Springfield SAR-8: It looks good.


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natedog
March 25, 2003, 10:04 PM
Looks like a pretty good HK91 clone at half the price. Springfield is known for quality. Are these still being produced? I've only seen them on gunbroker.com. Comments?

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Nightcrawler
March 25, 2003, 10:26 PM
I've never seen them on Springfield's website.

Apparently, back in the day, Springfield imported both FALs and HK91 clones. *sigh*, the good old days.

Tamara
March 25, 2003, 10:28 PM
I believe these were the ones on Greek contract receivers. I think Handy has one of these; mebbe he'll chime in with a report.

They seem to have a pretty good rep.

bernie
March 25, 2003, 10:38 PM
There are actually 2 different SAR 8's if I remember correctly. The older ones are Greek produced HK91's produced under license from HK. the newer ones are cast aluminum receivers and are probably pretty good, but to me, they just are not right.

Snowdog
March 26, 2003, 01:10 AM
Apparently, back in the day, Springfield imported both FALs and HK91 clones. *sigh*, the good old days.

And I have one of those FAL clones, the SAR-4800 match.
You might be surprise at the number of folks that refuse to believe Springfield ever made an FAL clone. I've had to show the Springfield crest to several people in order to convince them.
Anyway, they tend to be quite solid.

Rocko
March 26, 2003, 07:04 AM
There are two SAR-8's as mentioned above. The one with the stamped sheet metal receiver is very good - it was build on HK contract machinery, and for all intents and purposes is basically the same gun as the "real" HK. The newer SAR uses an aluminum receiver that was produced for Springfield by FAC. FAC still sells the next generation of this receiver, for little more than $100. I believe the barrel was also US made as well. I had one of these for about a week - wasn't really impressed. I had some problems and needed to go back to Springfield - the informed me they no longer had any parts to do major warranty repairs, but they ended up making it right in the long run. One thing about them, they do hav a good warranty.

Anyway, I wasn't disappointed that I didn't get the rifle back - after the initial purchase, I became less and less impressed with it. The design really takes a beating around the ejection port by the brass - the only damage to stamped steel is usually to the finish. However, the relatively soft aluminum was actually getting dinged up on mine. It also just didn't look right. For the price they usually command, they aren't worth it IMHO. The earlier version can usually be had for not much more.

Regarding the Springfield FAL's - I don't believe they actually manufactured or built any of these - only imported them, just like the SAR-3's (pre 89 SAR-8), early greek SAR-8's, and now the XD. So, despite the Springfield crest, I believe your friends are mostly correct in that they didn't actually make them. I could be wrong though - maybe they made the 4800 (that was the .223 version, right?), but I don't think they made the 48.

So... long story short, steel receiver SAR-8 = good, aluminum receiver SAR-8 = not so good.

Rocko

Handy
March 26, 2003, 04:33 PM
Yeah, Rocko beat me to it.

The SAR-8 has a pretty checkered history. The original SAR-3 was identical to the HK-91 and made by Hellenic Arms in Greece, a contractee of HK for the Greek military.

When the various bans started (89,90 and 94) the SAR-3 got an 8 stamped over it and thumbhole stock and other similar BS. Some of these early guns got converted back to HK-91 style before it became illegal. (I have one of these, it rocks) You see that kind of thing claimed alot, but usually incorrectly due to people misunderstand the various laws and Executive orders involved.

The SAR-8 continued importation until around 95. Then the parts guns started showing up (Special Weapons, FAC, Century). The late SAR-8s were not-so-good parts guns (from cut up military G3s). From what I've seen and heard, the Springfield parts guns are among the worst.

Alloy SAR-8: $800 (not worth it, unless you're buying it because it's cheap and obviously screwed up-M1A trade in)
Post ban Greek: $900 to $1200
Preban SAR-8: $1200-$1500
SAR-3: $1500-$1800

Tamara
March 26, 2003, 05:06 PM
Er, Handy, was I wrong? Is it an SAR-8 or SAR-3 you have? :confused:

Handy
March 26, 2003, 07:15 PM
Ms. T,

Maybe my phrasing of that sentence was confusing. I have a preban SAR-8, which is pretty much an SAR-3 with an identity crisis.

The Executive Order that mandated the name change didn't prevent the conversion back to SAR-3 style, at that time. A later law did.

Tamara
March 26, 2003, 08:54 PM
Maybe my phrasing of that sentence was confusing.

Nah, I apparently missed the parenthetical blurb in the middle. :o

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