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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/6/2005 9:18:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/3/2005 5:55:52 PM EDT by uberdog]
OK, I may be applying my AR15 mentality on my AK's but...

Has anyone noticed a varitation in the quality of the Arsenal, Inc. milled receivers on their rifles? Specifically machine and sanding marks on the exterior?

I have two Arsenal's; a SA-M7S and a SA-M7SF. The SA-M7SF reciever has wavy machine or sanding marks on the right, rear side of the receiver about 3 inches by 2 inches. Pretty sloppy looking, but mainly an issue because I paid big bucks for this gun. The more common SA-M7S receiver is smooth and even everywhere.

So... is it common or did I get a Friday afternoon gun?

(Edited title for pic)
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 2:36:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 3:29:32 PM EDT
That's one of the very reasons I'm hesitant about buying one of their rifles.
Some of them I've seen make me wonder what's hidden under the paint.

I'm not a big fan of painted guns and would probably strip the paint and polish the receiver and barrel to even out any imperfections in the steel. Then it would get blasted with alum oxide and hot blued. I've polished a lot of guns, some of them in bad shape as far as rust pits and poor machining, and am well aware of what can and can't be polished out, and the thought of working on one of these guns make me a little leary.

Has anyone ever stripped the paint off of an Arsenal milled rifle? What did the metal look like?
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 3:55:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 4:04:57 PM EDT
I have no idea what is under the paint, but it whatever is used to paint the receivers is not very thick and I doubt it is hiding much. In fact if it were I woul not be able to see the wavy sanding marks on the Arsenal I mentioned.

I will take some pics later today and post them.
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 4:23:28 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 5:16:56 PM EDT
Here is a pic of the wavy sanding marks on my Arsenal SA-M7SF. Like I said, not a big deal on a $400 AK, but kinda smarts on a $1300 gun... I would be curious to know if anyone else has noticed this on *any* milled Arsenal rifle:

Link Posted: 8/6/2005 5:25:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2005 5:28:02 PM EDT by thezman]
Man, that sucks large. If that was my rifle it would be going on a road trip to Nevada.

No excuse for machining like that.

Edited to add: That would not just "buff" out.
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 6:21:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thezman:
Man, that sucks large. If that was my rifle it would be going on a road trip to Nevada.

No excuse for machining like that.

Edited to add: That would not just "buff" out.



Yeah I am thinking it would be a decent amount of work even for Arsenal to grind that down and refinish it. My SA-M7S is flawless... I may have to give them a call, but in the past I was given the "They are all made by hand and have variations" line. Which is why I started this thread to find out.
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 6:31:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 6:37:21 PM EDT
Thanks Templar, I pinged you in email.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 12:26:30 AM EDT
I talked to a smith who told me he received 8 SLR-105's from Arsenal and 4 of them arrived in very poor condition (i.e. paint missing, scratches etc.), when he called he was informed that they were "utility guns". WTF does that mean, that they can be scratched to hell? I believe he sent them back though.

I do like mine though and I have no complaints about it.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:15:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Mak:
...he was informed that they were "utility guns". WTF does that mean, that they can be scratched to hell? I believe he sent them back though.



I will be sending it back to them regardless. Arsenal cannot charge over a grand for an AK and then get away with calling it a "Utility Gun". It is a bit of a kick in the ass IMHO.

I will keep a report going here about how they handle it and the outcome.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:26:14 AM EDT
Its kinda like a double-stamped penny...

in 30 years that AK will be worth BIG money.


I believe it is this mentality in the US that caused the Polytech line of rifles to spring
off of Norinco.

I was told that Polytech parts come from the same factories that Norinco came from but
all the parts were selected to be the best of the best and then assembled into complete
rifles. Norincos were not bad rifles, it was just that stuff like machining marks varied from
rifle to rifle. When you bought a Polytech you were getting the best "looking" parts.

Personally, I like it when my firearms are "unique" as long as the function properly.


LB
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 2:19:45 PM EDT
Well the rifle is on a plane to Las Vegas right now. I asked that the receiver be replaced with a new sample rather than re-grind the current one. The entire rifle will need to be torn down and rebuilt either way, I assume. We'll see what they decide to do.

Hopefully I will not have to wait the 6 or more weeks that I have heard others folks are enduring just to hear back about the warranty work. Argh.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 3:41:17 PM EDT
I guess I got lucky the SA M7 carbine I picked up today has no bad machine marks on it what so ever.

Like templar said I'm sure they are rushing to get orders filled, but is still no excuse for a customers rifle.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 4:02:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2005 4:05:29 PM EDT by Sigurd]
Mine looked like that too.

The stock is held in with some pins that I think were welded in, then they tried grinding it down to make it even. On mine you could still see about 1/2 the circumference of the pins.

BTW, I think this problem is exclusive to the M7-SF rifles. Since there is no grinding involved on the regular receivers, it's not an issue. Both the SA M-7S and SA M-7 Classic that I owned were flawless.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 4:21:52 PM EDT
My SA-M5 doesn't have any bad grinds. Arsenal should just send you a whole new rifle ...
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 4:43:20 PM EDT

That's it, I'm not buying anymore Arsenal rifles sight unseen unless Templer personally inspects them for me first.

