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I'm looking into getting a Saiga 5.45. Does anyone know exactly what Arsenal does to the basic Saiga 5.45x39 to covert it to their SGL31-61 ?

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I'm looking into getting a Saiga 5.45. Does anyone know exactly what Arsenal does to the basic Saiga 5.45x39 to covert it to their SGL31-61 ?

 

- US-made polymer furniture set

- US-made Arsenal double stage trigger

- US-made AK 74 brake

- AK 74 front sight block

- AK handguard retainer (with corresponding notch in barrel)

- gas block with vents

- AK gas tube

- standard sight leaf

- riveted bullet guide

- riveted, integrated trigger guard/mag catch.

- all of the unsightly leftover holes are seemlessly welded up or otherwise done away with

- lousy paint job added

 

I think that's about everything. I've got the SGL31-61 and a Saiga 5.45 which I converted myself. The former was a better (and much less troublesome) buy. If you want a project gun, buy the Saiga; if you want a fighting rifle now, with a minimum of trouble, buy the SGL.

Edited by Jim Digriz

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Actually I don't think Arsenal converts them at all they seem to just add various parts back on to the rifle. I don't think SGL's are the same as sporters.

 

 

From what I have been able to determine it seems the only parts that appear to be Bulgarian are the trigger guard and possibly the bullet guide, plus the obligatory US compliance parts like furniture, brake and FCG. (And maybe the HG retainer, not 100% on that yet either)

 

FSB and gas block are Russian, sight leaf is modern Izhmash, gas tube appears to be Russian just without Russian furniture. On other forums it's also been discussed that the SGL's might have AK74M top covers while the sporters actually have their own type of top cover. I know my SGL31-44 and SGL31-61 both have what appears to be a military top cover but I haven't seen enough sporters to know for sure about those myself.

 

So while the common thought it that Arsenal is converting sporters themselves in the same manner that we would, I don't think they actually are. Rather it seems they are taking a rifle that appears to be more of a stripped down AK than it is a sporter and just putting mostly Russian parts back on it.

 

 

One clue to what is Arsenal and what isn't is the finish on the rifle. If you've taken a good look you'll notice it's not the "horrible" Arsenal/Bulgarian finish at all, it's actually factory Izhmash on the SGL series, same as the sporters and shotguns. If it's not applied at Izhmash it makes me wonder why Arsenal would go to all the trouble to get the same finish as Izhmash and do it themselves... when they can't even add a PG reinforcement plate on their own, but at the same time already have access to the inky Bulgarian finish we all love on the SLR series. You'll also notice the finish on the brake is very different from the rest of the rifle...and we know the brake is made in the US and refinished here.

 

 

 

Another example is the lack of any evidence the sporter trigger holes have been welded up, again because the Izhmash factory finish is applied to the entire rifle. I've heard that the sporter FCG is held in place by a set of pins or linkages so that no holes are drilled in the receiver and basically they are there with the intention to be removed as soon as Arsenal gets them in the states. I've also heard they are possibly shipped without a FCG at all, but because the SGL receiver has the sporter FCG hole already cut I think it's more likely they ship with the FCG installed.

 

I don't own an SGL31-94 but I've seen Nictra's first hand and again the finish appears to be uniformly Izhmash even though it's a side folder which is technically not importable as a sporter. It seems likely the receiver is cut for the folding trunnion at Izhmash but they still have the sporter stock installed when they come over, then Arsenal removes the sporter stock and adds the folding hardware.

 

 

So after researching this for a while it really seems to me that about the only thing actually Bulgarian on the SGL is the trigger guard and again maybe the bullet guide. I'm still not too sure about that or the HG retainer itself but the notches don't appear to be cut by Arsenal, again due to the finish on the barrel which seems to be Izhmash. The rest of the rifle appears to be factory Izhmash with corresponding US compliance parts from what I can tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Z

Edited by TX-Zen
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On other forums it's also been discussed that the SGL's might have AK74M top covers while the sporters actually have their own type of top cover. I know my SGL31-44 and SGL31-61 both have what appears to be a military top cover but I haven't seen enough sporters to know for sure about those myself.

 

I can't tell any difference between my SGL 31 top cover and the one on my Saiga 5.45.

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Don't hold me to this it is second hand but what I have been told is when the guns come into country they are a reciever, trunion,and a barrel with the FSB and GB installed then Arsenal puts the rest of the together with parts from Izh. that came shipped in a different crate and the correct US parts, Since the gun comes unassembled the goverment lets them come in knowing that Arsenal is building them for this reason. I assume it is because they are a importer and a Class 2 mfg. or they are paying off the right people.:blues: Either way I am glad they are a good gun. This is what I was told by my local dealer who talked to someone at there booth at the SHOT show. Also TX-Zen I was looking at one of the folders and I think they are factory installed I know it is not suppost to be legal but neither was importing S-12 factory 8rd mags till I saw K-var had them.

