SAR 3 at $350, pass or play?


December 25, 2003, 11:58 PM
I've heard mixed reviews on these 5.56 Kalashnikov clones. Has anyone had any good or bad experience with them? I'm looking into it for the ammo availability, accuracy, and light recoil. I inspected the rifle and there's no sight cant or any apparent manufacturing issues.

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December 26, 2003, 12:35 AM
Check the hammer for any deformation, and also verify that it is hitting the bolt square.

$350.00 on up is the going rate now a days, as these have not been imported for a while.

December 26, 2003, 12:47 AM
This one is NIB, it's on sale for about $350 and comes with a 10 round magazine, cleaning kit, and sling. I've priced the Weiger mags at about $15 each, which is not bad at all. I really want another 5.56 as I used to own a Mini 14, but sold it. I don't have the cash for an AR-15 and honestly, I've owned Kalashnikovs before and loved their simplicity.

Dave R
December 26, 2003, 01:23 AM
I own one. Good experiences.

Accuracy? I can make it do 1" groups at 100 yards with handloads or PMP "Gazelle" ammo, with a cold barel. Once barrel warms, its more like 3-5" groups. This is scoped.

Recoil? Its light.

Ammo availability? .223 is everywhere.

Sounds like a good price to me.

December 26, 2003, 09:24 AM
Have you used the Bulgarian .223 magazines? I was told to buy Weiger and only Weiger because the polymer waffle mags won't cycle very well.

Dave R
December 26, 2003, 05:00 PM
Have not tried Bulgarians. I heard the same thing you did--that they don't work very well. I use Weigars and converted 5.45 bakelites. Weigars are the way to go.

December 27, 2003, 01:16 AM
Does the SAR function any better or worse with different .223 ammo sources? I've been told to avoid Wolf because of the laquer coating, but with the loose clearances on the Kalashnikov, it seems that it wouldn't foul it up as quickly as an AR15.

Dave R
December 27, 2003, 02:35 AM
My SAR-3 gets mostly Wolf. Never has jammed. Its the least accurate ammo I've tried, but its also the cheapest.

The Mighty Beagle
December 27, 2003, 05:59 PM
My experience is similar to Dave's, 1" or 2" at 100 yards for the first 8 to 10 rounds out of a cold barrel.

It is an excellent rifle, much better in every way than the Mini rifles I've had.

I haven't fired it much because I soon discovered that my hammer was striking the bolt incorrectly and ruining it. I suggest you factor in the cost of a Red Star Arms fire control group ($90), which contains a correct hammer and also an adjustable trigger. Plan on some study and effort to install this; people on the internet act like it's just a drop-in part, but you'll have to do some minor gunsmithing either on your safety or your new trigger assembly to get everything back together correctly. It's worth it though because it's a fine trigger.

I got some Weiger mags for Christmas, but haven't tried them yet. Visit InterOrdinance's web site - they have a 4 pack of 30 rd. Weigers in a cloth magazine case, complete with sling and cleaning kit, for something like $60.

Buy it, there's nothing sweeter than an AK in .223.

December 27, 2003, 06:21 PM
I'm laying it away this week and I'm ordering the 10 pack of Weigers from Interordnance. While the rifle is being paid off, I'm ordering 1K of SS109 and 500 rounds of IMI 55 grain FMJ. I'm really looking forward to owning it. I had a Mini-14, but I honestly wasn't happy with the performance of it considering the cost. I really don't have the available cash for a Bushmaster, so this is my choice. I contemplated a Norinco clone in .223 about a decade ago, but I passed because of the cost of magazines. This one seems to be the right combination of reliability and affordability. What, if any, types of optics have you attached to it? I was thinking an Aimpoint or Cobra for quick targeting. Also, is there any synthetic furniture available for the SAR 3?

December 27, 2003, 07:14 PM
Congrats. I am sure you are going to enjoy the rifle.

A Kobra is a great red dot for the SAR, as it can utilize the side optic rail mount. There are also mounts out there with a weaver base, so you could use any optic you want.

For synthetic furniture, go here:

If you join their forum, you will also receive a discount on future orders.

Dave R
December 27, 2003, 11:03 PM
I agree with MiniZ about the Kobra red-dot sight. I have a Russian 4X scope on mine, which is fine, but if I had it to do over, I'd get a red dot. And since the Kobra is official Russian issue, that's the way to go. There are other red-dots, of course, but the Kobra is built like an AK. It'll take abuse and last forever.

December 28, 2003, 02:34 AM
Boy, they've about got it all, don't they? I'm looking hard at the OD/Green plastic set for the SAR. The dealer's got an SAR-2 as well, I may simply try to sneak them both.

December 29, 2003, 07:38 PM
Congrats on your SAR-3....they are great rifles, but may need a little TLC / tinkering. As posted.....check the bolt / hammer area. Century installed 922 complient parts, to make the SARs legal for import. You may wish to replace the entire fire control group (hammer, disconnector, and trigger) or just the hammer....Red Star Arms has all these parts.

You will also want to reinstall the shepards hook retaining pin correctly. The monkeys at Century usually do not install it correctly. Or you can purchase a retainer plate from Red Star Arms also.

The Weiger mags from Interordinance will work well for you. And your SAR 3 will eat Wolf 55 or 62 gr FMJ like popcorn. AKs were designed to run on steel cased ammo....the Wolf is cheap and works well. It is also copper jacketed FMJ...not copper washed like some, plus it is cheaper than Win Q3131A or IMI. After shooting....strip weapon and douse it with gun scrubber, swab the bore and re-lube......easy to do and gets all the gunk out.

You may wish to check out the Romanian forum on the AK net forum. Lots and lots of info on the SARs...and Linx310 has a dedicated site to the SARs too. Enjoy......

AKs take a licking and keep on ticking!!!!

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