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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 9/6/2009 11:26:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/6/2009 11:29:13 AM EST by TX-Zen]
I decided to pull the trigger on an SGL31 in 5.45x39 and have to say I am one happy mofo right now. After years of enjoying the hell out of my Bulgarian SLR105 I've been dying for a real Russian 5.45 to come on the market and was excited last year to hear that sporter Saiga's were probably going to finally be available. I had a lot of fun converting my 7.62 Saiga and was looking forward to getting my hands on a 5.45, but then lo and behold Arsenal gets into the game with the SGL20's. I held my breath and sure enough they managed to get their hands on the SGL31 all nice and done up as an AK74 with all the work already done. Pretty much killed any desire I had to convert another because by the time you get it to the same configuration you are already at or more than the cost of buying one already built that way, so to me this was a no brainer.

Needless to say I am more than impressed to havethe SGL31, but two things immediately surfaced when I brought it home earlier this week...a badly canted FSB and two different areas of the finish that were flaking. The FSB was a relatively easy fix by tapping it back into more or less true with a nice rubber mallet and the finish areas are actually so small as to not be noticable unless you are really looking. For the price naturally we all expect the perfect rifle but coming from Arsenal doesn't surprise me and honestly doesn't bother me either. I'm one who doesn't mind putting in a bit of work to get something as authentic as an SGL31 into perfect shape and I actually went into the buy prepared to get exactly what I ended up getting. The test target showed a decent group so the cant isn't as bad as it looks, and after tapping in into place it seemed to shoot pretty well.

Aside from those two glaring oversights on their part, I can say that this is the nicest Saiga or Arsenal finish I've ever seen out of the box. Between my friends and I I've seen 8+ Saiga 7.62's, 5+ S12's, 3+ 308's and a 223, plus half a dozen SLR105's, 106's and 107's. I'm not sure what is different about the paint but there is definately something different and it's nicer than all the rest. Like any Saiga or Arsenal I doubt it's really tough but it sure does look nice in person, so that was a pleasant surprise, flakey patches and all. This is also the stiffest and most stubbornly put together AK I've ever seen also...everything except the bolt carrier is tight and difficult to move. Top cover is hard to get off, the gas tube retainer felt like it was welded in place and the HG retainer needed some taps from the mallet to break free. No complaints at all but this SGL has the most 'new AK' feeling I've ever encountered. It also has the legendary Arsenal injection molded trigger which I have to say is the most horribly gritty trigger I've ever shot. If you're considering getting one be sure to order a G2 trigger and save yourself the unpleasant experience of the Arsenal one. It effin sucks - no if's, and's or but's.

At the range I didn't have time to run it through it's paces or shoot for groups, but I did put a couple mags just to test function and all is good, as expected. Next week I'll take some time to see what kind of groups it can get but today I was busy helping a friend zero his new Tiger.

Here she is in all her plum glory, though I am going to switch to 74 laminate as her permanent look after I get some in. Also had to use a shiny plum instead of the plum that came with the set, the color match was way off.
Compliance parts are Arsenal FCG, brake, US floor plate and follower.

And I'm done buying guns, really

Link Posted: 9/6/2009 11:41:17 AM EST
Originally Posted By TX-Zen:
And I'm done buying guns, really



Can't Wait for the Range report
Link Posted: 9/6/2009 12:31:28 PM EST
nice, now to find the Russian folder and hardware
Link Posted: 9/6/2009 1:28:17 PM EST
Damn that looks good. I am selling my plasma to get enough money to buy one of those and I was really leaning toward going old-school and putting some wood on the Russian, but that plum has me second guessing myself. Too bad I am getting so light headed or I'd step up the plasma sessions.
Link Posted: 9/6/2009 2:16:26 PM EST
Nice rifle you have there! Congrats
Link Posted: 9/6/2009 6:31:19 PM EST
You know I was thinking that I had too many AK's already, and I was actually thinking about getting a Colt 6920. Then I see these fucking beautiful pics of a Russian AK-74, and you SIR have just drug my ass back to the dark side. That is a good looking rifle.

My wife said I have to save up for a couple more months to get a new toy, and if these SGL31's dry up by then I just might have to choke a bitch. (No I would not choke my wife, and I love her with all my heart.)
Link Posted: 9/6/2009 7:08:35 PM EST
Very nice sir. I have been thinking about getting back into the AK game. I am really thinking the 5.45 is what I want to do since some ammo is still available at a decent price.
Link Posted: 9/7/2009 12:42:58 PM EST
I found someone who has one of these on back-order but I'm the first one on the list and if it comes it's mine. I sold my SLR-105A1r before this deployment and have been bummed since, but when I got the email from KVAR I know all hope wasn't lost. I kept all of my mags and ammo so It's going to be plug and play for me. Great looking rifle and I too want to put some Soviet laminate on mine. Some day it might wear a triangle sidefolder as well. Nothing beats a full laminate stocked AKM or a AKS-74 with laminate handguards! Two sexiest rifles out there!

Link Posted: 9/7/2009 2:13:08 PM EST
I'm on the hunt for a 5.5mm trunnion, but I already have the stock and front latch. Even if I get it I'm not entirely sure I'll get it converted to a side folder because I don't have a single fixed stock AK, even my S12 has a folder. I'm just fixated like that

With any luck I'll get out to the range again this weekend, will try to get a good zero on the irons and see what groups it can deliver. I need to replace the trigger too...blech what a POS indeed.

Link Posted: 9/7/2009 2:56:01 PM EST
I'm probably going to stick with full stock as well...but may hunt down the hardware and a stock just in case I decide to later on though... Can never be too safe.

Link Posted: 9/7/2009 3:09:18 PM EST
The main reason I like the triangle folder, other than looks, is the practicality of mounting an SVD cheekpad for use with optics. Since my SLR105 is doing great configured like it is I have less reason to convert the side folder on the SGL31.

This setup is hard to beat in terms of shooting comfort:

Thanks to the handy dandy electrical tape, the cheekpad can be rotated downward quickly if the irons are needed, so this config works really well for a practical shooter. In the past when I've mounted the PO 3.5x21P the cheekweld is excellent with the SVD pad mounted.

If I ever do convert the SGL to a side folder I will definately be slapping the SVD pad on it as well, it is by far the most comfortable setup I've used on an AK with optics.

Link Posted: 9/7/2009 4:20:06 PM EST
I'll keep that in mind if I do go with a triangle sidefolder in the future! Thanks!

Link Posted: 9/9/2009 4:38:55 PM EST
With NSPU:

PO 3.5x21P:

Link Posted: 9/20/2009 2:30:13 PM EST

1st pic with panzer faust

Nice rifle
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