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PK-AS questions

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Ive been doing alot of research on Russian optic lately and so far the one at the top of my list is the PK-AS. But there's some info that a kind find on them. 1. Why is the version that is mounted to the left so you can use your iron sites not liked very well? I would think this would be a plus incase say the glass gets shattered you can immediately switch to your irons. Am I missing something? 2. When the red dot isn't turned on is there still a black dot in the circle? I've seen pictures with and without the black dot. 3. I read several posts back in 2005 about the glass being yellowish and distorted around the edges... But in much more recent pictures I've see of the PK-AS the glass looks perfectly clear. Was there a design change or upgrade between 2005 and now?

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The PK-as is a very good optic. I prefer the off set version. It was specifically made for the ak platform so you can use the BUIS and remove the top cover and bolt for cleaning without removing the scope off the rail. The black dot is always visible and these are built like a tank. I have one for sale if anyone is interested.

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http://russianoptics.net/PK-AS.html

 

The black dot is etched into the glass and is always on, unless the illumination is on in which case it's red. The large oval is always black regardless of the illumination setting. 

IMO the offset version is the best for the reasons you've stated, and I have never seen any version of PK-AS that is yellowish, though at the extreme edges it is distorted somewhat. I have never seen this to be an issue during shooting personally, but there are always a number of detractors of combloc optics that like to point out any kind of perceived flaw. Truth is many Western shooters have no idea how this optic works and can't put the effort into understanding it, but if you take some time with it you may see that it's a very effective optic. 
 

 

 

 

Z

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It may be a good optic, but when it breaks, you've got a not very good paperweight, and nothing else.  Still have the inop PK-AS sitting on a shelf in my workshop; there is no place to send it for service.  And given the price of a new one these days, you are getting very close to Aimpoint money, for which you get a more modern optic backed up by a US company and a service department, plus a battery life measured in years, not hours.

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It may be a good optic, but when it breaks, you've got a not very good paperweight, and nothing else.  Still have the inop PK-AS sitting on a shelf in my workshop; there is no place to send it for service.  And given the price of a new one these days, you are getting very close to Aimpoint money, for which you get a more modern optic backed up by a US company and a service department, plus a battery life measured in years, not hours.

What is broken on yours?

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What is broken on yours?

 

 

It's actually my brother's; I gave it to him (new) for Christmas one year.  The dot won't light up.  He said it just quit working one day.

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What is broken on yours?

 

 

It's actually my brother's; I gave it to him (new) for Christmas one year.  The dot won't light up.  He said it just quit working one day.

Mine did the same thing. Brand new too! I think it might be the switch ?

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It may be a good optic, but when it breaks, you've got a not very good paperweight, and nothing else.  Still have the inop PK-AS sitting on a shelf in my workshop; there is no place to send it for service.  And given the price of a new one these days, you are getting very close to Aimpoint money, for which you get a more modern optic backed up by a US company and a service department, plus a battery life measured in years, not hours.

 

This is always the argument with Aimpoints...cost and warranty work. Truth is Aimpoints almost always cost more than combloc optics and this argument somehow assumes that the Aimpoint and the PK-AS are both red dots....but they aren't the same at all. 

 

Remember that PK-AS is actually a scope with an objective and an occular and specifically benefits from that design. PK-AS is superior in low light because it actually increases light transmission compared to a plain jane tubular red dot. Try it at dusk sometime and see which of the two has a better view. 

 

PK-AS is about the same weight as the Aimpoint Pro but has a better field of view especially with both eyes open because the body is very thin and tends to disappear when shooting. Battery life to me is an irrelevant argument... how hard is it to carry spare batteries and change them before a mission? We did that routinely for equipment when I was the service but even if the PK-AS battery died or the circuitry went out the black dot is always on. You'd have to smash the hell out of the PK-AS to break that functionality. What happens if the Aimpoint circuitry goes out? It's dead and completely useless. 

 

It's true that getting service for PK-AS is next to impossible but what really breaks on them? If you lose illumination you still have the always on black dot...which is the point of the design in the first place. 

 

Where Aimpoints do very well is with the T-1 and H-1. Because of their size and low weight they are still one of my favorite optics but up until recently they only came in 4MOA versions. If you've ever tried shooting at 300-400m with a 4MOA dot against a smaller target you'd know why that is a PITA. 1.5 or 2MOA dots are much better overall for close or long ranges, 4 MOA is really only suitable for close range which is what it's intended for. Nowadays with the 2MOA versions you have a really great red dot available, but unfortunately at 2 or 2.5 times the price of a PK-AS. 

 

Personally I would be upset if I had an optic that broke and I had nowhere to send it to but that is a different argument than the inherent technical merits of the design. Aimpoints are not magically better than everything else...they have pro's and con's as well and are actually very different than the PK-AS.  

 

 

 

 

Z

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The PK-AS is every bit as inoperative at low light as it is in broad daylight.  If I had wanted to give my brother a plain black dot sight I wouldn't have bought him a goddamn red dot sight, for sure.  A fixed black dot etched on a zero magnification lens was certainly NOT the point of it.  The supposed technical merits of it are totally irrelevant when it doesn't work like it is supposed to, and lack of available service is not a different argument.  When you buy a product, you are not buying it at one point in time when it works (although in this case you could very well be).  You buy something that is supposed to work over its full life cycle, to include the ability to obtain service should it become necessary.  When you buy one of these, an inherent part of the deal is, "if it breaks, it's just broken.  Better luck next time."  That is something that everybody who considers buying any Russian optic should consider.

