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Posted: 9/20/2003 10:18:59 AM EDT
Today I was at a gun and knife show in Niles Ohio and I was having a fit all I had was $67.00 in my pocket and I kept seeing these beutiful AK47's and AR15's. I have already decided in the future what make of AR15 I will get but what would be the best contry of AK47 I should get next time I have enough at the next local gun show? I saw what I thought was a Chinese AK47 because it had polished light brown wood for $440.00 and I also saw a Russian and Romanian AK47's. What would you say is my best bet when I go to buy one next time when I have the money in my pocket?
If you can't treat this like a normal assingment 007... Then 008 can replace you. 008
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 10:22:08 AM EDT
Well, at least I didn't go empty handed today. I bought a big black Rambo knife and a little black butterfly knife.
If you can't treat this like a normal assingment 007... Then 008 can replace you. 008
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 11:09:55 AM EDT
What model chinese was it? Norinco or Polytech?

You can't go wrong with a Romanian.

As for the russian, no complete guns have ever been imported. ie. no russian receivers.
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 12:01:26 PM EDT
The Bulgarians (the Arsenal Company) are known for making really good Kalashnikovs. I don't believe they brought them in as prebans, but if a thumbhole stocked AK does not bother you, or you don't mind using the 922r rules to convert it to pistol grip configuration, you may look into the SLR-95 series (and related models).

If you like them, but want it already in pistol grip configuration, and can't find one that way, look into their brothers, the Arsenal Inc SA M-7 rifles, which are made here under license of the Arsenal of Bulgaria company. They consist of all new components, use a forged and milled receiver, hammer, trigger, and disconnector. All parts are either Bulgarian made, or manufactured in the US under license of Arsenal of Bulgaria.

Very nice specimens based on the current Bulgarian AK-47 (the Arsenal AR-M1).
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 12:15:02 PM EDT
Which are the ones made in Nevada? Isn't that Arsenal Inc? I was checking out a green furnitured one of those out at the fun shop. They're a bit spendy (close to $600) for an AK but seem very well put together.
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 12:22:56 PM EDT
Yep, they are the ones :)
Arsenal Inc in Nevada is licensed by Arsenal of Bulgaria, and in fact supply them with a majority of the components needed for their assembly. The rifles are called SA M-7. They also import the single stack SLR-101 rifles, which they sell as single stack shooters, and modify some to be sold as double stack shooters.

The SA M-7's are a little bit more money, but are made from scratch to be double stack shooters.

Not cheaply priced, but very nice guns indeed :)
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 12:38:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2003 12:39:35 PM EDT by SSR-99]
Oh forgot to mention, all other standard production post ban AK's in the US are made using stamped receivers, but the SA M-7 is a milled receiver. Not to be confused with the Firing Lines method of milling their AK receivers from steel barstock, the Arsenal Inc SA M-7 receiver is milled from an AK receiver forging. This is the way the Bulgarians do it with theirs, and while Arsenal Inc won't release it's source for their receiver and fire control group forgings, many of us guess that the forgings are coming from their Bulgarian friends (Arsenal of Bulgaria).

While forging is the best way to produce a milled product, the price of the forging dies and foundry contract costs, usually have people go other ways (like investment casting or milling from barstock). With Arsenal of Bulgaria having all this stuff in house already, it would make sense for Arsenal Inc to be supplied by them (at a fraction of what it would cost to have the forgings done here). Just a guess, of course ;)
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 12:51:11 PM EDT

This is the way the Bulgarians do it with theirs, and while Arsenal Inc won't release it's source for their receiver and fire control group forgings, many of us guess that the forgings are coming from their Bulgarian friends (Arsenal of Bulgaria).


There can be no doubt that you have tried repeatedly to find out too, eh?
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 12:57:03 PM EDT
Oh yeah.........I tried my best to get a definite yes or no from them, but they refuse :)

I do know they CNC mill them right here in the U.S. (to Bulgarian specs), and give them a proper and complete heat treating. I have also heard that the receivers get an x-raying to check for defects, but I received that info second hand, so don't quote me on that. As for the rest, it is pretty much public knowledge now :)
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 1:03:24 PM EDT
My bet is that they are imported at 80%, figuring that the forging process is much cheaper in Bulgaria. Once they are finished in the U.S. they can be slapped with a 'Made in U.S.A.' mark and the BATFE is happy.

Not that I care one way or the other, I am interested in the best quality product at the most reasonable price available. I wish other companies would be shrewd enough to do something similar.
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 1:10:59 PM EDT
Reply to an email I sent to Arsenal Bulgaria regarding the AR M1 flash hider.


