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Arsenal SGL-21 Has "Mil Spec" Barrel?

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A buddy of mine is being told that the $800 SGL-21 hes buying from Arsenal has a different "Mil Spec" barrel than the rest of the Saiga's coming from Russia. Hes being told by them that the barrels on the Saiga's come from a different line than the mil spec rifles are run on. I think this sounds a little fishy to me, since most here seem to indicate that while Arsenal builds a good rifle, Ive never heard they actually use higher grade compoenents from Russia. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

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The only barrels that I know are different are either stepped, or non-stepped, but that is just a Russian gun control issue from what I have read. This just sounds like someone who is very eager to make a sale. Is this rifle being bought from Arsenal and transferred to an FFL, or is it at a local shop ready to buy? What I would find a coincidence is, if this place also sells sporter Saiga's.

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A buddy of mine is being told that the $800 SGL-21 hes buying from Arsenal has a different "Mil Spec" barrel than the rest of the Saiga's coming from Russia. Hes being told by them that the barrels on the Saiga's come from a different line than the mil spec rifles are run on. I think this sounds a little fishy to me, since most here seem to indicate that while Arsenal builds a good rifle, Ive never heard they actually use higher grade compoenents from Russia. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

 

Which specific components are being compared? I'm not sure if the barrel comment is trying to imply that the sporter saiga barrels are less reliable or less durable?

 

Perhaps the fuss is really about being reconfigured differently like without a chamber step and with a retainer, lugs, and threaded front sight block.

 

However, just because it is reconfigured differently, does not mean the sporter version is made from inferior steel, inferior forging applications, inferior chrome lining,

 

inferior stampings, inferior riveting, or inferior alignment. The quality control level should be exactly the same for both types.

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A buddy of mine is being told that the $800 SGL-21 hes buying from Arsenal has a different "Mil Spec" barrel than the rest of the Saiga's coming from Russia. Hes being told by them that the barrels on the Saiga's come from a different line than the mil spec rifles are run on. I think this sounds a little fishy to me, since most here seem to indicate that while Arsenal builds a good rifle, Ive never heard they actually use higher grade compoenents from Russia. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

 

Which specific components are being compared? I'm not sure if the barrel comment is trying to imply that the sporter saiga barrels are less reliable or less durable?

 

Perhaps the fuss is really about being reconfigured differently like without a chamber step and with a retainer, lugs, and threaded front sight block.

 

However, just because it is reconfigured differently, does not mean the sporter version is made from inferior steel, inferior forging applications, inferior chrome lining,

 

inferior stampings, inferior riveting, or inferior alignment. The quality control level should be exactly the same for both types.

 

He seemed to indicate that the barrel itself was inferior, and that this "mil spec" barrel would shoot .5" groups (obviously he saying its more accurate). If they are indeed using higher "grade" barrels, it might be worth the cost, but if this guy is just blowing smoke, I would like to know that as well.

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A buddy of mine is being told that the $800 SGL-21 hes buying from Arsenal has a different "Mil Spec" barrel than the rest of the Saiga's coming from Russia. Hes being told by them that the barrels on the Saiga's come from a different line than the mil spec rifles are run on. I think this sounds a little fishy to me, since most here seem to indicate that while Arsenal builds a good rifle, Ive never heard they actually use higher grade compoenents from Russia. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

 

Which specific components are being compared? I'm not sure if the barrel comment is trying to imply that the sporter saiga barrels are less reliable or less durable?

 

Perhaps the fuss is really about being reconfigured differently like without a chamber step and with a retainer, lugs, and threaded front sight block.

 

However, just because it is reconfigured differently, does not mean the sporter version is made from inferior steel, inferior forging applications, inferior chrome lining,

 

inferior stampings, inferior riveting, or inferior alignment. The quality control level should be exactly the same for both types.

