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Arsenal Saiga SGL21 vs. authentic Russian AK103

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Agent Smith, Nov 21, 2009.

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  1. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Member

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    If one wants an AK clone that resembles a true AK103 as closely as possible, does one purchase an Arsenal Saiga SGL21?

    What original AK103 parts are included on a SGL21? Barrel? Receiver? FCG?

    Are there any AK103 clones available on the U.S market that are superior to the Arsenal offering?
     
  2. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    I would think these would almost be exactly the same; they are made in the same factory, are they not? the fire control group is proly american, but it is proly a design by the russians, and given to one of the owners or prev. owners at arsenal. I know a older gentleman down here in Texas, He has a business called Texas AK parts, and the triggers he builds are directly from a russian dude that was on the improvement design team for the triggers.
    I would think everything in the receiver is the same, and the bbl, and levers and safeties. But maybe not fcg, and maybe not the gas piston. Who knows for sure?
     
  3. wojownik

    wojownik Member

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    I'm not sure the Arsenal Saiga conversion has the folding stock, like the AK103.
     
  4. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    rangerruck is referring to Texas AK Triggers


    Arsenal uses a US made FCG of their own design, I'm quite sure.
     
  5. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Member

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    I believe the SGL21s are on sale for $550+. If I recall correctly, Saiga AK103 clones were running much higher than that not too long ago.

    So let me ask again - are there any other AK103 clones on the market that are superior to the Arsenal offering?
     
  6. rizbunk77

    rizbunk77 Member

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    Not that I am aware of. I think a better investment is the SGL-31 closely mimicking the current AK74. Last time a rifle like this was offered from Arsenal they went from 650 new to 1000 ish if you can find one. There may have been some Tromix 103 or Krebs rifles around that would be comparable to the SGL 21 , probly better. They would be on the market as used or new "old stock". For what its worth, the Vepr's and the old milled bulgarians are superior rifles to the new stamped rifles, I am sure you knew that. Also the old milled rifles had a chrome lined steyr barrel. Very accurate.
     
  7. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    The receiver, BCG, front trunnion, and barrel of the SGL21 are all Russian. I.e. all the major functional parts except the trigger.

    The furniture, trigger, and front end work are done by Arsenal with US parts. It is parts count legal even with a completely foreign mag in it.

    Especially for the price, I really doubt you are going to get a more "authentic" AK103 like rifle. They were $499 not long ago, so looks like they are already going back up some.
     
  8. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Member

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    It has come to my attention that all imported Saigas have non-standard gas piston rods. Are these gas piston rods not the same rods installed on Russian AK103 rifles? And if not, are they inferior? If a rod would fail, where can one find a replacement rod?
     
  9. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I don't consider myself an AK expert, but I don't see anything obviously "non standard" about the piston/rod on mine.

    Where are you hearing that?
     
  10. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Have you looked at the gas piston on an AK? It's a solid steel rod...basically no way for it to fail or break. And if it somehow did (and you couldn't buy a replacement), any machine shop with a lathe can turn you a new one without any trouble at all.
     
  11. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Indeed; I'm confident the piston could double as a crowbar if needed... it isn't breaking any time soon.
     
  12. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Member

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    If anyone of you are in a possession of a SGL21, please provide pictures and a brief review.

    I would like to purchase a black one and paint it yellow.
     
  13. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Review I posted on another forum:

    As far as pictures, well, it looks like an AK. I don't think my camera is good enough to capture whatever detail you might be interested in that may set it apart from other AK's visually.

    I have also fired it one time since the review above; 190 rounds of about half and half Wolf FMJ and Brown Bear softpoint. The Brown Bear was a little more accurate, but that is a relative term meaning that a higher percentage of the rounds were in the ~8" black circle at 100 yards. It had been a while since I'd been shooting an AK, So I'm sure I can take personal credit for part of that group, but I remember my VEPR being more accurate. As it should be, since it has the heavier barrel and receiver. I'd like to get a scope on it one day and see how much of that is just my shortcoming with the iron sights specifically, but don't know if I want to do it bad enough to spend the money.

    Edited to add: the magwell has loosened up just a tad, so it is good now, and there is still no play between the piston and the carrier. Like all AK's seem to do, it so far runs 100%, so I'm not real concerned with it either way. I ordered a Tapco SAW style grip, and personally much prefer it to the Russian milspec shaped grip. I didn't have to touch the sights; the groups were basically centered just about perfectly at 100 yards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  14. ChronoCube

    ChronoCube Member

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    Haven't done it myself but maybe you could wrap a tennis racket grip around it to make it beefier and softer.
     
  15. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Member

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    Thanks for the review ny32182.

    How easy would it be to strip the original finish and spray paint /duracoat it yellow?
     
  16. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I wish I could help, but know nothing about refinishing metal.

    Yellow? :uhoh:
     
  17. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Member

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    My understanding is that KVAR is going to raise the prices on these soon.

    Furthermore, these rifles are never going to be sold at these historically low prices again.

    Based on this, I will proceed and purchase two rifles that will be painted red white an blue. Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless the United States of America.
     
  18. nathan

    nathan Member

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  19. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Member

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    Deleted
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  20. bugmenot

    bugmenot Member

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    AK manufacturers don't seem to care about a canted front sight as long as the rifle can still be zeroed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  21. hank327

    hank327 Member

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    Elevation and windage adjustments on AKs are done with the front sight. The front sight screws up and down for windage and you move the front sight drum left or right using a sight adjustment tool. The trapdoor in the buttstock is indeed for a cleaning/tool kit. The proper kit comes in a special metal container that slips neatly into buttstock. I recently bought a SGL21 and I'm very pleased with the fit and finish of my particular rifle. The sights on mine are perfectly aligned, no cant here. I haven't had the chance to shoot it yet but I expect it to do okay.
     
  22. rpf717

    rpf717 Member

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    I recently got my SGL21 a few days ago. Overall I'm pleased and for the price (499) I don't think I could have done better.

    The one thing that bothers me are the stocks/furniture. They are flimsy plastic, and feel like a toy gun :(. I'm planning to get some wood grips/ furniture for it.

    Here's my question though, there are surplus wooden bulgarian stock sets etc, that can be had for fairly cheap. If I put these on, will that drop the number of US parts below the minimum and make the rifle illegal? :confused:

    Thanks
     
  23. bugmenot

    bugmenot Member

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    On page 2 of this pdf, there's a chart of the foreign made parts:
    http://www.arsenalinc.com/downloads/SGL21.pdf

    I think adding a foreign made stock set would put you over the limit, at least when using foreign made magazines.
     
  24. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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