Dear Mr. XXXXX,

Thank you very much for your e-mail dated September 1, 2003. We appreciate your interest in our products.
We would like to confirm that the muzzle brake/flash hider on the AR-M1 is threaded 24 mm.
Also, we would like to inform you that Arsenal Co. has an Agent for the USA market. We advise you in case of concrete inquiries to refer to him directly. In order to do it, please use the following address:

K-VAR Corp.
5015 W. SAHARA AV.,
# 125 PMB-136
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA 89146-3407
Tel: 1 702 364 8880


We look forward to the pleasure of serving you.



Yours sincerely,
ARSENAL Co.



N. IBUSHEV
GENERAL DIRECTOR
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 1:14:43 PM EDT
Cool. I've decided to get one of these with the green furniture. I sold off my NMH-91 a couple of years ago and it just feels wrong not to own an AK. Hmmmmm....first I'll pay off what I owe on the SEBR and THEN I'll get a SAM7.

Geeze, the wife is gonna kill me dead....
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 1:32:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRealSundance:
As for the russian, no complete guns have ever been imported. ie. no russian receivers.



True, but the Saigas make for some nice conversions. I love my Krebs AK103K.



Link Posted: 9/20/2003 1:33:00 PM EDT
Actually, there was a magazine article that covered the SA M-7 pretty closely. In it, it showed the forgings they use, and they are definitely un milled, just the bare forged ingots (receiver, hammer, trigger, and disconnector). Meaning they do all the milling on them here (on CNC machinery, and using Bulgarian specs). I will try to find that link showing the magazine article and it's photos for you :)
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 1:50:36 PM EDT
Here is that magazine article:
www.smallarmsreview.com/pdf/sam7.pdf

The Bulgarian Arsenal has K-VAR as their parts distributor in the US, and Arsenal Inc company as the licensed manufacturer of the guns.

K-VAR and Arsenal Inc are tied together somehow, but they keep tight lipped on exactly how. Arsenal Inc Fire Control Groups are stamped K-VAR. And it's stock sets come from K-VAR. Both Arsenal Inc and K-VAR are located in Las Vegas Nevada. Both have ties to the Bulgarian firm, and somehow to each other :)
If I were a betting man, my guess would be that Arsenal Inc is a manufacturing division of K-VAR. Kinda like Arsenal USA is a manufacturing division of Global Trades.

Anyhows, if you have not read that mag article I listed above, do so, it's a good read :)
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 2:08:34 PM EDT
I am pretty sure that if you buy your first AK as cheap as $350 like an SAR-1 it will not be your last AK. You will like the feel and reliability the AK offers whatever country they make it.....
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 3:36:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRealSundance:
What model chinese was it? Norinco or Polytech?

You can't go wrong with a Romanian.

As for the russian, no complete guns have ever been imported. ie. no russian receivers.


I was just guessing I thought it was a russian but now that you mentioned it I guess I was wrong.
If you can't treat this like a normal assingment 007... Then 008 can replace you. 008
Link Posted: 9/20/2003 8:39:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2003 8:41:42 PM EDT by TheRealSundance]

Originally Posted By 008:

Originally Posted By TheRealSundance:
What model chinese was it? Norinco or Polytech?

You can't go wrong with a Romanian.

As for the russian, no complete guns have ever been imported. ie. no russian receivers.


I was just guessing I thought it was a russian but now that you mentioned it I guess I was wrong.
If you can't treat this like a normal assingment 007... Then 008 can replace you. 008



Save your money on the SAM-7 and get a SAR-1 and a SAR-2. Then you have one in both russian calibres. Sam-7's also come with a 90* gas block not the 45* block. Not that it matters for function, but for looks it does matter to some.
Link Posted: 9/21/2003 3:42:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/21/2003 4:44:21 AM EDT by SSR-99]
Yep, the SA M-7 has a 90 degree gas block. It has this type of gas block because the full auto gun that it is based on, has it also.
Here is a photo of a current production AR-M1 from the Arsenal of Bulgaria website:



In more recent years, Arsenal of Bulgaria incorporated the modern AK-74 threaded front sight housing as well, but the current front sight housing on the Arsenal Inc SA M-7 is correct to the one used on the AR-M1 of two or three years ago.

The 90 degree gas block was an improvement made to the AK design when the AK-74 was introduced. The 45 degree type required the gas port hole to be drilled at an angle, this could cause a little bit of bullet shearing on the 7.62x39 bullet, because of the bigger oval hole entering the barrel, but it was no real problem with the bigger .30 caliber bullet. Once they went to the 5.45x39 round, the bullet would be more affected by the possible bullet shearing, and this is why they went to the 90 degree gas block, which would then have the hole come straight down into the barrel, and leaving behind a round hole (instead of an oval one). While it was not a big improvement for the 7.62 AK's, it certainly was needed for the newer 5.45 round.

All the current milled Bulgarian full autos (in 5.45, 5.56, and 7.62 calibers) will have their gas port holes drilled this way.