 

He seemed to indicate that the barrel itself was inferior, and that this "mil spec" barrel would shoot .5" groups (obviously he saying its more accurate). If they are indeed using higher "grade" barrels, it might be worth the cost, but if this guy is just blowing smoke, I would like to know that as well.

 

 

Not going to shoot half inch groups. Benchrest guns with 8 pound barrels have a hard time doing that consistently. "Mil Spec" and "better accuracy" are typically contradictory as mil spec will go to the looser tolerance in favor of reliability.

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He seemed to indicate that the barrel itself was inferior, and that this "mil spec" barrel would shoot .5" groups (obviously he saying its more accurate). If they are indeed using higher "grade" barrels, it might be worth the cost, but if this guy is just blowing smoke, I would like to know that as well.

 

The factors that could contribute to this claim would be a better steel alloy, barrel steel density from more hammering or more intense hammering on the mandrel, and a more uniform bore which could result from a more precise mandrel surface.

 

Most people will have no way of checking whether the steel alloy of the barrel is any different than the other.

 

Are they hammered into a denser steel? A rockwell hardness test might work but who might have this tool on hand and is willing to test both barrel types?

 

Is the bore more uniform? Does anyone have a very good bore analysis scope and know what to look for?

 

This is what would need to be checked and even most gunsmiths are not specialists in these areas.

 

I have not seen any public documents from Arsenal that even attempt to make these claims and would like to know how Chris Butler came to know this

 

Until I see any solid proof otherwise, I can't believe that the saiga sporter barrels are made of inferior steel or of an inferior process.

Edited by my762buzz

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I have an ETA:SLR106ur which has a 1:7 twist and accepts 75-77 grain .223/5.56. My Saiga takes the standard 62 grain steel case and has a 1:9 twist. I wonder if whoever was referring to something like that. As far as barrel size im pretty sure my saiga has a thiker barrel than the SLR. Im curious and am going to look now.:024:

Edited by AZG

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He seemed to indicate that the barrel itself was inferior, and that this "mil spec" barrel would shoot .5" groups (obviously he saying its more accurate). If they are indeed using higher "grade" barrels, it might be worth the cost, but if this guy is just blowing smoke, I would like to know that as well.

 

The factors that could contribute to this claim would be a better steel alloy, barrel steel density from more hammering or more intense hammering on the mandrel, and a more uniform bore which could result from a more precise mandrel surface.

 

Most people will have no way of checking whether the steel alloy of the barrel is any different than the other.

 

Are they hammered into a denser steel? A rockwell hardness test might work but who might have this tool on hand and is willing to test both barrel types?

 

Is the bore more uniform? Does anyone have a very good bore analysis scope and know what to look for?

 

This is what would need to be checked and even most gunsmiths are not specialists in these areas.

 

I have not seen any public documents from Arsenal that even attempt to make these claims and would like to know how Chris Butler came to know this

 

Until I see any solid proof otherwise, I can't believe that the SGL barrels are made of inferior steel or of an inferior process.

 

Probably just a typo on your part, but the claim is that the SGL has a superior barrel on it, not the other way around. I tend to think this is BS......

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He seemed to indicate that the barrel itself was inferior, and that this "mil spec" barrel would shoot .5" groups (obviously he saying its more accurate). If they are indeed using higher "grade" barrels, it might be worth the cost, but if this guy is just blowing smoke, I would like to know that as well.

 

The factors that could contribute to this claim would be a better steel alloy, barrel steel density from more hammering or more intense hammering on the mandrel, and a more uniform bore which could result from a more precise mandrel surface.

 

Most people will have no way of checking whether the steel alloy of the barrel is any different than the other.

 

Are they hammered into a denser steel? A rockwell hardness test might work but who might have this tool on hand and is willing to test both barrel types?

 

Is the bore more uniform? Does anyone have a very good bore analysis scope and know what to look for?

 

This is what would need to be checked and even most gunsmiths are not specialists in these areas.

