Arsenal SLR-106FR - 5.56mm AK ?'s


November 8, 2007, 01:19 PM
In my search for a carbine, I am finding that putting together an AR for around $500 is going to be a challenge. But if I could step that up to $700 it would be pretty doable.
OTOH, I could also have a 5.56mm AK for around the same price. So I have been looking at Arsenal's SLR-106FR. Does anyone have one? How hard is it to find mags for them? What is reliability like? What twist is the rifling? How hard is it to find spare parts?

Realistically, I might not be able to afford either and may end up with another AK (not the worst thing to have happen to you). Pulling together the money is going to be tough. But it doesn't hurt to ask and it gives me plenty of time to research.

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November 8, 2007, 01:51 PM
I think you should save up and get what you want if the difference is only a few hundred.

think how much does the gun cost anyway compared to the current price of .223 ammo?

I've said it before but spreading out the costs by building an AR from parts was kind on my wallet.

November 8, 2007, 02:38 PM
Bulgarian .223 Ak mags are quite available. You can also use US made Pro-Mags.

November 8, 2007, 05:00 PM
plenty of the regular sellers have .223 AK mags available...


usually around $25 a piece...

November 8, 2007, 05:17 PM
I have a SLR-106F (without the rail), and I really like it. I've only put about 100 rounds through it, with no malfunctions. Mags aren't the cheapest, but I've got enough now to last quite a while. The gun is excellently put together, and very solid. It loves FMJ ammo (as most/all AKs do).

With that said, the negatives are:

1) It hates soft point ammo. I haven't actually fired any from the gun, but since I reload .223, I've been doing feeding tests with 'dummy' rounds I've assembled. the points help guide the round into the chamber. Soft points will deform and 'stick', causing the brass to get bent in half.

2) The finish, while nice and black, really doesn't stand up well to most solvents. rubbing the barrel in an Mpro7-soaked rag will give you a purple rag.

btw, twist is 1 in 7"
Mine was $700 OTD, and I don't regret the purchase one bit. Fun gun.

Deer Hunter
November 8, 2007, 05:20 PM
Have you ever thought of buying a Saiga 5.56mm carbine and converting it yourself? It's easily as good as the Arsenal, especially the barrel, and you can have it use Galil 35 round magazines that are cheap and plentiful.

You did mention wanting to build the AR-15 as cheaply as possible. This route gives you the best possible gun for the best possible price, as well as the knowledge of knowing the gun inside and out.

November 8, 2007, 06:47 PM
I hadn't considered the Saiga conversion but I might have to add that to the possibles.
I keep wavering back and forth on exactly what I want. About any semiauto version of a of an AR or AK would probably work equally well but both have their drawbacks. I'm pretty familiar with the "limitations" of both but realistically, I doubt it would make much difference.
I am really looking for something that's semiauto, compact, reliable, "effective" out to 200 yards, and uses common ammunition. An AK or AR both fit that description. An SKS with a folder might even but the laws on them are confusing.

I'm still kind of leaning toward an AR based just on the ergonomics and the way they shoot (I had one before and eventhough it was an Olympic and had "quirks", I still liked how it handled). I have also had several AK's of varying descriptions and would still have one if my last one hadn't been defective. So I am familiar with both of the "major" platforms and realistically, both are going to be more or less equivalent for my uses.

I figured that while I am saving money, it wouldn't hurt to check all options.

If I had been smart I would have just kept the VEPR K .223 I used to have and sent it off to get some work done on the furniture.
But alas, rarely have I been accused of being smart...

November 8, 2007, 07:43 PM
Get the Arsenal instead of converting a Saiga if you want anything beyond just a pistol grip. The Arsenal and Saiga will be just as accurate as a cheap AR.

The Saiga does not have a folding stock or muzzle brake. These things come standard on the Arsenal.

Deer Hunter
November 8, 2007, 08:04 PM

You can put anything your little heart desires onto a saiga. It's an AK, just like the Arsenal. The only difference is that with the Saiga you can have just about ANY combination of different AK parts. It makes them much more custimizable. To me, it's smarter to go the Saiga route and convert it to your specifications than buy the Arsenal and THEN try to fix it up how you would like.

