How to Install a Texas Weapon Systems Dog Leg Rail on Your AKM (Part 1)

  • Jack Collins

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the AK system. But it’s closing in on the century mark, and it definitely shows its age in a few ways. One of them is its lack of optic mounts. While some AKs today feature a side rail for mounting optics, plenty of them don’t. Fortunately, you still have some options if you want to slap an optic onto your side rail-less AK. One of them is the Texas Weapon Systems (TWS) Dog Leg. In this post, we’ll start looking at how to install one on an AK.

How to Install a Texas Weapon Systems Dog Leg Rail on Your AKM

As we mentioned, some AK pistols don’t have side optic mounts. One of the types that doesn’t is my M10 7.62×39 pistol. Made in Romania and imported by M+M Industries, these pistols are essentially the same thing as the notorious Draco, just with a different roll mark. That means if you have a Draco, you also won’t have a side optic mount.

That’s not the end of the world, though. Follow these tips to install a railed dust cover onto your AKM and take this venerable weapon platform into the 21st century.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Parts included in the kit:
    • Railed dust cover, nut plate
    • Hinge base
    • E clip
    • Hinge pin
    • Socket head cap screw
    • Cover release button
    • Allen wrench
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Rubber mallet
  • Needle-nose pliers

Step 0: Ensure Weapon is Unloaded

This should probably be second nature to you, but we’ll mention it here in case it isn’t. Whenever you’re going to do any work on a gun, do yourself a favor and make sure it’s not loaded. There have definitely been times where I thought I had an empty chamber, and taking the extra second to clear it proved me wrong. You don’t want to put any holes in your drywall—or worse.

Step 1: Remove Dust Cover, Recoil Spring Assembly, and Bolt Carrier Group

This is pretty basic AK fare. You’ll need to do this whenever you want to clean your gun (essentially never) or change out the furniture (also extremely rare). Push in the dust cover release button forward until the dust cover pops off. Then, push the button farther forward and remove it from the notch holding it in place. Slide the recoil spring assembly backwards, then pull the bolt carrier group out in the same direction. Easy!

Step 2: Remove Rear Sight Leaf

This is probably one of the hardest steps of this entire process. The AK’s rear sight leaf is easy to remove in theory, but in practice, it’s a huge pain.

The sight leaf is installed into a groove in the sight block and held in place by a piece of spring steel that pushes upwards from beneath it. To remove the sight leaf, you’ll need to depress the spring, allowing the front sight block to slide backwards through the groove. You’ll need a mallet and flathead screwdriver to accomplish this maneuver.

First, set the sight leaf to the highest possible bullet drop setting. Position the flathead screwdriver in the little groove that runs down the middle of the sight leaf. It should be as close to the front of the sight leaf as possible. I put a shop towel between the screwdriver and the sight leaf to prevent scratching.

Next, start whacking the screwdriver with a mallet. After a few tries, you should feel it pop downwards and backwards (towards the buttstock). If you don’t feel it popping backwards, just keep hitting it with your purse—you’ll get there. Once it pops backwards, you’ll be able to remove it by pulling it backwards.


Most AK pistol sight leaves feature bullet drop compensation up to 500 yards, while rifles go out to 1,000.


Step 3: Remove Satan’s Spring

Removing the sight leaf will reveal one of the most obstinate parts of the entire AK platform. I never knew this intractable piece of metal existed before, and I’ve dubbed it Satan’s Spring.

Removing Satan’s Spring shouldn’t be as hard as it is, but it was a massive undertaking for me. There’s no “trick” to it, though. Just grab it with needle-nose pliers and start pulling towards the muzzle of the gun. I found that rocking back and forth helped loosen it, too.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. Take breaks if you have to. Scream into the void. Curse whatever hateful god concocted this test of your might and mettle. Experience despair, but don’t let it beat you. Eventually, you will prevail.


Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.


Once you remove Satan’s Spring, you’ll be looking down into this gaping chasm.



After reaching this point, take a moment to savor your hard-won victory. You deserve a beer.

Keep Learning with SDI

Up your firearms game with SDI! To find out more about the programs we offer, click here. To continue to Part 2 of this article, click here.



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