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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 9/3/2003 6:47:35 AM EST
I think I've talked myself into getting one when they become available. I got me 20 bulgy waffles on the way so it looks like I'm committed. My SA-M7S needs a partner. Heck, I might even pimp the SA-M5 out with all the cool tactical stuff available.

Anyone heard when these guns are going to be availabe? Templar?
Link Posted: 9/3/2003 8:35:08 AM EST
Yeah, I have been wondering also. I picked up 8 waffle mags myself, and have bben eyeballing the FSB/MB on sale at K-Var also.....What's a guy to do?
Link Posted: 9/3/2003 5:32:18 PM EST

I've been eying these as well. What magazines will they take or not take?

Link Posted: 9/3/2003 5:37:03 PM EST
They will take the Bulgarian waffle .223 mags. Any others I am not sure of. AFAIK, the only place to find em is the EE or 2nd hand somewhere.

Link Posted: 9/3/2003 5:40:14 PM EST
We have been told that the SA-M5's should be available sometime late Sept.

They will take the Bulgarian 30 rd. "waffle" magazines in 5.56mm. I have absolutely no idea whether or not they will work OK with the East German Weiger magazines or not, but the guys at Arsenal would not confirm if they do or not.

I'd really, really like these things to get out too.....
Link Posted: 9/9/2003 6:58:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/9/2003 7:01:19 PM EST by Robert2011]

Originally Posted By Templar:
We have been told that the SA-M5's should be available sometime late Sept.

The Arsenal forums were working tonight (finally) and I saw an old post that they will have the magical, potent, and blessed 1-7" barrel twist!!!!!

Now I'm drooling.

Finally, a high-quality .223 AK with a 1-7" barrel! A dozen years ago I didn't buy a Galil for $1500 because it lacked the magical barrel, and regretted it for years (and still do). The Arsenal lacks the Galil rear sight, but I am hoping there will be an easy (no shipping to a gunsmith) fix down the line. In any case I am not waiting. I am getting one of these as soon as it appears.

Link Posted: 9/9/2003 7:12:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mbsk01:
They will take the Bulgarian waffle .223 mags. Any others I am not sure of. AFAIK, the only place to find em is the EE or 2nd hand somewhere.

Thanks. I found Bishop223 on EE and cleaned him out of .223 Bulgy waffles. I couldn't help myself.

I hope the ban goes away next year so they can start making these again. I'm not sure if I should stock up on AK-74 mags in case they can be converted or just wait it out.

Link Posted: 9/10/2003 9:25:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By Robert2011:

Thanks. I found Bishop223 on EE and cleaned him out of .223 Bulgy waffles. I couldn't help myself.


Yea, Bishop223 is where I got my 20 5.56 waffles. They arrived yesterday and are soo nice. Everyone else that even has them wanted $25-$35 a piece . I wonder if K-var will ever get some in and what they will price them at? I think they were at $19 each before they ran out many months ago. I'm ready.
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 11:02:11 AM EST
For what it is worth, I am sitting on 16 Chief Keith Bulgy 5.56 mags waiting for a happy home.
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 4:12:06 PM EST
OK...........Latest skinny on the SA-M5.

I talked with Vartan today (pres. of Arsenal Inc.) and the SA-M5's are in the process of being stocked and then shipped out. They SHOULD be "available" by the end of the month.

Keep your fingers crossed......

He's got RPK's in 5.56mm too!
Link Posted: 9/10/2003 9:47:53 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/19/2003 2:28:05 PM EST
Will these guns have a muzzle brake attached? Also, are they 5.56mm or 5.45mm? (I've heard both!)

Link Posted: 9/19/2003 2:47:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By BuddyLeeManofAction:
Will these guns have a muzzle brake attached? Also, are they 5.56mm or 5.45mm? (I've heard both!)


The pictures I have seen show them with a muzzle brake like that of the SAM-7. They will be in 5.56, no plans for a 5.45 that I have heard of yet.
Link Posted: 9/19/2003 5:14:06 PM EST
I think I was getting the new Arsenal, Inc guns confused with the Global Trades/Arsenal USA guns. Why couldn't they have picked a more different name!
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 1:28:49 PM EST
I just got back from a two week trip out of ths country, and popped in the shop today to find SA-M5S's on the shelf. We got them in!

They look great, just like the SA-M7S's do.

No, I don't know if they take the DDR magazines, but the Bulgy magazines are still out there.

Just a heads up.....Arsenal Inc. is finally shipping the 5 series!
Link Posted: 10/18/2003 5:58:38 PM EST
I picked up my M-5S today. It was $709 out the door. Looks like it has the same quality as the M-7, in fact it looks virtually the same.

The manual gave me a scare when I got home. It says the twist rate is 1/240mm which is 1/9.5 inches, not the magic 1/7" we need to stabilize those 77gr super-fragmenters that are necessary when you get into the 16" barrel range. But the specs are EXACTLY the same as listed in the M-7 manual, except for the caliber. I hope and pray they just forgot to update the manual and I really have the 1/7" twist barrel.

My less then accurate scale has it running about 2oz more than the M-7. Not bad.

