Arsenal SLR106-FR...Busted...Review and Rant


July 22, 2007, 03:32 PM
Okay, here is the story:

I saw a Russian AK74 with a solid, side-folding, buttstock some time back and thought it was the best of both worlds. I figured that something like that in either 5.45x39 or 5.56x45 would be the bees knees, but nothing like that was available in the US as a complete rifle.

Along comes Arsenal and the SLR106-fr. It has the solid, side-folding, buttstock with a cutout for the scope mounting rail, it's in 5.56 like my M4/CAR, flash hider, bayonet lug, etc: the blackest of black rifles. And, it is made by Arsenal, which has a fantastic reputation for build quality.

I decide that I need it and sell the last of my 7.62x39 AKs, for a bit more than what I paid for it 15 years ago!

I was a little nervous ordering it from a local dealer, sight unseen, but I go ahead. When it arrives, I'm not disappointed.

The fit, finish, and feel is the best I've experienced in any AK. When you shake it, it doesn't rattle like my previous Chinese and Romanian AKs did. When the buttstock is locked open or closed, it is rock solid. The 2-stage trigger is better than that of the Colt M4 I use at work. The bolt has a spring-loaded firing pin, like my old MAK-90, so slam fires should never happen (unlike my Romanian guns).

The first range trip was a little disappointing. That's not because the rifle failed in any way, but simply because my eyes don't seem to like the AK sight system ever since I had LASIK surgery: I get a slight double image on the rear notch sight that doesn't happen with the AR-style peep.

Solution? Well it has a scope rail and a dot-style sight would fit this setup to a T... The Russian PK-ASV red/black dot sight seems to fit the bill and Tantal offers the best price and he shipped quickly. It was quick and easy to mount up, so we're ready for range trip #2.

Range Trip 2:

Using cheap Wolf 5.56 for the coarse sight adjustments at 25 meters, I figure to use the better quality stuff at a greater distance. My eyes and the PK-ASV are working well together and the groups are almost on the bullseye at about 2" in diameter.

Getting close and taking greater care in each shot, I hear something I've only heard one other time after pulling the trigger of a loaded AK: "click".

Figuring it must have been a bad round, I attempt to rack and continue, but the bolt only comes back part way. Further inspection shows that the cartridge moves rearward with the bolt a little, so a stuck cartridge doesn't seem to be the problem.

Pulling off the top cover reveals the problem: The pin that retains the spring-loaded firing pin is missing and the firing pin is halfway out of the bolt. The firing pin return spring is mangled and the pin itself is bent, probably from a combination of the hammer dropping on it while it was hanging out and me trying to get the action open.

To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. This now-useless thing cost 3 times what I've paid for each of my other AKs. The proprietary 5.56 magazines were similarly expensive, of which I have 8. That's not to mention the AK-specific dot sight I purchased for it.

Sucks to be me.

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July 22, 2007, 03:50 PM
Man made mechanical stuff breaks, even AKs. Send it back to Arsenal, they have great customer service.

July 22, 2007, 04:18 PM
they do have good customer service.

July 22, 2007, 11:50 PM
I'm sorry to hear, (read), about your troubles - that's awful. Not that I spend my time looking, but it's truly the first negative thread I've come accross about Arsenal AK's. Mine has been a joy, (and I don't like AK's). I hate having to send a new gun back, but I'd give Arsenal a call - as mentioned above, they have great customer service....Although it does not make up for your trouble - it's an awesome looking weapon. Good luck!

July 23, 2007, 02:23 PM
It's on its way back today. It's been a month since I first contacted them. The return has been delayed because they say they are moving.

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