Im not that familiar with the ak-47 world but I am looking to purcahse one in the near future. I would like to go with a NIB weapon and from what I researched the Arsenal ak-47's appear to be the cream of the crop. Is it worth it to speed the high price for an arsenal ak? I look at the milled arsenals and see they are $1,000 and up.
I mean hell I might as well just get that LWRC m6a2 and call it a day... I also see that Vector seems to be the next best choice down from Arsenal. What do you guys think? Would you just go with an LWRC? I want to put a good sight on the rifle and know the ak-has solutions (different for different types of stocks) but the typical AR platform allows for more room to play. Which rifle to you think is more reliable, those LWRC's are apparently making a mark.
As you can see I already got off the original topic, my plan is to have both one day as I know both have advantages. I think they will be the only assault rifles I'll own. Although I am digging that hk mp7, don't know the restrictions on getting that bad boy (yes I know the mp7 is not an assault rifle).
This is me thinking out loud.
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December 24, 2007, 10:16 PM
Arsenal typically makes relatively limited runs of each model. For now, they don't have any milled rifles in production AFAIK.
I own two milled Arsenals: an SLR-101 SG in 7.62x39 and an SA M5 in 5.56 NATO. Workmanship, fit, and finish is top-notch, easily on par with my Colt AR-15A3.
Whether to get an AK or an AR-type rifle like the LWRC is an apple to oranges comparison. Aside from the fact that they are both semiauto, military-styled rifles, they are totally different platforms.
The AR will have better human engineering and if you get a flat top, it'll be easier to mount optics unless the AK has a side rail scope mount.
IMO, it is too early to tell if the LWRC will be reliable and durable for the long term. They just haven't been out long enough. That said, a friend has one and has been very pleased with it so far.
December 24, 2007, 10:23 PM
I'm sure not everyone will agree with me, but in my opinion anything over $400-$500 for an AK is nuts. The only exception would be the Galil or Valmet variants, and their prices are stratospheric with the Valmet being around $1,500 and an original Galil more like $3,000. I've handled and shot the Arsenal AKs and they don't do anything a $450 Yugo AK won't.
Remember the AK was designed to be a cheap gun to manufacture, provide a high volume of not particularly accurate fire, and be easy to maintain by conscript soldiers. At these tasks it excels. When I see prices of $800 or more for AKs I just don't get it.
December 24, 2007, 10:30 PM
I would say you have already made up your mind, and you will realize this if you read your thread. myself, I went with the cheap WASR-10, after all it is just an assault weapon, not like you will hunt with it. I think you will be happy with either one, being they are both high dollar rifles. Good luck to you with the choice you do make.
December 24, 2007, 11:00 PM
not like you will hunt with it Some folks do. They work fine for hunting.
December 25, 2007, 01:35 AM
None of the rifles you have mentioned are "Assault Rifles" unless the are Full Auto. The Semi auto AK Clone is just that. Arsenal makes nice ones like you mentioned. I have a Lancaster Arms AKM that I'm extreamly happy with.
December 25, 2007, 02:16 AM
I originally had a century arms maadi marked ak style rifle with the standard style furniture which
I bought for 350$ but after a while I realized I really wanted an under folder so I sold the Maadi and bought a special Interest Arms made under folder, the entire gun is parkerized and fit/finish is nice, it was also like 650$ so regardless of brand just make sure you get what you want with the features you want even if unfamiliar with the ak world of weapons
December 25, 2007, 09:56 AM
I bought a Arsenal SAM 7S about 8 years ago. Nicely built and finished. Cost close to 700 bucks then. I also bought a Saiga in 7.62 about 5 years ago for 200. For all practical purposes they both shoot about the same and if I had to carry one around all day the edge would go to the Saiga.
