Saiga SGL20


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Bailey Guns
February 28, 2009, 10:59 AM
I picked up a Saiga SGL20 a couple of days ago. This may be old news to some of you guys but I was very interested to learn more about this rifle.

This model was new to me and I had no idea on the history behind the gun. I paid $900 for the gun...outrageous, IMO, for an AK. But, considering the times and the prices guys are asking on GB, I felt it was actually a pretty fair deal. And it was in stock and on the shelf.

Anyway, apparently these rifles start out as standard Saiga sporting rifles destined for importation into the US. They are slightly modified by Legion. Ltd...from what I understand it's the Izhmash "custom shop". They are then imported by Arsenal, Inc and converted to 922r compliant, traditional looking AK-47 rifles.

From the Legion website:

The receiver of SGL20 rifle has the proper markings on both sides without any extra commercial markings, including the legendary Izhmash Factory logo, the upward pointing arrow in triangle. The markings on both sides of the receiver are done with the correct font type and size and placed in their proper locations. The receiver of SGL20 features proper magazine dimples on both sides and original "X" and "Y" shaped reinforcement stampings. On the right side, it has correctly positioned notches for the safety lever, marked with letters "S" and "F" and no additional openings at the bottom forward portion of the receiver.

Arsenal, Inc. has replaced a number of components so the SGL20 rifle resembles a true Russian AK rifle, including the safety lever with correct shape and properly positioned dimple, the 1000 meter rear sight left, the highest quality Arsenal, Inc. fire control group (hammer and disconnector), original Arsenal Inc mil-spec polymer handguards and retainer for lower handguard, the correct gas tube, original gas block with the correct vent holes and a guide hole for the cleaning rod, correct AK-74 type front sight block with 24x1.5mm right-hand threads and bayonet lug. The rifle comes with a cleaning rod and a US made brand new production muzzle brake (compensator).

The literature that came with the rifle states all SGL20 rifles are laser bore-sighted at the factory and they include a test target. The target included with my rifle didn't state at what distance the gun was fired.

Items included with the gun: a brochure from legion with a brief history of the gun, a DKG Imports catalog, 1 10-round magazine and a standard Saiga owner's manual.

I brought it home and checked to ensure standard AK mags work in the gun...they do. Surefire mags for Saiga rifles do NOT. ProMag mags for Saiga rifles fit in the gun well but they don't feed. The bullet enters the chamber pointed too high to feed. There is a bullet guide in place to enable standard AK mags to work. The Surefire and ProMags have a raised lip in the front that performs this function for use in unmodified Saiga rifles. The Surefire mags will not fit into the mag well.

I was going to clean the gun prior to firing but just didn't need to. It was absolutely spotless...even the chrome-lined bore. I gave it a just a bid of oil prior to firing.

Fit and finish of parts is on par with the best factory-built AK rifles I've seen. The finish is evenly applied and smooth. Durability? Only time will tell. All parts were smooth, no really sharp edges (like some of the other AKs I've seen...especially Romanian) and no flaws or tool marks. Trigger was more than acceptable in dry-firing, reset is REALLY short and noticeable...you can easily hear and feel it. Mags went in and out easily without trying to find the magazine well. I used 3 different mags for test-firing...1 Chinese, 1 Eastern Euro (unknown country), 1 Yugoslav. The two Euro mags fit the best with no wobble at all. The Chinese mag moved about just slightly.

My rifle did not include a muzzle break/compensator. It did have a very large, round, thread protector installed on the threaded muzzle. I plan on installing a slant-type muzzle break as I like the look it gives the gun. Surprisingly, the gun includes a bayonet lug! All of the furniture and FCG components appear to be Tapco. They aren't marked "Tapco", but they do have the "US" stamps in the same place as the other Tapco components I have. My rifle is all black and the US-made furniture looks quite good on the gun.

I took the 3 mentioned magazines loaded with Wolf Mil Classic ammo out to my "range". Started firing at a 3" black bullseye target from 10 yards. Everything went into a ragged hole at that distance and the rounds hit exactly to point of aim. Point of aim held at 25 yds and the group opened up to maybe 1.5 to 2 inches, standing offhand (in the wind and cold). All the mags functioned perfectly in the gun and the Yugo mags hold the bolt open after the last shot (though, in typical fashion, the bolt slams shut when the mag is removed).