 

I have not seen any public documents from Arsenal that even attempt to make these claims and would like to know how Chris Butler came to know this

 

Until I see any solid proof otherwise, I can't believe that the SGL barrels are made of inferior steel or of an inferior process.

 

Probably just a typo on your part, but the claim is that the SGL has a superior barrel on it, not the other way around. I tend to think this is BS......

 

Yes, typo fixed.

 

The only inherent advantage I can see of the SGL barrels is no chamber step. The term "mil spec" would mostly serve to indicate exact dimensions as one of the select fire rifles that Izmash produces for non-civilian use. Arsenal's use of the term is to incite collectors or enthusiasts to covet these more because they are LIKE the ones on select fire rifles. This is a marketing tool which promotes a sense of authenticity and with some people a deep seated connection to real events. I'm not sure how superior performance came out of Arsenal's marketing term.

Edited by my762buzz

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The way it was explained to me by people who have been to Izhmash and seen first hand is that Legion uses parts built on the military assembly line including barrels. Saiga sporters are built in a different part of Izhmash on the civilian assembly line.

 

At Izhmash nothing is milspec until the rifle has been accepted for service in a military order, when it is random testing has to prove it's built to specs and is GTG. In order to be able to pass random testing all the parts naturally have to be what we would consider milspec. Sporters OTOH do not get the same QC applied to them because they will not be going into military service...they aren't rejects, they just aren't held to the standard that the military would accept. Since Legions are built on the military side of the house it stands to reason they would have higher quality parts than the sporters.

 

Personally I haven't been there to see for myself and can't say for sure. However guys like Chris Butler are well respected in the AK industry, he's one of the top builders and is in a very select few that can do perfect clones of the AK103. There are a number of different people that have told me the same thing...some Russians that are well connected and have been there, some Americans that are well connected and been there too and guys like Chris Butler who make a living on knowing the details of these rifles. Again I haven't seen for myself but I have to think the quality on a Legion is more than Arsenal marketing hype, the people that have seen this stuff first hand aren't the kind of people that need to feel good about the money they spent on their precious SGL, they are the kind of people that have to have the exact match to what Izhmash builds.

 

So in this case where I haven't been there to see it first hand I have to consider the information I do know. People that have excellent credibility have told me there is more to the Legion than marketing hype, I tend to think that makes sense rather than the purely cynical view that Arsenal is just trying to sell more guns. The argument is tricky...it boils down to people who know absolutely nothing about guys like Chris Butler, Legion or Izhmash and who insist that SGL's are just converted Saiga's without having any solid facts. The same people also use the argument that people who buy SGL's are just trying to justify the stupid price they paid for them. The other side of the argument is a number of people in the business that seem to know what's going on the inside of Izhmash and have been there to see in person.

 

As for me, in general I tend to side with people that have some first hand knowledge vs those who have none. In this case I'm still on the fence on a final decision...I tend to believe there is more to the Legion than just a converted sporter but I won't say it's fact until I personally know for sure. All I'm pointing out here is that people that know nothing are usually the loudest ones saying Legions are the same as everything else. They could be, but some sharp people in the biz seem to think differently and to me that's worth considering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Z

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At Izhmash nothing is milspec until the rifle has been accepted for service in a military order, when it is random testing has to prove it's built to specs and is GTG. In order to be able to pass random testing all the parts naturally have to be what we would consider milspec. Sporters OTOH do not get the same QC applied to them because they will not be going into military service...they aren't rejects, they just aren't held to the standard that the military would accept. Since Legions are built on the military side of the house it stands to reason they would have higher quality parts than the sporters.

 

If this is the case how do we account for the Sporters that show up without chamber steps, threaded muzzles, and proper HG slots?

 

a oops?

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Probably for the same reason that a lot of strange things happen. It is Izhmash....if they are running short on sporter barrels but have a surplus of military barrels to me it makes sense they would use what they had.