Last one was lovely on the outside. It was the inside that was F@#%&~
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 10:24:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sigurd:
Mine looked like that too.

The stock is held in with some pins that I think were welded in, then they tried grinding it down to make it even. On mine you could still see about 1/2 the circumference of the pins.

BTW, I think this problem is exclusive to the M7-SF rifles. Since there is no grinding involved on the regular receivers, it's not an issue. Both the SA M-7S and SA M-7 Classic that I owned were flawless.



Sigurd: Do you still have your SA-M7SF? If so can you take some pics and post them? I would be curious to see what it looks like compared to my rifle.

My SA-M7S is perfect in build, but has a few spotty areas of paint. Certainly the receiver looks beautiful on that rifle which is why the 7SF's seemed so sloppy. Sounds like the Arsenal products are getting spotty.
Link Posted: 8/13/2005 10:50:34 PM EDT
No, I don't have it any more.

I couldn't get used to the backwards, unnatural left side safety that operates in the opposite direction from all of my other firearms, including my KTR-03V, which has the lever in the same place, but works correctly.

So I sold it

I have a couple pics but nothing that shows the grinding on the receiver in any meaningful way.
Link Posted: 9/2/2005 2:24:04 PM EDT
Follow Up:

I spoke with the folks at Arsenal today and was told that the rifle was disassembled and the receiver stripped and re-machined. Once it is re-built and re-finished it should be on the way back in another week.

It seems that the sidefolders were sanded by hand rather than machined on the right rear of the receiver. This would explain why others were also seeing the same issue on SF rifles from the same run. Dunno.

I will take pictures and post them to show the work and quality of the fix. Hopefully it will come back looking & functioning 100%.

UD
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 3:11:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2005 3:21:46 AM EDT by ttman]
dayum!!! I would be soooooooooo pissed!!! looks like an ocean there. good thing i stick with good 'o stamped chinese guns. hmm the receiver stripped and re-machined??? I'd be worried, there's only so much material to take away from.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 7:32:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2005 3:10:30 PM EDT by DrewH]
I took a look at mine yesterday, and there is some "waviness" in that area. It is less than your example, and doesn't bother me (everybody's mileage varies, of course), but it is another one that seems to have been hand finished in that area for some reason.

Link Posted: 9/3/2005 9:12:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ttman:
...I'd be worried, there's only so much material to take away from.


I asked this question and was told that they measured the receiver and there was enough room to machine off a bit and still be within tolerance. I was told that if there had not been enough room to shave off a bit and still be within spec that they would destroy that rifle and offer me a new one.

Hopefully they do not need to take to much off, but I am not too worried about it. I trust Arsenal knows how to deal with their milled recievers and build the gun back up. Once it is refinished it should not be detectable that the gun was ever worked on. We'll see. I am assuming Arsenal will do the right thing.


Originally Posted By DrewH:
I took a look at mine yesterday, and there is some "waviness" in that area. ...it is another one that seees to have been hand finished in that area for some reason.


It seems that all the side folders were hand finished this way. If I had known this I may not have sent it back in. At the time I thought my rifle was unusual. The reality is that mine may have been one of the rougher examples and more obvious. Arsenal told me that my SF will now be the only one of the entire run that will have a machined receiver in that area, since all others were done on a grinder.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 5:55:31 PM EDT
Update:

The sidefolder came back to me from Arsenal last week and I wanted to report on the experience with their customer service:

Everyone I spoke with on the phone at Arsenal was extremely courteous and helpful. When I spoke with John originally about the issue of machine marks he immediately said "Send it in and we'll make it right". When I called for updates on progress I was given accurate estimates of time and what was being done to the gun. Shipping estimate was by off by 2 days, meaning the rifle arrived 2 days earlier than expected. They had the gun about 4 weeks total and the results were excellent.

The picture below is a bit dark, but what you are seeing is clean and smooth. Perfect paint, etc. All and all I am very pleased and will not hesitate to buy more rifles from this company in the future.

Link Posted: 10/3/2005 6:55:38 PM EDT
Much improved.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:16:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:36:49 PM EDT
Even the best of companies can have stuff slip by them. It's all in how they handle it that decides how good they really are ...
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 8:34:54 PM EDT
Glad they took care of you.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 3:01:59 AM EDT
Good to know and glad your experience worked out. That is a pricey AK

ARSENAL is one of the more 'under the radar' gun makers I know of.

I cannot recall seeing any parts/services (customer or product) options listed anywhere.

I only recently learned of the K-Var/ARSENAL affiliation and perhaps thats the way they do things

ARSENAL builds them and K-Var side of the house sells parts and service.

Either way, I really like the product- I am on my 3rd.

Link Posted: 10/4/2005 12:35:05 PM EDT
I forgot to mention that Arsenal included a new flash hider in the box with the rifle. I had taken the original one off before sending the gun back and they either thought I needed a new one or gave me an extra for my trouble.

Either way that is a classy move.
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