Today we will be taking a look at a cool little accessory for the AK lovers out there. As you know, the AK is an awesome platform that is widely used by countless millions of military personnel and civilians around the world. While its strengths are many and its weaknesses few, one area needing improvement is the lack of a last round bolt hold open capability.
There have been attempts in the past to resolve this using a modified magazine follower, but those usually required a mag specifically designed for the follower or a permanent modification to remove the internal mag body detent that prevents the follower from moving up far enough to stop the bolt.
To address this, WeaponTech developed their AK47 Enhanced Bolt Hold Open Follower. It is made of glass-filled polymer with an integrated stainless steel bolt strike plate.
It has full-length side and back walls to prevent it from tilting in the mag body. It also has cutout notches to enable the follower to rise past the interior mag detent. This makes the WeaponTech BHO follower compatible across a wide-array of AK-47 magazines, both metal and polymer. Just be aware, it is not compatible with Magpul P-Mags or with AK-74 mags.
The install could not be easier, only requiring a quick disassembly and reassembly of the mag, with no tools or permanent mods needed. Right away you can see that they do manage to lock the bolt open on an empty mag.
We have run about 450 rounds through these three magazines so far, and they did not have any mag-related failures. The only single failure we experienced was with the Tula 154g soft point. One round got stuck in the chamber, slightly out of battery, and would not fire or extract. We believe this was caused by laquer buildup in the chamber from other rounds combined with a slightly out of spec casing. It is highly unlikely, if not impossible, that this failure could have been mag-related. Beyond that one failure, everything else was smooth, and all mags locked open on empty, every single time.
You can pick up WeaponTech AK47 Enhanced Bolt Hold Open Followers in 3-packs or 10-packs from several online sources, including Primary Arms. We purchased these at full retail price, so you can rest assured that we currently have no affiliation with WeaponTech or any of their retailers that might taint our opinions.
So far, the design looks very promising. Though this is not anything near a true torture test, it does demonstrate that they do function as intended. We’re looking forward to putting more rounds down range to see how the durability and longevity of the WeaponTech BHO followers do over time.