November 8, 2007, 09:18 PM
Look at for Tromix Saiga conversions. I didn't feel like doing it myself. It is still $200 or so cheaper than the new Arsenals I saw for sale. Mine shoots great, but the 16" barrel is a boomer compared to my 20" AR. Parts haven't been an issue yet. :)

I have used the 30 round Bulgarian mags from Kvar. No problems at all with them. They are tough and reliable. Only issue is they $25 each for the black. More for the see through.

I have never used a Pro-mag AK mag, but I have an M1A and a couple pistol mags that I wasn't impressed with at all. Just my 2 cents.

If you want an AR, the main advantage IMO is that you can get a flat top AR that is ready made for scope mounting. Your choice though.

November 8, 2007, 10:07 PM
Arseanal makes fine guns. Their 5.56 guns have AR accuracy, and AK reliability. If you by one and regret it I will slap your mother for not aborting you. JK. I Have two Arsenals, and love em.

November 8, 2007, 11:23 PM's Arsenal not "Arseanal"! Had to chuckle. Maybe in Adult Entertainment or something. Anyway J&G Sales ( has them on sale for $799

November 9, 2007, 03:07 AM
I've often wondered why Arsenal doesn't make an AK that takes AR-15 magazines. It would take minor modifications to the receiver most likely, considering how far forward the magazine well is on an AK compared to the AR-15 series, but it seems do-able. After all, there was a galil modification that did essentially the same thing.

November 9, 2007, 10:34 AM
MechAG94 - If I go with the AR it will be one with a carry handle, probably with an A1 style upper. I like simpler things - they just seem less prone to getting screwed up. Optics are great but iron sights are a must for me.

November 12, 2007, 12:58 PM

They do make an AK that takes AR-15 magazines. It's called a Galil with an adapter. I think the adapter works on .223 Saigas as well.*cg0lr0&p_id=02135&xm=on&ppinc=big

November 12, 2007, 02:20 PM
Yeah, the adapter does work with a bit receiver and trunnion work, but the adapter adds another $80 to the cost of the Saiga...

Besides, you can now get High cap Saiga mags from Gilberts, they don't need a feed ramp, $39.. or so

November 12, 2007, 02:29 PM
I've got a SLR106FR. It's functioned 100% since I've bought it used.

Accuracy is about 2 MOA with heavy 5.56 and 3MOA with 55gr. The fit and finish on the Arsenal rifles is great.

My rifle works with Bulgarian 5.56 mags, I haven't tried any of the other substitutes, and I'm not really interested in them. Like other AK mags, the Bulgy mags are built hella tough. You can brain a man with the loaded mag, put it in your rifle and fire it, the mag will be fine.

The side rail makes mounting optics easy, the folding poly stock is as comfortable as a fixed stock, but is much more compact.

In short, if you every wanted an AK, get the SLR106FR. BSW

the naked prophet
November 12, 2007, 04:47 PM
Why try to build a $500 AR when you could buy one basically new from CMMG for $550? Find them at a gunshow, or order one line ($15 shipping, then of course your FFL fee).

I've only heard good things about their AR-in-a-barrel.

Not that I don't want a 5.56 AK.

November 12, 2007, 09:20 PM
If you want an inexpensive AK in .223 a converted Saiga is the way to go. If you want "extra features" like the sidefolder, the SLR-106 is the way to go.

I have trouble with AK sights so my groups suck with irons but with a 8x POSP scope I can get 1 inch at 50 yards with 55 gr Barnul easily.

Deer Hunter
November 12, 2007, 09:25 PM

"extra features" can be added to the Saiga as easily as any other AK.

November 12, 2007, 10:07 PM
Fair enough goon. I have a carry handle that mounts on the rail on my flat top Armalite. Armalite has a rail on the front sight also that lets you get it out of the way if you want. Just an option though.

IMO, the Tromix Saiga conversions and the Arsenals are some of the best AK's out there. You wouldn't be disappointed with that option.

November 12, 2007, 10:45 PM
The bargain barrel guns from CMMG seem to be getting good reviews but I kind of have an idea of what I want and they aren't it.
I am thinking I'll go with an ACE carbine stock (whatever their "entry" model is called), an A1 upper with an A2 aperture installed (I like the simpler sights but I also like the choice between ghost ring and a finer aperture), and a 16" M4 barrel or a 16" barrel with a midlength gas system. Plus I want a chrome lined bore.

