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Are these AK's any good?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by RockyMtnTactical, Feb 1, 2011.

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  1. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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  2. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    No experience with that rifle.

    The Arsenal SGL-21 can be found for under $700 and is a brand new Russian AK-100 series... check out Gunbroker for deals.
     
  3. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Arsenal does not make the SGL line. These are Russian-made Saigas they're importing and selling.
     
  4. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    I own an SGL-21 and I'm well aware that it's one conversion of a Saiga, it just happens to be one that's done well and can be bought off the shelf. To my knowledge Arsenal is the one handling the importation and distribution/retailing, and has been putting their name on it whatever the merits of that may be. Although it's essentially a Saiga, as a Saiga is essentially a neutered AK-100, the SGL is, so I'm told, a special joint project of Arsenal and Izhmash's "Legion" division, and is imported separately from the standard Saigas that are imported by Russian-American Armory.

    OP: from a quality and function perspective, some flavor of Izhmash Saiga, whether one you convert yourself, an SGL, or one you buy converted from someone else doing a good job (like a good gunsmith), is going to be the best AK by some distance. Beyond that, it's basically a matter of looks and price. The only other AK I would consider nice would be one of the gunsmith conversions by "Gunplumber" of Arizona Response Systems:

    http://www.arizonaresponsesystems.com/

    They do cost quite a bit more though, and it looks like there's nothing in stock right now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  5. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I understand your statement says "like a good gunsmith" and that it is not per se an exhaustive list but there seems to be a suggestion that the work it takes to convert a saiga is not just work a professional gunsmith should do but one a particularly skilled guns smith should do.

    Which parts of the process specifically, if any, of the conversion process do you think are beyond the means of the average home hobbyist who takes the time to learn what needs to be done and then carefully does the work? Which of those, if any, could you not easily and relatively inexpensively have done if one so desired?
     
  6. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    I owned and converted a 556 saiga in the past. It was a great gun but I wanted something different. I will probably just keep looking around. Have also owned a bulgarian and a hungarian...
     
  7. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    Girodin - I don't think any part of a Saiga conversion is difficult for any competent gunsmith, or for that matter any interested hobbyist with moderate mechanical skills. But I've seen and heard too many stories of appalling work (in various contexts) by people apparently in business as gunsmiths. Also, there are some shops that have put out Saiga conversions by the 100 that have skimped, like the welded bead for a bullet guide that I believe TGI was doing at one time. I don't think you can assume anything about quality when you're talking about 922(r)-compliant conversions of combloc weapons. Just look at the single biggest importer that does such conversion work.
     
  8. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    It is possible to mess up a Saiga conversion. I bought a converted S308 a few years ago for very cheap. One of the odd things I discovered while setting things right was that whoever had done the conversion had bored out the trigger group pin holes a few thousandths of an inch oversize and then had fabricated their own screws to replace the pins. They'd also installed a recoil buffer....backwards.
     
  9. snakeman

    snakeman Member

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    It's probably fine.
     
  10. snakeman

    snakeman Member

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    If you already have one ak though...you could always consider the saiga 308
     
  11. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    Arsenal is making the SGL last time I checked. They are Saiga's when they get here and SGL rifles (922R compliant) when they ship out.
     
  12. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    Sounds to me like a converter problem not a conversion problem.
     
  13. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    I have sold a half dozen or so of these AK's and they are ok for what you get. i would check it for canted sights, and headspace.
     
  14. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    This is one of the reasons I tend to encourage people to do it themselves. The owner tends to care about the end product and thus tends to do a better job than some of the mass commercial conversions that have been cranked out with an eye to maximizing profits. It is a process the vast majority of people can do themselves even including things like threading the barrel.

    That is pretty odd. I have a hard time imagining why they would have done that. I agree however that if you do something that is wholly not part of what needs to be done to convert the gun you can probably find a way to screw it up. Perhaps the guy lost the pins and couldn't figure out how to acquire new ones???
     
  15. notasfancy

    notasfancy Member

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    Saigas are not fancy looks but very good quality. Some businesses with gun-smith-tactical-wanna-bes are not so good quality. Do it yourself or have it properly done.
     
  16. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    So, I have pictures uploading to photobucket, and I hope to get a new thread started tonight showing yet another step by step conversion.

    The major part, that you need to be careful of is taking time. Dont use a grinder or dremel, use a file and step up in drill bit size. It took me an hour to do what was reportedly a 15 minute job of drilling out 2 pins, 1 spot weld and three rivets but when I was done the holes were the same shape and size that they were when I started. I can see where being lazy and trying to get too fancy you could run into problems.
     
  17. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    I really don't know why myself. The screws appear homemade. They have two flathead ends and one side screws into the other, resulting in what looks like a double headed pin. Kind of hard to explain. I didn't really discover they were oversize until I went to replace the trigger group and found that they wouldn't fit. At that point, I decided it was at least functional, if odd, the way it was and left it that way.
     