The rifle performed flawlessly. Although I only fired 60 rounds (it was 20 degrees with about a 15 mph wind, right in my face) I have no doubt this gun will continue to function with typical AK-style reliability.

A few photos...I'll apologize for my lack of photography skills:

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SimpleIsGood229
February 28, 2009, 11:11 AM
Sweet AK! You could make a very nice 103 clone out of it.

I don't see the additional "Y" stamp though. :(

Bailey Guns
February 28, 2009, 11:22 AM
I gotta admit, I'm not a very sophisticated AK guy. I have only a basic understanding of the different variants (though on the technical workings of them, I'm OK). I can recognize an AK 2 outta 3 times, though! I wouldn't know a "103" if it jumped up and shot me in the butt.

chris in va
February 28, 2009, 12:53 PM
The literature that came with the rifle states all SGL20 rifles are laser bore-sighted at the factory and they include a test target. The target included with my rifle didn't state at what distance the gun was fired.


That's good to know. The latest stamped Arsenal my friend bought for ~$900 had a canted front sight and wouldn't hit a 4x8' piece of plywood at 50 yards, no matter what I did to the sight post. It was part of the Arsenal recall IIRC.

pmbiker
February 28, 2009, 02:01 PM
First off, nice rifle and good price. I've seen the un-converted SLG-10 selling for not a lot less than that.

Second, you will not be able to put a slant brake on that. The slant brake is for 14x1LH threading and I believe yours is 24mm. There are many brakes and flash hiders available, I'm sure you can find one you like.

Bailey Guns
February 28, 2009, 02:47 PM
Thanks, biker...

And you're right about the threads. I didn't know that. I'll find something, I guess.

JWarren
February 28, 2009, 02:50 PM
IIRC, there are thread pitch adapters that will adapt between 24mm and 14mm.

I can't remember where I saw them, however. I've been out of dealing with AK's for about a year now and I forget things these days.


-- John

pmbiker
February 28, 2009, 05:44 PM
You can adapt up(14-24) but to my knowledge you can't go the other way.

K9-Bob
March 11, 2009, 11:33 AM
You need to find a AK74 style brake for your rifle. Krebs makes one and of course you can find one on K-Var's website, but it will be pricey.

Blondie
March 15, 2009, 01:30 AM
So is it better to get the version with the "muzzle nut" or the "compensator"? Is the muzzle nut version such that you can change the brake with others? Is the compensator screwed on or permanently pinned on?

http://www.arsenalinc.com/sgl20.htm

WardenWolf
March 15, 2009, 02:19 AM
Dinzag Arms (http://www.dinzagarms.com) has a 74-style brake that will fit your threaded sight block. You want the 24x1.5 threads.

ladykilla
March 15, 2009, 04:41 AM
I bought my saiga 7.62 a few months ago for $350. I put a skeleton folding stock on it with a pistol grip, tri rail front end, scope mount, flash light, and a truglo red dot all for about $400.00.

So I guess you didn't do to bad for 900.

lipadj46
March 15, 2009, 10:17 AM
I bought my saiga 7.62 a few months ago for $350. I put a skeleton folding stock on it with a pistol grip, tri rail front end, scope mount, flash light, and a truglo red dot all for about $400.00.

Is there a typo in your total? $50 for a scope, scope mount, stock, front rail, PG, new FCG and conversion is a steal. Arsenal custom Saiga's are pretty nice even though I have see some bad ones lately on interweb reviews.

Kurt_D
March 15, 2009, 01:06 PM
By the time you bought all the conversion pieces that come standard on the SGL20 you'd be knocking close to the their $900 price tag. Then add in the labor (for yourself) or cost (of someone else) to welded up the holes, press on parts, and refinish; the SGL20 is a deal.

Mine came with the Arsenal brake and circle 10 30rd mag; $1024 out the door. That's more than my SLR-107 was but it's Russian and so far more accurate.

BTR
March 15, 2009, 04:44 PM
Looks like a cool rifle!

I really like the look of the bulgarian flash hider, you might consider installing one of those. They are compatible with a bayonet.

I really doubt the furniture is tapco. It is probably k-var.

SimpleIsGood229
March 15, 2009, 05:50 PM
I really doubt the furniture is tapco. It is probably k-var.I agree. K-Var and Arsenal are sister companies (from what I hear).

I will definitely tell you that the trigger is not a Tapco--different contouring.

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