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from what i was told from the Arsenal sales rep that comes into my local ffl shop from time to time, i asked him what was russian on the rifle. walker told me that the entire rifle is russian minus the furniture, muzzle brake and fcg. as far as how them come into the states, i dont know. didnt ask him that. he wasnt there that long. wouldnt suprise me if they come into the states minus the pistol grip with a sport stock on them and a muzzle nut.

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took me about a week but i finally found the info i was after in this thread.

That being said, is the arsenal worth the extra cost?

thanks guys

Edited by ram3

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That being said, is the arsenal worth the extra cost?

 

 

 

i think it is. it will have better resale value if you decide to sell down the road. if you buy and convert, then you wont be that far off from an arsenal to begin with. but when you convert, you put exactly what you want into the rifle. just depends on what you want.

 

either way you cant go wrong in my book.

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Thanks, Mr. Rat.

 

I just took your experience based advice.

 

fflincher

 

I'm looking into getting a Saiga 5.45. Does anyone know exactly what Arsenal does to the basic Saiga 5.45x39 to covert it to their SGL31-61 ?

 

- US-made polymer furniture set

- US-made Arsenal double stage trigger

- US-made AK 74 brake

- AK 74 front sight block

- AK handguard retainer (with corresponding notch in barrel)

- gas block with vents

- AK gas tube

- standard sight leaf

- riveted bullet guide

- riveted, integrated trigger guard/mag catch.

- all of the unsightly leftover holes are seemlessly welded up or otherwise done away with

- lousy paint job added

 

I think that's about everything. I've got the SGL31-61 and a Saiga 5.45 which I converted myself. The former was a better (and much less troublesome) buy. If you want a project gun, buy the Saiga; if you want a fighting rifle now, with a minimum of trouble, buy the SGL.

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Actually I don't think Arsenal converts them at all they seem to just add various parts back on to the rifle. I don't think SGL's are the same as sporters.

 

 

From what I have been able to determine it seems the only parts that appear to be Bulgarian are the trigger guard and possibly the bullet guide, plus the obligatory US compliance parts like furniture, brake and FCG. (And maybe the HG retainer, not 100% on that yet either)

 

FSB and gas block are Russian, sight leaf is modern Izhmash, gas tube appears to be Russian just without Russian furniture. On other forums it's also been discussed that the SGL's might have AK74M top covers while the sporters actually have their own type of top cover. I know my SGL31-44 and SGL31-61 both have what appears to be a military top cover but I haven't seen enough sporters to know for sure about those myself.

 

So while the common thought it that Arsenal is converting sporters themselves in the same manner that we would, I don't think they actually are. Rather it seems they are taking a rifle that appears to be more of a stripped down AK than it is a sporter and just putting mostly Russian parts back on it.

 

 

One clue to what is Arsenal and what isn't is the finish on the rifle. If you've taken a good look you'll notice it's not the "horrible" Arsenal/Bulgarian finish at all, it's actually factory Izhmash on the SGL series, same as the sporters and shotguns. If it's not applied at Izhmash it makes me wonder why Arsenal would go to all the trouble to get the same finish as Izhmash and do it themselves... when they can't even add a PG reinforcement plate on their own, but at the same time already have access to the inky Bulgarian finish we all love on the SLR series. You'll also notice the finish on the brake is very different from the rest of the rifle...and we know the brake is made in the US and refinished here.

 

 

 

Another example is the lack of any evidence the sporter trigger holes have been welded up, again because the Izhmash factory finish is applied to the entire rifle. I've heard that the sporter FCG is held in place by a set of pins or linkages so that no holes are drilled in the receiver and basically they are there with the intention to be removed as soon as Arsenal gets them in the states. I've also heard they are possibly shipped without a FCG at all, but because the SGL receiver has the sporter FCG hole already cut I think it's more likely they ship with the FCG installed.

 

I don't own an SGL31-94 but I've seen Nictra's first hand and again the finish appears to be uniformly Izhmash even though it's a side folder which is technically not importable as a sporter. It seems likely the receiver is cut for the folding trunnion at Izhmash but they still have the sporter stock installed when they come over, then Arsenal removes the sporter stock and adds the folding hardware.

 

 

So after researching this for a while it really seems to me that about the only thing actually Bulgarian on the SGL is the trigger guard and again maybe the bullet guide. I'm still not too sure about that or the HG retainer itself but the notches don't appear to be cut by Arsenal, again due to the finish on the barrel which seems to be Izhmash. The rest of the rifle appears to be factory Izhmash with corresponding US compliance parts from what I can tell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Z

 

I don't have any info to back it up, but inspecting my 31-94, I have a very hard time believing that this rifle came from Izhmash already cut for the folder and with no rivet holes. Arsenal's quality is average at best, and horrible IMO for the price. If I could do it again I'd take a basic sporter and take it over to Mario and have him do the whole thing. That way I know it would be done right. I'm taking this rifle to Mario anyway to refinish the whole rifle.

