Needing a optic for my Arsenal SGL-21 AK pattern rifle. I decided to pick up a RS AKM Mount and Vortex Strikefire combination that AimSurplus.com had on special. At the time this was the optic combination to to have. So just how does it stack up? Well first lets start with how optics are attached to this style of mount. One of the more interesting design choices of the AK style of rifle has, is the location of it’s optic accessory rail. This rails located on the side of the rifle instead of the standard top. This mounting system is called a side rail (surprise right?), and it is exactly that, a rail on the side of the rifle:
This side rail is a different approach than the picatinny rail seen on most western rifles such as the AR, where the mounting system is placed directly on top of the rifle. The reason the AK rifle went with this was primarily for the use of night vision, which at the time were quite large. So they needed a way to not only hold all that extra weight, but in a way that was quick to put on or off.