  18. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    That's like saying that Saleen makes Mustangs or Calloway makes Corvettes.
     
  19. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Elmer... I had read about the horror stories of conversions gone bad. When I drilled out my trigger group pins I punched, then used 1/8th, 3/16th and then 1/4 inch bits to drill out... by the time I got the 1/4 the pin was spinning and I was able to finish the job off with a file.

    [​IMG]

    If you look you can even see the some of the pin that remained after drilling out the left pin. This is good, because the drill but never once touched the reciever.
     
  20. SwordRapier

    SwordRapier Member

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    Do we need a hostage negotator

    I was interested in the answer to the original question but it appears this thread has been hijacked. :neener:
     
  21. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    Mcdonl,
    This was a good job drilling the pins out. You want to barely touch the receiver and they will come off with the punch easily.
    With the bottom ribets just punch them and drill them slowly and all the way. They will eventually disconnect and the entire trigger plate
    comes of. I see folks with files, dremels, etc... you do not need any of that but a good set of bits and a drill press or a good drill with steady hand.
    AND PATIENCE.
     
  22. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    You in my experience do not need to touch the receiver.

    Interestingly, in relation to the discussion above, this isn't even a step in the 308 conversion.

    I wonder if the 308 discussed above is a result of someone not doing much reasearch and using this set of instructions http://www.cross-conn.com/Saiga_Conversion/ and not understanding the differences in the x39 and 308 conversion and just looking for a place to put those silly silver screws. That's my best guess.
     
  23. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    Girodin,
    You are 100% right this step is not needed in the .308. The trigger is all one piece connected by a long wish bone to the rest of the group vs. the other saigas that use a cantilever and those pins are for that cantilever to work. In the .308 though you need to shave the hammer hump as it interferes with the front post, at least with the G2 trigger groups. Same issue with the saiga shotguns.

    Also in other calibers you do not need to touch the receiver when drilling the back pins and if you do it should be minimally, barely touching. With a drill press and very slowly it takes 5 minutes. However you do it take your time as it is better to do it right than to do it fast. There is no race and if someone is in a hurry they shouldn't be working in their carbine in the first place.

    Rough flat plastic plugs found at the local ACE store look like rivets that can cover those holes nicely. Do not use the black gloss plastic plugs, those look like plastic and not metal. No need for the ugly aluminum screw-in posts in that conversion link you posted.

    Cheers,
    E.
     
  24. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    Arsenal and Saigas. Same pedigree.

    All that arsenal does is that they have a different agreement with a company Legion LTD in russia that gets them from the Izmash manufacturing plant where they make the AK 101,102,103,104,105 and 74M carbines and then this 3rd party company goes through a transition condition to get them ready for export and import in the USA. Then Arsenal they work in a regular conversion here with some US furniture and rename them SGLs. They are the same baseline carbines up the mil specs out of the same factory. There are some small details in the receiver as required by the final military rifles that after converted make them look more like the original.
    Some people rather to pay double to have that and that is ok. Some people like to convert themselves the sporterized version of the izhmash as it is required like that for imports and it is ok too, whether they do it to save money or to have fun doing it.

    This are the 3 options to get a nice Russian made carbine or shotgun:

    First Izmash manufactures the carbines..
    http://www.izhmash.ru/eng/product/weapon.shtml

    Option A
    1- The company Legion Customs shop gets the carbines form Izmash and prepares them for export to the USA as they original AKs cannot be imported in the USA.... http://www.exclusivegun.ru/en/index.php/catalog
    2-Then Legion Customs sends the systems to Arsenal in the USA where they change the parts again to make them US 922r compliant.....
    http://www.arsenalinc.com/index.htm
    3-Arsenal distributes them through resellers in the USA.

    Option B
    1- Izmash that sends the saigas to Russian American Armory USA. They do no need any modification as they already 'sporterized' versions.
    http://raacfirearms.com/Saiga.htm
    2-Russian American Armory in the usa distributes them through resellers in the USA and handy buyers convert anyway they want. Make sure you make yours 922r compliant, there is no comprehensible reason for not having yours compliant but I have seen many online that are not.

    Option C
    Find an original Russian Preban, and pay for it. Probably too much.

    Whatever you choose, buy often, put them on your gun rack and enjoy.

    Cheers,
    E.
     
  25. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    You should NOT have to drill anything at all on a Saiga .308 or a Saiga shotgun conversion.

    The "Klinton pins" are simply held in place by their shoulders. Rolling up the shoulders with a cold chisel allows the pins to be removed and there is no chance of "Oops, I picked the wrong bit size" or other mechanized mishaps.
     
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