While the Arsenal Inc SA M-7 may not look like any traditional (older) AK, it sure is an almost dead ringer to what it is based on, that being the modern Bulgarian AK-47 (the Arsenal AR-M1 assault rifle that is shown in the photo above).
If what you want is the look of a traditional AK, then a standard SA-M7/SA-M7S would be wrong for you (maybe you could find a SA M-7 Classic).
But if you want an AK that resembles a true current, former Com Block made, modern AK-47, and probably the last of it's breed (milled), then the Arsenal Inc company does it with their AR-M1 based SA M-7 rifle :)

Here is a photo of an Arsenal Inc SA M-7:



As one can see by the photos above, the SA M-7 is not just some semi auto rifle slapped together to resemble no real production full auto AK, because they are based on a true AK-47 design, that being the Arsenal AR-M1, which is a standard production model assault rifle for the Arsenal of Bulgaria firm.
Link Posted: 9/21/2003 1:53:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SSR-99:


[

I

The 90 degree gas block was an improvement made to the AK design when the AK-74 was introduced. The 45 degree type required the gas port hole to be drilled at an angle, this could cause a little bit of bullet shearing on the 7.62x39 bullet, because of the bigger oval hole entering the barrel, but it was no real problem with the bigger .30 caliber bullet. Once they went to the 5.45x39 round, the bullet would be more affected by the possible bullet shearing, and this is why they went to the 90 degree gas block, which would then have the hole come straight down into the barrel, and leaving behind a round hole (instead of an oval one). While it was not a big improvement for the 7.62 AK's, it certainly was needed for the newer 5.45 round.

All the current milled Bulgarian full autos (in 5.45, 5.56, and 7.62 calibers) will have their gas port holes drilled this way.




The first two russian Ak-74 types both had 45* gas blocks and it was discovered that the shearing effect on 5.45 caused accuracy problems. There were no such problems with the 7.62, the reason the russians never went to a 90* block.

The bulgarians probably use the 90* block on everything now for finacial reasons.

Link Posted: 9/22/2003 5:57:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/22/2003 6:51:28 AM EDT by SSR-99]
I had already written this above:

"The 45 degree type required the gas port hole to be drilled at an angle, this could cause a little bit of bullet shearing on the 7.62x39 bullet, because of the bigger oval hole entering the barrel, but it was no real problem with the bigger .30 caliber bullet. Once they went to the 5.45x39 round, the bullet would be more affected by the possible bullet shearing, and this is why they went to the 90 degree gas block, which would then have the hole come straight down into the barrel, and leaving behind a round hole (instead of an oval one). While it was not a big improvement for the 7.62 AK's, it certainly was needed for the newer 5.45 round."

The gas port drilled into the barrel for the 45 degree gas block (no matter what caliber) causes the entrance hole to be "oval shaped" (no matter what caliber we are speaking of). As I said before, it made no real big difference for the 7.62x39 bullet when going to the 90 degree angle gas chamber, but definitely helped with the 5.45x39 bullets.

With that being said, of course it made sense to save money by standardizing the gas chambers. But it also made sense to use the 90 degree method for all the Kalashnikovs, as it meant that the barrels gas ports would all be drilled straight in, instead of angled. This meant (even for the 7.62x39 caliber) that the hole would be round, not oval (the round hole having the smaller entrance circumference on the barrels lands and grooves).
Little advantage as it may have been for the bigger 7.62x39 caliber bullets, it still was one. It meant the bullets would pass by a round hole, not an elongated oval one. Passing over a hole drilled into the barrel is a necessary obstacle for the bullet in a typical gas operated firearm, no need for that obstacle to be bigger than need be :)

While any advantages gained by the 7.62x39 calibered guns using the 90 degree gas blocks may have been too small to measure, it still makes sense :)
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 6:26:03 AM EDT
I too am looking for an AK, but in 5.45x39. Arsenal doesn't appear to offer anything in this caliber. Or am I wrong? I guess I'll have to get one built...?

Where O' Where is a good parts kit (AK-74) to be found?

Thanks!
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 6:48:31 AM EDT
>>Where O' Where is a good parts kit (AK-74) to be found?<<

Right here on the floor in my office, along with the OOW receiver that is going to ORF to be built next week...

Try K-VAR,or Pick up a copy of shotgun news and
crawl around there. You might want to skim through it before you buy it. Some issues have more (or Less) AK stuff in them than others.

KyARGuy
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 6:55:25 AM EDT
008- Frank and Karen/BBC are great people to buy from and are at almost all shows in your area. If you want an AK that works well and you can knock it around without worrying about he nice finish, pick out a SAR.

WI- See if FAC/gunsnstuff.com still has Bulgy 74 kits for $192.
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 7:02:37 AM EDT
No, you are right, Arsenal Inc does not offer a 5.45x39 caliber gun.