 

I'm not saying that there is an entirely different barrel manufacturing plant for each type of Saiga, SGL or AK manufactured at Izhmash (and if it sounds that way I apologize), what I'm saying is that when they make barrels, FSB's, top covers etc they are probably doing it in batches intended for one type of rifle or the other. After the parts are built they are sent to where ever they are needed and finished up from there. In the case of sporter barrels they don't bother with HG retainers etc, in the case of SGL's they do.

 

If they made 500 parts to build sporters and 500 parts to build SGL's or other AK's they'd end up with a stock pile of both. Hypothetically if the military decided on 400 AK74M's and US importers asked for 600 sporters to me it makes sense they might take from the already finished military pile for the barrels they need on the sporter sale rather than build another 100 sporter barrels which will then leave 100 military barrels sitting there doing nothing. Izhmash isn't a multi billion dollar corp with money to burn, they have a tendency not to pay their people, run up huge debt and then restructure to get it sorted out. To me it wouldn't make sense to have tons of excess sitting around because that all costs money to build in the first place...but this IS Izhmash we're talking about so anything could be happening for all we know.

 

 

 

So like I said I haven't been there and won't say this is the gospel, but this is the way it has been explained to me to by a few people, and I'm trying to explain it back.

 

 

Z

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well I can certainly agree things are often inconsistant coming from the factory over there.

 

My own sporter has no chamber step, HG slots, and did not have a threaded barrel. its interesting to think it started the process on one side of the house, got pulled off one step short and sent to the sporter side.

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I don't own a 7.62, but my 5.45s have slots for hg's, dimples, no chamber step and of course no threads. I have no idea how the really do it, but I see this as an excellent opportunity to contact the factory ^_^

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well I can certainly agree things are often inconsistant coming from the factory over there.

 

My own sporter has no chamber step, HG slots, and did not have a threaded barrel. its interesting to think it started the process on one side of the house, got pulled off one step short and sent to the sporter side.

 

 

Mines a 2002 Eaa saiga, and its barrel is the same way, and I know of others, whos saiga sporters barrel is the same too. If ALL sporter barrels had steps, no threading and no HG slots the statement would hold water. Since we have alot of sporter barrels with these military issue features, It would only make sense that they are all the same barrels, but I am no expert on production either , I know only what I hear. I have to think though, doesnt a logical answer make sense most every time?

 

If they were to make military barrels to put on their military rifles, and plane barrels with steps for their sporters, then there would be two different assembly lines for the two different barrels, and puting a military barrel on a sporter would cost them money, unless there is an unusual excess of military barrels that need used up(which would probably be rather rare). I cant see this as the case, as there are plenty of sporters with the military barrels, to many to think this is just a random, once in a while mistake, or a situation where excess barrels need used up.

http://forum.saiga-12.com/index.php?/topic/60015-threaded-barrel-no-chamber-step/page__view__findpost__p__571451__fromsearch__1 This may shed a tiny bit of light on the what we are looking at here, I cant imagine they are making two different types of barrels.

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All I'm pointing out here is that people that know nothing are usually the loudest ones saying Legions are the same as everything else. They could be, but some sharp people in the biz seem to think differently and to me that's worth considering.

 

My comments about grades of steel or more precise barrel forming methods have to do with reasoning about the whether the Legion barrels will last longer or shoot more precisely than sporter barrels. If mil spec only matters in barrel dimensions including proper notching grooves and markings, then the difference is insignificant as far as overall durability or precision.

I'm not saying there is no difference, but just that to matter in the areas that result in durability and precision this involves more than authentic Russian arsenal markings or proper retainer notches. Markings and notches do not make a barrel more durable or accurate. All I am saying is that until someone presents some solid evidence that Izmash uses better steel or more refined methods in making the mil spec barrels or Legion barrels versus the sporter barrels that I won't believe it.

