapon recoil resets the trigger, and continuous forward pressure re-fires the weapon, emulating full-auto fire.
A few reps of this to get the right balance and it is possible to simulate full-auto fire, which will result in a short, but wholly satisfying mag dump. Good times.
All-in-all, there are a lot of fun upsides for this system; namely, it’ll definitely bring a smile to your face. You put your own value on the price of that.
If this is something that you do end up buying, anticipate a little bit of Dremeling, depending on the model AK you have. With different tolerances and variance of AK receivers, your experience might be similar to mine, but that is not a certainty. This is about as close as you can come to a full-auto AK, so if that is where your heart is at, and the laws say no, this is a no-brainer for you.
Conversely, I have always been trained that I’m accountable for every round sent downrange, so for day-to-day use, this is not my cup of tea, but it did bring a smile to my face when I checked it out.
I this is something for you, a niche item that will definitely wow your friends, then by all means check it out.
If you’re concerned about staying within the boundaries of Federal Law (and I hope you are), check out this link for the ATF determination:
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