By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
April 3, 2018
Last updated on 4/09/18.
While we here at DefenseReview (DR) are all AR (AR-15) carbine/SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) guys, we also like our AK’s, particularly when they’re modified by competent and talented professionals to mimick AR ergonics and weapons-handling and shooting speed. So, we were very happy to come across the Joe Firearms AJAK Enhanced AK’s (Kalashnikov AK-47 7.62x39mm and AK-74-type 5.45x39mm Russian AKM’s) at the NexGen2 (NG2) Defense booth at SHOT Show 2018. NG2 is of course known for their very interesting MAXFLO 3D AFD (Advanced Flow Dynamics) Suppressor, designed to be a zero-back-pressure (or, no-back-pressure) rifle can (silencer/sound suppressor). NG2 is a new company that may just be making the best and most versatile zero-back-pressure can in the business (unconfirmed/unverified), but we’ll be covering that shortly in another article (perhaps the very next one), and first things first.
The Joe Firearms AJAK Enhanced AK’s are the brainchild of designer/developer Steve Palano, who set out to design and build the most ergonomic, rugged and reliable combat/tactical AK’s out there, approaching ARs in weapons handling and shooting speed. Built using Bulgarian parts kits as the carbine’s core, the key ergonimic and shooting-enhancement features on the guns are Joe Firearms’ “performance tune” and in-house designed AK components/parts, including a smooth-break/quick-reset flat trigge , large cylindrical left-side charging handle, index finger-activated quick mag (magazine) release lever, and flared magwell.
You can also get custom aftermarket parts and features like the Texas Weapons Systems (TWS) Dog Leg Flip-Up Dog Leg Rail AK Top-Rail Cover and AK Tactical Hand Guard (M-LOK) System, Ultimak gas tube rail, Troy long AK-47 handguard, Magpul Zhukov-S Folding Stock, Strike Industries AK Enhanced Pistol Grip, PWS muzzle break/flash hider, and custom Cerakoting on all external parts.
You can see all of the above features on the “brand new” Joe Firearms AJAK 74 Enhanced Plus tactical AK carbine, which we believe we handled and photographed at SHOT (unconfirmed/unverified).
Regardless, the guns (Joe Firearms AJAK Enhanced AK’s) we handled at SHOT looked and felt great, and really impressed us. It was immediately obvious to us that a lot of thought went into their design and construction. Assuming they prove reliable, accurate and durable at the range, and end-user/customer feedback is positive, we’re going to be major proponents. So, we can’t wait to run one or two of them at the range sometime, preferably in both Russian calibers.
It’s Defense Review’s understanding that the Joe Firearms AJAK Enhanced AK’s are available in both select-fire/full-auto and civilian-legal semi-auto-only formats.
Editor’s Note: DR has also learned that Joe Firearms is the exclusive US distributor for NG2 Defense AK suppressors.
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Texas Weapon Systems (TWS) Flip-Up Gen-3 Dog Leg Rail AK Top-Rail Cover and Gen-3 AK Tactical Hand Guard (M-LOK) System for Kalashnikov AK-47/AKM/AK-74 Rifle/Carbine/SBR’s: Free-Floats the Barrel! (Video!)
Parabellum Armament (PA) Kalashnikov AK-47/AKM Tactical Carbine Weapons Accessories Adaptive Rail System (AKARS), Mechanical Advantage Release System (MARS) Magazine Release Lever and Ratchet Charging System (RCS) Left-Side Folding Charging Handle (Video!)
US PALM 45-Round and 30-Round Quad-Stack (4×2 config) 7.62x39mm Russian-Caliber Polymer AK Mags (Rifle Magazines) at SHOT Show 2012: The Kalashnikov AK-47/AKM Rifle Gets a Big Boost in Immediate Ammo Capacity/Tactical Firepower! (Video!)
US PALM Takedown/Breakdown AK (Kalashnikov AK-47/AKM Rifle/Carbine) with US PALM/Midwest Industries MI Rail Kit at SHOT Show 2012: Tactical, Practical and Backpackable AK for Military Special Operations and Civilian Tactical Shooters! (Video!)