Ever since Arsenal released the original SAM-7 post ban weapon system i was highly impressed with the details of quality workmanship of this new generation of Ak. Since last may i have aquired two SLR 105A1's and SA M7 carbine.
Now the 105 is sweet deal but that updated look of the SAM-7 carbine just gives me goose bumps with its base line package and updated gas block and threaded muzzel nut is way to cool......I ordered one more no ban carbine but due to current demand a five week wait will be in order.
I was really was surprised by the cost of the under folder SAS-7 model, it looks cool but its not worth five extra bills.
Okay, so how feasible and what should it cost to convert to an underfolder? Or for that matter, a side folder? Certainly less than $500, I would guess.
I must totally agree with you.
I've always believed that the "standard" fixed stock post and no ban SA M-7 models (the standard, the scope rail models, and the carbines) were very fairly priced, especially when one figures in that they were/are assembled using American based labor and use quite a few American made components. I also believe that Arsenal Inc's status as being a licensed branch of the Bulgarian Arsenal firm should also count for something.
But,........... then one currently sees some of their folding stock versions costing a whopping $500 more than their standard fixed stock models. One has to wonder why they don't make a more concentrated effort to close this gap.
I understand that the extra labor and components used by the Arsenal Inc firm in making these pre ban configured folding stock AK's must be adding some noticable costs,...... but $400-$500?!
Think about it, for a couple hundred dollars more, one can actually probably buy two of their standard fixed stocked AK's! TWO!!! That does not seem right.
Think back to the days before any of the so called "assault weapon bans" were in place, do we all remember that even then there were premiums paid for guns that had extra bells and whistles.
The premiums were definitely there, and I believe should have been, but the premium that Arsenal Inc is currently charging is just nowhere in line with what one would have expected that premium to be.
They should really go back to their meeting rooms and spend some time to try and figure out why they have this wide gap in their guns pricing. They should then spend even a bit more time in trying to figure out how they can close these gaps considerably.
Somehow they were able to keep themselves very efficient when producing the fixed stocked versions, but now seem to have thrown efficiency out the door when it comes to their folding stock models.
If one were to take off the folding stock and it's related components, and then lay them out on a table to see exactly what one is paying extra for,....... then, if one were to also take a good hard look at the extra CNC machining required to make that receiver a folding stock version AK, one would clearly see that there is truly a reason for "some" extra pricing.
But, should this extra labor and components add up to almost the price tag of another standard fixed stock AK? ......... I think not!
Will those layed out components and extra receiver milling add up to $400-$500?....... I think not!
IMO, the extra labor and components used to manufacture a folding stock AK (not including any other added bells & whistles), should probably not add more than a $150 price hike over the price of one of their comparable fixed stock versions.
I was looking around to see if there was anything in print that would help us in figuring out what extra costs may be involved in Arsenal Inc's extra receiver milling and component requirements needed for their underfolder AK's.
There is one U.S. firm that offers milled receivers for the basic fixed stock, side-folding stock, and for the under-folding stock AK's.
This firm (The Firing Line) is pretty well known for it's nicely made products, but is not exactly famous for their product pricing (they are very expensive)! LOL! heir
*The Firing Line charges $100 more for their milled under-folder receiver than they do for their standard fixed stock receiver.
*My last K-VAR catalog (2003) shows a complete new Bulgarian under-folder stock set (including the required interior components) costing about $60 (the current pricing may add a few more dollars to that).
In any case, we get a feel of what we are looking at here.
Let's say that we give Arsenal Inc the right of way in charging an extra $100 for their under-folder receiver milling (remember, if the very expensive Firing Line company is happy with getting this much more for their receiver's extra milling work, then it should be more than a sufficient amount for Arsenal Inc as well). Let's also say that they have the right to charge at least an extra $60 for the folding stock and components.
Well then, how does an extra $160 become an extra $500 ?!
Or, there's always this:
Arsenal, Inc. can charge whatever the fuck they want and then you can decide to pay it or pass on it.
That' s a lot more simple.
That may be very true, but it's not a bad idea to share the math with potential customers. There may be potential customers out there that may not have realized this major price gap among Arsenal Inc milled rifles.
Remember, an educated consumer is usually much better off then one who shops blindly. That goes for any purchase, no matter what that product or service may be.
Prime example: There have been guy's on various AK boards that have sent their AK's out for gunsmithing work thinking that they knew enough about their work ethic/quality. Later, once the service was suposedly completed by the gunsmith, the AK may arrive back in a much less quality condition then they had expected it to be in hat
I repeat, IMO, the Arsenal Inc fixed stock milled series rifles have thus far remained fairly priced items. Heck, they may even still be considered bargain priced........ but their folding stock AK's seem to be another matter altogether.
That's a good point, SA-M,7about the boards being a good way to share one's opinions and information. It's hard sometimes to sort through all the B.S. to find items that are useful or helpful.
Information like that one guy put out about the bad job that gunsmith did on his AK is one of those things that I think everybody likes to see because that kind of thread covers so many topics, i.e. how business should be conducted, how much good work is worth, what a good reputation and good business practices are expected to be, etc.
Unfortunately, sometimes posters waste everybody's time and bandwidth with weird complaints like how a certain big company won't listen directly to them or wont grant them an exclusive audience with their upper managment. Sometimes posters even go so far as to hijack people's threads and post long ranting diatribes about obscure topics like whether the steel ingot that a milled receiver is forged from comes from Bulgaria or the United States - I know, hard to believe.
As far as the rifles that Arsenal, Inc. produces, the SA M7 Carbine is probably one of the very best values on the market today. I personally would not pay $1200 for an A1 underfolder but they are darn cool to look at. I wouldn't pay it for a sidefolder either, although I think that they are far more practical and comfortable.
As we both know Arsenal, Inc. is beginning to limit their milled receiver output to focus on the stamped guns. The 5.45mm model is available in large numbers now and we should see the 7.62x39mm and 5.56mm stamped models by the end of the year. I plan on acquiring one of each, the 7.62 for an AKM clone and the 5.56 for a special project.
From all accounts, these should be very reasonably priced, especially (when you think about it) to finally get our hands on a true AKM clone.
Ok.....I can see this is going to get ugly, so we're going to quit while we're ahead guys.