UltiMAK saw its beginnings in the late 1990s when a gun hobbyist by the name of Lyle Keeney, working in his musical instrument repair and restoration shop, began looking for suitable optic mounting solutions for his own rifles. Lyle’s many years as mechanical problem solver resulted, in a series of stages, in the creation of the world’s first truly practical, low, stable, forward optic mount for the venerable and ubiquitous Kalashnikov (AK type) rifle. This in turn led to the formation of UltiMAK, Inc. as a separate business.
The UltiMAK AK optic mount, in its many variations, is now regarded as the standard by which all AK mounts must be judged. American sportsmen and gun enthusiasts have fallen in love with this system for the AK. It has found favor with the United States Military as the go-to solution for placing optics on an AK. It is truly a first, in that it solved all of the nagging problems at the same time; it reduces the weight of the system, reduces the bulk of the system, places the optic in the proper plane for a correct hold on the rifle, allows co-witnessing, stays out of the way, doesn’t need to be removed for field-stripping of the rifle, and it well and truly holds optical zero even in harsh conditions.
UltiMAK went on, again under the direction of Lyle Keeney, to produce the ACR2 series of railed, AK modular forends. The ACR2 tri-rail was drop-tested (even to failure) during the design and prototyping phases, so as to maximize the retention of zero when aiming devices, such as laser pointers or backup sights, are attached to it. Although sometimes described as being heavy, the U.S. Military once again turned to an UltiMAK product, the ACR2-SC (Stamped, Compact), ACR2-SS (Stamped, Standard) and ACR2-SL (Stamped, Long) for a way to mount laser designators and other devices to an AK, with full confidence that the forend rail system would retain zero with the rifle’s trajectory.
If all of this weren’t good enough, UltiMAK products are designed to be installed by the user, without any modifications in most cases, to the firearm. The few mounts that may actually require alterations to a firearm will have this stated clearly within their product information page.
Since the early 2000s, UltiMAK has gone on to develop several other, wonderfully simple and effective forward optic mounts for the M1 Garand, M-14, M1A, Ruger Mini-14, and the most enjoyable plinking carbine of all time; the M1 Carbine (U.S. Carbine, Caliber 30, M1).