Bulgarian .223 waffles fit fine. AK-74 mags fit fine. East German "Weiger" SAR-3 mags are too wide in the front to fit.

If I have enough time tomorrow I want to get it to the range. I picked up a cheap Russian scope mount while waiting for the nice RobArms model to come in and put a cheap Tasco scope on it. If I get it to work maybe I can report on accuracy.
Link Posted: 10/19/2003 4:48:46 PM EST
I had a disappointing time at the range today. For starters it was not the normal Sunday afternoon ghost town I am used to so I was crowded in. Next I wasted too much time and ammo on the cheap Russian scope mount. It was hitting about 4 feet right and 3 feet down when I started. After much adjustment I was on target, but I began getting weird 2 foot groups. When I checked the mount and rings at home all was tight. After a few rounds at the range the mount became so loose I could move it right and left, forward and back. I haven't figured out what is going on with it yet, but that was just one of the problems I was having. I usually keep better track of what is going on, but when Murphy gets into everything it is easy to loose track.

The trigger on the M-5S was not returning to the forward position on its own after firing. I had to push it forward with my trigger finger. This occurred every three or four rounds for a while, then sporadically. With all the troubles with the scope mount I lost track of the count, but by the end of the shooting session of 78 rounds it may have stopped. It will take future range visits to tell if this is a manufacturing defect or just a break-in problem. I had 80 rounds of Federal XM193, Lot 032, but upon opening the boxes I had to discard 2 rounds for severe dents in the shoulders. Murphy again.

Next I went to open sights. Arsenal says in the user manuals it is, "already zeroed..to 100 meters...It is not recommended that you attempt a windage adjustment to alter the factory zero."

Note: All my shooting today was done at 100 yards.

My M-7S shot about 3 inches high and 4 inches to the left when I previously took it to the range. I adjusted the front sight up to compensate for elevation and believed the manual for the windage, thinking it must just be me, I am doing something that causes it to shoot left. But today I changed my mind.

The M-5S was hitting about 8 inches high and 8 inches to the left, which makes me think the factory never adjusted the sights (The manual says it is sighted at the factory for 100 meters, but the rear was set at the 200 meter setting when I opened the box). I raised the front sight to get it level, but did not have a windage adjustment with me, so my groups remained to the left. The groups themselves were about 8 inch groups. Not good, but I have never done well with this type of sighting system anyway, so don't know for sure.

With the M-7S, I previously shot the same 8 inch groups using Wolf 7.62x39 ammo. I thought it was the Wolf ammo, but maybe it's the sights and my inexperience with them. Hopefully it's not the gun. Without a good scope mount I cannot know for sure.

The magazine that came with the M-5S looks like a 10 rounder, but in another disappointment, it only holds five. It was a real bummer of a time at the range.

I also brought a Colt Sporter with a 16 inch barrel that I just installed Trijicon front and rear sights on a couple of days ago. I repeatedly shot 3 inch groups. Clearly the Colt was kinder to me today.

I am not happy with the M-5S today and not happy with Arsenal pushing this rifle out the door without checking the sights and making sure the trigger group worked properly.

I will report back after my next range session and again after I get a decent scope mount.


Link Posted: 10/19/2003 5:13:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/19/2003 5:23:51 PM EST by Templar]
Damn.......sounds like you had a bum day at the range.

My advice, don't waste any more ammo on the SA-M5.

Call Arsenal and get them to take it back and get the fire control fixed ASAP. It should never have left them in that condition.

My experience with them has been very positive. I've had to send two rifles back to them (not my personal rifles, ones for the shop, and this is out of many, many Arsenal Inc. rifle's we've stocked) and both were taken care of in a timely manner.

Also let them know about the zeroing issue.

Please post an update ASAP.
Link Posted: 10/19/2003 7:58:00 PM EST

I don't think it is worth returning it now for work on the trigger. The problem slowed, then appeared to stop as more rounds were fed.

I just removed the top cover to see how the parts work together. Dry firing it, as well as pulling back the action, pulling and holding the trigger, letting the bolt go forward, and slowly releasing the trigger, did not reproduce the malfunction. I also did this with my M-7 for comparision. They both appear to working the same.

I think there must have been machining marks or rough edges causing it hold the trigger back. They must have worn down now. The only other thing I can think of is the spring is either weak or was catching on some rough edges of its own. I would rather take it out next weekend and run some rounds through it before shipping it back. Still, I think they should have caught this before shipping. I had never heard of this happening with any AK before.

As for the front sight, I can't find my old adjustment tool, so will probably buy another this week. It should be self service, despite what Arsenal says.

My only real worry is that it is an 8 MOA rifle. If this is common for the model I will be severely disappointed. If others start getting 2 MOA I will ship the sucker back for a checkup. Just writing this makes me wonder if I should just send it back now.

I found a .223 VEPR target I shot a few months ago and I had 4 inch groups with the same type of sights. Now I am worrying.

Link Posted: 10/20/2003 3:22:43 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/20/2003 3:39:26 AM EST
Originally Posted By Templar:
OK...........Latest skinny on the SA-M5.