 

A similar thread could have been started suggesting that Izmash mil spec receivers (select fire third hole) last 10 times what a sporter receiver lasts because the mil spec receivers are made of a much higher grade tool steel that is hammered 3 times as long and heat treated over 3 days. Someone's friend heard this from a cousin that is dating Kalishnakov's great granddaughter. Without any real way to confirm this, it just becomes a rumor or worse an internet myth. Bear in mind I own an SGL21 and absolutely love it, but could not in good conscience determine that it will outlast a sporter saiga in service life or that it will shoot significantly more precisely.

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A country that simplifies like the Russians most likely only make ONE style blank, and the difference is just lathe work.

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A country that simplifies like the Russians most likely only make ONE style blank, and the difference is just lathe work.

This is pretty much my thoughts on this topic also.

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All I'm pointing out here is that people that know nothing are usually the loudest ones saying Legions are the same as everything else. They could be, but some sharp people in the biz seem to think differently and to me that's worth considering.

 

My comments about grades of steel or more precise barrel forming methods have to do with reasoning about the whether the Legion barrels will last longer or shoot more precisely than sporter barrels. If mil spec only matters in barrel dimensions including proper notching grooves and markings, then the difference is insignificant as far as overall durability or precision.

I'm not saying there is no difference, but just that to matter in the areas that result in durability and precision this involves more than authentic Russian arsenal markings or proper retainer notches. Markings and notches do not make a barrel more durable or accurate. All I am saying is that until someone presents some solid evidence that Izmash uses better steel or more refined methods in making the mil spec barrels or Legion barrels versus the sporter barrels that I won't believe it.

 

A similar thread could have been started suggesting that Izmash mil spec receivers (select fire third hole) last 10 times what a sporter receiver lasts because the mil spec receivers are made of a much higher grade tool steel that is hammered 3 times as long and heat treated over 3 days. Someone's friend heard this from a cousin that is dating Kalishnakov's great granddaughter. Without any real way to confirm this, it just becomes a rumor or worse an internet myth. Bear in mind I own an SGL21 and absolutely love it, but could not in good conscience determine that it will outlast a sporter saiga in service life or that it will shoot significantly more precisely.

 

 

I guess it all depends on how much credibility you give to the person that's seen it first hand. If you can't accept a persons credentials nor what they have apparently seen with their own eyes then yes, this is absolutely a he said she said debate with no provable point other than heresay. All I'm saying is what people who are respected in the business have relayed to me. You guys are welcome to take it or leave it. As for me, I'm generally very critical of what people say and do even if I don't say much about it. Even when I respect someone I don't take their word for granted, I will usually try and find some kind of corroboration. In this case the same kind of information has come from multiple sources who either have been to Izhmash or have contacts that they can rely on, so it all seems to match up.

 

Anyway as I said take it for what it is, I'm not trying to insist or be antagonistic just relaying things that make sense the way it was explained to me.

 

 

Z

Edited by TX-Zen

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All I'm pointing out here is that people that know nothing are usually the loudest ones saying Legions are the same as everything else. They could be, but some sharp people in the biz seem to think differently and to me that's worth considering.

 

My comments about grades of steel or more precise barrel forming methods have to do with reasoning about the whether the Legion barrels will last longer or shoot more precisely than sporter barrels. If mil spec only matters in barrel dimensions including proper notching grooves and markings, then the difference is insignificant as far as overall durability or precision.

I'm not saying there is no difference, but just that to matter in the areas that result in durability and precision this involves more than authentic Russian arsenal markings or proper retainer notches. Markings and notches do not make a barrel more durable or accurate. All I am saying is that until someone presents some solid evidence that Izmash uses better steel or more refined methods in making the mil spec barrels or Legion barrels versus the sporter barrels that I won't believe it.

 

A similar thread could have been started suggesting that Izmash mil spec receivers (select fire third hole) last 10 times what a sporter receiver lasts because the mil spec receivers are made of a much higher grade tool steel that is hammered 3 times as long and heat treated over 3 days. Someone's friend heard this from a cousin that is dating Kalishnakov's great granddaughter. Without any real way to confirm this, it just becomes a rumor or worse an internet myth. Bear in mind I own an SGL21 and absolutely love it, but could not in good conscience determine that it will outlast a sporter saiga in service life or that it will shoot significantly more precisely.

