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GSG AK47 (.22LR) mods and improvements thread


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Hello GSG .22LR AK owners.

I just recently picked one up, and started to look into fixing and resolving some issues it has.  Rimfire World seems to have had the most threads about the rifle, but interest has seemed to die-off, with no recent posts.

I've already made a few improvements, but would like to hear what others have done to address some of the faults of the rifle. I'd also like to hear what ammo yours prefers, and what type of accuracy it can deliver.

Please chime in if you enjoy shooting and improving your AK plinker.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Not much interest in the GSG AK, but anyway, I'll post a few things I've done and figured out.

Not completely ready to go yet, but mocked up and waiting for a few items -


Right now I'm stuck on the side rail. One I purchased doesn't line up with any of the existing tapped holes, but also didn't work with the UTG scope mount - both of which I thought were universal AK.Have a UTG side rail otw, so at least it should fit the scope mount. I'm made a few mods, mostly to the handguards and buttstock to make both a bit more sturdy, that I'll cover later.


Edited by jkv45
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Some of the changes I made immediately -

One of the first things I noticed when I picked up the rifle was that the handguards rattled around and the buttstock seemed loose.

I did a couple of simple mods to the handguards and buttstock that helped to tighten them up.

For the buttstock, I used pieces of .050" black mounting tape on both sides of the stock where it meets the receiver to reduce the stock's side-to-side wobble, as there were gaps on both sides.

I also added a 3rd screw on the bottom tang. That really needs to be done with the gun disassembled, and the trigger group removed, so you can drill straight down through the stock and into the bottom tang. The tang is not very long, and the hole needs to be positioned as far back and vertical as possible to catch the material. Too far forward or angled forward and you'll miss it.

Both upper and lower handguards were loose and flopping around. The upper handguard and fake gas tube are held by a screw at the front of the plastic gas block and the normal AK locking lever in the back. It's multiple pieces. I "unitized" them with a small bolt through the center and a small nut. That caused some issues with a notch that was used to lock them in place (that didn't work well). After screwing the gas tube and upper handguard together, it reduced the size of the opening for the piece that goes in the notch from the bottom, and I had to open it up with a Dremel so the handguard would drop down into place. When back in place and tightened with the front screw (which just forces the assembly back), the upper handguard now sits farther back, leaving a gap at the front where it is mounted to the gas block - but at least it doesn't rattle around. The plastic gas block has indexing pins that contact holes in the barrel shroud, and can't be moved back to eliminate the gap.

The lower handguard is held in place by its forward mount that uses a set screw. I added a small piece of thick Gorilla Tape to the sides of the lower handguard where it contacts the receiver to fill the gap and stop some of the ability to rock side to side. Then I slid the front mount back until it was snug before tightening it.

There's no reason to ever remove the handguards, as they are strictly cosmetic.

The rifle felt much better with firmly mounted handguards and a buttstock that didn't move side to side.

The buttstock does need to be removed in order to take out the bolt assembly for cleaning and lubing. Before assembling everything, I lubed the bolt assembly and trigger group. I don't plan to do that very often. The bolt mechanism slides in the receiver as an assembly, and is rather complicated.

Still waiting for the different metal side rail to arrive. I'm assuming I'll need to drill and tap a couple new mounting holes, as the original plastic side rail doesn't resemble a standard AK part.

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Moving on to the next issue -

I received a steel side rail from an AK suppler, but it would not accept the UTG scope mount I am using.  Strike one...

Decided to try a UTG rail, since I have a UTG mount.

The UTG steel side rail arrived, and I began fitting it.  It doesn't line up with the original plastic side rail mounting holes (tapped M3), but I was able to use the original center hole to locate the new holes and aligning it exactly parallel to the top of the receiver.

I drilled a hole for the rear mounting hole for the UTG-supplied M4 screws and nuts, and needed to mill-out some material on the inside to get room for the nut.  The receiver is cast, and has some reinforced areas for the original tapped M3 holes, but not in the area where I needed for the new rear mounting screw.  I felt it was too thin to tap for the M4 screws, and using the small supplied nut would not cause any issues, as the area is recessed.

The front mounting hole for the UTG steel side rail lands in a reinforced area, so I tapped that hole.  A nut would have caused clearance issues in that location.

Overall - a pain.

GSG should have either just used a steel side rail or made one available with the same mounting hole pattern.  No idea why they would think a plastic rail would be adequate.

Edited by jkv45
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Had it at the range yesterday, and shot it out to 100 yards.

Using CCI SV and Tactical, it shot groups in the range of just over 2 MOA to just under 3 MOA at just over 100 yards. (2 1/4" and 2 7/8" at 106 yards to be exact)

I have a few other types of ammo to try, but that's about what I expected.

It's possible the rifle could do better. I'm using a 4x optic, and it isn't exactly precise at 100 yards.

No malfunctions in about 100 rounds with SV ammo.

Need to look into the trigger, as it seemed to bind up and the release effort increased toward the end.

Added a couple small items, like a Hogue HandAll grip sleeve and a foam cheek riser -
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  • 2 weeks later...

Spent some more time and ammo at 100 yards this weekend, and got similar results for the most part.

Shot CCI SV, CCI MiniMag, Eley Action, Eley Contact, and RWS Rifle match. 

Overall, it preferred the CCI SV and RWS Rifle Match, shooting groups just under 2.5" with both.  It didn't care for the Eley at all, shooting over 3.5", and the Minimags did about the same or worse.

That's good news, as CCI SV is pretty much my go-to rimfire ammo.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Update -


Sent the trigger group off to the U.S. Blue Line facility.  They looked it over, compared it to another they had, and said - ya, it's out of spec, but we can't do anything about it and sent it back. The one they had was the same.

They recommended I contact GSG in Germany directly, which I did, but so far - nothing.

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Just found this -


CDNN has a steel ATI/GSG AK22 side mount to replace the stock plastic one.  I spoke to ATI about the plastic side mount, asked if there was a steel replacement, and got "no" for an answer.

This would have saved a bunch of time and headache, as none of the replacements lined up with the original mounting holes.


Edited by jkv45
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