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Don't hold me to this it is second hand but what I have been told is when the guns come into country they are a reciever, trunion,and a barrel with the FSB and GB installed then Arsenal puts the rest of the together with parts from Izh. that came shipped in a different crate and the correct US parts, Since the gun comes unassembled the goverment lets them come in knowing that Arsenal is building them for this reason. I assume it is because they are a importer and a Class 2 mfg. or they are paying off the right people.:blues: Either way I am glad they are a good gun. This is what I was told by my local dealer who talked to someone at there booth at the SHOT show. Also TX-Zen I was looking at one of the folders and I think they are factory installed I know it is not suppost to be legal but neither was importing S-12 factory 8rd mags till I saw K-var had them.

 

This might be the actual way then. I checked my SGL 21 when I first got it for welding seams at the linkage holes and I can't seem to find a weld seam anywhere.

If no linkage holes were ever there, then it couldn't have started out as a sporter.

This method of import would make far more sense and require far less work.

 

24dil4o.jpg

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If that's the case, why does the receiver have the slot cut out for the sporter trigger ?

 

They probably used a regular non-third hole(non-select fire) receiver stamping that would normally be used for the saiga line but it didn't have the linkage pin holes or any other sporter cutouts. What I am saying is the receiver is obviously not made for a select fire 7.62x39 and if the idea is correct about how they import these incompletely assembled then it was never originally built into a rifle that would have needed to have the linkage holes.

 

 

The Saiga M3 EXP 1 is semiauto also and never had linkage holes. They ship from the factory exactly as shown in the factory website photo.

 

So, these too should also be able to make their way to the USA if unassembled the same way.

http://www.izhmash.ru/eng/product/saiga-m3exp.shtml

 

saiga-m3-exp.jpg

 

Well, Arsenal did have a folding stock version recently which is probably close to the EXP 1 hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Edited by my762buzz

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the receiver DOES have the sporter trigger cutout

 

 

Yes but no linkage holes. It might not be a regular welded up saiga. If it is, that is one heck of a perfect seamless weld job.

 

How could you explain the lack of linkage holes if they were never there?

Edited by my762buzz

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the receiver DOES have the sporter trigger cutout

 

I am willing to bet that the M3 EXP 1 rifles also have the rear trigger holes but don't have one that I can check.

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I don't have any evidence to know whether or not they were ever there. My money is on the rifle being converter from a stock sporter.

 

I have no doubt whatsoever that arsenal cuts the receivers for the sidefolders. There's no way Izzy would be cutting the hole for the trunnion button off-center.

 

And it makes no sense whatsoever for Izzy to make a non-sporter receiver with no rivet holes and yet have a sporter trigger cutout.

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I don't have any evidence to know whether or not they were ever there. My money is on the rifle being converter from a stock sporter.

 

I have no doubt whatsoever that arsenal cuts the receivers for the sidefolders. There's no way Izzy would be cutting the hole for the trunnion button off-center.

 

And it makes no sense whatsoever for Izzy to make a non-sporter receiver with no rivet holes and yet have a sporter trigger cutout.

 

Ok, then Arsenal has some really talented welders working on these. The grain pattern on my SGL 21 where the linkage holes should be is flawless.

 

I can't explain it otherwise.

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The question is pretty simple. If Arsenal does any cutting or welding of the receiver...why would it have an Izhmash factory finish over the cutting or welding? Because they care that much about attention to detail they took the time and effort to replicate what Izhmash uses?

 

Doubtful.

 

If there's some evidence the 31-94's are refinished by Arsenal I'd like to see it. It's just that so far I haven't.

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The question is pretty simple. If Arsenal does any cutting or welding of the receiver...why would it have an Izhmash factory finish over the cutting or welding? Because they care that much about attention to detail they took the time and effort to replicate what Izhmash uses?

 

Doubtful.

 

If there's some evidence the 31-94's are refinished by Arsenal I'd like to see it. It's just that so far I haven't.

 

Since you bring this up, when I removed all the paint that my sgl21 came with, my trigger guard and oddly the front bayonet lug had a different paint that was not like the Izmash paint over the rest of the rifle. The paint remover peeled the trigger guard and the lug paint pretty fast and took an hour on the rest of the rifle. The paint on the receiver was not touched up with any of the easier to remove paint. Does this mean that Arsenal or possibly Izmash Legion custom shop painted the easy to remove paint on? I don't know. But, the linkage holes area wasn't touched up so I'm not sure what that means either.

