Installing the MAGPUL Zhukov handguard on a Zastava PAP AK47

The AK47 furniture now being produced by Magpul® really modernizes the look of the AK47 without going full "DOMESTIC" or converting the stock to accept AR-15 components and going to a KEYMOD, MLOK,  or full length Picatinny or 1913 MIL STD rail system. The full length ZHUKOV handguard is one of the components that really enhances the user interface and the appearance of the rifle itself...however...on AK platforms with long gas tubes(Yugo length or 7.5"+ in this case), the upper plastic isn't a direct fit on the factory gas tube. A little ingenuity, cutting, and fitting always solves the hurdles presented by the "one size fits all" box this case you go a few steps further. can run the Hogue® upper hanguard plastics with the Magpul® Zhukov lower portion once its been fitted...but I really wanted the look and adaptability of a railed Gas Tube. 


Rifle – Zastava M70 PAP

Stock - Zhukov Stock by Magpul (

Handguard - Zhukov Handguard by Magpul with Magpul MLOK Sling Mount and Magpul Trimmed Vertical Grip (

Trigger - ALG Defense AK Trigger (

Gas Tube - ULTIMAK M9 Gas Tube (

Kit Parts:

Magpul® Zhukov Handguard – Part Number MAG586

Ultimak® Gas Tube – Part Number M9

You will need:

Silver Sharpie or Grease Pen

Speed Square with inch measurement markings

Table vice or C Clamp and stable base/table

Dremel with cutting wheel and grinding wheel

Hand File and 200Grit Sand Paper

Rustoleum High Temp Black Grill Paint

Hand Drill, Drill Press, or Cordless drill with metal bit (check bit size against the size of the hardware provided by MAGPUL) I went one step larger.

Make sure to wear eyepro and a paper face mask at a minimum and a full face shield/PPE for full protection. Wear ear pro if you are in a smaller room or area.


Measure 3/8ths of an inch from the inside of the shorter section of the channel on the receiver side of the channel and ¼ inch down. Mark this measured area and shade it with a silver sharpie or grease pen. You will make this measurement on the left and right side of the provided channel. (you are cutting away the inboard section of the short top section of the channel)

Clamp the Channel into a vice or use a C clamp to mount it to a stable base before you cut.

Use a metal cutting wheel on an adjustable speed dremel to remove the cutaway sections.

You will be removing the two sections, clean the cuts up with the dremel grinding bit/wheel and the file.

Do a final smooth/sand with 200grit sand paper.

Once the area is clean and smooth, test fit that section to ensure clearance. (some additional fitting and cutting may be needed, I listed measurements for my initial cuts as each rifle may require additional fitting and cutting on the channel provided by Magpul)

Depending on the gas block design, you will need to remove 1/8th -1/4 of an inch from the bottom of the forward  U-CUT section of the rail. There is already a U Shape cut in the forward section of the channel, I had to remove additional material to clear the lower portion of the gas block on my N PAP.  I smoothed out the cut with a dremel wheel, round file, and sand paper

To ensure clearance and proper install for the ULTIMAK gas tube you will need to test fit and measure for new mounting holes to accommodate U-Shaped channel retainers that are provided by MAGPUL. Test fit the channel with the ULTIMAK gas tube and measure for the new mounting holes you will need to drill into the channel. Mark and drill the holes.

Once you have test fit your cuts and drilled your new mounting holes, I highly suggest cleaning the rail with acetone or brake cleaner. Allow it to dry, wipe down with a lint free cloth and apply two even coats of Rustoleum ® high temp black paint.

Allow the channel to dry and install the handguard and gas tube per the manufacturers provided instructions.