 

Furthermore, if the Aimpoint on my AK dies, I have a co-witness with the iron sights, so very little changes other than I have to worry about sight alignment again.  My shooting position and cheek weld remain the same.  And it is easy to dismiss the significance of battery life when you are advocating a product that has crummy battery life, by comparison.  Aimpoint and Trijicon are so far ahead of everybody else in that regard, that there really is no comparison.  And even though I don't need to, I can change my battery out as often as you must if I wanted.  If I were actually going on "missions" then I probably would change it out regularly, just because I am paranoid that way.

 

But I don't use my rifle in that manner.  It gets used for occasional training, and some fun shooting.  Other than that, it mostly sits, awaiting a moment of need which I hope never comes.  And if I do need to use it for some serious purpose, the chances of having enough time to change the battery out ahead of time are vanishingly low.  So the super long battery life is a perfect fit for my needs.  I can change it out every couple of years, which is still overkill no matter how long I have left it on, and have confidence that the dot is going to be there when I need the rifle.

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Warranty issues aside, the always on etched dot is exactly the point of the optic. No matter how you slice it the PK-AS has some usability with or without batteries. Again if an aimpoint battery dies you have nothing to fall back on at all. I'm not sure why that is never considered when people discuss aimpoints but it's a simple fact...no power = no sight at all. Somehow that is not any kind of disadvantage for the aimpoint, but god fordbid PK-AS loses its battery. Then it's a paper weight even though the dot is still usable in daylight, but the aimpoint is ok because it doesn't interfere with the irons when somehow it loses its battery. 

 

Makes sense, sure...but the military PK-AS sits off to the left and doesn't even block irons. That means ...it doesn't block irons...so nothing happens if it craps out, you can still shoot. It's also QD so if it goes tits up while not blocking the irons you could remove it in seconds, which is also exactly the point of the side rail design. 

 

Lastly aimpoint is not so far ahead of anyone else these days. PK-A Venezuela and PK01-VS clocked over 1700 hours at maximum brightness. That's about two and a half months continuous use. Aimpoints are famous for lasting years on a single battery, but how long do they last at maximum brightness? Is it still years, or is it months? I haven't tested PK-A Venezuela or VS at moderate power, but I wouldn't be surprised if they also lasted years at lower intensity. 

 

Truth is most people don't want to hear of any possible advantages for optics like PK-AS, Obzor or Rakurs. In many cases it really doesn't even matter if they actually are better designs, there is always some argument to show why aimpoints are better. I don't argue in absolutes...that somehow one has to be absolutely better than the other. I argue specifics of what each can and can't do. Fact is that certain Russian optics can do things that aimpoints can't, but somehow that never matters because a simple red dot must of course be the best possible choice in an optic. 

 

 

Z

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In the end, debating the finer points of the optic is of no utility if there is no way to ever get it serviced.  Everybody who considers a Russian optic needs to know that they are potentially buying an expensive paperweight.  It could be better than an Aimpoint (or Trijicon, or whatever) in every way, but I would still not buy (another) one, and recommend against anybody else ever buying one for that reason alone.

 

If the dot on my aimpoint goes out, I use the irons.  If you want the ability to remove it in seconds, there are several mounts available for it that will do that as well.  There's probably even one that will mount it in that idiotic left position like the Russian optics.

Edited by Netpackrat

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The scope does have its good points. It is a perfect fit for this SAM7K or the VZ58 due to the iron sights(rear) and open upward ejection pattern. The offset feature working quite well.

photosam7k_zpsc6519b7d.jpg

IMG_0759_zps0a730e38.jpg

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 There's probably even one that will mount it in that idiotic left position like the Russian optics.

 

 

You obviously don't understand the system and make it a point to prove that you don't. Not much to be said in that case. 

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 There's probably even one that will mount it in that idiotic left position like the Russian optics.

 

 

You obviously don't understand the system and make it a point to prove that you don't. Not much to be said in that case. 

 

 

You're obviously one of those guys who think that just because the Russians do something a certain way with their AKs, that makes it the best way to set up an AK. 

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Not really that at all.

 

I have a ton of experience with their optics so my perception isn't blinded by the American bias that we do everything better than they do. Another thing that makes the discussion silly is the assumption that because someone like me will argue the pro's of the Russian system that somehow I think it's better than everything else. I don't actually say things like that but it's a common label I get...always by people who have limited experience with the subject or have been told that the US method is universally better. Many times it is, many times it isn't. 

 

As I said it's really about seeing it for what it is, not what I, you or anyone else wants it to be. 

Edited by TX-Zen

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Fair enough, and the technical merits were never really my main point anyway.  I wanted to like the PK-AS, and when it was working, it was indeed pretty damn cool.  Not so good for a lefty, but neither my brother nor I shoot left handed.  If you are okay with buying a disposable/non serviceable optic (no matter how good/well made it is), then carry on.

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