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Which AK? Saiga conversion or Arsenal Bulgarian?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by wojownik, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. wojownik

    wojownik Well-Known Member

    Split decision between a Saiga conversion and the Arsenal AK, either in 7.62x39.

    Would appreciate any thoughts/opinions on which of these two rifles might be preferable, and why? Which might be closer to the native "mil spec"
  2. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    Oh, you want aesthetics.

    Waste your money on an Arsenal, then.

    When you want a functional AK at less expense, the Saiga is the ticket.
  3. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Well-Known Member

    Saiga conversions "factory approved" at K-Var for $500... top quality, good price, all the looks you want.
  4. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    Amen...they are no better in any way...other than slightly better finish work, and if that was the goal I would go with a rifle that looks good to begin with (read: not an AK).

  5. Kurt_D

    Kurt_D Well-Known Member

    Yup, K-var is the ticket. Basically it's like this: you want a AK-100 series side folder - get the SLR-107FR; you don't care/want as close to a real Russian AK you can/want to save cash and get a great deal - get the SGL-21.

    ETA: for the haters - price out a standard Saiga, plus all of the parts (correct parts, not WECSOG) to get it to the SGL's level, then add the labor for a good smith to do the work or if you have the ability, your time. I promise it will be more than the current $500 asking price. Add a side folder to get to the SLR's level and again you're at their price point. Oh and it's a fact, some of us want an AK to look like an AK, not some bubba'd sks from 1996.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  6. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    So what about when they return to the regular price of ~$1200 ?
  7. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Well-Known Member

    Whats up with the Yugo M70's being offered in a 'thick' receiver and a 'thin' (1mm thickness) receiver?
  8. nalioth

    nalioth Well-Known Member

    To continue this thread hijack:

    The Yugos made 1.0mm receivered M70s early on in their production life, and subsequently went to the beefier receivers as launching grenades tended to destroy the guns with the thinner receivers.

    Next time, please start a new thread when you have a completely unrelated question to the topic at hand.
  9. rocinante

    rocinante Well-Known Member

    I converted a saiga because it is new construction from the factory, has a chrome lined barrel, russian, and inexpensive (260 shipped two years ago). The only difficult part getting it back to AK looks is the handguard and gas tube.
  10. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Well-Known Member

    Uh, I guess we'll worry about that then. The strawman of some randomly guessed future price is irrelevent when the guns are available at less cost now. If you actually have a cogent argument as to why the OP shouldn't buy one of those Arsenal SGLs for $500, please save us the suspense.
  11. ny32182

    ny32182 Well-Known Member

    Get "both"... I just picked up my SGL21 (Arsenal factory Saiga conversion) for $555.44 out the door, all shipping and transfer included...

    Yeah, I'm real dissatisfied that I wasted my money on an Arsenal. :scrutiny: (sarcasm there).

    On a serious note, so far my opinion is that it is worth every penny over a WASR. I'll see how it shoots this weekend...

    I'm actually tempted to get a second one. This is the AK I've been looking for at the price I've wanted, ever since I sold my VEPR.
  12. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    I converted my 5.45x39 Saiga last Sunday while watching the Colts beat the Texans (much better game than I'd expected!)

    Got all the parts at the gun show where I got the gun except for the bullet guide:

    Tapco G2 Trigger kit with retainer plate -- $20
    Tapco M4 AR Stock -- $30
    AK-M4 stock adapter --$13
    Pistol Grip, bolt & nut -- $15
    Dinzag's bullet guide kit, he generally throws in plastic hole plugs free. -- $35.

    Total $113, those are out the door prices, shop around over time and you might even do better. AK74 mags are at Centerfire systems for $13 each. No mods are needed to any of the parts if you don't re-install the bolt hold open lever. If you do, you just need to grind about 0.060" off the right side of the hammer pivot tube to make room for the lever.

    That's it. The 5.45 may not need the bullet guide, mine appeared to cycle from AK74 mags with the ammo I had but since my Tantal has the guide I went ahead and added it, no big deal, but it was the single largest expense.

    For sure, and while I like the look of the standard setup better, I actually like the feel of the Saiga hand guard better when shooting. Its more expensive than difficult, more than doubling the cost of the conversion.

  13. Col. Plink

    Col. Plink Well-Known Member

    Or you can just look for the Saiga308ver.21 and swap out one part and get the configuration you want with a factory wooden thumbhole stock.
  14. iyaoyas98

    iyaoyas98 Well-Known Member

    I agree. Both. It's got to do better than your 401K :)
  15. wojownik

    wojownik Well-Known Member

    Get both ... hmmm ;) I like it, but due to funds I'd have to pick just one. I'm leaning towards the Saiga at the moment.

    And yes, I want another "ugly" AK that is built to military specifications (unlike the WASR) but also looks like an AK (if that is called aesthetics).

    I have 3 Romanians, but would not touch a WASR. My Romak 1 (1997 pre WASR) has been very good, and if I recall correctly, came off the actual Ratmil military production line (i.e not reject parts). My AIMS built from a G kit has been very satisfactory and surprisingly accurate (for an AK).
  16. iyaoyas98

    iyaoyas98 Well-Known Member

    If you can only get one. Get the Arsenal while it's on sale for the same price as a restored Saiga. The Saiga's are easy to find cheap later on.
  17. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Well-Known Member

    slap your sporter hand gaurd on and end mill and you can have form and function.... :)

  18. damagedworld

    damagedworld Active Member

    My converted Saiga in 7.62 x39 is by far my fav gun...
  19. D Boone

    D Boone Well-Known Member


    Just my quick take, good looking gun, but why are they highlighting the bayo lug on a gun with ak74 style brake? The bayo lug should be on the FSB to be functional. So its a mismash of parts and thats how they can offer them at that price?
  20. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Well-Known Member

    Because the same features are present on the real Russian AK-103. Except for the lack of a folding stock, the SGL-21 is about as close to a real AK-103 that most of us will get.


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