They seem to be basing all of their guns on AK's that Arsenal of Bulgaria makes or has made in the past. Their SA M-7 Classic looks very much like the Bulgarians early AK-47's, their SA M-7 standard series are based on the Bulgarians current AK-47 (the AR-M1), their RPK's looks like the Bulgarian offering, and they soon will be out with their SA M-5's, which are based on the Bulgarian 5.56x45 version of the AR-M1's.

The common thread up to this point, is the milled receiver. Arsenal Inc has concentrated on making the milled receiver Bulgarian variants.

When one goes to the Arsenal of Bulgaria website, one will notice that their 5.45x39 calibered guns are done on the stamped receiver, so maybe Arsenal Inc is staying away from using their milled receivers for this caliber, to stay within the Bulgarian authenticity pattern they have been following.
Just a guess of course.......who knows, if things keep going good for them, they may start building their own stamped receivers here as well, and then maybe we will see those Bulgarian based AK-74's :)
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 8:36:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SSR-99:
I had already written this above:

"The 45 degree type required the gas port hole to be drilled at an angle, this could cause a little bit of bullet shearing on the 7.62x39 bullet, because of the bigger oval hole entering the barrel, but it was no real problem with the bigger .30 caliber bullet. Once they went to the 5.45x39 round, the bullet would be more affected by the possible bullet shearing, and this is why they went to the 90 degree gas block, which would then have the hole come straight down into the barrel, and leaving behind a round hole (instead of an oval one). While it was not a big improvement for the 7.62 AK's, it certainly was needed for the newer 5.45 round."



While any advantages gained by the 7.62x39 calibered guns using the 90 degree gas blocks may have been too small to measure, it still makes sense :)



Yes you did. The shearing effect was not discovered and fixed until 4 years after the Ak-74 had been put into production and 2 years after it entered service. The oval hole was no problem with the 7.62, as it had been in service for over 20 years with several major modifications. After over 1/2 million ak-74's were produced before the 90* block was introduced. The russians never changed the 45* block because there was not a problem with it on 47's. If there was then they would have changed it.

The bulgarians use of the 90* block is for one reason, cost of production. Why forge both when one works fine?

If the avantages are too small to measure then why bother changing it? Right. Cost would be the only reason it makes sense.

What rifle does the Bulgarian army use now? Since the intoduction af the Ak-74?

Does any army use the AR-M1? When did the Bulgies start putting 90* block on their 7.62?
Link Posted: 9/22/2003 10:37:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/22/2003 12:44:44 PM EDT by SSR-99]
"Again"..... drilling straight in, instead of at an angle, means the hole will be round, not oval (the round hole having the smaller entrance circumference on the barrels lands and grooves).
Little advantage as it may have been for the bigger 7.62x39 caliber bullets, it still was one. It meant the bullets would pass by a round hole, not an elongated oval one. Passing over a hole drilled into the barrel is a necessary obstacle for the bullet in a typical gas operated firearm, no need for that obstacle to be bigger than it need be.

So while saving money may have been the main goal, it still brought along an improvement over the old angled gas port.



If one wants a good example of this whole slant drilling or straight drilling situation, all one needs is a drill, a 1/4" drill bit, and a scrap piece of 2x4 wood. Drill one hole straight down and through, and the other at a 45 degree angle and through. Turn the piece over and compare the holes. One will then see that even though both holes were drilled with a 1/4 inch drill bit, the angled drill hole will exit in an oval shape (as it will in your barrel), and with it, have a larger circumference.

One can then see that the smaller round hole would be the more desirable one placed in the lands and grooves of your barrel (no matter which Kalashnikov caliber we speak of).

As far as what the Bulgarians use......probably a mixture of milled and stamped receiver guns that were already in their inventory, but with them joining "NATO", I can see how they may want to consider adopting the already existing Arsenal AR-M1 5.56 NATO calibered rifle. Even the rifling is set up for the NATO round (1 turn in 7 inches). It is a milled receivered gun with a 90 degree gas chamber. A true AK-47 meets AK-74 design:)

I can imagine all that has been, or is, under discussion over there.

No more of the old Soviet Union communist block, means many of those countries may just stick with the stockpiles of weapons they already have (most being in the 7.62x39 caliber). These are AK's, which are out there in the many millions, and of course the builders may have a hell of a time trying to sell new production 7.62x39 rifles.
Not to mention countries like Bulgaria that have been begging to join NATO (and therefore, will most likely be going to the 5.56 Nato round soon). It's all evolving, but things out there will start taking shape :)

Anyhows, back to the subject at hand (best AK's), I would have to say the Bulgarians make "SOME" of the best around (definitely a top contender). Too bad we don't have the Polish setting up some licensed operations here to compete with Arsenal Inc :)








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