Gun Wielding Maniac
December 25, 2007, 12:05 PM
The Arsenal rifles I've gotten are my favorite rifles. Personally, I think rather then going with a milled receiver gun, you would more practically served by going with the SLR-107FR when it comes out... It's a stamped receiver gun in the AK-100 style. Stamped guns in my experience are just as accurate as the milled ones... and they are also lighter. The 24mm threaded FSB can be used to attach a flash suppressor, a compensator, or a silencer. The sidefolding stock is the best I've seen on ANY rifle. You can also put optics on the gun using the scope rail.
December 25, 2007, 01:14 PM
If you are at all handy, get a Saiga and convert it. Not only will you have a superb Russian made AK, you will have an intimate knowledge of its innards. As a plus, for the money you are looking to spend, you can buy and convert one in x39, one in .223 and one in .308.
December 25, 2007, 10:46 PM
A couple more resources, should you feel inclined:
Myself, I went with a WASR 10, 7.62 x 39. I spent about 4 hours cleaning it upon arrival: cosmoline (formaldehyde for guns!) in every nook and cranny on the firearm.
A brief trip to the range revealed that the rifle was 100% reliable (so far) and surprisingly accurate: standing up, offhand at 30 yards: fist-sized grouping right around point of aim.
I'm very curious to see what a proper bench-rest would yeild.
December 26, 2007, 07:58 AM
As far as excellent shooters, you can pick up the older Arsenal-made SA-93 or 95. They are neutered ala the AWB with thumbhole stocks, but prices are pretty cheap. I picked one up that had a US made fire control group installed already (evidently a fair number had some good Gordon Industries FCG's). All I had to do was add a US made synthetic pistol grip and stock, which matched the handguards to get an excellent AK. Total cost was under $500 for a milled AK. Yeah, it lacks a bayo lug and the muzzle device is a muzzle brake (a pretty efficient shark gill style), but most AK's come with slant brakes which are of little value on a semi-auto anyway. In any case, to add a bayo, all I'll have to do is change out the gas block with an AK74 block and, voila, evil features galore without the current high price (The SLR-95 has the AK-74 gas block even though the rifle is 7.62x39).
December 26, 2007, 08:13 AM
The milled receiver AK is a neat example of machine work. The Arsenal is a good brand, but even they put out a lemon now and again. If you are willing to look to a stamped receiver version, the Lancaster is really an outstanding weapon. Personally I would get the Polish version, either underfolder or fixed stock, your preference.
December 26, 2007, 11:14 AM
Another option is a converted Saiga. I have a Tromix Saiga in .223 that is an excellent rifle. From www.fbmginc.com. Not cheap but still cheaper than Arsenals.
December 26, 2007, 03:09 PM
Hey guys Thanks for all that info! I will be taking a look at the Lancaster and sooner or later Ill be making a purchase. Are the Lancaster's about = w/the Vector's? Thanks again for all the info, feel free to keep adding to the thread.
December 26, 2007, 05:43 PM
Handled dozens of AK's in my day. Fell in love with an arsenal sam 7-sf and bought it. Now it is the last AK I will ever own. I will never sell or trade it. To each his own but I know perfection when I find it.
December 26, 2007, 11:30 PM
If I told you I know a guy who has the SAS M7 (arsenal uf), that it has approx. 300 through it and he wants $1,100 for it would you tell me to pick it up? Better yet would you pick it up? I have been finding some info about the milled AK's being more prone to failing due to dirt, dust etc than the stamped, is there any proof that this is the case? If the stamped holds up better but is a little less acurate I would probably go with the stamped for the increased durability - I rather have the gun go bang and nail the sucker outside the x-ring than have a failure... Whats the deal with the stamped recievers being made thicker (1.6), is this the happy medium between the stamped vs milled ak47 debate?
December 26, 2007, 11:47 PM
1,100 for a used Arsenal? that's nuts. The polytech is the cream of the crop and is bringing that from collectors with pre-ban guns but not any Arsenal. Don't forget to look at the Maks, the Chinese Ak's are still plentiful and the stamped versions are some of the thickest made. The milled versions are great guns and can still be had for reasonable prices $400-$500, which is really the way to go if you are looking for a gun to hold it's value.
