Best Gifts to Give in 2012: AK(-47) for the Holidays

Since AK collecting and shooting has become more mainstream within the past several years, a wider variety of firearms and accessories has become available to enthusiasts. The Kalashnikov is one of my favorite types of gun to study, collect, and customize, and being the editor of Outdoor Hub, I get deals, press releases, forum discussions, and product reviews coming across my monitor on a regular basis. It’s a bit of a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I get to see all the cool new (and sometimes old) AK stuff coming to market and a curse because I know I’ll never be able to get my hands on everything I want to try out.

However, there’s a handful of said cool AK stuff that I actually get to put through the paces of a recreational shooter and collector. If you’ve got an AK owner in your life that you’d like to surprise with some well-selected swag this holiday season, read through my guide below for some of my personally vetted recommendations.

Hogue handguards and pistol grips (handguards: ~$50, pistol grips: ~$20-25)

I really enjoy customizing my AK with attractive, ergonomic, and utilitarian furniture. I’ve particularly come to appreciate the handguards and pistol grips made by Hogue. Both the handguards and the grips well exceed expectations for their intended roles–they’re grippy as hell. In addition to being effective furniture they’re very aesthetically pleasing, striking a middle ground between the Eastern Bloc-simplicity we’re all used to and the extreme rail robot of many other aftermarket options. The lower handguards are modular, too–you can add or remove the individual Picatinny rails from the sides and bottom of the guard at a whim. All of the handguard sets come with…

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