NRA Review: Bushnell 1-4×24 AK Optic

By CTD Blogger published on in Gun Gear, Optics

When choosing accessories for an AK, optics seldom top the list. In fact, for most, optics are not even on the list. However, that does not mean that optic cannot or should not top an AK. For those who want a bit of glass on their AK, Bushnell has the optic built specifically for the task. Read the full review from the NRA.

I know, I know. AKs don’t need optics. AKs aren’t accurate enough for optics. Why spend more on an optic and mount than you spend on the rifle? Any time the idea of putting optics on an AK-47-style rifle comes up, there’s a host of naysayers and doubting Thomases.

Bushnell 1-4x24 AK Optic

Bushnell 1-4×24 AK Optic

Well, for starters, not all shooters have perfect eyesight, and for shooting at distances beyond across-the-room lengths, having some sort of magnified optic really helps. Not all AKs are so inaccurate they won’t benefit from some sort of assistance. And, in general, you want to spend at least as much on the optic as on the rifle itself, really more when it comes to long-range pursuits. Of course, if you’ve got a standard 7.62×39 mm AK, you’re not likely to be taking 1,000-yard shots, right? Well, at 4X maximum magnification, you’re unlikely to be using the scope at that distance anyway, but it should help all but the most eagle-eyed shooters at 100 yards.

Windage and elevation knobs on a rifle scope

Both windage and elevation changes are made in .5-MOA increments with audible clicks. (ctr.) Eleven power settings allow the illuminated reticle to shine brightly during daylight or dim for night use. (r.) Adjusting the magnification is quick and simple, thanks to the textured ring and its clear markings.

One of the biggest selling points for the AK-47-style rifle is robustness. While accuracy might not match the AR-15-pattern rifle, few would argue the AR is tougher than the AK. It follows logically, then, that any optic under consideration should be equally robust, and this scope certainly qualifies. It is waterproof (3 feet for 1 minute), fogproof (from -20 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) and shockproof, and while we wouldn’t recommend pounding nails with it, you could. If your goal is to put together a rock-solid platform built to withstand nearly anything life can throw at it, this is a great choice of scope for that end.

When it comes to features, you might be tempted to think this is an area where a lower-price optic might suffer—and you’d be incorrect. The AK Optics 1-4x24mm scope offers all the goodies you’d expect of a more-expensive riflescope: illuminated reticle, subtensions for longer range, a 30mm main-tube diameter for greater light transmission and a textured magnification ring for rapid adjustments. Bushnell didn’t dial back on extras when producing this scope.

The reticle itself is worth a quick look. Specific to the 7.62×39 mm round, there are three chevrons that correspond to known distances (and the bottom post brings the total subtensions to four). The chevrons and the center dot can be illuminated for faster acquisition, with 11 levels of brightness. Battery life is 50 hours continuous for the highest setting and 150 hours for the lowest, but even if you leave the power on, don’t despair—there’s a spare battery in one of the turret caps (and you can always use the reticle without power).

Bushnell 1-4x24 AK Optic specifications

There are really two main questions to ask of a scope on the range. First, does it attain and retain zero, and second, are adjustments repeatable? The easiest way to answer both questions is to shoot a “box” or “square” drill—by changing windage and elevation by the same amount of clicks, fire a group in one section of a target, then move, predictably, in a square. If, for example, a group is fired dead-center, elevation changes that move point-of-impact (POI) up 6 inches, then windage changes move POI 6 inches to the right, using the same number of changes to bring elevation down and windage left should result in the last group fired sitting directly on top of the first.

The Bushnell AK 1-4x24mm scope was installed on a VEPR in .308 Win. for testing (I happen to own one with a side mount) and zeroed on Shooting Illustrated’s 50-yard range. With the large, tactile windage and elevation knobs, making changes to center the reticle were quite simple (apart from the confounding math resulting from breaking MOA clicks down at 50 yards rather than 100…). Once zeroed, the aforementioned “square” drill was performed satisfactorily, confirming the repeatability of the scope’s windage and elevation adjustments.

Whether you’ve got a customized AK you’d like to shoot at distance, or simply want greater range on your go-to rifle, Bushnell’s 1-4x24mm AK Optics scope is a fine choice. A reasonable price, illuminated reticle and robust nature make it attractive for many reasons. And, most importantly of all, it just plain works. You just can’t argue with that.

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Comments (5)

  • Reflex Handgun

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    Interesting observation that the AK is not typically associated with optics. I see a lot of guys put red dots on their AKs but I have not seen any with magnified optics. I think the limited adaptability of the platform has as much to do with that as the inherent lack of accuracy.

    Reply

  • makman11

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    I can consistently hit steel targets rapidly with both of my aks. one a romanian and the other a c39 milled american. Both have only red dots. one has a 1st gen. vortex sparc, the other, has a primary arms. OH, thats at 300 yds. by the way. My ar,s are more accurate but, would you take a .22 or a .30 cal. into battle?

    Reply

  • JohnT

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    I have three setup’s for my Arsenal SLR 107. A Konus 3x, a Burris Timberline 4-16×38, and a Bushnell 1x red dot. All good out to 400 yards (the limits of the range I use.)
    What I think is great about optics for AK’s is the ability to quickly change optics formats.
    Don’t be mislead about AK’s accuracy, they get the job done they are designed for quite well. Some are good, some are better. You pretty much get what you pay for and optics only add to the fun.

    Reply

  • Bill Stripling

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    Good points for a great scope. However, Mounting the scope on the AK is sometimes the biggest problem because of the lack of quality scope mounts for the AK

    Reply

  • murphy

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    So many people purly talk out of their butt about AK’S not being accurate. lots of lower end AK’S were assembled too quickly, canted front sight, maybe a crooked trunnion. When assembling an ak or whether im assembling a bed frame i make sure that its strait. You have to have a good eye and not be a lasy bum. Peope are also comparing two vastly different calibers ,on top of that most AK’s dont arrive to the shelf sighted in. Also take note to make sure your side mount scope holder is strait with the barrel. Somtimes they need sanding.

    Reply

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