December 26, 2007, 11:51 PM
combatops1911, both types of Ak share the same accuracy.
The AK bolt is locked to the barrel at the moment of firing, and doesn't unlock until the bullet is way down the range.
"Perceived accuracy" may be present due to the heavier weight of the milled receiver absorbing more recoil, and keeping the movement down when compared to the stamped receiver AK.
December 27, 2007, 01:04 AM
kman - yes I think that price ($1100) for a used AK is off the wall, but I think I saw some milled arsenals going for 1400 on the net (cant remember where or what site), I really dont like buying anything used but was wondering what others thought. Where are the $400 milled Ak's at?? I have not seen/heard of any those yet. Even the milled vectors (or maybe it was Lancaster, can't remember, it was on Atlantics site) I saw were going for $1,000+ (w/uf). These must be used and actually I stand corrected, a guy on here was or still is selling a milled... mac 90? for $470 if I remember correct. I just dont feel comfortable buying a used AK knowing that a lot of people like to shoot the living hell out of them and that many may have a feeling that the AK does not need to be cleaned.
chris in va
December 27, 2007, 04:22 AM
Friend of mine has a milled Arsenal he picked up for ~$800 a while back.
It's a nice gun, no doubt. Good trigger, solid feel. Zero malfunctions.
But it's heavy. I'd probably just convert a Saiga and save the $$$.
December 30, 2007, 09:30 AM
I bought a milled Arsenal Inc. rifle years ago, I don't regret it one bit, it has proven reliable with no problems whatsoever. However that was 5 years ago, and the price of the milled rifles have hit the roof, due to the 'limited runs', I wouldn't buy one today unless I could get it for the price I payed for it 5 years ago, which isn't gonna happen unless I bought one used. I also owned one of their stamped rifles the 106FR, which came to me with a canted FS and wipe away Bulgarian finish. That said, I would buy a Vector, I've shot those too, and they are the best bang for the buck. Don't get me wrong, Arsenal makes some nice AK's, but for the price I would get the Vector and have the same reliability and perhaps a better finish then the higher priced Arsenal inc. Stamped has a little more recoil then the milled, but they are just as reliable and alot lighter.
December 30, 2007, 09:49 AM
Is it worth it to speed the high price for an arsenal ak?
In my opinion, yes. The difference between the low-end AKMs and an Arsenal is pretty big. If you can afford it, I would buy an Arsenal.
You can still find Arsenal SLR-95s on Gunbroker for $500-600. That is a steal. The SLR-95 was imported so it is all Bulgarian-made. The trigger on it is outstanding. You will need to add US parts to it if you want to convert it to a pistol grip.
December 30, 2007, 10:28 AM
For me the best out-of-box experience on any AK I've had is with Red Stick Firearms.
In my experience cheaper AKs always need some kind of extra work (cleaning, trigger, grips, bend this, grind this, etc.)... this AK103k (Saiga based) just needed ammo.
Here's the gun literally five minutes after opening it: http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/9295/p1000596yn6.th.jpg (http://img147.imageshack.us/my.php?image=p1000596yn6.jpg)
Their website is http://www.redstick-firearms.com/
December 30, 2007, 01:22 PM
I got lucky, I bought mine after the ban, but before they became h*ll expensive. I paid around $389 for my SLR-95 back when and it is built well, shoots great and has a nice heft to it. You know your shooting a rifle built like a tank.
I bought the U.S. compliant parts kit to get rid of that hideous abortion of a stock so I could get it to the original AK look. What a scam that is, replacing parts with the exact same parts only with a U.S. stamp on them and those parts having nothing to do with the function or safety of the firearm. I just see it as a reflection of idiot clinton's idiot policies. But I found the loophole and got what I wanted anyway, isn't America great?!