If they could do that for $550 I'd have to go into debt tomorrow. I may contact them to see what they can do with an upper (and how much it will cost), but I may also have to build it myself to get exactly what I want.
I did some research and the hardest part of the build I can see is putting the barrel on the action. It seems like something that I could do in my dad's garage with only a couple specialized tools (a reciever block and a wrench to turn the barrel nut) in a couple hours or so.
I'll probably go with a mostly assembled lower and add the stock, spring, and buffer to it (Stag arms is looking good).
Don't know what I'll do about the upper yet. I may do some snooping on the EE at the AR forums to see if anyone has some of what I'm looking for in their parts boxes. I would like to do this reasonably cheaply because eventhough this is an AR, I am planning to use it. Pretty isn't necessary and to me, it is actually just one more thing they charge more money for.

One other thing - I really have the worst luck with new guns. They always seem to need to go back to the factory to work right. At least if I build it I will be able to tweak it until I get it running right. I won't have to get all mad at someone else and spend three months and $200 in shipping and ammo to get my gun working right.

In looking at the available options, the AR really does seem to be about the most sensible to me. Parts and know-how are everywhere, ammo is expensive but you can still find it at wal-mart, range is good, recoil is light, I love the way they shoot and how accurate they are, they are light, mags are easy to find, and mostly its is just an American gun. It really does seem like the combination of light weight, compactness, and range/accuracy that I want.

Thanks to all who have replied and please keep this thread going if you want to. Someone out there may have had the same questions.

Then again, this being THR, if he does he will probably ask them tomorrow in a new thread after this one falls to the bottom of the page. LOL :D

November 13, 2007, 12:18 AM

"extra features" can be added to the Saiga as easily as any other AK.

Let me rephrase that. If you want a good .223 AK carbine and don't mind some work (assuming you want a PG) the Saiga is the ticket. HOWEVER if you want a .223 AK that looks traditional (has dimples and AK furniture), has a threaded barrel, and sidefolder or you don't want to/can't do your own work the SLR-106 is the way to go.

Why? Because by the time you buy the Saiga, parts and pay someone to convert it to AK-101 style you're up over $1000 plus a long wait in a lot of cases. Even just changing to a standard furniture isn't easy on a Saiga. A SLR-106 can be had for under $800 and received in a couple days.

November 13, 2007, 07:00 AM
I converted a Saiga .223 just for fun. I added a bullet guide and use Galil mags in it. I also bought one of those Galil to AR mag adapters, but I didn't like what would have to be done in order to use it. Anyway, functionally the Saiga is great. It has not had one problem so far, and I don't clean it every time I shoot it either.

Now, if you want a nicer AK, the Arsenal is the way to go. Of course then you're into AR price range. Just remember, the AR is more finicky. I love my ARs, and they run fine, but I do stay on top of maintenance with them. Both of my current ARs are using CMMG uppers. My next build will use CMMG also.

November 13, 2007, 08:12 AM
My buddy has two of the SLR rifles, and loves them both. He had some feeding problems, which were prevalent in the rifles when they were first available. Whether caused by magazines or what, I don't know, but when he sent them back to Arsenal for repair, they returned with a bevel cut into the chamber face, presumably to aid feeding. These rifles are a great choice, his are quite accurate, and mount scopes easily.

He eventually bought an Ultimak type gas tube and mounted his Russian PK-AS-W on the gas tube, as he did not like the alternatives which mounted to the scope rail. With this setup he shoots the rifle quite well, but then he is a natural athlete and a firearms instructor.

His goal was to purchase something absolutely reliable which he could feel good about leaving in his truck under the seat for those uncomfortable social encounters, or hunting coyotes etc. He has AR rifles, and he has chosen this platform for his needs.

Whichever you finally choose, my suggestion would be to certainly practice as often as you can. Take classes to instruct you on the features and best methods of operating your chosen rifle. You can practice magazine changes and other operations frequently in a "dry fire" environment, and improve your skills appreciably.

Good luck on your choice.

November 13, 2007, 11:26 AM
Why? Because by the time you buy the Saiga, parts and pay someone to convert it to AK-101 style you're up over $1000 plus a long wait in a lot of cases. Even just changing to a standard furniture isn't easy on a Saiga. A SLR-106 can be had for under $800 and received in a couple days.

That's what I was trying to say. Thanks KurtD.

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