Adjusting KNS Gas Piston

  • Jack Collins

The AK platform has a lot of things going for it. But at the end of the day, it’s a nearly century-old design. And while it has stood the test of time as the most popular rifle in the world, it doesn’t mean the AK doesn’t need upgrades from time to time.

One great upgrade to modernize any AK is the KNS gas piston. This component can help tame an over-gassed AK’s recoil, along with making the platform much more silencer-friendly. We’ll look at the KNS adjustable gas piston in this post with some help from SDI grad Caleb Downing in his recent video.

The Background

As Caleb explains in the beginning of his video, the AK platform is notorious for being “over-gassed.” This means that they generate too much expanding gas when firing. You’ll know if your gun is over-gassed because it’ll eject empty casings dozens of feet away. It’s generally a problem for rifles with longer barrels, like 16 inches.

AKs are partially over-gassed by design. It’s one of the traits that makes them able to continually operate under extremely harsh conditions. However, it can also lead to some problems.

For example, an over-gassed gun can experience increased wear. Over-gassing can force a bolt carrier group to slam into the back of the receiver, harming it over time. Over-gassed guns can also be unpleasant to shoot. You’ll feel them kicking upwards, hitting your cheek as you pull the trigger.

Over-gassing can also be a problem if you try to suppress your AK. Since expanding gas has nowhere else to go, it can often push out through the ejection port and into your face. That’s not a fun experience and makes it hard to aim quick follow-up shots.

The KNS Adjustable Gas Piston

KNS Precision, a gunsmith shop out of Texas, came up with a solution to the AK’s overgassing problem. They’ve developed a new type of gas piston for the AK that can cut down on the amount of gas operating the piston. This works to effectively eliminate over-gassing.

The KNS Adjustable Gas Piston features tool-less adjustment. Instead, all you need to do is rotate the head of the gas piston. That will cause a collar in the piston to either extend or retract, affecting the amount of gas that operates the system.

Tuning the KNS Gas Piston

You can’t just throw a KNS piston into a gun and expect it to work, though. If it’s not tuned properly, your AK may short-cycle, turning it essentially into a bolt-action gun.

The KNS gas piston has 58 total settings. Start with it set to halfway (so, on the 29th click). Then, put it into your gun and fire 3–5 shots. If everything cycles properly, remove the gas piston from your gun and open it 5 clicks. Then, put it back in the gun.

Repeat this process until the gun starts failing to cycle. Once that happens, you should begin closing the piston off in 2-click increments. Repeat until the gun cycles properly. Remember that if you’re going to be using a suppressor on your AK, you want to adjust the gun with the suppressor attached.

Congrats! You’ve successfully dialed in your KNS Adjustable Gas Piston. The first thing you’ll probably notice is significantly lighter recoil. If you’re shooting suppressed, you’ll also experience much less gas blowback into your face.

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