 

 

I guess it all depends on how much credibility you give to the person that's seen it first hand. If you can't accept a persons credentials nor what they have apparently seen with their own eyes then yes, this is absolutely a he said she said debate with no provable point other than heresay. All I'm saying is what people who are respected in the business have relayed to me. You guys are welcome to take it or leave it. As for me, I'm generally very critical of what people say and do even if I don't say much about it. Even when I respect someone I don't take their word for granted, I will usually try and find some kind of corroboration. In this case the same kind of information has come from multiple sources who either have been to Izhmash or have contacts that they can rely on, so it all seems to match up.

 

Anyway as I said take it for what it is, I'm not trying to insist or be antagonistic just relaying things that make sense the way it was explained to me.

 

 

Z

 

For me it would come down to who these "people" are, what positions they have in exactly what parts of the "industry", etc...

 

Seriously, if it's some sales guy that took a trip to Russia as opposed to a metallurgist who was specifically looking at the barrel crafting at the factory, well you can see how it would matter. One might also consider who the person works for and whether or not they have an agenda (ie...promoting the sales of a specific rifle over another).

 

Just my :2c:

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The way it was explained to me by people who have been to Izhmash and seen first hand is that Legion uses parts built on the military assembly line including barrels. Saiga sporters are built in a different part of Izhmash on the civilian assembly line.

 

At Izhmash nothing is milspec until the rifle has been accepted for service in a military order, when it is random testing has to prove it's built to specs and is GTG. In order to be able to pass random testing all the parts naturally have to be what we would consider milspec. Sporters OTOH do not get the same QC applied to them because they will not be going into military service...they aren't rejects, they just aren't held to the standard that the military would accept. Since Legions are built on the military side of the house it stands to reason they would have higher quality parts than the sporters.

 

Personally I haven't been there to see for myself and can't say for sure. However guys like Chris Butler are well respected in the AK industry, he's one of the top builders and is in a very select few that can do perfect clones of the AK103. There are a number of different people that have told me the same thing...some Russians that are well connected and have been there, some Americans that are well connected and been there too and guys like Chris Butler who make a living on knowing the details of these rifles. Again I haven't seen for myself but I have to think the quality on a Legion is more than Arsenal marketing hype, the people that have seen this stuff first hand aren't the kind of people that need to feel good about the money they spent on their precious SGL, they are the kind of people that have to have the exact match to what Izhmash builds.

 

So in this case where I haven't been there to see it first hand I have to consider the information I do know. People that have excellent credibility have told me there is more to the Legion than marketing hype, I tend to think that makes sense rather than the purely cynical view that Arsenal is just trying to sell more guns. The argument is tricky...it boils down to people who know absolutely nothing about guys like Chris Butler, Legion or Izhmash and who insist that SGL's are just converted Saiga's without having any solid facts. The same people also use the argument that people who buy SGL's are just trying to justify the stupid price they paid for them. The other side of the argument is a number of people in the business that seem to know what's going on the inside of Izhmash and have been there to see in person.

 

As for me, in general I tend to side with people that have some first hand knowledge vs those who have none. In this case I'm still on the fence on a final decision...I tend to believe there is more to the Legion than just a converted sporter but I won't say it's fact until I personally know for sure. All I'm pointing out here is that people that know nothing are usually the loudest ones saying Legions are the same as everything else. They could be, but some sharp people in the biz seem to think differently and to me that's worth considering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Z

 

 

 

Having more then one source have the same detail of info about how it's done at Izhmash is believable and I don't see how someone like myself that hasn't been there to see it first hand not believe someone that has been there to see it first hand.......

Edited by THE AK DUDE

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