Well I see you all have built a wealth of information here, thank you. I think Ill be going with a stamped mod and was really looking into the slr-cr but I'm having issues with the stock folding to the left as I plan on mounting an optic and I believe you will have to take the optic on/off when folding the stock. I hear the finish on the Arsenals are not the best and a gunkote may be in order, who does good gunkote work at a fair price?
Ahhhh I dont know what the hell I'm going to get yet. I keep finding myself looking at the Polish Lancaster UFs on Atlantic's site.
PERKK your ak looks great, I tried to find that mod on their site but could not find same, was it a custom request? Also may I be so bold as to ask how much the gun was otd?
December 31, 2007, 12:26 AM
I have a Arsenal SAM-7S I bought in '04. I love the thing. Can't go wrong.
December 31, 2007, 03:20 AM
Bought my SLR-95 last month for $590 and its in mint condition, didn't look like it had ever been used when I bought it and it came with the original box, all accessories and matching manual with quality certificate. I replaced the furniture and a couple other parts to make it 922r compliant but its still mostly Bulgarian and a great shooter!
Anyway to answer your question more precisely, I would say that yes Arsenal AK's are worth every penny, whether its Bulgarian made or US made. Yes new ones are expensive, but this is one of those cases where you get what you pay for and what you get is very good.
OK had to throw in one more pic of my baby....
December 31, 2007, 11:41 AM
looking into the slr-cr but I'm having issues with the stock folding to the left as I plan on mounting an optic and I believe you will have to take the optic on/off when folding the stock.
That is correct. The stock can't get folded far enough to lock with the optics mounted on the rail.
I have an Arsenal SLR-106fr with the PK-ASV optic. I like the combination quite a bit. The fit and finish of the Arsenal AK is head and shoulders above any other AK I've owned or shot (early Romanian Ratmil Cugirs, MAK-90, recent Romanian AKs).
Father Knows Best
December 31, 2007, 11:42 AM
I have the same model as The Grim Reaper -- an Arsenal SA M-7S (milled receiver, side rail, fixed stock). I bought it 2005 for $399. It was officially a used firearm, but you sure couldn't tell. I don't think it had ever been fired. It's one of the best purchases I ever made. Here it is sporting a Kobra optic and resting with some of my other evil black rifles:
December 31, 2007, 12:22 PM
I have handled several Lancaster guns and they are a hit or miss affair. the earlier posts sure sounded like a commercial for these guns. It would not surprise me in the least if this person was a plant... I could be wrong...
I have shot these guns and 1 was ok, the other 2 were prone to failures. None shot all that well as to accuracy. The guys who owned them were not that impressed. Just my $.02 from what I saw and heard when we took them out.
December 31, 2007, 12:36 PM
Another option is the CZ VZ-58. It is NOT an AK, but it does share a similar look, especially the curved mag. It's chambered in x39 and has a milled receiver.
December 31, 2007, 01:53 PM
Well let me ask this, is there a way I could put a triangle stock that folds to the right on the 107-CR (similar to the one Father Knows Best has)? If this can be done than you should be able to fold the gun with the optic on. Ir appears as if you can still fire the gun with the stock folded to the right. Why did Arsenal make the stock fold to the left?
December 31, 2007, 02:09 PM
Well let me ask this, is there a way I could put a triangle stock that folds to the right on the 107-CR (similar to the one Father Knows Best has)? If this can be done than you should be able to fold the gun with the optic on. The folding stock is not supposed to be folded in combat. It exists to make the rifle a smaller package for transport (either on a truck, a ship or a parachute). As soon as the soldier is deployed, the stock is extended and optics are mounted. Having it fold over the optics is not an issue. <snip>. Why did Arsenal make the stock fold to the left?Because thats how current military AKs are made.
December 31, 2007, 02:26 PM
is there a way I could put a triangle stock that folds to the right on the 107-CR
Not sure why you'd do it. While the x39 isn't a terribly recoiling round, it wouldn't be my first choice for use with optics and no stock (or with a folded stock).
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