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02/22/2004 Archived Entry: "Ian on Mojo Sights for low-end rifles"

IAN TRIES OUT MOJO SIGHTS FOR LOW-END RIFLES. And I'm trying out something new on the blog today.

Click the "more" link to read a review by Ian McCollum of how Mojo Sights improve inexpensive military rifles. Ian is a remarkable young man, a student at Purdue University whose interests include firearms, the history of insurrections, and playing the highland pipes.

I'm hoping to feature more reviews, commentary, and how-tos by Ian here on Wolfesblog. In fact, I've asked a couple of folks if they'd be willing to contribute occasional action-oriented writings to the blog. News and ranting are fine as far as they go. But news and ranting are what every other political blog is about. I'm always happier when this blog contributes useful, freedom-enhancing information. So I'm asking people whose expertise I respect, but who don't have Web sites of their own, to join in.

We'll run six or seven of these items at irregular intervals (as contributors have time and something to say), and then I'll probably set up a poll to ask if you guys like this feature and want to continue it. Happy reading. And thanks, Ian.


Several of my friends and I enjoy the low-end military rifles on the market these days - AKs, SKSs, Mosin-Nagants, Mausers, and Enfields, to name a few. They're cheap, rugged, and dependable - we can beat them around and experiment on them without having much of an investment on the line. On of the big problems with them, though, is that the sights generally suck (well, the Enfield's don't, but the rest do). I don't know what all those rifle designers were thinking, but a teeny little notch rear sight does not make for fast or accurate shooting. However, we found a guy on the web who makes drop-in aperture sights to replace the el-crappo sights on a bunch of these sort of rifles. He calls his product Mojo Sights, and at around $30 for a set two of us decided they were worth trying out.

We got a set of Snap Sights (front and rear apertures) for an M44 Mosin-Nagant and a rear Mojo Sight for a Romanian AK. They showed up in the mail about 2 weeks after we phoned in the order, and upon unpacking them, I was pretty impressed. They're solid steel, with nice tight adjustment screws (both windage and elevation are adjustable on the rear sights via allen-head worm screws) and very nicely blued. They might even be more durable than the original sights (and they certainly look better).

Installation was...not an insignificant effort (we didn't have to actually permanently modify either rifle, though). The rear sight on both the AK and the Mosin is held in by a leaf spring that takes a lot of effort to depress far enough to move the sight itself. On the AK, getting the old sight out was the hard part; on the Mosin we had trouble getting the new one in. On the Mosin, you have a pin going through the sight block and the sight, as well as the spring. Well, the hole in the Mojo sight for that pin was smaller than the hole in the original sight, and the pin won't fit through it. Instead, we hit up the local hardware store for a couple nails, and used on that was about the right size as a makeshift pin, pushing it through and then hacksawing the excess off. As of yet, the new front sight still isn't on at all. Our hammer-and-punch equipment wasn't able to budge the old front sight out of its dovetail (we're going to get our hands on a Mosin front sight adjustment tool that operates through screw pressure; hopefully that can get it out). But regardless of that, we took both rifles out to the range today.

Our reaction? They're awesome. On the AK, accurate follow-up shots can be made much faster with the Mojo than with the original sights. It's just much easier to regain the sight picture with the aperture than it is with a rear notch. Snap shots (starting with the rifle at low ready and making an aimed shot as quickly as possible) are much faster with the Mojo for the same reason. On both the AK and Mosin, we both noticed a definite improvment in accuracy -- centering a post in a circle is a much more natural operation than lining up a post in a groove and is easier to do precisely.

The downside to the Mojos are fairly slight, given the rifles they're made for. While they are fully adjustable, the adjustment screws have no markings to denote how much they move the point of impact. When sighting in, we had to guess at how far to turn the screws to get the desired effects. It was still fairly easy to get both rifles sighted in well, though. The other downside is that with a Mojo sight you lose the range adjustments that these rifles come with (you know, the 0-1000 yard sliding bit). But neither of us is accurate enough with these rifles to make use of that bar anyway. Both rifles got a basic battle zero, so a dead-center aim should hit effectively out to 250 or 300 yards.

I'd definitely recommend these sights to anyone looking to improve the practical utility of a surplus bolt gun or AK/SKS. They're practical, cheap, and effective. What more can you get?

Posted by Claire @ 12:23 PM CST

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