I talked with Vartan today (pres. of Arsenal Inc.) and the SA-M5's are in the process of being stocked and then shipped out. They SHOULD be "available" by the end of the month.

Thats good news!
Link Posted: 10/20/2003 3:45:58 AM EST
A rough hitch in the trigger motion may be all there is to blame for the accuracy, both groups and windage. Maybe yank the hts set and smooth out the offending surfaces or swap with the SAM7 set and shoot a few more rounds.

A C-clamp and sockets can drift the front sight without an extra tool purchase.
Link Posted: 10/20/2003 5:07:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/20/2003 6:46:52 PM EST by Robert2011]
I took some time off from work this afternoon so I could return to the range. Along with the Arsenal M-5S, I brought along a VEPR K .223 for a side-by-side comparison as it has the same type of sights and sight radius.

All shooting was done at 50 yards because I can see the target clearer then at 100 yards, and it is the minimum distance allowed at this facility. Only open standard AK iron sights were used. Two targets were placed next to each other on an extra wide single stand. The VEPR would fire first at the left target, followed by the Arsenal on the right, using the same ammunition type. I fired 5 rounds of each type of ammo in each rifle, sharing a single Bulgarian waffle 30 round magazine. Only 5 rounds were loaded at a time. No changes were made to the sights during the testing.

I am still new to this type of sight and much prefer the peep sight on the AR-15. Because of this, it is difficult to tell if my resulting groups are larger because of the sights, the rifle, or the ammunition. The cause of flyers is a problem that is difficult to trace. Is it the rifle, ammunition, or me?

Federal XM193 Lot 032
VEPR – 1" group.
Arsenal – 1" inch group if one flyer is disregarded, 3 1/3" if flyer included. Group centered 4 ¾" left of bulls eye.

WinchesterQ3131A, Lot T632
VEPR – 1 ½" group if flyer disregarded, 2 ¾ if included.
Arsenal – 2 ½" group if flyer disregarded, 2 ¾ if included. Group centered 5" left of bull's eye.

Federal American Eagle 55gr FMJ Boat Tail. Box says 1996.
VEPR – 1" group if two flyers disregarded. 1 ¾ group if one flyer included, 3" if both included.
Arsenal – ¾" group if two flyers (?) disregarded. 1 ¾" group if one flyer included, 3 1/2" if both included. Group centered 4 ¼" left of bull's eye.

The VEPR's fourth shot went click on an empty chamber. The unfired cartridge was found 10 feet right and 3 feet forward of my position. Somehow firing the third shot tossed the fourth cartridge out too, so the bolt closed on an empty chamber! The fifth round remained in the magazine. I was only loading five rounds at a time, so it occurred with the second to the last round in the magazine.

Hornady 75gr BTHP Lot 030092
VEPR – 1 ½" group if flyer disregarded, 2 ¼" group if one flyer included.
Arsenal – 1 ¾" group if flyer disregarded, 2" group if one flyer included. Group centered 2" left of bull's eye.

The VEPR's fourth shot went click on an empty chamber with exactly the same circumstances as before. I fired another five rounds, target not recorded, of Federal XM193 in the VEPR without duplicating the malfunction.

I fired two more targets with the Arsenal using Federal XM193 Lot 032. A 2 ½" group and a 3 ¾" group resulted, with no identifiable flyers. Both groups centered 5" left. This is what I was expecting would be normal. Either the previous flyers were not flyers at all and this is normal accuracy, or I am causing the flyers and large groups myself.

Today there was no reoccurrence of the trigger problem in the M-5 where it did not return forward after cycling.

I still need to adjust the front sight. If I understand it correctly, moving it 1mm to the left (when viewing the rifle from the firing position) will move it close to the correct distance for 100 yards.

When I get a decent scope setup I will redo this test at 50 yards and again at 100 yards. Since 50 yards may not be a real test for rifle accuracy, I am not sure if this test has any significance for 200 and 300 yard shooting. That too will have to wait for the scope. Only then can I be sure if it is a regular 3" or 8" shooter at 100 yards.

I still don't know if the barrel really has the 1/7 inch twist (we expected) or the 1/9.5 inch (the manual says). Does anybody know for sure?


Edited for typos.
Link Posted: 10/20/2003 8:12:22 PM EST
Glad to hear the trigger "worked itself" out. It frustrates me when companies ship stuff out like that, but inall honesty, I've seen some REALLY messed up stuff happen to every manufacturer, and I do mean everybody has had some kind of problem with the guns they send out at one time or another.

Sounds like the accuracy was pretty decent for an AK style rifle with open sights.

As far as the rate of twist, the president of Arsenal Inc. told me personally that they are 1/7".

Hope that helps and good luck!
Link Posted: 10/21/2003 4:52:21 AM EST
Glad it is getting better. So far I feel that an 8" bull works best with irons for a repeatable sight picture, and of course a plus sign grid for scoped shooting allows the reticle lines to match exactly for each shot.
Thanks for the range reports!
Link Posted: 12/18/2003 7:26:22 AM EST
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