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Since you bring this up, when I removed all the paint that my sgl21 came with, my trigger guard and oddly the front bayonet lug had a different paint that was not like the Izmash paint over the rest of the rifle. The paint remover peeled the trigger guard and the lug paint pretty fast and took an hour on the rest of the rifle. The paint on the receiver was not touched up with any of the easier to remove paint. Does this mean that Arsenal or possibly Izmash Legion custom shop painted the easy to remove paint on? I don't know. But, the linkage holes area wasn't touched up so I'm not sure what that means either.

 

The trigger guard is Bulgarian and does have a different finish, not sure on the bayo lug itself. Check and see if you have a 74M FSB...there are differences in how they appear compared to earlier Russian or Bulgarian pattern. It's possible that they slapped a Bulgarian FSB on there instead, but I know that my two SGL31's are definitely Russian. This is Arsenal we're talking about so who knows for sure.

 

 

 

 

the finish on my 31-94 is not the same as what came on my S12, from the factory.

 

Could be true, but the one I've seen in person appeared to be Izhmash. Like I said I haven't seen much in person that makes me think Arsenal is doing a traditional conversion on the sporters and selling them as SGL's. They might be, but there are details that seem odd especially when the finish is examined closely. Considering the SGL's are coming out of Legion I'm inclined to think they are more or less done at the factory and Arsenal is doing the minimum possible before they sell them. I still don't know if it's true but again it seems logical.

 

 

 

Z

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it wouldnt suprise me if Arsenal is getting these rifles in just the way we see them, then swapping out what needs to, for resale to the public. they are a major importer and supplier to the military and government and private security agencies. they also distribute grenade launchers and artillery shells. if i had to guess, they prolly get those from russia as well.

 

if items are to be sold to the public, thats where i see 922 coming into effect.

 

its not too different than saying the MP5 subguns the ATF and FBI use are 922 compliant.

 

and there is also several models of rifles that izhmash is distributing. the manual shows many. but determining what one arsenal uses as its base for the sgl is hard to say.

 

basically what im trying to say is that as a maker and supplier, they can prolly import these rifles in the same fashion as the feds do, but as restricted items of course.

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it wouldnt suprise me if Arsenal is getting these rifles in just the way we see them, then swapping out what needs to, for resale to the public. they are a major importer and supplier to the military and government and private security agencies.

 

If this is the case, then yes they could import restricted rifles without needing to convert, but I never seen any reports of Arsenal supplying military or law enforcement armories with 100 series AKs. They could apply for the permits to try anyway. However, I would think the Feds would really have an issue with this IF the permit is to allow them to market to military and LEOs, but they instead install compliance parts and sell to civilians. I would imagine that the intended purpose of an import permit would play heaviliy into justifying granting it in the first place. I still give them kudos for making these available in the states.

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it wouldnt suprise me if Arsenal is getting these rifles in just the way we see them, then swapping out what needs to, for resale to the public. they are a major importer and supplier to the military and government and private security agencies.

 

If this is the case, then yes they could import restricted rifles without needing to convert, but I never seen any reports of Arsenal supplying military or law enforcement armories with 100 series AKs. They could apply for the permits to try anyway. However, I would think the Feds would really have an issue with this IF the permit is to allow them to market to military and LEOs, but they instead install compliance parts and sell to civilians. I would imagine that the intended purpose of an import permit would play heaviliy into justifying granting it in the first place. I still give them kudos for making these available in the states.

 

 

i havent read any reports of it either. only thing that led me to speculate that was the fact they have a military/government link on their site were they will sell the restricted items.

 

im glad they made these available as well. i wish i had more than one.

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The finish on my SGL21, SGL31 match the finish on my S12 excluding the muzzle finish. I have a friend that bought a SGL21 and they touched up a spot on the dust cover and the touch up matches the muzzle finish. After seeing that I don't think they refinish the SGL's, cause if they did the hole thing would match the muzzle finish.. Just My 2 Cents :smoke:

Edited by THE AK DUDE

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Any chance that they come over as 10rd single stack rifles and are converted to double stack by Arsenal with the appropriate 922r compliance parts.

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Any chance that they come over as 10rd single stack rifles and are converted to double stack by Arsenal with the appropriate 922r compliance parts.

 

I can't find any welded linkage pin holes on mine so I am going to propose a basic hypothesis.

They might be arriving in some variation with the trigger forward already.

 

2m6ubeu.jpg

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Any chance that they come over as 10rd single stack rifles and are converted to double stack by Arsenal with the appropriate 922r compliance parts.

 

I can't find any welded linkage pin holes on mine so I am going to propose a basic hypothesis.

They might be arriving in some variation with the trigger forward already.

 

2m6ubeu.jpg

 

 

 

 

That there makes 100% since to me !!!!!!!!

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