The AK-47 RCS removes the (standard) right side charging handle on an AK and repositions it to the left hand side in the gas piston system.
The big advantages are:
1) the operator can keep their trigger hand on the gun during a magazine exchange without ever having to drop the gun from their shoulder.
2) the charging handle is non reciprocating...it doesn't cycle with the bolt.
I emailed the company and they expect to start shipping this month. Pre-orders are $175.
The system looks very cool. However, I have to wonder about the heat on the charging handle. The company's video claims that heat is better dissipated....I have to wonder about the heat buildup in the hand guards. AK's are notorious for hot handguards when lots of rounds are fired (due to the gas piston)....although that normally applies only to guns that are full auto. That won't affect the majority of U.S. AK owners...but I wonder how bad the handle gets for FA AK owners? That being said...I only wish I had that problem.
In any case...it's nice to see some improvements to the kalashnikov design.
Be cheaper & easy to weld a knurled bolt or knob to the charging handle to give it a Galil style charger that sticks a little above the receiver which can easily be operated by the left hand.
Welding a knob on the standard bolt would be much cheaper (assuming you already have access to the equipment or a friend willing to do it for you).
However, the charging handle on the left would be much more easy/natural to use (for righties). Plus having it non-reciprocating lessens the chance of it catching on something (specifically a body part). I think most people would agree it's tactically a superior design. Then again, I can't remember encountering charlie the last time I went to the range and being unable to work the charging handle quickly enough or have it catch on something.
For the majority of people, it's just tacticool. However, I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing someone import/manufacture them with this setup.
What a stupid idea, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
The AK is a time tested and proven design, no need to butcher it.
If you know what you are doing, you can reload pretty damn fast. Even faster than these noobs in the advertisement video. Save yourself $180, and learn how to use your rifle.
It updates a 60+ year old design. Bringing the charging handle closer to the non trigger hand of the shooter enables the majority of shooters to operate the gun more efficiently. The majority of gun manufacturers are all incorporating designs that put the operating parts (charging handle, magazine release, safety selector, etc...) closer to the operator's hands...which is what this mod will do for the majority of users. The Israeli military specifically selected a modification of the ak design based on this inherent deficiency.
The guys in your vid have become very proficient at operating the ak, but it doesn't change the fact that majority of shooters are going to be faster with this mod (probably those guys too). The best part about the design is that your hand is already where it needs to be when you're done charging the handle...it's right next to the hand guard. The non-reciprocating charging handle also means it's less likely to get caught on something during operation as well as gives the shooter the ability to manipulate the bolt (or hold it open) while the safety is on.
I think you have a valid point on the cost....whether it's "worth" it or not is up to the shooter. If it were incorporated from the factory with this design it would mostly be a non-issue. To call it "stupid" though is unwarranted (unless it's found out that this mod decreases reliability)...as is the comment about "learning to use your rifle". Especially when the guy in the video specifically discussed reach over or under the rifle to charge the handle and how it is slower/more awkward.
In my eyes, there is no need to "update" the design. The AK is one of the most reliable and efficient weapons ever made. If you learn how to shoot and reload an AK properly, you can do it just as fast, if not faster than someone using the "updated" system.
All this new system is doing is butchering a perfectly fine firearm.
Yes, I am that anal about my AK's!
It's an abomination!
Besides, everyone knows you don't ever have to reload if you shoot from the hip. Haven't you seen the movies?